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Everyone is fearful of another lockdown at Christmas, another year in which we can’t see family and friends. There may be some empty seats at the dinner table this year and more than the usual number of toasts to absent friends.
It is more important than ever before that we take time to sit back and relax this year and to enjoy being reunited with our family. Many people spent last Christmas alone, only speaking to loved ones on the phone or via zoom.
In 2021 it is important that we don’t get overwhelmed by the desire to make a perfect Christmas. Christmas isn’t about the perfectly wrapped present or the beautiful table centre. Christmas is about making memories and having fun.
Whoever is doing the cooking you make sure they don’t miss out by being in the kitchen all morning. If the pigs in blankets are from the supermarket and not home-made does it really matter? (And if someone says these are the best you have ever made, smile and keep your secret).
If you are feeling overwhelmed don’t mutter to yourself in the kitchen, ask for help. Plan your day in advance thinking who will be present and allocate tasks like laying the table or peeling the potatoes. Don’t ask or wait for them to offer, explain what needs to be done. They might not realise you’re overwhelmed.
Christmas is for having fun not being a martyr. So what if the custard is lumpy – it can become part of Christmas folklore. The best Christmas memories are made up of conversations that go “remember the Christmas when…”.
If you need a break – five minutes alone away from the noise and the chatter -then take it even if it means locking yourself in the bathroom for a while.
Christmas is all about friends, family and the festivities, but self care is still important. This doesn’t have to mean another glass of sherry or too much wine, it can mean a much needed cup of tea and peace and quiet. If the weather permits, five minutes outside in the fresh air can restore tattered nerves.
We don’t have to try even harder to make up for last year. Enjoying this year is what is important.
Whatever your plans are for Christmas I hope this year they go ahead for all of us and that you have a Very Merry Christmas!
I have worked as a hypnotherapist in Leatherhead and London and I also teach hypnotherapy and train new hypnotherapists. I offer a full range of services including anxiety coping mechanisms, stress relief, weight loss, stop smoking and treatment for phobias online via Zoom. Please get in touch to find out more.
It has been happening all through lockdown. We have been gripped with the decluttering bug. Friends and neighbours have been turning out lofts and watching videos on Youtube explaining how and why we need to declutter.
It is true we are all guilty of keeping odds and ends just in case they will be useful one day. Empty tins that get filled with buttons and screws that we collect and this last year has been a good time to throw stuff away and make space in our lives.
There is however another side to clutter. Recently I moved house. I like many have been shocked at the junk I have kept over the years and there have been many trips to the tip in the weeks before the move.
I have a large old cupboard that belonged to my grandmother and after much soul searching decided that yes I would take it with me and find space for it in the new house. I have been surprised it has fitted in well almost as if it belongs here and I am pleased that I decided it had to stay.
Last week my eldest granddaughter came over to help me empty boxes and we decided to put the stuff back in the centre part of the cupboard which has a glass door and is laughingly known as my cabinet of curiosities. The things in there range from buttons off a uniform, old coins, tiny elephants (given to my mother on her wedding day by her great aunt for good luck) and a whole multitude of other bits and pieces of no intrinsic value.
As we put them back I realised that each had a story to tell not just the tiny elephants and with my granddaughter we shared the stories about why these things had been kept. At the end of the afternoon my granddaughter said I want a cabinet of curiosities one day and I felt glad that I still had a home for grannies cupboard, and the clutter that is in it.
Another bundle of clutter that has joined me on my move as some of the cards and things that my children and now grandchildren made at school for special occasions. When my sister died a few years ago and sadly her only daughter had to clear her belongings she told me that it made her sad that her mother hadn’t kept a single card or picture from her days at school
Her mother had proudly displayed her graduation picture but she had found nothing even in the corner of a drawer that brought back memories of when she made that for her mother. My sister had moved around a great deal and I am sure it was just the necessities of moving that had caused her to be so ruthless. I know she loved her daughter and was proud of her. Sometimes we need to remember that what we call clutter can have memories attached.
Most families bring out a box of Christmas decorations that have been handed down over the years and share memories of when they were bought or made. A old neighbour of mine used to throw away her decorations every year and next year had a new theme on her christmas tree. My box of decorations goes back generations and every year like Grannie’s cupboard brings back memories even if some of them are now too tatty to come out of the box.
So if you are planning to declutter, remember that sometimes that tatty bit of junk may mean something to someone one day.
I have worked as a hypnotherapist in Leatherhead and London and I also teach hypnotherapy and train new hypnotherapists. I offer a full range of services including weight loss, stop smoking and treatment for phobias online via Zoom. Please get in touch to find out more.
Giving birth is one of the most beautiful events that we as humans get to experience. Yet even when we are aware of its magic, the idea of giving birth is often met with dread. Find out how hypnobirthing can help overcome this.
Having a baby is recognized as an excruciating, laborious task. Still, it is so obviously worth it that moms around the world are willing to put their minds and bodies through fits of intense pain and tension, and healthcare providers are there to quickly offer pain-relieving drugs.
But what if, during labour, your mind and body was so relaxed that you felt significantly less pain and tension? What if birth was something you looked forward to rather than feared? A more stress-free natural birth is entirely possible, and it begins with hypnotherapy.
What is Hypnobirthing?
Created by hypnotherapist and Harvard University Ford Foundation fellow Marie Mongan, hypnobirthing takes a more holistic approach to childbirth. Hypnobirthing, sometimes known as ‘birth hypnotherapy,’ is a form of self-hypnosis that keeps the mother calm, focused, relaxed, and positive while giving birth.
The result? Healthy women, in-touch with their hormones and breathing, experiencing a beautiful birth with reduced pain and tension. Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, The Duchess of Cambridge, and Fearne Cotton have talked about the positive, euphoric, and entrancing experience of hypnobirthing. The Duchess of Cambridge proudly used hypnobirthing methods to prepare for Prince Louis’s birth, such as visualizing the birth that she wanted and practising her breathing.
Using deep breathing techniques, visualisation, positive affirmations, guidance from their partners, and comfortable labour measures, women can train their brains to go into a deep state of focus and relaxation.
Birth hypnotherapy gives you the tools to experience birthing in an atmosphere free of fear and tension that prevents the body’s muscles from functioning as nature intended. This state of relaxation and tranquillity will encourage endorphins, your body’s natural relaxant, to dismiss the stress hormones causing pain and constriction.
This natural controlled birth experience comes with a plethora of benefits, including (but not limited to) reduced pain, powerful stress-relieving techniques, feelings of empowerment and control, knowledge of your body and its natural processes, intense bonding with your partner and baby, and more.
One of the most incredible benefits of birth hypnotherapy is its ability to reduce pain during birth. According to Dr Dick-Read ‘the father of natural childbirth’, hypnotherapy helps women break out of the ‘fear-tension-pain syndrome’ that causes blood to flow away from the uterus and larger leg muscles, making labour more strenuous.
Hypnobirthing’s emphasis on hypnosis can bring a woman into a state of deep relaxation within the body, encouraging muscles to perform the way they’re meant to without limitations. Plus, hypnobirthing is a fantastic option for those women who want to have a natural birth without the use of pain medication.
The Power of the Breathing
Hypnobirthing focuses on breathing techniques that not only promote a calm and comfortable birth by triggering your parasympathetic nervous system, but these tools can also help those women who experience panic attacks and shortness of breath due to fear, nervousness, and labour pains. After birth, these techniques can stick with you to help deal with anxiety and stress and help towards a more healthy life.
Studies have shown that proper breathing, in through the nose and out through the mouth, is essential for supporting a healthy immune system, optimising the function of organs, and even aiding in digestion.
Presence in the Moment
Giving birth is a natural, magical, raw experience that can be fully understood and appreciated when the mind and body work in tandem. Women can feel empowered, knowledgeable, and prepared to give birth because they have the tools and knowledge to aid them, even when it gets tough.
Better Postpartum Experience
Women who have given birth using hypnotherapy have found the postpartum period much more manageable with reduced instances of post-natal depression, in part due to the positive decisions they made before and during delivery. Others have claimed that Hypno-birthed babies are calmer and easier going.
Hypnobirthing also strengthens the mother-baby bond as mother and child are freely immersed in natural, ecstatic birth hormones. In this state, you are free to use your own natural birthing abilities while feeling controlled, delighted, and profoundly relaxed.
Even after you give birth, you will be able to use the skills and relaxation techniques you’ve learned through hypnobirthing to find ease and serenity during times of stress and trouble.
Where to Start
For those interested in learning the art of using your own natural birthing abilities to feel calm, relaxed and enjoy the birthing experience, please contact me to arrange a free consultation to see if hypnobirthing is right for you.
As an experienced practitioner who has studied advanced hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques, I can walk you through the Hypnobirthing childbirth method. My approach to the hypnobirthing method teaches you to be in control as you call upon your body’s own natural responses. You will learn to lessen or even eliminate any pain, discomfort, or need for medication.
Even if you regularly meditate or use hypnosis, it is highly recommended that you see a Hypnobirthing specialist and take classes through them. You will gain so much more and become more prepared to give birth by listening to and following an expert’s extensive knowledge and methods.
Get in touch today to find out more.
New Year 2021 is certainly not the same as any new year that has gone before. New Year resolutions are harder to make and even harder than usual to keep. Lockdown has led many people to eat more, drink more alcohol and exercise less.
There are many good exercise programs on line but if it is hard to motivate yourself to go to the gym when joining a gym involves a financial commitment, then motivating yourself to do a free on-line exercise class is even harder.
Working from home means a steady access to the fridge and to snacks, biscuits or crisps depending on your individual preference. When you are shopping, the temptation to put snacks in the trolley whilst telling yourself that they are for the children is overwhelming.
Alcohol has also been a downfall for many during lockdown. The stress of working from home combined with home schooling leads to the belief one glass of wine won’t hurt – I have deserved it – and the one glass often ends up with finishing the bottle before bedtime.
The Covid crises is continually on the news and we are all hearing about more and more people we know being stricken with the disease. It is not surprising that stress and anxiety are on the rise.
Hypnotherapy can help you take back control of your life. Here at my Leatherhead hypnotherapy clinic I am still seeing clients in a Covid safe environment and I am also treating people on line via Zoom, Skype etc. The relaxation that comes with hypnotherapy is beneficial in itself, an additional bonus that comes with treatment for other issues.
Recently a client rang about insomnia she had been unable to sleep for several weeks due to stress and worry. The first session of hypnotherapy gave her a good night’s sleep and then she learned how to deal with the stress and the worry
Hypnotherapy can help in many problems including weight loss, stop smoking and stress whether it’s on-line or a live session.
Contact me to find out more.
Many of us suffer from a phobia and the depth of the phobia can vary. It can be slight and we shudder when we see a snake or spider or sometimes it can become acute and then we go out of our way to avoid whatever we perceive as a threat.
In almost 20 years of treating phobias I have seen a numerous clients at my Leatherhead hypnotherapy clinic. Phobias have ranged from a spider phobia so severe that a young girl was willing to turn down a university place because of her fear she wouldn’t be able to cope with a spider in her bedroom. Another client with a blood phobia who was worried about her job as a school secretary if a child came to reception with a cut knee, and a man who had walked out of a restaurant where he was planning to celebrate his birthday because there were balloons tied to every chair.
Phobias can seem trivial and silly to those who don’t suffer but when they start to impinge on our daily life, when we stop doing something because of a phobia, then we need to deal with them.
Today the news is full of information about a covid vaccine. All the photos in the news and on the television are of the vaccine being delivered by injection. I have come across needle phobia many times. One client was a young girl of 18 who wanted to go travelling but her phobia was stopping her getting the necessary injections. Her mother bought her for treatment on her 18th birthday and she then happily went to the doctors for the injections needed and she spent the next year exploring the world.
There are several hypnotherapy treatments for a phobia and they are very effective. Sometimes only one session is needed to break the cycle of fear. Phobias often have their roots in childhood memories, scare stories from older siblings or can be learned memories from a parent or adult that had a similar phobia.
Covid 19 is not going to be controlled without a vaccine and the more people who have the vaccine the more effective it will be. If you have a fear or phobia about needles it is time to deal with it. We all want our lives to return to normal as soon as possible. Hypnotherapy can help you deal with a needle phobia so that you can protect yourself against the virus.
Contact me today to find out how hypnotherapy can help you beat your phobia.
Has your alcohol consumption increased in Lockdown? Perhaps you’re finding the stress of returning to work has increased your need to have a drink when you get home to help you unwind. If you are working from home perhaps there is the temptation of a gin and tonic or glass of wine at the end of the day.
Whilst our trips to the pub have been limited and now we have to leave the pubs at 10.00 this often means that people are drinking more at home. It is cheaper and we pour ourselves bigger measures. We don’t have to drive anywhere so the temptation is to have just one more drink or finish the bottle before bedtime.
Here at my Leatherhead clinic I have had a number of clients who feel they have lost control of their drinking. They can’t resist the temptation to pour another drink.
One of the best ways of taking back control is to dedicate two or three nights each week as alcohol free. Arrange another treat on those nights perhaps take some exercise or watch a movie. Write those days on the calendar so that they are a commitment to your wellbeing.
Stoptober is here again perhaps you feel going dry for a whole month will break the routine or pattern that you have got into. Often we take a drink almost as a habit because it’s what we do at the end of the day or when we are stressed.
Reducing the amount of alcohol we drink we also help to lose weight, another very important factor at these times. We need to take responsibility for our health and wellbeing. Often we are not aware of just how much we are drinking when we drink at home. Check out safe drinking guidelines and stick to them. Changing your drinking habits and taking back control will help your health and even your wealth.
Contact me today to find out how hypnotherapy can help you build new better habits.
Lockdown is coming to an end and we are returning to a new normal. Life has changed for almost everyone in some form or another. The newspaper headlines can still be frightening and many people are not sure quite what to do now.
Many of my clients have put on weight during lockdown and have realised that their eating habits need to change if they are going to lose weight and keep it off. Other clients have decided that now is the time to stop smoking and want to do it before they return to work.
Anxiety is still causing problems for many. Health anxiety is on the increase and a number of people have found that their general anxiety levels have increased.
All of these problems and others including fears and phobias can be helped with hypnotherapy.
Whether we have returned to work or we are still working from home life is different and will be different for a long time. This doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life. During lockdown we began to enjoy the simple pleasures of a walk in the park or the local woods. We should still make time for this and not allow any return to work to completely stop these new pleasures. Taking time out to relax, meditate or just stand and stare helps reduce anxiety levels.
We managed to get off the treadmill for a few weeks. Let’s make sure we at least slow it down or step off occasionally and enjoy our new normal.
Please get in touch for a chat and find out how hypnotherapy can help you.
Is your anxiety rising now we are coming out of lockdown?
It is a very worrying time now that we are allowed to socialise more. The conflicting information that is in the press and online is adding to our stress.
Here at my Leatherhead hypnotherapy clinic I have had a number of clients whose anxiety is on the increase. Health anxiety is a major problem of some. They find themselves constantly checking Doctor Google for signs and symptoms of the virus.
Those who have been sheltering for various reasons are now worried about going out and about again and the increased risk of catching the virus. Parents are worried about their children returning to school and nursery and some children are themselves suffering from increased anxiety.
These challenges have to be faced; we have to restart our lives. Spending the rest of our life on the sofa isn’t really an option.
Some clients have put on weight during the lockdown and they have lost control of what and when they eat. They face going back to work with clothes that are straining at the waistband. Others have found it difficult to control their drinking habits.
Now is the time for us to gain control of our lives again. We have to believe that life will return to some kind of normal over the coming weeks and months. Many of our plans have been cancelled and we are unable to do all what we would have liked over the last few months.
We have enjoyed glorious weather and many of us have found new hobbies in gardening, knitting, crochet and dozens of other long forgotten skills. Other people have found time to relax read those books we always wanted to read and recharge our batteries.
Whatever we have been doing, now is the time to look forward. If anxiety is stopping you moving forward, even going out now that the doors are slowly opening, hypnotherapy can help to calm those fears. Don’t let anxiety control your life in the future.
Get in touch to discuss how hypnotherapy could help you.
It is just over three weeks now since the government ordered us into our homes. We are only to go out for exercise, essential shopping or work. The newspapers tell us that 90% of the population are obeying the government’s rules and there are signs that it is working and the virus spread is slowing.
How do you cope when your routine is shattered and suddenly you can’t see friends and family? We had the strangest of Mothering Sundays with families grappling to get to grips with new technology. Easter came and went without the traditional Sunday roast and we had Bank Holiday at home.
Many people find it difficult with the whole family at home every day and this can be overwhelming. It is important to have time to yourself and allow your children the same. We do not need to be entertained all day. Sometimes just taking time out to stand and stare is a bonus.
Mindfulness is all about living in the here and now; Savouring what we are doing now and not worrying about tomorrow. The politicians are all being pushed about how we can come out of lockdown. We have no control over this at the moment so if you can pack away your fears and worries you can enjoy this time as a time of rest and recuperation.
Stop looking at this as imprisonment or punishment and see it as a sabbatical or a retreat. Use the time do something you have always wanted to whether it is learning to knit or reading ‘War and Peace’ now is the time to do it. If your goal isn’t achievable because of social isolation use the time to plan, consult the maps for those long distance walks or special holidays etc.
Going out for a walk when we don’t have to rush to catch a train or bus is a new joy, perhaps you could retrace your daily walk to the bus stop or train station at a new leisurely pace and notice all the things you usually rush past. One of my dog walks takes me across a footbridge over the normally jam packed M25. Today I noticed the smell of the may blossom instead of diesel fumes.
Whatever you do in lockdown make it a joy. Don’t waste this time by longing for things we can’t do but do what we can. It’s not a competition to see who can achieve the most it. This is your time and space and a chance for once in your life to do your own thing.
If you feel low on occasion this is only to be expected. Find a quiet corner have a good cry, then as the song tells us “pick yourself up and start all over again.”
If you can’t do this and you find your low mood continues, many therapist are still working on line. Here at my Leatherhead clinic I recently helped a lady on Skype who was struggling to control her eating during the lockdown. I am offering 30 minute relaxation sessions for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed. If you are struggling in anyway contact, find out how hypnotherapy can help you.
Soon the lockdown will be over and we will return to some sort of normal, in the meantime find a way to enjoy this quiet time of rest.
Get in touch to find out how online hypnotherapy can help you
People are worried and anxiety is increasing but you don’t have to do this alone.
Counselling and hypnotherapy are still available via Skype, Facetime etc. There is still help out there, don’t be afraid to ask.
We have to become more flexible and adapt to this different way of life. This is the same for therapy as well as other businesses.
Here at my Leatherhead clinic people are seeking treatment for on-going anxiety as well as health anxiety. Fear about the future can weigh heavily on our minds.
This Sunday many for the first time cannot visit their mothers or take them for the annual Mothering Sunday lunch. You can still speak to them on the phone and if they have a smart phone or access to a tablet then it is the easiest think to set them up with Facetime.
Perhaps a handy son, daughter or grandchild could phone and talk them through the steps involved. Social isolation could in the end bring us closer together.
Hypnotherapy and counselling can be done on line and works well. One of my recent Skype clients said, “I wouldn’t have coped so well with this if I hadn’t been working on my anxiety issues.”
If you are feeling stressed or anxious please don’t hesitate to contact me and I can give you help and advise on the phone or via the Internet.
Just a thirty minute relaxation could relieve your stress.