How I finally started fighting my self-doubt and became happier

superman_kid_smallThis is going to be the most personal post I’ve written in a long time. In fact I feel nervous about hitting the ‘publish’ button, but it’s a really important subject so here goes.

One of the hardest parts about working from home as a self-employed person is dealing with the self-doubt. When things don’t go to plan it’s the easiest thing in the world to take it all to heart and decide that it’s all your own fault. The reason you’re not successful is because frankly, you’re not good enough.

It goes without saying that this mindset is only going to make your life harder. Much harder.

So a while ago now I decided to do something about my own mindset. I suspected that if I learned some simple techniques I could get myself out of these patches of self-doubt much faster. I looked around for an online cognitive behavioural therapy course (CBT) because people I know have recommended CBT. The fact it’s therapy rather than personal development might sound extreme, but I’ve done lots of personal development in the past and although it’s made a little difference, lasting change has been harder to come by.

A quick Google search led me to Living Life To The Full (not an affiliate link), a free online CBT course which was written by a psychiatrist. A couple of minutes later I knew I’d found what I was looking for, because it had very simple techniques for getting you out of that vicious downward spiral that sucks away your energy and confidence.

As part of the course I took a test to check how I was feeling. The idea is that you do this every week and you can see your mood improve as you work through the course. So I clicked all the checkboxes on the test, hit the submit button and….found out I had ‘mild to moderate depression’. Continue reading “How I finally started fighting my self-doubt and became happier”

How to stay a healthy mum

If you’ve got children, a business, clients, friends, family and a house to look after, it’s easy for your own health and well-being to come last. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, are there?

But it’s important for mum to stay healthy – otherwise who else will do all these important jobs? 🙂

So (keeping in mind that this message is as much a reminder to myself as it is to anyone else who may be reading!), here are five quick and easy tips for staying a healthy mum.

1. Eat. Obviously, you don’t have a lot of time to eat, but this is essential to staying healthy. The good news that it’s OK to snack, as it helps keep your metabolism going and your energy levels up – so no need for crash dieting. Just make sure you snack on healthy things like yogurt, fruit and nuts rather than chocolate, biscuits and crisps. Not that I ever eat any of those things, obviously *cough*.
2. Drink: Water that is. (Yep, cut back on the 15 cups of tea a day, Helen…) In addition to eating healthy foods, you need to be drinking water throughout the day.
3  Exercise: Although you may find yourself busy throughout the day and exhausted at the end of it all, it’s important that you squeeze in at least 20-30 minutes of exercise each day. There are several ways you can do this. For instance, you can go on a walk, play Xbox Kinect or Nintendo Wii games with your family or join a fitness class.
4 Be Happy: As women and mothers, we tend to overload ourselves with work, family and worries. There isn’t much time to focus on being happy. However, this is important too. Studies have shown that, generally, happy people are healthier people. In order to become happier, set aside a little time for yourself every day – or week – to do something you like doing. This time will help you feel refreshed and become happier. (Note to self – step away from the computer…)
5 Sleep: Getting a good night of sleep is essential to your overall health. Sleep is when your body recharges itself. So, if you aren’t getting enough sleep you aren’t operating on a full battery, which means you’ll wear out quicker. It also means your body will too, which depletes your immune system. Plus it means you’ll be irritable and less likely to be happy (see tip 4).

So I’m now going to take my own advice and get an early night. Night night!

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