Eleven forces for good you need to follow online

forces-for-good

The Internet is full of people begging for your likes, follows and comments, and every so often we come across one that stands out from the crowd. Rather than being shallow and cynical, they are forces of good.

They balance wit and fun with thoughtful social commentary, encourage better living, depict what it means to have healthy and whole relationships, and are just general slices of good news that will leave you smiling.

From authors to Instagram influencers and charities, here are 11 forces for good you want to follow online.

Good-news

  1. GOOD GOOD GOOD

When it comes to forces for good, it’s hard to go past GOOD GOOD GOOD. Started by Nashville local Branden Harvey in 2016, they exist to celebrate, people, movements and ideas most of us normally miss in the headlines.

Between their social media presence (their Instagram stories are stellar), weekly SoundsGood podcast with influencers, newsletter and their Good News Paper (a literal paper), this company isn’t just proclaiming good news, they are actually creating it.

Facebook: /goodgoodgoodco
Instagram: @goodgoodgoodco
Twitter: @goodgoodgood
Podcast: Available on all platforms (click here)
Online: goodgoodgood.co

Branden-H

  1. Branden Harvey

Branden’s work around positivity and world change goes further than GOOD GOOD GOOD. He also helps businesses tell their stories well, interviews some of society’s most influential change makers, and is a king when it comes to Instagram stories.

From videos that detail how to call your local representative about a social issue, to adorable videos of his pup (@poptartharveyco) and hangs with his wife Sammi, his online presence will give you a dose of happiness to keep going through the day.

Facebook: /brandenharvey
Instagram: @brandenharvey
Twitter: @BrandenHarvey
Snapchat: brandenharvey
Podcast: Sounds Good
Online: brandenharvey.com

Alex-Elle

  1. Alexandra Elle

An author, mother and creative, Alex is an inspirational force from Washington DC. Beautifully honest and compellingly raw, Alex shares the highs and lows of femininity, motherhood and love. Her book Neon Soul is available now, and you can catch her on The Hey Girl Podcast as well.

Instagram: @alex_elle
Twitter: @_alexelle
Podcast: The Hey Girl Podcast
Online: alexelle.com

bob-goff

  1. Bob Goff

Bob Goff is one of those rare people who can make everyone smile—and his online presence is no different. His quotes are challenging and thought provoking as he encourages people to love well, often and always.

He is the best selling author of Love Does and founder of a non-profit human rights organisation of the same name operating in Uganda, India, Nepal, Iraq and Somalia. His new book Everybody Always is out on April 17.

Facebook: /bobgoffis
Instagram: @bobgoff
Twitter: @bobgoff
Online: bobgoff.com

POTSC+book+on+wood

  1. People of the Second Chance (POTSC)

This organisation is known for their work reforming prisoners, however in recent years they have branched out to become a movement that helps people find freedom from depression, fear, addiction and shame.

Using custom-made curriculums, as well as their Rescue Academy that teaches people how to coach others, POTSC will boost your self-esteem and make you believe anything is possible.

Facebook: /peopleofthesecondchance
Instagram: @POTSC
Twitter: @POTSC
Online: secondchance.org

Mike-Foster

  1. Mike Foster

As a speaker, author and counsellor, we are big fans of Mike’s work. Aside from being the founder of People of The Second Chance, he regularly speaks on the power of grace and mercy. We also love his podcast Fun Therapy where he literally councils his friends on deep and compelling issues. His book People of the Second Chance is out now.

Facebook: /peopleofthesecondchance
Instagram: @mikefoster2000
Twitter: @MikeFoster
Podcast: Fun Therapy
Online: mikefoster.tv

abby-paulhus

  1. Abbie Paulhus

Abbie is an artist based in Las Vegas, and her work has been made into cards, pins, notebooks and prints. Her daily illustrations are whimsical and light, yet also full of profound truths. She advocates for ‘collaboration over competition,’ which makes her a powerful positive force in the creative industry as she champions the people around her and celebrates her own work.

Facebook: /AbbiePaulhusIllustrations
Instagram: @abbiepaulhus
Online: abbiepaulhus.com

brene-brown-talent-connect

  1. Brené Brown

In the world of mental health and wellness, few names are bigger than Brené Brown. This incredible woman is a best selling author, researcher and speaker, focusing on the nature of courage, shame, empathy, compassion and vulnerability. Her posts, along with her daily emails, are thought provoking and encourage you to be your most authentic self. Her latest book Braving the Wilderness is out now.

Facebook: /brenebrown
Instagram: @brenebrown
Twitter: @BreneBrown
Online: brenebrown.com

Hannah_Brencher093

  1. Hannah Brencher

Hannah Brencher is a powerhouse. She began writing anonymous love letters to strangers in 2011 and began the global More Love Letters movement which spawned her first book If You Find This Letter. Hannah’s posts are motivational and detail what it is like to live with mental illness. She also sends out a weekly Monday email encouraging you to kick butt.

Facebook: /HannahBrencherSheats
Instagram: @hannahbrencher
Twitter: @hannahbrencher
Tumblr: hannahbrencher.tumblr.com
Online: hannahbrenchercreative.com 

babeswhohustle

  1. Babes Who Hustle

Created by power house females for working women, this movement gives you awe-inspiring insight into some of the most creative and successful females in any given industry. More than just the success story, Babes who Hustle looks into the day-to-day of actions of courageous women and delves into the person behind the brand or profession.

Facebook: /BabesWhoHustle
Instagram: @babeswhohustle
Twitter: @babeswhohustle
Online: babeswhohustle.com

Tonya-I

  1. Tonya Ingram

Spoken-word poet Tonya Ingram is powerful because she is unsparingly honest. She talks and writes about her identity as a woman, a survivor of abuse, love, and someone who lives with chronic and mental illness. Aside from her brilliant Instagram posts, she also has a stellar Insta-story presence well worth your time.
Her book Another Black Girl Miracle is out now.

Facebook: /TonyaIngram1991
Instagram: @tonyainstagram
Twitter: @TonyaSIngram

Five ways to beat stress

stress-april

Around the Easter break, stress comes to the forefront of our lives. We’re rushing to finish all our work in time for vacation, or we bring it home to get on top of everything.

Then there’s the stress that we experience around the holidays—seeing family and friends, cooking and entertaining, not to mention making sure your in laws don’t start a debate about international politics. Before long you’ve got a headache, your back starts to spasm, and spending time with the kids feels like more of a chore than a privilege.

Can you relate? If stress is controlling your life this Easter break, these five tips will help you get it back under control.

  1. Stop and breathe

It may seem simple, but when we’re stressed and on a deadline, taking the time to stop and breath feels like the most difficult step of all.

If everything feels like too much and pausing feels impossible, give yourself permission to stop for a minute. Exit to the bathroom or the hallway, and take five deep breaths in and out. This will clear your head and ease the tension in our body before you go back to your task. You will be more productive, and your stress will lessen significantly.

  1. Make a list 

Some people have so much to do that they spend more time leaping from one task to another rather than actually finishing a task! If that’s you, then make a list. Prioritise your tasks from what is most important or time sensitive, to what can be put on the back burner. Once you’ve made the list, follow it and complete each task one at a time. This will give you a sense of clarity and control. Plus, crossing an item off your list is a great ego boost!

  1. Take a walk

Spending time outside and exercising are natural stress reducers and will lift your mood. Take half an hour to walk around the block or grab a coffee, and use the time to centre yourself. Focus on nature, the taste of your drink, or the wind on your face. This will settle you before you go back to the grind.

  1. Set aside time for rest

Working non-stop is a natural response to stress, but it actually perpetuates the cycle and hinders your heath. Designate a set time for your work, rest and fun. That may mean not taking work home with you, or not working on weekends. It may even be as simple as not checking your email before you get to work!

  1. Meditate

Meditation and mindfulness will still your mind, and in turn, relax your body. Our friends at Audio Mental Training provide you with a number of Mindfulness Meditation programs that you can download and start using immediately (our favourite is Optimal Health). You can find out more by visiting their website HERE.

Are you stressed to the max? Are you scared that if you stop, everything will fall apart? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

The Power of Vulnerability

The-Power-of-Vulnerability

When it comes to relationship and human connection, the common fears many of us share are around our worthiness. Am I worthy of love? Am I allowed to ask for this? Am I good enough for this position? Am I qualified enough to raise my children?

When we don’t express these concerns, we aren’t ‘real’ and intimate with those we love, and it’s accompanying shame keeps us from living authentic and fulfilled lives.

Social researcher and storyteller Brené Brown undertook a six-year study to better understand the nature of shame, courage, empathy, love and belonging. Throughout her focus groups and data, she found that she, like so many of her subjects, also struggled with vulnerability and the belief that she was worthy of being genuine and flawed.

In this Ted Talk, she shares her incredible journey and leaves us with some gems that can revolutionise our own relationships and inner walk. We’d encourage you to watch the whole video. At 20 minutes it’s a little longer, but worth the time and effort. She is smart, disarming and funny, and you finish it feeling a little more ready to show yourself the same love you long to receive from others.

“This is what I have found: To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen…to love with our whole hearts, even though there's no guarantee—and that's really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that's excruciatingly difficult—to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we're wondering, “Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?” just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, “I'm just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I'm alive.”

And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we're enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, “I'm enough”…then we stop screaming and start listening, we're kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we're kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

Read the entire transcript on the Ted Talk site here.

Do you want to learn more about vulnerability? Do you experience shame or live in fear that you’re not worthy of love? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

Ten steps to make a new place your home

Ten-steps-to-make-a-new-place-your-home

At some point or another, we all move away: to a new house, a new city, or if you’re like me, a new country. And while this transition may be more common for students who move away for their education, lots of adults find themselves in the middle of this scenario too.

When we uproot ourselves from our home, we face a whole new collection of challenges. Your social structure is mostly non-existent, your everyday routine has been tossed in the air, and simple questions like, “How do I get to the nearest Target?” can send you into a spiral of Google searches and awkward conversation starters.

We have to find our footing at our new place of employment (or find employment) and must learn to navigate a whole new culture. And to be honest, it’s difficult to establish yourself when no one knows you and you know nothing about them.

If this is you, then I’m right there too. The transition to a new home isn’t easy, but it is do-able. Here are ten steps I’m following while I try to make myself a home in a new city. 

  1. Find a place to belong

Before you make the move, identify a community you can build a life around. It could be new housemates, new work mates, a parents group, a church, a book club or a gym. This will centralise you and give you something to work towards straight away.

  1. Find mutual friends

It’s likely that a friend, colleague or loved one knows someone in your new city, or at least knows someone who has been there. Ask your mutual friend to connect you over Facebook or text, and see if you can meet up for coffee or go for a walk. In a perfect world, this would lead to a great friendship, but even if you don’t ‘click’, they’ll be able to give you great advice on how to set up your life there.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

The first few months in a new place are rough, purely because everything is so different. If you need help moving, finding a job, getting transport or finding directions, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask your new community (from step 1), a mutual friend (step 2), or even the city tourism office. If all else fails, talk to your family and friends back home.

  1. Go exploring

Take an afternoon to wander around your new neighbourhood and meet the people there. Find the local convenience store, the best coffee shop, and see what people do for fun. Once you’re settled in this, branch out and take public transport or drive downtown and to other suburbs locals suggest. Make this your city.

  1. Don’t be afraid to fail

Transition isn’t easy. There are some days you will feel accomplished, like you’re fitting in and the move was the best decision you ever made. Other days you will question why you came here and how you can keep going. It’s okay. In the moments when the negatives seem to outside the positives, take a breath and talk to someone from home. Give yourself permission to break routine and recharge, and then keep going.

  1. Be innovative

You have to think outside the box when you’re on your own. The ways and means you normally would have achieved things won’t always work here. So if you’re sick, lost or lack transport, get creative. Think about the ways other people handle these situations, and instead of calling home (which is now hundreds of miles away), look online. I once had medicine and lunch delivered to me through an app because I couldn’t get out of bed.

  1. Back yourself

No matter how you’re feeling or what self doubt comes your way, you’ve got this. You were strong enough to make this transition, and you can complete it. So be kind and gracious with yourself, and celebrate the wins. Every new day is a victory, as is every new social encounter, journey through the city and dinner invitation.

  1. Find a place that reminds you of home

Often the places we move to are completely foreign to us. The way things look, sound and smell are completely different to what we are familiar with, and it takes time to adjust. If you can, find a place in your new city that reminds you of home. It may be in the natural environment (for instance, by a beach or in a forest), or a coffee shop that smells familiar.

  1. Create a routine

Transition is difficult because you have moments of emptiness where you don’t know what to do. Begin to create a routine so your life has some kind of structure. Go to work, find a gym, commit to a community group, go to church, join a sports club or create a social night at home where you relax with housemates or your spouse. Plan these things out in a diary, and you will feel purposeful.

  1. Say ‘yes’

Did someone at work invite you out for drinks? Say yes. Did a friend suggest a local restaurant or movie theatre? Say yes. Did an acquaintance add you on Facebook? Say yes. You have nothing to lose in this new season. So short of taking care of yourself, don’t be afraid to say yes to new people and opportunities that come your way. You never know what will come out of them.

Have you moved away from home? Would you like to explore strategies and techniques to help you through this transition? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

Five ways to keep your New Year’s Resolution

Five-ways-to-keep-your-New-Year-Resolution

A new year is a fresh start, and most of us go into it with a list of hopes, goals and plans. So have you come up with your New Year’s Resolution yet?

It may be repairing a broken relationship, bettering your physical or mental health, or getting a promotion at work. Whatever your goal for 2018 is, it will require commitment to achieve it. Because, if we’re honest, most of us fall short towards the end of January and our resolutions are long forgotten by June.

Here are five ways you can ensure you keep your New Year’s Resolution into January and beyond.

  1. Write it down

It’s simple, but once you write down your resolution it becomes permanent. Stick it on your bathroom mirror or write it in your diary so every day you’re reminded of your goal. This will keep you motivated and accountable.

  1. Get an accountability partner

Tell a friend or family member about your resolution, and have them check in about it once every few weeks. If your goal can be achieved with a partner (for instance, by going to the gym together), then choose to pursue it with their help.  This will keep you motivated on the days when it all feels too much.

  1. Set achievable goals

Take your resolution and divide it into 12 monthly goals. This isn’t just useful for health related goals—if your resolution is to restore your marriage then a goal may be attending counselling, going out for a date every week or surprising your partner with a gift.

  1. Reward yourself

Each time you meet a goal on the way to achieving your resolution, reward yourself. By yourself a gift, go for a long walk, or have a weekend getaway. Celebrate the ‘small’ things because you’ve worked hard to reach them and this will keep up your momentum through the year.

  1. Forgive yourself

Most of us throw our resolutions in the can when we fail them early on. We binge on unhealthy food, are fearful of the extensive inner work we need to do, or give up on a relationship all together.

Make your resolution with the knowledge that you will make mistakes. There will be days you don’t meet your goal—and that’s ok. What’s important is that you forgive yourself, pick up the reins and start again. The journey to your resolution doesn’t have to be perfect; you just need to get there. 

Do you want to start again in the New Year? Would you like support to achieve your New Year’s Resolution? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

10 conversation starters for awkward holiday parties

10-conversation-starters-for-awkward-holiday-parties

December is prime time for awkward conversations. There are work break ups, and family reunions, catch-ups with friends and community gatherings—all which require a certain amount of social prowess.

As someone with social anxiety, these events exhaust me. Having to navigate awkward questions about my relationship status and side step political banter means I don’t have a lot to give when it comes to starting conversations.

Come January 1, lots of us feel this way. So to help you along the way, we’ve come up with 10 great conversation starters for you. Pull one out next time you’re standing next to an introvert or when your second cousin once removed is seated next to you on Christmas Day.

All going well, this will create a conversation deep enough to go beyond weather talk, but light enough to avoid the unmentionables—politics, religion and having kids.

  1. What do you do with yourself when you’re not working?

This is a fail-safe way to find out about a person’s general interests. Maybe they’ve just started Cross Fit, are taking the kids to basketball practice, or belong to a religious community. You may even have something in common!

  1. What are your plans for the New Year?

This general open-ended question gives the other person permission to talk about whatever they want—holidays, new goals in the work place, their hope to start a family, or their plans to travel.

  1. Have you seen any good movies lately?

Short of having someone say, “I’m not really a movie person,” this is bound to start a conversation about the definitive ranking of Star Wars movies, great rom-coms, historical masterpieces or your favourite superhero. 

  1. Tell me about your work.

Some people can go on about their work for ages, so this opens up a lengthy conversation that will also identify what their vocation is and how they entered the industry. Steer clear of this if you’ve heard someone is searching for work or has been unable to go due to health reasons. If they’re searching, just say, “Oh, great! What are you looking for?”

  1. Do you have any animals?

Because who DOESN’T want to talk about their fur babies, and want to show strangers the collection of adorable photos they have of them on their phone?

  1. What are your kids interested in?

Obviously this is only useful if you’re speaking to a parent, but children are a great talking point—especially if you’re a relative. You’ll hear about their school work, their extra curricular activities, their health and their favourite TV show. Some parents will be more comfortable talking about their kids than themselves!

  1. Did you see [insert name of TV show/movie here]?

If you’re talking to someone in a similar age bracket, there’s a good chance they at least know about the TV shows and movies you’re into. If not, choose a generic movie or TV event few people miss—like Carols in the Domain, the New Years Countdown or a long-awaited miniseries about an iconic person. 

  1. What are you reading/watching at the moment?

The perfect question for avid readers or Netflix fans—this gives people the opportunity to talk about what they love and why. You’re giving them an outlet for their obsession. Trust me, they love it.

  1. Take a look at this video!

Find a hilarious video on Facebook and share it with your long-suffering compatriot. Animal videos are always worthwhile, although you can find some holiday-themed gems as well.

  1. What surprised you about this year?

This is an out of the box question that is sure to get the wheels turning in their head. While they’re considering their answer, come up with your own. This will lengthen the conversation and give you a chance to really get to know someone else.

Do you feel anxiety around the holiday season? Would you like support as you navigate difficult relationships or awkward conversations? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

Are you moving on or running away? : Eight keys to navigate life transitions

Are-you-moving-on-or-running-away

Transitions are never easy. We’re often faced with them after a season of stability and apparent ‘safety’, and this means the idea of rolling the dice on a new adventure, relationship or experience, is terrifying.

Transitions provide us with three options: stay where we are, leap into a new experience, or run away. If you’re a self-doubter like me, you may even sway between two or three of these options, unsure what the next step is. You may doubt your motives, your readiness, or be in complete denial about what the next step in your life should be.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer in transition. Each of us will respond differently when they arise, and the best and healthiest course of action will vary. Often, the answer lies in our ability to recognise whether we are running away from a situation or if we’re naturally moving on to something new.

Are you in a period of transition? I sure am, and these are eight questions I’ve asked myself to assess my best course of action for my future.

  1. Am I afraid of the future?

Sometimes, the fear of the unknown and what may go wrong (or right) keep us from moving into a new phase of life.  We can all take steps to prepare for the future, but there comes a time when we need to take a risk and move forward. Don’t let fear hold you back.

  1. Am I afraid of staying still?

Perpetual transition and the inability to put down roots is the trademark of someone who is afraid to stay still in life. If you’re afraid of what life could be like if you stopped and invested in relationships, a community or a business, then it may be time to stop running and plant yourself for a season.

  1. Am I afraid for the safety of my loved ones or myself?

One of the most common transitions comes when we step out of a relationship. In any long-term or marriage relationship, it’s important you see a counsellor (preferably with your partner) as it’s always preferential that you save a relationship rather than break up.

BUT if you fear for your safety and the emotional wellbeing of yourself and your family, it is time for you to leave. Call it running away or moving on—it makes no difference when your wellbeing is involved.

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse or violence, call 1800-RESPECT.

  1. Do I have commitment issues?

If you’re scared of being in a long-term relationship, you’ll consistently run away from anyone that threatens your independence. Sometimes this happens before a relationship can evolve, and other times you’ll casually date or hook up before the other person asks for a commitment and you run for the hills. Don’t be in denial about it. You are allowed to live a single, happy independent life, but if you’re living it out of fear of committing to a single person it’s time to do some work on yourself.

  1. What are my responsibilities?

Whether you’re moving on or running away from responsibility—and whether you should—will largely depend on what they are. Responsibility for your loved ones, especially children, will always come first. Sacred responsibilities like this should never be run from, just nurtured so you feel supported in the process.

However, if your responsibilities are work related, or are tied to unhealthy family or relationship attachments, then a different course of action may be required. Unrealistic expectations that negatively infringe on your health, happiness and the people around you shouldn’t be adhered to.

You need to move on from these responsibilities, either by seeking new employment, gaining external support through a counsellor, or changing your routine so you live a healthier and happier lifestyle.

  1. Am I prepared?

Are you prepared to stand still and fight for your relationship? Are you willing to take a leap of faith and make a new life for yourself with a new job, relationship or community? Are you ready to leave the pain of the past behind?

Preparation isn’t just physical; it’s emotional too. If you’re willing to make an emotional commitment to the next (or current) phase in your life, you’re ready to take the next step.

  1. Who am I doing this for?

Irrespective of whether you stay, run or move on, the people you do it for will determine how healthy the transition is. Committing to a relationship or working on a current one are both risks worth your time—they are about your happiness, and the happiness of the people around you.

However, if you’re basing your next life transition on the unhealthy expectations of others or unrequited love, believing you will be more ‘whole’ if you take this step, you need to stop and reassess. Who you are is enough, and transition is about becoming more ‘you’, not proving yourself to others.

  1. What do I want?

What do you want for your life? Do you want safety, security and a place to belong? Or maybe you want to live an adventurous and exhilarating life, full of unexpected moments and people. How you answer this question will help you determine if you need to stay, take a leap of faith or move on to something new.

Are you going through a life transition? Are you running away from something or need support to save a relationship? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

10 Things to do if you’re lonely this Christmas

10-Things-to-do-if-you-are-lonely-this-Christmas

While Christmas is often called the ‘Happiest time of the year,’ for many people who are doing the holiday season alone, it actually leaves them feeling isolated and lonely. Maybe you don’t have any friends or family to celebrate with, you may not celebrate Christmas, or perhaps the stress of the season is all getting a bit too much? We thought we'd put together a list of 10 great ideas and activities that you might be interested in. Hopefully this will make the coming weeks all the more enjoyable, and something you’ll remember for years to come.

  1. Volunteer

There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer over the holiday season. If you’re lonely, go and help people and not only will you be in community, but you’ll feel great as well! If you just want a shake up or feel like you’ve lost the true meaning of the season, then contact your local church, charity or community centre and ask them if you can help out with a food drive, community dinner, or other activity.

  1. Become a tourist in your hometown

Mix up your day and become a tourist in your hometown. Go and see the major attractions, visit a shopping hot spot, take a historical tour or splurge and go on a coffee crawl for the day. You’ll distract yourself and have a wonderful time becoming reacquainted with your own city.

  1. Go to a carols service or New Years Party

If you’d like to feel festive on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, going along to a community carols event is the perfect solution! Listen to your community radio station, read your local newspaper or call a near by church and see what they have on offer. There may also be New Years’ festivities open to the public that are being advertised. Check out what’s available and get along to see the fireworks.

  1. Call an old friend

This time of year is perfect for becoming reacquainted with old friends and making peace with those you’ve had a falling out with. Call someone you haven’t spoken to for a while and wish them a Merry Christmas. Ask them about their year, their family and what 2016 holds.

  1. Visit your local library, museum or art gallery

If you’re bored, head out and create an adventure for yourself by visiting the library, museum or art gallery. Take your time and enjoy the experience by visiting each section and appreciating what it has to offer. If there’s a café attached, bring a good book or buy one there and allow yourself to become engulfed in the environment after you’ve looked around for a few hours.  

  1. Make a Happy Box

The folks at Resilient App have come up with the great idea of putting together a Happy Box to soothe you when you are feeling down. Selecting objects like hand cream, a good book, M&M’s, bubble wrap (because who doesn’t like to pop bubbles?) or a scented candle and putting them in a box are all useful when you are feeling low or stressed. Make yourself a Happy Box over the holiday period and enjoy the long-term benefits of it in 2016.

  1. Treat yourself

Treat yourself to a nice meal and a movie. Sometime it’s more fun going and doing these activities by yourself, so go and choose a restaurant you’ve been bursting to eat at and see a movie you know you’ll love. It could be a chick flick, or it could be Star Wars- it doesn’t matter. Just treat yourself to an evening of pampering.

  1. Have coffee with a friend

We’re all busy this time of year, but you’ll find people are happy to catch up for an hour over coffee. Choose a near by café and take the chance to catch up with your friend while enjoying some yummy food. You’ll leave feeling happy and contented knowing you’ve truly invested in an important relationship.

  1. Learn something new

Pick up that cross stitch you gave up on, research a course you can join in the new year, or watch YouTube tutorials on how to become a photographer. The sky is the limit when it comes to learning something new, so take the time to read, watch, learn and practice a new skill. In the New Year you’ll blow everyone away with your brilliant new talent!

  1. Give a gift

If you feel isolated this Christmas, one sure way of feeling less alone is by being generous. Lots of charities partner with major retail outlets over December to provide Christmas gifts to people doing it tough during the holiday season. Go to the Christmas tree in the centre of the store (like Kmart or Target), pick a tag and make it your mission to find a perfect gift for that person. Place it under the tree, and come Christmas you know that a parent, child, teen or a grandparent feels a little less alone this Christmas thanks to you.

Do you want to live a whole and healthy life? Would you like support as you navigate life-changing issues or circumstances? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

The top 10 blogs of 2017

The-top-10-blogs-of-2017

It’s been a huge year for Watersedge. We debuted a new look, released more Enneagram resources, and opened up our website to guest bloggers!

We’re so grateful for all of your support, and want to celebrate by listing our top 10 blogs for 2017—as decided by you. Enjoy, and keep your eyes out for more new content in the weeks to come. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to see all our new content first!

  1. The five types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Infographic by Therapy Tribe

  1. Six ways to manage social anxiety

By Jessica Morris

  1. Who am I? The key to understanding yourself

Infographic by WatersedgeCounselling

  1. 12 ways to practice self awareness

Infographic by Huffington Post and The Utopian Life

  1. 12 reasons why a dog can help you cope with depression and anxiety

By Andy McNaby

  1. 10 reasons you’re becoming burnt out

By Jessica Morris

  1. 10 Mental health accounts you need to follow on Instagram
  1. 10 Amazing self-care charts you need to see
  1. Managing meltdowns: Wisdom from over the fence 

By Louise Griffiths

  1. Consider this before you move in together – Part 1

By Colleen Morris

Do you want to live a whole and healthy life? Would you like support as you navigate life-changing issues or circumstances? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

Eight ways to emotionally prepare for the holidays

Eight-ways-to-emotionally-prepare-for-the-holidays

As we head towards the holiday season, stress starts to build about all the obligations we have to fill. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Bodhi Day, Yule, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, Christmas or the New Year, it seems like there is an endless list of events, and family and friends to see.

So how do you survive the season without completely burning out and burning bridges? Being emotionally prepared is the best way to tackle this time of year head on. It means that no matter what you face (or who), you can stay grounded, care for your health and actually enjoy the season.

Here are eight ways you can emotionally prepare for the holidays.

  1. Plan everything out

Take out a diary or calendar before December, and write in every event you have coming up. Note down work parties, family events, the date family flies in and out, the nights people are coming over for dinner, and the days you have time to go shopping for food and gifts.

  1. Decorate early

If your holiday celebrations generally include decorating the house, start early while you still have time. Make it a family activity, and you’ll have a great time while also easing the burden of having to make the holidays picture-perfect when you have a million other things to do.

  1. Get over your FOMO

It seems like there is something happening every day in December, but if you want to have a healthy and enjoyable holiday season, you need to get over your FOMO (fear of missing out). You can’t do everything, and you shouldn’t. Make a list of all your activities, and mark down what you have to go to, what you want to attend, and what can be missed.

  1. Pre-plan difficult conversations

Aunty Edna and cousin Jack have differing political opinions, and your mother in-law starts to cry anytime conflict comes to the fore. It would be lovely to avoid these conflicts, but we know that is nearly impossible. Instead, pre plan what you will say to ease the tension if a contentious topic comes up.

  1. Get a wing man or woman

Parties and celebrations are always easier when you have someone to bail you out of awkward and stressful situations. Whether it’s a work party, a family dinner or casual BBQ, ask your partner, colleague, friend or another family member to step in on your conversation, or whisk you away for an ‘emergency’.

  1. Make time to veg out

It’s impossible to go full throttle all through December, so give yourself permission to chill and zone out when needed. Watch your favourite TV show, exercise, meditate or read a book. Your mind and body need to disengage from the stress, so give them time to do so.

  1. Stop feeling guilty

There’s so much to feel guilty about over the holidays. You don’t invite the right people to the party, you accidentally offend a parent, and you consume a year’s worth of junk food in a matter of days. You need to consciously put a stop to your guilt every time it comes up. Try using self-talk like, “I don’t have to be perfect,” “I am a good person,” and “My worth is not determined by the food I eat.”

  1. See a counsellor

The holiday season allows a lot of our deeper issues to rise to the surface. Isolation, depression, family trauma and stress all rear their heads this time of year, and that’s okay. Take the opportunity to speak to a counsellor or confidant as the season begins so you can emotionally prepare for the month ahead.

Does the holiday season stress you out? Are you anxious about seeing family or friends over December? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.