Inner Confidence

Size 10 or size 28 we should be able to adopt a more healthy attitude to what our body looks like and just what an amazing job it's doing no matter what it says on the clothing labels we purchase . . . There are steps that you can take to reinforce a positive body image and as a result create a lasting feeling of body confidence and maybe even a little bit of self love! Steady on!

Nominated!

2444 R2go! Awards nominated.jpg

I was delighted to receive an email yesterday, from the lovely Jayne, over at Raring2go! Bury, to say that The Calm Within has been nominated for an award!  The awards are for family friendly businesses in the area, and I am so pleased that The Calm Within has been considered.  My idea has always been for the business to offer services that support the family as a whole.  For me, the awards help to raise the profile of the company, helping me to reach more families who could benefit from teh services available.

There is still time to add your vote, which would be really appreciated.  To do so, click here. Voting closes at 11:59pm Tuesday 8th May

Thank you in advance, Aislinn.

New Year, New You?

It’s coming up to the end of the year, a common time for reflecting on the year that’s passed, and looking forward to the new year ahead.

Too often, we scrutinise ourselves, looking for something to improve, looking for flaws. And we set unrealistic goals. Those goals are frequently unmet, and we end up feeling worse than when we started.

Being with my baby

In one of my Baby Mindful classes recently, we were reflecting on the importance of self-care, taking time to just be whilst our babies are resting or content, rather than trying to do. We talked about the importance of savouring the moments when we are both content, just "being" together, rather than trying to do lots of jobs, chores or errands.

And I was reminded of the poem that hangs in my kitchen, beautifully created by my sister-in-law, on the birth of my daughter. It still hangs there and, though my babies are now 7 & 3, it still holds just as much wisdom. To sit and cuddle them, being truly present with each other often feels like a luxury, as homework, household jobs, work all get in the way.

Having had a few days away with them, I was reminded of the sheer joy and pleasure to be taken in truly being with them, not with one eye or thought on something else, but 100% in the moment.

It's not easy to let go and ignore the washing up or the to-do list and there are times when things do need to be done. But, as with most things in life, it's about finding the balance.


You can discover more about Baby Mindful here.

 

 

Bubbles of calm

As part of the Baby Mindful programme, we blow bubbles.  Not the saliva-filled bubbles babies like to blow, but bubbles from tubs!  They are fun, pretty, make a glorious "pop" as they burst, and babies love to track them with their eyes and, as they get a little older, reach for them, and try to chase them.  

But we were reflecting in our class today about another purpose they have; they help us to control our breathing.  In order to produce the bubbles, we need to take a deep breath, focus, and breathe out, slowly, steadily.  

Controlling your breathing, exhaling in a slow, steady way, sends a message to the brain to slow the heart rate.  It activates the parasympathetic response, which helps us feel calmer, more relaxed, reducing the flow of cortisol (the stress hormone).

It's a simple yet effective way to slow and control our breathing; feel calmer, stiller.  And if you wanted to take it a little further, you could imagine your worries, fears or frustrations being in the bubbles and floating away.  You don't even need an actual pot of bubbles; just use your imagination.  Think of dipping your bubble wand into your bubble liquid, take a deep breath and blow out.  Slowly, steadily, completely.  


You can find out more about Baby Mindful here.  For further information about learning to find your calm within, please do get in touch.

Riding out the storm

For many of us, the weather is leaving us feeling a little on edge or unsettled today.  Strong winds and driving rain are causing difficult driving conditions and creating hazards as bins are blown about and trees are losing branches.  It can be worrying and most of us are taking extra precautions or warning others to be careful on the roads, etc.

But for some, the feeling of anxiety and dread, due to the change in weather, is more severe.  For those suffering from Ancraophobia (fear of wind), today is an especially difficult one.

More than feeling a little worried or concerned by the effects of the weather, those suffering with the condition may experience panic-like symptoms: a feeling of dread or anxiety resulting in physiological effects such as increased or irregular heartbeat, shortness or rapidity of breath, nausea, shaking, dry mouth and an inability to articulate words or sentences.

But there are treatments available.  Whilst some chose medication to alleviate their anxiety, this may only reduce the symptoms and not address the underlying issue.  Therapies such as hypnotherapy or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are considered effective for many sufferers.

In the meantime, there are things that you can do to feel calmer, or to help a sufferer you may be with.  *Please bear in mind that these are relaxation techniques, rather than a direct management of the phobia itself.*

Acknowledge and accept.  It is important to recognise that the feeling is anxiety and that it is okay to feel anxious: it is our brain and body’s way of keeping us safe.  The problem is, we don’t want it to become overwhelming, or stop us from functioning. 

Breathing  By slowing and regulating our breathing, we in turn slow and regulate our heartbeat and reduce the physiological symptoms of stress.  Place your hand on your tummy so that you can feel your breathing.  Close your mouth and breathe through your nose.  With every breath in, notice your tummy rise, and with every breath out, it should fall.  Breathe in slowly 10 times.

Self-talk  Tell yourself that it will be okay.  That you are strong and can manage this.  The wind will die down, and so will your anxiety.  It may feel a little odd talking to yourself, but the self-talk will replace the worried thoughts in your mind.

Distraction  Find yourself something to do.  Go and be with a friend and have coffee; focus on a task you have been putting off (clear out the wardrobe!).  Focus your thoughts and energy on something other than the wind and your fear.  The more you focus on the anxiety, the greater it is likely to grow.

For most of us, the storm will blow over, and we will relax.  For others, it is but a short reprieve until the wind begins to pick up again.  If you are with someone who is finding it hard today, don't belittle or dismiss their worries; try and help them ride out the storm.

 

For more about how relaxation can help you, please do get in touch.


The following links provide more information about phobias, anxiety and seeking help:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Phobias/Pages/Introduction.aspx

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/phobias/

http://www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk/what-is-therapy

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk//cbt.htm