Roasted root vegetable platter with honey mustard dressing

Serves 2-3

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups baby romaine purple lettuce – roughly chopped.
4 mini carrots, sliced lengthways.
1 medium, sweet potato chopped into 1-inch-thick circles.
1 parsnip sliced into inch thick pieces.
1/2 cup canned Borlotti beans
1/2 avocado sliced thinly.

Spices to roast vegetabes

1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 TSP pink salt
Cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Optional extras –

1 tablespoon. Mr. Organic authentic Italian tomato and onion bruschetta topping.
1 tbsp hemp seeds

Dressing – Add to mason jar mix well and leave to develop.

2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1 tsp raw honey
2 tbsp water

Directions

Preheat oven to 190°C.

1. Make salad dressing and leave to develop.
2. Add all root vegetables to a medium size mixing bowl add spices and oil and mix well.
3. Add all vegetables to an oven tray and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
4. Start to assemble your salad, adding the lettuce sleeves, and the roasted vegetables, the Botti beans, and the avocado.
5. Add small amounts of the bruschetta topping, as desired.
6. Next add the dressing and top with hemp seeds or any other nuts of choice.
Serve cold.

Roasted Root Vegetable Platter

Gems from 2021!

2021 is certainly a year many of us will not forget for a long time. It is a time which will go down in history as the world continued to struggle with the impact of COVID-19.

The year of lockdowns. The year of border closures. The year of job losses. The year (for some) of extreme illness or grief. The year our resilience, patience, adaptability, perseverance and strength were stretched beyond belief.

However, it is not all doom and gloom. I am certain that everyone has some gems they can take with them as we welcome in the new year. Perhaps for some, these gems may be a little far from the surface, but they are there if we spend the time searching for them.

These gems will empower us to keep going; they will help us to flourish and reach new heights. These gems will be the foundation for a successful and meaningful 2022.

So, let us take a moment to find your gems! I would recommend you set aside 30 minutes to self-reflect on the below questions. Write your responses down. Give yourself the space to be authentic and reflective

What is one thing this year who’ve done which surprised you?

What did you learn about yourself from this experience?

How can this lesson be carried forwards, across other life domains?

What is an achievement you are proud of?

What does this mean to you?

Did you take the time to celebrate this accomplishment? If not, there is still time!

Who did you share this moment with? What difference did this make? We all need to feel more comfortable sharing our ‘wins’ with ourselves and others.

What healthy new rituals or routines did you start in 2021?

Which rituals are the ones which have stuck and you are confident you’ll continue with in 2022?

What difference will this make, if so?

Is there a relationship you are particularly proud of this year?

Why are you proud? What happened?

What does this relationship mean to you?

What next steps are you going to make to continue nurturing this relationship?

Have your values shifted? Are there things which seem more important to you now?

If so, what are they?

Have you started to make movement towards living a life in line with these values?

How can you be accountable to these values, to ensure that you are living a life which is meaningful?

What else can you do to enhance your wellbeing in 2022?

Resolutions can be a great catalyst for change, however many of us set unrealistic goals for the new year. The focus should be on making small changes which can help cultivate positivity and improve overall mental health.

Leading expert on happiness and positive psychology Shawn Achor believes that small changes which impact on how we positively engage with others, or how we nurture and cultivate our inner world can lead to big wins across the board.

When we maintain a positive outlook our brains experience an increase in performance. Achor elaborates further: “When we’re hopeful and appreciative, dopamine floods into the body. This not only improves our mood and triggers feelings of happiness, but it also turns on all of the learning centers in the brain, enabling us to be more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient and productive”.

So let us take this gem with us into the new year – let us pledge to maintain positivity, maintain hope, show appreciation, and express gratitude. Each of us deserves an abundance of happiness! What brings you joy is different to others, so take the time to reflect and identify those things which makes you feel happy.

Below are 10 achievable resolutions which support a positive life and better mental health. Be realistic when implementing change – map it out, be sensible with planning, choose practices which are in line with your values and fit with your lifestyle. Ensure that you embrace self-compassion and kindness to set yourself up for success.

1. Practice gratitude

2. Engage in a writing practice, such as journaling

3. Prioritize and nurture good relationships

4. Be present, practice mindfulness

5. Prioritize your sleep, ensuring you reach 7-9 hours of sleep/night

6. Get active – move your body

7. Reduce your screen time – unplug from technology and social media

8. Engage in regular breathing exercises to enhance relaxation and a calm state of being

9. Turn inwards, listen to your body and your mind

10. Be kind to yourself; increase moments of self-compassion

Enjoy your journey of self-reflection and finding those gems!

Yours in wellness,

Libby McLean

EAP Specialist, Coach and Trainer

Positive MIND Consulting

Carving out time for gratitude

Gratitude; “a sense of thankfulness and happiness in response to receiving a gift, either a tangible benefit given by someone or a fortunate happenstance” (American Psychological Association).

When did you last take the time to engage in a moment of gratitude? What did you notice? What did you feel? What happened afterwards?

Gratitude has this amazing ability to allow us to feel greater levels of happiness as we relish in moments of thanks and contentment. As we sit in this space, we are bringing further awareness to an experience or moment which in turn contributes positively to our mental health.

No matter how rubbish a day of ours might be, how overwhelming an experience is or how difficult a particular moment can play out, there is usually always something positive we can take away or be grateful for. It is so beneficial for us to spend time reflecting on these instances so we can experience moments of appreciation despite the doom and gloom that life can sometimes bring our way.

Gratitude doesn’t need to be a gigantic gesture or hugely significant or influential moment.

It can be a simple pleasure. A good night’s sleep.

A lovely coffee to start your day. Sunshine as you walk to work.

A pumping playlist as you complete your daily workout.

A nutritious snack.

An entertaining Netflix series. A good laugh with a friend. A supportive family. A warm bed.

There are so many benefits when practicing gratitude; for our mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and social wellbeing. Let me dive into a few of these below;

  • Reduces anxiety and depressive symptoms: calms our mind, challenges negative thoughts/feelings/emotions, allows space to search for the ‘gems’ despite a situation or experience
  • Improves self-esteem: gratitude can help you to feel better about your personal circumstance and improves life satisfaction which leads to feeling more certain of yourself
  • Increases levels of resilience: allows you to recover and bounce back from stressful and overwhelming incidents, acting as a buffer against internalising symptoms
  • Boosts levels of compassion and empathy: acknowledging others (or our beautiful self!) and embracing moments of thanks or appreciation can help to improve our compassion towards others and ourselves
  • Improves optimism: the more we reflect on what we have to be grateful for, the more we find we have to be grateful for, thus shifting our outlook and mindset to a more positive one
  • Increases social connections: improves and nurtures relationships and allows for greater satisfaction within different social and/or community groups

(28 Benefits of Gratitude & Most Significant Research Findings, PositivePsychology.com)

How to engage in a moment of gratitude

Like with any wellness practice, it’s important to find the right technique for you. I would recommend playing around with a few strategies to find the one which best resonates with you. Perhaps you find a few, in which case add them all to your gratitude tool-kit!

#Journaling

Journaling is a beautiful, private experience. One where you can be truly authentic, knowing the space created is just for you and your reflections. Studies have shown an increase in our long-term levels of happiness by over 10% when we engage in 5 minutes of gratitude each day. Just five minutes; you can do it! (Emmons & McCullough, 2003; Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005). “Those who pay attention to what is good in their life instead of what is bad are more likely to feel positively about their life”.

Here are some gratitude prompts you might like to consider for your journaling practise:

#Affirmations

Affirmations are lovely declarations which can be made to help us bring further awareness to an experience, thought or feeling. Affirmations assist us to validate how and what we are feeling, allowing us to embrace moments of self-compassion. Pledges of gratitude, or gratitude affirmations can include statements such as “I am happy and grateful for the life I have”, “I am grateful for the people in my life”, “I am grateful for the work I do and the job I have”, “I am grateful for my strong body and mind”.

# Expressing gratitude

There are different ways to express appreciation and thanks to those close to you and/or others in the community. By doing so, we can experience moments of happiness and joy; knowing that we have had a positive impact or made a difference to someone’s life (whether that be a small ripple or a significant gesture). We can show our appreciation to someone by acknowledging a kind act someone’s done “I really appreciated it when you bought me some flowers after I had a terrible day at work”, via an act of kindness through doing someone thoughtful for someone else ‘paying it forward’ and/or telling the people in our life what they mean to us.

#Mindful gratitude

Mindfulness is bringing full awareness to any given moment, thought, emotion, feeling or experience. It is about being anchored in the present, remaining open minded in a curious and non-judgemental space. We activate each of our five senses when engaging in mindfulness and as such, our experience is heightened. We can practise mindful gratitude in different ways – through savouring a meal, admiring a sunset, smelling the pleasant scent of a flower, feeling the warmth of the sun or via listening to a calming song or the laugh of our child. These mindful moments of gratitude can help us to experience great joy, appreciation and levels of happiness.

Like with any new ritual, it can be beneficial to create reminders so we are prompted to engage in the practice. This helps us to turn new habits into parts of our regular routine. You may wish to consider putting up a visual reminder or setting a re-occurring notification in your phone to engage in your chosen gratitude exercise.

Before signing off this article, I will share below some links to a few calming, grounding gratitude meditations you may like to consider as a practice:

Yours in wellness,

Libby McLean

EAP Specialist, Coach and Trainer

Positive MIND Consulting

Wellness with Libby – Unhooking from negative habits

It’s so easy to become stuck in certain routines and habits. We may have complete awareness what we are doing is against our values or taking us away from living a life which is meaningful and enjoyable however, it can be so challenging to break away and unhook from these habits which have become custom to our day or week.

What’s the cost?

By continuing to engage in negative habits we are taking away opportunities to immerse in more meaningful or positive activities or experiences. This can result in negative outcomes from a physical, emotional or psychological perspective. The longer we remain in these negative ‘loops’ the harder it can be to break away or unhook from them. GOOD NEWS – it is never too late to create new habits which are more conducive to support better mental and physical health, so what’s stopping you?!

Does any of this sound familiar: working late into the evening, excessive time spent on digital devices, avoiding down time, putting off self-care, not prioritizing sleep/not achieving enough rest, excessive consumption of alcohol, suppressing your voice or opinion, mindless or binge eating, saying YES despite feeling overworked, inactivity, actively listening and responding to your inner critic, eating lunch at your desk or avoiding taking breaks during the work day and/or living in chaos/a messy environment.

Taking the time to stop and reflect is so important and can help you shift towards a space of change. Asking yourself “is this habit supportive or destructive to my wellbeing? Is this taking me towards the person I want to be, is it taking me where I want to get to, in terms of living a life which is balanced and meaningful?”

Often, we engage in negative habits as we live in an ‘autopilot’ mode – engaging in things without brining awareness to the moment and only acknowledging or recognizing

we’ve done something after the fact.

Unhooking from negative habits

1. Map out your bad habit loops.

What’s going on? What’s happening? What are the triggers? What is driving the habit? What is maintaining the habit?

2. Bring more awareness to the moment – what are you gaining?

What do you notice? What does your mind tell you in these moments? What does your body tell you in these moments? What’s the outcome after engaging in the habit?

3. Find a better option.

What could replace the habit? What would result in a better experience or outcome? Cultivate curiosity and ask yourself what other options are available and what is needed to achieve this.

Certain key things are required when it comes to unhooking successfully from a negative habit. Here are some of my reflections:

Accountability: write it down, use an agenda, tell someone your new habits/goals.

Consistency: engage in the new habit regularly, set yourself a target and stick to it, create new rituals and routines to honour the new habit.

Be Realistic: what else is going on in your life, what might influence or impact engagement in the new habit, who can help/support you, observe your other commitments or external factors.

Commitment: is the new habit in line with your values, how important is this to you and what positive difference will this make to your life.

Self-compassion: show yourself loving kindness and patience, not every day/week will be easy when implementing change.

What can help you further to unhook from negative habits?

I’m sharing below some of my favourite tools to adopt when looking at breaking away from these negative loops and making space for positive change:

1) Scaling – using a numerical scale to help you to objectively rank or measure how important something is and what impact (positive or negative) it might have. Scaling helps us to stop and reflect before automatically engaging in a habit.

2) The Choice Point (a tool developed by Dr Russ Harris, Therapist and Trainer of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). Watch this short YouTube clip to get a clearer understanding of how to use this tool. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV15x8LvwAQ

1) Get a different perspective – step back, picture yourself in a helicopter so you can see the ‘whole picture’ – not just what’s in front of you. Ask yourself: “What would I tell a friend of mine, would my advice be different?”

2) Use visual imagery as a way of ‘seeing yourself’ engaging in a healthier, more positive habit or experience.

3) Journal about your experience – use this as a tool to help boost motivation and accountability. Journaling can assist us to bring more awareness and mindfulness to the process of change.

What might some of the benefits be after unhooking from a negative habit?

– Start living a life which is more in line with your values

– Living a healthier life, improve your wellness

– Experience more balance

– Embracing more mindful moments, slowing down, and turning inwards

– Learning to challenge that inner critic or negative self-talk

– Rediscover your voice and boost your levels of confidence

– Make space for positive opportunities and change

– Live a more meaningful life

– Improve important relationships

Wishing you success as you navigate through the process of unhooking from your negative habit/s. Be kind to yourself and imagine the possibilities!

Yours in wellness,

Libby McLean

EAP, Coach and Trainer

Positive MIND Consulting

Wellness with Libby – Uncovering confidence

Confidence is not a fixed trait which is BRILLIANT NEWS! It is something we can develop and improve over time. Confidence is the belief in oneself, the conviction that one can meet life’s challenges and succeed. Being confident requires a realistic sense of one’s capabilities and feeling secure in that knowledge (Psychology Today).

There is evidence to show a strong correlation between positive mental health and self-confidence (Atherton et al., 2016; Clark & Gakuru, 2014; Gloppen, David-Ferdon, & Bates, 2010; Skenderis, 2015; Stankov, 2013; Stankov & Lee, 2014). Having self-confidence can encourage you to take more risks and potentially reach new potentials. This can lead to greater opportunities and adventures; both in a personal and professional space.

What can influence our confidence?

External influences:

– Feedback received from others (positive or negative)

– Environment (whether that be an environment which is supportive or conducive to our needs and wants)

– Positive experiences and outcomes (previous success)

Internal influences:

– Self-talk (how we talk to ourselves – our ‘inner critic’, what language we use, how many moments we create for self-compassion or positive self-affirmation)

– Skills (our demonstrated capabilities and experiences, both personal and professional)

– Self-esteem (how much love or respect we have for ourselves; how worthy we believe we are)

– Expectations (our hopes, what opportunities we create and goals which we set).

Improving our confidence

As confidence is a learned trait; something which can develop and improve over time, there are numerous things we can do to increase our levels of confidence. A good place to start would be to bring more awareness to your thoughts/feelings/behaviors through mindfulness; start to embrace the present, be curious about experiences and your reactions. Become aware of how you hold yourself – your posture. If you want to feel more confidence sit up straight, smile or stand in a position which reflects courage or strength. Harvard Psychologist Amy Cuddy and others have gathered evidence to demonstrate the positive effect of confident body postures on human hormones. They’ve found that posture sends messages to the brain which can influence how you feel. Strive to keep an open, relaxed, calm and confidence posture!

Increasing our interactions with others and participating more in the community or within our various tribes can also help us to feel more confident. We can create greater opportunities to ‘speak up’ and be our true, genuine self. Surrounding ourselves with people who share similar values to us allows us to feel more at ease to speak our well-intended truth, enabling us to live more authentically and in line with our values.

It is important to keep in the ‘towards’ motion; always making steps (even tiny ones) towards a space you want to reach. Setting goals, acknowledging success and milestones, celebrating wins and adopting self-compassion and acceptance with any set back is key to boosting our levels of confidence. Nurture these moments through embracing mindfulness.

As uncomfortable as it can be for some, accepting compliments is an important step in building our self-confidence. Compliments are a reflection of our true self. They allow us to settle into ourselves. They can help to validate success or achievement, honour difficult moments and reinforce resiliencies. They can be timely reminders that we are enough, we are brilliant, we matter and that we are doing our very best.

Visualization can also be a helpful technique to adopt to boost levels of confidence. Imagine your confident self. Picture yourself in an environment, doing something which portrays confidence. Perhaps you’re speaking in a conference, hosting a function, doing a presentation at work, participating in a sporting event etc. Allow the feelings of a comfortable presence to flow through your body and mind.

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others.

Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval.

Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” Lao Tzu

Keen to look at ways to support boosting your confidence? Why not download one of these Apps to support you along your journey. These have been recommended by PositivePsychology and are geared towards helping you to accept and love yourself, increase moments of gratitude, stay present and positive throughout the day, boost your confidence in your own abilities and challenge unhelpful negative core beliefs.

1. Confidence Coach

2. Happier

3. Cognitive Diary CBT Self-Help

Positive affirmations to support our confidence

Affirmations are a great strategy to adopt to set intentions, empower and energize us, focus our minds and channel positivity and hope. They can be a great resource to add to our self-care toolkit when looking at ways to boost or nurture our confidence. I would recommend you take the time to develop some ‘positive affirmations for confidence’, however you can use the below as a guide:

“I am intelligent and capable”

“I am changing and growing for all the right reasons”

“I have the power to improve myself”

“I am deserving”

“I believe in my abilities”

“Each day I become better, braver and bolder”

“I trust myself”

Wishing you every success as you continue through your journey of improved confidence.

Yours in Wellness,

Libby McLean

EAP Specialist, Coach and Trainer

Positive MIND Consulting

Wellness With Libby – Good Sleep is a Realistic Dream!

Today’s society has created this ‘need’ to be “busy” and cram 100 things into each and every day. When doing this, we spend less time focusing on our wellness, and in particular our sleep. Many of us don’t actually understand how vital it is to achieve good quality sleep.

Are you guilty of watching ‘just one more’ episode of your favorite Netflix series, reading a few more chapters of your book, scrolling for ‘a little longer’ on Instagram, or staying up later chatting on the phone or snacking away? I’m sure most of us are, at some stage!

Delaying sleep can have adverse effects on our wellbeing and so it is key that we start (or continue) prioritizing our sleep.

Sleep occurs when your body and brain drop into an unconscious, restorative state.

When sleeping, some of our bodily functions are suspended while other specialized functions happen. Sleep is remarkable and does such wonderous things for our health and wellbeing. It can assist the body to fight infection, allows your heart to rest, can improve brain function (i.e. memory, concentration, learning), restore energy, repair injuries, aid growth, improve psychological wellbeing and mood and can even help in lowering blood pressure. (Centre for Clinical Interventions, Government of Western Australia https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself/Sleep).

Evidence shows us there are two stages of sleep.

The first stage is NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) and can be broken down into 3 phases:

Phase 1) Sleepy state, the sleeper is somewhat alert, can be woken easily and typically lasts less than 7 minutes. The sleeper’s heart rate and breathing slows and muscles begin to relax.

Phase 2) Onset of sleep, a lighter phase of sleep, the sleeper is less likely to be awakened in this phase, as heart rate and breathing slows down further. This phase usually lasts around 25 minutes.

Phase 3) Represents the body falling into a deep sleep. The sleeper enters an important restorative sleep stage from which it is difficult to be awakened. It is in this phase of sleep where our body repairs muscle and tissue, improves immune function and encourages growth and development.

The second stage of sleep is known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement).

Typically the sleeper enters this stage of sleep 90 minutes after falling asleep. This is the stage of sleep associated with deep sleep and dreaming. The sleeper’s brain remains active, breathing increases as does heart rate, however the bodies arms and legs become temporarily paralysed, as a way to prevent you from acting out your dreams! This stage of sleep is vital for mood, new learning, memory and alertness/daytime concentration.

(National Sleep Foundation https://www.thensf.org/)

Tracking your sleep can help you to understand your sleep, in addition to helping you become more aware of those things impacting your ability to achieve sufficient rest, should you be struggling to reach the recommended 7-9 hours (for an Adult). Strategies you can use include various Sleep Apps or a sleep journal.

Are you reaching the recommended sleep quota?

Read below to learn some effective sleep habits to achieve better sleep:

1. Avoid napping in the day

2. Reduce your caffeine intake

3. Attempt to stick to a regular sleep/wake cycle (going to bed at the same time each night, waking at a similar time each morning)

4. Avoid physical exercise 2-3 hours before bed

5. Take a hot bath or shower before bed

6. Avoid large meals before bed, or foods that can aggravate your digestion (i.e. chilli), in addition to alcohol

7. Create an environment of ‘calm’ in your bedroom (avoid using your bedroom as a place of work, ensure your room is of comfortable temperature and dark)

8. Reduce the time you spend on devices before bed (i.e phone, laptop)

9. Practise mindfulness, try a body scan or a breathing exercise

10. Use a thoughts diary or journal as a way to ‘offload’ any of the days worries or burdens

11. Develop some relaxing night rituals to practise before bed (light stretching, herbal tea, meditation, burning a candle)

Here is some inspiration to help you to set up a new self-care night routine to aid better sleep:

We spend on average 1/3 of our life asleep! That’s right… ONE THIRD!

Even more reason to prioritize our sleep to ensure that we are resting and sleeping well.

I’m sharing some of the TOP APPS I’ve come across to help: *track your sleep, *improve your sleep, *analyse your sleep quality and *foster calmness and relaxation before bed:

1. SleepScore

2. Sleep Cycle

3. Sleep++

4. Pillow Automatic Sleep Tracker

5. Sleepzy – Sleep Cycle Tracker

6. Headspace

7. Calm

8. Noisli

9. Slumber

Get lost in your dreams!

Yours in wellness,

Libby McLean

EAP Specialist, Coach and Trainer

Positive MIND Consulting

Wellness with Libby – Setting boundaries and embracing fierce honesty

Boundaries are essentially an expression of our values. They are based on what’s personally important to us. They enable us to voice to others what we value; helping us to express our identity. Boundaries enable us to live a life which nurtures positive relationships and meaningful experiences.

Healthy boundaries look like:

– Valuing your own opinion

– Prioritising your own needs before others

– Knowing it’s OK to say ‘no’

– Communicating respectfully and effectively

– Sharing information appropriately

– Understanding and respecting limits set by others

– Being able to identify when a boundary has been broken

https://positivepsychology.com/great-self-care-setting-healthy-boundaries/

“Healthy boundaries are a crucial component of self-care. That’s because “in work or in our personal relationships, poor boundaries lead to resentment, anger, and burnout” (Nelson, 2016).”

By having boundaries in place, we are able to weed out negative relationships and identify those people whom we wish to spend our time with. This can protect us from exposure to negative or uncomfortable experiences or interactions with others. We can learn to prioritise time for ourselves (self-care!) and protect, or conserve, our energy. This can lead to greater self-awareness and self-respect. By setting boundaries we can avoid burnout, particularly at work, as we learn what is required to take better care of ourselves in the work environment- including such things like taking breaks, saying no to additional tasks, communicating effectively with colleagues, healthy snacking throughout the day, finishing work on time etc. https://cbtpsychology.com/relational-boundaries/

What influences our boundaries?

Like many things, the way in which we were raised, and our culture can influence how our boundaries are formed and how they develop. Past relationships and events can shape who we are and what limits we place, or don’t place, on ourselves. Our level of self-awareness and/or self-respect can also play a role in impacting on what our boundaries may look like. Those with lowered self-awareness may struggle more with setting boundaries to protect themselves from negative relationship or experiences. Time is also another factor which influences our boundaries. Our values change with time and as such, our boundaries must be modified to incorporate those things which are now more important to us. They are flexible and can be fluid as we pass through different life stages.

“A boundary is a limit or space between you and the other person; a clear place where you begin, and the other person ends . . . The purpose of setting a healthy boundary is, of course, to protect and take good care of you” (n.d.).

Setting boundaries

Þ Before setting boundaries it’s important to spend some time reflecting on your values, your current relationships, those things which you can tolerate vs/ those ‘non-negotiables’.

Þ We must be realistic when we are setting boundaries; know you cannot change other people’s thoughts/feelings or behaviors and as such, your boundaries shouldn’t be based on these things.

Þ We must be clear when we communicate our boundaries to others – communication should be assertive and firm yet kind and compassionate.

Þ Consistency is key when it comes to living by your boundaries. Being consistent helps to avoid mixed messages and people over-stepping.

Þ If people do overstep your boundaries, it’s important to set consequences. This will help to protect you from entering negative or uncomfortable situations and aid in avoiding resentment or burnout.

Take a look at this thought process for setting a new boundary:

1. I value my health and wellness.

2. I will say no to mid-week after work drinks Monday – Thursday.

3. I will bring my exercise clothes to work and prioritise exercise over drinking.

4. I will say no to some mid-week lunches invitations.

5. I will only go out for lunch with colleagues MAX twice / week. I will prepare lunch at home to bring with me to work 3 days / week.

6. I will tell Susie and the boys at work my new boundaries, explaining that I am focusing on my fitness and wellness for the next 3 months.

7. I will be firm and consistent when communicating this boundary. I will not crumble. I will remain true when there may be external pressure. This is important to me.

I wanted to share this TEDTALK “Good boundaries free you” by Sarri Gilman. Boundaries can take care of you; they can help you to mitigate stress. Sarri talks through a past personal experience whereby she was ignoring her own self-care and wellness and how the need for setting boundaries came about. She speaks about a ‘personal compass’ and the importance of supporting your compass through self-care, building a web of resources, prioritizing your time and practicing letting go. https://youtu.be/rtsHUeKnkC8

Wishing you success as you take a moment to reflect on your values and learn the practice of setting boundaries to nurture your relationships, protect yourself from distressing or uncomfortable situations and engage in greater self-care and self-reflection.

Yours in wellness,

Libby McLean

EAP Specialist, Coach and Trainer

Positive MIND Consulting

Wellness With Libby – Finding and connecting with your tribe

What is a tribe and how can it help us?

TRIBE, as defined by Oxford Dictionary: “A social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognised leader”.

Tribes help us to feel a sense of belonging. They can help to nurture our sense of self and our identity. Belonging to a group who share similar values or passions can help us to feel a greater sense of purpose and meaning as we are participating in something which is either important to us or making a difference to others. Being part of a tribe is important because it reflects our values whilst simultaneously fulfilling our desire or need for companionship.

The importance of connection

Connection with others can have a significant impact on our mental, physical, emotional and psychological health. Connecting with others can help to reduce anxiety or depression. It can help us to regulate our emotions. Connection fuels togetherness, which can help to increase our skills in empathy as we learn to become better listeners and supporters.

Through connection, we can better understand the importance of vulnerability, as we learn to open up and share more with others. We can learn we are not alone; that others’ too have problems and difficulties and that what we are feeling is valid. This can help to make us feel more supported which can play a role in boosting our confidence or self-esteem.

Studies have shown that “having strong social connections can increase life expectancy by up to 50% as well as decrease you chances of experiencing mental health conditions like depression or social anxiety or physical health problems like high blood pressure, a weakened immune system or dementia”. https://mensline.org.au/wellbeing-blog/finding-your-tribe/

How to identify who is in your tribe – circle of trust exercise

In the middle of the circle are your VIPs. Those you go to at any time, for anything. Sharing joyous or tragic news – they are your rock.

The next layer out are those whom you also share many private moments with, but perhaps they’re not the person you call at 2am with a problem. You enjoy their company and need/want their presence in your life.

The next layer out are those you may invite to events or parties but don’t see all that regularly. You enjoy their company, but don’t really open up and share many private moments.

The next layer out are those you see infrequently. They may be more like acquaintances or ‘friend of friends’.

The next layer of the circle may be those people you interact with on an informal basis – like your hairdresser, the lady in the grocery shop, the butcher, the parent at school drop off etc.

And so on and so forth…The circle can continue for as long as you need it to!

Completing this exercise can help you to see just how many people you have in your tribe. It can be quite comforting completing this activity, as you sit and reflect on all the important people in your life.

Family/friends/colleagues/acquaintances/neighbours all have different roles and there are different expectations for each layer of support. They all serve a different purpose. The circle is fluid, meaning at times your tribe might change; people may move closer or further away from the centre. Know that this is normal, that’s life!

Feeling stuck completing your Circle of Trust? NEVER MIND. Read below to learn how to find your tribe. It’s never too late!

How to find a new tribe

1. Self-Reflection – learn more about yourself and what your values are. What are you looking for? What’s missing currently in your life? What do you feel you need more of?

2. Try new things – take a risk and engage in an activity you’ve not done before or haven’t engaged in for a while. This experience can help you to identify what you enjoy and better understand the type of people you want to make space for.

3. Remain open minded and non-judgemental – bring awareness to any judgements you may have when approaching a new group or activity. Remind yourself to look for commonalities rather than adopting a pessimistic stance.

4. Look to create new routines and habits – know when to commit and make a conscious effort to engage with your new tribe. Remain active and make yourself known in the group. Don’t be shy!

Self-compassion and self-acceptance – know that this is a journey, and you may take time in finding the right tribe. Be kind and compassionate and remind yourself why this is important and the reasons you are looking to do this.

https://wanderlust.com/journal/how-to-find-your-tribe/

Wishing you many happy and fulfilling memories and experiences with your tribe!

Yours in wellness,

Libby McLean

EAP Specialist, Coach and Trainer

Positive MIND Consulting

Wellness With Libby – Finding and connecting with your tribe

What is a tribe and how can it help us?

TRIBE, as defined by Oxford Dictionary: “A social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognised leader”.

Tribes help us to feel a sense of belonging. They can help to nurture our sense of self and our identity. Belonging to a group who share similar values or passions can help us to feel a greater sense of purpose and meaning as we are participating in something which is either important to us or making a difference to others. Being part of a tribe is important because it reflects our values whilst simultaneously fulfilling our desire or need for companionship.

The importance of connection

Connection with others can have a significant impact on our mental, physical, emotional and psychological health. Connecting with others can help to reduce anxiety or depression. It can help us to regulate our emotions. Connection fuels togetherness, which can help to increase our skills in empathy as we learn to become better listeners and supporters.

Through connection, we can better understand the importance of vulnerability, as we learn to open up and share more with others. We can learn we are not alone; that others’ too have problems and difficulties and that what we are feeling is valid. This can help to make us feel more supported which can play a role in boosting our confidence or self-esteem.

Studies have shown that “having strong social connections can increase life expectancy by up to 50% as well as decrease you chances of experiencing mental health conditions like depression or social anxiety or physical health problems like high blood pressure, a weakened immune system or dementia”. https://mensline.org.au/wellbeing-blog/finding-your-tribe/

How to identify who is in your tribe – circle of trust exercise

In the middle of the circle are your VIPs. Those you go to at any time, for anything. Sharing joyous or tragic news – they are your rock.

The next layer out are those whom you also share many private moments with, but perhaps they’re not the person you call at 2am with a problem. You enjoy their company and need/want their presence in your life.

The next layer out are those you may invite to events or parties but don’t see all that regularly. You enjoy their company, but don’t really open up and share many private moments.

The next layer out are those you see infrequently. They may be more like acquaintances or ‘friend of friends’.

The next layer of the circle may be those people you interact with on an informal basis – like your hairdresser, the lady in the grocery shop, the butcher, the parent at school drop off etc.

And so on and so forth…The circle can continue for as long as you need it to!

Completing this exercise can help you to see just how many people you have in your tribe. It can be quite comforting completing this activity, as you sit and reflect on all the important people in your life.

Family/friends/colleagues/acquaintances/neighbours all have different roles and there are different expectations for each layer of support. They all serve a different purpose. The circle is fluid, meaning at times your tribe might change; people may move closer or further away from the centre. Know that this is normal, that’s life!

Feeling stuck completing your Circle of Trust? NEVER MIND. Read below to learn how to find your tribe. It’s never too late!

How to find a new tribe

1. Self-Reflection – learn more about yourself and what your values are. What are you looking for? What’s missing currently in your life? What do you feel you need more of?

2. Try new things – take a risk and engage in an activity you’ve not done before or haven’t engaged in for a while. This experience can help you to identify what you enjoy and better understand the type of people you want to make space for.

3. Remain open minded and non-judgemental – bring awareness to any judgements you may have when approaching a new group or activity. Remind yourself to look for commonalities rather than adopting a pessimistic stance.

4. Look to create new routines and habits – know when to commit and make a conscious effort to engage with your new tribe. Remain active and make yourself known in the group. Don’t be shy!

Self-compassion and self-acceptance – know that this is a journey, and you may take time in finding the right tribe. Be kind and compassionate and remind yourself why this is important and the reasons you are looking to do this.

Wishing you many happy and fulfilling memories and experiences with your tribe!

Yours in wellness,

Libby McLean

EAP Specialist, Coach and Trainer

Positive MIND Consulting

Mini Mindfuls and Yoga Magic

I first discovered Kate and Lauren when I was researching mindfulness and Yoga for children, and thinking of ways I could incorporate this into my kids time spent at home with the family.

Kate Sheikh and Lauren Butcher joined forces in 2020 to create and launch The Complete SchoolKit, which is a digital mental well-being teacher-training program for schools across the globe.

The Yoga Magic website features a wonderful selection of kids’ yoga and mindfulness products from small, independently run businesses around the world. They stock items such as affirmation cards, breathing exercise cards and kids yoga mats. These wonderful small businesses want to help you bring this magic to your children or yoga students and build a generation of resilient, mindful and compassionate humans!

The platform is a multivendor marketplace, meaning they do not keep any stock, but your orders come straight from the vendor themselves. They simply give small, independent running businesses a dedicated platform to sell their incredible products through; and give you, as the customer a one-stop destination to shop for all your child’s mental well-being needs.

 

The Teacher’s ToolKit

We wanted to introduce their latest mental well-being program for children which trains educators to bring social-emotional health into the classroom through establishing daily mindfulness and yoga practices with their students. The Teacher’s ToolKits are inspired by The Complete SchoolKit program and adapted specifically for teachers to access for instant delivery to their students!

Each Teacher’s ToolKit introduces 4 new Mindful Mates and their social-emotional themes….from worthiness and self-awareness, to gratitude and more.

The Teacher’s ToolKit Bundle includes Teacher’s Toolkits 1, 2 & 3 with all 12 Mindful Mates. The Teacher’s ToolKits are suitable for primary school aged children up to year 6.

Find out more here ….

https://www.yogamagic.store/about-us/

Email: hello@yogamagic.store