If you’ve found that people are starting to take advantage of your good nature, you may have fallen into what Anne Dickson refers to as “The Compassion Trap“; when we believe we have to do ALL THE THINGS to keep people, especially those we love, happy. It makes saying no so hard, but sometimes (if not every day) we need to look after our own needs for the sake of our health, and stand firm.
This week, set the intention to hold your ground. If someone has been taking and not giving, is asking too much or if there’s something you just genuinely don’t want to do, find a way to assertively say no and hold your ground. You have a right to be heard and a right to make choices with your best interests at heart, so make sure you’re putting yourself on your own priority list.
(If you’re finding it hard to have difficult conversations with people, you may find Rise of interest.)
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There are many symptoms of stress you may recognise: headaches, sweaty palms, dry mouth, upset stomachs, pain in the neck and shoulders. If you’ve ruled out any physical illness with a trip to your doctor, then your body might be having a word with you. It’s not always physical symptoms either: you may have been more snappy of late or find it difficult to concentrate. If so, stress may be taking its toll.
Spend a few moments listening to your body: what is it trying to tell you? Where are you storing tension? You may find a technique like Mindfulness helps you understand your body and what it’s trying to say. It’s also a great technique for relaxation.
In this busy life that won’t slow down, its easy to get caught up in the noise and the chaos of the world around you. If you don’t have a holiday planned, that’s okay. Getting away from all the chaos doesn’t mean you have to plan a trip to the Bahamas. It could just be five minutes fresh air, a walk in the park or time spent sat under a tree reading a book. Give yourself permission to walk away from the hustle and bustle, even if only for a short while.
If you need help getting away from the chaos or having difficult conversations ask me about Rise.
April is Stress Awareness Month so I will be sharing a few top tips over the next 30 days. Stress affects everyone and a certain amount of stress is healthy. But when it actually stops you getting stuff done, it’s time to look at healthy ways to manage it.
Here’s Top Tip:
#10: Spend an hour on your To-Do list – The Planning Hour
How often do you write a to-do list and never look at it again? Maybe you discover there’s more things on it than you’d like to admit, or realistically be able to get done in one day. You’re not alone, we are all busy so making lists and creating a plan can help you turn your to-dos into ‘ta-dahs!’
Spend an hour writing down ALL the things you feel need doing and then prioritise the top three. You can do this at any time of day but at the beginning or end makes sense.
Write and organise what needs to happen to help you formulate a plan. Allocate how much time each activity realistically needs, remembering to schedule breaks and what resources you’ll need.
If you find you have time left over in your Planning Hour, pick one of the top three you’ve already decided needs doing and get cracking. Even if you don’t manage to complete it, at least you’ve made a start. (There are action plan templates in the Members Area when you subscribe ). If daily is too much, once a week can also work. Just make sure you remember to refer back to it so you stay on track.
Most importantly, remember to reward yourself for a job well done at the end of the day. There aren’t many things more satisfying than ticking off those things on your list, and that needs celebrating!
To book Stress Awareness training for you or your company click here.
Copyright Delphi Ellis
Have you noticed how we adapt our behaviour, keep topics ‘off-topic’ and generally dance around the things we need to pay the most attention to, because of the shame or guilt we associate with them? For a long time these topics included our mental health and for many people it still is. But there are other things we can feel guilty about, like standing up for ourselves, having difficult conversations with people we love and asserting our right to be heard. So just for this week, I’m encouraging you to set the intention to Take It On.
Here’s a top tip:
Whatever ‘it’ is, make a plan about how you can look it in the eyes and deal with it head-on. If now isn’t the right time to confront something or someone, then make the plan anyway so you can Take It On when the time is right. (There are free action plan templates in the Members Area when you subscribe ) And, if you need help with having those difficult conversations, take a look at ‘Rise’ in the information below.
Rise by Helping You Sparkle™
Do you feel guilty (or are made to feel guilty) when you say no? Do friends describe you as a ‘people pleaser’ but your own needs aren’t being met? Are you tired of people interrupting or talking over you when you speak? Are you avoiding conflict at the expense of your happiness?
Rise by Helping You Sparkle™ is self-esteem and assertiveness training for women. If you or your company would benefit from assertiveness training, take a look.
I honestly get it: if you don’t come down hard on yourself or strive for perfection – how will you grow? At least that’s what you might tell yourself. We take the blame (even when it’s not our fault) and when we do make a mistake, wow do we punish ourselves.
But, at least for this week, set the intention to stop beating yourself up. There are always opportunities to learn, yes, but they’re not a stick to keep beating yourself with. Whether you’ve messed up, or aren’t happy with your body/career/life choices, remember you don’t have to be perfect to be successful.
Here’s a top tip:
Notice the conversations you have with yourself, take a deep breath and create a positive action plan for how you move forward from here.
You can access Action Plan templates in the Members Area when you subscribe, for regular positive mojo, straight to your inbox click here.
How do you feel about sitting quietly for five minutes? When I ask people this question, they will either say they don’t have time, or if they do they find it really hard. Because, when you take time to be quiet, you notice how noisy it really is. If it’s not the distractions outside of the room (like flushing toilets, cars going by or alarms going off) it’s when your mind reminds you of all the things you haven’t done today. Can you relate? This is when you notice how small your Quiet Zone is.
This week, set the intention to Build your Quiet Zone. The benefits of sitting quietly can include helping you relax, and in a busy world that won’t slow down, relaxation is even more important than ever.
Silences are uncomfortable for a lot of people. You might be worried that having time out will bring to the front of your mind all the worry you’ve been storing inside. Mindfulness is a great technique which can help manage a noisy and busy mind. Here’s a top tip which can help:
Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed for five minutes. Take a deep breath in through your nose and notice how it feels to have breath coming in to your body. Breathe out fully and notice how the air is warmer as you exhale. Breathe in again, slowly and gently, returning your breathing to a natural and steady rhythm. Notice how you breathe and give yourself permission to be quiet for the remaining minutes. If your mind starts to wander (which it will), acknowledge the thoughts or images which appear and then return your attention to your breath.
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In her book “A Woman in Your Own Right”, Anne Dickson describes how as a woman you feel “a sense of obligation to put everyone else’s needs before your own all the time”. Even today, in a world striving for equality, women still feel they have to do ALL THE THINGS (work/home life, caring for family, paying bills, and so on) and if we don’t, we feel guilty. Wow, do we feel that guilt.
In fact, one of the reasons I came up with the idea for Serenity (a monthly evening gathering exclusively for busy women in Milton Keynes) was to help women carve time out of their busy schedules for some guilt-free rest and relaxation. Because self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.
So “Wear your Tiara to Work Day” on 16th March 2017, celebrates women who are busy doing ALL THE THINGS and to encourage them to do something for themselves today (if not every day) to help them feel sparkly – something that helps them recognise and celebrate just how awesome they are. Men are welcome to celebrate too, either in honour of a woman they know who deserves to be celebrated or if as a man, you’re also busy trying to keep many balls in the air (no pun intended).
The day is about doing something for yourself: having a cup of tea, a well earned rest even just for a few minutes, or treating yourself to something sparkly. Like a Tiara.
Monday Mojo – Feel Good Motivation for the Week Ahead: This week, set the intention to have a cuppa with a friend. We all lead busy lives and one of the things that suffers is the small things that usually mean a lot – like having a natter over a coffee or tea.
No matter how busy you are, carve a slice of time out of your diary this week to enjoy someone’s company. When they ask you how you are, be honest. If you’re feeling run down or low, have that conversation with them. If they ask how they can help, tell them honestly what you need – a friend to listen, some top tips, or ideas for where to turn. Then do the same for them.
Create some ‘you time’ to enjoy with a friend.
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Monday Mojo™ offers weekly motivation for the week with a suggested goal, focus or positive intention for the next seven days. Posts appear via this website, to Facebook and Twitter. You can also receive expanded positive mojo straight to your inbox when you subscribe, and receive free online access to the sparkle repair kit.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis
Mental Health affects everyone, we all have good days and bad days. But there are a number of things which can have a negative impact on our mental wellbeing, and not all of them are within our control – events like bereavement, redundancy or a relationship breakdown can all take their toll.
When the bad days outweigh the good ones, it can be useful – and important – to seek help. At least 1 in 4 people will experience poor mental health during the year; this includes experiencing stress, anxiety and depression.
You’re not alone and help is available. There are many charities available locally and nationally, who can provide free listening services and speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental health. The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day and national charities like Mind have free resources online (including a video about asking for help at the bottom of this page) that you may find useful.
At my clinic in Milton Keynes, I offer paid-for talking therapies like person-centred counselling, and workshops for private and corporate clients to identify effective strategies for positive mental health. You can also subscribe to the Helping You Sparkle™ Members Area for free access to resources including mp3’s, eGuides and factsheets and The Sparkle Repair Kit™.
To book an enquiry, enquire about training for Understanding Mental Health in the Workplace, or ask about the services I offer just complete the form below.
How are you sleeping? If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you’re not alone. Around 1 in 3 people have the same problem.
My name is Delphi and I am a Qualified Therapist teaching effective strategies for rest and relaxation. I specialise in dream interpretation and promoting healthy sleep. I have been talking about sleep and dreams for over 10 years, appearing as the Dream Expert for ITV’s This Morning and presenting The Guide to Sleep on Daybreak.
How can I help?
I offer 1-1 and group sessions on how to improve sleep. For private, professional help why not book an appointment to come along to my clinic in Milton Keynes? You’ll receive a warm welcome and a tailored assessment, along with help to create a positive action plan which may include tried-and-tested techniques like Mindfulness. Please note: I cannot diagnose sleep-related illnesses or prescribe medication.
To express your interest in this service, or to request a dream interpretation by email, complete the form below.
You might also like the Mindfulness for Dreamy Sleep via my website dedicated to the topic.
Please visit your doctor if your sleep problems are affecting your health.
Copyright ©DELPHI ELLIS - Helping You Sparkle ™ 2004 – 2018 All rights reserved