Surviving the 6 Weeks Summer Holidays!

Here we are…. A couple of weeks in, and are we surviving the 6 weeks summer holidays!?

How is everyone doing?

Hard isn’t it??

I mean the main bonus is that we get a break from the school run for 6 weeks!!! Because that is a daily joy isn’t it??

‘Get dressed! Clean your teeth! Get dressed! You can take your pj’s off on your own! Please get dressed we are going to be late! I’m not pulling your hair, I’m brushing it! Put your shoes on! Get your coats! Put your shoes on! PUT YOUR SHOES ON!!! Where are your book bags???? GET IN THE CAR!!!!’



The expected joy of the summer holidays vs reality

Overwhelm making you exhausted


So along comes the 6 weeks holidays which we all dream of spending with our little cherubs, thinking of all if the wonderful things we will do, days out we will have, the smiles, the laughter etc etc



But what happens when we have to work? Or the house needs cleaning? Or the shopping needs to be done? Or we are just plain exhausted???



The Guilt

Guilt happens for one….

Beating yourself up because the children are not dressed and participating in enriching and educational activities everyday. In fact most days it’s a struggle to prize them away from their tablets or games consoles long enough to accompany you round the block for a short dog walk!

Then you look at social media and EVERYONE else is walking up mountains, visiting museums, learning to paddleboard!!


I also have guilt writing this as we have decided to put our 2 into Cricket Club today so that I could get some work done. My husband said that our daughter was absolutely distraught when he left!


So there you go…. Guilt when they do nothing! Guilt when they do enriching, educational activities too!


The Overwhelm

And secondly there comes the overwhelm…

Trying to keep so many plates spinning in the air at once and feeling like you are not quite achieving anything? Sound familiar?

All of these things start to fill up your stress bucket in your head. And do you know what happens when that stress bucket gets too full and starts to overflow….?? We lose the ability to cope with situations like we usually do.

We move to spending the majority of our time in the part of our brains that is there to keep us safe. This part of the brain is constantly looking out for danger and therefore must see things in a negative light, to keep us safe!


Negative Thought Patterns

negative thought patterns adding to overwhelm

So negative thoughts start to creep in…

‘I’m not good enough’

‘My children are going to be seriously affected by too much screen time’

‘They are being too sedentary and will become obese!’

‘I am not performing at work!’

‘The house is such a mess and will never be tidy again!!’

‘I am snapping at everyone’

‘I am a terrible parent!’


Etc.….. etc.….. etc.….


And guess what…. The more we have in our stress bucket, the more we have those negative thoughts and this then piles more into our stress bucket and we get caught in a vicious cycle which leads to feeling overwhelmed, anxious, angry, depressed, or a combination of all of them.


So, What Can We Do When We’re Feeling Stressed and Overwhelmed?


Well the most important thing to do is to empty out that stress bucket.


How do we do that you ask?? Well here are a few tips for you….



REM Sleep to help overwhelm

This is so important.

When we sleep we go through various cycles and one of them is know as REM sleep. During REM sleep our brains run through the events of the day and turn them from being an emotional memory into and intellectual one, and one that we have control over.

Have you ever had a bad day and your partner, parent, best friend has told you to sleep on it? And you do, and when you wake up the next day you feel a little bit better??

Well that is REM sleep doing its job! So the old wives tale of ‘sleep on it first’ definitely works! REM Sleep is our brain’s natural way of emptying our stress bucket.


However…. Sometimes we have so much in our stress bucket that our brains try to do too much REM and this takes up too much energy. When this happens, your brain will ping you awake, and it is very difficult to get back to sleep, and you might lie there for hours with your brain whirring!

If you are really struggling to sleep you can access some free hypnotherapy relaxation in my Facebook Group!


So we need to find other ways to keep your stress bucket from getting so full that REM has too much work to!

Make a to do list!

To do list to help overwhelm


Write down all of the things that you have got swimming around in your head. Get them out of your stress bucket and onto paper, or in a note on your phone. This way you can see clearly what needs to be done when. And… this is the good bit… you can tick them off!!!!


Ticking off things on a list gives you a hit of dopamine which is the reward chemical in the brain, so it makes you feel good!



Focus on the 3 P’s

What are the 3 P’s you ask?

Positive Actions

Positive Interactions

Positive Thinking

Remember that I said that negative thinking fills up your stress bucket? Well trying to focus on getting the 3 P’s into your day can really help to change those negative thought patterns, therefore reducing the amount of stress in the bucket.

What is even better is if you can really think about the 3 P’s and recognise when you have them. One way of doing this is by making a note of them at the end of the day.


Try to keep moving!

exercise to help overwhelm

Exercise is a great way to boost your mood and to empty your stress bucket. When we exercise we give our brains a chance to switch off from our busy lives and therefore the space to work through issues and find solutions. Not to mention the wonderful endorphins that are released when we exercise.

You can read more about this in my blog Reasons to Run

So try to move more. Even if its just going for a walk around the block, dragging the children behind you!


Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Notice what is important to do now, and what can wait.

So what if the house is an absolute tip! The only person judging you is you. I can guarantee that the majority of houses look the same, but no one ever shares that on Social Media do they?

And give yourself a break… The children are quite happy in there PJ’s watching Netflix! They are loved, they are fed, they are content.

Perfection is unattainable.

You are doing a great job.


Fill Up Your Own Cup 1st

You cannot pour from an empty cup. If you are running on empty emotionally you cannot possibly look after everyone else. So do what works for you that makes you happy. Go to the gym, read a book, do some knitting, do some gardening, go for a coffee with a friend.

Whatever works for you, do more of it!


Try Some Hypnotherapy

I get reciprocal Solution Focused Hypnotherapy when I am feeling overwhelmed.

This is when I see a colleague for hypnotherapy sessions and then they will have sessions with me in return.

It helps me to find the solutions that are the best for me. Then we use trance which mimics REM, so it empties out the stress bucket and helps us to find even more solutions, which we already have in our brains

So if you are really struggling an feeling overwhelmed Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help.

You can contact me for a free initial 20 min telephone conversation to discuss how we can help you!









Reasons to Run!

Lets have a look at all of my reasons to run!

At the beginning of lockdown I started to run. My gym had moved to online sessions, which were great, but I was looking for a challenge and a friend dumped one unintentionally at my feet in the form of running.

I was not a massive fan of running and but I put my trainers on and headed out, really struggling my way through my 1st ever solo 10km run. Then there was a unofficial ‘competition’ to see who could run the furthest in a week. He won due to a formidable stubborn streak which saw him running 2 10km runs on the final day just to make sure that he beat me! But… that was fine, because what it did was to kick start a love of running in me that I never knew that I had!



Does exercise improve your mental health? Can my GP prescribe exercise as a treatment for depression and anxiety?

For a long time now I have been a massive advocate for exercise as a tool to improve mental health. The benefits of exercise has been recognised by the medical community to be as effective in the treatment of mild to moderate depression and anxiety as medication. So much so that medical professionals in the UK now prescribe exercise as a first line treatment. I had personal experience of this when I was prescribed a gym membership to our local leisure centre as a treatment for post natal depression and anxiety. Isn’t that wonderful!

So what is it about exercise that is so good for our mental health and well-being?

Well here is the science bit! Exercise stimulates various neurotransmitters and hormones in our brain such as endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine which all promote mentally healthy behaviour. In other words when we exercise we get a rush of lovely chemicals which help to balance and stabilise our mood. What’s not to love about that!?

What are the benefits of group exercise?

When we then exercise in groups you get the social aspect of exercise too. So by going to a really good gym, or running in a group you can achieve all of the 3 P’s which you have probably heard me mention, as I talk about all of the time. Positive Actions, Positive Interactions and Positive Thinking. When we have those 3 P’s in our lives we can produce a lovely constant flow of those chemicals in the brain that are hugely beneficial for our mental health. You can have a look at the gym that I go to which is amazing at promoting the 3 P’s by clicking here




And then there is running!

In the last 6 months I have trained for, and ran a solo half marathon! Then got into another challenge which saw me running 10km a day for 7 days, so 70km in a week! The last time, and only time, I had run a half marathon was the Great North Run at the age of 17, an my mother still enjoys reminding me that I couldn’t walk for a week afterwards.

These are achievements that I am incredibly proud of and if you had asked me a year ago if I could have done that I would probably have laughed, especially at 40 years old. And it is exactly that sense of pride accomplishment that has kept me running and striving to do better.


What are the benefits of running on metal health and well-being?

Running gives you the head space that we need to find solutions to problems that we may have. I saw a lovely quote from a friend on Facebook that said, ‘Why do I always feel that I can write a novel after I have been for a run?’

Well, when we go for a run, we are focused on the running. Our focus is on the next step, our breathing, how much further we have to go. We are not distracted by the tv, social media, our smart phones!! It gives our subconscious the downtime to process the events of the day and to figure out what to do with them!

How do I get more downtime for my brain?

Our grandparents or great grandparents had the time to do this. When they did the washing they had to wash the clothes by hand, then sit and put each item through the mangle, before hanging them out to dry. Nowadays we shove our clothes into the washing machine, press a button, go off and do a million other things, out the wet washing in a tumble dryer, press a button, do another million things! No wonder we feel more stressed!!!!!

We also get this downtime when we mediate or use guided relaxation. I use this in my therapy room as part of my hypnotherapy sessions where I use trance as a way of achieving the same effect.

You can access some free hypnotherapy relaxation in my Facebook group to help with this too!

How to start running?

The beauty of running is that you can start anywhere. You don’t have to be Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe or Usain Bolt. All you need is a pair of trainers, and a good sports bra, and the desire to try.

There are wonderful apps out there like Couch to 5k which will help you to get started if you have never run before. And the beauty is that they only person you are competing with is yourself!




Join a running group!

I joined a wonderful Facebook group called Davenport Runners, which has been set up for runners in my local area. They used to do group runs, but unfortunately due to COVID 19 that can’t happen at the moment. But the community is still very much active in the group and people are always on hand to congratulate your achievements and give support when needed. Have a look on Facebook for a local running group in your area, I can almost guarantee that there will be one.

So do you need any more reasons to run?

How about the physical health benefits? Being fitter and healthier? How do they sound?
Running is amazing for your physical health too. Being physically fit and healthy works in conjunction with being mentally fit and healthy, meaning that you can achieve all of the things in life that you want to.

Since lockdown restrictions have eased my gym has opened its doors again and I am loving being back in that environment. But I am still running! Now I just do and enjoy both.

If you would like to find out how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you to achieve your goals click here to contact me