Radio Interview recorded Nov 2020 with Love thy body project

The reality of living with mental health both for the individual and the carer/husband or wife and how that opened doors for us a family.

https://s3.citrus3.com:2000/public/SofyaStyleRadio

7 ways to develope emotional strength

Emotional resilience is the ability to cope with life’s adversities and being able to get back on track afterwards. The word ‘resilience’ comes from the Latin word ‘resilio’, which literally means “to bounce back”. It is a skill that’s important to develop if we want to become better at handling life’s inevitable ups and downs.

Some people are born with high emotional resilience. They are naturally more able to overcome problems more easily than others. However, with time and patience, it can be developed, as long as you are willing to work at it.

Resilient people see problems as temporary and tough experiences as opportunities to learn – not allowing themselves to be seen as, or feel as though they are, victims. They are persistent, self-confident, responsible, better in relationships with others and themselves, more mindful and have a higher level of emotional intelligence.

If you want to learn more about emotional resilience and mental toughness, and how developing these traits can make your life a bit easier, keep reading!

How to Develop Emotional Resilience
Developing emotional resilience and mental toughness takes time and patience. But the more you practice in day-to-day situations, the easier it will be for you to deal with more stressful situations in life as they arise.

Here are some ways you can start practising emotional resilience and mental toughness today:

1# Face Your Fears
Fears are there to be overcome. We can run from them and stay at our current level of consciousness (and become more afraid over time when confronted by that which we fear), or we can choose to face our fears – name them, sit with them, understand them, and finally, overcome them. Once we have done that, it will be much easier for us to face the next fear or problem that presents itself.

2# Foster Optimism
As hard as it may seem, optimism and positive thinking can help us to see good in every situation. When we are going through a tough situation, it helps to appreciate the good things we have in life and to see the crisis we are currently going through as only temporary. It doesn’t mean that you should ‘wear rose-tinted glasses’ all the time, but to realistically observe the situation and find the good in it, think about what you can appreciate at that moment, what you can do about it (if anything), and to understand that all is temporary. You can also keep a gratitude journal to help remind you of the things you are grateful for – to look back on when life gets tough.

3# Be Persistent and Patient
Patience is the most important tool to utilise when developing emotional resilience and mental toughness because these attributes don’t come overnight. You have to be persistent in trying to develop them every day and, in time, you will notice that you have become better at coping with stress and adversity. The key is to give yourself time and be persistent in doing your best to develop these attributes. You can always get help or seek advice if you need to, but do not give up!

4# Practice Acceptance
Accepting ourselves as we are and allowing ourselves to make mistakes is very important. We all make mistakes from time to time, but we must not punish ourselves – we have to accept this and search for what we can learn. We also have to accept all of our feelings as they are – we need to learn to name them, describe them and find out what they are trying to tell us, just as with our fears.

5# Be Comfortable with Not Having All the Answers
Not having all the answers is a part of life. You cannot have all the answers all the time, so it is important to learn to be comfortable with that. Here comes patience again – if we are patient the right answers will find us in time.

6# Practice Self-Care and Self-Compassion
Self-care and self-compassion are powerful tools in helping to build our emotional resilience. When life gets tough, remember to take care of yourself. You can do anything that nourishes your mind, body, and soul – take a walk, express yourself through writing, painting, drawing or exercise, or spend some time in good company. It is important to be compassionate, considerate and respectful towards yourself, especially when you are facing hard times.

7# Seek Helpful Connections
The people you spend your time with and how they think and behave will leave an impression on you, consciously or unconsciously, so it’s important to seek helpful connections. Surround yourself with emotionally resilient and mentally tough people. They can serve as role models and encourage your work on becoming emotionally resilient.

Conclusion
As you can see, developing emotional resilience and mental toughness is an ongoing learning process and a lifelong journey. Building these attributes will help you to deal with the stresses in your life with greater ease and become the best version of yourself. After dealing with problems and difficulties in your life, you will come back strengthened and filled with positive energy and confidence, because you allowed yourself to learn from the experiences.

The first step to take is to set a goal of becoming more emotionally resilient and then take small steps to achieve that goal. There are lots of things that can help you along the way, such as motivation, persistence, patience and willingness to treat yourself with compassion, love and self-care when dealing with difficulties.

Step a side Bridget Jones

So Saturday night just as I was going to bed, I was made aware of something on social media, that stabbed at my heart (it felt like my heart ripped in two) – after a few hours of tears, while talking though with my hubby (my rock) I finally fell asleep.

So why am I telling you this???

Life is a rollercoaster of emotions – with some years feeling like there’s more downs than ups, but quite often we are not in control of the down bits, we are only in control of the decision not to stay down. To pick ourselves up and keep climbing one step at a time.

The reward – the view at the top, the inner satisfaction of reaching the top, knowing our heart is strong and getting stronger every day and the memories we make on the way

So if you’ve had a tough day yesterday or any other day, pick yourself up, put on your big girl pants (Bridget Jones has nothing on me) and take one step forward

For me that meant a double cleanse and facial massage (to wash away the salty drying tears and soothe my tingling skin), styled my hair (not a daily a habit when not leaving the house), applied my makeup (even hubby was shocked) and reaching out and connecting with people I love and miss.

Was it easy? No, def not the zoom meeting on camera but did it help? Absolutely because I made a step forward in deciding who and what I let into my life and ultimately my future.

Keeping going, you can do this.

Tan tastic

When it comes to achieving a natural-looking glow, ive got you covered!

Follow these simple (yet effective) Tan Commandments for fuss-free, beautifully bronzed summer skin (even when it’s freezing):

PREP WORK
Prep for perfection by doing everything else first – shave your legs and paint your nails prior to applying your tan. For best results when tanning – if leg grooming is your thing – try to shave 24 hours before application, as shaving opens pores and can cause the colour to deposit unevenly!

SCRUB UP
Exfoliation is key! The best way to achieve a lovely, even application is to exfoliate 24 hours before you plan to apply your self tan, not immediately before!

Use an Exfoliating Mitt (https://tropicskincare.com/products/exfoliating-mitt) or scrub (I highly recommend the Tropic Body Smooth Refreshing Polish (https://tropicskincare.com/products/body-smooth-200ml) to get rid of those pesky dead skin cells and leave your skin a silky smooth blank canvas, eagerly awaiting its impending golden shimmer

PUT DOWN THE MOISTURISER
Moisturising skin immediately before applying your self-tan creates a barrier between your skin and the active plant allo-melanin found in our tanning range! This means that your self tan won’t penetrate the upper layers of the epidermis and your colour won’t develop as effectively.

Luckily, the Tropic products I recommend in the tanning range are super nourishing and moisturising for your skin, so you can hydrate while you tan!

DON’T SKIP THE MITT!
Instead of applying the tanning product directly to your skin, dispense some product onto your Tanning Mitt before clenching your fist to spread it out. Next, apply to your skin from the mitt – this will ensure a more even application.

BOTTOMS UP!
Work the tan into your skin from your feet upwards to avoid the product applying unevenly on other areas.

FACE TIME
You wouldn’t use your body lotion on your face, and the same applies for your tan. That’s why I love the Sun Drops Gradual Tanning Facial Serum, simply blend a few drops with your daily facial moisturiser to achieve a natural sun-kissed glow.
(https://tropicskincare.com/products/sun-drops-gradual-tanning-facial-serum)

BEWARE OF DRY PATCHES
Elbows, knees, hands and feet are all prone to pick up additional product. After applying tan in these areas, gently wipe them with a damp cloth to smooth the product out.
If your skin is particularly dry in these areas you can also moisturise, to ensure you get a nice even application! By simply popping a small dab of our Body Love Firming Buttercream (https://tropicskincare.com/products/body-love-300m )lonto these areas you will not only smooth your skin and help your tan blend more evenly, but the barrier created by the moisturiser will prevent any undesirably intense colour on these areas. Dry patches are the exception to the no moisturising rule!

WASH YOUR HANDS
The hands can be a real tell-tale signs of tanning mishaps! So, once you’ve finished applying your tan, make sure you carefully wash your hands. This will prevent the product settling on your palms, knuckles and between your fingers.
To achieve an even colour after you have thoroughly washed and dried yours hands, work the excess product from your arms down onto your hands and blend!

AND THE CYCLE BEGINS AGAIN
After 4 days, or as your tan begins to slowly fade, it’s recommended that you exfoliate to help your colour fade evenly, ready for a new application. This is especially important if you have drier skin. After 24 hours you can apply more product to build your tan, and get that sun-kissed glow on the go once more!

YOUR TIME TO TAN
Tan around your schedule

If you’re dressing for a week of warm weather, our Summer Skin Gradual Tanning Lotion (https://tropicskincare.com/products/summer-skin )will build a natural looking, gradual tan.

Caught off-guard by an unseasonably sunny day? Reach for our Instant Glow Perfecting Leg Serum (https://tropicskincare.com/products/instant-glow) to immediately bronze skin.

Already tanned but just want to give your skin an extra boost? Our Summer Goddess Shimmering Body Oil (https://tropicskincare.com/products/summer-goddess-shimmering-body-oil) adorns the skin with a radiant, sun-kissed lustre.

Now that you’ve got your tanning know-how down, there’s nothing standing in the way of you achieving your most radiant sun-free tan yet!
Total tanning confidence is on the horizon – even if the sun stays behind the clouds.

Manage your fear

Fear will always be present in our lives. It is a useful and necessary emotion, it gives a warning that there is a threat and it makes us look for a solution.

But fear can become our worst enemy. If fear takes over, it can hold us back from making decisions that will lead to a more successful and fulfilling life.

What happens when you make decisions based on fear?

Imagine you are given the opportunity to give a presentation about the work you are doing in an important event.

You feel excited, you know it’s a great opportunity but you also feel nervous. Fear kicks in.

So you start hearing all those: ‘don’t bother, it will take a lot of work’, ‘you’re not good at public speaking’, ‘you will get too nervous and mess up’… And maybe you start considering if it would be better to just say no.

An inner voice might say: ‘It´s just not worth all the stress and preparation. Just say you’re busy and you can’t do it’.

So here’s the dilemma: you really want to go and give the presentation but the fear is giving you too many reasons to just forget about the idea.

Decisions based on fear will help you survive, not thrive.

Fear will try to keep you safe. It will try to save you from making mistakes, from feeling disappointed or going through an uncomfortable situation.

The function of fear is to protect ourselves from danger.

Now there are two options:

  • Ignore the fear and let it operate in the unconscious. If we don’t even acknowledge that we are feeling fear, we might just make up excuses to avoid ‘dangerous’ situations like giving that presentation. We will feel safer, but also we will miss many opportunities for growth, development and fulfilment.
  • Manage the fear. Once we are aware that we are feeling fear, we can do something about it. That way we can use it in our advantage (for example, preparing as much as we can to make sure the presentation goes smoothly) and take on challenges that we know will help us grow, get us closer to our goals or simply enjoy the experience!

So when you feel that fear is about to take over, here a few questions to ask yourself (use them as journal prompts and write about them to get more clarity!):

  • If you had no fear of a potential outcome or other people’s opinion, what would you do? What decisions would you make? What would you be doing differently? What would change? What would you be doing more of? What would you be doing less of?
  • What is it that you fear? How likely is it to happen?
  • If it happened, how would you deal with it? What is the ‘back-up’ plan? What alternatives would you have? How have you dealt with similar situations before?
  • What is fear trying to protect you from?
  • How can you calm that fear? What alternatives or ‘backup’ plans do you have?
  • Fear takes over when we think we don’t have resources to deal with whatever outcome we are worrying about. So make a detailed list of all the resources and skills you have to deal with whatever you are scared of. Think about previous challenges you’ve faced, difficult situations you have experienced and how you dealt with them. Think of all the lessons you’ve learnt and all the internal and external resources you have.

Journaling is very powerful tool and I would recommend you spend some time writing about these questions.You will be surprised at how much clearer things become when you write about it!

Understanding your fears and knowing that if something goes wrong you have a list of inner resources and alternatives will give you confidence to make decisions that will help you thrive instead of  survive

#fear #fearoffailure #thrivenotsurvive

Winning combinations

Ketchup and chips, gravy and mash, hummus and crisps… there really have been some iconic (and quite frankly irresistible) culinary couplings throughout the years. After trying this cake, however, you’ll never forget to invite your new favourite pair – raspberry and almond – to a dinner party again. Set to impress guests, sweet toothed-partners and hungry children alike, this is one for the repertoire that won’t go unnoticed.

Thanks to plant-based food blogger, Amy Lanza, for sharing her recipe for the tantalising treat that is her Raspberry and Almond Cake, inspired by the notoriously sumptuous ingredients in our iconic Skin Feast and Smoothing Cleanser

Raspberry and Almond Cake Recipe

Makes: 20cm round cake (serves 10-12)Time: 50 minutes plus cooling 

Ingredients you’ll need:

230g plain flour

80g ground almonds

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp baking powder

250g plain vegan yoghurt

100g coconut or caster sugar

4 tbsp lemon juice

75ml (55g) sunflower oil

½ tsp vanilla essence

150g raspberries

25g flaked almonds

Icing sugar, to dust

Here’s how:

1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.

2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. In a second bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, sugar, lemon juice, sunflower oil and vanilla essence.

3. Pour the wet mix into the dry and stir to combine. Gently fold through 100g of raspberries and pour into the lined tin. Smooth over the top and press in the remaining raspberries and sprinkle over the flaked almonds.

4. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool fully and dust with icing sugar.

Don’t forget to share your pics with me on social media using #CLARETROPIC if you give this recipe a try!

Journaling – just another thing to do?

Whether used as a creative outlet or an emotional release, journaling is a powerful self-improvement tool that anyone can harness. Many influential people throughout time detailed their lives in journals – the struggles, the joys, the steps taken to reach their dreams. In the end, journals can tell life stories, help us understand breakthrough moments in the creative process, change habitual patterns, and track goals.

Journaling is not to be confused with writing in a diary. Diary writing is often a record of your everyday life as it happens, while journal writing is a method to explore and shape ideas. Using a journal can involve more than writing and it doesn’t have to be a linear process – the pages don’t even have to be dated!

Writing in a journal, also known as journal therapy, has many benefits. These include:

  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved mental clarity
  • Increased understanding of self
  • Improved problem-solving skills

Journaling can be used in a variety of ways, depending on your goals. Using a journal is helpful whether you are an artist brainstorming your next project or a busy schoolteacher who needs to let off some steam!

The purpose of journal therapy is to focus on internal experiences rather than to repress or ignore them.

Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal allows you to process stress from work, relationships, or other pressures you may be experiencing

Inspiring words

“Dear Stranger,

You don’t know me but I hear you are going through a tough time, and I would like to help you. I want to be open and honest with you, and let you know that happiness isn’t something just afforded to a special few. It can be yours, if you take the time to let it grow.

It’s OK to be stressed, scared and sad, I certainly have been throughout my 66 years. I’ve confronted my biggest fears time and time again. I’ve cheated death on many adventures, seen loved ones pass away, failed in business, minced my words in front of tough audiences, and had my heart broken.

I know I’m fortunate to live an extraordinary life, and that most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But they haven’t; in fact it’s the reverse. I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy.

So many people get caught up in doing what they think will make them happy but, in my opinion, this is where they fail. Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being. In order to be happy, you need to think consciously about it. Don’t forget the to-do list, but remember to write a to-be list too.

Kids are often asked: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ The world expects grandiose aspirations: ‘I want to be a writer, a doctor, the prime minister.’ They’re told: go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, and then you’ll be happy. But that’s all about doing, not being – and while doing will bring you moments of joy, it won’t necessarily reward you with lasting happiness.

Stop and breathe. Be healthy. Be around your friends and family. Be there for someone, and let someone be there for you. Be bold. Just be for a minute.

If you allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment, happiness will follow. I speak from experience. We’ve built a business empire, joined conversations about the future of our planet, attended many memorable parties and met many unforgettable people. And while these things have brought me great joy, it’s the moments that I stopped just to be, rather than do, that have given me true happiness. Why? Because allowing yourself just to be, puts things into perspective. Try it. Be still. Be present.

For me, it’s watching the flamingos fly across Necker Island at dusk. It’s holding my new grandchild’s tiny hands. It’s looking up at the stars and dreaming of seeing them up close one day. It’s listening to my family’s dinner-time debates. It’s the smile on a stranger’s face, the smell of rain, the ripple of a wave, the wind across the sand. It’s the first snow fall of winter, and the last storm of summer. It’s sunrise and sunset.

There’s a reason we’re called human beings and not human doings. As human beings we have the ability to think, move and communicate in a heightened way. We can cooperate, understand, reconcile and love, that’s what sets us apart from most other species.

Don’t waste your human talents by stressing about nominal things, or that which you cannot change. If you take the time simply to be and appreciate the fruits of life, your stresses will begin to dissolve, and you will be happier.

But don’t just seek happiness when you’re down. Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it should be a habit. Take the focus off doing, and start being every day. Be loving, be grateful, be helpful, and be a spectator to your own thoughts.

Allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment. Take the focus off everything you think you need to do, and start being – I promise you, happiness will follow.

Happy regards,

Richard Branson

I love that I can help people

So ive had a lovely 24 hours and i wanted to share it with you.

So as you know, i was guest speaker for the Miba southport networking meeting this week and i decided not to plan it word for word but had a flow chart of notes, so i didnt get overwhelmed. It was a subject matter i was passionate about and that always helps, so i wanted it to flow naturally. As it happens it was a smaller group than i expected which initially panicked me more as they were sat much closer to me than id imagined, but i started to talk and it seemed more natural to have it interactive rather than me talk, they listen. It seemed to go really well which is all i really wanted anyway. Anyway, one of the lovely ladies id spent a reasonable amount of time with wrote a blog post yesterday about her business plans for 2020 and she stated

Close up of my friends Natalies cheek tonight
1st pic – 2 yrs ago
2nd pic – 1 yr ago
3rd pic – tonight

I first met Natalie in June 2018 & she was struggling with her skin due to frost bit (-38 degrees)

She had tried various products to try and soothe her skin and had, had some success with the Tamanu balm (she’d purchased it for her babies nappy rash) but was nervous to try any products incase it inflamed her skin further (totally understandable), but started using the soothing cleanser and bamboo cloth twice a day, the tamanu to soothe & heal and the hydration mask as an overnight moisturiser.

I saw her next in August, when she hosted her own Tropic party and i was pleased to see that her skin had calmed down and wasnt as red, but she still had days where it was inflamed and sore. At this point we decided to introduce the supergreens serum & elixir oil to have skincare routine to ensure her skin had the necessary vitamins & moisture. She also decided to try the Tropic makeup so that she wasnt putting any toxic products on her skin). The warm beige flawless collection was perfect, as it concealed her skin but also healed at the same time due to the plant extracts and the spf protected her skin.

Since that time, Natalie has continued to use the Tropic products and overtime her skin has started to heal. Their has been occasions when her skins issues flare up due to stress etc but overtime her skin has continued to heal and so i was delighted, when I was sent this pic tonight, with a comment “no pain, no blisters, less redness – love Tropic”

Using natural products isnt an overnight solution. You will feel and see a difference within 30 days (which is why I have a 30 day money back guarantee) but with time, you can heal your skin whatever the cause and i love that I can help people on that journey. https://www.tropicskincare.com/claresandiford