Tag Archives: techniques

THOUGHTFUL SPOT//Baby Steps – Pass the make-up bag. 

January 12, 2017

It’s all about the baby steps. I’ve had a good couple of weeks overall. I have been up and dressed with makeup on every day! I’ve been around the house helping with chores and even contributing to our never ending food purchase, preparation, and cooking conveyer belt, that we have all grown to love so much with healthier living. And I’ve been doing this pretty consistently for the past few weeks. Now, this may not seem like a lot to shout out about, but when you have lived life with depression, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, then being part of such seemingly small things, is certainly nothing to scoff at. Continue reading

WELL-BEING TECHNIQUES // Glass Half Full, Or Half Empty?

July 11, 2016

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Is your glass half full? Or half empty? It’s an age old question, but still holds so true. If we see the glass as half empty then it seems we are edging toward the negative; we are not seeing the positive. If it’s half full, then we are almost certainly a more positive person. But is your ability to see it empty or full, determined by your attitude to life? And if so, can you change it?

It seems in life there are two camps. The glass half full. And the glass half empty. There may be a million reasons why one person is swayed to one direction of thought. There has been a lot of study, and I recently listened to a really interesting TED talk that looked at this in detail. It seems that our brains are hard wired to focus on the negative. It comes naturally to us. And if we are given options that indicate a loss in any way, then most people would be hard pressed to overlook that loss in favour of a gain. It seems that once we see something as half empty, it’s really hard for us to change our view to half full. But it an be done. With practice.

I’ve talked about gratitude lots of times here on the blog. But it appears that the simple act of asking yourself 3 positive things that happened at the end of your day, can turn a day of hideous havoc, into a day that was actually pretty good.

Looking at the positive takes practice. Hard. Dedicated. Practice. Because us humans are wired to see the worst. Now if you’re suffering depression and anxiety, then this hard wire negative line, will not help your well-being. In fact it will, without doubt, enhance the negativity.

How do you change your view?

It seems that even those more positive among us, will have a battle to see the positive in every day. But if you’re depressed or anxious, your job is going to be harder. But it can be done.

Start simply by beginning and ending each day with one positive thought or something for which you are grateful. If you can think of 2 or 3 things, then that’s even better. But you must be consistent. You must me dedicated to it. With practice it can change your hard-wire pessimism into positivity.

Either get a gratitude journal. Or a gratitude jar. The journal you write in each day. The jar, you think of one happy, positive thing that happened that day and put it down on a slip of paper. You put that paper in the jar. At the end of the week, month or year, you empty your jar and you are presented with hundreds of reasons to be happy and grateful.

I think the fact that we are hard wired to see the negative, can give you some comfort. You’re not a pessimist. You’re human. But if you’re struggling to find positive things in your life, because of your mental anguish, then a simple way to start is to practice being thankful. Even for one small thing. And as you do this, then the hundreds of negatives can be put to one side, just for a moment, as you bask in the happy.

Onwards my loves. Kiki xox

” You are smart, you are kind, you are beautiful and you are important.”

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For more advice:

Depression & Anxiety

Well-being techniques




June 24, 2016


3 Things

This is a simple and practical exercise to remind yourself of your greatness. Loving and accepting yourself is crucial to good mental health and well-being.

So, take some paper. And write:

  • 3 nice things that someone said about you.
  • 3 nice things you’ve done for others.
  • 3 good memories.

Always keep your list near you – in your diary, journal or organiser.

Read it often. Remind yourself often, how wonderful you are.

Onwards, Kiki xox

” You are smart, you are kind, you are beautiful and you are important.”

Don’t forget to subscribe in the subscription box at the bottom of the page. If your mobile, keep scrolling. If you’re on your laptop or PC then enter your email address in the subscription box on the right of the screen. This way new posts come straight to your inbox.

For more advice:

Depression & Anxiety

Well-being techniques


DEPRESSION // 7 ways to deal with depression.

April 5, 2016

7 ways to deal with depression

I don’t know about you, but when something is wrong with me or with those I love, I want answers. I’m not one for burying my head in the sand. I want a logical explanation for what’s going on and then I want a solution. I want tools to get me through; advice and support; real action. I do not want to be told ambiguous statements, such as ‘ You’re garden variety Kiki, it happens to many people.’ This is fine. It may happen to many people. But it does not happen to me?!

Well it did. And so the search began. Continue reading

RESOLUTIONS // A new year

January 12, 2016


This time of year is intrinsically associated with a fresh start. It is a time where many of us look to make changes to our lifestyle choices, our self care, our negative habits, basically ourselves.
What worries me about this is that when that clock strikes midnight on the 1st of January, there is an immediate pressure to be a better version of yourself than you were just a minute before. So in the blink of an eye we go from living as we have wanted to, over the most festive period of the year, to immediately wanting to remodel ourselves; body and soul. Continue reading

THERAPIES REVIEW //  Counselling

August 18, 2015

therapy review counselling final

Counselling. What is it?

Counselling is a talking therapy. It is an opportunity to talk to a qualified professional whose aim it is is to listen, without prejudice and with support, in a secure environment. It is usually a short course of treatment for those who have an understanding of their current well-being. Counselling is used for everything from bereavement, depression or anxiety to problems with sexual identity, relationship problems and stress. It is a way of analysing exactly what thoughts you are having, what feelings you are feeling and looking at addressing them by talking them through. It will offer new ways of looking at your thoughts and feelings. It is normally centred on behaviours and behaviour patterns. You are required to be as open as possible with the counsellor.

I want to make a specific point here. I think admitting to having had ‘therapy’ at any point, used to be a bit taboo and there were negative connotations attached. I believe counselling and other talking therapies have come a long way and I know many people who have tried therapy with great success. There is no shame in talking to a professional person. After all, they are the experts.

The Process

If you think it’s worth a try then the first step is to talk to your GP. They may have a counsellor attached to your practice. Should you go through the GP practice there will likely be a waiting list. This is not ideal as the waiting lists are usually very long. But it may be worth the wait.

If you are employed and have an occupational health system in place, then it may be worth going to HR and asking to have contact details of the occupational health provider if you don’t already know who it is. You can normally self refer. This is usually confidential and should not have any impact on your job. You may be entitled to a set amount of sessions face to face or you may be able to have the sessions over the phone if this makes you more comfortable.

If you do not have occupational health support, but still want to try counselling and potentially happy to pay privately, then again approach your GP. They should have a list of recommendations. Alternatively, I would recommend visiting the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) website. They have lists of registered practitioners that are in your area.

Going on recommendation is always great. This would be my first choice. If you know of someone who has benefited from counselling and had a good experience with a particular counsellor, then its worth finding out the name and contact details of that counsellor, and making your own appointment direct.

Should you make an appointment, then I encourage you to be open minded at first. It may feel strange telling a complete stranger your deepest thoughts, but if you persist with the therapy, keep regular appointments and be as open as you can, then you may find that even though there may not be one specific issue to talk through, you may be thinking in ways that are not helping your recovery. The counsellor will recognise this and put you on the path for changing the way you think.

I would also say, at this point, you HAVE to be comfortable with the counsellor. If you feel in any way uncomfortable or do not have a sense of trust, then it’s likely it will not work. You will spend too much time considering how you feel about the therapist, instead of speaking openly about your worries and symptoms.


  • At first you may think what’s the benefit of talking? How can a simple conversation make things better? It’s normal to think this especially if you are feeling chronically ill with mental anguish. But counselling has proven time and time again to help aid well-being.
  • The old saying is that a problem shared is a problem halved. Talking to a professional gives you the opportunity to share even your most private thoughts and feelings in a secure environment.
  • Talking to someone who knows nothing of you, who is completely impartial, may be a welcome change from trying to talk to your loved ones and friends.
  • You are in control of what you discuss. You may find that you discuss more openly as the sessions go on and your confidence in your counsellor increases.
  • Even though some of the talking may make you emotional or upset, this may be a good sign that feelings need to be released. You are releasing these emotions in a secure and sympathetic environment.
  • All qualified counsellors are registered with the BACP. I would recommend that you only go with a qualified registered practitioner.
  • You are taking a positive first step to aid recovery. You are in control.


  • Waiting lists make it difficult to access.
  • Some cost could be involved if you go privately.
  • Emotions will flare up. But this is part of the process to healing.
  • When you start, you’re never sure that the counsellor you have chosen is right for you. So I would always go by recommendation if you can.

Kiki’s Review

I remember going to my first counselling session. It was many years after my breakdown. I went on the recommendation of a friend. The counsellor was very good. At the time, for whatever the reason, I did not feel that I wanted to discuss the past. I think I was afraid of finding something awful. So when I went I just discussed how I was feeling at that time and behaviours that were not helping me to live a full life.

Since then I have seen two other counsellors at different stages of my recovery. Each was very different in their approach, but equally good. They each empowered me to help myself feel better. All have given me a recommended reading list of ‘self-help’ titles. I have always welcomed this. It always gives me a sense of control that I am getting to the bottom of issues. Reading and learning to improve myself is always high on my agenda.

I can only say good things about counselling. I have not really had a negative experience. I did see one lady about 10 years ago. I did not feel a rapport with her, so I didn’t continue with the sessions.

Counselling was not something I did following my breakdown. When I first had the experience of depression and anxiety, I was so bad, that the GP’s figured that I needed medication. And to be honest with you, by that time I was desperate and happily took the medication. They saved my life, and continue to. However, over the years when my mental and emotional health has been a struggle, I have been very glad to talk to a counsellor.

My point of view is this. What do you have to lose? Are you feeling depressed and anxious? Are you grieving, confused with life or really stressed? Then counselling may be just what you need. If it doesn’t work out, you have lost nothing. Just an experience.

Leave comments below my loves.

Onwards and upwards. Kiki xox