GCSE Stress – Tips for Exam Success

Every couple of weeks I go to a local school and talk to the students about what I do.  They get to ask me questions about my role as a coach and find out about the profession.  I love it. It is a real highlight for me.

I love finding out about how kids think, what their priorities are and what they worry about.  So far this year, I have only met year 11 students (15/16 year olds) and their biggest focus is their GCSE exams and how to prepare for them.

I tell each group that I meet the same exact thing, and it occurred to me that maybe a blog post about it might help others too.

The advice I give is pretty simple – there is no science behind it.  But sometimes, the most important messages are the simplest ones.

So here it is – my guide to managing stress as you work towards your GCSE’s. Continue reading “GCSE Stress – Tips for Exam Success”

The Power of Doing Nothing – Why being still is so good for your health

power of doing nothingI have noticed something rather disturbing about myself recently.  I have become a person who cannot just sit and be still.  No longer am I able to settle into doing nothing.

If I sit down, then I reach for a device – a phone, my iPad – whatever is nearest to me.  Then I surf, check social media, play a few games of mahjong…..and there goes an hour of my life I’ll never get back!

I tell myself that as an online coach, I have good reason to be no further than six inches from the internet at any given moment of my life.  But in all honesty, is that good for me?  Nope.

And now I notice that my 15 year old son is unable to be anywhere without his earbuds in.  Constantly streaming music or chatting to his friends on Skype, FaceTime or whatever the latest and greatest app is.

So my question is, when did we lose the ability to just be still and comfortable doing nothing?  Continue reading “The Power of Doing Nothing – Why being still is so good for your health”

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Living in your comfort zone

Imagine spending thousands of pounds to build a beautiful home, that is everything your dreamed it could be….and then not living in it.  Crazy right? Now imagine the investment of time, effort and achievement that has gone into making you the person that you are today.  Are you maximising that?  Are you relaxing in your dream home?  Or are you dwelling in the safety of your comfort zone?

It’s an interesting question, and somewhat ironically, it’s one which I was required to pose to myself, when writing this (and every) article.  Writing is not my trade.  It is not something that I would list as one of my key strengths.  Putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) always feels like a pretty big risk.  Would I be good enough, could I write something worth reading?

The Comfort Zone is defined as a behavioural space where your activities and behaviours minimise stress and risk.  This is something that we should all recognise as being pertinent to at least one area of our life.  And this is because the creation of a comfort zone is a necessary choice for much of our daily lives.

But is it healthy in all aspects of life?   Continue reading “Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone”

Top Ten Tips for Managing Stress

manage stress

Life in 2018 is frantic – so much stress!  We are all in a hurry to get somewhere, do something, be someone.  But at what cost?  How do we go about managing stress in today’s busy world?

Feeling under pressure is often a permanent state for many women.  From the business woman with the fabulous career to the stay at home Mum who has devoted her present to looking after her children.  None of us is safe from feeling stress.

But the great news is that there are things you can do that will increase your ability to cope.  Practical solutions that help you re-focus, manage your stress and help you regain control of your life, health and wellbeing.

Here are ten things you can do to kick your stress to the kerb and move on. Continue reading “Top Ten Tips for Managing Stress”

Negative Self Talk – The critical voice within and how to silence it

negative self talkSelf Talk.  We all have it.  That persistent inner voice that narrates our existence and tells us what to think and what to feel.   It can be a useful guide and motivator.  It can help us navigate a difficult path or reinforce the joy of a positive experience.  Like having your own personal cheerleader.  But what happens when that inner voice decides to turn against you?  What happens if your cheerleader decides to change team?  It’s time to learn about Negative Self Talk. Continue reading “Negative Self Talk – The critical voice within and how to silence it”

Indecision – Free yourself from procrastination and feel the joy!

indecision and procrastination I speak to a lot of people who suffer from the inability to take action.  Known as indecision or procrastination, you may recognise it as an overwhelming inability to get something done.  This is because every time you think you might do it, your mind tells you not to.

It can be subtle and you might not even realise it, but there is something holding you back from getting a decision made, doing something that needs doing etc.

I have a tendency to procrastinate but I am making an effort to be more decisive and determined – and its making a big difference to my life!  Making lists and working through them means that things get done and I feel far less burdened by “stuff”.

I was talking to a client last week and the perfect analogy occurred to me and since then, I have used it a few times on  different, indecision-suffering clients (and my husband!) and with a good response.  So I thought I would share it with you…. Continue reading “Indecision – Free yourself from procrastination and feel the joy!”

A journey beyond Chronic Pain – Using my experience to empower Others

chronic pain survivorPart one of my chronic pain journey was shared in the previous post.  If you have arrived on this one without having seen the first, it might be a good idea to take a look.

We left things at the point where I had decided to stop taking my medication.  I wanted to find out how much of what I was experiencing was down to me and how much was the effects of the medication.

The doctor agreed that this was a good idea as long as I was open to the possibility that I would have to go back on the meds if things got worse.  I wasn’t open to that but decided he didn’t need to know that until we crossed that bridge so to speak.

A managed reduction was started in December 2016 and took my very last pill on 24th February 2017.  There was no increase in pain or other symptoms.   A couple of bumpy and emotional weeks later, I was definitely feeling more like my old self.

That was the point at which I decided to look in the mirror and assess what I saw.  It wasn’t pretty…. Continue reading “A journey beyond Chronic Pain – Using my experience to empower Others”

Bite Sized Chunks – Life is like a pizza, tackle it a piece at a time!

We have all heard the phrase bite sized chunks….. as in don’t tackle the whole thing at once, break it down into manageable pieces.

Its a very flexible and accommodating phrase.  It can apply to anything from pizza to a relationship, from studying for an exam to redesigning your garden.

But have you ever considered how it could apply to your whole life?  I would guess not.

Size is Everything

Sometimes, we look at our loves and we see shortcomings – I should be more fit and healthy, my social like should be better, my life is just too….(fill in the blank).  But these statements are huge and often we put off doing anything about life because of the size of the problem we perceive exists.

So what if we were to apply the bite sized chunks principle to our lives?  Imagine your life as an extra large pizza.  Stuffing the entire pizza in your mouth at once feels akin to fixing everything that feels wrong with your life in one day doesn’t it? Continue reading “Bite Sized Chunks – Life is like a pizza, tackle it a piece at a time!”

Christmas Party Season – Should I stay or should I go?

christmas party seasonFor many of us, Christmas is a time of joy and excitement.  A warm buzz of anticipation and a sense of family or community fills us and we feel good about life.

For some people though, Christmas looms like a problem to be solved.  And not always the entire thing…just elements of it.  For example, you may love the gift giving and receiving.  You might adore the atmosphere of love and wellbeing…but loathe the more social side of the season.

Does everyone enjoy a party?

The biggest trigger for a crisis of seasonal confidence is of course the “Work Christmas Party”.  The annual get together of everyone at your place of work – perhaps with their partners.  It sounds lovely to many people and let’s be honest, it can be a huge amount of fun.  But it can also be an intimidating and uncomfortable experience for anyone with confidence issues. Continue reading “Christmas Party Season – Should I stay or should I go?”

Frozen in Time – The Problem with Indecision

indecision - frozen in timeMany of my clients suffer with indecision.  Often it has taken them months to decide that seeking the help of a coach is the right thing to do.  That’s before they settle on choosing to work with me and not one of the many others they have found.

Being unable to make a decision can literally bring a persons life to a standstill.

I am sure many of us can recall a time when we have struggled to make a decision, especially around the bigger aspects of life.  But imagine if you were unable to make even the smallest decision without being overrun with doubt and anxiety.  What would your life look like then? Continue reading “Frozen in Time – The Problem with Indecision”