You’ll Never Walk Alone

These 4 words and the associated song are so important to me for a number of reasons. I am a Liverpool FC fan and this is our anthem and is sung before every home match and by my fellow fans at other times during matches and beyond. Being at Anfield and singing it along with thousands of other fans is a magical thing every time. They are also an important message of support and I have realised that they have unconsciously become my ethos and something that I am proud to have become known for. I have seen on so many occasions what a difference having just one person believe in you can make and I endeavour to be that person for as many people as I can. Others say I spread myself too thinly and that I am there to a significant degree for people I barely know and others who wouldn't do the same for me but I don't...
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Love really is all around us

In this week where we are bombarded with ideas of love and romance it can be easy to become cynical about the commercialisation of something that should be celebrated every day. However I would like to remind you that even if you are not in a relationship love is all around us and we should embrace that as it really does make the world a better place. One type of love that affects us for our whole lives is self love. We have all heard the saying if we can't love ourselves how can anyone else love us yet how many of us put ourselves down and feel unworthy of love and even push those who love us away? I would say quite a lot of us. This is something I work on with a lot of clients and this can include telling yourself daily that you are enough or amazing. I admit it sounds crazy and unlikely to work when...
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Happy World Mental Health Day 2018

This day is set up by the World Health Organisation and this year's theme is young people and mental health in a changing world. We know that young people experience a lot of changes which can be unsettling. I think we all know how some things are much harder for young people today and interestingly last night when I was out with friends we were discussing just that. One of my friends admitted he sometimes finds using social media hard as whilst you know you are seeing a snapshot of only the happy parts of people's lives you sometimes forget and feel you are missing out. So imagine how difficult that is for children and young people now growing up with, and being constantly exposed to, social media. For those being bullied there is no longer the respite that other generations had when they get home. A lot of children check their social media accounts during the night and so...
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The power of our words

There are a number of things that we take on as beliefs and the truth without questioning it. For example, how many of you sang sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me and thought of course that is true? How many of you have broken bones and did it hurt? Of course it did. However, I am sure more of you have been on the receiving end of cruel words and are still feeling the pain decades on. Of course many of you will be and may not even realise this. We have been taught to underestimate this and that simply exacerbates the problem. I cannot tell you how many of my clients have come to me with long standing issues that are a result of something someone said to them when they were a child and that they wrongly took on as a belief, which has contributed to a lifetime of pain or low self esteem. The...
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Happy International Friendship Day

As we know there is a celebration day for most things and today is International Friendship Day. I personally think every day we should be celebrating our friendships and I think all my friends know how important they are to me. I am a soppy soul who likes to regularly tell my friends how much I value their friendships and love them. Whilst initially some might feel a bit embarrassed I know they cherish what I say. It is important to do this for a number of reasons, including the fact that none of us knows what is around the corner or how much someone needs to know they are loved and that their thoughtful actions are noticed and not taken for granted. I like to make a fuss on friends' birthdays as that feels like a day that should be all about them, however not everyone likes birthdays or feels comfortable with this. This was emphasised to me last year...
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Happy volunteers’ week

As some of you will know it is Volunteers' week this week. I love all the organisations I volunteer for and I have made many good friends along the way. I think everyone who can should volunteer as it is so rewarding, it is good for your health, you are normally doing something worthwhile in your community and you make new friends, what more could you want? My favourite organisation to volunteer with, (though I use the term loosely as it is simply organised fun with friends old and new), is the brilliant North London Cares and I would recommend anyone near Camden and Islington get involved. I have made some of my best friends there and I get to see them at least once a month at the wonderful North London Stories and often in between too for long lunches and I know my life would be poorer without them and I would never have met them otherwise. I know...
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Mental Health Awareness week 14th – 20th May 2018

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and the focus is on stress. Sadly life isn't always easy and so stress is something we all experience at some point. However, like many things associated with our mental health we are not always good at talking about it and thus don't always get the help we need. Sometimes stress is good for us and can motivate us to do something however when it builds up it can have a detrimental effect on both our physical and mental health.  I have talked previously about some of the things I do to look after my mental health, including listening to music, talking to friends and sharing a nice cup of tea with a loved one.  I would love to know what works for you. Sometimes when working with children I will get them to write down the things that make them happy and we call this their happiness plan. I encourage them to place this...
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Happy International Day of Happiness 2018

I hope you are all well and that you are prioritising having some fun most days. I know it isn't always possible but it is so important for your wellbeing and is part of the self care revolution we are now seeing. I have had a lovely day catching up with a friend. We both took the day off work and met up for a yummy brunch and chat, no better way to spend International Day of Happiness. I am blessed with the most amazing friends who never cease to amaze, inspire and amuse me and they always feature in my gratitude list. I also know not everyone is as lucky as me and that we are in the midst of a loneliness epidemic at the moment. However there are numerous brilliant organisations out there trying to change this. One of them that I am extremely proud to volunteer for is the wonderful North London Cares. Volunteering for them doesn't feel...
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Happy National No Smoking day

As we know there is an awareness day for most things these days so it is no surprise that there is a national No Smoking Day. Obviously smokers are well aware of the damage they are doing to their health, their finances and to those they smoke around so I am not going to repeat all that here. From talking to my clients who want help stopping smoking it is clear it is an addiction and a habit that is hard to break. Most smokers have tried to give up previously and sometimes successfully for a bit which makes it all the more frustrating for them that they can't stop permanently. However we need to remember that for many it is stress relief and part of their social life and identity so they will need support to stop smoking. What I would like to tell you about is the benefits of breaking this habit. Clients I have helped have done it because...
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University Mental Health Day

Today is University Mental Health Day which is part of a campaign to support better student mental health. Obviously going to university can be an amazing experience but it can also be really hard and isolating. You might be far away from home, your friends and family. It may be the first time you have had to be self sufficient. It can take time to make friends. And so the list goes on. On the campaign website they talk about how time at university coincides with the peak age of onset for a range of mental health conditions which is obviously going to make things even harder. Reading this made me think about my time at university & what helped me get through it. I was lucky I met people in halls in my first couple of days that became great friends and still are 20 years later. I had a school friend at a different university in the same city as...
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