Sort Your Life Out

Sort Your Life Out

Rediscovering Joy and Creating a Fulfilling Future

In the messy middle of midlife, it’s not uncommon to find ourselves feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or lacking the energy to envision a brighter future.

The responsibilities, challenges, and transitions that come with this phase can take a toll on our wellbeing and leave us questioning our path.

However, I’m here to assure you that change is possible, and happiness can be rediscovered. In this post, I’ll share headline tips to inspire you and guide you towards a life of fulfilment.

But remember, the most transformative journey begins with investing in yourself, and that’s why I invite you to book a 75-minute Sort Your Life Out Holistic Life Audit Coaching Session, designed specifically for midlife women.

1. Embrace Self-Reflection:
To sort your life out and find the happiness you crave, start by embarking on a journey of self-reflection.
Take the time to understand your values, desires, and aspirations.
Ask yourself meaningful questions:
What brings you joy?
What are your passions?
What do you envision for your future?
By delving deep within, you can gain clarity and uncover the foundation for creating a fulfilling life.

2. Identify Energy-Drainers:
Midlife often comes with accumulated responsibilities, commitments, and obligations that drain our energy.
Take a moment to identify the activities, relationships, or situations that no longer serve you.
Are there tasks that can be delegated or let go?
Are there toxic relationships that need boundaries or closure?
By decluttering your life from energy-drainers, you create space for new possibilities and positive changes.

3. Prioritise Self-Care:
As midlife women, we tend to prioritise the needs of others above our own.
It’s time to shift that mindset and embrace the importance of self-care. Nurturing your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing is essential for creating a fulfilling future.
Incorporate self-care practices that resonate with you, whether it’s practicing mindfulness, engaging in physical activity, or indulging in activities that bring you joy.
Remember, self-care is not selfish—it’s a vital investment in your overall happiness.

4. Seek Support and Guidance:
Sometimes, sorting your life out can feel overwhelming, and that’s when seeking support becomes crucial.
A trusted confidant, a supportive community, or a professional coach can provide valuable insights and guidance.
Consider booking a 90-minute Holistic Life Audit Coaching Session tailored for midlife women.
This session will provide you with the support, accountability, and personalised strategies you need to navigate the challenges and uncertainties of this phase.

5. Craft a Roadmap for the Future:
A key component of sorting your life out is creating a roadmap for the future.
During our coaching session, you will complete a Holistic Life Audit. Together, we will assess various aspects of your life, identify areas that need attention, and craft a personalised action plan.
This roadmap will guide you in making intentional changes, setting goals, and taking steps towards a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life.

Midlife doesn’t have to be a period of stagnation or despair. By taking the initiative to sort your life out, you can rediscover joy, create a fulfilling future, and find a renewed sense of purpose.

Please do believe that change is possible, and happiness is within reach. As you implement the headline tips shared in this blog post, I encourage you to invest in yourself by booking a 75-minute Sort Your Life Out Holistic Life Audit Coaching Session designed specifically for midlife women. Together, we will navigate this transformative journey, guiding you towards a life filled with fulfilment, purpose, and happiness.

Book your 75-Minute Sort Your Life Out Holistic Life Audit Coaching Session today and embark on a journey towards a fulfilling future!

Emotional Healing For Happiness In Midlife

Emotional Healing For Happiness In Midlife

Emotional healing for happiness in midlife

Welcome fabulous ladies to this post where we’re going to dive into the incredible journey of emotional healing and how it can bring you lasting joy and fulfilment. So, let’s explore the transformative power of healing together!

 

Healing for wellness: the mind-body connection

Picture this: your mind and body working in perfect harmony, like the ultimate BFF duo. Healing for wellness recognises that our emotions and physical wellbeing are deeply intertwined.

It’s all about giving yourself the love and care you deserve, both inside and out.

By addressing emotional wounds, traumas, and those limiting beliefs, you’re paving the way for an incredible shift in your overall wellness.

So get ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing that will leave you feeling more vibrant and alive than ever before!

 

Why healing matters in midlife

Now, let’s talk about why healing is so important for us midlife women. This phase of life brings with it a unique set of experiences and challenges.

You might find yourself at a crossroads, questioning your purpose, and yearning for a deeper sense of fulfilment. It’s perfectly normal to feel a mix of emotions – from excitement to uncertainty – as you navigate this transformative period.

But here’s the truth: healing can be the key that unlocks the door to a whole new world of possibilities.

 

The impact of unaddressed emotional wounds

Okay, let’s get real for a moment. Life often throws some curveballs our way, and many of us end up carrying emotional wounds from the past.

These wounds, if left unaddressed, can act like heavy baggage, weighing us down and preventing us from experiencing true happiness.

They can manifest as self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and even physical ailments.

But fear not! Healing those wounds can set you free, allowing you to step into your power and create a life filled with love, joy, and fulfilment.

 

What Happens if You Don’t Heal

Now, let’s shine a light on what happens if you choose not to embark on a healing journey.

Picture another scenario: you continue to carry those emotional burdens, burying them deeper and deeper within yourself.

Over time, they start to seep into every aspect of your life, affecting your relationships, your wellbeing, and your overall happiness.

It’s like carrying around a heavy backpack that’s weighing you down, preventing you from reaching your full potential.

But guess what? You have the power to change that narrative. You have the power to heal and create a life that is truly aligned with your heart’s desires.

 

Geting Started on Your Healing Journey

Are you ready to take the first step on your healing journey? Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself. Embrace self-love and treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding you would offer to a close friend.

2. Seek Support: Healing doesn’t have to be a solo mission. In fact, it really shouldn’t be. Reach out to trusted friends, family, or seek support from professionals who can provide the support and guidance you need.

3. Embrace Mindfulness: Cultivate a practice of being present in the moment. Engage in activities that bring you joy, whether it’s a walk in nature, practicing meditation, or indulging in a creative outlet.

 

The transformation awaits

As you embark on your healing journey, get ready for a remarkable transformation. Picture a life where you’ve released those emotional burdens, tapped into your inner strength, and embraced a newfound sense of joy and fulfilment.

 

Healing for happiness coaching

Discover the power of a mind-body approach, bridging science and spirituality, and gain practical tips to initiate your healing process.

Unleash your true potential, find inner peace, and embark on a journey of self-discovery towards a happier and more fulfilling life.

Wellness

Wellness

Hey there, lovely ladies!

Today, we’re going to talk about one of my favourite topics – wellness!

Yes, taking care of ourselves is crucial for our happiness, especially during midlife when we may be facing new challenges and changes.

 

what is wellness?

First things first, let’s talk about what wellness means.

Wellness is a state of being in which you feel healthy and balanced.

Achieving that balance means taking a holistic approach to health that encompasses your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. It’s about taking care of your body, mind, and soul in a way that supports your overall wellbeing, taking care of yourself in all aspects of your lives, and recognising that each area is interconnected.

now, why is wellness important in midlife?

Well, for starters, our bodies and minds are changing during this time in ways that can impact our health and wellbeing. We may experience new health concerns or changes in our hormones that can impact our well-being.

Midlife can be a time of great change and transition, and it’s normal to experience feelings of stress, anxiety, or even depression. Additionally, stress and the demands of daily life can take a toll on our mental health, making it important to prioritize self-care and stress-management strategies.

It’s important to take care of ourselves so we can stay healthy and active for years to come. By prioritising wellness, we can mitigate these effects and maintain our overall health and happiness.

practical tips to incorporate wellness in your life

Implementing wellness into your daily routine doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s about making small, sustainable changes that support your overall health and well-being.

Some simple strategies include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, staying active, and engaging in stress-management techniques such as meditation or deep breathing.

Additionally, taking care of your mental health through therapy or coaching can also be beneficial.

the benefits of wellness

The benefits of wellness are plentiful, and can positively impact all areas of your life.

By taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, you’ll have more energy, feel more balanced, and be better equipped to handle life’s challenges with resilience and grace.

Not only that, but prioritising your wellness can help you live a more fulfilling and purposeful life, as you’ll have the energy and clarity to pursue your passions and goals.

how midlife could look with optimised wellness

With wellness, life can be vibrant, energised, and fulfilling.

You’ll feel healthy and balanced both physically and mentally, and be able to pursue your passions and goals with clarity and purpose.

You’ll have more energy and be better equipped to handle life’s challenges with resilience and grace, and be able to enjoy life to its fullest.

 

work with us! 

At mind:body:life:soul we believe in the importance of wellness at midlife, and offer practical strategies and support to help you prioritise your overall wellbeing and make sustainable changes that support your health and happiness.

Our Happiness Through The Messy Middle coaching programmes are designed to help you gain clarity and direction, so you can live a more fulfilling and purposeful life that aligns with your unique values and desires.

 

Stress. It’s not all in your head.

Stress. It’s not all in your head.

Stress. It’s not all in your head. Far from it. 

While stress is commonly associated with psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression, it can also have a significant impact on our physical and emotional wellbeing.

 

MIND BODY CONNECTION

There is a strong connection between the body and mind, and research has shown that the state of the body can have an impact on the mind.

The mind-body connection refers to the idea that our mental and emotional states can affect our physical health and vice versa. This means that the health of our mind and body are closely connected and can influence each other.

For example, stress and negative emotions can affect our physical health by increasing the production of stress hormones. The stress hormone cortisol can impact on various bodily systems, including the immune system, digestive system, and cardiovascular system, which can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach-aches, and a weakened immune system.

On the other hand, physical illness or injury can also affect our mental and emotional wellbeing, leading to feelings of sadness, anxiety, or frustration.

Additionally, stress can also interfere with brain function and cognitive abilities, leading to problems with memory, focus, and decision-making.

Here are some of the many physical and emotional symptoms of stress.

 

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF STRESS

– Headaches
– Muscle tension and pain
– Chest pain or heart palpitations
– Fatigue
– Insomnia or disturbed sleep
– Stomach problems, such as nausea, indigestion, and diarrhoea
– Skin breakouts, such as hives and rashes
– Decreased libido or sexual dysfunction

 

EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS OF STRESS

– Anxiety
– Depression
– Irritability and anger
– Restlessness and nervousness
– Lack of motivation or interest in life
– Increased feelings of sadness or hopelessness
– Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
– Negative self-talk and low self-esteem

 

IMPACTS OF STRESS

Chronic stress can lead to a range of health problems and can have a significant impact on our daily life. It is important that we are able to recognise the symptoms of stress and seek help if needed to manage its impact on our health, wellbeing and quality of life.

– Chronic stress can lead to a range of health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Stress can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infections and illnesses.
Chronic stress can also contribute to depression and anxiety, as well as other mental health conditions.
– Stress can interfere with relationships and cause strain and conflict in personal and professional relationships.
– It can also lead to decreased productivity, as stress can make it difficult to focus and complete tasks efficiently.

All of which makes it abundantly clear that stress is not just “all in your head.”

 

HEALING FROM STRESS

Healing from stress for midlife women can improve emotional wellbeing, reduce anxiety, increase self-awareness and self-esteem, better relationships with others, and improve physical health.

Mindset techniques such as positive thinking, mindfulness, and cognitive-behavioural therapy can help women manage and overcome negative thought patterns and emotions.

Healing practices such as yoga, meditation, and therapy can also help women process and release past traumas, and develop greater self-compassion and self-acceptance.

Additionally, many women find that as they age, they become more self-confident and self-assured, and are better able to set boundaries and make choices that align with their values and needs.

CREATE YOUR PERSONAL WELLNESS PLAN

✨ Create a crystal clear vision for the healthy, happy, balanced life you want to live
✨ Uncover the key stressors and main challenges that are sabotaging your health and life goals right now
✨ You’ll leave the session renewed, re-energised and inspired to finally make life changes to regain your health, energy and purpose once and for all

Rising Ritual: The Importance of a Morning Routine

Rising Ritual: The Importance of a Morning Routine

Good morning sunshine! 🌞 

 

Did you know that what you do first thing in the morning, sets the tone for your entire day? It’s true. So it’s important that you start off your day in a positive way.

Not only that but establishing good morning habits means you’re more likely to continue making healthy choices throughout the day.

Win the morning, win the day,” Tim Ferris

If having a morning routine is an essential for the most successful 1% of people in the planet then why not give it a try?

Imagine this. You get up in the morning knowing that you’re going to step straight into your morning routine. That means you don’t need to make a single decision first thing. Not only does that help ease you into the day, but you can save that brain power for when you need it later in the day.

Each day we only have a certain amount of willpower. That willpower is strongest when we waken and lessens as the day goes on. Ah… so that’s why I’m more inclined to demolish the family size chocolate bar at night-time. It’s because my willpower reserves are depleted! 🍫😋

When I follow my full routine, it takes less than an hour. Under an hour and I feel more grounded, focused, centred and it clears my mind for the day ahead.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always do all of it. But I always do some of it. When I first waken, I list three things I’m grateful for before I get out of bed. Even if one of those is just being thankful for my warm, comfy bed.

The most important thing is that you choose to introduce what will suit you. That way you’re more likely to stick to practice long term and reap the benefits. So here are some of the options you might choose from to start your day as you mean to continue.

 Photo by Fabian Møller on Unsplash
 


Design your very own Rising Ritual with these options to choose from…

 

🙏🏼Silence 

Silence allows your body to wake up slowly and naturally, easing you into the day. It helps you to centre emotionally and brings you a sense of calm. You don’t have to sit and do absolutely nothing while you’re silent. Sometimes my silent time is my walking time. I try to avoid thinking about the day ahead while I’m walking each morning. In fact, I try to avoid thinking too much at all. I allow myself to be fully present and enjoy the sights and sounds.

Sometimes I’ll have my moments of silence back on the balcony with my coffee.

🙏🏼Meditation

Meditation helps focus, concentration, mental health.

Sitting in meditation has never been very achievable or enjoyable for me. I’m a chronic overthinker, my mind is always racing. I spend most of the time wondering when it will be over or making lists and plans for the day ahead!

For me, daily pranayama (breathing exercises) and yoga practice are my best forms of meditation. And walking meditation is the best! I practice being fully present on my morning walks.

🙏🏼Gratitude

Gratitude and appreciation is the key to happiness.

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy — because we will always want to have something else or something more. ~ Br. David Steindl-Rast

Many people are on a lifelong search for happiness.

When I get this, have that, reach that destination or key moment in my life, I will be happy. But when you get there, you will start searching for the next thing. I believe that happiness is now, that there is happiness to be found in small moments. Gratitude is a choice to start the day with a positive mindset and recognition of the good things that are already in our lives. Practicing gratitude helps you replace negative thoughts with good thoughts and stops you living in a place of ‘lack’ and move into a zone of abundance.

Gratitude is a choice. We can choose to be grateful or we can allow ourselves to be ungrateful. It’s choosing to recognise the value that’s already in your life.

🙏🏼Affirmations

Positive affirmations are statements that help you overcome or steer away from negative thoughts. Positive Psychology explains the psychological theory and neuroscience behind this powerful practice.

🙏🏼Visualisation

Visualisation is a technique to manifest your goals and desired outcomes.

If it’s a new concept to you, I know it sounds wacky but it’s widely practiced by super successful people. Jack Canfield explains it brilliantly here.

🙏🏼Intentions

Take a moment to set an intention for the day ahead. Intentions can be whatever you want them to be. Think of them as a roadmap for your day. Try to focus on the positive and make it uplifting. For example, if you’ve been feeling stressed, rather than setting an intention of “I will overcome this stress today”, instead use “Today I will find peace and calm”. Using the negative word will have the opposite of the desired effect, reminding you throughout the day that you’re stressed. Once you’re practiced at this, it’s good to stop at several points during the day to remind yourself of the daily intention.

🙏🏼Pranayama

Pranayama is a yoga practice of focussing on your breath, essentially some breathing exercises. The goal is to connect your body and mind, boosting physical and mental wellness.

I light a scented candle or burn oils and warm a few drops of essential oils in my palms to inhale while breathing. Gorgeous start to the day.

🙏🏼Reading

Spiritual reading was recommended to me by my ayurvedic therapist as part of my daily practice.

Reading just a page or a chapter each day helps me pick up a ‘thought for the day’, giving me something new to consider and lots to learn. Sometimes I open a book randomly and see where it opens, believing it will guide me to what I need to know that day.

🙏🏼Journaling

My journaling encompasses almost all of these practices. It’s a daily checklist that guides me through each step.

I also practice free writing, letting the pen flow wherever it takes me. If something is troubling me, I write through it. If good things are happening, I like to capture those too.

Journaling helps clear my mind, organise my thoughts, capture ideas, reflect, make decisions, prioritise, plan and gain new perspectives.

🙏🏼Yoga

Yoga gently wakens up your body and muscles. It’s good to relax your mind and nervous system, prepare your body for digestion and gently rouse your circulation immune system for the day ahead.

🙏🏼A walk in nature

If I only did one thing each day this would be it. I can have my silence, be grateful for everything around me and be inspired by nature. It’s good exercise, great to breathe fresh air and I find nature grounding.

🙏🏼Keeping it a tech free / email free zone until a certain time

We spend so much time on our screens. As soon as you check the news, or messages or emails, your mind is racing into the day ahead. Give yourself some time before entering the busyness of the day. It’s good to have a set cut-off time to switch these off at night too.

🙏🏼Mindful coffee / tea / juice / smoothie / lemon water

Sometimes this is when I sit in silence. Sometimes I have a coffee when I journal. But I do it mindfully. Taste it. Smell it. Be present. I literally do wake up and smell the coffee ☕

🐶 Cuddles with the dog

Or is that just me?

How to lose weight & keep it off

How to lose weight & keep it off

Hands up who’s put on weight during the pandemic, lockdowns and working from home? 👋🏼

Some people lose their appetite through stressful times. Not me. My daily exercise was regular trips to the fridge!

I often found myself standing at the fridge door, looking around blankly, waiting for inspiration and usually settling for more chocolate. Or cheese. Or leftovers. Or whatever was closest to me. I inhaled everything I ate then found myself back at the fridge door just minutes later.

 

So firstly, if you’ve been beating yourself up about the weight. Give yourself a break. There was a global crisis, our routines were upended, our lives full of fear and uncertainty and food was a brief, welcome, comforting respite.

But enough is enough! Let’s get these stubborn pounds shifted…

I lost over 40lbs around 15 years ago. And I’ve managed to keep it off, with a few little fluctuations here and there.

Naturally slim until my 20s, my weight had been creeping up gradually since my student days. Most people have a preference for sweet or savoury. I like both. In quick rotation. In big quantities.

I tried lots of diets. Slimming World, Atkins, calorie counting, bikini body plans, Blood Type diet, 5:2, 500 calorie days, Low GI, intermittent fasting… You name it, I’ve probably tried it.

And then finally something clicked. Or rather, quite a few things clicked. And here they are. The food lessons I’ve learned and lived by for almost 15 years.

1. FIND YOUR WHY

First, and most importantly, you have to actually want to lose the weight.

So do you really want to lose weight?

Yes? Then find your WHY. Why do YOU want to lose weight? Got it?

Okay. Any time you’re struggling, remind yourself of WHY you want to lose weight.

It will help you keep focus and motivation.

2. GET ORGANISED

Sorry to be the bearer of bad, boring news but there are no short cuts to losing weight.

Get organised. Plan your meals, buy healthy and prep plenty.

3. LEARN HOW TO EAT

Fad or lose weight quick diets might help you kick-start the weight loss, but they’re not sustainable, often not healthy and you don’t break your old habits.

To maintain your weight long term, you need to learn how to eat.

Find a way of eating that suits your lifestyle.

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

4. MOVE IT

Find an exercise you enjoy and get moving. It’s great for endorphins too which will help you feel so much better. But bear in mind, you can’t exercise away a bad diet.

5. DRINK LOTS OF WATER

Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. And it’s important to stay hydrated, helps with digestion too. But stick mainly to water, even fruit juices can be packed with sugar.

6. WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU EAT

It’s sometimes surprising how you’ve eaten so much more than you thought.

Writing it down helps you keep track. You might also spot patterns of when and what you eat.

I’m a grazer and snack constantly and eat throughout the day. That all soon adds up.

7. FOOD IS FUEL

This one was my lightbulb moment when it came to weight loss. Think of food as fuel for your body.

Would you put cheap, nasty fuel in your car? Nope.

Let’s treat ourselves carefully by trying to eat more fresh, nutritious, unprocessed ‘fuel’.

Read the labels, avoid high saturated fats, hidden sugars, high salts, E numbers and names of ingredients you can’t even pronounce.

8. DON’T CALL IT A DIET

It’s a way of eating that will enable you to lose weight and a new way of eating that will make sure you stay at a healthy weight you’re happy with.

My diet is how I eat, I’m not on a diet.

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

9. LEARN TO LOVE (AND TRUST) FOOD

Your body needs carbs, your body needs fats. No food is bad, in small amounts (unless it aggravates a medical condition).

Chocolate is good for the soul. Just not in the vast quantities that saw me through lockdown!

10. TRY SMALLER PLATES & PORTIONS

I don’t know about you but I was brought up to clear my plate. Whatever the size!

So maybe fill a smaller plate at first. Eat slowly, eat mindfully and stop when you’re full.

11. NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS SKINNY FEELS

That’s bulls*t. And whoever said that had clearly never tasted Lindt dark chocolate with sea-salt, or meringue with fresh cream, or cheesecake, or freshly baked bread with butter, or cheese, or… you get my drift.

HOWEVER, when tempted by your own tasty pleasure, just take a moment to reflect on your WHY.

Do you want that chunk of cake more than you want to lose weight?

The answer might be yes. In which case have a little.

Or CHOOSE to have it, and eat it with unbridled pleasure and savour each mouthful.

You’ve made a choice. Own it and enjoy it.

12. ENJOY IT

When you eat, ENJOY it!

Stop whatever else you’re doing, sit still and enjoy every last morsel.

Don’t ruin it by eating it with a huge side-serving of guilt.

Savour it with intention and satisfaction. Otherwise it wasn’t worth it.

So if you can’t resist the dessert menu, just have the cake / cheesecake / tart / cream filled pastry and enjoy it. Maybe you’ll share it with someone, maybe you’ll eat the lot.

But you’ve made a choice to have it, so give yourself permission to accept that decision, lean into that and enjoy it!

13. DON’T START AGAIN NEXT WEEK

If you eat the cake, don’t let that de-rail you. Don’t decide you’ll start your ‘diet’ again tomorrow, or the next day or after the weekend or whenever…

Eat the next meal as you had planned and prepped.

You’re making mostly ‘healthy’ food choices and sometimes you have treats.

That’s life.

 

8 Ways Walking Improves Your Mental Health

8 Ways Walking Improves Your Mental Health

It might surprise you to hear that something as simple as walking can actually improve your brainpower.

It doesn’t even have to be full-on power walking! Even a twenty or thirty minute walk during your lunch break can have a positive impact on your brain.

Here are eight ways science has proven that walking is excellent for your brain: 

1. Walking helps lower your risk of depression
Walking is an excellent way to improve your mental health. A 2018 study showed that any kind of moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking can boost your brain health and lower your risk of developing depression by a third.

2. Walking improves your cognitive function
A number of studies have shown that the magic amount of twenty to thirty minutes of daily aerobic exercise, such as walking, improves cognitive function and memory.

3. Walking stimulates endorphins  
Just ten minutes of walking is enough to start your brain releasing endorphins, the brain chemicals that lower stress, boost your mental health, and make you feel good. You’ve heard of the runner’s high? Well, you can get a similar positive rush from a brisk walk!

4. Walking releases the brain’s Magic Protein    
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) has been dubbed the brain’s ‘magic protein’ as it helps to rewire and build new neural pathways. Scientists believe it can even help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. And cardiovascular exercise is an easy way to stimulate the production of BDNF and keep your brain in peak condition.

5. Walking lowers physical and mental fatigue
A 2008 study by the University of Georgia found that just three sessions a week of a low-intensity exercise like walking can reduce fatigue levels by as much as 65 percent.

6. Walking builds hippocampus strength
Your hippocampus is the key part of the brain for forming and storing memories. Research has shown that even brief walks can actually increase the size and efficiency of your hippocampus.

7. Walking Improves Creativity
Artists, writers, and philosophers have long known the importance of walking for clearing blocked creativity and getting inspiration flowing again. Science can now back this up with a 2014 study by Stanford University showing that walking increases your creative output by up to sixty percent.

8. Walking increases blood flow to the brain
Blood is vital for every organ in your body, not least of all, your brain. That magic twenty minutes is all it takes to increase the blood flow to your brain to keep it active and healthy.

What do you think? Not bad for 20 minutes exercise!

I’ve long been a fan of walking and hiking and that’s before I realised it had just so many key benefits. Not to mention the added grounding and healing benefits of walking in nature. 

Right, I’m off for a walk…

 

A bit more about me…

A bit more about me…

My previous life & career

For most of my career I was an HR Director. I moved from Belfast to Manchester, UK in 2013 and even back then I had hoped to change careers but I kept getting offers of HR roles which were difficult to turn down.

By early 2018 I was in total burnout, working 65-70 hours a week in a career I no longer wanted to do and the dissatisfaction with my job was affecting all parts of my life. I was investing all of my energy into work and, with my tank on empty, I didn’t have the energy to make a change. My “aha” moment was when I realised that it wasn’t organisations I was invested in, but the individual people at the core of the business. Although I was very successful, I wasn’t particularly suited to an HR Director role because I care so deeply about people and I was lacking the same level of commitment to the organisational strategy and success. I’d reached a point where it was financially rewarding but not in any way emotionally rewarding.

Mental Health

I have navigated anxiety and depression throughout my entire adult life however the heaviness and panic that swept over me at this period in my life started to take me under. I pushed through the panic attacks until I felt out of control and couldn’t take any more. Everything was failing in my wellbeing and, even when I left work to prioritise my health, I actually became even more unwell.

The entire time I was navigating this burnout, an entrepreneurial itch had been sitting with me. I’d worked for my entire life, from the age of 16, and had been involved in the glorification of busy for over 20 years! While my life looked beautiful and full from the outside, I was lost and wasn’t enjoying or appreciating with presence, any moments of here and now. My mind was always onto the next thing.

I was halfway through my life and I realised I couldn’t let the next half be the same. I needed to discover where I wanted to be which was difficult for me as I was passionate about so many topics.

Breakdown to breakthrough

My breakdown became my breakthrough. I quit my job and found the space and time that I needed to get better. I knew I needed to stop, to slow down and approach my entire life at a different pace. I stopped for six months and shed the items that didn’t serve me, my house, big car, so many clothes with labels still on that I didn’t even remember owning. My entire lifestyle shifted. I travelled to India for yoga teacher training and it was the next step in my spiritual journey. I started using my mindfulness practice to shift my awareness in how I approached everything in my life.

Five years before I had completed a coaching qualification, introduced a coaching programme in work and had always really enjoyed coaching people. I’m intrigued by their stories and goals and I’m passionate about helping them achieve them.

In trying to find my way out of my own burnout and mid-life crisis, I leaned on tools I’d trusted while coaching others and also sought additional resources online. None of them quite ‘fit’ so I developed my own toolkit and system to help others transform their lives too. My holistic approach to life coaching is combined with spiritual practices to help shift your mindset, shed your old practices and beliefs and create the life of your dreams.

I shed my old mindset, rooted into my spirituality, healed my heart and started coaching other women how to do the same. I watched them recover from burnout, feeling stuck in careers, lost in life’s path and helped them to develop a spiritual practice, adopt a self-care itinerary and start to prioritise themselves in their day-to-day lives.

In the past two years, I’ve ‘lost’ or released my job, career, home, relationship, income, lifestyle, limiting beliefs and a few bad habits. I’ve gained health, time, balance, happiness, fulfilment, appreciation for life’s simple pleasures, stronger friendships, a spiritual practice, a lust for life and an understanding of who I am and how I want my ‘new’ life to be. I’m not perfect but I’m learning how to be myself and the best part was discovering that my purpose is to dedicate my professional life to empower, motivate and inspire women to look at their lives from a different perspective.

Since then, I’ve worked with many private clients, spoken in front of countless groups, while earning an income on my online business and I have created the Love The Life You Live: Uncover A Life Of Purpose & Passion system, a series of important life evaluation and design steps that every woman who wants to get unstuck and design a fulfilling new life needs to apply to rewrite their stories and embrace more joy, freedom and wellbeing in their everyday lives.

In February 2020, I relocated to Palma de Mallorca, Spain and I’m living my dream life in a bright, light rooftop apartment with a little white foster dog for company. Everyone’s dreams are different. I can help you find and live yours.

Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect

Embracing imperfections helps you enjoy life more

While we’re all spending more time at home during lockdown and restrictions, most of us are probably spending even more hours scrolling on social media.

So you can’t have helped but notice how almost everyone online is striving to be perfect. Suddenly you can’t post a selfie without filters or enjoy your dinner before showing off your fabulously curated plate of food. I’ve even seen dogs who are better groomed and accessorized than I am!

Thankfully there seem to be a growing number of people online who refreshingly now show their before and after pics.

As in:

Photo #1:  This is what I look like on Instagram, in a pose that’s likely to put my back out any second now, with as many added filters and edits as my fancy app allows. BTW it took me 103 photos to get this perfect shot.

Photo #2:  And this is what I actually look like 5 seconds before or after the perfect photo with my very normal tummy roll, some cellulite and what looks like a double-chin because I wasn’t quite camera ready.

If only these people didn’t feel they still need to show off the ‘perfection’ images, but they’re taking a huge step in the right direction.

But what if you just decided to take a step away from all the competition, all that clamouring for likes, comments, shares and hearts?

Or even better, what if you chose to actually enjoy your life without sharing it with the world?

Here’s how you can start to reclaim your life and become happier.

 

Stop judging

You can decide right now to stop analysing other people, looking for what’s wrong with their face, their body, their outfit or their life choices. Refocus your attitude, so you stop seeing differences as flaws but merely as something that makes that person unique.

Just let go of the urge to criticise others, and you’ll notice a flow-on effect on how you see yourself and self-judge less.

 

Accept your imperfections

Wanting to be the best version of you isn’t the same as being a perfectionist.

A perfectionist is never happy with who they are, how they look, or how they’re doing.

Being your best means you work hard, you try, and you don’t give up. But it doesn’t mean you blame yourself when things aren’t perfect, and you don’t take failure personally.

 

Relax and enjoy the process

Perfectionists tend to trip over every little detail and allow imperfections to spoil their lives. When you embrace imperfection as a natural part of life, it frees you up to enjoy the ride.

Obstacles become challenges that make life more enjoyable. You can slow down and notice all the good things there are in your life.

 

Adopt imperfection as a way of life

Perfection implies stasis, something you achieve and have to tend. It’s fragile and vulnerable. It puts an end to growth. And then what? You don’t want to stop learning and growing and developing, do you?

Once you make peace with imperfection, you can be a lot more objective about life. Your perspectives changes, and what once seemed overwhelmingly important suddenly doesn’t matter so much.

Imperfection stops being something to avoid at all costs. All experiences become just another aspect of a life lived richly, that help build the person you are continually becoming.

Embracing imperfection means there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow and become a better person.

The best version of you.

12 questions to help clear out & organise your wardrobe

12 questions to help clear out & organise your wardrobe

Is your wardrobe bursting at the seams but you never seem to be able to find something to wear?
Sounds like it’s time for a serious clear-out using these questions as a guide to help you discard some items that just are working for you any more

 

1. Do I love it?
If you don’t like it, you won’t wear it. Simple. Get rid.

2. Does it fit?
Too big but cost a fortune. Too small but you’re hoping to slim into it. Just not quite the right shape but maybe at a different angle. If it can’t be easily altered to fit you then it’s just not right.

3. Is it flattering?
Colour, shape, scale, style, fit… If it’s just not right then it’s taking up wardrobe space.

4. Do I feel good in it?
If you don’t, you won’t wear it. Time to let go.

5. Is it still in good condition?
Maybe it’s a well worn favourite but so well worn that it’s looking a bit tired. Unless it’s for very casual wear,

6. When was the last time I wore it?
You’ll often hear the advice to get rid of anything you haven’t worn in 6 months. That seems a bit ruthless to me. But if you haven’t worn it in the last 12 months, you’ve been through all seasons, probably a few important events and occasions and you haven’t worn it. Chances are you won’t wear it this year either.

7. Why have I not worn it?
Probably because it’s doesn’t meet one of these criteria. In which case you won’t wear it again.

8. Where/when am I going to wear it?
I’m still holding onto a few (okay, quite a few) pieces from my old ‘corporate’ life. Where will I wear them? Probably nowhere. Time to take my own advice, practice what I preach…

9. Does it suit my lifestyle?
Similar to that last question. Do you have a wardrobe full of glitzy eveningwear but now spend more time outdoors walking the dogs? Keep what you’ve worn recently and let go of the rest.

10. Does it represent me and the image I want to portray?
I’ll write more about this soon but take 5 minutes to think about what you want your image to communicate?
Write down 3 qualities that you would like to convey or project on a consistent basis e.g. stylish, elegant, feminine. Unless, it’s gym gear, if it doesn’t meet those qualities, it won’t project the image you want.

11. Have you a wardrobe full of similar items?
If so, keep the one that has the most ‘yes’ answers to these questions. This will become your favourite (if it isn’t already) so you won’t wear the others.

12. What does it go with?
If you’ve been on the hunt forever for the right shoes, top, skirt, whatever to go with it then it’s just too difficult to wear. Give up and focus on all the other fab things in your wardrobe that are ready to wear.

A few other tips:

Organise:
Organise your wardrobe in items…skirts, trousers, jeans, dresses, shirts, blouses, tops, jumpers… You can see at a glance what you’re looking for, and also what you’re missing. Even better, arrange these in colours and your wardrobe will really start working for you.

Alterations:
A local alteration service is a great person to have in your contact list. If you don’t already have one, ask for recommendations. It’s important to get someone who’ll work with you, be careful with your clothing and do a quality job. Make a pile of alterations and get them done so they’re ready to wear.

What’s missing?
It should be easy now to see what you tend to buy most of. For most of us, it’s the easy to buy items. Now that you’ve cleared out, you should be able to easily see what’s missing that will help you tie together all the fab pieces that are left. Make a list and treat yourself to some ‘essential’ shopping.

Don’t worry:
A lot of people look at what now looks like a very sparse wardrobe and panic that they have nothing to wear and desperately want to plunder through the discarded piles and hang all the items straight back up again!You weren’t wearing them. You were rummaging through a whole mountain of clothes that just taking up space and weren’t working for you. Now everything that’s left fits you and makes you feel good.

Look good, feel good. Enjoy Gorgeous!

Layer Your Skincare Products Like A Pro

Layer Your Skincare Products Like A Pro

Does it really matter what order you layer on your skincare?

 

Absolutely, YES!

No matter how good your products, applying them the wrong way could mean that they might not penetrate your skin, so ultimately they’re just not going to be effective.

In which case you’ll miss out on all the fab benefits and ultimately waste your products, time and money.

 

So where do you start?

Generally speaking you’ll apply the lightest products first, and water based products before oil-based products.

Simple!

Okay, not really…

There are so many new products now, lots of them with names suggesting you’d need a science degree to understand what they actually are.  And if you’re anything like me, you’ll come across so many articles and posts giving recommendations that for a long time, I gave up even trying to get my head around it.

But deep down I knew there were so many brilliant skincare products available that I’d be missing out if I didn’t try.

So purely in my own selfish interests and a desire to preserve my own (aging) skin, I was determined to break it all down. And the research blew my mind even more.

First of all, what I would say is that YOU DO NOT NEED ALL OF THESE STEPS! EVER.

Consider your own skin requirements, what products you already use, which you want to keep using, what products you want to try.

And if you have sensitive skin or you’re treating any skin conditions please seek expert advice before introducing new products into your skincare regime.

Then whatever you do use, should that only be 2 or 3 products, use them in this order, allowing time for each product to absorb before applying the next.

A Good Morning Skincare Routine

1. Cleanse

Yes, even if you’ve done it the night before! Use a cleansing milk/balm/gel and give it a nice quick wipe with a warm flannel and this helps gently exfoliate.

2. Toner

If you use it. It can help remove any traces of cleanser.

3. Exfoliate

If you want to use product this could be a gentle liquid exfoliating acid. Although you don’t necessarily need to do this as the warm flannel in Step 1 helps gently exfoliate while cleansing.
And if you’re using a stronger exfoliant at night-time, such as Glycolic Acid, then you can skip this step altogether.

4. Hydrate

With a facial mist to help maximise hydration

5. Eye cream

Apply this before other face products so that it can be absorbed

6. Treatment serum

To treat your own skin concerns. These might include Peptides, Niacinimide, Antioxidants or Vitamin C derivatives.

7. Hydrating Serum

Light serums with humectants, such as a Hyaluronic Acid serum help lock in moisture.

8. Moisturiser

You may not need both a moisturiser and a hydrating serum, if not use which works best for you. If not using an oil, moisturiser should always be your last layer before sunscreen.

9. Face Oil

Oil locks in the hydrating benefits of every other layer. But while it locks the moisture in, no other products can get through this so use it last.

10. SPF

Always use an SPF30 or higher and make sure you’re using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA rays and UVB rays. La Roche-Posay Anthelios.

 

What My Morning Routine Looks Like

Believe me, I DO NOT DO ALL OF THAT every morning! I use a handful of these products so don’t ever need all these steps, otherwise I’d never have time to leave the house!

I’m all about simple and efficient and if I could find one product that would do everything, to me that would be the dream. But until that time, here’s what I do…

  1. Cleanse with a mild cream cleanser and a warm flannel
    Right now I switch between The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser and CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. Both are very simple, gentle cleansers that don’t make my skin feel tight or dry after washing.
  2. Eye cream
    The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG – My morning caffeine shot for my eyes, they feel instantly refreshed.

* Occasional use of niacinimide or salicylic acid
I used to alternate these each morning but now that I’m using Glycolic Acid at night-time I  find I don’t need them every morning
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

  1. Hyaluronic Acid
    The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Spotting my obsession with The Ordinary yet?!

  1. Peptide Serum
    ALDI Lacura Q10 Multi-Intensive Serum
    Yes, Aldi! It’s amazing, so light it’s absorbed in seconds but this serum works! 
  2. SPF 
    La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF50+, Invisible Fluid

BOOM! 5 steps. Job done!

I use a lot of the same products both morning and night, just introducing AM or PM specific products where needed.

A good evening skincare regime

Night time when you sleep is when your skin does all its repair, recovery and renewal. Your evening routine is prepping the skin for effective treatment.

1. Double cleanse
First step is removing make-up and the grease and dirt of the day. An oil based product is good to cut through all this.
Even if you’re not wearing make-up, you’ll need a double cleanse to wash your SPF off properly to avoid breakouts.

After that, you can use a mild balm, milk or gel cleanser to actually clean your skin. Again, you can use a warm flannel to help gently exfoliate.

2. Toner

3. Exfoliate
With a mild liquid chemical exfoliator. You can use a stronger product such as AHAs or BHAs at night time. Glycolic, salicylic and azelaic acids all remove dead skin cells without harming the skin barrier.

4. Eye care

5. Treatment serum

6. Retinoid
‘Best used at night time when you’re not exposed to light.

7. Hydrating serum

8. Moisturiser
You can use a rich cream at night unless these are too heavy for your skin

9. Face Oil
Again this helps lock in all those layers of goodness

10 Lip Balm
A slick of lip balm helps soothe those lips with some overnight repair

Tips:
* Always include your neck and décolletage in your skincare. Or as I recently heard skincare guru Caroline Hirons describe it TITTT…Take It To The Tits. Fab advice!
* Where possible opt for paraben free, fragrance free, alcohol free products.
* Avoid using too many active ingredients. These powerful ingredients can counteract with each other and irritate the skin.

And that’s it.

What my Evening Skincare Routine Looks Like

1. Double Cleanse
– Remove make-up with Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water
– Cleanse with a mild cream cleanser and a warm flannel, I like The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser and CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser.

2. Glycolic acid to exfoliate
My current glycolic acid favourites, actually, my long-term absolute favourites are: 
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Alpha-H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid described as an ‘overnight facial’. It really is. 

3. Eye care
No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Eye Cream

4. Face oil
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil 
100% natural, highly antioxidant, and a little goes a long way. 

You can read about some of my favourites in My Must-Have Budget Skincare Products, which also shows that looking after you skin can also be done while looking after your pennies.

If you have the right products working at their optimum when used correctly, then a handful of products should be all you need.

Enjoy all those luscious layers of skin pampering!

My Must-Have Budget Skincare Products

My Must-Have Budget Skincare Products

My Beauty Regime

*This page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I have used and trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

Over the years I have tried MANY skincare products.

I’ve also had quite a few salon treatments… IPL, CACI, microdermabrasion, light glycolic peels… to name but a few.

I’ve also had a few teeny tiny doses of botox and fillers but I eased back when I overdid it. I want to look rested, not 10 years younger. Okay, maybe sometimes I wouldn’t mind looking 10 years younger!

I worked in duty free beauty for a time and was lucky to be able to try all sorts of discounted products and samples there.

So I’ve used oils, I’ve used masks, I’ve tried rich creams and lighter than light serums and I’ve spent 12 fortunes in the process. Normally without any noticeably significant results.

MY CONFUSED / COMBINATION / EVER-CHANGING SKIN TYPE

I’ve never had particularly good skin, but it’s never been particularly troublesome either.

My skin used to be normal and at times quite dehydrated. I mistook the dehydration for dry skin but when I switched to richer creams for dry skin they just sat in a heavy layer on top of my skin.

But recently my skin, thanks to HRT, seems to have completely changed! I’d say it’s now normal to oily but still prone to a few drier patches. I’ve always had quite open pores but now I tend to get some oily congestion in my pores around my nose and chin. I’m trying to convince myself that this increasing oiliness will help me ward off advanced signs of aging. Here’s hoping!

So no-one is more surprised than me that after all my years of investment and ‘research’, now that I’m in my advancing years (just turned 48), I’ve shunned most of the expensive products and treatments for low-end, budget buys.

 

NOTHING ORDINARY ABOUT THE ORDINARY

Fairly new to my skincare regime but The Ordinary products are all over the media with rave recommendations. I’ve already recommended them to friends who have enthusiastically incorporated them into their beauty regimes too.

These products are cheap as chips! The packaging is basic but simple. The products work. At first glance you might worry that you’ll need a science degree to work out which ones you need for your own particular skin type and concerns but the website gives super detailed recommendations in their Regimen Guide.

 

 

On my Not-so-Ordinary list at the moment are:

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

This works on the surface of the skin and has exfoliating properties. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 which is a brilliant oil regulator. I use this daily each morning to help clear pores and congestion and I swear I can almost feel it tightening my pores but it does that without leaving my skin feeling taut.


Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

This miracle treatment is so good that it’s sold out across the UK at the moment. I’m already on a waiting list to stock up again as soon as it’s available. Salicylic Acid digs deep into congested pores, dissolving sebum so I apply it when I have blemishes or breakouts to target and reduce any redness and inflammation.


Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

I don’t function without a coffee in the mornings. And my eyes don’t function without their own caffeine hit from this miracle shot! This is a really light liquid with a super high concentration of caffeine which helps reduce puffiness and dark circles.


Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Hyaluronic Acid is good for all skin types. It’s amazing for its hydrating properties, especially as our skin ages, because it draws in and retains moisture and plumps up your skin from the inside out. It also has antioxidant properties.


Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

I bought this while the Salicylic Acid was sold out and I’ll be keeping it forever thank you very much!

Glycolic Acid is a mild chemical exfoliant which removes dead skin cells. Not only does this help your skin look radiant but it helps with skin texture too.

I only use this at night-time as it Glycolic Acid can interfere with the effectiveness of your SPF. And as it’s an AHA which can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, you must, must, must wear sunscreen when using this.

 

I do buy some other brands too!


MY NUMBER ONE PRODUCT: Aldi Lacura Q10 Multi-Intensive Serum

Top of the list, if I could only have one product then this would be it, ALDI Lacura Q10 Multi-Intensive Serum. It’s so good that I stock up in the UK and get friends to ship it over to me here in Spain when I’m running low. Which I rarely allow happen. 

This is absorbed into the skin in seconds. It disappears without leaving any trace on the skin and leaves skin feeling plump and moisturised. Even better, it doesn’t pill under my SPF.
I’ve lost count on how many friends I’ve converted to this. Try it, it’s gorgeous. And costs £2.99!!

La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF50+

Can I have 2 number one products??

This is a little bit more expensive than the rest on the list but it’s worth every penny.

The one product I religiously use throughout the year is La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF50+.  There’s also a Tinted Fluid but I use the Invisible formula.

I’ve tried other SPFs but I ALWAYS come back to this and now I don’t even bother trying any others.

I have bad pigmentation from sun damage acquired during a few carefree summers in Greece where SPF came WAY down the shopping list after cheap food and drinks.

So my La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF50+ helps protect against any further damage and aging. I wear it EVERY DAY. Even in winter.

It is light, it sinks in quickly, it provides an even base under makeup and it offers amazing protection.

 

How to apply all these luscious layers

I apply the products in the order they appear up above but I do have a post on how to Layer Your Skincare Products Like A Pro which might help you demystify all the mind-baffling recommendations for the sequence of skincare product application

After The Ordinary beauties, I use my Aldi Lacura Q10 Serum then top off with the La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF50+ and I rarely even apply moisturiser these days, only when I feel I need it.

I can hear the beauticians amongst you gasp…no moisturiser? But my skins looks and feels not too shabby for a just-turned 48 year old with insomnia going through an early menopause and many sleepless nights.

And it’s all super healthy for the bank balance too!

So if it’s not broken….

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