Reclaim your calm kit

After many months, I’m happy to say, my reclaim your calm kit is available on Etsy.     The purpose of the letterbox kit is to give you tools/coping strategies to use when out and about. Putting you back in control of your emotions not the other way round.

Suitable for men, women, teens and with proven record of success

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1033146879/reclaim-your-calm-box-self-care-anxiety

Who better to explain my why but me
The very start of your box of tricks
Customer review

Recognising eating disorders as a mental health issue



It’s estimated between 1.25-3.4 million people in the UK have an eating disorders. Of which 10% suffer with anorexia nervosa.

Nikki Graham who sadly died yesterday was just one of them.

Having an eating disorder is a mental health condition, but one that comes with so much shame and judgement.

As with all mental health issues, it’s not something that can be ignored. We need to talk more about our feelings, our inner most thoughts and we need to learn to care not judge. To support not tear down. We also need to realise that self care isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Not many people know but I was anorexic when I was 16
My family spotted the signs but no-one tried to find out why. Instead I was held and force fed three times a day. This led to me becoming bulimic (much easier to hide)

It was only when I got the right treatment for me & met my now husband that I could understand why I felt the way I did and how I could with time change my thoughts & inner feelings and learn to love me!

The only reason I’m sharing this, is to say to anyone struggling there is a help available so please reach out.

For me I’m truly greatful for a pychotherapist, who gave me a voice and taught me how and why I should use it. To this day, I’m a truly greatful. Being able to visual confront very painful memories and take back my control, was life changing.

Don’t get me wrong, you are never cured from an eating disorder, it’s there in the back of your mind but I’ve now been free of the disease for 10 years and for the first time in 50 years, I love the me inside.

When was the last time you showed your body some love?

When was the last time you showed your body some love?

Massage is perhaps one of the oldest healing traditions. Many ancient peoples – including the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese and Indians – were convinced of the therapeutic properties of massage and used it to treat a variety of ailments.

Basically, massage therapy is the practice of kneading or manipulating a person’s muscles and other soft-tissue in order to improve their wellbeing or health. Its a this point i say, if you have any medical conditions, please see your doctor before booking a qualified massager,

But your dont need to be qualified, to show your body some love using massage techniques that can result in feelings of deep relaxation and calm.

6 Things to keep in mind when using self-massage techniques:
1. You only need to massage for a few moments for mild cases; or a minute or two for more severe cases.
2. Massage the area at least twice per day.
3. Explore the muscles in the area where you feel pain until you find the specific spot that is especially painful.
4. Apply pressure that is strong, but tolerable (tip: start with light pressure and work your way up).
5. If you experience pain afterwards ease up the next time you apply self treatment.
6. Gently stretch out the area after self massage treatment.

Below are some simple self massage techniques:

Head Massage

  • Place your thumbs high on your cheekbones, by your ears.
  • Gently apply pressure in a circular motion with your fingertips to your temples.
  • Continue making circles as your move along your hairline, until your fingertips meet in the middle of your forehead.

Neck Massage

Place two or three fingertips on the back of your neck where your neck meets your shoulders. Apply firm pressure and hold the area. Release when the muscle feels more relaxed. Roll your shoulders forwards and back slowly. Repeat three times

Shoulder massage

  • position the fingers of your right hand over your right shoulder (your upper trapezius will be underneath your palm).
  • squeeze your upper trapezius three times and then roll your fingers over the muscle starting from the outside and moving towards the base of your neck.
  • repeat on your left side.

Lower back massage

  • Position a massage ball/tennis ball between your lower back and a wall.
  • Move your body up and down, or side to side to find areas of tension.
  • Apply a stronger pressure in the tender spots to help release the tension.

Foot massage

  • sit in a comfortable chair with your feet bare or with a sock on.
  • position the tennis ball under your foot.
  • roll back and forth from heel to toe using firm pressure.
  • if you come across a painful or tender area, work the knot out by rolling in small circles.
  • do this exercise on both of your feet.
  • to add more pressure, try performing this technique while standing.

Hand Massage

  • begin by placing your fingers over your wrist, as if you’re taking your pulse, and apply a side to side pressure across your wrist.
  • move to the heel of your palms and start applying pressure in a small circular motion, working your way from the pinky finger side and moving towards your thumb side.
  • next, grasp the web of tissue that connects your thumb to the rest of your fingers and gently move it up and down.
  • then apply pressure by using a small circular motion to the muscles at the base of your fingers.
  • next move up each finger using small circular strokes.
  • once you reach your finger tip, gently pull the finger to stretch the joint.
  • perform on both sides.

Im not a medical practioner, so please do listen to your body, and if in doubt, consult your doctor. These suggestions are based on my experience that muscle tension and trigger points can cause a lot of pain and discomfort and making time to see a massage therapist might not be possible. There’s no need to worry if you can’t make time to see a professional, or if you’re uncomfortable in a spa setting because you don’t like the idea of someone you don’t know touching you, learning the simple self massage techniques above will help to ease your pain and hopefully keep you moving.

Stop blaming weight for everything

💜 Invisible illness 💜

I don’t often use my social media to moan, as I prefer focusing on the positives in life but sometimes, I just need to vent and today’s the day

I’m 50 – 5ft 1″ (I was 5ft 3 until my car accident) I wear a size 20 – 22 top and 18 bottoms.. I’m classed as extremely obese and my outline looks more like Gru than a supermodel, but for the first time in my life I’m happy with who I am as a person inside. Do I like my appearance? No but I’m working on that. Am I fat? No, I have fat, there is a difference because my weight doesn’t define me.

So why am I telling you this (and no I don’t want help to loose weight), because I so sick of people suggesting that if I lost weight my illnesses would be as a bad. As if loosing weight is the answer to everything. Do I wish I could do more exercise? Yes, I used to be very active but the truth is, I’m fortunate to have walked away from my car accident, as the land rover defender that hit me in a stationary car, caused so much damage to my body that from the top of my head to the back of my knees, nothing was where it should be. I lost height, due to my neck collapsing, which resulted in my head being so far forward and my arms having no reach. 15 yrs later, as they expected my spine is crumbling and I have arthritis in my hip. Add to this a twisted stomach, breathing issues (due to very little neck and a sliding hernia), fibromyalgia brought on by an early hysterectomy and early menopause, cfs/me resulting in extreme fatigue and my list of health issues is beginning to read like an encyclopedia.

So would being lighter, help my illnesses? Very possibly, but I’ve not gained weight by stuffing my face. My weight gain has been due to medication and my body not allowing me to exercise.

I could choose to try to loose weight by trying to exercise more but have no life the rest of the time, I would be bed bound in agony and exhaustion or I can do what I’m doing, helping others with their mental health, empowering women to feel better about themselves, and teaching the world, they can lead a healthier, toxin free greener, life.

What’s the connection between sleep and mental health?

At night, your skin switches from ‘protect’ mode to ‘repair’, and it’s time for the skin to recover from the day’s stresses. Melatonin and human growth hormone (HGH) production are boosted, which in turn accelerates skin regeneration and the production of antioxidant enzymes. Therefore, it’s perfect to have your skincare routine up and running with the products that are right for you every evening at the very least!

A great cleansing, toning and moisturising routine (ABC) is brilliant to help you unwind at the end of the day, especially if you finish with our award winning, age defying, firming night cream concentrate…. ‘Skin Dream’ 💜
🌿Packed full of plant ceramides & bio retinol to help restore skin’s elasticity by working within the skin’s deeper layers and boosting cell growth. Murumuru butter is one of the unbelievable ingredients too that provides intense nourishment, then, bisabolol and beta-glucan, leaves your skin feeling calm and soothed too🤗

Stressed, anxious, tense, negative, restless, foggy thoughts or generally just a bit down, chances are you may be struggling with getting a good night’s sleep!

🤔DID YOU KNOW ALSO….

There are essential oils which help with ALL of these things! These are:
💜 Lavender 💜 Rose Geranium 💜 Rosemary 💜 Chamomile 💜 Rosewood 💜 Frankincense 💜 Eucalyptus

All of these ingredients can be found in our “DREAM TEAM”, so, its not just about sleep 😴 its about soothing the mind too!

Our dream team collection is THE sleep inducing answer for helping press the pause button….. such brilliant value for money and a perfect gift for so many too

💜 So Sleepy Pillow mist
💜 So Sleepy Temple balm
💜 Aromatherapy unwind hand creambalm

http://bit.ly/claresandiford

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

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