Life without laptop and wifi

I made a decision to leave the laptop at home during my week away at a fab writer’s retreat. There was no wifi so no blog. I did manage to catch up on some amazing reading as part of my reflective studies including a book on Angel stories.

It is always good to get away from our usual surroundings and if possible have time to one’s self to think, plan and re-evaluate. My work this past year has included some very emotive experiences which are enabling me to make ultimate use of my counselling skills but also reminding me how lucky I am and to be grateful for what is positive in my own life.

There are times in our lives where situations occur and people that we thought we knew manage to surprise us far beyond belief and leave us wondering and questioning our viewpoint. These times albeit somewhat distressing can be life-changing and bring an opportunity to go on to better things in life maybe a bit wiser and stronger emotionally.

That old fabric of life and it’s intricate weave of patterns can certainly test us but help us to grow and re-focus our attention of what really matters. Everything evolves and sometimes at a faster pace than we could ever have anticipated.

Time to reflect is good but getting back into a sensible routine after a break or an event in our life has it’s own purpose and sense of comfort. Life is to be enjoyed one day at a time and watching the many dogs enjoying the sea on the beach last week reminded how they have mindfulness sorted…we can learn a lot in life from the animals.



End of exams..where’s my flip flops

The examination period is finally coming to an end for invigilators and students. It has been a long hot summer for many and I am mindful for all students as they now have the anticipated wait for the results of said exams. You have done your best (hopefully) and remember if you don’t get that first option at university the second may end up being the better option for you in the longer term.

Now is the time to recharge those batteries, wind down and have some fun. I say that with a degree of caution reminding students not to over do things, after exams one can feel run down and it is easy to feel unwell.

I think we have all experienced the holiday flu as our body sighs a relief that it is starting to relax…prime time for bugs to creep in. I am telling myself the exact same things as I wind down for a well deserved break away in Cornwall. The nature of my work, which although an enjoyable challenge takes its toll and I will try to practice what I preach about taking time out to do the things we enjoy.

Packing goodies for my retreat, plenty of treats and good reading material, last three months writers news (never get time to read that!!)..just incase the weather is unkind. Who knows I may even get time to write some poetry – I am inspired by a lovely new writer friend who is a talented writer of Haiku works.

No broadband at my cottage; so off line for emails and away from the blog but will return bursting with energy and full of cream teas!

Keep healthy and be happy fellow bloggers and my lovely followers – life is short so have that naughty ice know you want to.








Keeping the life and work balance

For some time now I have included career coaching naturally within my work both with corporate clients and counselling clients; for the latter it is of course no secret that problems within relationships either at work and/or at home overlap. We all need to feel valued and appreciated in all areas of our life to keep a positive balance and purpose to our life.

It is very easy for any of us to take our loved ones and/or work colleagues for granted I guess in some ways it is a compliment that we feel comfortable enough to do it…however we do so at our own peril at times. As I always maintain, it is far better to be honest and tell others how we really feel about a situation as holding back can often come back to bite us at a later date.

I know I rant about the power of communication but unless we share how we feel how can we expect others to know? Keeping the peace often seems the best option but can lead to feelings of resentment later down the line. Yes, life is a compromise but as wise lady once told me  ‘Don’t allow others to change who you are’ when we do we run the risk of living somebody else’s dream instead of our own.

It is very hard trying to keep everyone in our family,work and friendship don’t try. Better to be a giver I know but we cannot possibly be expected to be the source of everyone’s happiness it’s just too big a job for one man/woman.

We can all just aspire to doing the very best we can whilst considering the feelings of others along the way. As ever feeling grateful for what we have to enjoy today makes our own feelings of contentment easier to achieve.




Heat of exams

As an invigilator I am looking forward to my half term break but oh so aware that many students still have exams next week and it is very hot out there!

The usual advice relax at the weekend and keep hydrated your next exam may be your last but keep that focus and motivation going as best you can.

For those students with exams after half term make the most of the week off and keep that exercise up and mix up the cramming with intake of fresh air…and a few treats.

For those that follow my tips remember about keeping those feet firmly on the floor whilst sitting the exams..legs tied in knots are not good for blood circulation and fidgity feet are a distraction. Try this tip and see…it does work..feed back is always welcome.

If you have an opportunity to meditate or join a Yoga class these really do both help mentally and physically.

Continued good luck to you all as always.

Stroke Awareness

Following on from yesterday’s blog dear followers and fellow bloggers keep healthy aside of feeling good, having more energy and looking better you will cut down the risk of heart attack and strokes.

Preventative rather than cure always works for me. If your blood pressure is high, get it checked, if you are having headaches or breathlessness see the GP ; doesn’t mean you have anything sinister going on but they can be signs of a slight adjustment in diet or health style may be called for.

I know my consultant said if he had his way he would have everyone on Asprin a day in their 40’s and, as medical opinion continue to report, it can be a real health benefit.

The most important thing is if you suspect somebody is having a stroke ring 999 the quicker they get help the more of the person you can save and that’s a fact. On a more positive note people do recover from strokes, some fully.

I remember one of our guinea pigs had a stroke and the vet we saw wanted to put him to sleep…I said no! Having had a stroke myself I wasn’t written off so why should he be! With a great deal of tlc, massage and love he recovered. Though his head was on a slight slant but we agreed it just made him look cuter..he lived a long time after.



We are all human after all…

All credit this week to various public figures and celebrities for speaking out about their anxiety and depression issues in support of Mental Health Awareness Week.

When we are suffering in silence we have the misconception that we are alone in these emotional battles when in fact people in our inner circle or even family may be suffering too.

It is easy to see confident people or famous figures as ‘having it all’ when this is not the case. We all have a public face we like to show and unless we take the positive step to drop our guard, open up and talk our family or friends won’t know we need their support and therefore cannot help.

Talking, is, and, always has been, the best cure and as many who have shared this week talking to others with similar hurdles to overcome can be cathartic.

We know from statistics that men are far more likely to have suicidal thoughts and many act on those feelings. Please, please share your fears with somebody you trust before your thoughts spiral beyond your own control…it will help I promise.

Listening to others, a few words of kindness and understanding go a long way.

Worrying won’t change things

Sound advice regularly given my our amazing mother and mentor. i.e. worrying about things won’t change them and that is for certain.

People spend far too much time worrying about things many of which are often out of their control, whilst we can’t leave all our life to fate we can enjoy the things that matter and spend time focusing on them rather than worrying about things that we cannot possibly change.

Mindfulness and meditation help us to lead a more positive, focused and relaxed life. Enjoying each day and what it brings, not taking the simple things for granted and appreciating those we hold dear.

Recently I was talking to a male friend about his relationship with his mother and asked him if he ever told her all the positive things he tells me about her…No he didn’t..and he got a why not? reply. We are never too old for compliments and mothers like to know they have done a good job.

Few years ago I attended a talk about body language and the speaker reminded us to tell those we love that we love them…and often.

Message today is love not worrying makes the world go round.

Combating student stress

As part of mental health awareness week our fabulous Editor James Cain at Innovate My School has published my article today on combating student stress through communication.

I am always happy to donate to this website which is a really brilliant tool for teachers and professionals within the education sector.

I hope my followers will enjoy reading my latest piece, link follows:-

Keeping calm

Hello to all those students facing exams this week. You can do this you know your subject you’ve done the cramming all that is left is to keep calm, rested and focused.

Over the coming weeks keep healthy, don’t give up the exercise infact it’s a good time to try something new..but nothing too energetic.Yoga is excellent as aside of the exercise you will learn useful breathing techniques.

Meditation and practising mindfulness to stay in the moment, enjoy it rather than fear it.

As tempting as partying and drinking may seem this will be of no use whatsoever who want’s to arrive for an exam with a hang-over anyway? Alcohol is not the best relaxant trust me.

Try using the aromatherapy head gel strips they are amazing for clearing the head whilst revising. Most good chemists stock them for around £3.00 for a pack of four.

Drink plenty of water but not too much that you need to leave the examination room unless it is absolutely necessary. We all know that when we are nervous our system goes into over-drive.

You’ve got this. Good luck.

NHS and friends

Been away from the blog for a few days recovering from treatment and sedation. Huge thank you to the great staff at ULCH London Hospital who are always professional and give great care. Everyone is oh so quick to criticise the NHS but the dedication of staff is second to none.

As ever I’m grateful to my amazing girlfriends; one who accompanied to hospital and others who took shifts in visiting with icecream and flowers etc. I am indeed rich in friends and never hopefully take that for granted.

I often write about the value of friendship especially when people are feeling under par. Support and kindness definitely is a key factor in our emotional recovery as well as our physical recovery.

I am mindful it is the season of exams and many students are feeling anxious. As my last blog recommended find time for breaks away from the studying and enjoy the company of friends (hopefully positive ones).  Speaking with colleagues in pastoral I am fully aware that negative influences are unhelpful at these times but keep positive, keep hydrated and exercise..even if it’s just a walk with the dog imaginary or real! Nowadays one can even include the dog in Yoga exercises (doga)

Oh of course..better mention chocolate, not too much to bring on a migraine though.