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Little Peaces

This is a blog about things that are calming, positive or both!

Each post will be different, and perhaps unconventional, reflecting my values and those of my work. Let’s call it a pick ‘n’ mix without the calories. (Flashback to the Woolworths days anyone?)

Permission to switch off

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I will be on holiday for 10 days from 25th June, with very limited (if any) access to emails and phone. As much as I'm looking forward to a change of scenery, new experiences, quality time with loved ones etc, I was feeling the pangs of panic. But what if my clients and potential connections need my help while I'm gone? What about that event I've got on two days after my return... The truth is I will never fully be ready to switch off and let go, for a day or for several months and we all desperately need this kind of down time.

I love the work I do, supporting people to find light and ease from anxiety and stress, build confidence and embrace all that they are and have potential to be. I also know the value of taking a step back, focussing on yourself and your needs not worrying about others for a while. I have to practice what I preach and this comes as a reminder to myself and to all of you, do what you need to in order to feel you have your own permission to switch off and let go. I decided that an Out of Office, a voicemail change and some social media notifications would help me relax and enjoy my holiday. What can you do this summer, or any time you are taking time for you, to help you feel like you're OK with that?

Thursday 23rd June, 11:17am

Focus on Colour

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My favourite colour is red because it is vibrant, confident, slightly rebellious and makes me feel good. It comes in fun shades like 'post box', blood, burgundy etc. But it's interesting how many people view red more as a danger/warning and this is probably due to the red traffic light and road signs, also correction at school. The work that came back from a teacher covered in red pen was definitely to be feared. Red comes with a lot of negative connotations, so I guess I am trying to change that by giving it some love (which, as it happens, is also associated with the colour!)

What is your favourite colour and why?

See if you can name a few things in that colour. They might even be on your person right now, clothes, accessories etc.

If you close your eyes, letting your thoughts drift for a few moments with a gentle focus on your colour, what else comes to mind?

When we go into overwhelm, focussing on something, anything that is not our own thoughts, can be really beneficial. You can focus on your favourite colour, noticing what around you stands out, or listing items to yourself. How many shades are there? How are they used? If there isn't much in that colour, move on to your next favourite or just the one you can see a lot of.

I hope this helps and you can find joy in 'seeing' the rainbow!

Thursday 16th June, 2:26pm

For the love of notebooks

I do love a notebook. As a writer and a listy person, I have a lot of them both stored in cupboards and in constant use. I don't buy or use any old pad of paper though - they are usually special in some way or speak to me (not literally...although.) If I'm going to give them my precious words and odd drawings then it needs to feel right. I want to be able to trust them with the information, like I would a diary or journal. For when I work with Writing for Wellbeing clients, it's great if they use a notebook that means something to them for the same reasons. Or even different reasons.

Here are some of my best notebooks: 20220601_152345

The first on the left reminds me of a beautiful and haunting building I encountered in Prague in 2017. It also comes with its own pencil. (The notebook not the building.) I like to experiment with poetry in there.

The middle notebook is simply stunning, (the photo can't do it justice.) The flap at the side keeps it neat and tidy and makes a lovely satisfying sound when I close it. I've found countless Flame Tree notebooks since getting this one.

The notebook on the right is a symbol of all the lovely inspirational quotes on covers out there. This particular one is not only a good reminder for me, but is handbag sized!

I know I'm not alone in this, especially among fellow writers and I wonder who else has favourite notebooks?

Thursday 9th June, 11:54am

Personal Celebrations

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As we celebrate Queen Elizabeth's incredible 70 year reign this week in the UK, I want to remind you that it’s completely acceptable for us to rejoice in every single win we have in life. This can be anything from getting out of bed in the morning, cooking a meal, getting the answer right on a quiz or receiving a compliment - to landing a new job or celebrating a wedding anniversary. It can literally be anything you deem to be a good thing. It isn’t about what others have that we don’t, it’s about us as individuals. Our personal achievement might not mean anything to anyone else. They don’t know the hard work that went into it or if it’s something we’ve never had before that others take for granted. Whatever the wins are, congratulations. Not only did you achieve them but you have acknowledged and owned them. That makes you pretty awesome in my book!

Some of my recent wins I’d like to share with you (and there are many others not listed here…)

Work

  • Started a new, regular blog
  • Designed mini leaflet/posters (let’s call them postlets) for my next in person event
  • Had some lovely feedback from a client.

Personal

  • Organised travel insurance for my holiday (I really don’t like sorting out insurance.)
  • Celebrated 6 years of running a writers group. (At the beginning, we thought it might only last 6 weeks.)
  • Bought two pairs of sunglasses that suit my face shape for £15 in total.
Thursday 2nd June, 10:24am

My 'Non Negotiable Self-Care'

Self-Care, a wonderful and nicely overused phrase, means something different for everyone. 'Me-time', looking after yourself, focusing on goals or the things that matter to you - it covers a lot. There are many layers and types, and I love hearing about how each of us views it.

This week I want to share with you what I see as my 'Non Negotiable Self-Care' and how it improves my mental and physical wellbeing. I do many other things I consider to be caring for myself, but other than eating, sleeping, showering etc, these are the things I will not go without/ do not get pushed aside unless in emergency situations.

Most days I like to do something that's a little bit outside of my comfort zone too, because that kind of achievement gives me a real boost.

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Meditation

I give myself 5 minutes of this - usually doing one from my Headspace app, which I absolutely love. If I have more time then I'll do a longer one or find something else online. It's good to mix it up sometimes.

Walk

I like to get out every day, even if it's only a 10 minute stroll around the block. This adds a natural break from the screen or between appointments and is my daily dose of Vitamin N (Nature - fresh air)

Essential oils

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love my do Terra oils. They've been part of my daily routine for years now. I put a drop of On Guard on the bottom of my feet for immune support and some Zengest on my lava bead bracelet to help with my digestion.

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Rest time

This now goes in my diary as though it's an appointment with a client. At least one night a week, I schedule to do next to nothing - although as I find sitting still on its own quite hard, I usually watch a film or something on TV.

Quality connection

I don't mean the internet (although that is always welcome too,) but spending time with friends and family. I do this in a variety of ways - phone, Zoom etc but you can't beat face to face obviously.

Creative time

This is usually writing related. I've had to give myself a talking to about this. Words don't magically get written without me making it happen. I love writing. It's such a big part of who I am so I want to make time, in a similar way to rest (see above.)

Exercise routine

After years of 'getting by' but hating exercise, I'm proud to say I do this twice a week for at least 40 minutes. I now have my own routine which suits me, made up of pilates, strengthening/weights etc, and the bit I love most - random dance. I can't dance, and that's OK, but I just move freely to my favourite tunes and it feels amazing. I actually look forward to it!

Thursday 26th May, 2:31pm
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