Calling all busy people – stop, celebrate and build resilience

As we near the end of the financial year, it is customary to plan to celebrate the last financial year with colleagues, and for good reason. Celebrations enable you to take stock, acknowledge your contribution and it provides you with hope for the future. It shows appreciation and provides an opportunity for connection. If you thrive on busyness and struggle to stop to celebrate your own wins or your team’s wins, you’re missing out on a key resilience building activity.


Resilience is necessary for success. Resilience is your ability to recover in the face of failure and keep going and celebrations of progress are important contributors to the building blocks of resilience.


How celebrations contribute to resilience


1. Celebrations signal a completion. Completions provide you with an opportunity to close off an experience. It provides you with the opportunity to own your part in it and it provides closure. Without it, it makes harnessing forward...

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Is workplace clutter meddling with your sleep?

I remember the days when the office health and safety officer would walk the office floor and let people know if their clutter, usually papers, were considered a trip hazard or worse. As part of the conversation, they would also be given a timeframe by when it needed to tidied up, either by shredding it, putting it away or storing it offsite.


Not everyone welcomed the feedback. Some quickly admitted to clutter blindness and agreed to sort it out quickly. Others took it as an affront and dragged their heels. Some even needed someone else to do it for them! Shocking you might say, however it’s not surprising given the research.


If you’ve been working from home for a prolonged period, you may have ignored the need to declutter until you return to work. Or perhaps you have gone back to the office and not decluttered what you left behind, before you started working from your office. If this sounds like you then you may want to reconsider your lack of...

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Is your toxic relationship affecting your sleep?

The focus on sleep continues to grow. Whether you see it reported in the press, on TV or in a social media post, the message is clear – sleep is extremely important. Sleep is a dynamic activity that we need, to sustain our daily functioning and our physical and mental health. The quality of your sleep affects how you feel about yourself, how you make choices, and how you interact with others.


It can be influenced by your biology, how you take care of yourself and your relationships with others. With so many pieces to the sleep puzzle, keeping your sleep healthy is not always easy. And that’s without being in a toxic relationship where you are undermined and constantly feeling the need to defend yourself.   


What is a toxic relationship?

A toxic relationship occurs when one or both people are prioritizing love over the three core components of a healthy relationship: respect, trust, and affection.


“If it is destroying you, it is...

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Emotional crying can be a response to overwhelm

You might remember back when you were a child to how your mother or carer always told you to stop crying. You’ve probably heard a parent at some time in your life tell you, “Stop that crying, it doesn’t do any good” or “Stop crying or else I’ll give you something to cry about!” The second one was the one I heard mostly.


Depending on your parents’ parenting style, they may have handled your emotional crying in some pretty creative ways rather than encourage you to stop crying. However, if you find yourself crying spontaneously as an adult, it’s a clue that you have something to cry about and you have perhaps not understood it yet or, you haven't found the words to express yourself yet. Honestly, crying is really not a big deal. In fact, many experts believe crying is adaptive and useful, and I tend to agree.


In the past two weeks I have had a number of clients, men and women, surprise themselves and cry...

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Overcome social anxiety and network like a boss

The world is moving on post-pandemic and face to face networking events are returning. For the confident extrovert that’s music to their ears. For the socially anxious it can be a terrifying thought.


Of course, we’re all a little out of practice thanks to working from home and attending events online but it won’t take long for confident networkers to dust off their in-person networking muscles and put the rest of us to shame. Further raising the stakes for socially anxious adults who need to network for work.  


What’s the difference between social anxiety and shyness?

With shyness, you are able to recognise your discomfort and progress through your discomfort to a level of comfort. A person who suffers from social anxiety will be overwhelmed by the prospect of the discomfort and may feel nauseas, even vomit, beforehand and may not even engage with their discomfort.


What does this look like you might ask? Well, imagine you are in a...

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How unresolved regrets increase your stress levels

acceptance regret stress May 08, 2022


There is enough to stress about in life without adding the stress of regret. Regret is a normal emotional experience which arises when you are dissatisfied with an outcome, when you perceive that a better outcome was available to you. Another way of considering regret is that it is a painful emotion, accompanied by actual or contemplated violation of internal values and rules in any given situation. Regret is also known as self-blame regret, which describes where the emotion is directed, towards the self.  


Believe it or not, research shows that the negative influence of regret is far greater than that of anxiety in terms of its impact on a person’s mental health.


Increased levels of self-blame regret is linked to higher levels of depression.


In my practice I see a lot of conscientious adults who blame themselves for not making better decisions, behaving better or blaming themselves for not feeling more content because they have achieved...

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Successful career + mental health diagnosis. It's possible

Are you concerned that a mental health diagnosis for you would sound the end of your career? If you are concerned that having a mental health diagnosis will negatively impact your career opportunities, you needn’t be. I have been fortunate enough to work with many successful people who have had mental health diagnoses and in my second career as a psychotherapist, I have had the privilege of supporting clients while they establish and grow their careers with a diagnosis. What these groups of people have in common is that they have accepted their diagnosis and chosen to build a career on their own terms, so they can leverage their strengths and build a sustainable career and lifestyle.  


A mental health diagnosis doesn’t have to define who you are or what you can contribute at work. Like many well people, you just need to find your way of working, that brings out the best in you and that supports you.


If you have been diagnosed with a mental...

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Laugh your way to less stress

de-stress laughter stress Apr 24, 2022

When was the last time you were relaxed enough to laugh at something? Not just any laugh, but one of those deep belly laughs that reduced you to tears!


If you are among the many adults who have a hard time relaxing, you’ll be surprised to know that there are real health benefits to laughing, and relieving stress is one of them.


What is laughter?

Laughter is the physiological respo­nse to humour. It is triggered when you find something funny. According to researchers, by the time a child reaches nursery school he or she will laugh about 300 times a day. By the time that child becomes an adult they will only laugh approximately 17 times a day. If that sounds high to you, then you may want to consider the recommendation that adults need a minimum of 30 laughs per day to positively impact their wellbeing.

Michael Miller, MD, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, recommends 15 minutes of...

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Prioritise your relationship with stress to succeed

anxiety career stress Apr 10, 2022

The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you are ever going to have. It influences your other relationships, and it sets the tone for how you treat yourself and allow others to treat you. Your second most important relationship, if you want to do well, is how you manage stressors.


Stress is normal and inevitable

While stress is a normal and inevitable part of modern life, it doesn’t have to be the reason why you didn’t achieve your goals. In fact, it could be the reason why you do achieve them.


In my corporate career I worked with many smart people who had varying successes in the organisations I was a part of. And while they all had the same access to learning and development, few knew how to ask for help for fear of being considered soft or weak, and even less considered their relationship with stress as their biggest obstacle. Yet in my view, it was their relationship with stress that enabled them to take a broad view or...

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Workplace stress and sleep problems: they’re connected

Intuitively you know that stress and sleep are closely linked yet your inability to combine these two areas of knowledge can prevent you from taking either of them seriously. In this article I am going to take you through how they impact each other so you understand the risk of not dealing with either.


What is stress?

Stress is a biological and emotional reaction that you experience as you move out of your comfort zone and into the threat zone, irrespective of the situation. It occurs when you perceive that what is being asked of you is beyond your capability and highly likely to have an unfavourable outcome. While you are holding this emotional perception, your body is responding to it biologically. It is sending a message to your adrenal glands to produce cortisol so you can fight, flight, freeze or fawn at the appropriate time, to deal with the threat.

Biological response to stress

Adrenal glands can’t store cortisol and so when you perceive the threat has passed,...

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