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This saying often refers to if your house is clean and tidy then it will help you in being able to think more clearly too. However, what I’m wondering is, if your house is not tidy, how much do you mind and how does this impact you?

Let me be honest. My house is not tidy, it rarely is. Having a toddler and a dog plus my hubby and I working full time, keeping things sorted is an ongoing challenge. We’re lucky that we have weekends altogether; not everyone has that luxury.

What that means is at weekends we tend to be out doing activities and spending time together as a family. I choose to prioritise that over making my house tidy. In the week there are times when I prioritise something else too, that some of you may find truly shocking…myself.

I do my best to sit down and have lunch everyday. It doesn’t have to be a long lunch, but my little one is at nursery and it’s rare to have that quiet times. At weekends I try to have a few minutes when he’s asleep to prioritise me too. I choose to do this, rather than use this time to tidy my house because for me I feel it’s a better use of my time. You can’t pour from an empty cup so they say!

Choosing to accept that my house won’t be totally tidy, is for me, ok. Recognising and accepting this reduces the pressure I feel from the mounting to do list I can so easily create.

I practice gratitude. Those crumbs on the floor under the highchair? That’s ok, they can be sorted later, in this moment they don’t matter. I’m just grateful that I have a family to feed and food to feed them with. The lawn that needs mowing? Well I’m grateful that I have the privilege of outside space that’s my very own to maintain.

This weekend I was catching up with a friend. My house was untidy, my little boy had gotten his toys out everywhere and my dog was shedding hair too! I could have chosen not to have invited my friend over to prevent any fear of judgement. However I chose to invite her over and we enjoyed some time catching up, it didn’t matter about everything else, only reinforcing to me what my personal priorities are.

There is always a lot of pressure from external sources, the phrase ‘house embarrassment’ springs to mind and ‘Insta-worthy’ photo’s of rooms or perfect storage solutions can easily be found. However the best thing I can recommend to help you as a busy mum is just to consider for a moment what your priorities are.

Of course, a happy balance is always likely the best answer. I’d love to hear from you where you feel you sit? Does having a tidy house give you a tidy mind? Or does having a tidy house mean you’ve been under more pressure and missed out on other things?

If you feel that you are struggling with your ‘to do list’ and are getting overwhelmed, perhaps it’s time to consider ways in which you can look after yourself and keep your composure.

To find out how I can help do get in touch.

Running for the door

You know those team meetings or workshops where you each have to introduce yourself? Or worse there would be a full on ‘ice breaker’ where you feel like you there was a strong chance of your making an idiot of yourself? I would hate those so much – definitely enough to make you want to bolt out the door!

What about a work session where you were put into groups and then you had to present back to your team? Yep, I would hate those too! Not the group work, that would be ok, but when it came to nominate someone to present? Well, I would be the person shrinking lower in my chair hoping that I wouldn’t be selected.

Now, I would happily get up in front of a group at present, so long as I know the subject well anyway. To me that demonstrates how far I’ve come. I’ve practiced and used a variety of techniques to work on my fears of presenting and now I would go so far as to say there are times when I actively seek the opportunity and I really enjoy it!

Of course there is still an element of nerves. There is also still the caveat that I’m only truly comfortable if I’m confident in what I’m presenting. To me this shows that right now I’m still on my journey of overcoming this fear. But that’s ok.

I would love to share with you what I’ve learnt and still actively practice in working towards my goal of being a renowned public speaker. If this is an area you’re keen to work on too get in touch to schedule your 20 minute free initial chat with me or join me on one of our FREE webinars.

Why Tidal Coaching

I thought for ages to come up with a name for my business and I couldn’t settle on one that I liked (and also had the domain name available!). Then a friend of mine suggest using the word Tidal and instantly I liked it.

So many puns… going with the flow, smooth sea never made a skilled sailor, what boat someone is in and so on.

I loved the link with nature.. I feel we are all part of nature and we all have to evolve until find our natural flow. Recently I’ve been reading a book by Deepak Chopra – The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and nature is a key theme. It gives the example of how a fish doesn’t try to swim, it just does.

It just felt right as a name to me. Am I a little miffed that I didn’t come up with it straight away on my own? If I’m being honest, yes maybe a tad! However, I’m not too proud that I wasn’t going to use a suggestion that I loved. I might be stubborn and head strong at times, but I listen and I go with what I feel is right.

So, just in case you were wondering what’s in the name and how it came about – that’s the story! If you want to dip your toe in (see what I did there – dip.. water.. get it?) and chat about how I can support you to move forward rather than just tread water, do get in touch and we can arrange a free 20 minute call.

Lockdown has brought a lot of pressure in so many different ways. There may now be some light at the end of the tunnel with an estimated end date to lockdown. However, have you been left feeling under pressure to have ‘achieved’ something whilst you’ve been stuck at home?

Please remember that you have all achieved something! For some it’s been balancing home schooling and work. For others just simply keeping going and getting dressed or stepping outside has been a challenge.

With potential new changes on the way it’s perfectly ok to feel nervous or scared, remember that all your emotions are valid. However, don’t let them stop you going for what it is you want to accomplish.

If you want to go for something but are perhaps struggling with the confidence or are feeling anxious in taking that first step, here are some things you can try.

Positive Affirmations
These are helpful statements that you have chosen yourself that will help you overcome negative thought patterns. Repeat your statements over and over again to help create new pathways in your brain to amend your thinking and actions.

Statements must be in the first person and present tense. For example “I am excellent at staying calm under pressure” or “I am excited about trying new things”.

Breathing techniques
There are lots of different breathing techniques to try but a simple one is just to practise breathing consciously.

Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth for a count of 5 seconds each way if you can. Focus on the movements of your body expanding and contracting. Repeat several times and you will start to feel more in control of your emotions.

Practice grounding techniques
When we believe a threat is present is a chain of events is triggered by our amygdala, the area of a brain responsible for our emotional responses. This results in physical changes taking place, such as an increase in our heartbeat and us breathing quicker. Consequently, our brain believes there is a threat, the cycle continues and we get more emotionally overwhelmed.

Grounding techniques are a useful way to change your focus to the present moment and can be utilised in order to break this cycle.

Try wriggling your toes, this can be done discretely so it’s a great tip to try when you’re out and about. Focus on the movement of each toe and what they can feel. Are the hot/cold? Touching something soft or hard?

Alternatively try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. List five things you can see, four you can touch, three you can hear, two you can smell and one you can taste.

If you want to find out more about the various techniques I used to keep calm and composed check out the full composure toolkit that is available to download now.

How flexible are you? Don’t worry, I’m not talking about if you can touch your toes or do the downward dog! How flexible are you mentally and in your behaviour?

One of the key premises of NLP is regarding flexibility. It is stated that the person with the most flexibility controls the system. What this is referring to is how flexible you are in your approach and the decisions you make. Ultimately you are unable to control anyone else’s actions or external events that take place, however, what you can do is choose how you react to them.

A quote that you may recognise helps to sum this up.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”

Behaving in a flexible manner provides more interactions, more opportunities and ultimately allows you to have a greater impact.

For example, if you are attending a work meeting and you have a great idea to put forward to your team but previously when your idea has been presented you have received a lot of resistance, then it might be time to consider different options. This doesn’t have to mean completely changing your idea, perhaps begin with just considering the way in which you present it. It may be that your team are very visual and need to see your idea in order to truly understand the benefits, so if you have just spoken with them about your idea before they may not realise the concepts fully and that is why you are encountering the resistance.

Next time you are in a difficult situation or conversation be sure to ask yourself what you can do differently and you may just get a better outcome!  

It was a cold January morning and I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor in a damp one bed flat with no heating. If you had told me to fast forward 8 years or so and I would now be living in a 4 bed house that I recently bought with my husband, happily married with one son and one dog, building my own business I don’t think I would have believed you.

It’s amazing the twists and turns that life takes. Change is inevitable, if you try to avoid it, there’s the risk that it can lead to living a stagnant and anxious existence. But if you learn to say yes to opportunities and become open to change then there is more potential for you to attract what you want.

I was invited to join a group of virtual strangers on a night out, and nervously I attended. That’s where I first properly met my now husband. If I had said no, my life may have taken a totally different path.

Along the journey I had from where I was to where I am now I realised a lot of things such as my own self-worth, to better manage my own emotions when I feel judged by others and how to keep calm in difficult conversations. Learning these skills (as well as others) has made such a huge difference to the way I approach my life. Now if you ask me where I’m going to be in another 8 years’ time, I have a much clearer picture in mind.

The reason why I do what I do is because I want to ethically support others to improve their confidence and reduce their own negative self beliefs so they are able to set out and achieve what they want to too. I hate it when someone says that they can’t do something, as much as they would like to, or, they say something like that’s not possible for ‘people like me’. I wouldn’t want anyone to be stuck sleeping in a dingy flat not being able to see themselves getting the future they choose.

As I mention in my ‘About’ section, the catalyst for me was when I heard something similar from a young primary school aged child.  I set about learning NLP principles and became a Certified Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming to provide me with the knowledge and skills to be able to coach others effectively, and subsequently Tidal Coaching was developed.

If you would like to develop your Confidence, Composure or Communication skills then check out the various coaching plans available or get in touch to discuss your needs.

Isn’t it funny, I bet that after simply reading the title of this blog you have a picture in your head of a purple frog or a unicorn? We just can’t help ourselves! Now, if I say to you “don’t think of a purple frog” what do you notice? You still think of a purple frog right!? At least until you realise that you’re not supposed to be thinking of one so you change the image, perhaps to a different colour or animal. So what does this tell us?

The short answer is that the unconscious mind cannot process negatives. What this means is whatever you want to achieve, you must frame that goal as what you want, rather than what you don’t want.

I remember as a child I once got told ‘don’t touch the iron, it’s hot’. So instinctively I wanted to do nothing more than go and touch the iron… I did…it was hot!! Now having an understanding of the unconscious mind, a better instruction would have been surrounding the desired behaviour, such as ‘please continue playing with your toy’.

Whether you are working within management and providing an instruction to a team member, a parent to child or setting your own goals they must be correctly worded so there is no misunderstanding between your conscious self, and your unconscious self.

Here are some examples of negatively worded commands and how you can switch them so they serve you better:

  • I don’t want to waste my money – I need to use my money wisely
  • I don’t want to be stressed out – I need to be calm
  • I don’t want to work in this job anymore – I need to gain a more fulfilling job
  • Don’t forget to put the bins out – Remember to put the rubbish out
  • I can’t be late – I need to be on time
  • I can’t make a noise – I need to be quiet
  • Don’t walk on the grass – Stay on the path

It’s simple but effective – just trying asking for what you actually want and you might be amazed by the impact this could have!

If you want to be one of the first to hear more simple tips sign up to receive the Tidal Coaching eNewsletter and receive a free mini guide on Composure. 

Even those people who love swimming must agree that there is one thing that tends to be a bit of a chore…the getting changed after! Often changing rooms can be busy, wet, cramped, too hot etc.. Combine these less than ideal conditions with trying to get changed and it can certainly be a challenge. You’re still that little bit damp and are trying your best to maintain some level of dignity and cue the hopping around attempting to pull up your skinny jeans – it can all be a bit of a nightmare!

With this in mind I was feeling somewhat apprehensive about my first time taking my 7 month old swimming. Due to Covid-19 being out and about has been limited anyway and here I was determined to take him to his first lesson as it was the closest thing to a baby group I’m likely to see on my maternity, and he does love the bath!

I had a number of fears going through my head in the lead up his first lesson. What if I drop him in the pool? What if he hates it and screams the whole time? What if his swim nappy fails and I’m the cause of the pool being shut? How on earth am I going to manage to stop him rolling all over the changing room floor and hurting himself or getting in the way? Despite these anxious thoughts part of me was actually really excited to be doing something vaguely ‘normal’ but I had to figure out how to stop worrying and enjoy the experience. So here’s what I did…

I began my morning by selecting a couple of specific positive affirmations that I thought would help me. I chose “I am extremely capable” and “I am excellent at staying calm under pressure“.

Upon arrival I repeated my affirmations, took a couple of deep breaths and began the usual faff with getting my son out of his car seat.

The thoughts I was having that were making me nervous were all based on ‘future thinking’ i.e. concerns about what might happen. Therefore upon entering the facilities I utilised a couple of simple grounding techniques to keep me in the present moment. Firstly I paid attention to my senses. As soon as I walked in I could smell the chlorine and I felt the heat of the building. I kept my focus on what else I could feel, I was required to remove my outdoor shoes immediately as part of the Covid procedures so straightaway I could feel the texture of the floor on my feet as I followed the instructions to head through to the changing area.

In the changing area there were separate cubicles, each with a full sized baby changing mat. This was fantastic as I had my own changing space and could keep my son in one place a lot easier. We had arrived ‘swim ready’ so it only took a moment and we were ready to go.

I scooped up my baby, balancing him on one hip and grabbed the bag with all our belongings in the other hand and took another couple of deep breaths, counting for 5 seconds each time I breathed in. I repeated to myself “I am extremely capable” then left the changing area.

Returning to the dedicated standing area. I was directed straight into the pool and our swimming lessons began. Needless to say, the pool remained open, he didn’t scream the whole time and I didn’t drop him!

At the end of the swimming lesson we made our way to the changing rooms and yes, he did cry getting dressed after, but so did the other babies and we both managed to get successfully dressed (skinny jeans were not ideal, but manageable!).

Just because I am a coach, doesn’t mean I don’t have the same worries as any other person, but using the techniques I know certainly helped the experience. All in all I counted this as a successful first time swimming and I’m definitely feeling much calmer and looking forward to subsequent sessions!

If you want to find out more about the various techniques I used to keep calm and composed check out the full composure toolkit that is available to download now.

If you require expert support such as when suffering a mental health crisis, please remember there are a wealth of organisations and experts that can help.

Below is a list of useful contacts*:

Anxiety UK

Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.

Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 10pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm)

Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk

Bipolar UK

A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.

Website: www.bipolaruk.org.uk

CALM

CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.

Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)

Website: www.thecalmzone.net

Men’s Health Forum

24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.

Website: www.menshealthforum.org.uk

Mental Health Foundation

Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

Website: www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Mind

Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.

Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

Website: www.mind.org.uk

No Panic

Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia or OCD.

Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider’s Access Charge

Website: www.nopanic.org.uk

OCD Action

Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources.

Phone: 0845 390 6232 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider’s Access Charge

Website: www.ocdaction.org.uk

OCD UK

A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.

Phone: 0333 212 7890 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Website: www.ocduk.org

PAPYRUS

Young suicide prevention society.

Phone: HOPELINEUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm, and 2pm to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays)

Website: www.papyrus-uk.org

Rethink Mental Illness

Support and advice for people living with mental illness.

Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.rethink.org

Samaritans

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Website: www.samaritans.org.uk

SANE

Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers. 

SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm)

Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare

Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum

Website: www.sane.org.uk/support

YoungMinds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.

Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.youngminds.org.uk

Abuse (child, sexual, domestic violence)

NSPCC

Children’s charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.

Phone: 0800 1111 for Childline for children (24-hour helpline)

0808 800 5000 for adults concerned about a child (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.nspcc.org.uk

Refuge

Advice on dealing with domestic violence.

Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.refuge.org.uk

Alcoholics Anonymous

Phone: 0800 917 7650 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

National Gambling Helpline

Phone: 0808 8020 133 (daily, 8am to midnight)

Website: www.begambleaware.org

Narcotics Anonymous

Phone: 0300 999 1212 (daily, 10am to midnight)

Website: www.ukna.org

*Sourced from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/ (July 2020)