Creating a Daily Routine

As part of my self-development journey, I have come across many people talking about the importance of creating a firm daily routine. Most, if not all, really successful people have one and it seems to set them off on the right foot for the day and be part of the reason for their success.

It seems part of the reason for this is because spending a little time on yourself, making sure you are in the right frame of mind to face the day, can really help you cope with what the world throws at you. Think about it, if you get up tired and grumpy, don’t you always find that more things seem to happen to annoy you? You wake up late, then you’re rushing around, you can’t find the car keys, you spill your coffee in your lap looking for them and then inevitably you hit traffic on the way to work. Going into a days work in that frame of mind isn’t going to be enjoyable or productive.

Taking time to calm your mind in whatever way works for you at the beginning of the day gives you more confidence, resilience and allows you to face your day refreshed and with a clear mind. You may be tired and not feel like getting up a little early to implement some ‘you time’ but I do promise you that doing this will actually lead you to feeling that you have more energy in the not too distant future if you stick with it.

Personally, I now get up around 6a.m. (It may be a little earlier when lockdown is over and the children return to school!) I spend 20-30 minutes meditating, 10-20 minutes writing in my journal and around 20 minutes doing yoga. All things just for me. It is a great way to cultivate self-awareness as well as receiving the physical and mental benefits of feeling calmer and more peaceful within. Sometimes I even get the opportunity to listen to an audio book and eat breakfast alone, absolute luxuaries for a Mum of four! And do you know what? I am grateful for every second of this time as I know that I makes me a better person and more able to show up for my family in the best possible way I can.

Now, there are days where I fail, I complain I’m too tired and switch off the alarm. That extra hour of sleep feels great at the time. But, when I do get up, having missed the only time I have to spend on me, I find I am very irritable, lacking in energy and in fact, even more tired than if I had got up earlier.

There may be different self care activities that work for you, they may not necessarily be the same as mine. But I urge you, whoever you are, to forgo a little extra sleep to spend some time on yourself. My younger self would fall on the floor if she heard me saying something like that!

Thanks for reading.

Self-development + Autistic = Tricky

I was diagnosed as autistic about 18 months ago, aged 35. I had realised that I was probably autistic only about 2 or 3 years prior to this and didn’t want to fully accept it as fact until I had it confirmed by a professional. Not because I was ashamed by the way, but because I never took my own word for anything and always need someone else to validate my thoughts, yes, my self-esteem was really that low.

I thought the diagnosis would change my world immediately. I thought when this became official everything would magically become clear and make sense and I would suddenly be happy to be ‘me’. The reality was, nothing, what so ever, changed as a result of this diagnosis being made official. I was so confused, why didn’t this make it all ok and lead me to a place where I was happy to just be myself?

Well the truth of the matter is, making self-improvements of any kind requires time, effort, dedication and a real will to make it happen – not a piece of paper. If something huge happens in your life, you’re still the same damaged and broken person underneath the temporary joy and this person will keep on resurfacing until really work is put in to make changes.

At first, I didn’t like this and felt a little hard done to. I almost thought I had something to pass my issues off onto as if they weren’t my responsibility, I had something else to blame. But over time, as I have worked on myself, started tackling anxiety and lack of self esteem and confidence, I have begin to see that, even though it isn’t my fault that I’m autistic, it is still my responsibility. I have the ability to respond to the hand I’ve been given. Yes, certain things in my life may be more difficult than they are for the average person, but it is my responsibility to decide on the kind of life I want, the kind of person I want to be, and make it happen. No matter what challenges present themselves.

Where my current confusion lies is, how do I know what trait are ones I can change and which I need to accept as part of who I am as an autistic person. I am against therapies such as ABA which act as a way to alter a person’s personality and change who the fundamentally are to suit those around them, and be moulded into the person people think they should be, this is abuse. So, I do not want to cause myself distress and force change within myself that could damage my mental health. I have spent my entire life living as someone else in an attempt to fit in and live a ‘normal’ life. This is exactly what I am trying to stop doing, not force myself to do once again. I’m a little stuck here and this is going to take a little time to figure out.

What I will say though is that I’m making huge strides forward in finding out who I really am and learning to be that person, truly and authentically. It’s taking a lot of work in making shifts in mindset, being kinder to myself and building self-belief. But in doing this I have begun to discover my true purpose, and that is to help others make the same journey from not knowing who they are, to finding this out and then taking the necessary steps to create that vision. I’m doing it so I’m sure many others can too. This does not only apply to autistic people by the way, there are many people who feel stuck for whatever reason, who know there is more to life for them. I am someone who can help them access it.

So, in conclusion, this is absolutely a lifelong journey. Self-improvement and development never stops. I have made huge strides but still get stuck at certain points and this is true for anyone and absolutely normal. There is no end to this journey so we may as well start enjoying the ride instead of waiting for the destination to start the enjoyment.

Thanks for reading.

Image ‘Hang ups’ and Making Videos

So, I have been going about this ‘starting a business’ thing in the wrong way, but I will go intothat in another post.

For now I want to talk about an obstacle I have made huge strides to over come and think this will be one of the keys to my future success  in business and life in general.

In order to promote my upcoming programme ‘Unearth the Unrealised You’ I was encouraged to make video ads, me, on video? Where people will see it!? Madness. But despite my scepticism as to whether I could do it or if I did wouldn’t I just look ridiculous anyway? I actually managed to create them – all 8 of them!

The reason I have an issue with doing this is, partly, because of a fear of what others think in general, what if people say stuff? What if they laugh at me? But thus is something I’ve worked on a lot lately and I felt it was a challenge worth taking on to continue my personal development and growth. The main reason though, is something else, something I feel I can’t do much about. As I am registered blind (but with some sight) my eyes don’t work together in tandem, one eye sees much worse than the other so as I use them my vision flicks from one eye to the other rather than them working as a pair as they should. (this sucks as I can’t see 3D!). What this means is, I have a problem looking into a camera.

I perceived this as an issue because if people don’t know why this happens they would just think it was odd and leave the video immediately!This made me wonder if there was any point trying.

However, thinking about it more, it turns out that my eyes are part if me, therefore part if my indentity, the very thing I’m trying to embrace and fully accept. So why do I need to hide it? If anyone asks I can explain it, I’ve no issue with that, and if they don’t ask and decide to leave, I’m pretty sure that says more about what they need to work on as a person than it does about me.

If I’m going to embrace myself and be truly and authenticity ‘me’ that means accepting ALL aspects of me, no matter the outcome. If I manage yo inspire just one other person to do the same then my discomfort and struggle will have been worth while. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Mum Guilt

“Mum guilt”

There is a thing that I call ‘Mum guilt’. How I explain it is, the feeling you get when you take time for yourself, time you COULD have spent with your family, or money you spent on yourself, but COULD have spent on your children. This feeling is very common and absolutely understandable. Of course, as a great parent, you should but your children first, this is what we, as a society, believe, it is an outward sign to the world that we are the great parents we should be. But just because this is the view of society and its what we have drummed into us, does that make it fact? I would argue not. Now, I’m not suggesting that we turn into selfish beings who disregard the need of our children for the sake of our own desires, I’m just suggesting that it is perfectly okay to ensure your own physical and mental needs are met and these are not ignored at the expense of being a ‘perfect parent’ as we all know, that doesn’t exist anyway, no matter what other people try to portray on social media.

If you constantly put the needs of others above your own you will, at one point or another, completely run out of steam. Constantly putting this pressure on yourself will leave you drained and exhausted, which may well then lead to more serious issues. Once the tiredness creeps in, you may find yourself slipping into a cycle of monotonous and repetitive days that consist of school runs, housework and work that leaves you with so little energy that your relationship suffers, you become irritable, down and utterly stuck. Being in this routine for a long time will inevitably lead to a downward spiral of anxiety, depression, a lack of confidence and self-esteem. This could even lead to a feeling of failure, which is a dangerous place to be.

Not only is this situation bad for you, it actually has a negative affect on your family too, the very people you were doing this for in the first place. Doing too much, putting too much emphasis on the needs of others and ignoring your own is the quickest way to fail the ones you love. Think about it this way, your day consists of getting up, getting the kids ready and off to school, going to work, picking up the kids, dinner, homework, baths, bedtime routine, clean and tidy the house… over and over again…. How long can you sustain this whilst still maintaining a relaxed and contented state? Before losing sight of who you used to be? Before feeling so stuck in the monotony of life that you feel entirely stuck in this never-ending downward spiral towards anxiety, depression, low self esteem and feelings of failure? When this happens, how much use do you think you are to your children, your partner, to others close to you? If you run your own resources of mental energy out you do not have enough left to give the best of yourself to the ones you love. Trying to do too much of the thing you want to do, be the best parent/partner, has inevitably led to you not being able to do it very well at all. What would you rather, give 20% of yourself to those you love %100 of the time, or give %100 of yourself to those you love %80 of the time, taking the other %20 of the time to make sure you are at your best, physically and emotionally. Now, these numbers are not proven or exact but I’m sure you understand what I’m trying to say here. 

The good news is, you can make the changes you need to and start seeing the results relatedly quickly. I know there may be logistical issues around childcare and time that you are going to throw at me as excuses, but they are just excuses, you can, with a little planning and thought you can get round these challenges, but only if you truly want to make a change. If you continue making excuses you really need to question how much you really want to break this cycle you’re stuck in. I’m not meaning to sound harsh here,  but the truth is, any change in your life comes from within you, and if you are not committed to making the change you wont see the results you want. So, if you have to get up an hour earlier, you have to take a longer lunch break, you have to get the kids to bed earlier a couple of times a week, you have to leave the ironing until the weekend, you have to buy takeout today, or you have to change your current routine completely, whatever it will take, you hve to do it.

Now, the type of self-care activities you choose are entirely up to you, this is your time, and you need to choose activities that will nourish you the most. Due to the current climate, there are so many online options for self-care that you don’t even necessarily need to leave you home to achieve this. The possibilities are endless, read a book, go for a walk or run, meditate, do yoga, crafts, play sports, a relaxing bath, gardening, baking, whatever it is that your body and mind need to feel refreshed is how you should spend this time, even sky diving if that does it for you! But it has to be entirely about you, no one else. Let go of the guilt and the need to please others, just for a while, and give yourself the freedom to just be YOU. You will soon see that those around you will greatly benefit from this as they will get the best of you rather than the tired and exhausted version they are getting now, and that, will make you feel amazing.

My first project as a life coach is launching in January. It is a coaching programme called “Unearth the Unrealised You”. The importance of self-care is one of the topics we will be covering as part of the 8 week course. Inside the programme you will get live training, group coaching, individual one to one coaching, as well as resources and information that will support you to become ‘unstuck’ and achieve your life goals, even if you don’t know what these are yet! Drop me an email and I will send you more information as soon as it’s available –

Thanks for reading.

Free things are not valuable


I have discovered recently that free items are not valued by most people. We all love a freebie, its true, something for nothing sound great, right? But how much value do you put on something that is handed to you?

The reason I have noticed this is through my coaching training. I give away free life coaching sessions currently, this is so I can complete the 50 hours practice I am required to document to pass my course and become accredited. Free life coaching is not something that will come along every day, it is a valuable service which people pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds for. When someone puts that much money into something, invests in themselves that heavily, they will take it seriously. They will show up, they will put the work in, they will do their homework, they will enjoy being challenged and have the will to better themselves.

But when handed it for free people show initial enthusiasm and high interest, but then they simply do not respond to emails to messages, don’t show up to sessions, or make excuses not to come to the second session if they know its going to be challenging.

Having said all this, I appreciate that not everyone is the same, some people I have met have been very dedicated and are really grateful for an opportunity that there financial situation would have otherwise prevented them from accessing. These are the people I want to work with, these are the people that want to make changes in their lives and are ready to follow through.

The people who will go far in life are those that are willing to accept they need improvement and work on making those changes. Action is key, too many people only talk about change without talking action and then expect something to happen. Change comes from within YOU, no one else can do this for you. You need to be willing to take a leap of faith, be scared and push through anyway and be grateful for all you have, even if it isn’t much, I bet if you sit down and think about it you have a lot more to be grateful about than you think.

In fact, I challenge you to sit down and write a list of the things you are grateful for, I guarantee it will be longer than you think. Are most of the things on your list free?


Thanks for reading.

The Ramblings of a Newly Found Soul

This post is a bit of a personal rambling that I just want to get down on paper and out there. I am working behind the scenes on an eBook and planning a podcast and more sustained social media presence, as well as a beta version of a course which will all be revealed shortly. I have had to do a little work on myself prior to getting the business up and running properly.

The Ramblings of a Newly Found Soul

I haven’t written in such a long time and there is a reason for this. It isn’t because I don’t want to or can’t be bothered or anything like that, or that I have given up on my dreams. It is because I have been, and still am going through such a profound change in my life that I have been finding it really hard to find the words to express what has been going on.

I have first seen just how much of an impact my own childhood has had on the way I am today. I didn’t have a bad childhood in the sense that I was fed, clothed and warm and didn’t go without. But I did not have my emotional need met. To the point where I would just not bother talking about anything that upset me as a child and would bottle it up and see it as unimportant. This has led to this being a deep-rooted belief, my own feelings and emotions don’t really matter, thus why my self esteem and self-belief have been so incredibly low.

Next, I had the realisation that, I mask my true self nearly all of the time. This is largely down to not being diagnosed as autistic until adulthood. Another false belief, I was always different to other people my age so there must be something wrong with me. Well there isn’t anything wrong with me, I’m actually just the me I’m supposed to be. What was a profound moment was when I realised the only time my true self comes out is when I am angry or annoyed about something, the real me then breaks through. But instead of acting upon this and solving the problem my self-doubt comes in and I am unable to express myself because my emotions don’t matter right? And other peoples feelings and needs are more important than mine right? Well, actually they’re not but that’s not what my subconscious mind has been told for a very long time. So I end up just sitting quietly brooding and upset, no longer feeling the need to mask (as I’m not able at that point) and make conversation and put on the happy face that a normally do. Now, Im not saying here that my true self, the one without the mask, is always upset and brooding and grumpy etc. Im just saying that this is the only time I actually appear, the person who has a opinion and something to say (even though I don’t) rather than the one who just goes through life doing or saying what I think other people want or expect me to.

On a more positive note, I have discovered the law of attraction. This idea that whatever we give out, not only through out actions, but also through the thoughts and feeling that we have, is what we will receive back. I will do another post about what I have learnt in this area as it is a huge topic, but I feel that it is perhaps the key to happiness. It teaches us to be grateful for what we have (and also that which we do not yet have), to express love for the people, things and natural world around us, and not to be held back by limiting beliefs. If we only believe we can get so far in life, that is how far we will go. Having this belief opens a whole new world of possibility which I want in on! Identifying these limiting beliefs within myself is the first step to overcoming them, and when I do, just watch me fly!

Thank you for reading.  

Back to School

Anywhere from the middle of last week to the beginning of this, children in the UK now have to return to school. This means my children have gone back to school and I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

The first day, last Thursday for us, I lost three of my children on the same day. They have spent every day of the last six months with me and, although at time it has been tough not having a moments peace, it hit me harder than expected when they were not home with me any more. I found it much more anxiety inducing than I had anticipated for two reasons. Firstly, I now have to trust someone else to take care of my children again with the same level of commitment and attentiveness that I have for the last six months, this was never an issue before, I always took their safety at school for granted. Secondly, as I have spoken about before I get a huge amount of anxiety when leaving the house, having said this, the school drop off has never been an issue as it became so embedded as part of the daily routine that it occurred fairly naturally without causing any symptoms of anxiety. It seems that the long break from making this usually routine trip has changed this and it is now causing me symptoms, fairly mildly thankfully and I hope that, once it become routine once again this will subside.

I do wonder how ‘the new normal’ at school will impact the children and young people of today. Constant hand sanitizer, segregation from other age groups of children, face masks and distancing, all make for a very different school experience than the ‘pre-COVID’ one. I hope any impacts of this situation on the mental health of young people are minimal and that the old ‘normal’ does return some day. I suspect that the negative mental health issues caused by children staying home for long periods of time would be worse than those caused by a return to school, even in the current circumstances, so I am absolutely in favour of the return to school, it is just going to take some adjusting to, that’s all.

Thanks for reading.

Assertivness is an Issue

I know that set backs during my journey to beating anxiety are inevitable, I’m prepared for that and I’m ready to find ways through the set backs when the occur. I feel like I’ve just met my first one and it’s dealing with being more assertive with other people.

For such a long tkme I have allowed people to do and say what they like and never really challenged them. I’ve never expressed what I truly think, even at home with my own family, never mind with poeple I don’t know well. This has even been the case when I’ve been really hurt by something or someone has really upset me, I don’t express it, I squash it all squashed in with everything else, something else to ruminate over later.

Clearly, this has a negitive effect on myself and my own mental health. Keeping things bottle up and not dealing with issues is a sure fire way to have a negitive affect on yourself. My issues is parly down to a fear of confrontation. This is a fear I have always had since being a child, I never stood up for myself even back then. It seems to stem from another fear, one I’m already working on, I can’t bare the thought of poeple thinking bad of me. Now, in reality they probably don’t most of the time, also even if they do I know that’s their right and it shouldn’t affect me. Both these things my rational mind understands full well, but turning those ideas into heart felt beliefs is going to be the challangeing part. I’m hoping that building my own self confidence and self esteem will go a long way to addressing this.

Yes, this is part of my journey to self discovery and self improvement, but there is another reason this has been brought to the front of my mind at this time. I read a blog post recently on this subject, and the things that it pointed out to me really struck home. The main one being, ‘by not being assertive and expressing my self, my thoughts, beliefs, feelings etc. I am actually damaging others around me.’ Now, that is something I can’t bare the thought of, to be causing harm to my husband, my children? No, this needs to be addressed.

Thinking about this more I notice just home much I do this. I dont challenge things my husband says that I don’t like for fear of confrontation, I let my children get away with certain things so they don’t get upset, I don’t express myself clearly to anyone outside this small circle either, even other close family.

The thinking behind what the author of the blog was saying made a lot of sense to me. They said that if you truly care about and value another person, then you want the best for them, you want them to grow and better themselves as a person. Therefore, if you never point out something they are doing is upsetting you or causing harm to someone or something else then how will they ever be able to improve or stop that behaviour? By letting them continue without saying anything (in a caring and gentle way obviously) I am doing them a disservice. So, it is my duty to challenge others where necessary for their benefit instead of avoiding the situation for my own benefit. I now see that this was a selfish view point that I was taking.

This doesn’t mean I will never hurt their feelings in the very short term, but it is the bigger picture that is important here. If you truely care for someone, your child, partner, friend or family member, and you truely want what is best for them, it will sometimes mean saying things that are difficult. But this will only serve to make the other person a better human being and ultimately strengthen your relationship through honest, respectful communication.

Thank you for reading.

Mindfulness – A Beginners Questions Answered

So, I’m really excited about this post as it is my first collaborative post. I chose the topic of mindfulness as it is something, I am already learning about myself and I’m fast becoming hooked. As I mentioned in a previous post I am currently doing an 8 week course in MBSR or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, I am only half way through and I have already been able to apply the techniques and ideas I have learnt in my everyday life to great benefit.

Knowing I wanted to write more about mindfulness and it’s benefits I decided to find an expert on the subject who could share more information about it. I asked Matt Alfonso, an experienced mindfulness coach, to answer a few questions that I though many of those new to mindfulness may also be interested in having answered. Matt kindly agreed to share his wisdom and here are his thoughts.

If you are like me, before I learnt more about mindfulness, I thought it was only about meditating, this is not the full story as Matt explains.

“Mindfulness is living in the present. It is about seeing what is arising in this moment without judgement. We certainly want to be mindful during meditation but we also want to be mindful throughout our entire day. We want to be mindful when we are walking down the street by noticing our surroundings and what is arising. We want to be mindful when we are with others by giving people our full attention. We want to be mindful with our thoughts by noticing what they are and being able to change or reframe them at times.”

What is actually meant by “living in the present”?

“To live in the current moment. To be aware of what is arising in a non-judgmental way.“

You may be wondering if mindfulness is something you can learn on your own or whether it requires you to spend time with an expert teacher or coach.

“You can learn and develop mindfulness on your own by practicing meditation, focusing on the present moment and giving people your full attention. Having a coach or teacher is valuable in helping you stay on track, teach you skills and answering your questions. A teacher or coach can help you progress at a faster pace.“

Can mindfulness really help to reduce anxiety? And if so how?

“A lot of anxiety is caused by worrying about the future. Practicing mindfulness allows you to spend more of your time living in the present moment. Then when your mind does start to worry about the future it allows you to be aware of this quicker and then in a kind and loving way bring it back to the present.”

Can mindfulness help with other mental health issues such as depression or OCD?

“Yes, the science is very clear that mindfulness can reduce the risk of depression and OCD. There have been numerous studies from around the world that have shown mindfulness to improve happiness, reduce stress, increase concentration and memory, help with emotional intelligence, and many other benefits.”

Something I personally wated to ask Matt about is whether children can learn mindfulness techniques. There seems to be so much pressure on young people today that it is bound to take its toll on their mental health. Could mindfulness be a potential way to support youngsters who struggle in this area?

“Yes, absolutely! I believe that it is vital that we teach mindfulness in elementary school through high school. Students can learn the importance of being aware of their thoughts and then change their thoughts from negative to positive. This can greatly improve their self-esteem and capabilities. Students can also learn to respond more effectively to a certain trigger. For instance, when something upsetting happens, they can connect to the breath and gather themselves before responding. “

So, now you have learnt more about mindfulness, and you would like to give it a go yourself. But where should you begin?

“Through short meditations that focus on the breath or simple breathing exercises. Start small with 5 minutes or less. Starting with becoming aware of the breath and being able to work with the breath is a great foundation.” 

A big thank you to Matt for taking the time to answer these questions for this post. To find out more about his work you can visit his website at and follow him on Instagram, @mattalfonso1.

Thanks for reading.

Feeling Proud of Myself

As you can see, I haven’t put a post in for a little while.the reason was that I have been away for a few days, just me and the kids. We go to a very familiar place, but we hadn’t been since last October due to the oandrmic and I was very anxious about the trip. To throw myself in at the deepend even more, I booked 2 days out while we were away to attractions i the area, cue anxiety in red alert!

I was a little dubious with COVID still being around and seeing that so many people are acting as things were back to normal, not practicing social distancing and not wearing masks, but my children were going stir crazy and were missing out on months of their childhoids. So i decided to do this one trip, it will probably be the only one this year.

Overall the trip was great! We rode pedalos, dodgems, swings, slides, sledges, played on the beach, we went in a corn maze, met farm animals, played games (Frisbee golf was a new one on me!), arcade games, mini golf etc. Generally, did as many fun things as we could.

I felt the anxiety rising on several occasions. These included any trips taken in a car or taxi and (about 4 ir 5 times) and on a couple of random occasions while we were out and about. But it was my mind set that I have been working on changing that stopped the anxiety spoiling the trip as it has done in the past. Here are the thoughts I used to have and what I replaced them with this time:

“Anxiety is the worst, its going to spoil everything” with “my day will be as good as I make it, its as good as what actually happens its not as bad as my thoughts”

“I am going to feel so ill” with “its only anxiety, it really can’t hurt me”

“This is never going to go away” with “the adrenaline will run out soon, it won’t last forever”

“I will fail my children when I can’t do this for them” with “I always have and will do my best for m my children and my best us good enough”

“I feel like I can’t control the situation and its making me anxious” with “i can’t control everything and I’m absolutely OK with that”

“What if I faint?” with “what if’s are not facts, stay in the moment and only deal with the ‘now'”

While these things don’t stop anxiety arising, they helped me tremendously with managing it when it did arise. I took my attention into my body, settled my attention on my breath, experienced even the negitive feelings of anxiety and didn’t try to fight it or hide from it, i acknowledged it all but didn’t get caught up in it. I just kept telling myself the above when negitove thoughts entered my mind and the difference was amazing. It was as if, because I answered back the negitive feelings and thoughts with more logical ones, it render my anxiety speechless and it subsided much more quickly.

So, I feel immensely proud of myself for giving my choldren the opportunity to have the fun that they deserved. I also feel proud that I stood up to my anxiety and proved that it won’t win if I dont let it. It has given me a new confudence to go out and do things no matter how it feels as I know I can squash it down with more positive thoughts, and if it worked this week, why shouldn’t it work in any other situation? I’ve got this!

I hope that this post helps others to begin making small changes to their own mind set and see the difference it can make.

Thanks for reading.