Monday Mojo – Start a Conversation

How are you?  And by that, I mean how are you really?

It’s a crucially important question, and one I deeply believe in. Because, you see, when people just ask us how we are, we usually say “I’m fine”.

But we’re not always fine are we?

And sometimes, we feel like we’re burdening people, if we say what’s on our minds. But, even so, it’s good to have an outlet. 

This Wednesday 10th October, it’s World Mental Health Day.  My theme for this year is “Conversations Start Journeys”.  It promotes the idea that in order to get to the heart of what we’re going through, we have to start somewhere – it might just be with one genuine question or one honest answer. No expectations. No solutions. But also no filters.

This week, set the intention to Start a Conversation.  Make a list of people you trust, and take the decision to talk to them when you need. It doesn’t have to be today, but make a promise to yourself to talk about things when events take their toll. Don’t be afraid to say how you’re feeling – you feel what you feel – and if that makes some people uncomfortable, find people you can speak your truth with.  And, if you’re worried about someone else, make space for them to talk too; ask them how they are and be sure to ask twice, just in case.

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©️ Delphi Ellis 2018

Monday Mojo – Honour Your Time

What’s taking up your time lately?

It’s one of our most precious commodities, time. You can invest it, but you can’t own it. We can spend it, but we can’t get a refund. We can waste it, but we can’t stop it. We move through every day trying to make the most of it, and yet somehow we always feel like there’s never enough, and wish we had more of it.

How do you decide what gets your time, and who gets your energy? We worry about wasting time especially if it’s spent on ourselves. But the key to taking care of others is taking care of yourself.

This week, set the intention to Honour Your Time. Make conscious decisions over the next few days about where you are investing your time, and whether it’s where matters most. Consider your time to be as precious as your most valued possession which you wouldn’t give away to just anyone. And when you know how you’re going to spend it, make it count.

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©️ Delphi Ellis

Monday Mojo – Ride the Waves

Have you noticed how, sometimes, change comes out of nowhere?

You’ll be doing your own thing, minding your own business and, wallop! Someone or something blindsides you, and suddenly everything is different. Sometimes forever.

We don’t usually plan for this type of change; it’s so unexpected that we couldn’t possibly have seen it coming.

But like a boat on the ocean, you’re built to last. You have everything you need to cope with the challenges you face, even if there are days when it feels like you haven’t.

This week, set the intention to Ride the Waves. Allow yourself a moment to experience life as it is. Appreciate your 100% success rate at surviving so far, in every challenge you’ve faced. Try a technique like mindfulness, to help you manage your emotions when things get tough. Build up your resilience by eating and sleeping well, and talk about what’s on your mind. And then go with the flow, travel the journey knowing that you have everything you need to keep going.

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©️ Delphi Ellis

Monday Mojo – Find the Quiet

Have you noticed how noisy the world is lately?

If you’ve travelled on a train lately you’ll know what I mean. People compete to be heard, by speaking louder and louder. They talk on their ‘phones and clatter the keyboards on their laptops. And to drown out the house, people plug into their headphones, ironically listening to more sound to calm the noise from the outside world.

We use sound as a coping mechanism.

When I’m teaching my listening skills workshops, attendees recognise that we fill silences because they’re, well, uncomfortable. We avoid the quiet because we simply don’t like it. The quietness means we might feel something. Or have to confront something. But there is peace to be found in the silences.

This week, set the intention to Find the Quiet. Create a space at home, or somewhere you can call a sanctuary, where you can retreat when you need it. Let the silence guide you. Allow the peace and quiet to refresh you. Give yourself permission to reset, recharge and then carry on.

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©️ Delphi Ellis

Monday Mojo – Treat Yourself

Have you been looking after yourself lately?

At this month’s Serenity, we noticed how selfish we feel when we give something to ourselves, whether it’s a warm bath, buying ourselves a treat, or just spending quality time on our own.

We always feel like we should be doing something else:

Seeing to other people.

Checking everyone’s okay.

Putting ourselves at the bottom of the list.

It’s probably because, we’re programmed to think that being kind to ourselves is wrong in some way. That doing something we want to do, or saying no to other people, puts other people out in some way. Thankfully, we can change all that.

This week, set the intention to Treat Yourself. As often as possible, put time in the diary to do the things you want to do. Buy yourself something new (you know, like stationery or shoes), or if your budget won’t stretch that far just yet, take yourself out in to nature and fill your vision with all the beauty around you. If you start to feel guilty for being kind to yourself, just notice that and do it anyway. Even if it’s just for this week, do this for you.

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©️ Delphi Ellis 2018

World Suicide Prevention Day – 10th September

10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Over 800,000 people die every year by suicide, that’s one person every 40 seconds. It is the leading cause of death in people under 24 in many European countries*, and in men under 50 in the U.K.

The subject of suicide has long been a taboo, with people often too ashamed to talk about both feeling suicidal and being bereaved this way.

Thankfully, this is changing. The message from World Suicide Prevention Day is that it’s ok to say: to talk about feelings, and to ask for help.

Organisations like the Samaritans exist to help people cope with suicidal feelings. They are available 24 hours a day, to listen to you non-judgementally and in confidence.

Friends and families of those feeling suicidal can also help by checking in with their loved ones regularly, without trying to fix the person talking about their feelings. Many people often feel like a burden when they’re struggling with their mental health, so don’t assume they’ll check in with you.

In all cases, avoid judgement and encourage visits to the doctor and referrals to relevant mental health services. Resources like this one can from Heads Together, can help with tips for talking.

Below is also a list of resources if you or someone you know is struggling:

Samaritans: 116 123 (UK)

Papyrus: (preventing suicide in young people) 0800 068 41 41

Young Minds:

Combat Stress (UK Veterans Mental Health Charity): 0800 138 1619

Calm Zone (specifically for men):

Mind information leaflets on different types of mental health: including ‘Supporting Someone who Feels Suicidal’

There are also videos like:

“Be in your mate’s corner” video by Time to Change is here:

“Finding the words to ask for help” video by Mind:

For those bereaved by suicide, organisations like SOBS and Cruse can help.

* Suicide statistics via WSPD website

Monday Mojo – Lean In

What do you when things get a bit tricky?

When people are unkind.

When stuff doesn’t go your way.

When you’ve just about had enough.

I talked in last week’s Mojo, about assembling your squad; knowing who’s in your corner when you need them most. Sometimes though we find ways to cope in a way only we can control. We pull away from our worries, we push pain deep inside, and preoccupy ourselves with things like keeping busy at work, and Jaffa Cakes. This is what we call “numbing out”.

When we push pain away (or down), we’re only postponing the inevitable: an outburst of emotion (tears, anger) that create more problems than we started with. We travel through life at 100mph and wake up one day and ask what the hell happened.

That’s not the only way.

This week, set the intention to Lean In. Create some space in the next few days for you to look at what’s on your mind, to find out what’s holding you back, or keeping you stuck. Whenever you find yourself reaching for ways of coping you know won’t work for you in the long run, reach towards the situation rather than pulling away. If someone pushes your buttons, explore why. If things get uncomfortable, unpack that. Don’t be afraid to confront your emotions – or people – in a way that feels safe and healing. Talk to people who allow you to feel heard. It’s ok to say.

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©️ Delphi Ellis

Monday Mojo – Assemble Your Squad

Monday Mojo™ – feel good motivation for the week ahead: Assemble Your Squad

How many people do you feel you can count on these days? As we get older the number seems to get smaller. But is that because it’s getting harder to really know people?

I asked a question on my Facebook page last week, “how do you define a stranger?”  It’s a question worth thinking about, because it can help establish healthy boundaries (a topic I deliver training on). How long do you wait before giving your phone number to someone, or accepting their friend request? Trust is important to all of us in one way or another. That includes how safe we feel, not just physically but knowing we can share our deepest thoughts with someone.

Recognising who you can trust and who’s in your squad, helps us get through the bad times, not just the good.  Knowing there are people we can count on when we need them, can be the glue that holds us together, when we feel like we’re breaking apart.

So who’s on your team?

This week, set the intention to Assemble Your Squad.  Even if you don’t need them right now, make a mental note of the people you can count on.  Make sure their numbers are in your phone, and you have their contact details to hand if you need them.  Bring them together as often as possible, to share laughter, tears and everything in between.  If you feel there’s no one there for you right now, set a ball in motion to meet like-minded people and bring them in to your safety net.  And remember to set your boundaries, so that you feel safe at all times.

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© Copyright Delphi Ellis

Monday Mojo – Take It On

What do you do when you’re faced with making a tough decision? Decisions and problems present themselves in many ways. Just when we think we’ve got all our ducks in a row, something seems to come along to upset the applecart.We each have our own ways of dealing with it.

We might bury our heads in the sand for a bit, and hope it works itself out. Or like I mentioned in last week’s mojo, we might wait for the “right” moment.

Perhaps we say yes when we mean no.

We might ask a friend for advice.

Or just reach for the Jaffa cakes.

Now and then we have to make difficult decisions or create difficult situations, to face whatever the problem might be. It can be exhausting, especially if it feels like you’re facing one challenge after another. Which is why it’s important to tackle what you can, and make time for yourself in the process.

This week set the intention to Take It On. If there’s something you feel needs to be done, start to create a plan of action. Reach out to like-minded people, and get them on board if it’s something bigger than you can deal with on your own. If it’s someone you need to have a word with, role-play what you might say with a close friend and then: deep breath and get it said. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Your opinion matters. If it’s done with kindness, you can make it count. And remember to look after yourself when you do.

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©️ Delphi Ellis 2018

Monday Mojo – Write the List

Do you have a bucket list?

There’s been a lot of interest in these lately: writing a list of things we want to do before a certain age. If you could do anything, what would it be? And, more importantly, what’s stopping you?

So often, we tell ourselves it’s because we don’t have enough time or money. Or we say we’ll wait until the kids have left home, the mortgage is paid off and so on. And then when we get there, we might say we’re too old.

The point is you’re never too old to do something you’ve always wanted, so why put your life on hold for a future date, when possibilities are waiting. If you’re not sure what you’d like to do, this is where you can start.

This week set the intention to Write the List. Grab a piece of paper and write one thing you want to do in the next twelve months. See if you can add two more things you want to do within five years. And then add a few more, of things you want to do before you reach a certain age. Your bucket list can contain anything, as bug or as small as you want it to be, but make it your list and then see if you can create a plan to put your bucket list in motion.

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©️ Delphi Ellis All rights reserved

Monday Mojo – Shake It Off

How do you cope when someone says something unkind?

It might be directly to you, or about someone or something that matters to you.  It can leave us feeling edgy. Uncomfortable. Even sad.

When I was in my third pregnancy, and I found the courage to tell someone close to me how anxious I was, they told me I was “a bit of a wimp”. Its one of the reasons, I do the work I do today.

Part of my work is about challenging stigma. It’s about providing education on what’s helpful (and what’s not) and sometimes saying what needs to be said.  (It’s one of the reasons I designed the “Prepared to be Unpopular t-shirt).

There are times when I call society out for making things worse (especially on Twitter, like those Tampax adverts that show women jumping out of aeroplanes on their period. Trust me, no one wants to do that). I’ve also found a well-timed eye roll will make my point.

Words have power. They can heal or hurt.  And the good news  is, we don’t have to put up with the hurtful ones.

This week set the intention to Shake It Off. Decide which battles are worth fighting, and those which just don’t need your time or energy. Think about what really matters and don’t be afraid to say it your way.    Let go of those times when you made a mistake, find your own words to comfort you. When people disagree with you, create a comeback you’re comfortable with.  And most of all, find something to do for yourself this week so that if you feel like you’re carrying it all around with you, you can wash it / shake it / dance it all off at the end of the day.

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© Copyright Delphi Ellis

Monday Mojo – Invest in Yourself

Monday Mojo™ – feel-good motivation for the week ahead: Invest in Yourself

Do you ever think about your future?

In a world which is moving so fast, we can easily lose sight of where time – and our aspirations – are going. If you do think about the future, you might wonder if it includes a dream relationship or job. Or simply a place where everyone around you is happy and well; it’s natural to think this way.

But could it include a place where:

Your needs are met.

You put yourself first.

You can say no, and mean it, without feeling guilty?

It’s a tricky one. I mentioned in last week’s mojo that we’re hard wired to be harmonisers. To put others needs before our own. To say yes, when we’d rather not. But where will that lead? You can’t put your future on hold all the time, so that everyone else gets ahead.

So it makes sense that the more you do the things that put a sparkle in your eye, the brighter and shinier your future will be.

This week, set the intention to Invest in Yourself. Explore the website of a local community college for a course you might enjoy, set aside some relaxing ‘you time’, or just find a way to say no when you need to, that you feel comfortable with. Make sure you do something each day which your future self will thank you for.

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©️ Delphi Ellis 2018

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