Nurturing Wellbeing

Nurture your mental wellbeing with these 5 top tips:

1) Connect ❤️

Humans are social by nature, which means social distancing and self isolation, are likely to be challenging.

Fortunately, there are ways that we can connect while continuing to adhere to physical distancing measures. For example, we can write letters to elderly relatives, phone or videophone our friends; and we can connect with people in our community by doing things like displaying a painted rainbow in your window for passing children to spot.

Try to use the lockdown as an opportunity to strengthen the relationship you have with your family. Why not organise fun things to do with your family – such as picnics, movie nights, and game tournaments.

2) Be Active 💙

As well as keeping us physically fit, exercise is a natural mood booster because it encourages our body to release feel-good chemicals called endorphins.

In addition to this, exercise increases serotonin and reduces the affect of stress on the brain. This allows you to feel happier, more relaxed, and better able to sleep.

3) Take Notice 💚

Try to guide your mind into the present moment whenever possible (rather than worrying about the past, or projecting into the future).

To help you to do this, take a couple of slow breaths in and out, and then proceed by paying attention to your five senses. For example, when you step outdoors ‘feel’ the breeze on your skin, ‘see’ the blossom on trees, ‘hear’ the birds singing, ‘smell’ fresh lavender, and ‘taste’ your garden herbs.

A further step, is to take notice of yourself. Do this by posing the question “How am I feeling?” and as you pause to listen for an answer, discover your innermost thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations.

When doing this, treat yourself with compassion and remember that it’s okay not to be okay. If you need to, please do reach out for help.

4) Keep Learning 🧡

There are many good things happening online at the moment, including live videos, digital workshops, and online courses. It’s worth taking advantage of these because learning is a great way to boost mental wellbeing.

An additional benefit is that by applying your mind through learning, you’ll be less inclined to suppress boredom by reading negative news stories and wasting time on social media.

5) Give 💜

Those of you who took part in the fantastic Clap For Carers initiative will now understand how giving to others, results in us feeling good in return.

Some ways that you can make a positive difference by giving include:

•helping a local business that has been forced to close temporarily by purchasing a gift voucher to spend at a later date, or writing a review

•donating money to charity

•dropping a note through an elderly neighbour’s door to check if they need anything

•smiling at a stranger

•treating yourself to a bubble bath…(this can be classed as giving yourself crucial ‘self care’).

If you need any mental health support, please contact Rebecca at CounsellingKind on:

📞07546 462583

✒️rebecca@counsellingkind.co.uk

💻www.counsellingkind.co.uk

We are the Champions!

My name is Sarah Skinner and I am very proud to be writing this bio as the first Volunteer Champion for CounsellingKind.

In 2011, I volunteered as a mentor for Bolton Lads and Girls Club. Since then I’ve held voluntary positions with Girlguiding UK and Bolton Hospice. I love volunteering. It’s such a great opportunity to give something back to your local community, while meeting lots of different people and learning new skills.

So a little about me, I’m 34 years old and live in Horwich with my husband and six year old daughter. I’m a Project Manager for the NHS, working alongside nurses, doctors and surgeons to ensure patients receive the same high standard of care wherever they live, and that local NHS services are sustainable for the future.

As a full time working Mum, life is hectic and work can be stressful, so self-care is really important to me, but certainly lacking from my daily routine. After a period of illness in 2019, I decided 2020 would be the year for better lifestyle choices that would support both my mental and physical health. With that, came a strong hankering to take up volunteering again, so I reached out to Rebecca and the rest, as they say, is history.

My role as Volunteer CounsellingKind Champion will see me getting involved in a range of exciting activities, including:

• Assisting Rebecca in the planning and delivery of a range of self care events

• Capturing feedback

• Writing guest blog posts

• Working with clients to produce case studies

• Building a team of Volunteer CounsellingKind Champions

This is a really exciting time, which will enable me to grow both personally and spiritually, as well as giving me the opportunity to lend my skills and experience to Rebecca as she grows her business. I very much look forward to being a part of the CounsellingKind team.

Would you like to become a Volunteer CounsellingKind Champion?

If so, consider what skills you can offer (e.g. photography, knowledge for a talk, crafting skills for a workshop, time to deliver flyers, etc).

Then, get in touch with Rebecca to explore your involvement on:

📞07546 462583

✒️rebecca@counsellingkind.co.uk

Building Your Happy New Year

EF02DD72-A8B7-4C89-AD39-6F45462AA975.jpegWriting this post on New Year’s Eve, I reflect upon the resolutions I set at the start of 2019.

Despite deliberately not setting multiple resolutions, I’m pleased because I succeeded in achieving the three I did set (i.e. drinking more water, training to become a Mindfulness Instructor, and attracting butterflies into my garden).

With 2020 being a brand new decade; this year, I want to aim higher, and have set myself 11 resolutions. This equates to 1 per month, plus a month spare in case one resolution takes longer to embed than expected. 

Assuming that you might also be setting your New Year’s Resolutions,  below are five strategies that can contribute towards habit forming and goal completion:

  1. Set clear goals – when our willpower is spread across multiple areas of our life, it becomes diluted. Therefore, I recommend that you list 11-12 goals, and aim to complete one resolution per month. This will enable you to apply your willpower, in full, each month. Once your resolution is embedded into your routine, it will become automatic, and this reduces the level of effort required to carry it out (or not carry it out)
  2. Anchor your resolutions to existing habits – consider what you currently do in your routine, and introduce your new resolution into a specific part of your routine. For example, if you intend to exercise more, you could change into your workout clothes and go to the gym straight after work; or if you’re hoping to save money, you could substitute your coffee-shop coffee for a cheaper instant coffee from the staff room instead…(e.g. saving £2.50 for 5 days a week, over 52 weeks, will add up to a total saving of £650 in just a year)
  3. Stay one step ahead – this is all about pre-empting the barriers you ‘might’ face. Or, put another way, ask yourself what might put you off? Common obstacles include, poor weather, being tired or not in the mood, and lack of time. Once you’ve identified possible pitfalls, set about creating a plan of action to overcome them. For example, “if it’s raining I won’t go for a bike ride, I’ll go to a spinning class instead”; or “if I don’t have time to meditate when I have to work late, I’ll wake up 15 minutes earlier and meditate at the start of the day instead”
  4. Create accountability – rightly or wrongly, we often care about what other people think of us, and as a result this can be a powerful motivating factor. You can implement this as a tool by telling someone you trust what resolutions you’re working towards. Or alternatively, why not book an appointment with a Coach who can guide you with goal setting, offer you techniques for achieving success, and encourage you to keep striving when it’s so tempting to give up. To make a free Coaching enquiry, contact Rebecca Shivji at CounsellingKind on: 07546 462583 rebecca@counsellingkind.co.uk
  5. Celebrate success – maintain motivation by celebrating your success when you achieve your goals and resolutions. This is will make you feel good, and boost your confidence, which will spur you on towards achieving more goals. Everyone’s different so think of something that you genuinely enjoy doing and will regard as being a treat. Once you’ve identified your ‘carrot’, introduce this as your reward. Then, going forward, every time you embed a resolution into your daily routine, celebrate your success by ‘going for a meal out’ or ‘buying yourself some flowers’ etc. On the flip side of this, if you don’t achieve a resolution, please be kind to yourself. Simply ask yourself whether your resolution still matters to you, and if it does, try again. Good luck!

I truly hope these strategies will enable you to achieve many inspiring resolutions so that 2020 can become YOUR Happy New Year! Do you have any New Year Resolutions? Feel free to leave me a comment below…

Something About Kindness

With the word ‘kind’ featuring within CounsellingKind’s brand name, it makes sense for our first blogpost to focus on kindness. 
In case you’re wondering, the word kind is prominent in our name because CounsellingKind wants to encourage people to seek mental health support when it’s required; and should you choose CounsellingKind, please be assured that we treat everyone with professionalism and kindness. 
When thinking about kindness there are two main aspects to consider. These include being kind to others, and being kind to yourself. Further information around each of these areas is below:
BEING KIND TO OTHERS
This is crucial because we never really know what challenges other people are facing, so it makes sense to be kind as a general rule of thumb. A further benefit of being kind to another person, is that this person is more likely to be kind to someone else, and they’ll hopefully feel more inclined to be kind to the next person, and so on. This creates a wonderful ripple effect of kindness that keeps on giving as the ripple expands outwards.
BEING KIND TO YOURSELF
Unfortunately, we can all be our own worst enemy at times, particularly when it comes to self critical thinking.  For example, take a moment to consider how you talk to yourself, and assess whether your inner voice is more ‘self critical’ (ie harsh), or more ‘self compassionate’ (ie kind). Why not try substituting ‘self critical’ thinking with ‘self compassionate’ thinking for the day? Good luck, and remember that the more you practice this, the easier it becomes. 
WORLD KINDNESS DAY
With World Kindness Day fast approaching on Wednesday 13th November 2019 – this is your invitation to consider how you can make the day meaningful.
QUICK TASK
•Start by identifying whether you want to be kind to yourself, kind to others, or perhaps both
•Then, establish the resources you have available. For example, can you use money to buy something as an act of kindness? If not, perhaps you can give up some of your time to make a difference through volunteering or donating unwanted goods…
•Lastly, pledge to yourself an act of kindness that you intend to complete on World Kindness Day. Feel free to use CounsellingKind’s 10 top tips for kindness to guide you:
1️⃣Smile at a stranger 
2️⃣Donate an unwanted coat to a homeless charity
3️⃣Take some ‘me time’ (eg meditate)
4️⃣Send someone a thank you note or write a positive online review
5️⃣Clean the house, or car, for your family members to enjoy 
6️⃣Sponsor a colleague for a fundraising challenge
7️⃣Phone or visit a friend
8️⃣Let someone go ahead of you in the queue
9️⃣Feed the birds 
🔟Remind yourself regularly that “you’re enough, and you’re doing the best you can”

Have a fantastic World Kindness Day and let me know what ripples of kindness you release into the world. 

Best wishes,
Rebecca
xx