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What is stopping you from achieving your dreams?

What is stopping you from achieving your dreams?

What is stopping you from achieving your dreams?

We all have our dreams, our ultimate goals. But we don’t all manage to achieve them. Why is this? Often it can be as simple as giving ourselves permission to try, to give it a go. To see what happens. To experiment, to play. We might be scared that it might not work well. That we’ll fail or embarrass ourselves or somehow looking stupid. Like that one time as a child when we stepped out of our comfort zone and ended up humiliated because it all went wrong. Or maybe we were chastised for daring to dream.

Maybe as teenagers we got into trouble for staring out of the window in class. For dreaming of becoming a ballerina or a train driver or writing bestselling books, or being the next big pop sensation headlining at Wembley. But instead of being encouraged to think big and to try for the Royal Ballet (apply for a train drivers course!) we are told not to be so silly and told to get a ‘proper’ job. One that can comfortably pay the bills. Maybe one that means we need to be in an office, in a suit, or driving a fancy car. But whilst this is what some people dream of, if it’s not for you then that’s ok. It is ok to create a life that makes sense to you. Even if it makes sense to no one else around you.

Well-meaning adults tried to keep us safe by telling us that what we dreamed of simply wasn’t possible. Maybe whatever we dreamed of didn’t sound possible. That’s not to say it wasn’t possible. A lot of children dream of becoming an astronaut.  Now not all children will achieve this goal, but some of them will and have become astronauts. So it’s important not to dismiss out of hand our dreams. Dreaming elevates our thinking, it makes us think expansive thoughts and helps our powers of creativity and logic. Dreaming is so important. We need to reach out for our dreams and see what steps we can take to help them become reality.

Achieving your dreams: How do you make your dreams become a reality?

Firstly we need to decide what it is that we’re dreaming of. And make sure it is your dream, not clouded by anyone else. If you, at the bottom of your heart want to live in a log cabin, in a wood, with a camp fire then that is absolutely fine. If you want to be earning a million pounds a year (or a week!) then that is fine too. But make sure it is your dream. No one elses. Only you can dream your dream. Ignore what your parents think you should do. Nevermind what your nana, your children, your boss, your partner, your dog wants you to do. Dig deep and consider what YOU really want.

My Dreams

I know that for me, a simple life is very appealing. I like being able to wander around at home wearing my fluffy socks and to have the freedom to decide what I do with my days. I know that I don’t want to have a coprorate 9-5 job, stuck in a stuffy office.  The whole thing sends shivers down my spine at the very thought. If I wasn’t a Reflexologist I would definitely be an author or writer and if that didn’t quite pan out I’d love to go back into catering. I love listening to peoples’ stories and know that regulars at a coffee shop would provide me with a wealth of interesting stories and passing chatter. I’d also love to be able to create coffee art, have a small home which was cosy and warm and be surrounded by friends and family. I want to easily pay my bills and have plenty of free time. I’d like to spend rainy afternoons curled up on the sofa with a pot of tea and a good book. Or take a walk in the sunshine. Build snowmen on snowy days. Make lots of delicious soup and crispy crunchy croutons. Like I say. A simple life would be perfect for me.

Your Dreams

But what about you. What do you dream of? Do you need luxurious holidays in the sun a couple of times a year? To have a nice, shiny new car. Or a big house? Do you like luxuries like expensive skin care? Do you want to work with animals, or spend more time in your garden? Maybe you want to see your grandchildren more? Or work only part time hours? Or maybe you’d like a holiday cottage by the sea where you could get away from the madness of your daily life and simply relax? Maybe you crave the bright lights and hustle of a big city? Or would you rather be on an island on your own, for at least some of the time? Do you dream of moving to France to drink vin rouge and eat du fromage whilst listening to the sea gently lap on the harbour wall? Work out what it is that you want and then figure out what one simple step would be towards that goal.

image of achieving your dreams

Achieving your dreams: How would it be possible?

For me it could be to reduce my working week down by one day and to take that as a day to write. Or it could be to find a job in a little coffee shop where they could teach me to make cafe art! Or my first step could be to give myself permission to reach for my dreams, to realise my goals. To stop dismissing them as a whim or a flight of fancy. To see how possible reaching my goals would be.

This week another of my friends has published a book which has highlighted the fact that it IS possible to write and publish a book. I just need to give myself permission to start to write. To knuckle down and figure out what book to write. To decide on a topic, to lay out the bones of the chapters. To think about who would want to read what I have put. Who NEEDS to hear what I have to say? I firmly believe that we all have something to say that would help others in some way. If only we could settle down to actually write it. If we believed that it was possible. If we only knew that it was going to be a success and would be well recieved. Rather than imagining that it would end up on some publishers slush pile with a cup of cold coffee dripping onto our lovingly prepared manuscript.

I got into website design in a simliar way. One of my friends had his own website back in the days when hardly anyone had a website. I asked him if I needed any special skills or training in order to create a website, I thought his answer was going to be something like ‘I did a computer course at university and then I created a website’ His actual response was something along the lines of ‘nip down to the newsagents, find a computer magazine, they’re bound to have some free webdesign software on it, buy that and have a play’ Well he made it sound so easy! Bearing in mind that until this point I’d never downloaded a cd onto my computer, let alone created a website. It all sounded a bit well impossible at first! Anyway lo and behold I popped down to my local paper shop and bought a magazine, downloaded the software and had a play with it. It took a while for me to work out how to get my website online but hey I did it and never looked back really. I just needed him to tell me that what I thought was impossible was actually possible. He never told me to stop being silly. Nor did he berate me for dreaming of having my own website. He just calmly broke down the stages from concept to creation as simple as that! You could do the same to help you achieve your dreams. 

 

 

Over to you!

What do you dream of doing?

Please let me know in the comments below 

Further reading

If you like this article you might like to read my article about creating the life you want. 

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If you’d like to be the first to hear when I’ve posted a new blog post please sign up to my mailing list here and select blog posts (and any other ways you’d like to keep in touch!) 

Why am I tired all the time?

Why am I tired all the time?

Why am I tired all the time?

If you find that you’re tired all the time you’re not alone. Around 20% of adults in the UK complain that they are tired constantly. Around 10% of adults feel that they have chronic fatigue.

Physical Reasons for being tired all the time

There are a wide number of physical reasons why people feel tired all the time. These can include

  • Side effects from medication or chemotherapy or other cancer treatments
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Being under or overweight
  • Sleep Apnoea
  • Vitamin, mineral or iron levels being too low
  • Having an underactive thyroid
  • Pregnancy
  • Caring for sick family members or new babies
  • Carbon Monoxide poisoning
  • Being up in the night every night to feed, change or soothe your baby.
  • Night shifts at work.
  • Needing to get up to pee during the night.
  • Being so busy you’re not finding time to eat, drink or sleep properly
  • Adulting!

If you feel tired all the time, it would be worth contacting your GP (or oncologist if you’re living with cancer and having treatment for that) to rule out anything physical. They will be able to run some blood tests if necessary or suggest something to help you feel better.

tired all the time

 

Emotional and Psychological reasons for being tired all the time

There is also a range of emotional and psychological reasons for being tired all the time. These can include carrying worries for other people. Worrying about work, financial stuff or family. (Feeling like you’re!) having to remember where every item of your children’s belongings are at any given point in time. Worrying about elderly parents or looking after young children. Trying to juggle and arrange a million thoughts in your head. Planning what’s for dinner, ad infinitum. 

It could be due to feeling a sense of grief or sadness or loss. Or even guilt. It could be because you’re in a situation that is so sticky it feels like you’re swimming through treacle. It could be due to a recent change in circumstance like redundancy, bereavment, a house move or retirement. Whatever emotion you’re feeling, express it gently and try not to bottle it up. Be kind to yourself. Surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through or who can allow you to express what you’re feeling in a safe way. Avoid anyone who simply tells you to stop crying. Let it go

It could be because you ARE bone tired! It could be that you’ve just not stopped for so long that you’ve depleted all your emotional and psychological reserves. Maybe you’ve been living in survival mode. Just getting through each day without anything sparking joy for you. Often the first thing we do when we’re busy or stressed is to stop doing the fun things in life. We stop the hobbies or give up socialising with friends. Or we don’t find time to go for a walk, or we stop reading books. The colour goes out of our day. Sometimes the quickest way to start feeling more energised is to find something you love doing and incorporating that into each day without fail! 

If you have the sense that you might have bitten off more than you can chew either with work or with your family, see what you can delegate to other people. Cross anything you don’t actually need to do off your list.

Be yourself!

Sometimes we can tire ourselves out trying to keep up with other people and what we think they expect of us! If you’re yourself you’re not going to end up feeling as exhausted as pretending to be someone you’re not. I find that people heave a sigh of relief when they see me as they know I’ll just accept them for who they are without them having to pretend to be anything else! Masking your mental or physical health symptoms can also be exhausting, as can not having the support you need. If you need support either at home or at work it is ok to ask for it. There is no shame in admitting that you’re struggling with things and that you need help. 

Like yourself!

Criticizing your own every move can be exhausting so don’t do it! Be your own new best friend and praise and encourage yourself like a perfect parent would do. Speak kindly to yourself, always.

 

Lifestyle Factors

Certain lifestyle factors can also contribute to feeling tired all the time!

Having too much caffeine or alcohol, eating too little or too much, relying on a diet that is full of high fat, high sugar quick fixes can all cause energy levels to plummet. As can being dehydrated. Therefore aim to drink plenty of water (you can add a slice of lemon or cucumber if you like) and try to eat a healthyish diet, full of vegetables and protein.

Eat regular meals and get plenty of sleep if you can. If you’re able to having some daily exercise can hugely help your energy levels and boost your mood. Start off gently at first, and build up! A daily 20 minute walk is a good place to start if you can manage it. Read my article on Simple ways to be more active by clicking here

If you do have to do nightshifts for work it can help enormously to stick to the same kind of sleeping patterns when you’re on your off-duty days. The worst shift patterns have to be those which change on a daily basis. If at all possible let your body know what it can expect by keeping it relatively constant where possible.

What can I do to stop feeling tired all the time?

  • Visit your GP to ensure there is nothing physical going on that needs addressing if you’re worried
  • Drink plenty of water and eat a good diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take time out for your hobbies or meeting friends
  • Avoid caffeine overload, 
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Have some gentle daily exercise, building up to something more active over time
  • Incorporate fun into your life. Do those things you love
  • Surround yourself with people who get you and who you can be yourself with
  • Delegate any non-essential jobs or cross them off your list completely
  • Try to have an early finish at work if you can, a couple of days a week or negotiate working from home if that would help
  • Sleep when your baby sleeps! Ignore the housework that can wait! 

 Resources:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/10-medical-reasons-for-feeling-tired/

 

Over to you! 

What makes you feel tired the whole time? Have you found anything that will help? If so please tell me what in the comments below! 

 

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How to make a difference to your life in 5 simple steps

How to make a difference to your life in 5 simple steps

Make a difference

How to make a difference to your life on a budget and with minimum effort!

Do you find that you keep doing the same things over and over again, getting the same results? What if there were a few simple steps that you could take to make a difference to the way your life flows?  It could be that taking an hour or two out of your life today could help you save lots of time and money in the future! Here’s how! 

Firstly we need to think about what will make the biggest difference

Take a few minutes and decide what one thing you could change that would make the biggest difference in your life.  What one thing annoys you the most? Let’s call this the superficial problem. This is the problem that’s presenting itself to you in its rawest form.

It could be that you’re always late for work because you can’t find matching socks! Or it could be that you’re tired all the time because you’re not getting enough sleep. Or maybe you have clutter that you no longer need but you’re not sure what to do with? Maybe you don’t have time to sort out the laundry as you’re busy at work and too tired once you get home? Or it could be that you’re feeling burnt out due to never having a minute to yourself. Or you’re tired and stressed after work so relying heavily on takeaways and fast food as you’d don’t have energy to cook? Maybe you’re working from home from the dining table and your back is hurting after staring at a computer screen for 8 hours flat sitting on a hard dining chair? 

 

make a difference what is the main problem

Now we need to think of the bigger issue

We’ve looked at the superficial problem, the ‘what!’  Now we need to think about why it’s a problem? What can we do to solve it? 

Going back to the unmatched socks. Maybe the reason there are no socks to be seen is because there’s no specific place of them to live? Or creating a system of dealing with socks like having a basket for them to go in may sort the problem out. It could be that you need to buy 7 pairs of plain black socks for each family member so that everyone has a weeks worth of socks!

If you can’t sleep, think about what wakes you up on a night? Do you need to use the loo? If so consider having fewer drinks during the evening and cut back on caffeine and salty snacks. Or maybe you wake up feeling cold, hungry or too hot? These things need to be addressed in order for you to get a good nights sleep. Maybe someone is snoring or a light has been left on, causing you to wake in the night?

Maybe your head is spinning with thoughts, ideas and reruns of your day? If this is the case writing everything down in your diary or journal is a great way of offloading these things, allowing your brain to be able to switch off and rest.

 

Think of solutions to the problem

For this bit you may need to buy something, or speak to someone. You may need to ask for advice or book an appointment to see someone. There are often lots of different ways to solve the problem that you’ve highlighted. I invite you to be playful and creative finding a solution. Solutions can be fun!

If you find your mornings are fraught with finding things for the day ahead, try laying everything out the night before. Having a hook behind your door for your outfit can be helpful. Or create space in your hallway for your work bag and shoes. Create a space to keep your car keys and glasses if applicable so you’re not having to spend time looking for them! 

If necessary buy more storage so you have a home for everything. Also declutter if necessary so you can find things more easily!

Let go of anything you no longer need. Find the telephone number of local charities that collect big items or list things on your local online marketplace.

 If you’ve not got any energy towards the end of a busy day pop dinner into the slow cooker before you go out then you’ll come home to a hot meal with no extra effort needed on your part!

If you’re struggling with your at home office and your dining room really isn’t cutting the mustard, maybe investing in a desk chair or adjusting the height of your screen would help?

Evaluate the situation!

Once you’ve found a solution to the problem, it’s time to evaluate to see how well it’s working and if it’s managed to make a difference to your life! 

Has the solution you’ve put in place completely resolved the issue you were facing or do you need to do something else? If so what? It could be you need some labels so you can clearly see what is in your storage baskets or something else. 

Once you’re happy with the solution to the problem you can think about what other things are causing problems for you right now and start the process again!

 

What now?

If you’ve enjoyed this blog post please check out my Pinterest page where you’ll find more articles on similar themes www.pinterest.co.uk/sarahcooperreflexology

 

 

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Basil Essential Oil – Cheerful, Uplifting and great for clearing the mind!

Basil Essential Oil – Cheerful, Uplifting and great for clearing the mind!

Introducing Basil Essential Oil.

Basil Essential oil (or Ocimum Basilicum to give it its botanical name) is a bright, cheerful oil. It’s great for clearing the mind and for relieving headaches

Note: Top

Plant Family: Labiatae (Lamiaceae)

Plant Source: Leaves and Flowers of the whole basil plant

Countries of Origin: Originally Africa nad Asia, but now from Italy, France and the USA

Method of Extraction: Steam Distillation

 

Therapeutic action of basil essential oil

Therapeutic Action of Basil Oil:

  • Uplifting
  • Antidepressant
  • Clears the head
  • Aids Concentration
  • Helps ease headaches
  • Antispasmodic
  • Brings Clarity
  • Analgesic
  • Helps with focus
  • Good for digestion
  • Antiseptic
  • Emmenagogue

 For the digestive system

Basil Essential oil is great for the digestive system. Its anti-spasmodic properties mean that it can be useful for relieving the symptoms of stomach ache and irritable bowel syndrome. It is also good for increasing appetite. 

basil essential oil helpful for irritable bowel syndrome

Antiseptic, prophylactic (helps prevent disease)

Like many essential oils, Basil has antiseptic properties. It is also a prophylactic, helping prevent disease.

Helpful for periods

Basil is an emmenagogue which may be useful for women suffering from very light, absent or scanty periods but should NOT be used in pregnancy for this same reason

Respiratory System

Basil essential oil has a clearing and expectorant effect which makes it great for clearing congestion, sinusitis, influenza, asthma, bronchitis and cattarh

Calming, useful for anxiety , warming

Basil can be used for anxiety, calming frayed nerves and has a calming effect. It is also warming

Revitalising, Relieves exhaustion

Basil is great for giving you a little pick me up when you’re feeling physically or emotionally tired.

Analgesic, helps relieve pain

Basil is helpful in relieving pain, especially the pain associated with muscle spasms. Helps relieve pain associated with rheumatism and gout

Anti-inflammatory, good for acne

Basil essential oil is useful for treating acne as it has anti-inflammatory properties as well as being antiseptic and bacteriacide. It’s anti-inflammatory effects are useful for wasp stings as they can calm and soothe the sting site

Insecticide and Insect Repellant

Insects really do not like basil oil so it makes a great insect repellant. It also has insecticide properties.

Stimulating or stupefying depending how much you use!

Basil essential oil has a very curious property in that it has stimulating effects if used in small quantities but when used in excess it can be stupefying! You have been warned!

uses of basil essential oil

How to use Basil Essential Oil

Use in a Diffuser

Add 3-4 drops of essential oil into a diffuser along with the recommended amount of water.

 This is especially good for relieving the pain of headaches and for clearing congestion in the sinuses

 

cold compress

Make a Compress

Add a couple of drops of basil essential oil into a teaspoonful of carrier oil (like grapeseed or sweet almond oil) and stir into a bowl of cold water. Dip a flannel into the water and squeeze the excess water out.

Apply to the affected area, avoiding the eyes.

warning

Safety Data

  • Basil can irritate sensitive skin so it is vital that you do a patch test before using it on skin
  • Basil must be well diluted with a carrier oil if using on skin or in a compress
  • Sensitivity can occur if you use basil oil for prolonged periods or if you use it frequently
  • Do NOT use in pregnancy
  • Do NOT use whilst breastfeeding
  • Do NOT use on children under the age of 15
  • Hepatoxic do NOT use if you have a liver problem
  • Can be too stimulating for people living with epilepsy best to avoid using
  • Basil is NOT suitable for people with insomnia or who struggle to sleep.
  • As basil essential oil is stimulating it is best kept for the early part of the day, or if you are having a long night out. If you’re planning on having an early night do NOT use after 6pm!
  • Do NOT take internally (ingest) any essential oil
  • Do NOT use on pets

 

Basil Essential Oil Blends well with

  • Lavender
  • Geranium
  • Marjoram
  • Clary Sage
  • Melissa
  • Bergamot
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Neroli
  • Sandalwood
  • Black Pepper
  • Frankincense
  • Pine

Remember

Always consult a qualified aromatherapist before using essential oils, especially if you are having treatment for any condition or are taking medications or homeopathic remedies as there may be an interaction.

DO NOT ingest essential oils

Do NOT use essential oils whilst pregnant or breastfeeding unless advised to do so by a qualified Aromatherapist

Buy Basil Oil Click Here   Disclosure: I will recieve a small percentage from any sales made via this link. 

 

Have you tried Basil Essential Oil? Has it helped you?

Please leave me a comment in the box below

How to take care of your feet

How to take care of your feet

Feet are amazing things. They carry us wherever we need to go. They’ve got thousands of tiny nerve endings on the soles of the feet. They’re built to support you no matter what you weigh. They deserve your love and attention! Here are some great ways to keep your feet feeling happy and loved.

How do you keep your feet happy? Treat them to some fabulous, supportive, comfortable footwear.

Shoes should not hurt. They should fit nicely, with room for the toes to wiggle a little. Footwear that nips, pinches, or makes your toes go numb should be left in the shop. Shoes should also not be overly loose. Your feet should not need to grip your shoes to prevent them from falling off! 

Some shoe shops have started doing half sizes and a range of width fittings for adult shoes which is a huge bonus as many of us are between full shoe sizes. If you’ve not had your shoe size checked recently try using this shoe size chart.

The time of day you go shopping for your shoes can also affect the sizing. Your feet tend to swell towards the end of the day so it’s better to go shopping for shoes late afternoon to accommodate this.

high heels

Rotate your footwear and wear lower heels at home

It is good to have several pairs of shoes or boots and to rotate them so you’re not wearing the same pair day in and day out. If you need or like to wear high heels for work try changing into something softer and lower heeled when you come home. 

treat your feet to a foot spa

Treat them to a spa experience

You can do this at home using a bowl of warm water (a washing up bowl will be just fine. I have a special washing up bowl that I use just for feet!) Always check the water temperature before putting your feet in.

You can pop in some nice bubble bath or a handful of epsom salts or add a couple of drops of essential oil like peppermint or lavender essential oil to a teaspoon of sunflower oil and swish that in. Or add a few slices of fresh lemon and some lavender flowers. This can be a lovely thing to do at the end of a hard day at work (or shopping, or chasing after the children!) Towel dry.

Give yourself a mini pedicure

Keep your toenails cut relatively short (but not too short) and ensure you don’t cut down the sides of the nail.

Always cut your toenails straight so they don’t end up digging into your toe. If you find your toenail has started growing into your toe please see a Foot Health Practitioner or Podiatrist for help. If it looks red, hot, is painful or feels infected please see your GP as well. 

Moisturise your feet regularly

Moisturise your feet regularly

Make moisturising your feet part of your daily routine. Gently massaging foot lotion into your feet before bed can help you to relax as well as keeping the skin on your feet nice, soft and supple. 

Put your feet up!

Sitting down with your feet up can feel amazing.  Especially if you’ve been on your feet all day or sat at your desk. Either lay flat with your feet resting on the wall or prop your feet up on cushions on your sofa arm. Stay like this for 10-15 minutes. This helps your lymph drain better and helps blood flow back towards the heart.

Partner foot massage

Get your partner to give you a foot massage

Using a little foot or body lotion, get your partner to gently massage your feet.

My three favourite foot massage moves are

1. Holding the ankles by cupping your hand under your partners ankles and just holding them for a few moments. This can be wonderfully reassuring.

2. Wrap one foot up in a fluffy towel. Gently rotate the ankle of the other foot in a series of slow but random movements. Do this for a few minutes then swap over. Only do this if your partner has full mobility in their ankles.

3. Very slowly move your hands up your partners leg towards the knee, gently slide back down again and repeat 3 times.

Finish by wrapping both feet up in towels and holding for a few minutes.

podiatrist

Who to turn to if you have a problem with your feet

Sometimes we need help keeping our feet healthy.

If you have any problems with your feet from:

  • Fungal nail infections
  • Painful bunions,
  • Verrucae,
  • Ingrowing toenails,
  • Athletes foot,
  • Diabetic foot care,
  • Corns,
  • Calluses 
  • Anything else that’s causing pain or discomfort for your feet

Consult your local Podiatrist (Chiropodist) or Foot Health Practitioner. Don’t be afraid to go, they will have seen everything before! 

It may be possible to get a referral to a Podiatrist via your GP if the condition is causing pain or loss of mobility.

image how to take care of your feet

Resources

If you would like to find out more about National Feet Week please visit https://nationalfeetweek.org #nationalfeetweek

Read my article about Taking Care of your Legs 

Boroughbridge Chiropody https://www.boroughbridgechiropody.co.uk

 

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