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Grief, Loss and COVID-19

Note to the reader: This article is in response to the coronavirus outbreak, and discusses death and dying. It also explores how we may recognise grief and loss, even when no one has died.

As the number of deaths continues to rise in the U.K. and around the world, many are facing grief in ways they never imagined.

Alongside the loss of someone we love, this current crisis reminds us that grief doesn’t just belong to death; we can experience it when anything that matters is no longer here.

You can grieve for the job you’re currently unable to do, the family you can’t hug, the holiday you really needed but had to cancel.

We are all looking at life through our own lens. What feels insignificant to one, will be a huge concern for another. All feelings matter. And all grief is valid.

We are also being confronted with our own mortality every day. We are seeing stark reminders that death comes to us all, when many understandably don’t want to even think about that.

On the one hand, the daily government adverts have been received by some as terrifying, with their strap lines about who can spread it and who can get it, especially for those identified as most at risk. On the other, the compassionate among us see the yellow hearts placed in windows as a gentle act of solidarity for someone whose loved one has died of COVID-19.

The pandemic has led to war-talk of an “invisible enemy”, “field hospitals” and “fighting a battle”, which gives a sense of the unpredictable yet invasive nature of our times. The language of war when highlighting illnesswhich has been proven to be unhelpful creates an understandable anxiety.

It’s no wonder if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

The greatest mystery in life is why death chooses a particular moment.

Mitch Albom

There will be those who were grieving for loved ones who died before COVID-19, and those whose hearts are breaking because of it.

There will be those with considerations like poor mental health and those faced with domestic abuse, that make them more vulnerable and more at risk following the outbreak, in ways authorities have been slow to recognise. (Here is a list of links to agencies that may be able to help). Trauma can form part of the picture, particularly where people have been witness to or affected by what they’ve seen, heard or experienced.

All while parents, grandparents and care givers around the world will be trying to find the words to explain to young people what this all means.

The pandemic also brings consequences some nations have never seen before, when we talk of loss and bereavement. Families not being able to say goodbye at the bed side. The funeral being delayed as a result of the virus, and those closest not always able to attend. Daily death totals and worldwide images of mass graves can feel like they’re stealing our sense of identity and individuality, when grief is such a personal and unique experience for us all.

The media talks of a “new normal”, but normal will feel different to each of us, and how we feel now will be influenced by what life was like before the pandemic.

Your relationship may have broken down, or you’d started a new one. You may have been made redundant or started a new business. Events may have taken a turn for the worse, or things were starting to look up.

So grief can highlight how different we are, and that our situation can impact how we feel and respond to it. It’s not one emotion, but many that can change from moment to moment.

You might experience anger, frustration, a strong need to blame.

You might feel overwhelmed or completely numb.

You might have little concentration, or finding the simplest things a chore or challenging.

You could be having sleepless nights, or troubling dreams.

Perhaps you feel you’ve lost or are struggling with your identity, wondering where you fit in, in a world that seems unrecognisable right now. You might even feel like you’re “ losing your mind ” , with so much seeming out of our control.

There is no ‘right’ way to feel when you’re grieving. All of it matters, and our feelings help us make sense of what we’re going through. It’s what we do with those feelings and how we channel them that makes the difference to how we cope. But as Rachel Wilson says in this article, “Britain is woefully ill-equipped to cope with bereavement because our grief culture is a stifled one.”

So what helps (and what doesn’t) when grieving?

How you grieve will depend on many things including your personal circumstances, the amount and type of loss you’ve been through in life, what support networks you have, how close you were to the situation, any ‘unfinished business’, and how you’ve been able to process your emotions.

The following might not fit for everyone, but can give you a place to start if someone has died or if you’re recognising loss and feelings of grief right now.

1) Recognise the feeling

Pushing pain away rarely works in the long-term, it just finds a place to hide, and rises up at a later date. Grief, after all, is love with nowhere to go.

It can help to recognise you’re feeling something – even if that’s feeling nothing at all – and even if you’re not ready to process it just yet. Megan Devine explains the importance of acknowledgement in her video “How to help a grieving friend”. This is relevant to anyone who has suffered a loss, as it is if you’re trying to help a friend or family member who has.

2) Avoid minimising if it’s not helping

You might be tempted – or told – to feel grateful for what you have. Well-meaning people will tell you to “think of the good times” or “look on the bright side”, or start sentences with “At least…” that offer little comfort. Or you might soothe yourself by saying there are people “worse off”.

Whilst all that may be true, it can offer little consolation when faced with the rawness, complexity and confusion of grief. As Nora MicInerny says in her TED talk, “Grief is a multi-tasking emotion.” You can feel sad and happy at the same time, and what you experience won’t always make sense.

Don’t feel you have to justify or hide what you’re feeling to make others more comfortable. Tell yourself the truth, rather than telling yourself to shut up.

3) Give yourself permission to cry when it helps

When a grieving person cries in British culture, they often feel they have to follow it by saying “sorry”, as if it’s wrong. But we know crying helps.

Grief can feel like a wave of emotion; you might feel “fine” one minute, then hear a song on the radio and burst in to tears.

If you feel you can’t cry yet, that’s ok, just as if you find yourself laughing at something on the telly. Laughter helps too, and you don’t need to feel guilty for forgetting, in that moment, that life has changed.

It’s the same when processing feelings of anger. Know your warning signs of what anger feels like for you, and reach out to people who can help you channel the emotion in a way that’s healthy, rather than harmful.

Experiencing grief doesn’t always mean crying will help or feel possible, but it’s important you can when you need, rather than believing you shouldn’t.

4) Make room for self-care

Self-care looks different to everyone; it might be spending time in your garden, reading a book, watching a video that makes you chuckle, or having a warm bath. Create a well-being plan that’s tailored to you that you know feels manageable, which includes daily restorative acts of kindness towards yourself. Self-care doesn’t mean “Me first”, it means “me included. That means making your well-being – including sleep – a priority.

Practical things like childcare arrangements or social circles may have changed. It’s ok to accept offers of help where you can, even if it’s someone getting a few essential things from the shop for you.

Routine can be helpful, making sure you get up and dressed at the same time each day, eating regular meals, taking time for your daily allowed exercise when you can. But it’s ok to have a “duvet day” now and then too.

Speak to your doctor if you feel you’re having more bad days than good over time, or call the Samaritans on 116 123 if you need someone to talk with, especially if you’re awake in the early hours.

5) Manage your environment

It’s important your environment lends itself to a place of sanctuary especially when you’re grieving and definitely during lockdown, when we are being told to stay at home unless it’s for one of four reasons.

You may feel under pressure from others to make changes or alter something about your circumstances, or feel the need to “do” something. People may tell you to dispose of your loved ones belongings, or you might decide to clean out old cupboards. An important thing to consider is that you go at your pace, and that how you cope feels within your control.

If you’re affected by domestic abuse, here is Women’s Aid Safety Advice.

6) Reach out

Connection matters, whether it’s having contact with the outside world or having the opportunity to speak with people who understand. There are organisations that specialise in feelings of grief and loss, and again the Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123.

You might decide to join an online bereavement peer support group, or connect with like-minded people who understand loss. You might consider a Death Café where you can talk about your thoughts and fears surrounding end of life. There will be people who understand, even when your situation is unique.

7) Take your time

People often say things like “you’ll get over it” and “time is a great healer”. Research by Dr Robert Neymeyer actually suggests that it’s not necessarily the passing of time that helps in our recovery from loss, but how we spend the time we are grieving.

Despite what some will try and tell you, there are no stages of grief (something misquoted for years). Bereavement is not linear; it might feel more like a rollercoaster than it is a flight of stairs so it will look different to everyone. Your grief is as unique as you are, but help is available.

Don’t feel under pressure to put a time frame on your grief. Be gentle on yourself. Take your time. And reach out if it helps.

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2020

Featured

Tips for Managing Anxiety During COVID-19 and Beyond

If you’re starting to feel the overwhelm of all the recent news, you’re not alone. The feeling is literally global.

People are taking different views, some are panicking, some are minimising – both are potentially responses to fear.

We know when we go through a prolonged period of stress, our brain and body will feel the effects. We also know that when we are in fight or flight – the body’s automatic response to feeling threatened – we don’t make good decisions. So here are some top tips that might help, if you’re feeling the strain.

1) Acknowledge how you’re feeling

All feelings are valid. Whether you’re feeling anxious, frustrated, sad or numb, it all counts. You may be grieving, even if no one has died. This could include the loss of freedom from self-isolation or holidays you had planned which have now had to be cancelled. You may be mourning experiences that happened before the coronavirus outbreak. Your emotions matter, and it’s helpful to find ways to express them in a healthy way that works for you.

2) Read and / or Write

Reading a good book is a wonderful act of self-care, but it’s not always easy to concentrate when your mind is doing somersaults. Some people find poetry helps for this reason, short stories or books with short paragraphs, like Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive.

People express their feelings in different ways, but getting the words out of your head and on to paper or into your laptop can help clear some head space. Mindful journaling can be a healthy way to download what’s in your brain in ways that you can process. The video below offers some ideas, particularly for people who are caring for someone else right now.

3) Get Creative

There are so many ways you can express yourself through creative activities from drawing, mindful colouring and dance. Whether it’s writing your own music (unless you have musical anhedonia), singing your heart out to your favourite song, or dancing if you can, see if you can find something that works for you. A recent report from the World Health Organisation found that singing, dancing and acting has positive effects on our physical and mental health.

4) Move Your Body

A lot of mental health professionals will endorse the benefits of exercise and it’s true to say this is good for you. But when we think of it, our minds often turn to thoughts about going to the gym, a Zumba class or going for a run. Thankfully, all movement counts, whether it’s having a boogie (see above) whether it’s watering your garden or going for a walk in nature (if you can). If you’re self-isolating, even having a good old clear out at home could count as some exercise. Fresh air is just as important, and remember you can currently spend time in your garden if you have one, even if self-isolating, but check the latest government stay-at-home guidance for details.

5) Focus on the basics

According to the Royal Society for Public Health there are three things we should do every day:

  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Drink water

and yet, these are probably the very things that suffer most when you’re feeling anxious or stressed. We know that around 70% (if not more) of the mood hormone serotonin is made in your stomach – so it’s more important than ever when you’re struggling, to try to eat. It doesn’t have to be big meals, but maybe eat little and often if it helps. You could practice self-care by planning your favourite dinners, or ask for further guidance from your doctor, especially if your eating habits are becoming unhealthy for you. You can drink water with flavoured juice, if it helps. Sleep is also something that we can find hard when our mind is racing. Here are some tips on sleep that might help, especially if you’re working shifts.

6) Stay Connected

It’s easy when you’re feeling overwhelmed to withdraw, including coming off social media and that can be a healthy thing from time to time. However, as human beings we are tribal by nature, and so it’s important we feel we have somewhere to belong. Sarah Millican creates the #JoinIn hashtag on Twitter for people feeling lonely every Christmas, and has recently endorsed using it for those self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak. Thanks to modern technology you can also keep in touch with friends and family via Skype, WhatsApp and other methods of communication if you have access to them. Talk to your doctor about accessing counselling if you think it would help.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the different news stories. So keep up-to-date via news sources that you trust and the latest government guidance.

7) Practice Compassion for Yourself and Others

Kindness and compassion are not the same.
We tend to reserve kindness for friends and family – those we care about (that’s why we often don’t include ourselves). This is where compassion comes in.

Compassion is “wise kindness”. It’s being able to recognise our differences but still be able to work together. It’s helping someone you don’t know or like, but at the same time keeping boundaries. It’s helping in a way that’s meaningful, but knowing our limits.

You can show yourself compassion by writing yourself a love note (words of kindness that remind you that “This will pass”), or repeating a mantra like “May I be well, May I be happy, May I be peaceful”. Find ways to give yourself permission to relax, and drop some of the unhelpful commentary that’s spiralling in your mind. This is where techniques like S.T.O.P can help, or a loving kindness meditation to feel connected with those who do understand how you feel.

Make taking care of yourself a priority, and do what you can with what you have from where you are.

This article is aimed at people who are struggling with mild to moderate anxiety. If you’re worried about your health and well-being, speak to your doctor, you can ring the NHS on 111, and if you’re struggling with your thoughts right now, the Samaritans are available in the U.K. 24/7 on 116 123. Here are some links to other agencies that may be able to help.

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2020

Featured

Visiting your doctor in difficult times

One in five patients now has to wait at least 15 days to see a GP in England, NHS figures have revealed.

Just under 5m of the 27.1m appointments at GPs’ surgeries in October involved waiting anywhere between 15 and 28 or more days to see a doctor or practice nurse. Patients are finding it increasingly difficult booking appointments with their doctor in the U.K., or accessing support from statutory services.

If this sounds like you, or if you are planning a visit to your GP soon to talk about mental health, here are some suggestions:

Ask for continuity of care. It’s important that you see the same doctor when you visit (where possible) especially in the early days so that they can monitor your progress effectively. You can request this.

Plan your appointments in advance. If there tends to be a three week wait (or more) to see your doctor, or if you’re told to ring first thing and still can’t get an appointment, ask if you can book a few ahead. You can always cancel them if you don’t need them (obviously try to give the surgery notice if you can). You should be seeing your doctor regularly, especially in the first few weeks if you’ve been diagnosed with poor mental health or prescribed medication.

Book medication reviews (if prescribed). You can do this with the practice nurse if necessary but this is particularly important if you’ve just been prescribed medication, or have discussed a lower or higher dose. Always check with your GP about the possible side effects to expect if they apply.

Write a list of what you want to say and/or take someone with you if you’re worried you’ll forget something.

Ask them what help is available locally, eg peer support groups, wellbeing courses, help with finances like Citizens Advice and help for carers too.

Reach out to organisations like Healthwatch England in your area. They have a team of volunteers who want to hear your patient experiences, especially if the standard of care you’re receiving from your doctor is falling short.

Be honest with your doctor. If you’re struggling, if things are getting worse or you’re feeling suicidal let them know, especially if you don’t have any support at home. You can always ask for a double appointment if you think you’ll need a longer consultation.

Practice self-care in the meantime. While you’re waiting to access services, try to write a wellbeing plan. Make a list containing the names of people you can reach out to, and small things that help you get your sparkle back. Some people find things like going for a walk in the fresh air, watching a video that makes them laugh, and mindfulness helpful.

Remember you’re not alone. Samaritans are available to listen on 116 123 24/7.

Here’s a video from Mind about finding the words to ask for help from your GP

I hope this helps, feel free to add any extra tips in the comments below if you think it will help someone trying to access their doctor.

©️ Copyright Delphi Ellis

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Hello and Welcome

PLEASE NOTE: My counselling waiting list is currently at capacity and I am not taking any new clients at this time. Events – including workshops and classes – are running as normal, and available online. You may also find details of how to access NHS counselling here.

Thank you for visiting my website.

I am a qualified therapeutic counsellor, author and well-being trainer. I aim to help people find what I call their ‘mojo’ (feel-good energy, authenticity or motivation) and get their sparkle back, often during or after a difficult time in their lives. You can find out more about my services here. (Please note, I am not currently offering 1-1 services at this time).

I have a special interest in dreams and sleep, appearing on TV shows like Loose Women and ITV’s This Morning. (You can find out more about this further down the page).

I started my therapeutic career working in bereavement 20 years ago, and still work with grieving people today. I have designed and delivered nationwide training programmes, including promoting the benefits of peer support following the death of a loved one, and tailored grief awareness training to front line personnel including police officers, paramedics, and search and rescue teams.

My book Answers in the Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal is due for publication in May 2022.

Available to Order on Amazon

My mission is to help improve and enhance the well-being of others through compassionate education and wholehearted, meaningful dialogue. I believe in human potential, helping people manage uncertainty and understand the true nature of resilience, which includes building connection through community. I am a strong advocate of self-compassion, mindful leadership and encourage regular restorative acts of self-care.

Professional Career

I started my therapeutic career, supporting those bereaved by murder and suicide, including attending inquests at coroner’s court. I now mainly work in the community promoting well-being maintenance and recovery through workshops and events.

Pregnancy Mental Health

In 2004, I established a unique website and peer support group dedicated to Pregnancy Mental Health, following my own experience of ante-natal depression and anxiety.

As a result, I have featured in several popular magazines on this topic, including Pregnancy and Birth and Natural Health magazines, and featured on radio programmes like Radio 4’s Women’s Hour. (You can see a full list of tv and media appearances below).

Volunteering

I have lived experience of domestic abuse, and for most of my spare time, I raise awareness and discuss prevention of male violence, specifically male violence against women and girls (MVAWG). The National Domestic Abuse Helpline in the UK is 0808 2000 247 or call 101 to report, 999 in an emergency. You may also find these linksuseful.

Qualifications and Training

My qualifications are in Therapeutic Counselling and Delivering Adult Learning. I am also a Mental Health First Aider and authentically trained in Mindfulness. I ensure I engage with continuing professional development throughout the year, so that the learning I provide remains up to date.

I have also trained with the National Homicide Service, Victim Support, and Women’s Aid. I am accredited to work with victims of crime, including those escaping domestic abuse.

TV and Media Career

I have enjoyed a TV and media career talking about the subjects I am passionate about, including dreams and healthy sleep. You can view an expanded list of media appearances below:

Radio:

BBC Radio: BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 1 Xtra, BBC WM, BBC Shropshire, BBC Coventry, BBC Three Counties, BBC Radio 6 with George Lamb, BBC Suffolk Breakfast Show, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Drive Time, BBC Radio Leeds Drive Time, BBC Tees, BBC Radio Shropshire, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 4, Woman’s Hour, BBC London with Sunny & Shay and on the Eddie Nestor show, Talk Sport, Beacon Radio, Hallam FM, Original 106 FM, Gemini FM, WLR FM, XFM, The Psychic Show (LBC 97.3), My Spirit Radio, Bridge Radio, Red FM

Television:

With Delphi’s help, I have a new perspective on life and the strength to face new and challenging things in a positive way.” B.

©️ Copyright Delphi Ellis

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Online Services and Resources

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak my services are currently available online

These include:

Counselling – receive a 1-1 session for talking therapy over the ‘phone or via Zoom for just £25 (for 50 minutes).  Please note my waiting list is now at capacity and I am not taking on any new 1-1 clients at this time. Group are going ahead as normal, see below.

Workshops – a selection of training and ‘micro-sessions’ available via Zoom, Teams or Google Meet

You might also like:

Monday Mojo™ – a free, weekly email sent straight to your inbox containing feel-good vibes for the week ahead, an instant access to the Sparkle Repair Kit™, a small but mighty eGuide designed to help you get your sparkle back.

Copyright Delphi Ellis

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Workshops and Events

Did you know according to Time to Change, 95% of people feeling sick with stress, will phone in sick with another reason (like headaches or stomach upsets)?  For training on mental health awareness, get in touch.

This page includes training and events I offer.


Book a Speaker

If you’re hosting an event and would like me to deliver training or a talk on my specialist areas please get in touch.


Workshops

Topics include:

You might also like Gems – micro wellbeing sessions for the workplace


Serenity – insights, products, events and services dedicated to rest and relaxation for busy women

You can also use the form below to get in touch:

One of the best training sessions I’ve attended in years. Very well presented, Delphi is a natural!

Jane's Testimonial

Delphi’s calm manner and clear-speaking meant she connected with the audience and made us feel that we were able to ask questions without feeling conscious. We can’t wait for Delphi to return again.” Amanda Coles, President SSEWI

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In the media

I’m Delphi Ellis – a Qualified Therapist, Mental Health Speaker, Mindfulness Practitioner and Well-being Trainer – Helping You Sparkle™.

I help people find their mojo and get their sparkle back, often after a difficult period in their lives. I do this by offering counselling, and well-being training services promoting positive mental health, including some specialist services for women. Sessions are available 1-1 and as group classes, with some workshops available nationwide. Private and corporate clients welcome.

As a Mindfulness Practitioner, I also suggest practical strategies for quality rest and relaxation, including guidance on healthy sleep. With a special interest in dream interpretation, I have appeared as the ‘dream expert’ for TV shows like Loose Women, ITV’s This Morning and presenting the Guide to Sleep on Daybreak. You can find out more about this here

Mindfulness Class: Delphi, A HUGE THANK YOU. I really have learned so much and enjoyed every week.

For more details about the services I provide click here, or to book a free initial consultation for counselling (available in Bedford and Milton Keynes) complete the form below (subject to availability).  Please don’t send dreams for interpretation this way.  For dream interpretation services click here.  Messages are replied to during working hours.

 

Professional Career 

I started my therapeutic career in 2002, where I supported those bereaved by murder and suicide, including attending inquests at coroner’s court.  I also spent a brief time with the National Homicide Service.  I now work in the community promoting positive mental health through 1-1 sessions and group events.

When the time is right for my clients, their aim is to find their way forward and get their sparkle back; this is the foundation of the work I do. I listen to what my clients need, helping them find their way back to centre, towards a ‘new normal’.  Find out more about my counselling services here.

During 2018, I developed the training programme and was the specialist lead trainer for the More than Words project, developing peer support groups for bereaved people, around the country.  In 2019, I developed the training and became lead trainer for the You Behind the Uniform project, discussing bereavement awareness and encouraging self-care with front-line emergency personnel, including police officers and paramedics.  I also established a peer support group in Bedford.

Improving the Conversation for Women

In 2004, I established a unique website dedicated to Pregnancy Mental Health, following my own experience of depression and anxiety during pregnancy. This began a journey of promoting better mental for women, including supporting those escaping domestic abuse. I have featured in several popular magazines including Pregnancy and Birth and Natural Health magazines, and featured on radio programmes like Radio 4’s Women’s Hour. (You can see an extensive list of tv and media appearances below).  I also promote healthy dialogue to help end discrimination and highlight inequality, campaigning through my Lets Talk Lady Business™ website and social media, to help end shaming, exploitation and violence towards women.

Volunteering

I am involved locally as a ‘Community Champion’ encouraging collaboration between agencies that promote positive mental health and wellbeing, and volunteering with those that support victims of crime.  In 2018, I was nominated for one of the Women who Make Bedfordshire Safer Awards, held by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.  In 2019, I was voted Volunteer of the Year for services to the community.

Community event hosted by OPCC

Community Cohesion Awards 2018

Qualifications and Training

My qualifications and training include Therapeutic Counselling, Delivering Adult Learning, Restorative Justice, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Support for Insomnia, Positive Psychology, Mental Health First Aid and Mindfulness. I am accredited to work with victims of crime, including those escaping domestic abuse.

TV and Media Career

I have enjoyed a TV and media career talking about the subjects I am passionate about, including healthy sleep and dreams.

Media Appearances include:

Radio –

BBC Radio: BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 1 Xtra, BBC WM, BBC Shropshire, BBC Coventry, BBC Three Counties, BBC Radio 6 with George Lamb, BBC Suffolk Breakfast Show, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Drive Time, BBC Radio Leeds Drive Time, BBC Tees, BBC Radio Shropshire, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 4, Woman’s Hour, BBC London with Sunny & Shay and on the Eddie Nestor show, Talk Sport, Beacon Radio, Hallam FM, Original 106 FM, Gemini FM, WLR FM, XFM, The Psychic Show (LBC 97.3), My Spirit Radio, Bridge Radio, Red FM

Television –

Loose Women, ITV’s This Morning, DayBreak (Presenter of The Guide to Sleep), , GMTV, The Wright Stuff, LK Today (Lorraine), Consultant to SO Television for My Lovely Audience (Graham Norton), Psychic TV

Featured work –

Daily Express, Mens Health magazine, Practical Parenting & Pregnancy Magazine, Natural Health, Soul & Spirit magazine, Huffington Post, Guardian (G2), Sunday Express, Pregnancy, Baby & You, Daily Express, Daily Telegraph, Pregnancy & Birth magazine, Prima Baby magazine, Practical Parenting, Columnist for Spirit & Destiny Magazine, Contributor to Talk Mum, Contributor to Silent Voices, Columnist for Spirit Force Magazine

PR Events

Dreams Bed Company, Maybelline New York, Sky + HD (article featured in Daily Telegraph), Johnson’s Beauty: Dreamy Skin, Snow Leopard Trust

Awards

  • Volunteer of the Year Cohesion Award for services to the community;
  • Nomination: “Women Who Keep Bedfordshire Safer”;
  • Regional Finalist for the Health and Social Care Awards for Mental Health and Wellbeing;
  • Spiritual Connextions Awards for Best Service to Others

I also work for a charity in my spare time which offers a unique transport service for cancer patients, which won the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.

You might also like:

Monday Mojo™ – A weekly email containing feel-good motivation for the week ahead. Sign up here.

With Delphi’s help, I have a new perspective on life and the strength to face new and challenging things in a positive way.” B.

© Delphi Ellis, Helping You Sparkle™ – Wellness through Learning™

Monday Mojo – Check Your Spoons

Have you heard of Spoon Theory?

It’s a concept originally discussed by Christine Miserandino in 2003, that helps us measure our energy levels. Christine used it as a way of describing to a friend how she navigates the condition Lupus, and used the spoons as props to demonstrate. She explained that we might start the day with ten spoons, but on difficult days just getting out of bed and taking a shower might use several. (You can read more about this here).

Feeling drained or lacking energy is just one of the signs that our Mojo is starting to dwindle, so knowing how to boost our energy levels can be a helpful way to refresh and recharge.

Here’s what might help:

This week, maybe set the intention to Check Your Spoons. You might start with a self-care check in each day, asking yourself questions like “Can I say no today, and can I do that kindly?”. Being irritable or edgy is another early warning sign we might notice when we’re lacking a bit of sparkle.

This article also suggests switching things up a bit. It’s natural when things aren’t going our way to retreat to the comfort of our own home, and sometimes this can be just what we need. However we know there are several benefits of spending time in nature; the Japanese tradition of Shinrin Yoku has been researched to prove that time with trees can have a profound impact.

It’s important also to honour our emotions; all feelings are valid. Whether you’re feeling sad or happy, giving space to how we feel is important – because whether we label them or not, those feelings are there anyway. Above all, give yourself permission to rest when you need, cry if it helps and talk with those you trust.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

Monday Mojo – Unlock Your Dreams

Do you believe in yourself?

It’s such a tough question, right? Because what does that even mean. One of the things about goals is, you have to want them as much as you have the skills to achieve them.

This week, maybe set the intention to Unlock Your Dreams.  It makes sense that, to find your way, you need to know what your hopes are, and one way to do this is just by asking yourself “If I keep doing what I’m doing now where will I be in a year or five year’s time?” You can change direction accordingly depending on whether your current situation takes you towards or away from that. 

This article also explains that sometimes our inner critic holds us back, or that maybe we keep ourselves busy so that we don’t have to think about where we are. It’s ok to distract ourselves from time to time, especially if those distractions actually play to your skills and strengths. Think about what serves you well, and what doesn’t.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

Monday Mojo – Find Your Vibe

How “in tune” do you feel with the world around you right now?

In my book, Answers in the Dark, I talk about our cycles, and in particular how they show up. We have a 24 hour cycle (day follows night), some of us have a 28 day (ish) cycle, and of course the elusive sleep cycle. And when life is really busy, those cycles can feel disrupted.

We might not always notice it straightaway. We plough on as if everything is “normal” and wake up one day and feel like stuff’s just, well, off centre. You feel like you’re doing All The Things, but nothing’s getting done.

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (9th to 15th May) is loneliness and I emphasise that this isn’t just about the number of friends you have or the amount of time spent alone – but it’s also about disconnection. Our “social norms” can often set standards that we should “fit in” and not be different. We hide our authenticity or shift our values in a need to be belong. That can be lonely.

The opposite to loneliness can include feeling heard. Being understood. Connected.

Here’s what might help:

This week, maybe set the intention to Find Your Vibe. This article offers insight on how to check your emotional state: something as simple as asking yourself “how am I feeling?” Alternatively, you could grab your favourite notebook (or treat yourself to a new one) and take some time to reflect on these questions:
• What brings you alive, and puts a bit of sparkle in your step?
• Which people light you up? (including celebs)
• What conversations inspire you?
Include in your reflections music that brings your mojo back, poetry that gives you goose bumps, or pieces of art that make you look at the world in all its wonder. It’s there waiting to be enjoyed.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

Monday Mojo – Pause the Talk

What’s the first thing you thought about this morning?

If it was wondering what sort of dramas may unfold today (perhaps especially true on a Monday), there’s a good reason for that.

As humans we are wired with something called the ‘negativity bias’. This is actually a healthy thing; for example, if you accidentally burnt yourself getting dinner out of the oven that one time, your brain created a red flag that says “don’t do that again, it hurts”. That means the next time we go to grab something tasty from the stove, the red flag reminds us to be more careful – and it goes without incident.

The problem is, the red flags pop up to remind us of all kinds of pain we’ve experienced. As a result, we can have any number of thoughts that talk us in to – and out of – various scenarios. This can then lead to anxiety and before we know it we’re not enjoying time around places and people we love.

Here’s what might help:
This week, maybe set the intention to Pause the Talk. My blog explores, one place to start is with our internal narrative and to discern which thoughts need attention and which we can ditch. It might sound easier said than done (these things usually take time) but it can be helpful now and then to remind ourselves that we don’t always have to buy what the mind is selling.

You might also choose to focus on something that really matters to you – write down why setting this goal is important and why you’re prepared to withstand the anxiety for the sake of helping you achieve it. (You could maybe do this with the help of a friend or counsellor).

Above all, remember thoughts can feel real that doesn’t always mean they’re true. You really don’t have to believe everything you think.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

Monday Mojo – Check the Choice

How are you at making decisions?

Not of the “what shall I have for dinner?” type (although those can be tricky now and then). I’m thinking more of when the tough choices come along.
To stay or to leave.
To engage or disconnect.
To show up or sit down.

In this digital age we are also faced with potentially too much choice. We, as humans, like to feel in control of our lives (it helps us feel safe), so being able to make simple decisions feels healthy and actually, rightly, a bit proud of yourself. So what do we do when it’s all just a bit too much?

Here’s something that might help:
This week, maybe set the intention to Check the Choice.  The first thing to think about could be whether or not there is actually even a decision to be made.  There’s a lot to be said for giving yourself permission to step back and wait, or at the very least see how things pan out for a while.  Sometimes we put ourselves under so much pressure to ‘do’ something, that actually it might sort itself out.  It’s ok to take it slow.  

Another thing to consider is whether you’re starting to feel the effects of decision fatigue. One thing the pandemic has created (amongst many other things) is increased demand on our attention, so even things like spending all day in front of your computer screen (and endless Teams meetings) can literally take their toll. You could also try to actually limit the choices available to you, so for example you could decide before you go shopping how much you want to spend, or in the company of friends whether you’re going to eat or just have a drink. Preparation and planning can be key to making the “right choice” especially if it comes with overwhelm, or a period of uncertainty.

One last thing to think about is what you might have heard me refer to as the 100% rule. So when you make a decision you stick with it, no matter what. Whether you’ve decided to change jobs, save money or cut sugar out of your tea you give it the absolute commitment with no going back. As the saying goes, motivation is what gets you started, commitment is what keeps you going. Do what’s right for you.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here. Any third party links offered are not endorsed. © Delphi Ellis 2022

The Business End: I am delighted to provide this complimentary weekly blog. If you like Monday Mojo™ and want to say “thanks”, you can “Buy Me a Coffee” via my Tip Jar here. No pressure though, it will stay free of charge as long as possible.

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