Real men do cry and why that is a good thing

I am a massive Liverpool FC fan and last month we won the Premier League title for the first time in our history and the first time we have won the league title in 30 years (in case you are interested it became the Premier League in 1992). As you may understand this was an emotional time for the supporters. The evening we won the title our manager, the wonderful Jürgen Klopp, was interviewed and he got emotional and had to walk away from the interview. We know we live in a society where crying is seen as something us women do and that is okay but it is a bit awkward but men shouldn’t cry as it shows they are weak. However this is something I have always thought was ridiculous as both men and women are human and care as much as each other and crying is a natural and healthy reaction. Thankfully society is changing and we...
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Loneliness awareness week

This week is Loneliness awareness week set up by the Marmalade Trust. Loneliness and the devastating impact of it is something I am particularly interested in as obviously as a therapist I see the devastating impact it can have on a person’s wellbeing and because I have always had an interest in what makes us happy and I know feeling connected to others is key to this. Research has likened loneliness as being as detrimental to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, yet unlike smoking it is something most of us are scared to admit to experiencing. There is still a stigma attached to admitting you are lonely but there shouldn't be. What I always find interesting is that like most fears we have it is the fact we all have the same fears that makes us so similar when we are ironically feeling like the odd one out. Most of us will feel lonely at some point...
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Empathy Day 2020

I found out that today is Empathy day. I didn’t even know that existed but I do love the idea of encouraging us all to be more empathetic as I know it will make the world a better place and we all need that at the moment. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It is a skill that can be learnt and research shows that we gain a lot of our empathy skills from reading. I like the fact the Empathy Lab who set up this day recommend books for children to read to develop empathy and was not surprised to see that their list included one of my favourite and most gifted books, the brilliant Wonder by R.J Palacio. When it came out I had read about it and knew it was my type of book but hadn’t got round to reading it but when the teenage daughter,  who I adore, of one...
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Looking after yourself in these difficult times

As we know life as we know it has changed for now. To get through these difficult times we need to pull together and help each other with encouragement and by sharing helpful tips. I will be sharing my tips over the coming weeks and hope to bring together other wellbeing experts to help keep us as psychologically and physically fit as possible despite all the restrictions we are facing. I would recommend we all prioritise our self care plan. This should be what we turn to on the really tough days, such as watching something funny, calling a loved one, listening to some uplifting music, exercising. Basically it is something that lifts our soul. I will talk more about it soon and in the meantime I would love to hear what works for you. We will also all need to come up with new routines for our days as having some structure helps us feel better.I would also recommend we...
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Happy World Kindness Day

                So as you probably know most days have a cause they are linked to and some can seem rather random and others are so obvious they should be part of our lives everyday. For me today's World Kindness Day is one of the ones that is a key value for me and I do believe we should spread kindness everyday and if we all had kindness as one of our core values the world would be a better place. Kindness costs the giver nothing yet can change the life of the receiver which in turn benefits the giver as they feel good, so there really is no excuse. You can show kindness by simply smiling at someone, by asking how someone really is when you know things aren't great, listening to someone, let someone go in front of you, you could volunteer or do so many other things. People often tell me I am too kind which has always baffled me as...
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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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