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2020 Dates for Stretch and Relax Masterclass 

January 2020

Turves Green Boys School 

BIRMINGHAM B31 4BS

10.30-11.30am


Eat.Love.Yoga 

Comberton Road KIDDERMINSTER DY10 1UA

5-6pm



Sunday 12th Jnauary

Sunday 2nd February

Sunday 1st March

Sunday 5th April

Sunday 3rd May

Sunday 7th June

Sunday 5th July

Sunday 2nd August

Sunday 13th September

Sunday 4th October

Sunday 8th November

Sunday 6th December


2020 Dates for Mindful Meditation Circle

January 2020

Eat.Love.Yoga 

Comberton Road KIDDERMINSTER DY10 1UA

7- 8.15pm


Friday 17th January 

Friday 21st February

Friday 20th March

Friday 24th April

Friday 15th May

Friday 19th June

Friday 17th July

Friday 14th August

Friday 18th September

Friday 16th October

Friday 20th November

Friday18th December


2020 Dates for Classes & Personal Training 

January 2020

Monday 6th January - Saturday 22nd February   7 weeks


Monday 24th February - Saturday 11th April   7 weeks


Monday 20th April - Saturday 6th June   7 weeks


Monday 8th June - Sunday 5th July   4 weeks


Monday 20th July - Saturday 22nd August   5 weeks


Monday 7th September - Saturday 24th October   7 weeks


Monday 2nd November - Saturday 19th December   7 weeks


HOLIDAYS FOR 2020


Sunday 12th-19th April   1 week


Monday 6th-19th July   2 weeks


Sunday 23rd July-Sunday 6th September   2 weeks


Sunday 25th October-Sunday 1st November   1 week


Sunday 20th December   2 weeks

Is This Really Happening.........??? 

March 2020

It seems to have a struck a chord with many of you, when I mentioned on Facebook this morning that I woke up feeling a bit ‘lost’ ,,,,, and tonight I’ve been reading a post that talks about exactly how I was feeling and apparently, how we’re all feeling..

" a little bit wobbly". 

It sounds like there are an awful lot of people having reactions they don’t really understand. So I thought I would post the article written by a mental health first aider/therapist; 

I could identify with so much of it, and yet here was me thinking I was on my own and being a bit ‘silly’,,,, 

so put the kettle on and have a read of this whilst it boils.....


IN CRISES, WE START DOING WEIRD STUFF: Over the last week I have struggled to sleep, stayed up late into the night reading endless news articles, bought pasta I don’t even like very much, got angry with my mum for not staying home. My spelling is a disaster and I’m definitely drinking more. I’ve been a bit teary, and all I really want to eat is cake, cake and more cake. From what I got back from my post yesterday, I’m not alone.

If you’re having a wobble, you may also have noticed all sorts of weird stuff going on. Are you arguing more, talking faster, struggling to sleep, restless, desperate for information? Or are you teary and overwhelmed, perhaps feeling a bit sick? Struggling to make decisions? Just want to stay in bed? Tummy upsets? Having palpitations, butterflies, headaches? Ranting, picking fights or getting into arguments? Laughing unexpectedly or saying random, inappropriate things? Developing Very Strong Opinions on epidemiology overnight? Or have you just completely gone to ground?

If you are feeling any of these things: good news! You are not going mad. And you are 100% not alone. You are, in fact completely normal: a fully emotionally functional human being. Congratulations! Why? I’ll explain: take a seat and put the kettle on.

WE ARE LIVING IN TURBO-ANXIOUS TIMES. Well, no kidding. We’re in the middle of an unprecedented crisis that has showed up unexpectedly (they do that) and which presents a mortal threat to ourselves, our loved ones and our way of life. It’s terrifying and it's getting worse and it makes us feel totally out of control. And this is on top of anything else we have going on.

HERE’S THE SCIENCE BIT. When we are exposed to threats and need to deal with them, our brain springs into action. Specifically a tiny, innocent-looking thing buried behind your ear called the amygdala (fun fact: it's the size and shape of an almond). It’s the bit in charge when we are frightened and right now, it’s in full tin-hat klaxon mode. Unfortunately, it’s also very ancient bit of kit. It came into being when threats basically consisted of being eaten by large scary animals like bears. You know that thing about when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail? Well, to the amygdala, everything looks like a bear. It’s also pretty basic, so it really only has two settings. They are no bear :) and BEAR!!!.

SETTING: BEAR!!!. Because all threats look like a bear to the amygdala, it preps you accordingly. There are really only two reactions to a bear about to eat you: fight it, or run away really fast. So this is what the body gets you ready to do. It’s called the Fight or Flight response (there’s also freeze, meaning you just get paralysed). It does this by flooding your body with chemicals like cortisol, and adrenaline. Your heart rate goes up, you feel super alert, your breathing goes shallow, your muscles are ready for action. These chemicals are also largely responsible for the huge range of other cognitive/physical/emotional reactions in my intro. In group fear situation like a pandemic, this tends to happen whether you think you're scared or not - anxiety is even more infectious than COVID. Your body reacts even if your conscious mind doesn't.

BEAR V VIRUS: Obviously this is all great if you really are running away from a bear. But we’re now in a situation where we’re being asked to do the EXACT OPPOSITE of running away. We are being told to sit tight. Literally stay still. Process large amounts of information, make complicated and life changing decisions, and stay calm. All while a bit of your brain is running around yelling BEAR!!! BEAR!!! BEAR!!! This isn’t easy. The result is an awful lot of stress and anxiety. And if you’re anything like me, you end up feeling really overwhelmed and having all sorts of reactions.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Anxiety isn’t just mental – it’s also physical, cognitive and behavioural. You will notice all kinds of things: stomach upsets, headaches, insomnia, changes to eating, changes to the way you talk. It’s also cognitive: it’s very difficult to think straight when you’ve got the BEAR!!! BEAR!!! BEAR!!! thing going on – so we also become very bad at making decisions, absorbing information and generally thinking rationally. Which is EXACTLY what we need to do.

SO WHAT TO DO: well, the good news is it is possible to calm down. We can turn the amygdala from BEAR!!! to NO BEAR 😊, and not just by distracting it with cake and tea. Here are some solid, scientifically proven things you can do.

BREATHE: It’s so basic, but breathing exercises are basically magic. They work in minutes and you can do them anywhere. They work because of all the physical reactions the amygdala triggers, rapid breathing is the only one over which we have conscious control. Control your breathing and you are basically telling your body: it’s OK. There is no bear. Your body will then start to dial down the adrenaline and cortisol and all the other reactions will slow to a halt. How to control your breathing? It’s easy – and if you want help just put "two minute breathe bubble" in into Youtube. The golden rules are these:

• In through the nose, out through the mouth. SLOWLY

• Make the outbreath longer than the inbreath – imagine there’s a candle in front of you and it mustn’t go out

• Breathe from the tummy not chest – really make your tummy go out when breathing in.

• Do it for two minutes - time yourself - and see how you feel

Seriously, try it – this technique is used by everyone from top athletes to the US military to help stay in control while under stress. There are all sorts of versions – from yogic breathing to box breathing to 4-7-8. Google them, mess around, figure out what works for you.

CALL A FRIEND: Don’t suffer alone. Call a mate - someone who’ll listen while you have a bit of a rant, or a cry, or a general wobble. Someone you can trust not to judge you and who’ll just sympathise. And if you get one of those calls, just be nice to them. You only need to be kind. You can’t fix what’s going on so just give them a bit of space to rant and tell them they're normal and doing great. And if you’re OK, call your friends and check in on them. Especially if they’ve gone silent.

LAUGH: it doesn’t matter what is funny – laughter is a huge releaser of endorphins. Silly memes, silly jokes, stand-up, rolling around with your kids – videos on youtube. The sillier the better. Also v good for bonding with friends, which will also help you feel less alone.

DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR HANDS: Yes you can meditate if this is your bag, it’s amazing. But if it’s not, and personally I’m rubbish, then trying to start when you’re already anxious is really hard. So do something instead with your hands, that you have to focus on to get right. Cook. Tidy. Knit. Draw. Bake. Garden. Mend things. This is what nice middle class therapists like me call Mindfulness.

TREAT YOUR BODY: We hold stress in our bodies at least as much as our minds. Take a bath or a shower. Put on things that feel good on your skin. Use nice smelling body creams. Stretch. Skip. Do yoga. Dance. Eat healthy but delicious things - fresh if you can get it. All of these will help calm you down.

SUNSHINE: It’s SPRINGTIME amid this horror – enjoy it. If you can’t go outside, open the windows and feel it on your face and breath it in. If it’s safe for you to go outside (maybe you live in the country) do it, while of course observing social distance. Go for a walk. Being outdoors, connecting to nature, is hugely calming.

AY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA/THE NEWS: All it will do will scare you more and make things worse. Turn off the telly and for gods sake avoid the psychopathic digital wild west that is Twitter. Stick to sensible sources like the BBC and the NHS, and limit yourself to short need-to-know bits a day. You’ll feel better immediately. Talk to friends instead - this is physical, not social distancing

STEP AWAY FROM TERRIBLE COPING MECHANISMS: They will all translate as BEAR!! to your poor brain. Especially don’t get drunk, especially if you’re alone (BEAR!!!), take drugs (BEAR!!!), stay up all night reading (BEAR!!!), get sucked into conspiracy theories (BEAR!!!), pay attention to ANYTHING Donald Trump says (BEAR!!!). See? Stress levels going up already. Breathe.

BE KIND: to yourself and others. Now is not the time to go on a diet. Nor is this the time to start on Proust or makeover your life. You'll probably struggle to concentrate, fail and make yourself feel worse (hat tip Laura Gordon for this bit). Don’t make this more stressful than it already is. Think comfort books, comfort telly, comfort everything. Personally I re-read children's books. Everyone is wobbly, everyone is going to have a meltdown at some point. Understand that if someone is angry or aggressive, then they are also just scared. And eat more cake. Cake makes everything better.


So, there we go. Hopefully a bit less BEAR!!.

Right, that kettle should have boiled by now! 

Go make a nice cup of tea, sit by a window and drink it in this lovely morning sunshine. We are British after all (and go on, have some cake!!!!)

Keep well

Stay safe

And be kind to yourself

With love, light and blessings

Sharon x

Meditate...?  But How...? 

April 2020

People all around the world have practiced meditation for centuries. Today meditation is quickly becoming one of the most popular pastimes of the modern world inhabitants. Modern lifestyles can often lead us to feel stressed and unable to get the required sleep, especially with the current Covid-19 situation that we all face. 

Meditation is one of the most effective ways to find inner peace, relax, and cope with our stresses.....


Managing Stress:

Eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise can take care of the physical need, but allowing your mind some space to relax is often over looked. You will often here people say that they feel more relaxed after a holiday - that is because they have had time to switch off from their daily routines and think about other things - they have given their brain a rest.

Meditation is a way of giving your brain a mini break that can be taken daily.

A More Productive You:

One great benefit of meditation is that it helps you vastly improve your concentration levels, which in turn will help make you far more productive. Clearing your mind of distractions and focusing on the act of mediating itself, clears your mind and leaves you able to focus on what’s right in front of you.

Meditation teaches us to not fret over the small stuff, and helps us to really put things into perspective, leaving us positive, happy, tranquil, and peaceful within our self.

So why not try one of the most popular pastimes of the modern world and find your inner peace.


How do you learn to meditate?

In mindfulness meditation, we’re learning how to pay attention to the breath as it goes in and out, and notice when the mind wanders from this task. This practice of returning to the breath builds the muscles of attention and mindfulness.

When we pay attention to our breath, we are learning how to return to, and remain in, the present moment

-to anchor ourselves in the here and now on purpose

-without judgement.

The idea behind mindfulness seems simple although the practice takes patience. While meditation isn’t a cure-all, it can certainly provide some much-needed space in your life. Sometimes, that’s all we need to make better choices for ourselves, our families, and our communities. And the most important tools you can bring with you to your meditation practice are a little patience, some kindness for yourself, and a comfortable place to sit.


A Basic Meditation for Beginners:

The first thing to clarify: What we’re doing here is aiming for mindfulness, not some process that magically wipes your mind clear of the countless and endless thoughts that erupt and ping constantly in our brains. We’re just practicing bringing our attention to our breath, and then back to the breath when we notice our attention has wandered.

So:

1. Get comfortable and prepare to sit still for a few minutes. After you stop reading this, you’re going to simply focus on your own natural inhaling and exhaling of breath.

2. Focus on your breath. Where do you feel your breath most? In your belly? In your nose? Try to keep your attention on your inhale and exhale.

3. Follow your breath for two minutes. Take a deep inhale, expanding your belly, and then exhale slowly, elongating the out-breath as your belly contracts.

4. Welcome back!!


What happened?

How long was it before your mind wandered away from your breath?

Did you notice how busy your mind was even without consciously directing it to think about anything in particular?

Did you notice yourself getting caught up in thoughts before you came back to reading this?

We often have little narratives running in our minds that we didn’t choose to put there, like:

“Why DOES my boss want to meet with me tomorrow?”

“I should have gone to the gym

yesterday.”

“I’ve got to pay some bills”

or the classic,,,

“I don’t have time to sit still, I’ve got too much stuff to do.”

If you experienced these sorts of distractions (and we all do),

you’ve made an important discovery: simply put, that’s the opposite of mindfulness. I

t’s when we live in our heads, on automatic pilot, letting our thoughts go here and there, exploring, say, the future or the past, and essentially, not being present in the moment. But that’s where most of us live most of the time—and pretty uncomfortably, if we’re being honest, right? 

But it doesn’t have to be that way.


We “practice” mindfulness so we can learn how to recognise when our minds are doing their normal everyday acrobatics, and maybe take a pause from that for just a little while so we can choose what we’d like to focus on. In a nutshell, meditation helps us have a much healthier relationship with ourselves (and, by extension, with others).


Why Learn To Meditate?

When we meditate, we inject far-reaching and long-lasting benefits into our lives. And bonus: you don’t need any extra gear or an expensive membership.

Here are five reasons to meditate:

1: Understand your pain

2: Lower your stress

3: Connect better

4: Improve focus

5: Reduce brain chatter


How to Meditate:

Meditation is simpler (and harder) than most people think. 

Read these steps, make sure you’re somewhere where you can relax into this process, set a timer, and give it a shot:


1) Take a seat

Find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you.

2) Set a time limit

If you’re just beginning, it can help to choose a short time, such as 3 or 5 minutes.

3) Notice your body

You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, you can sit loosely cross-legged, or you could lie down—all are fine. Just make sure you are stable and in a position you can stay in for a while.

4) Feel your breath

Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and as it goes out.  You could say to yourself,

"Breathe in, I know I'm breathing in; Breathe out, I know I'm breathing out".

5) Notice when your mind has wandered

Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places. When you get around to noticing that your mind has wandered—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—simply return your attention to the breath.

6) Be kind to your wandering mind

Don’t judge yourself or obsess over the content of the thoughts you find yourself lost in. Just come back to your breathe.

7) Close with kindness 

When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze (if your eyes are closed, open them). Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions.


That’s it! That’s the practice! 

You go away, you come back, and you try to do it as kindly as possible.....


Namaste xxx

Under Pressure: How To Handle Relationship Stress During Lockdown

May 2020

This is a difficult and challenging time for many of us and one of the challenges that we face is being forced to distance ourselves from those we care for.

Mothers cannot see their sons, fathers cannot see their daughters, grandparents cannot see their grandchildren, people in relationships cannot see each other. We are in a state of isolation which is having an impact on us, mentally and physically.


Distance & Proximity

Being apart from those we love is not easy. Humans are essentially ‘pack animals’ – we need one another in order to feel, learn and understand ourselves and others better. Confinement and isolation brings anxiety and sadness, not to mention worry for our loved ones as we all strive to protect ourselves during these troubled times.

At the same time, it works the opposite way. Some people have found themselves thrown together; couples may be confined to a small space, unable to leave one another’s company. This can bring irritability, stress, and arguments; people need their space just as much as they need each other. On an extremely worrying note, cases of domestic abuse have risen since the pandemic began.

Our elderly, some of whom rely on the visit from their grandkids every week or their weekly chat in the local café with friends, have suddenly found these joyous occasions stripped from them.


Social Distancing

The tragedy this virus is inflicting on the world hits us in more ways than one; but while the virus tries to cause harm, we must do everything we can to help heal both ourselves and others.

Social distancing and following government guidelines are essential. The more of us who comply with the rules, the greater chance we stand of beating this virus. Staying indoors all day or shuffling warily at a two-meter distance from others in the local supermarket may not be easy, but it is through working together as a community and as a collective that we will be able to get back to our normal lives.


Relationships in Isolation: How To Handle It

Like many others, I have not seen my family or friends for weeks and I admit, I too have experienced bouts of loneliness. It becomes especially difficult as we draw into summer and the sun comes out.

But there are ways we can combat many of the negative impacts the virus is having on us. We cannot stop the global situation, but we can make the best of the situation we are in.

So what are some ways we can handle relationship strain during isolation?


Online Communication

If you’re missing your family, friends, or partner, take advantage of the internet – it is one of our saving graces right now! Thanks to the advance of technology, we can video-chat with each other, play online games with one another, have written conversations with one another......Zoom is my best friend!!!

It may not be the same as holding each other or laughing face to face. But this communication is important – seeing a loved one’s face on the camera provides us reassurance and a sense of comfort. The mind has a tendency to trick itself when it’s left to its own devices. The inclination for thinking up worst-case scenarios and sinking into negative thinking is common. Having regular video-chats or online conversations with those you care for helps tackle the loneliness and lets you see the faces of your loved ones.


Agree on Space

If you are in the opposite situation to the above and you are confined with those in your relationships, then some kind of plan needs to be agreed upon so that people don’t end up snapping and snarling at each other. Avoiding cabin fever is essential.

So speak to your loved one (or your teenage son/daughter!!) and map out a plan which gives both of you the space you need. You could agree that one person stays in the living room for a couple of hours at a specific time while the other takes the bedroom. You could agree certain times you’ll both use the kitchen/ home gym/lounge.....show some kindness and understanding of each others needs.


It might be awkward…

Such a conversation may be a little awkward at first, but it can do a world of good. A friend of mine has been confined with her housemate the last few weeks and has become increasingly irritated by his presence as he would turn up in the kitchen for a chat every time she would make a meal or try out one of her new recipes, or follow her around while gardening. However, she had been reluctant to point this out to him so as not to potentially offend him. I suggested she has a sit-down with him and explain to him politely and firmly that she needs her space. She did and the situation is much better – it turns out he didn’t even realise he was irritating her!

Much of the time, others can’t pick up on what we’re feeling and will only understand how we feel if we actually communicate with them directly. It is better to be upfront and honest, rather than silently stew in a myriad of stress and anger, which may end up exploding at some point.


Help Your Community

Being apart from others can generate anxiety, loneliness, and sadness. One way that we can alleviate these feelings is to help others in our community who are also struggling. Vulnerable people, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, are unable to leave their homes and collect essentials such as food and medication.

Joining a neighbourhood incentive that helps them in this area can make the world of difference, both to how we feel and, of course, to those in need. Helping others helps us because it makes us feel good to know that we are assisting those in need. We are not only offering assistance but helping to save lives.

You can volunteer from home…

In the UK, there are now over 750,000 of us across the country who have volunteered with GoodSam, which is working in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service. This app alerts a volunteer to a vulnerable person in the local area who requires assistance, such as shopping, medication or even a friendly phone call to check they are OK. It is certainly worth checking out nationwide incentives in our country of residence to see where we may be able to offer our assistance. This further brings a stronger sense of community and boosts our spirits.


Make Future Plans

If you are missing your loved ones, make a list of all the things you want to do with them once this pandemic is over. Maybe a weekend trip away somewhere or planning a day out that you’ve been meaning to do for ages, but never had the time?

One positive thing the pandemic has done is give us time to reflect, especially on the things we may be missing out on because our lives are so busy and hectic. A list of plans for fun and meaningful things to do when it is over gives us something to look forward to and creates optimism in our lives.


Relaxation Methods

If you are struggling with the stress of being confined with others or the stress of being confined alone, then relaxation methods are essential to helping you stay balanced and positive.

Meditation, which can last from as little as 5-10 minutes, can make a world of difference to how you feel. Meditation can bring you huge benefits on many levels. Have a look at my early blog titled Meditate..? But How...?

Likewise, if you are able to get out among nature in a way that is safe for you and others, grounding yourself barefoot in the earth is known to bring balance and relaxation to you.


Self-care helps in our relationships…

And never underestimate the power of a hot bath with essential oils mixed with a carrier oil.

Metaphysical help can come in the form of relaxation crystals, such as celestite and angelite, and meditating with these can help ground and soothe you. Furthermore, it can be helpful to pay attention to the astrological transits each day as this can have an effect on our moods and influence our thoughts. The moon has very strong powers and effects on most of us, whether we can to acknowledge it or not...!!!!!

.

Reach Out For Help

Don’t suffer alone. Remember, we are all in this together and help is there one way or another, whether it’s through someone you know or an organisation or charity that exists to help you with your situation. If things become particularly troubling, let someone help you. There is no shame whatsoever in admitting you need help. We all do at some stage of the game...my telephone number is at the bottom of this page..USE IT!!!


We don’t know how much longer the isolation period will remain. Our struggles may differ from individual case to individual case, but during these troubling times, the best thing we can do is help each other and help ourselves.

If you are alone at this time, just remember you are not truly alone – your loved ones are still there, your relationships still exist. If you are confined with another, keep reminding yourself of how dear that person is to you and how precious they are. It can be easy when spending so much time in another’s company to take them for granted or forget why we love this person so much in the first place – reminding ourselves of the love we feel for them helps to tackle the irritation that creeps up on us.


Whatever stress, sadness, or anxiety you struggle with right now, remember that we are in this together and we will get through this – together.


Stay Well xx

WATER : We know we should, but why should we...???

August 2020

We're constantly being told to 'drink more water'... but why should we?

What are the actual benefits to drinking more water..??

Well, lets take a look.....


We can get fluid from things other than water, although plain drinking water is recommended as one of the best ways to hydrate because it has zero calories and provides only benefits to the body with no drawbacks.

You may have heard that your urine colour can tell you if you’re getting enough water. Although a number of things can affect the colour of your urine, including vitamins you may be taking or the types of foods you’re eating, in general, the lighter your urine colour, the more hydrated you are. A dark, deep yellow colour may suggest dehydration. Urine should be a very pale yellow if you’re properly hydrated.

Most health experts also suggest that you listen to your thirst as you’re body will naturally tell you when you need water. Our busy lifestyles, however, can cause us to miss these signals. Older adults, too, are less likely to notice that they’re thirsty.


What Does Dehydration Do to You?

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in, and it no longer has what it needs to carry out its normal, daily functions. Without replacement water, symptoms develop. How severe those symptoms depend on how low you are on your fluids but, in general, symptoms of dehydration include:

* Dry mouth

* Muscle weakness

* Headaches

* Dizziness

* Fatigue or lethargy

* Dry eyes or blurred vision, particularly when exercising

* Muscle cramps

* Nausea

Severe dehydration, which is defined as a loss of 10 to 15 percent of the body’s water, may include more serious symptoms like:

* Sunken eyes

* Low blood pressure

* Fever

* Increased heart rate

* Shriveled, dry skin

* Delirium

* Inability to sweat

* Unconsciousness

Most people will never experience this dangerous form of dehydration because it’s most likely when individuals are suffering from other major illnesses, from long-term diarrhea or vomiting or from exercising vigorously in the hot weather. Mild dehydration, however, is a much more common condition.


What Happens When You’re Slightly Dehydrated?

Studies have found that even mild dehydration can cause emotional and physical problems in people but, unfortunately, we’re often unaware of it. Studies have shown, that mild dehydration could alter a person’s mood, energy level and ability to think clearly.

Researchers also discovered that thirst isn’t always a reliable indicator of when we need water. Our thirst sensation doesn’t really appear until we are one or two percent dehydrated, by then, dehydration is already setting in and starting to impact how our mind and body perform.

In a test involving young women, scientists found that mild dehydration caused headaches, fatigue, mood changes and difficulty concentrating and also made tasks feel more difficult. In a test involving young men, it caused some difficulty with mental tasks, especially those requiring lots of focus and working memory. Men also experienced fatigue, tension, and anxiety.

If you’re trying to concentrate on a project, you have to be sure you’re staying hydrated, even just 1 to 2 percent dehydration could impair cognitive performance, resulting in poor concentration, increased reaction time, short-term memory problems, moodiness and anxiety.


10 Tips for Staying Hydrated

Whether you’re a busy mom, business executive or serious athlete, there are times when you may find staying hydrated challenging.

Here are 10 tips to help:

1. Drink plain water instead of other fluids many other drinks have a de-hydrating effect on the body. So always turn to water when you’re thirsty.

2. Always keep a water bottle with you: Carry a stainless-steel or other type of reusable bottle with you and keep refilling it throughout the day.

3. If you’re hungry, drink: Sometimes, when you feel hungry, you’re actually thirsty. The body knows it can get fluids from food too, so your signals can get crossed. Try drinking first to see if the urge goes away.

4. Keep a water chart: If you have a hard time remembering to drink throughout the day, keep a chart nearby and make a mark each time you finish a glass of water, shooting for at least eight glasses a day or 2 litres.

5. Drink before each meal: Studies show that when you drink a full glass of water before a meal, you’ll likely consume fewer calories.

6. Always drink after exercise: If you’re a serious athlete, make sure you always have water nearby or with you so you can stay hydrated.

7. Eat more water-filled foods: Certain foods can help keep you hydrated and help you lose weight since they make you feel full with minimal calories. Eat more melons, soups, salads, berries, peaches, citrus fruits, cucumbers, celery, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, grapefruit, cabbage, cottage cheese, radishes, spinach, broccoli, carrots, apples, pears, pineapple, yogurt, grapes, and kiwi.

8. Drink before going outside: in all temperatures, the body evaporates fluids to keep our bodies cool in hot weather or when exercising and to generate more energy to keep us warm in cold weather.

9. Always measure out 2 litres of water every morning and attempt to drink it all by early evening. By measuring it out saves you the task of having to remember just how much you have, or haven't drunk that day!

10. Set a timer: Use your phone to set a timer to go off every hour. When it does, drink out of your pre-measured allowance.


Now we see why it is so very important to 'up' our water intake!!!!!

So, whats stopping you? 

Go on,, Get filling those water bottles!!!


Keep well

Stay safe

And be kind to yourself

With love, light and blessings

Sharon x

The Real Christmas and The Fake Christmas

December 2020

I’ve been thinking about Christmas, mental health and mindfulness. It struck me that this season is a time when even people who don’t usually struggle with stress, anxiety or depression could be more at risk of that negative spiral of difficult thoughts and moods; especially given the current challenges that we are all having to negotiate.

Apart from anything else, it’s easy for self-care and mindfulness to get lost in the chaos of Christmas. Many of us have family to navigate and to-do lists that fill every spare minute. Late nights and indulging in rich food and more alcohol than usual can also affect our moods. Then there’s the additional pressure to make the festivities extra special, to match how we are told Christmas ‘should’ be.

Finding that mental space and consciously managing our wellbeing is extra important at this time of year. These tips are based in the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy approach. I find it helpful to keep them in mind at Christmas...........(especially this one!!!!)


Catch yourself making comparisons

The media spends November and December telling us how our Christmas ‘should’ look. For well over a month, we are bombarded with images and ideas about what the perfect day should be. No one is lonely, no families fight and everyone is cosily wrapped up in warm woollen knits. The most untoward thing that might happen is a teenager won’t wear his Christmas hat, or a mother gets slightly flustered over the turkey. Never mind though, everything is almost instantly resolved with a hug and a rueful look.

‘…remember that we are being forced to measure our experiences against something fake’

And we all respond by sharing our own creations on social media. This picture of me in a woolly scarf drinking a mulled wine matches how things ‘should’ be at Christmas. Look, my experiences matches!

So when watching adverts or scanning social media makes you feel jealous or inadequate, remember that we are being forced to measure our experiences against something fake – and when they fall short, we can easily make ourselves feel worse by allowing that negative spiral of thoughts and judgements to get in.

Reject perfection

A sure-fire path to a stressful Christmas is to build a picture of perfection in your mind, a list of ‘shoulds’ that you struggle to live up to. Instead of trying to create perfection and beating yourself up when you fail, take a ‘good enough’ approach. Lower your standards and embrace imperfection. Focus on the good rather than worrying about the not quite right.

Think flexibly

‘…be gentle, think flexibly’

Thinking rigidly means you are less able to cope when something goes wrong. Be prepared for things to turn out differently to how you pictured them to be. Different doesn’t mean worse. Be open to change.

Create a mantra

A mantra is just something to come back to, something to ground yourself when you’re feeling stressed and emotions are running high. It could be “I’m not going to let myself get sucked into this comparison game again, I’m comparing my experience to something that doesn’t exist” or “be gentle, think flexibly” or “embrace imperfection”. Whatever works for you. The point is to step outside your current situation for a moment and remind yourself of the bigger picture.

Use the noise

Christmas is notoriously noisy – but you can turn this to your advantage. Practice using any loud noise as a remind yourself to check in with how you are feeling in yourself right now and to take a few long deep breaths.

Start again and again

Mindfulness is sometimes described as the practice of starting again and again. During mindful meditation we regularly notice our thoughts have wandered and, each time, we gently bring our minds back to the awareness of the body.

‘…take some time for yourself’

If something goes wrong or everything blows up, it’s easy to think we’ve failed and to give up. But there are always going to be trickier times. That’s life. It doesn’t mean we can’t start looking after ourselves again, from this moment.

Be gentle and don’t judge yourself

Perhaps most importantly – don’t judge yourself if you do find yourself making comparisons, getting stressed or forgetting to take some time for yourself. Even just recognising the importance of caring for your mental health at Christmas is a step in the right direction.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, REACH OUT AND TALK, SHARE WHEN THINGS START FEELING HEAVY AND DARK,, YOU DON'T NEED TO DO THIS ON YOUR OWN,,,, 

Keep well

Stay safe

And be kind to yourself

With love, light and Christmas Blessings to you all

Sharon x

Chakra Healing - 7 Day Healing Programme

January 2021

HAPPY FRESH NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL 

AND A BIG WELCOME TO 2021 AND ALL IT BRINGS INTO OUR LIVES

Whilst we still find ourselves in the crazy, unfathomable times, let's not loose sight of our own dreams and desires... keeping our mental health care in the fore front of our thoughts is so vitally important. 

This pandemic has certainly given a lot of us the opportunity to explore our own well-beings and ways that we can promote our "SELF".


Keeping your chakras balanced and flowing is essential for promoting peace and harmony within both the body and the mind.

But I understand that taking on chakra work can feel overwhelming for those who haven’t dipped their toes into the magical pool of healing energy before; namely the Chakras. 


So, over the next 7 days, I will be sharing with you a Chakra Healing Programme to help you get into the practise of chakra work.

This 7-day programme is also great for anyone who may have got overwhelmed by the holidays and forgotten to give their chakras a little love!  This programme has been created to add a bit of fun and simplicity into you feeling more positive and upbeat with minimal effort.

You’ll be able to get your chakras aligned in one week without breaking a sweat!

So, if you feel like your energy could use a little sprucing up, keep reading to learn how to easily balance your chakras, one day at a time.



Day 1: The Root Chakra

So let's start with the first chakra, the Root chakra. 

This is the chakra linked with security and stability, and when it’s balanced, you feel like your life is on track, and everything will be okay.

To balance this chakra, let’s create a fun exercise.

* Envision the colour red: This chakra is associated with all shades of red, so when you want to balance it, try surrounding yourself with this hue. 

You could simply close your eyes and imagine a glowing orb of red light surrounding your body, or try wearing your favourite red sweater or scarf,  or piece of jewellery to help you focus on this colour.

* Dance: Dancing helps your feet literally connect to the earth, helping you feel more grounded and secure. Once you’ve got the colour red in your mind, try putting your favourite song on and having a dance around the kitchen today!! (you may feel a bit self conscious to start with, but stick with it, dancing can be SO liberating!!)

* Practice yoga: Certain positions correlate with each chakra in the body. To cleanse the Root chakra, try sinking into warrior II, forward fold, or garland poise. (you can Google these poises, and you don't need to be a yogi expert to do them!!) 

* Work with crystals: Some crystals connect to each chakra. Try working with red carnelian, red jasper, and bloodstone. You can carry one of these stones in your left pocket to help the energy radiate near your Root chakra all day long. I love the power of crystals, although I'm no expert , I'm learning all the time. and benefitting from my lessons)


Together, these techniques may not even take up an hour of your day. Try setting your alarm a bit earlier than normal and creating your own morning routine using these tips and tricks!


Back tomorrow with Day 2:  The Sacral Chakra...


Keep well

Stay safe

And be kind to yourself

With love, light & blessings

Sharon x

Chakra Healing - 7 Day Healing Programme

January 2021

Day 2: The Sacral Chakra

The second chakra of the body is the Sacral Chakra, linked to emotions, creativity, passion, and sensuality. When this chakra is balanced, your creative ideas flow freely, and you feel more expressive than ever.

Let’s take a look at a few things you can do throughout today to get this chakra back on track.

* Focus on orange: The Sacral Chakra is connected to the colour orange, which is also a colour that inspires happiness and inspiration. Try starting your day by painting, drawing, or colouring a picture using different shades of orange. This will not only help you open this chakra, but it will also help your creativity flow even more.

* Surround yourself with healing crystals: While you’re expressing yourself creatively, try placing the crystals all around your body that connect to this chakra. Orange calcite, citrine, and sunstone are some of the best crystals to work with when healing this chakra. Place them evenly around your sacred space to absorb their healing energy.

* Use the Sacral Chakra chant: close your eyes, and repeat this chant to allow the healing vibration to penetrate the Sacral chakra.

* Finish your routine with a healthy breakfast: There are quite a few foods that connect to the Sacral chakra, and starting your day with a specialised breakfast will help to heal the chakra while also providing your body with energy: nuts, seeds, carrots, sweet potatoes, oranges, pumpkin, and butternut squash are foods that help heal this chakra.

* Starting your day with a routine similar to this will help you feel more energised and balanced, and the best part is that you can do whatever naturally, or intuitively feels right! You can use the ideas above to create your own routine, or one that speaks to your Spirit. Once you’ve spent some time working with orange and being creative, try winding down with the chant associated with this chakra, which is “vam.” 


Back tomorrow with Day 3:  The Solar Plexus Chakra...


Keep well

Stay safe

And be kind to yourself

With love, light & blessings

Sharon x

Chakra Healing - 7 Day Healing Programme

January 2021

Day 3: The Solar Plexus Chakra

Today, we will focus on the Solar Plexus, the chakra associated with willpower, self-esteem, and self-love; your emotional powerhouse!

When your Solar Plexus is functioning properly, you believe in yourself and your capabilities.

Here are a few things you can practice on today to help this chakra flow.

* Spend time in the sunlight: The Solar Plexus is connected to the color yellow, and one of the easiest ways to soak in golden hues is to spend time in the sun, (if you can find any right now!!). Set your alarm earlier than usual in the morning, make yourself a cup of tea, and go outside to sit in the sunlight for at least 10 minutes. This will also help you soak in vitamin D and feel more refreshed.

* Practice aromatherapy: Certain essential oils and types of incense are connected to the Solar Plexus. When you return from your time in the sunlight, try burning sandalwood incense or placing a drop or two of cinnamon essential oil in your diffuser. These scents will connect to the Solar Plexus and help it find balance.

* Focus on positive affirmations: Because this chakra is associated with personal power, this is an excellent day to remind yourself that you are strong, brilliant, and beautiful. Try repeating positive affirmations throughout the day to lift your spirits and help you feel more confident.

* Create a healing elixir: Crystals like yellow calcite, tiger’s eye, amber, and golden quartz are perfect when balancing the Solar Plexus. Try placing one of these crystals in a glass of purified water for 30 minutes to create a healing elixir that will cleanse the Solar Plexus. Just remember to remove the stone before you begin drinking!


Back tomorrow with Day 4:  The Heart Chakra...


Keep well

Stay safe

And be kind to yourself

With love, light & blessings

Sharon x

Chakra Healing - 7 Day Healing Programme

January 2021

Day 4: The Heart Chakra

The Heart chakra is linked to our emotions, our willingness to be vulnerable and intimate with others, and our centre of love. When this chakra is blocked, it’s hard to connect to the people we care for.

Try the following routine to balance the Heart chakra today.

* Practice a healing meditation: Get comfortable and imagine you’re standing at the edge of a giant body of water, whether a river, a lake, or the ocean. Now imagine any pain in your heart flowing out of you and into the healing waters, which absorb your pain. 

Breathe deeply and let the healing energy wash over you.

* Spend time in nature: Once you’ve practiced your healing meditation, try heading to the great outdoors to soak in the energy of Mother Nature, as well as the colour green. Green is the colour linked to the Heart Chakra, and being in a park or near a field of grass is one of the easiest ways to let this colour sink into your spirit. Try walking through the park this morning to heal the Heart Chakra.

* Wear a piece of malachite or rose quartz jewellery: Malachite and rose quartz are incredibly healing stones that connect to this chakra and wearing a piece of jewellery featuring these crystals will ensure that you’re balancing this chakra all day long. You can also simply place a piece of malachite or rose quartz in your left pocket throughout the day.

* Recite mantras that fill your spirit with love: Creating your own loving mantras to repeat today will help you shift your energy and your focus towards love, balancing the Heart Chakra. 

Try repeating phrases like, “I am love. I am loved, I am loving.” 

Or, try creating your own mantras!

Following these techniques will help you feel more connected to those around you than ever before. You’ll also amplify your own self-love and confidence.


Back tomorrow with Day 5:  The Throat Chakra...


Keep well

Stay safe

And be kind to yourself

With love, light & blessings

Sharon x

Chakra Healing - 7 Day Healing Programme

January 2021

Day 5: The Throat Chakra

Today, we will focus on the Throat Chakra, the chakra connected to s

elf-expression, communication, and hidden messages. When this chakra is balanced, it’s much easier for you to share your thoughts and ideas with others.

Follow this routine today to help you feel more open and honest.

* Sing a tune or two: Music and singing have healing powers on their own, but singing is particularly connected to the Throat Chakra. Try starting the day by putting on a few of your favourite songs – maybe even in the shower – and singing out loud! Singing will open your Throat Chakra and help you feel more upbeat today.

* Drink a nice cup of tea in the morning: Some of the same activities you’d participate in to heal a sore throat also heal the Throat Chakra. Try making yourself a cup of tea with herbs like chamomile, peppermint, or ginger to help this chakra feel warmer and more comforted.

* Practice neck stretches: Opening up the muscles surrounding your Throat Chakra will also help this chakra open up itself. Try stretching your neck in circular motions to help these muscles relaxed, making it easier for you to speak your mind.

* Make time for journaling: Sometimes expressing your feelings on paper is easier than speaking them out loud, and getting them out will take some of the stress off your shoulders when you choose to share your emotions with others. Try to find time to open your journal and let your thoughts and ideas flow today.

After practicing these activities, your Throat chakra should be flowing properly, allowing you to communicate with ease!


Back tomorrow with Day 6:  The Third Eye Chakra...


Keep well

Stay safe

And be kind to yourself

With love, light & blessings

Sharon x

Chakra Healing - 7 Day Healing Programme

January 2021

Day 6: The Third Eye Chakra

It’s time now to focus on the Third Eye Chakra, the chakra that links to intuition, perception, and consciousness. When the Third Eye is balanced and open, you can hear messages flowing towards you from the universe, making it easier for you to trust your instincts.

* Meditate with labradorite: Labradorite is known both as the Stone of Magic and the Stone of Transformation. It’s one of the most powerful crystals to work with when attempting to enhance your intuition. Try placing a piece of labradorite in your left hand, closing your eyes, and imagining a wave of intuitive light washing over your spirit.

* Make yourself a healing Smoothie: The Third Eye is associated with the colour indigo, and certain fruits and berries perfectly align with the energy of this chakra. Try making yourself a smoothie with blueberries, red black grapes or blackberries to help heal both your body and your Third Eye.

* Light a healing candle: Essential oils like rosemary and frankincense are closely connected to the visionary Third Eye Chakra. Try lighting a frankincense or rosemary candle and focusing your vision on the flame. You can even practice moving the flame with your energy to connect more deeply to your intuitive centre!

* Listen to your body: One of the easiest ways to deepen your connection to your intuition and your Third Eye is by listening to the calls of your body. Is your body asking for excitement and action or rest and relaxation? You will have to trust your instincts to finish your chakra healing routine today.

This is the perfect day to trust your body and mind. Close your eyes and ask yourself, ask the deepest part of your centre, what you need today; this is a great opportunity to practise your meditating aswell!!


Back tomorrow for the final Day 7:  The Crown Chakra...



Keep well

Stay safe

And be kind to yourself

With love, light & blessings

Sharon x

Chakra Healing - 7 Day Healing Programme

January 2021

Day 7: The Crown Chakra

Finally, today is the day to focus on the Crown Chakra, our Spiritual Centre, and the chakra that creates a bridge between yourself and the realm beyond, or the Universe. 

Healing the Crown Chakra helps you feel more connected to the energy of the Universe and the collective unconscious.

* Declutter your home: Today, the 7th day, which was historically the 'day of rest'.. is already a great day for a weekly cleaning. I'm sure you’ve heard the quote, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”  Well, tidying your surroundings will help you feel less distracted by the material world and more connected to the Spiritual realm. So, start the day by spending a few hours organising and beautifying your home to nurture your Crown Chakra.

* Learn about new Spiritual ideals: Our lives are so busy that it might be hard to find time to learn about new Spiritual practices and ideals, so make time today to do your own research. Sometimes simply focusing on the Spiritual aspects of life helps to bring us closer to the Celestial Energy surrounding us.

* Practice energy work: Any type of energy work can help you clear and balance the Crown Chakra. Try Reiki Healing, Yoga, Acupuncture, or the Emotional Freedom Technique to clear your Spirit of any toxic or negative energy today.

* Take a bubble bath: Sometimes, what your body and mind need most at the end of a long week is a healing soak to clear your energy. Try running yourself a bubble bath today, complete with a lavender bath bomb, your favourite music, and maybe even a tipple of your favourite drink!

 Letting go of the stresses of the week will help you sink into your Spiritual Centre, allowing the Crown Chakra to open and blossom.

By the time you’re finished with your cleansing soak, you should feel more refreshed and connected to the Universe than ever.


Heal Your Chakras in 7 Days:

While the task of chakra cleansing can seem a bit daunting; even intimidating; especially  if you’re trying to take care of all seven chakras in one day, it can seem much easier to tackle when you break your chakra work up into smaller parts; ie: 1 chakra per day.  You may even find that you enjoy these routines so much that you choose to practice them each and every week!

Taking care of your chakras is very important for maintaining mental, emotional, and spiritual balance; especially as the World faces new and demanding challenges every day....

Plus, you deserve to take the time and space for these healing techniques and to honour your own well being with some love, respect and nuture.

I hope you have enjoyed this 7 Day Chakra Healing Programme and please do contact me if you wish any further help or guidance.


Keep well​

Stay safe

And be kind to yourself

With love, light & blessings

Sharon x