I feel really lucky that one of my closest, oldest mates, Caroline is also my personal trainer.
Not only because she kicks my ass on a weekly basis, and seeing her on a Tuesday means I actually stick to working out solo throughout the week, but because in our dedicated exercise hour each week, we get to put the world to rights whilst getting sweaty.
Releasing endorphins whilst working through issues allows me to vent emotionally as well as physically and I leave feeling healthier in mind as well as body.
Take this morning which saw us discuss the fact we were basically born honest, and are direct women who know our minds and are not afraid to speak up. We are hopefully not insensitive, just true to who we are and unafraid to share that with others.
That's why I do what I do right here as a blogger and vlogger. You guys know the real me. I couldn't fake who I am even if I wanted to. It's not my style.
Honest Mum by name, Honest Mum by nature and all that.
Perhaps being a Northerner helps too, Yorkshire folk tend to call a spade a spade (although this is not, of course a dig at anyone outside of these geographical parts, just watch Emmerdale if you don't believe me.
Yorkshire peeps are known for not mincing their words. Full stop. I personally think that's an admirable quality to have.
People know where they stand with you. They trust you. I'm a creator not a faker. Not online nor in real life.
I think my Greek Cypriot heritage plays a part in that too, as with all of us, our parent's influence affects who we are and how we behave.
Talking, and inevitably sometimes shouting about our problems and working through them has been a running theme here since childhood. It's actually healthy to share.
The organisation Lifeline states that talking helps when it comes to sorting out problems: 'Communication is the key and often the first step to finding solutions. Be calm and honest about your concerns when discussing your problems with a loved one'.
Not everyone accepts those who speak up when they feel hurt or who disagree with others, standing their ground, fighting for their beliefs, but I would rather reach out to those I care about when I'm unhappy than let bad vibes fester leading to ruined relationships. I expect the same from those who value me to. Vanilla Ice got it right. If there was a problem, yo I'll solve it...
It's a balance, of course it is. It's about choosing your battles, making allowances for others (you can never know the sh** others are going through behind closed doors or even smiley social pics), and vitally, you must BE YOURSELF.
Accept who you are, commit to ongoing growth, apologise when you f*** up (you're human, it's normal to get angry and frustrated at times) and learn when to walk away and when to stick around and work at issues and relationships.
Remember you can like and even, love others who are simply not good for you and it takes a lot of strength to admit that and close that door.
Equally, nurturing those who deserve your time and energy and being honest when issues arise with others is ALWAYS the BEST way to be. Not everyone will appreciate it but honesty leads to healthier, more meaningful relationships that have the greatest chance of standing the test of time.
Stop holding your emotion in for it will eat you up. I'm teaching my kids the same. To own their feelings, to share their discomfort and to reach out when they need to.
I'd love to read your thoughts.
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