Cut Yourself Some Slack

Do you know what? There’s always tomorrow.

Mental load. The never-ending To Do List. Finding it difficult to switch off. We’re all so busy, taking care of things at work, at home, trying to make plans. It can be a real challenge to alleviate the pressure we put on ourselves. So today, give yourself permission to take your foot off the gas, just for a little bit.

Give less, gain more

The triggers for stress are different for everybody. Where in your life could you give a tiny bit less today that would reduce your stress levels? What could you cut out today that would give you the greatest feeling of relief, relaxation, or joy? For example, how about not cooking the tea tonight (one of my personal favourites)? Order a takeaway, go out or ask somebody else to cook! By giving a bit less, you will gain so much more, starting with a bit of headspace.

Put yourself in Time Out

What about changing into your pyjamas the minute you get home? Or leaving a piece of work to finish tomorrow? Find your own way to indulge yourself: do more of what you want to do today and less of what you should do. Don’t worry – the world will continue to turn. Just allow it to do so with a little less help from you. Despite how the saying goes, there is always tomorrow. And by doing less, you might just give others the opportunity they’ve been waiting for but rarely get …  space to do more themselves.

Give yourself a break

One important thing to remember: cutting yourself some slack doesn’t mean you’re a slacker. Keep such self-critical thoughts at bay by reminding yourself that they are just stories you tell yourself. The reason they seem true is because you’ve repeated them – and listened to them – so many times that they have taken on the ring of truth. You can’t pour from an empty cup; giving yourself a break means you are able to recognise when you are feeling depleted and understand when you need some self-care. 

We all need time to relax, recharge and reconnect with ourselves and loved ones. It’s a valuable investment in our future selves, so make sure you set aside the time for regular instalments.

If you need help with striking a better work/life balance or you’d like to explore ways to creating a more fulfilling life, Dawn would love to speak with you. She has helped many clients find themselves and their passion while offering them guidance and support.

Like a Bad Boy? Learn To Break This Habit

h, Bad Boys. For as long as anyone can remember, the Bad Boy has been the handsome devil that stared moodily from the posters on our bedroom walls, that we read about in romantic novels. And while most of these characters are deliciously naughty between the pages of a book, if you’ve ever attempted a relationship with such a man you’ll know they’re nothing like as satisfying in real life – they’re called heartbreakers for a reason. If you have fallen into the habit of dating such guys, think back to the first bad boy that you dated. What attracted you to him? What was your relationship like? How did he treat you? And why did you split up?

If you’ve dated a succession of bad boys, now turn your attention to the one that really broke your heart, and then the most recent (they may be one in the same). Again, ask yourself the questions listed above. Note any similarities. You are on your way to identifying a pattern and recognising in yourself what makes you date guys like this. And consider why you enter into relationships like this in the first place. Are they exciting? Do you think you’ll be able to change him; tame him? Or do you think that you don’t deserve anything better?


Although many people laugh when psychologists ask clients about their relationships with their fathers, it very often plays an important part in the choices people make for themselves when it comes to partners. Was your relationship with your dad a happy one? Was he a man you liked to please, or rebel against? Did your parents have a good relationship? Women can often find themselves attracted to men just like their dad, especially if that relationship was a tricky one. It’s as if a part of us wants to go back and make that relationship right by recreating it with someone new, and because the dynamic between father and daughter is so deeply embedded in our subconsious mind, we may find ourselves instantly crazy in love with someone who might not be the best fit for us.


Think about what your ideal man would be like, not just what he would look like or how he dresses, but how he is emotionally, spiritually, professionally. And dare to dream; he is your perfect man, after all! Write it all down and refer to it often. Be specific but not too restrictiveI – intending for a man with kind eyes is far more open than wanting a man with blue eyes. (Having said that, though, being ultra-specific can work sometimes; a client met her ‘dream man’ in a bar two weeks after making her list, even down to the square-tipped shoes, but she’d forgotten to state that he had to be unattached – he had just split up from his wife and was still living in the marital home. Not ideal.) This list will help you focus on what you really want, and how you feel about him will throw up any potential limiting beliefs you carry about yourself. Do you believe the man that’s perfect for you exists? Would he want someone like you even if he did? Beliefs like these will block your path to true happiness and are best released before dating again.


When you’re out socially, remind yourself of any pattern or belief that you may have identified and also keep in mind your new set of criteria for your perfect man. If you are immediately attracted to somebody, you may be acting from a subconscious mindset – where you’re blindly falling into another bad relationship much like the last one. Pause for thought – does he seem familiar? Do you feel the same feelings you’re used to feeling? The Bad Boy will always feel more comfortble and easy because it’s what you know, what you understand. The Dream Man’ might not seem like he is perfect for you at first if you’re still stuck in your previous pattern. Give him – and yourself – a chance. Try someone different. You never know what might happen …

Feeling Overwhelmed? The First Step To Self Care

Feeling Overwhelmed? The First Step to Greater Self-Care

Last month I was compering an event about Having It All, and what was really interesting was how many members of the audience struggled with the phenomenon of ‘Always Being On’. They all had a To-do list as long as your arm, and as soon as one thing was crossed off the list something else appeared to replace it. And what was even more interesting was the fact that although most of these people realised they were struggling with all the things they had to do/think about/plan, none of them was really prepared to give anything up.


The Hamster Wheel

One of the most common reasons why the Always Being On phenomenon occurs is because people get caught up in the ‘busyness’ of Life. They end up running on stress and adrenaline, caught on the hamster wheel and not knowing how to get off.  Many people then try to relax by having screen time – either on social media or bingeing on boxsets. Neither of these genuinely relax you. The blue light from screens is mentally stimulating, social media creates anxiety and TV actively lowers your resting metabolism. When the stressful ‘fight or flight/act now’ cycle finishes, you risk physical and emotional burnout, and if you risk stopping, you’d feel so exhausted that you might not get started again.


If you have a lot going on in your life and are spinning lots of plates, then overwhelm is bound to occur. Keeping the plates turning becomes your only focus, and you start to see nothing else outside of this  – like your personal wellbeing, for example. Overwhelm also makes it harder for you to hand tasks over to other people because it’s usually difficult to see how much of a toll it’s taking on you.

My Way or The Highway

Overwhelm and The Hamster Wheel often combine to make you feel anxious delegating tasks to others because they ‘won’t do it right’ – i.e: your way. This stems from Perfectionism, which is not so much about wanting things to be perfect, but the unrealistic expectation that you must be successful at everything you turn your hand to, otherwise you are a failure. Delegation takes the control out of your hands, and risks things not being done to your standards.

Take the First Step to Self-Care Today

Hooray –  make today the day when you finally cut yourself some slack!

You are a busy person who is used to taking care of things at work and at home, so today, give yourself permission to take your foot off the gas just for a little bit.

Where could you give a little bit less today in order to make a real difference to your stress levels?  What would give you the greatest pleasure? Not cooking the tea (a personal favourite of mine)? Great – get a takeaway, go out, or let somebody else cook for a change! Getting into your pyjamas as soon as you get home? Leaving a piece of work to finish the next day? Indulge yourself and do less of what you should do and more of what you want to do today.

Remember this: Cutting yourself some slack doesn’t mean you’re a slacker. The first step in self-care is to allow yourself some space to relax and recharge so you can face the next day with greater energy and more clarity. Giving yourself a break means recognising when you are depleted, understanding when you need some self-care, and acting on it.

So don’t allow any self-critical thoughts to take root.  The world will continue to turn without you turning it, so allow it to do so with a little less help from you. And you never know, it might be the opportunity to do more that the people around you were waiting for, but never got.

If you often feel frazzled and have lost enthusiasm for the things you love doing, it might be time to refocus. Dawn has helped many clients find themselves and their passion and would love to speak to you if you need support.

Moving On From Being Dumped…The First Steps

Being dumped is awful and can really knock your self- confidence, but there are lots of things you can do to get over it! Below are a few steps to help you get over your ex.


Just because you were the one to get dumped doesn’t mean that you’re not a lovely person – you are. You’re just not the one for him. And although it might not feel like it right now, he’s done you a favour, because now you’ll be free to be with that really special someone when the time’s right.


Don’t spend time blaming yourself for the things that went wrong with your ex; it won’t bring him back and you’ll only make yourself feel worse. Be good to yourself instead. Pamper yourself and treat yourself just like your best mate would  – kindly and with care. Buy yourself some flowers and chocolates; go and do somethiing that makes your heart sing. You’ve had a rough ride, give yourself the love and support that you think you’ve lost.


Write down at least 20 things that make you the fab person you are. Get your best mates to help you if you get stuck. Look at the list every night before you go to bed to remind yourself of how fantastic you are and soon enough, you’ll start believing it again.


When you start feeling down, get up and get back into the game. Read your confidence list, arrange to meet a mate, or throw yourself into a hobby – better still, start something new that you’ve always fancied doing! Keeping busy, and focusing on what is happening in the present moment will stop you dwelling in the past and soon a week will have passed and you’ll realise that you haven’t thought about your ex once…

How To Gain Interview Confidence


Build up your self-confidence in all areas. Write a list of at least 20 great qualities and talents you have (things like having a great car don’t count). Enlist the help of a friend if you get stuck. Read the list every night before you go to bed. The more you read about what a great person you are, the more you’ll believe it and your self-confidence will begin to rise.

Identify your positive anchors. An anchor is a trigger that will change our emotional state. Much as the sound of a champagne cork popping gets us in the party mood, you will have many anchors in your life that help you access different emotions. Try and identify anchors from any of the five senses that make you feel fired up, confident and happy – the one I use is the theme tune for Starsky & Hutch! – and use them in the days leading up to your interview to help you build up those feelings. If a certain photograph reminds you of a time when you were at the top of your game, put it somewhere you can see it many times during the day.


Relax. Make sure all your preparation for the interview is done well in advance of the evening before. This is the time to relax, trust that you’ve done enough, and be good to yourself. Do anything that will relax you and take you out of yourself; read, exercise, cook. Better still, seek out the company of people (or failing that, watch a film) that really makes you laugh – it’s the best way to alleviate stress and sets you up for a great night’s sleep.

Sleep well. If you’re having trouble sleeping the night before, don’t panic or force yourself; that will only make matters worse. Instead, breathe deeply and clench and relax your body three times. Tell yourself that it’s okay not to sleep, just resting is good enough. You’ll be off again sooner than you think.


Set the day up right. On the day of the interview, it’s important to get the right mix of confidence and relaxation. While you’re getting ready for work, set yourself up for a great day by using all the postive anchors you’ve been working with on previous days, and only focus on being carefree and confident – you’re going to have a great day!

Keep breathing. Stand up straight and breathe deeply through your nose, concentrating only on your breath. Breathing deeply calms you down and centres you. If you like, imagine yourself as a tree – strong, majestic, unfazed.

Smile. Smiling is also a great stress-buster. Smile broadly at yourself in the mirror before you go in for the interview. If you’re really nervous, add a wink, or making a noise like ‘ting!’ will really break that nervous state by making you laugh!

Eye contact, firm handshake. First impressions really do count. People make their minds up about you in minutes, proving that it’s how you put yourself across and not actually what you say that matters in interview (55% is your physiology, and 38% your tonality – only 7% is content). With that in mind, when you enter the room, smile, reminding yourself it’s reducing your stress levels as well as making you look friendly and confident. Shake everybody’s hand firmly – a limp handshake is the biggest turn-off in the world – and make eye contact with everybody. Eye contact is another sign of confidence, as well as respect. It also helps if you are the type of person who feels intimidated by an interview panel. It reminds you that the panel is really made up of individuals, just like you.

The Importance of Setting Boundaries

The Importance of Setting Boundaries

We’ve discussed in other blogs how important it is to have time to yourself: to rest, restore, and have space to reconnect with yourself. Keeping all aspects of your life in balance, and ensuring that you don’t get overwhelmed by them, will help you face whatever Life brings – but you can only do this by getting really good at boundary setting.

Boundaries: keeping bad stuff out, keeping good stuff in 

Think of a boundary as being like a wall around your own personal garden. This garden is a place where you have peace, time to connect with yourself and the people and pastimes that delight you. You wouldn’t want all manner of people trampling your grass, rattling the gate all day and night demanding to be let in for a lie down on your sun lounger, would you? Not setting healthy boundaries risks exactly that – people or circumstances invading your personal space, be it physical or mental.

Understand why you need boundaries

If you aren’t clear on why you need boundaries in certain areas your life, then it will be impossible for you to keep them when circumstances get tricky. Get clear on your reasons for setting them, and really take time to explore the positive benefits which setting that boundary will give you. For example, your parents might want you to go and visit them every weekend, but that’s the only time you get to catch up with friends. So what does being with your friends do for you? Help you relax after a hard week? Allow you to laugh and have fun? These are all ways of restoring your health and wellbeing. It’s not a luxury, it’s vital to your longterm mental health. Valuing what makes you happy will make it easier for you to put boundaries in place for yourself … and feel okay about limiting visits to your folks to just twice a month.

State your boundaries

Once you have decided on your boundaries, make sure you let people know about them. Declaring your boundaries to those whom it will affect can be a very proud moment, because not only are you informing them,  you’re declaring it to yourself as a real, living thing, not just an idea in your head. Tell them what your plan is, when it will happen, and how frequently.

And that’s all.

Keep your boundaries

Just stating the facts and nothing else gives a clear verbal boundary to the recipient of your message. It’s very important to communicate it in this way, particularly if you are the kind of person who tends to justify their actions. By entering into as little debate as possible, it will be more difficult to be drawn into a discussion about why you’re doing it, why you want to do it, etc … and therefore it’ll be more easier to stick to your plan.

Make sure you enforce your boundary religiously, especially for the first two weeks. Guard it fiercely. Boundaries are gifts that only you can give to yourself. 

Make yourself a priority.