Anxiety eats away at our confidence and makes things that were once easy for us to do, really difficult. Thoughts of "I'm not good enough, smart enough, thin enough" are manifestations of stress and anxiety that many of us can associate with.
Oh no, not another blogpost about Depression, I wish it would go away. Funnily enough so do a lot of us. But it won't. It's here to stay, this 21st Century disease, or could there be signs of similar dark phantoms in the psyche of our past?
February began, for the toddler and I, with snotty cuddles and coughing competitions. 'Dry January' was an easy win for both of us (aided by pregnancy and not being tall enough to reach the wine rack), but our current glow owes more to contamination than bountiful health.
Alan Rickman died two weeks ago and I am broken, as is everyone else who knew him. I just wanted to share a few more words about him.
Reflexology has been practiced for thousands of years, dating back to Ancient Egypt and Ancient China. It is a non-invasive treatment that stimulates the nerve endings on our hands, feet and ears which trigger certain organs, tissues and glands in the body.
I married myself in 2014 and after an article in the Guardian newspaper went viral six months later, the story about my decision was featured in press around the world. I've been interviewed about the topic time and time again, for radio, TV and print. It wasn't until a recent walk in an Austrian forest though, that I felt I had much to share on the topic of self-love.
I had the first walk-in session last week at the Arts Theatre and it was a hit - if a walk-in session can be a hit. People came in in all sizes; young, old, straight, gay, all nations represented. It's pretty clear everyone wants and needs to talk, just to feel heard and understood by compassionate people who feel the same.
Compassion is key when we consider pain, bringing kindness and understanding towards ourselves when experiencing pain can make a difference. Studies show time and time again the variance in pain experience when mindfulness and compassion are introduced.
After a morning of procrastination, I spent the afternoon working in Central London with similar levels of productivity. The tube was busy when I returned home, as apparently other people had been working there too (I don't get out much).
It's that time of year when everyone heads to the gym to fulfill their resolution to 'get healthy' in 2016, and whilst maintaining your physical health is important we often forget that keeping our mind active plays a huge part in our overall well being.
He died last week and it's more heart-breaking than anything I've felt before. I feel like my insides have been gouged out and nothings left. He formed me and saved me. I know that by now I'd be either institutionalised, heavily medicated or dead. I have to thank him and can't.
With my daughter, I paused more frequently to take it all in; to imprint the memories. Appreciating those small moments seemed to lessen the grip of the trying times; a little, at least. There could be something to this mindfulness thing after all.
As travellers always seeking those little moments of appreciation, we noticed that we regularly pack a few small things, to help coax out those instances of calm. Here are just a few, that help us pause, stop and take a moment to appreciate the adventure we are on.
An enormous benefit of mindfulness is that you get a free ticket to that rare destination: the present. Okay, I hear you say, 'What's so great about being in the present moment? What if I don't want to stare at a butterfly wing or hear the single ting of a windchime? I have places to go, people to meet.'
I'm about to say something a little controversial. Ready? The very mention of the word 'mindfulness' gets my back up. Before you hop straight to the comments to tell me about how utterly ridiculous and short sighted I'm being, hear me out.
Boasting about how much we can do on how little sleep is nothing new. But along with increasing stress, tighter deadlines and extended hours, competitive sleep deprivation has now become a worrying and established feature of the 21st century workplace.