Mental health awareness month

In May there’s the official mental health awareness week (9th-15th) and most people view May as a whole month to raise awareness. So do I. This year’s theme is ‘Let’s connect’
We’ve all had moments of feeling lonely at some point but if consistent it can influence our #mentalhealth negatively and we might then tend to isolate ourselves thereby making it worse. Let’s break that cycle and connect. Reach out to a friend, neighbour, family member or therapist. Together we’re stronger! You’re not alone!

If you feel lonely, my heart goes out to you. Let’s talk about it, reflect together and find solutions how to move beyond it. You are #notalone 
Know that behind the clouds the sun is still shining.

Yet also remember this month that if you have a friend or family member who you feel is pulling back and not in touch so much anymore, reach out to them. Tell them they’re important to you and offer a hug, positive vibes or just an ear to listen to how they’re feeling. Let’s reconnect with each other. Reach out to the people in your life. Everyone needs a hug every now and then. Reconnect! You’re not alone, let others know that they’re not alone. Together we’re stronger!

If you do feel like you could do with some support, please get in touch. I offer a free 15min phone consultation as well as online sessions if you’re not in the area (I’m based in Eastbourne). My emails are: sandy@bodymindhealing.co.uk and sandy@emotionalbalance.co.uk

Take care. Big hug.

Sandy

How an act of kindness can help beat depression

Did you know that several studies have found that a random act of kindness can help you feel better and less depressed? According to healthday.com “A growing body of research has found that ‘positive activity intervention’ can serve as effective low cost treatment for depression”. It’s the little things that count, like being friendly to a stranger, walking a neighbour’s dog, giving praise or a compliment, helping someone with their shopping or writing a thank you note to people who have helped you in the past. When we help someone else we shift our internal focus outwards which is beneficial. Being of service can give us a sense of meaning or achievement on a small scale, something that people with depression are often lacking.

We all have certain emotional needs and if these aren’t met, we start feeling out of balance which can eventually lead to mental health problems. So if you’re not happy or perhaps even suffering from depression, ask yourself what’s missing from your life? Are you part of a community? Do you feel in control of your life? Do you feel safe and secure in all areas of your life? Do you feel loved and appreciated the way you are by a person or pet? What do you do to have fun? Do you feel you give and receive enough attention?

Sometimes depression can lead us to only focus on ourselves, hiding or shutting out other people as we don’t think they can help us. But what if helping them can make us feel better too? By giving them our attention and doing something nice, we lift our own spirit.
Awareness is the first step towards change, so take a moment to think about what’s missing from your life. Also consider random acts of kindness and watch how your feelings change when you do something nice for someone else. If everyone commited to a small favour to one other person every day, we’d all help create a happier community for us to live in. What goes around comes around.

Personally I like to do charity work. I regularly donate money and items to charities, I have volunteered at animal shelters and now I’m organising a sponsored walk to raise money for rescue dogs. In fact, if you live in East Sussex, why not come along for a lovely walk in nature on Sunday 22nd May. Bring your dog or a friend and if you have a few spare pounds to donate, that’d be absolutely awesome and it’s a win-win as you’ll feel better by doing something for someone else, like helping dogs in need, not to mention enjoying a lovely nature walk and meeting some lovely people and dogs.

Going back to my original point, doing something nice and heart-felt is profoundly beneficial for our own emotional balance and if done on a regular basis can help reduce depression. How about making a small list of genuine things you would be able and prepared to do, such as paying someone a compliment, smile at a stranger, help an elderly person lift something heavy, pray for someone, volunteer or donate something, bake a cake for someone, help a neighbour with their garden work, pick up litter in a nearby park, show gratitude and appreciation, etc.

“Slow steady progress is better than daily excuses” (Robin Sharma). So think of something you can do today. Perhaps you’d like to help me spread the word about my upcoming charity walk? The more people we reach, the better and if you’re not in the area but still would like to make a small donation, get in touch and I’ll tell you how.

Thanks for reading. Have a lovely day.

Love, Sandy x

Life lessons and Black Friday discounts

I can’t believe it’s Black Friday week already. Where has this year gone? But hey in this darker and colder time of the year, we all need a bit of extra tender loving care, don’t we? So why not reward yourself with a lovely mental health promoting video, audio or online course? This week I’m offering you the biggest discounts I’ve ever given! All online products are on offer and only cost a fraction of their usual price. Treat yourself to a nice tapping sequence to reduce anxiety or stop worrying. Or get a download to improve your sleep or your motivation. Create balance and a safe protective bubble with my guided morning meditation or learn / review how to relax with 7/11 breathing. The best value products are my online courses, easily the equivalent of several 1-2-1 sessions.

Of course, this may also be the time of the year that you need to feel more supported. My advice is to ask for help and reach out. Get together with a friend for a nice cup of tea or walk or meal out, make amends with family members or anyone who you’ve had problems with. I know I’ve caught myself saying, why should I contact this particular friend if she never contacts me? However, when I do and we do meet, we’re having such a lovely time and she always apologises for not getting in touch and thanks me for reaching out. So, no need for extra pride, do it for yourself as you’ll have a good time with that person. There’s a reason you became friends in the first place.

If you’re not in the mood for company, then do something nice by yourself. It’s important to get out and get some winter daylight. You can still get vitamin D even if it’s overcast! Just get outside, go for walks, borrow a dog, connect with nature or do window shopping. Some people like to sit in a cafe reading a nice book or watch the world go by.

Some people are struggling in winter and around the upcoming Christmas period for a number of  reasons. If you feel you could do with more professional support, I’m here for you. If you’re interested in working with me, just text or email me with your availability, email  sandy@emotionalbalance.co.uk I also offer a free 15min phone consultation, so get in touch and book your free chat. You can then decide if you feel I’m the right therapist for you.

Finally, I’d like to recommend a tool called reflectionHindsight is such a great teacher. Look back at your life and what you’ve learnt. Then look at your current life and be curious about what lessons you are in the process of learning right now. We are never stuck or lost, life is a journey and sometimes we move very slowly and sometimes a bit faster. If you’re ready to get support and speed up the process, get in touch.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve found this helpful.
Big hug, love and angel blessings.

Sandy x

Mental Health Awareness Week

The healing vibes of nature

It’s mental health awareness week and this year’s topic is connecting with nature. I’m sure you’ve already discovered the healing vibes of nature. Isn’t it wonderful to become still and just observe? Isn’t it soothing to explore the great outdoors, notice the colours, flowers, scents, the magical creatures and harmony that this wonderful universe offers us so freely? I love walking, hiking, being mindful and watch my surroundings with the curiosity of a child. It keeps my heart singing, keeps my mind and body in balance and provdes a tremendous amount of peace
So this is just a gentle reminder to keep looking up at the sky, smell the flowers, watch the birds, appreciate the sunsets or grow your own piece (peace) of nature on your window sill or patio.

How is your emotional balance? Are you still using the tools that have helped you in the past? Do you keep practising self-care and make sure you don’t get out of balance? If you’ve worked with me, you know I’m a massive fan of energy psychology which not only has changed my own life completely but also the lives of many of the amazing people I’ve had the privilege to work with. Perhaps I’ve even touched your life? I know first-hand that even after some amazing breakthroughs, we can get caught up in daily life and forget the blessings we’ve received, maybe even fall back into old patterns. That’s ok for a while as long as you recognize it and make a mental note to make time for progress and growth. We’re not meant to stay stagnant. Here’s my little nudge for you to remember to take care of yourself. Stop and do a breathing exercise, do some light EFT tapping, listen to a guided visualisation. Your body, mind and soul will appreciate it. Let me know if I can help in any way.

How to get out of the lockdown blues

Yet another lockdown has been announced and I can almost hear all the many desperate voices saying “Oh no, not again!” Even though I expected this announcement, I admit that I noticed an immediate blow to my mood, a sinking feeling, worries coming up regarding my business, my clients and loved ones and I just needed a day or so to gather my thoughts and process upcoming feelings.

I’ve recently noticed that I’m not my usual happy self and feel a bit out of balance, so now I’m making an extra effort to look after myself, my mental health and emotional balance. Luckily, I’ve got all the knowledge and tools to help myself and others and have, in fact, been teaching them for years. Now, that I’m feeling much better, I thought I’d share a few tips that helped me to get out of the lockdown blues! Perhaps this will help you too!
Try my alphabetic ABCDEFGHIJ approach! Here is the short version of my favourite ten tips:

1. Acceptance is the key! Denial, distraction or ignoring a situation and especially our feelings towards it is not going to help. My motto is ”accept what you can’t change and change what you can’t accept!”. So, I can’t change this lockdown but I CAN change how I feel about it. After allowing myself a bit of time to accept, acknowledge and feel the feeling, I then move on, tap or dance it away.

2. Deep focused breathing is one of the best ways to regain calmness and balance. I love 7-11 breathing and heart-centred breathing. These wonderful exercises certainly help me feel better whenever I’m not at ease. If you’re not familiar with them, then just take a few minutes and focus on your breath, perhaps count to five or six with each in- and outbreath and observe the movement of your body. Most negative feelings put us into fight or flight, which means we can’t think clearly and might tend to catastrophise. Yet calm deep breathing takes us out of this cycle, helps us relax and get our positive brain power back. Do this regularly or whenever you feel anxious, sad or stressed.

3. Reach out and connect to others. A sense of connection is an innate basic need that we all have because we are social beings. This is not the time to crawl into a cave and wait until this is all over. You’re not alone and not meant to be. Let us all reach out to one another, talk to our loved ones, set up video calling, a WhatsApp group and share precious moments even if it’s in a socially distant or digital way.

4. Dance all your worries away! Nothing lifts my mood as much as putting on some of my favourite music and dance around my living room, normally only when I’m alone. I know it sounds crazy and it might take a few minutes to get into it but try it and perhaps get the whole family involved. I have friends who’d make a zoom party out of this.

5. Use EFT tapping! I love using EFT to tap on any negative feelings and released them. So, I label the feeling, focus on where it sits in my body, I measure its intensity on a scale from 1-10 to get clarity and then I say out loud “Even though this situation makes me feel …., I accept how I feel right now” and I tap through the points until I feel better.

6. Have some fun! I know it’s hard when you’re feeling a bit down but think of the things you enjoyed as a child. Be creative, use your imagination! It could be as simple as dressing up as someone else, find your old skipping rope, make a collage, watch your favourite film, eat your favourite food, bake a cake, write a story, dye your hair, repot your plants, dance in your living room…. The list is endless!

7. Focus on gratitude and count your blessings! If you get caught up in negative thinking, just say “stop!” Thoughts can spiral but we have the power to intervene. We can choose our thoughts consciously. By counting your blessings or naming at least five things you’re grateful for, you can shift your thinking from negative to positive. Start a gratitude list and add more items every day, put it on your fridge or above your desk and read it often to remind yourself of all the good things in your life.

8. Have a hug! The lack of human touch can have such a negative impact on our mental health. I know we need to accept the social distancing rules but if you have people in your household or social bubble, make sure you hug them and receive one in return, provided it feels safe! If it doesn’t hug yourself, hug a cushion or a teddy bear and close your eyes while imagining it’s a loved one or offer to take a neighbours dog out for a walk and pet the dog and play with him.

9. Use your imagination! Our minds are more powerful than we know. We can conjure up positive and negative images which then affect our mood. So why not use the lockdown to engage in some daydreaming or imagine a few wonderful scenarios that will make you happy. The aim is to feel good!

10. Do more of what brings you joy. This is in line with number six above. We can’t change the past, we don’t know what the future will bring, we just have this moment right now, so why not conjure up a few moments of joy, even if it’s just sharing your favourite anecdotes or jokes with someone or your diary.

Just to let you know, I’m at your service and love to help and inspire others. I’m available for online sessions and have a number of online products available. Feel free to get in touch.

Lots of love,

Sandy x

The power of self-care and self -love

Nurturing yourself is important, especially in times of uncertainty. When the outside world seems crazy, turn inside. You’re a wonderful human being, who’s doing the best they can, given the current circumstances. Acknowledge how well you’ve done, how difficult it perhaps has been. Give yourself a hug and a pad on the shoulder. Life’s never been more different and unusual. We’ve been bombarded with lots of change, new rules and have been fed fear-producing messages. So, if you’ve been feeling a bit anxious, worried or just unusually tired, that’s absolutely normal. Many of us are a bit out of balance these days, trying to cope with the new situation and perhaps feeling a bit insecure about it all, or even overwhelmed. Yet one thing we often take for granted is ourselves. We expect ourselves to just adjust overnight, cope with anything thrown at us and deal with people around us, who are struggling, while we might be internally struggling too. I believe it’s important to acknowledge how we feel and become aware of our own needs too. Self-care and self-love are important and should not be forgotten. These last few months have been strange, and you’ve made it through! So, give yourself a big fat WELL DONE!

Wouldn’t it be nice to make yourself feel cared for and appreciated? Why not take a moment to thank your wonderful body, your brain with its amazing capacity to learn new things and your mind and psyche with its ability to generate a wide spectrum of emotions! Be nice to yourself and acknowledge how far you’ve come. Remind yourself of all the many good qualities you have. Make a list of things you’re grateful for. Switch to positive feelings and give yourself some love and appreciation. You deserve it!

A great tool that I highly recommend is doing daily affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements. Louise Hay, the queen of affirmations, wrote lots of books about the topic. Starting with that first thing in the morning is a great way of setting you up for a positive day. Think of a few things you like about yourself and tell your reflection in the mirror. Or see yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you. If you need ideas and inspiration, check out this website with new daily affirmations: www.louisehay.com/affirmations/   Today, 30th July says the following: “Today I listen to my feelings, and I am gentle with myself. I know that all of my feelings are my friends.” Wonderful words of wisdom!
Some people prefer their statements expressed as a process, e.g. ‘I’m feeling better and better each day.’ ‘I love myself a bit more every day.’ or ‘I love learning how to relax’. When you become your own best friend, nothing can stop you. It’s worth making a bit of an effort to love yourself more. If you love yourself, the world loves you right back.

Self-care goes hand-in-hand with self-love. It’s about setting boundaries, looking after yourself and taking a bit of ‘me-time’ out whenever possible or appropriate. A dear friend of mine introduced me to the idea of having a duvet morning. I love the concept! Every now and then, I just stay in bed an extra hour in the morning with nice cup of tea and a book, or a notepad if I feel creative, to brainstorm ideas or make my gratitude list for the day. If mornings aren’t possible, how about a duvet evening? There’s plenty of ways to look after ourselves, some people love having a warm bubble bath, chat to a friend, go for a nice long walk, meditate, try out a new recipe, write into a journal, light a candle or engage in crafts. The important bit is to make time to feel good. Even a 2- or 3-minute breathing exercise can help you feel calm and more balanced. Acknowledge that you’ve done enough and you are enough! Feeling loved and appreciated is an inside job. I hope this short article has inspired you. Love and light. Sandy