Good advice on preparing for the holiday madness!

Good advice on preparing for the holiday madness!

Prior to the festive season I am writing on a couple of subjects that relate to the all too common ‘breakdowns’ that occur prior to the holidays – and why so often the holidays end up being more stressful than your work.

How often have you heard people say “I’ve got family visiting for Christmas and I’m really not looking forward to it” or “After that holiday I need a holiday!” These are common year end problems and they really can be avoided, both in the preparation for and during your own family holiday.

Before 

Invariably, prior to embarking on the family holiday, instead of planning a stress free vacation, common sense is thrown to the wind and the stresses of the year simply continue into what should be a time of calm and rest.

Remember the body needs to unwind from the build-up of stress through the year. My last article spoke of the illnesses and pain that often result just before the holidays from a year of unchecked stress …and sometimes once the holiday hits, as the adrenaline runs out, the body goes into a shock response and simply breaks down.

Prior to the holiday, why not de-stress with a few TRE sessions? TRE is becoming massively popular as a form of stress and trauma release …and preparing the mind for things to come. Remember being away on holiday, or having family around who are not normally there, puts you out of your comfort zone, so rather be ready for it.

Ensure that you make a decision to plan a holiday that is within your financial means too. So many say, “Oh well, it’s the holiday we‘ll worry about it in the new-year.” The reality is you will spend most of the holiday worrying about it and just give yourself a great stress trigger when you start a brand new year. Rather have a shorter, stress free holiday – you’ll get more out of it.

During

So, having de-stressed a little prior to going away …and going where you can afford to, you are making a good start. To ensure the whole holiday is one that really benefits you and your family, try to arrange that everyone gets some ‘me’ time. I can’t stress the importance of this enough.

The time you spend together as a family is precious, embrace it and be grateful for it, but for everyone to really de-stress, they all need a little time of their own. Arrange for kids to spend some time not under your supervision, giving them a little time away from you, whilst you and your partner enjoy a romantic evening or activity together.

Arrange with each other to take turns being with the kids (one on one time with each parent is good for the kids too) and on your own, take a walk, read a favourite book or take a relaxing bath after the kids are in bed.

Even if you are home and have family visiting, arrange some outings for them that leave you with some time for yourself too. It is so important that you use your holiday time to refresh and revive yourself too. Make a choice to holistically invigorate your body, mind and soul – and stick to it.

…and beyond

My business, Self and More is essentially about combining body, mind and soul disciplines to de-stress and enhance your life. We live in difficult times and the demands on us are great. Life happens too, trauma that we tend to brush under the carpet, only to find it manifests itself at the most unexpected times. The holiday are a typical example – no longer wound up in self protect mode, we suddenly lash out at others.

Don’t let it happen to you. Contact me to find your true inner self …and so much more.

I am truly grateful for my loyal supportive clients and I hope I have been as much of a blessing to you. To you and your loved ones I wish you calm, health and inner peace throughout the next decade – Happy Holidays!

Year-end breakdown – how we can avoid it

Year-end breakdown – how we can avoid it

They say the human body clock actually increases as we age. Fact or fiction I don’t know, but every year does seem to pass more rapidly. As we near another year end I felt it prudent to do a couple of articles on year end breakdown and coping with the holidays, which for some is in itself stressful!

So what is year-end breakdown? …and how can we avoid it?

It has come to my attention as a body and mind wellness facilitator (and I am backed up by Doctor and Physiotherapist colleagues) that numbers of people suffering from neck, back problems and nervous breakdown, seem to increase as we get near to the holiday season.

Why does it happen?

Prior to the holidays the years’ work and stress build up basically takes its toll, especially on those who have allowed work to engulf them and have not paid sufficient attention to their health …or themselves.

Lack of regular exercise, meditation and ‘me’ time, all augment working relentlessly to meet deadlines and these tend to  take their toll when we realise we are close to the time when we will be able to let go and relax.

It’s kind of like a marathon runner who ‘hits the wall’ just as they near the finish line! The body gets to a point of rejecting this build-up of over exertion and simply quits before you are ready for it to.

Apart from the build-up problem you also encounter many people who have created a kind of adrenaline dependency. Endorphins is what keeps them going. Just like the famous Duracell Bunny, they are wound up so tight, they keep running on clockwork …and in many cases it’s medical drugs that stimulate and keep them running.  

So they go on holiday and start to relax and the body has a lack of adrenaline shock response. Suddenly, they breakdown when faced with living a normal life for a short period ….no more batteries to run on!

Stress denies logic

The problem is that the more stressed we are, the less we are able to decide between what we think we should be doing and what we really need to do! You simply can’t decide to let go, even knowing the ultimate consequences of allowing the stress build up. Pretty much a ‘catch 22’ situation – the more stressed you are, if you don’t release it, the more stressed you become – ultimate result – burn out and pain!

Some solutions

Firstly accept that stress is the cause and then you have to determine to change things. This means making a firm decision to decide that you are going to focus on what you know you need and not just what you think you have to do.

The self

My business – Self and more, was so named because ultimately focus on the self is really the only way to overcome the stresses of the world. Even if it is necessary, due to the nature of your job, to endure some stress, you can cope with it through what I believe most in ….making time for yourself.

This can be achieved through more quality sleep, quiet meditation and regular exercise, which can be very passive, like TRE or Pilates, these focus on stress release and body and mind synchronicity. Even do things as simple as taking a long quiet bath and relaxing not only the body, but especially the mind.

If you don’t have time for that at least, then you are simply allowing your work life to dominate your real aim, which like everyone else is to live a long, happy life. If you have one New Year’s resolution, it should be to focus on your ‘me’ time.

Stop pressing the ‘I have to do more’ repeat button every morning in the New Year and adopt a strategy that gives you some regular time for body, mind and soul. Contact me and let me help.

To all my loyal clients, let me extend a heartfelt thanks for your support and I wish you not only happy holidays, but a new decade of peace, serenity, strength and most of all, many reasons to be grateful. Gratitude itself is a powerful tonic!

Can you still effectively lead when trauma strikes?

Can you still effectively lead when trauma strikes?

Trauma and traumatic events are not selective. They are not specifically assigned to the meek or the mighty, the rich or the poor, the weak or the strong. Top Executives, people in powerful positions, top leaders are all subjected at some time or another to their own traumatic events.

The question I am posing is “can you still effectively lead when trauma strikes?” Not all leaders are in a position to take time off after going through divorce, suffering a death in the family, recovering from illness or an accident etc. …or worse still, there are many leaders who rather choose to simply ignore that anything has happened to them, because they are being depended on. Stiff upper lip and all that!

Probably the worst thing you can do, if you want to continue to be effective, is try to ignore that anything has happened. As a specialist Trauma Release Facilitator I have dealt with enough of these situations to hopefully offer a little more insight…

Recognise the problem

To ignore the effects of trauma on and in  your own body and mind is potentially inviting a retroactive scenario when one day you simply can no longer cope, break down and henceforth become potentially totally ineffective as a leader, or even a balanced human individual in all the roles you occupy. Recognise that what you have had to face is a problem that you need to deal with.

Accept that there is pain

Face the situation – understand that you have a problem and are suffering pain. Realise that this is not only something you need to deal with, but those you lead can be adversely affected by the poor decisions or erratic behaviour that you may now exhibit.

Avoid the pressure cooker effect!

As I alluded to already, the suppression of pain can ultimately lead to the ‘pressure cooker’ effect. You are stewing inside day after day, until that one day comes when the lid blows off. Somebody, maybe a whole team, a whole company …or a whole country is subjected to the steam you’re blowing off and the effects can be devastating.

…or hibernation…

I have a favourite analogy about what often occurs in these situations …even if you are not stewing, you may be like a big old bear that just decides to sleep it off through the winter. You see this as season that shall pass and just go into a kind of mental coma.

The problem is when you finally wake up to your reality, you’re so hungry you are ready to kill to be fed the nourishment that you should have had all along. What can I say? …pressure cooker, or hibernation, both are simply delaying facing your pain head on and dealing with it.

There is no separation from pain

The body and mind are designed to create pain as a warning signal that something is amiss, whether it is physically or emotionally. Just as when we have a physical injury we have to face up to and treat pain, so does the individual who has suffered trauma.

It may sound ridiculous to some, but emotional pain only begins to subside when we embrace it, understanding that we cannot be separated from it. Your body and mind operate as one entity, they cannot be separated, regardless of where pain has chosen to strike.

I can help

I have, through my business Self and More, assisted hundreds of people to deal with trauma and achieve a holistic balance of body and mind through passive, effective, constructive techniques. Let me assist you, as a leader, to continue to lead effectively in a time of crisis.

No-one needs to suffer in silence, or try to be an island, by doing so you are simply disconnecting with the very people you need to be strong for. As a leader, you know that you need to keep your enemies close and engage them face to face.

When offered a ‘fight or flight’ option great leaders don’t flee …When the pain of trauma is your enemy, contact me and let’s fight it together.

Kind regards,

Marléne

Two wounded hearts don’t make a whole one!

Two wounded hearts don’t make a whole one!

In a recent article I mentioned a trip I had recently embarked on. In that article I did not elaborate on it, but as the nature of the journey was relevant to the theme of this article, I think I should.

It was a spiritual journey – a long walk from Portugal to Spain, where the pilgrims had trodden many years ago. I set out with a friend to take a sabbatical and in my endless quest to unravel the human condition, see what I could discover about myself and others.

Many things happened on that journey and in future articles I shall probably refer to some of them to illustrate points I am trying to make. The walk was cleansing, difficult, spiritually meaningful and tiring all at once, but what an enlightening experience it was.

The backpack

One particular thing happened on the journey which I really wanted to share. I had set out with a backpack, the standard issue type and the idea was to carry no more than one tenth of one’s body weight.

Apart from the usual obvious things, like clothing and supplies, I had set out with a couple of items that I had been carrying at the request of, or which had been given as gifts from, friends at home.

Every day at the end of the days walk, being the organised and disciplined person I am (and simply because it made sense) I unpacked every item, which I had carefully individually wrapped, from the backpack and aired it.

Lighten the load

As the journey progressed I began to do a couple of things. I began to mix things up a little, not having everything individually wrapped anymore …and I began to leave some things behind, simply because it felt more comfortable when I did so.

That begged the first question for me. “How many of us have the courage to change the status quo, assess things at the end of the day and have the sense to leave some of the burdens behind?”

This is such an important principle and is seen in many of my daily reflections that I have on my website. We need to be reflecting at the end of the day on both the good and the bad and not still carrying what’s not necessary the next day.

Know when to let go

There was something else rather profound that occurred though. When the thing I had been carrying for my friend started to weigh me down I had the courage to set even that down and leave it behind.

This was magnified when a very dear friend of 40 years, who had been ill for some time, passed away whilst I was on the journey. Previously I had picked up a beautiful heart shaped stone that I carried with me as it felt like it was part of my journey..

When I heard of his passing, it was fitting to place the heart along the journey in his memory. I did so in a quiet spot that felt right and held a quiet ceremony.  It actually felt like I had released the burden..

What are you carrying for someone else?

When you care for someone there is a time for bearing the load they may want you to and taking on the extra weight, even though you know it is weighing you down. In times that you are suffering the pain of your own trauma however, you need to know that your focus has to turn back on you and you need to release that extra burden.

I have learned as an experienced Trauma Release Facilitator that being there for those who matter is noble and right but, when your own heart is breaking – let go and focus on dealing with your own pain. After all two wounded hearts don’t make a whole one!

My business Self and More focusses on the release of trauma and holistic physical and mental wellness though various body mind and soul techniques. Watch this space for more about my insightful journey and contact me if you wish to start today to take your own journey to discover your full potential! 

In difficult times – connect with yourself

In difficult times – connect with yourself

In my recent travels, I have become very much aware that no matter where we are, in the world, whatever we face, disorientation or stress, the best way to deal with it is to be truly connected with oneself.

I’m not talking about just arising and trying to orientate oneself by thinking, “ok where am I? – what is the place I’m in?” It is about always making a deep internal connection through using various body, mind and soul techniques.

Being in a different place is just one example of the stresses we experience and of course at home we face different challenges every day. My business ‘Self and more’ specialises in facilitating practices that assist people to deal with stress and trauma on many levels.

What this article is about specifically, is that all too important aspect of making time every day to truly connect with yourself. So, how are some of the ways we do this? How in difficult times, do we truly connect with ourselves?

Daily reflections

I have recently added a series of daily reflections to my website and this is an excellent way to connect inwardly. Make some time every day to read one of these reflections and meditate on it. You can do so while you sit quietly with eyes closed, while you take a peaceful walk, or do some type of passive exercise like Pilates, or even during a TRE (Trauma Release Exercises) session.

The main thing is that you look to yourself and the ways you can give yourself more peace through evolving from within. So, what are some of the things these daily reflections tell us?

Make time to take time out to reflect

Essentially we need to make time to look inwardly. This ‘me’ time is so essential if we are to maintain a balance – and in particular if we have constant stress and trauma to deal with. 

Also don’t take the stuff from today into tomorrow. Connect inwardly, deliberate on it and then let it go.

Some sort of quiet meditation, soothing exercise, a long bath or a candle lit dinner, food for inner peace and growth, should end every day.

Be cognisant that throughout the universe all things are connected and we need to be mindful to connect body, mind and soul every day to live a fulfilled life.

Make time through committed sessions

One of the best ways to ensure you commit to some time to connect with yourself, is to commit to a regular session.  Self and more offers five essential body, mind and soul activities, all of which assist us to be more in touch with ourselves and release stress and trauma. These are all inward looking practices that ultimately reveal themselves outwardly in a healthier, happier you.

The choices are Pilates and TRE, which essentially are physical practices – Life coaching, and QEC (quantum Energy Coaching), essentially mental practices developing body and mind – and Soul plan – an ancient practice that assists one to finds one’s true destiny and Tachyons and Geometric Shapes for the home

Simply connect with me – and let me help you, in difficult times – to connect with yourself!