The benefits of working with a life coach

If you’re looking for the tl;dr, as we called it back in the day (too long, didn’t read), ultimately, working with a life coach has one massive benefit: they support you to reach your goals faster. 

A life coach can help you identify your goals and support you as you work to achieve them. They can also provide accountability, helping you stay on track, progress towards your objectives, and navigate any challenges or setbacks. 

If you’ve been considering working with a life coach but are unsure exactly what you’ll get or the process of working with a life coach, read on!

What is a life coach?

A life coach is a professional who helps you identify, examine, and learn specific strategies to reach your goals. Working with trained coaches is becoming increasingly popular as more people realise the value of investing in personal growth and development. 

Life coaches provide an uplifting and supportive environment that inspires you to act, whether your focus area is career advancement or improving relationships. Plus, a life coach can guide you by focusing on behaviour modification and setting achievable objectives customised to meet your goals and needs. 

Additionally, a good life coach challenges their clients to foster deeper, personal understanding and growth through self-discovery exercises, goal-setting activities, and frequent conversations with clients. Life coaches are committed to helping you reach sustainable success.

What are the key benefits of working with a life coach?

Working with a life coach can provide numerous benefits to help you reach your personal and professional goals. They can support you in navigating through complex challenges, boost overall self-confidence and give feedback to help improve communication skills. 

In addition to providing strategies for addressing challenges, a life coach will also help you set realistic and obtainable goals—both short-term and long-term plans for success. By having somebody who can motivate and guide you, working with a life coach is invaluable in helping you reach your desired accomplishments.

How to find the right life coach for you

When it comes to finding the right life coach for you, there are several things that you can do to make sure that the fit is perfect. 

You can start by asking friends, family, and colleagues for a referral if they’ve had a positive experience working with a coach. You can also do your research online, visit coaching directories, and read reviews from previous clients to get an idea of their qualifications and successes. 

Coaching is currently an unregulated field; nothing prevents anyone from calling themselves a coach, and it’s quite a trendy word online. So, make sure to look over their credentials carefully before deciding. And don’t be afraid to reach out either – contact them directly with any questions you may have and book a discovery call, so you know what’s expected of both parties and that the coach is competent in their field. 

It must be a good fit if you’re looking for someone to work closely with you to achieve your goals!

What does the coaching process look like?

The coaching process can be incredibly beneficial and starts with an initial consultation. During this consultation, the coach will ask questions to understand better what you, as a client, seek to achieve through your sessions. This allows them to tailor their approach and create an effective action plan. Then, regular check-ins can be scheduled going forward depending on how often you’re looking to meet with your coach and how much support you need.

A good coach will offer ongoing guidance and measure progress along the way so that adjustments can be made if needed. Ultimately, the goal is for their client to find purpose and fulfilment in life through greater clarity and new awareness.

How can working with a life coach lead to lasting positive changes?

Working with a life coach is an empowering and productive way to work towards greater success and fulfilment consciously. Through creative activities, effective problem-solving techniques, and support tailored to your individual goals, a life coach can help you in endless ways, such as: 

  • Realise your potential
  • Identify achievable goals
  • Set new boundaries and behaviours
  • Obtain clarity in decision making
  • Find emotional balance
  • Avoid burnout
  • Find more space for happiness and joy in your life
  • Manage stress through new coping strategies. 

Life coaching ultimately helps individuals move forward with renewed optimism by creating lasting positive changes.

A life coach can help you in many different areas of your life, from setting realistic goals to improving your communication skills.  Working with a qualified and experienced life coach can lead to lasting positive changes in your life. 

So, if you’re ready to make some changes and want to work with a life coach, drop me a message. I am a qualified Life Coach specialising in Happiness, an accredited Happiness Facilitator and Mental Health First Aider! 

How to find time for self-care in a busy schedule

When you think about self-care, what do you think of? You might be imagining luxury spas and cucumber slices. If you’re about to close this tab thinking, I don’t have the time, money, or bandwidth to stop and take myself down to a fancy spa, then wait. 

Because whilst sipping coconut water with cucumber resting on your eyes in a fancy spa can be self-care, that’s not all self-care is. And if you’re busy and struggling to prioritise your needs, then the idea of taking a few hours to visit a fancy spa might be off-putting. 

Often, we’ll ignore the signs that we need to slow down. Instead, we’ll keep pushing through until we get sick or burnt out. How many of us prioritise our health before we have no other choice but to? Not many people I’ve met. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. By prioritising your well-being with some self-care strategies, you’ll enjoy improved physical and mental health, disease prevention, and enhanced connection with yourself & your needs.  

I know all too well the damage that ignoring your needs can do and how important self-care is for our physical and mental health. If you’re finding it hard to know where to start with self-care in a full week, then below, I’ve compiled some tips for fitting it into your busy schedule. 

Schedule time for yourself every week and stick to it

As I said, taking time for yourself is incredibly important and has great benefits for your wellness and well-being. Doing things like reading, meditating, exercising, or even taking a walk can help clear your mind, revitalise your energy, and remind you to take a break from the hustle of everyday life. 

Allowing yourself time to decompress can make it easier to handle stress in the long run and lead to greater clarity throughout the week. So, trust me when I say that setting aside some dedicated ‘me-time’ will pay off!

Are you laughing at me because there’s absolutely no way you can schedule any time for yourself into your slammed week? Start small. I literally plan in a glass of water. I have reminders on my phone to notify me to make a smoothie, drink a glass of water, go for a walk, and stop for lunch.

Otherwise, I’ll just keep going, and the next thing, it’s 4 pm, and I’ve got a headache from being hungry and dehydrated. So, start small. 

Find activities that help you to relax and do them regularly

Life is all about balance, right? That’s what we say to ourselves when we order pizza on the way back from the gym. 

Well, being busy and taking time to relax is also balance. It’s about finding hobbies that help you to relax.

For some people, it might be gardening, cooking, or doing yoga – the list goes on! Whatever activity makes you feel relaxed and refreshed, just make sure to add it to your routine. 

Not only can these activities reduce stress levels but adding them to your everyday life will also create a sense of balance in a world filled with demands and deadlines.

Don’t be afraid to say no 

I’m going to tell you a secret: I’m a recovering people pleaser, and I find saying no or disappointing people difficult. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could manage the automatic yet frequent desire to say yes? Whether that means saying no to a friend who wants you to attend a busy event on a Wednesday night or picking up a difficult relative/anyone from the airport in the middle of the night.

Learning how to decline invitations politely can feel uncomfortable but making a conscious effort to prioritise yourself will work wonders in terms of managing stress and committing your resources and energy to things that matter most to you. 

Sure, there are times when it is essential to step outside our comfort zones, show up for others, or simply challenge ourselves. But also learning that no is a complete sentence and opting not to do something that doesn’t light you up is so liberating!

Learn to delegate 

When did you last ask for help? Don’t worry; I’ll wait. 

Delegating tasks and asking for help are two of the most important skills to master to be successful. It’s so easy to get caught up on this idea that you must do it all when delegating responsibilities can give you back precious hours. So, the possibilities are endless, whether you want to spend that time with friends & family, working on a new project, learning a language, or in a spa. 

I learnt this lesson in my business. I was doing so much stuff that I hated, that took me ages, and I just found it boring because I felt I had to juggle everything. But I turned it around and asked myself: how long do I spend sitting with my self-assessment tax return, hating it? Say, four hours? My day rate is £300, so £150 is four hours. So instead of stressing for four hours and hating HMRC, could I pay someone to do it, free myself up, and use that time to do paid work? Yes.  

And it works with anything. If you’re time-poor and juggling 100 things, maybe it’s time to see what you can put down to free yourself up. Why not switch to an online shop instead of going to the supermarket? Or hire a cleaner and free yourself up for two hours every Saturday to do something for you instead. 

When did this weird shame creep in if we can’t manage the load of 3-4 people? There’s nothing shameful about just being one person. Lean on support and make your life easier because you can. You’ll thank yourself later.

Take breaks throughout the day

Taking a few moments throughout the day to step away from what you’re doing and clear your head can be so beneficial. Whether you take a quick stretch break, go for a short walk outside, or just sit still for a few minutes taking deep breaths, these small pockets of time can help you relax, focus better, and become more productive when you get back to work. 

Breaks don’t have to last long either – research has found that even 60 seconds of activity, for example, walking around the room, can make a difference! So, if you feel overwhelmed with work or tasks during the day, why not challenge yourself to take regular breaks? You may find it helps boost your energy and motivation significantly!

Personally, when I’m busy and up against a deadline or just pushing through work that doesn’t inspire me, I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique. 

Here’s how it works: 

  • Identify a task that you need to complete
  • Set a timer for 25 minutes
  • Work on the task with no distractions
  • When the alarm sounds, take a 5-minute break
  • Repeat the process three more times
  • Take a longer 30-minute break and start again

Make sure to get enough sleep each night

This one is foundational and probably should’ve been first on the list, but here we are. 

I’ve had chronic insomnia since I was a child, and I frequently feel tired, which has a habit of making everything feel worse than it really is. However, over the years, I’ve found different techniques for getting sleep, valerian for when it’s awful, and I fall asleep to a sleep cast on Headspace each night. My favourite is the Midnight Laundrette. 

Getting enough sleep each night is essential for feeling your best and having enough energy to complete daily tasks. Not only does it help you focus better, but it can lower your risk of severe illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity, too! 

Additionally, getting quality rest helps boost creativity and problem-solving skills you might use during the day. Discipline yourself to have a regular sleep schedule to support a healthy mind and body! When you prioritise sleep, the sky is the limit to what you can achieve. Sleep is the foundation for many other areas of your life working the way it should. 

Self-care is vital for everyone, and it’s something that you should make time for every week. Remember, we only get one life, we deserve to feel our best. 

If you’re not sure where to start with self-care, I’ve created A Year of Self-Care: The Ultimate Guide & Journalto help you get started. It includes 52 weeks of self-care prompts, reflective questions and journal prompts so you can track your progress and reflect on your journey! 

Rediscovering joy and happiness in everyday life

Did you know that joy is considered the most contagious of all emotions? Seeing someone genuinely happy can light up our day and make us feel more positive. 

Of course, life can sometimes feel like it gets in the way of our happiness, and we can get bogged down by our responsibilities, worries, and grief. 

But what if we could learn to find joy in everyday moments? What if we could rediscover the things that bring us happiness? Ten years ago, I never imagined I would make it to 25, let alone into my thirties. And here I am, happier than I have ever been. 

Recently, someone asked me how I went from being unable to survive another day to showing other people how to be happy. Believe me, it wasn’t an overnight change; I started really, really small, counting two or three tiny things that went well that day, and when I say small, I mean small. It may have been that I was wearing cute socks that day or the feel of a soft jumper. 

In this blog post, I’ll share the journey to rediscovering joy, exploring the things that make us happy, letting go of negativity, and finding joy in everyday life. So, read on if you’re ready to rediscover the joy in your daily life! 

What brings you joy?

This is foundational. How can you rediscover the joy every day when you don’t even know what makes you happy in the first place? 

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life; plus, life can seem overwhelming when there’s too much on your plate. I’m so guilty of focusing on everything I need to get done each day rather than what I want to do. But taking a few moments out of each day to disconnect can be such an incredible help as it allows us to regain our focus and pause for a bit. 

Small things can help us to relax and rediscover joy:

  • Going for a walk 
  • Reading a book
  • Getting some sunlight
  • Calling an old friend
  • Or even just staying in bed for an extra half hour

By remembering what brings you, you’ll be able to shake things up and build in joyful moments. 

Take some time each day to do something that makes you happy

Studies have proven that even a few minutes of an enjoyable activity can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. So, taking the time to do something that brings you joy, no matter how small, can be vital for your well-being. Going for a walk outside on a sunny day, listening to your favourite song, or trying out a new recipe in the kitchen are all great ways to add extra joy throughout the day. 

Find beauty in the small things around you

You know that trend over on the ‘gram about romanticising your life? It’s not a bad idea. Many of us struggle to find joy in the small things, but these same small moments can truly bring peace and light into our lives. Taking a moment to capture the beauty in nature can be incredibly grounding – whether it be through noticing a vibrant flower blooming or feeling the sun on your face as you sit outside, or even listening to birdsong as you walk in the park.

As life moves faster, slow down, and take some time out of your busy day to appreciate the beauty around you. 

Connect with loved ones

Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with our loved ones, even though they are spread worldwide. Sure, if you find yourself doom scrolling, that’s not gonna be conducive to more joy in your daily life, but it can help us to maintain meaningful connections with those close to us. 

So, set aside time to meet a friend or just pick up the phone for a chat. Plus, a quick text or video call can go a long way in bringing us closer together.

Make time for yourself 

Taking care of yourself is essential; it doesn’t have to be hard work. Allocating time to de-stress and unwind can make a difference to your day. Whether snuggling up with your favourite book or running yourself a warm bath – simple, small moments of self-care can boost your overall well-being.

Why not start scheduling an hour each week to do something for yourself? It might not seem like much now, but dedicating time to mindful activities and relaxation will add up and leave you feeling energised and refreshed.

Practise gratitude

It’s easy to take life and so much good stuff for granted, and I find that remembering that life is made up of moments—small and mighty fragments of time that come and go. Hard times can last much longer than we’d like, but it’s essential to be mindful, even in our darkest hours, and search for the good things that still exist in our lives. Being grateful and appreciating the good moments when they happen will help your attitude shift in a positive direction and give you greater strength to carry through difficult times.

If you find that you’re struggling to make time for things that bring you joy, or if your life feels out of balance, it may be time to seek help from a life coach. Life coaching can lead to lasting positive changes and help you find ways to incorporate more happiness into your day-to-day. 

So, if you’re ready to work with a life coach and make some positive changes, drop me a message. I am a Life Coach specialising in Happiness and Joy and an accredited Happiness Facilitator and Mental Health First Aider! 

Alternatively, A Year of Self-Care: The Ultimate Guide and Journal could help you commit to positive changes over the next year. 

Exploring the impact of stress on your well-being

Everyone gets stressed. And when it comes to our well-being, stress is probably one of the most common factors in letting self-care habits slip. Stress can also sneak up on you; before you know it, you’re nibbling at your cuticles. 

However, just because everyone gets stressed doesn’t mean we just sit back and accept it. We can learn how to work with stress and deal with it healthily. 

So, if you’re concerned about stress, you’re in the right place, as this blog will explore how stress can affect our well-being and how we can counterbalance some of the negative impact. 

What is stress, and how does it impact us?

I wonder if anyone in the world doesn’t get stressed? I doubt it. Because unfortunately, stress is an unavoidable reality of life, and small bouts of stress are normal. 

Ultimately, stress is a reaction to a perceived or real threat, leading to hormones like cortisol and adrenaline rushing through our body, giving us the energy and alertness necessary to confront or escape danger, aka ‘fight or flight’. However, this heightened state of arousal can have adverse long-term effects on our bodies if not appropriately managed. 

Over time, frequent activation of this ‘fight or flight’ response can lead to health problems such as fatigue and depression. Plus, unmanaged stress often impairs our capacity for thinking logically and making effective decisions. 

To prevent stress from hurting us, we must manage and understand it. For example, relaxation techniques such as yoga or mindfulness meditation, communication with friends and family about our troubles, exercising regularly, or even seeking professional help. 

Taking stock of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours around stressful situations can help us prevent and reduce its impact over time.

The different types of stress – physical, emotional, and mental

Stress is a prevalent issue in many people’s lives, and one of the best ways to understand how to manage it is by looking at its different types. 

Stress comes in three primary forms: 

  • Physical – commonly results from illness, exercise, or injury.
  • Emotional – can be caused by circumstances like workplace issues or relationship struggles.
  • Mental – often related to complex problem-solving or time management challenges.

Each type of stress requires the person experiencing it to take care of themselves in unique ways. Stress management is a critical factor for many individuals, whether from physical, emotional, or mental sources. 

Understanding the differences between these types of tension can be very helpful when working through difficult situations.

How to identify stress in your life

Identifying stress is an essential step to living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. As wild as it sounds, stress isn’t necessarily a negative emotion. It can motivate us and push us further than we thought possible, but it is vital to know the difference between motivational and harmful stress before it begins to take a toll on our lives. 

To identify the kind of stress you may be feeling, pay attention to how your body and mind respond when you’re in a stressful situation.

If you start feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope with your emotions, consider noting when this often happens and the tell-tale signs that tell you that your body is under duress. 

Remember that while some levels of stress can help us become our best selves, too much can be emotionally damaging, so it’s essential to check in with yourself regularly and take steps towards reducing any harmful forms of stress as soon as possible.

The effects of chronic stress on our health

When stress becomes chronic is when it can have a severe impact on our health. Chronic stress is a state of tension over a long period that can lead to physical and mental health problems. Symptoms can include muscle aches, headaches, and exhaustion, in addition to feeling mentally drained or having difficulty concentrating and making decisions. 

For those suffering from long-term stress, the risk of developing anxiety or depression increases drastically. Research also suggests that having sustained high-stress levels can contribute to conditions like heart disease and even accelerate the ageing process. 

Fortunately, there are ways to manage chronic stress through lifestyle changes, such as yoga, meditation, a change in diet, and exercise. Taking the time for self-care is vital because it helps control symptoms of stress and ultimately leads to better overall health.

Simple ways to reduce stress in your life

Stress affects us in different ways, and it can drain our energy, negatively impact our relationships, and cause physical and mental harm if left unchecked. 

Fortunately, there are many simple things you can do every day to manage stress levels, such as: 

  • taking time to be mindful and present in the moment
  • engaging in calming activities 
  • building positive relationships with loved ones
  • even something as simple as going for a walk can help reduce stress

So, take some time out of your day to recognise the little things that bring you joy, focus on yourself, and stay away from sources of negative stress. 

Coping with stress in positive ways

There are plenty of healthy ways to cope with stress, and it all comes down to taking the time for self-care. 

Finding hobbies or activities that bring you joy, such as music, painting, or gardening, is a great way to channel excess energy and can help you relax. Additionally, talking about your worries with a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional is an effective way to sort through negative thoughts and refocus on the positives. 

Stress is a normal part of life, but it’s essential to be aware of its impact on our bodies and minds. By understanding the different types of stress and how to identify it, we can take steps to reduce its adverse effects. And when we do experience stressful events, there are positive coping mechanisms we can use to minimise their impact on our health. 

If you’re still unsure where to begin with self-care and self-compassion, I’ve created A Year of Self-Care: The Ultimate Guide & Journal to help you get started. 

It provides you with everything you need to learn more about self-care and then 52 weeks of self-care prompts, reflective questions and journal prompts so that you can implement your learning and space to track your progress and reflect on your journey!

Dealing with negative emotions through self-care

Sometimes things are shit.

And we all have negative emotions – it’s part of being human. But what do you do when those negative emotions start to take over? When they start affecting your work, relationships, and day-to-day life? That’s where prioritising self-care comes in. 

Self-care is all about taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally. And when it comes to dealing with negative emotions, self-care is essential. Self-care is an important part of maintaining good physical and mental health, it can reduce stress, improve concentration, boost self-esteem, and help prevent illness.

I know how difficult it can be to process negative emotions, let alone consider getting up and doing something when you may be struggling, but here are some tips on dealing with negative emotions through self-care.

Acknowledge your feelings and take time to process them

Life can hit us with difficult situations, and it is normal to experience various emotions in response. Rather than sweeping our feelings under the rug and pretending they don’t exist, it often helps to take the time to acknowledge them. Whether through conversations with friends or family members, written reflection in a journal, or deeper introspection. 

Allowing ourselves to process how we’re feeling in a safe environment can make all the difference for our mental wellness. It’s okay to take breaks from heavy thoughts and spend some time watching feel-good films or doing activities that bring us joy. 

Plus, incorporating coping mechanisms into our daily routines will bring a different perspective when dealing with strong emotions.

Find an activity that soothes you 

Taking time to find an activity that soothes you can be invaluable in helping you to de-stress and reset. Whether it’s listening to your favourite music, going for a peaceful walk in nature, or escaping into the pages of a great book – finding the right activity can be like taking a mini holiday from how you’re feeling. 

Taking this short break can help you to renew your energy by grounding yourself and staying rooted in the present moment. Doing this also helps clear away unnecessary stress and worry, allowing more positivity to come through. So, take some time today to find one activity that works best for you – it will make all the difference!

Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling

Feeling overwhelmed and lonely can be incredibly difficult, especially when it feels like there’s no one to talk to. If you’re in this situation, remember that it might be helpful to talk to someone you trust about how you feel. 

People close to us often understand our feelings more than we realise and communicating our worries and stress out loud can help relieve heavy emotions. Though difficulties may not necessarily disappear after speaking out loud about them and getting things off your chest, talking with someone can clarify the situation and help identify potential solutions. Finding a supportive person or group who will listen with an open mind and not judge or criticise your emotions or experiences is essential.

Write down your thoughts in a journal 

Writing down your thoughts in a journal can be beneficial for managing your emotions. Reflection is a helpful tool for creating more self-awareness and tracking your emotions can help you recognise patterns or triggers for different negative feelings. Writing out your thoughts and feelings can encourage an increased understanding of yourself and can be used to approach problems from a different perspective. When practised regularly, journaling can help you get in touch with yourself on a deeper level to better cope with everyday life.

Practise some self-compassion 

We all have days when it feels like life is giving us an extra helping of challenges. On those days, it’s essential to practice some self-compassion. Remind yourself that nobody is perfect and cut yourself some slack for not reaching your expectations. 

Taking a kinder approach to ourselves can make challenging times feel a little bit easier. Take a step back from the pressure and remind yourself that bad days are normal and are often necessary to appreciate the good ones! Everyone deserves some compassion, especially when things don’t go as planned – so take the time to give this same compassion to yourself.

What does self-care look like?

Self-care is essentially ensuring that you’re taking care of yourself, physically and psychologically. It’s everything from the foundations, for example, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and moving your body regularly. As well as making time to do things you enjoy, things that help you to recharge and reset. 

If you’re struggling to cope with negative emotions, know you’re not alone. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, sad, or angry at times. Most importantly, take the time to care for yourself emotionally and physically. 

You do not have to go through heavy or negative emotions alone. And if you’re struggling, please reach out and speak to someone, whether a friend or family member, the Samaritans helpline 116 123 (which is available 24/7), or your GP. Alternatively, you can self-refer through iapt for talking therapy.  

To help you with self-care, I’ve created A Year of Self-Care: Your Ultimate Guide & Journal to help you get started. It provides you with everything you need to learn more about self-care and then 52 weeks of self-care prompts, reflective questions and journal prompts so that you can implement your learning and space to track your progress and reflect on your journey!

Cultivating self-compassion through self-care

Self-compassion is a powerful tool that can help us weather life’s storms and come out the other side stronger. But what exactly is self-compassion, and how can we cultivate it? 

If you’re looking for more information about self-compassion and some practical ways to nurture it, this blog is for you. Whether struggling with a recent setback or simply looking to boost your wellbeing in the new year, read on for insights into self-compassion’s power and how it can help you.

What is self-compassion?

An incredibly powerful tool for getting us through difficult times, self-compassion is so much more than being kind to ourselves. It’s the process of being aware of our weaknesses whilst recognising that we are worthy of love and respect. No matter what. 

However, this doesn’t mean enabling destructive behaviours or excluding others from the equation – it’s essential to maintain healthy boundaries with ourselves, just as we would with anyone else. Self-compassion means rooting for us, just as much as we root for our friends and family, accepting experiences, both good and bad, without judgement. Taking time to understand our whole selves can be challenging but rewarding, so allow yourself to practice self-compassion wherever you are on your path.

Why is self-compassion important?

If you’re looking to live a fulfilling life, and I mean, let’s be honest, who isn’t? Then self-compassion is an important quality to cultivate. It is the practice of understanding, embracing, and caring for yourself through difficult times. Accepting that you are human and capable of making mistakes can help you cope with challenging moments without feeling judgement or anxiety. This compassionate relationship further encourages self-improvement and positive change by creating a sense of inner strength and resilience. 

Ultimately, developing self-compassion helps us become more aware of our emotions, thoughts, and values needed to take better care of ourselves and become happier individuals.

How to cultivate self-compassion through self-care

Self-care is a crucial component of cultivating self-compassion. By engaging in activities that nurture your body, mind, and spirit, you can build the resilience needed to be kinder and gentler with yourself.

And don’t forget to let yourself rest when needed – sometimes, an extra half hour of sleep or simply quiet downtime doing nothing will make all the difference. It may not always feel like it, but rest is productive. 

Ultimately these simple changes will allow you to grow a greater understanding and acceptance of your unique self – the beginnings of true self-compassion.

Examples of self-care activities that can promote self-compassion

Taking care of yourself can be a great way to practice self-compassion. According to research, activities like meditation, journaling, yoga, spending time in nature, and reconnecting with friends and family are great ways to promote self-kindness and self-appreciation. 

Meditation is particularly effective for calming your mind and boosting feelings of positivity. Journaling your thoughts and feelings is another excellent way to gain insight into your mental state and express uncomfortable emotions safely. Finally, spending time outdoors, either by yourself or with the people you love, can help boost happiness and help you to feel connected to the world around you. When practised consistently, self-care can improve your sense of wellbeing and contribute to greater self-compassion.

The benefits of practising self-compassion

Self-compassion is an essential tool for navigating the rollercoaster of life. Being compassionate and kind to yourself can lead to increased satisfaction in relationships, improved self-esteem, and a greater feeling of fulfilment. 

Plus, being aware and mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and actions helps you better understand how to treat yourself and others. Practising self-compassion is also linked to increased resilience, meaning we can manage difficult situations that life throws our way when we treat ourselves with kindness instead of judgement. Ultimately, self-compassion is an invaluable tool that leads us down a path of joy and inner peace within ourselves.

Self-compassion is essential for our mental and emotional wellbeing, yet it’s something that many of us struggle with. But I hope that after reading this blog, you better understand self-compassion and why it matters. I hope you feel equipped with some tools to cultivate self-compassion. 

If you’re still unsure where to begin with self-care and self-compassion, I’ve created A Year of Self-Care: The Ultimate Guide & Journal to help you get started. It provides you with everything you need to learn more about self-care and then 52 weeks of self-care prompts, reflective questions and journal prompts so that you can implement your learning and space to track your progress and reflect on your journey!

Telling my story for World Mental Health Day

Trigger warning: suicide, mental health, depression. There’s also quite a few swears.

The last time I tried to die, nothing happened to push me over the ledge. Nothing, in particular, was wrong. Nothing more than usual. I was depressed, and I was suffocating, sad, and my mind was full of nothing. 

But nothing had happened. 

I was just as sad as I had been the day before and the day after. It wasn’t a big deal, you know, and there wasn’t this significant catalyst or trigger that caused me to choose that day.

I was just done. I’d been sad for as long as I could bear, and I just wanted to lie down and take a break. 

I’d been sad for a while, years at this point, and I was tired of it. This day is so insignificant that I don’t even remember the date, just that I was almost 22. 

I could tell you about the years that took me to this point—the mounting pressure in my mind. The pretending to be okay. I mean, people knew I was sad and depressed, but I’m not sure if many knew I was that sad. Everything felt so pointless, and I was exhausted by it all. 

Honestly, this whole time of my life is a chapter that I don’t really dust off and read too much. I have accepted who I was, and now she’s wrapped up somewhere inside me. I try to be gentle with her because she’s still healing. 

I was drowning and decided I didn’t want to drown anymore. I just wanted to have drowned. Basically, I was over it. I was out. This wasn’t my first attempt, but it was gonna be the last, and I was okie with that. 

So, I did it. Sweet dreams, loni. 

Except I woke up to very kind paramedics about to break my front door to rescue me. 

Not everyone was so kind. The nurse in A&E treating me called me stupid and told me that there were cancer patients that would kill to be where I was. So yeah, that obviously helped a lot. 

I had some fluids and hung out in A&E while waiting endlessly for a psych consult.

The psychology consultant was freshly qualified and had the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen. His face is a blur now, but his eyes were intense. I guess he said I was fine because I went home. 

Bundled into a cab with my best friend back to our flat in Surrey Quays, where I’d been really sad and tried to die. And now here I was again, alive. 

I was diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder, aka borderline personality disorder, around this time. Many things now made sense, the instability in my mood, the spiralling, the struggle with rejection or abandonment. I’ve grappled with this diagnosis over the years, holding it in my hands and looking over it from all the different perspectives. For all the negativity associated with BPD, it still fits like an ugly, well-worn coat. I wish it didn’t, but it does, and it’s mine. 

Sometimes, it gets worse before it gets better

Alas, dear reader, it doesn’t get better yet. I wandered into an intense relationship with a boy who wanted to save me. Swinging between love bombing and telling me that I was terrible, it never occurred to me that I didn’t have to live this way. 

It never occurred to me that I didn’t have to wake up and tiptoe around my existence, and I didn’t have to dance around all the broken pieces strewn across the floor. I didn’t have to worry about whether I made eye contact with another human or acknowledged another person and what would wait for me at home.

I wish I could tell you that I realised all this for myself. But I didn’t. Two years into our relationship, I’d finally managed to pull myself together enough that I finished my last year of university and got my first proper job. Two months into my new job, I came home from work one day, and he was gone. He’d moved out of our flat without telling me.

I was stressed and confused but sitting on the floor of a flat that looked like it had been ransacked and robbed, I could breathe. I was 24 and realised I’d been holding my breath for years. 

I moved in with my sister, and I learnt to breathe, in and out, in and out.

I was sad, but in and out. In and out.

I felt things were a bit shaky, I tried to get help, but unfortunately, I didn’t want to die this very minute, so it probably wasn’t that bad, and I should return when it was. I’d waited almost twelve weeks to be told that I couldn’t be helped. Luckily, I never felt suicidal enough again to go back for their help. Probably for the best, as I’d have died before I reached the top of the list. 

This was all in 2013/2014, and I can only hope that things have improved in the past eight years and that there is more support for mental health. But I doubt it. 

Over the years, I’ve had various support, from worry management courses to lithium, DBT to anti-depressants, but the thing that has stuck, the thing that has helped me is to get to know myself. It’s doing the work, talking therapy, questioning why you feel a certain way, developing healthy coping mechanisms—confronting the pieces of me that were a bit jagged and getting to know them. Holding them out in front of me to inspect the cracks. 

I know myself really well. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Like a dentist with their little pen torch and poke-y thing, I’ve spent years examining myself, my reactions, triggers, what hurts, what causes my mood to spiral, how quick it can happen, and what brings me back. I’ve poked the bits that hurt and those that don’t, just to see what would happen. 

I know that eating well and moving my body makes me feel good, and I know getting to be myself helps. I know that I need reassurance and positive reaffirmation, and I know that disappointment of any size is sure to make my mood crash. 

Celebrating birthdays, celebrating healing

On 5 October 2015, the day I turned 25, I wrote myself a letter. I wasn’t happy yet, but I knew I could be. I couldn’t believe how many moments of joy I was having; how fun life could be. Sure, it was pretty shitty at times, work was wild, and I didn’t trust anyone not to hurt me, so I’d been intentionally single for the past few years. I decided to theme my years going forward, setting an intention for the year ahead. 

Most importantly, I didn’t want to die anymore. 

I felt lonely a lot of the time and very often felt incredibly sad, but I wanted to be alive. It wasn’t lonely like I didn’t have people around me; it was lonely like no one understood me. Like no one could see me. Like my presence didn’t make a difference. 

And although this pointlessness had made me feel a bit deathy in the past, I was feeling it, examining it, and it wasn’t consuming me. I wanted to be here; I just felt lonely and sad. 

I was about to start my master’s degree, and I had no idea what the next year years had in store for me. 

By 5 October 2016, I was halfway through my master’s degree, and I had a boyfriend, Scott, I was living with a housemate that I liked, who made me laugh, and I felt at home in myself. I was waitressing, freelancing as a writer, and doing my master’s, it was hard work, but I was juggling. 

Constantly in the back of my mind was that I would let something drop, and it would be like before. I was going to find myself spiralling again. It’s a lot of pressure, waiting for yourself to fuck up and ruin everything you’ve spent years re-building. I was convinced I wasn’t good enough to juggle everything and had evidence that I couldn’t handle everything. Plus, as the love-bomber frequently reminded me, I wasn’t that good of a writer, so it was only a matter of time before other people realised. 

Turning 26, I decided that my theme for the year was going to be “fuck it”. 

I travelled, fell in love, finished my master’s, and jumped to freelancing full-time. I embraced everything I had. I learnt that I could trust myself. I realised that I worked things out. I land on my feet, and I’ve got my back. And maybe others do too, but I knew I could rely on myself to work stuff out. I tried to worry less that I was going to fuck everything up and burn it all to the ground.

The night before I turned 27, I asked myself what I wanted for the year ahead. Could I dare to aim for happiness? No, not yet. So, this year’s theme was to be brave and kind, but without forgetting my fuck it attitude from the previous year. I wanted to have more courage to say yes to more stuff. And equally, say no to more stuff too.

Honestly, this was 50/50 successful. I am a recovering people pleaser. 

Fast forward a few years, it‘s my 30th birthday, and I’m blowing out candles that have been put into a stack of pancakes. Am I happy yet? 

I can’t explain the absolute shit-show of a situation I was living in; Scott and I had moved to Weston-super-Mare to care for Scott’s nan, we were caught in the eye of a hurricane of drama, I constantly felt like I wanted to scream, but was I happy? Absolutely. 

When I turned 30, I looked back over the past five years to when I last thought I was the happiest I could be, and I’m amazed at how my scope for happiness and my capacity for joy has increased by about a million per cent. 

I was chasing happiness like it was this elusive thing. And I learnt that contentment, found in the small moments, the little bricks of life, are what builds happiness. I also learnt that happiness isn’t the absence of sadness. Sadness may never leave me, but I now know that it doesn’t have to consume me and doesn’t have to take me off my feet.  

And often, when I say I’m feeling sad, I’m not feeling sad; I’m caught in the limbo of nothingness. You know the creepy, weird spiral hurricane drawings children do in horror films; that’s how my mind feels when I’m “sad”. 

A few days ago, I turned 32 and celebrated my 32 turns around the sun with five total strangers. I had a last-minute place on a co-working retreat. Sat on the beach, someone asked me what I’d learnt and what I’m taking forward to the new year. I thought for a minute about how to summarise everything that I’ve learnt, and I said: 

You are your most important thing. 

I’m two years on from the candles-in-the-pancakes moment and ten years on from where I was when I last tried to die; I’m a different person, and I’m unrecognisable. 

I know for an absolute fact that I was a nightmare to be around between the ages of 16/17 to 22/23. If you knew me, if you got to see me behind the pretending-to-be-fine mask, I was crushingly sad, and that made me difficult to be around.  

Ten years on

It’s been roughly ten years since I tried to die, and I don’t know how to talk about this. It’s like something that happened to someone else. I know myself so well; I’ve worked so hard on self-awareness that there’s almost a clinical separation between who I am and who I was. 

I know how I feel about it, though. I feel proud, I feel grateful, and I feel so impressed by myself. Sure, I had support, but I clawed my way out of that hurricane to build myself a life that feels like me. It can all end, one way or another, and I don’t want anything but a life that feels like home. 

Now, I feel almost like there’s a karmic balance waiting to be repaid, and I’m terrified of death coming for me before I’m finished. There’s so much I want to do. So much living I have left to do, so much I have left in me. There’s so much I want to achieve, experience, create, and become. 

For a long time, I felt ashamed of my feelings and my history with mental illness, and I was worried that it would lead to judgement and impact the people who wanted to work with me. This feeling hasn’t gone, but I found enough stability and trust that I work with good people that will judge my work and not my experience with mental health. 

I have worked hard to recover, become self-aware, and use myself to help others. I am almost fully trained as a coach, a certified Happiness Facilitator, and a Mental Health First Aider. And it’s important to me that I can support others and that I’m able to be more than empathetic. I can also be helpful and supportive. 

Why am I writing this all down now? Throwing it out into the abyss for someone on the internet to maybe read? 

There are several reasons, but the most important, or the most relevant that I’m willing to say out loud are: 

  1. I’ve just turned 32, it’s been ten years since I last tried to die, and I feel like I’ve lived 100 lives already. 
  2. For a long time, I swallowed down my mental health experiences and diagnosis of BPD because I was ashamed. And I was sure people would judge me and hold it against me (and honestly, I’m probably not wrong)
  3. Recently, I’ve been struggling. Not the way I did ten years ago, but there’s been big changes and stress, and I’ve felt overwhelmed. But I’ve got a support system, I’ve built some positive and healthy coping mechanisms, I limit the amount of pretending that I’m fine, and I just go and lay down on the floor when I need to.  
  4. I don’t know if we hear enough about the people that have made it out of the darkness. And I want to provide a beam of hope for those still feeling alone in their sadness or lost in the dark. 

The most amazing thing I’ve learnt about myself recently is how resilient I’ve become and how much capacity for joy and happiness I’ve let in, even in between the big life moments that feel a lot. And the best thing is that now I can appreciate how much joy I have, plus how much my capacity for happiness has grown. I can see all my potential lying out in front of me. Past me’s would never have even considered that I was capable. 

If you’re struggling, please don’t feel like you have to go through it alone. Speak to your GP, and you can self-refer through iapt for talking therapy, the NHS has different options available. Plus, you can call the Samaritans free, 24/7, on 116 123. 

I am small, but mighty.

Warning: swears ahead.

Over on Instagram, I have something like 300ish followers right now, and it’s something I’ve felt a lot of shame about in the past.

I grow other people’s accounts for work and I get results, I’ve built up @alongcameloni’s Instagram account to a solid place over the last year or two. I mean, something like 2100 people are signed up to get notified about when I sporadically post here. You know, if we want to get super humble-baggy, I used to have over 10,000 Tumblr followers. Eye-liner and side fringe included.

I know that I can do the thing, but still, I’ve not really done the thing for my own social accounts. Why is that?

I think the shame comes in for me because I do this for work but if you looked at my accounts, I feel like my profile doesn’t ‘prove it’.

And yet, a few weeks ago, I came up with a little content strategy for myself, started to implement it and I’ve seen the metrics go up as a result, so it’s not like the method I apply to client’s social accounts doesn’t work for mine. I have just been historically a bit inconsistent with doing the work ON my business, as well as IN my business.

However, yesterday afternoon I noticed that shame creeping in and I asked myself: does it actually matter that I only have a limited amount of followers when the stuff I do works?

Of course it doesn’t matter. It’s about quality, not quantity.

I get leads and connect with my audience through what I post on social, when I remember to remind people that you can book me for work, I get enquiries. I start conversations, I have IG friends and connections, people tell me that the information I share on here is helpful and useful when they see me irl. Why am I carrying around this shame?

It doesn’t do me any good, if anything it just gets in my head and makes me doubt what I’ll post because no one’s reading anyway. If I had 3000 followers but no one engaging with what I was doing, would that make me feel better about my social media channels? Probably not.

So nah, no more shame poncho for me. I’m throwing that shitty feeling that’s been weighing me down in the bin.

Goodbye heavy, itchy, suffocating shame poncho. If you’ve got some business shame weaving it’s way around your shoulders, creating a little shame poncho to weigh you down, I recommend you throw it away, unwind your shoulders and unclench your jaw – you’ll feel a lot better for it, I promise ✨

inspiration vs. plagiarism – does it even matter?

Ahh the blurry lines of inspiration vs plagiarism… but errr, is it that blurry?

I’m inspired by the incredible people around me all the time. For example, I have business besties that:

✨ inspires me to be the best version of my biz self.
✨ get me thinking on how to be more accessible & inclusive.
✨ inspire me to get off my butt & work on my website. 

Inspiration is lovely. When you’re building on someone else’s work or ideas, credited inspiration is vital.

However, plagiarism and copycatting gives you the shivers like you’ve walked under a ladder or crossed paths with a panther.

When Scott & I first started along came loni, plagiarism was one of our biggest concerns. We were terrified that someone would copy our artwork and designs. And you know, ultimately we were worried they’d sell more of our copied designs than us. We flip flopped for ages about putting anything out there for people to like, and to steal.

In the end, we just had to risk it, because otherwise we were never gonna get started. Three years later, we’re award winning, moving into new products and have just accepted that seeing designs out there that are verrrry close to ours are just part of the thing. It does sting when we walk into Oliver Bonas and see some much bigger brands with cards that look very familiar but it is what it is.

inspiration vs plagiarism in creative work

Did you know my background is in brand marketing? Yeah, developing stand out, solid branding is where I got started over a decade ago.

And the funny thing about branding and an aesthetic that you’ve developed over almost a decade is when you see a version of it staring back at you with someone else’s words, it smacks you in the face. You’ll just be mindlessly scrolling at 10pm on a Bank Holiday when a rip off of your branding just pops up.

Oh, hello plagiarism, have you had a nice long weekend? 

It’s can be so subtle that you might have to sense check, am I being too sensitive? Or is my gut bang on here? 

Other times it’ll be less subtle, it’ll be your work literally lifted. Once, I had a friend use a piece of my poetry for a caption on her photography instagram account. She’d taken a piece of poetry I’d written and used it for her caption, with no credit or acknowledgement. When I saw it, I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest.

I very gently messaged her to say that I was pleased that she liked my poetry but could she please credit me or change it to something else, and she replied, oh, I’d just written it down in a notebook when I saw it because the words stood out to me, so I must’ve forgotten I didn’t write them. But anyway, they’re only words, does it matter?

Er yes? Yes it matters.

I replied, if they’re only words, maybe you could write your own? But can you please credit me, or remove the caption.

She removed my words from her caption, and we haven’t spoken since.

Not because she used my poetry without asking or crediting me, but because seeing my work lifted like that felt like a punch to the throat and she never apologised. Not only was she another creative, she was supposed to be my friend. My IRL, survived-the-trenches-of-our-first-workplace-together-friend.

Some people will say there’s no such thing as originality anymore, that every artist, creator, writer, is inspired and takes a bit of everyone that inspires them, and that comes out in their work. And sure, maybe that’s true. 

Does it mean that we just recklessly steal others ideas and work without credit? Does it mean we should? Er no, there’s ways to take inspiration without stealing. We should have more integrity than that. We can be better than that.

what’s it like to work with me?

Warning: this contains some swears.

Recently, I’ve been reflecting on my little biz and the perks of working with me. I’ve come to realise there’s a few, and definitely more than I give myself credit for. 

For the first 12-18 months of running my small business, I really struggled with imposter syndrome, and it was this awful see-saw that I just couldn’t get off. You see, I knew that I was talented at writing, I knew that I had a skill that not everyone had. But I also thought I was absolutely shit and was terrified that at any point, a client would return my work back to me and say something like… you think I’m gonna pay for this? Are you joking? You know, like some kind of New York Mob Boss from a film.

I did a lot of work, and continue to do a lot of work on myself and my small business to overcome that imposter syndrome, but that inner critic, well, she’s a bit of a dick and likes to hang out in my head, especially when I’m really tired and working against a deadline. But regardless of what she says, the truth is, there’s lot of great things about working with me, and I’ve never had anything close to even neutral feedback, on the whole, my clients love my work.

so, what’s so great about working with me?

As a writer and coach-in-training, I’d like to think that I’m a pretty good listener and communicator. I love building long-term relationships, and I only work with brands that I care about to ensure that my heart is all in.

I’m really warm and empathetic, the kind of person that skips over small talk and dives into the deep stuff. Honestly, there’s something about me that encourages people to share deep secrets and rambles about the universe. I’m not sure why, I naturally encourage people to lean in, and I love that people trust me with these pieces of themselves.

Often my clients are surprised to find out that I’m busy or working on things outside of our time together. And this is because I like my clients to feel like they’re my only client. When I’m working with a client, I like them to have all of my attention, creativity and focus during our time together. There’s been occasions when I’ve contacted other service providers, from personal trainers to VAs etc, and I didn’t enjoy feeling like one of many, or just something to tick off in the week. So, I work hard to ensure that my clients never feel that way.

I’m upfront and honest, I don’t shy away from awkward topics like budget, expectations and boundaries. I think it’s important to be clear and transparent, and I expect the same from my clients.

I work a lot on chemistry and gut instinct, I want to get into your business and under its skin to really understand it. I like to hold all the different parts in my hands and inspect them from all angles, and that’s how we get the best results. My briefs dig deep so I can really create the best pieces of work for you. But that’s uncomfortable for some people. And that’s okie, but we probably won’t work well together if you’re only looking for surface level results.

I’ve got two retainer spots opening in May, wanna see if we give and could work together? Drop me a message