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Why managing your own expectations keeps your sanity intact.

Are we nearly there yet?

Boris Johnson’s next announcement on the ‘roadmap’ for England, out of what can be described as this pandemic ‘siege’, is expected to be Monday 22 February; however, he has said he will be led by data, not dates. So, if the data isn’t available and the number crunching hasn’t been done, the announcement will be later in the week.

The Prime Minister, flanked by his team – the usual suspects being Sir Patrick Vallance – the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser and Chris Whitty who is Chief Medical Officer for England, will be at their podiums, armed with all the data, and the PowerPoint slides to illustrate them (I read recently there are mugs, placemats and more, bearing Chris Whitty’s now famous phrase: ‘Next slide please.’). We anxiously await news of how Lockdown will be eased and although Boris Johnson has apparently said he doesn’t want to release any details early, we...

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Another Valentine’s Day victory? Why it’s actually all about you.

Violets are Blue, Roses are Red. These flowers are really for me, yes – that’s what I said!

So, Valentine’s Day has been and gone and many have enjoyed bunches of flowers that’ve been bought for them. Only they weren’t in fact bought for them. Their loved one actually bought them for themselves.

Eh? How’s that then?? How can buying flowers for someone else mean we’ve actually bought them for ourselves?!

Allow me to explain. We are never doing something for someone else, we are always doing it for ourselves, (I thought I’d cut to the chase fairly soon!) it’s just that a lot of the time, many people will benefit from it. Many people think the right thing to do is to always do things for others – to put their needs above theirs but in fact, that’s never the case.

We will always do what sits most emotionally comfortable with us at that time, compared with any other choice we might have. In other words, we always choose...

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Why how you show up each day will affect the quality of life you lead.

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Time after time

I’ll be honest with you, I am finding this Lockdown rather wearing now and I think that’s the general consensus.

I hear so many people say they're finding it harder than the ones before and I totally get it. It’s the third one. It’s Winter. We almost feel like we can touch the freedom of being able to go out and about, yet it seems just out of reach, which means we can find it that bit more frustrating.

The goal posts seem to constantly move – we have a date when we might be out of Lockdown, it gets reviewed and then extended. Schools are going to go back mid-February in England but that changes to March. Schools in Scotland are to go back 22 February – so, might the date change for schools in England? Who knows, it’s all under review. I make no political comment on decisions that are made because with the ever-shifting sands of this pandemic, I’m sure...

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7 magic steps to making the most out of your life

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Tip of the iceberg

The subconscious mind, understandably, is huge area of fascination in research and study. Over the past two centuries, there have been conflicting studies about the power of the subconscious mind but more and more is being understood about it.

Much research points towards a figure of around 95% of our thinking being subconscious and if this is the case, it means as we go about our everyday lives, our daily conscious thoughts are but a minor percentage. It’s frightening really. Frightening because most of what we do, is through habit and most of that is reactive – another whopping statistic - approximately 95%!

Think of it this way: when you drive a regular car journey, do you sometimes find yourself thinking: “I didn’t realise I’d already passed the service station back there,” or when you need the loo in the middle of the night, you don’t really need the...

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In a good mood today? What? Haven't you heard? It’s Blue Monday.

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

In case you haven’t heard…

You may very well have woken today feeling great, (or maybe that’s pushing it a bit in the current climate, so we’ll go with that you’re feeling OK). Perhaps you feel like today is going to be a good day. Maybe you have something exciting planned – a Zoom call with a loved one, a walk with a friend (that is still allowed in England I think!), you’re planning to launch an exciting project at work, or maybe you’ve a moviefest with popcorn and chocolate all set up and ready to go this afternoon.

Let me stop you right there. Have you not heard? It’s the third Monday in January!!! That means it’s Blue Monday. And a very specific algorithm tells us that due to the fact many are in between pay days of a very long month, the days are shorter and darker with weather most likely to be wetter and greyer, we’re post-Christmas...

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How to successfully achieve your New Year’s Resolutions!

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

2021 will soon be upon us and for many, our thoughts turn to the New Year and what our Resolutions might be…

We read much doom and gloom about the custom of making these resolutions and why they're not worth signing up for because we never stick to them. Making the resolutions in the first place is just a knee jerk reaction to the whole ‘New Year, New You’ theory and it’s just a waste of time because for many, they never come to fruition.

The problem is, too many people trust in ‘willpower’ which will only get you so far. That’s why when you look back, you'll notice gyms are so busy in January and February and then the numbers starts to drop...

What we need is a daily routine that keeps us on track without needing to push ourselves daily to give things up; rather that's it's about doing things that in time, will serve us well and that as they become part of a routine, they...

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2020’s most viewed – The Mindset Blog Greatest Hits!

This time of year is very often one of reflection. In amidst the hurrying and scurrying, I have been thinking about the Mindset Blogs I have written and decided to take a look at the stats – which Mindset Blogs have been the most viewed and it’s no surprise really that the ones written during Lockdown Part 1, were the most looked at.

We had no reference point for how to feel at the very beginning of all this. When something happens, or we’re told something, we become aware of it and process it and then decide how we want to feel about it – we attach an emotion to the situation. This is all going on in our subconscious and how we choose to feel will depend on our past experiences, our values, morals and beliefs. For example, one of my daughters was telling me about something she’d read on Instagram (I lose count of how many conversations in my house start with: ‘The other day, I saw on TickTok/Instagram…’!). She said that she’d...

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Why it pays to pay it forward because we all gain something from that

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Goodwill to all men

In my last blog, I wrote my own version of the The 12 Days of Christmas, the premise being that it’s important to think about the gifts you can give to yourself to ensure your mental wellbeing is kept in check. It has after all, been a year quite unlike any other and so, to bolster ourselves against whatever 2021 might bring us, it’s about making sure you use the oxygen mask first, before helping others.

A reminder of one of the gifts I suggest you give to yourself:

A good deed for my neighbour

A chat on the doorstep, taking the bin back, some homemade baked goods – each small act of kindness can help to lift the spirits of someone who might be in need of some good cheer. Sometimes, we’ve no idea the impact it can have on another, to make time for them, to hold space for them in your day. And the effect on you is warm and fuzzy, that you could have made the difference to...

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The 12 Days of Christmas – the gifts I give to me…

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Christmas is supposed to be a time of great joy, happiness and celebration. Let’s face it, in reality, many of us are running around like headless chickens, spending far more than we should on gifts that people probably don’t need or want. People place such high expectations on this time of year and many feel under pressure to provide a sumptuous meal for that one day, and then it’s leftover turkey and bubble and squeak for the following week - and thereafter. For some, this time of year compounds deep grief and sadness, it’s not all shiny baubles and glistening tinsel.

Some people might feel an added pressure this year due to the fact Christmas will look slightly different. Maybe they want to pull out the stops to make it extra special to make up for the strange year we’ve had; maybe many would like to, but the rollercoaster of the past 12 months means finances don’t permit...

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The surprising root cause of your stress and what you can do about it.

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Tis the season

As Christmas approaches, new rules have been introduced in the UK as to how we can meet up with family and friends. Tis all a tad confusing, especially as tiers have also been announced, which will remain in effect until reviewed on 16 December. We’re all trying to get our head around this information and already today, I have had confusing conversations with grandparents in my family as to who will be in which bubble and whether we can see each other or not.

Social media is awash with people commenting on the announcements – many questioning how much sense this all makes. Many of the comments might be fuelled by frustration, disappointment and sadness which is completely understandable. We have had thoughts on what our plans in this family could be, but they’re probably going to need to change which I know my children will find upsetting because it means not seeing much-loved members...

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