I find Christmas lights so calming on the condition they are set to 'steady on'. Any form of flashing light has quite the opposite effect for me!
Some tips on how to make life more manageable this December. Or anytime.
For children, the month of December is often just one big countdown to the big day. There seem to be Christmas events every few days, and even opening the next window on the advent calendar is an event in itself (I still remember that excitement, and I didn’t even have chocolate in mine!).
However, as an adult, it can all be a bit overwhelming. Especially if you’re the one organising everyone else’s Christmas activities as well as your own.
Here are a few things I have been experimenting with for the last few months that you might want to try now to make the lead up to Christmas more focused and less stressed.
Each night before bed take 10 minutes to plan out the next day. It’s so easy to think we’ll get more done than we can. If you actually plan out the day it helps you to be realistic about what you can achieve in one day. You really do have to include everything though: taking the dog for a walk, your gym class, cooking dinner, travel time, as well as all the work stuff! If you also incorporate a list of the 3 things (or 5 or 10!) that you really must get done that day it will help you to focus your mind and give you the best chance of achieving them. I've been using the Best Self Journal to help with this - I really recommend it!
Work out a bedtime routine and try to stick to it. If you plan (see above!) it will help to let your mind be calm when you do finally get to bed. If you can add in a nice relaxing bath or shower before bed that will really help (check out the Lavender products at Rather Lovely to make your bedtime routine even more relaxing).
Make a conscious decision to stop checking your phone at least half an hour before you get in bed (more about why in another newsletter). If getting to sleep is a real problem for you then get in touch – I can help. Sleep is such an important thing and good sleep really makes a difference to your ability to get the most out of each day.
Okay, so I know we all breathe, but it’s conscious breathing that I’m talking about. I’ve been going to a new yoga class for the last few months and I’ve really noticed the benefit of the breathing exercise we do at the beginning of each class. If I find myself tensing up during the day or struggling to calm my mind at bedtime I use the breathing technique we’ve been taught. Give it a go when you turn out the light at night and at any time when you realise you are getting overwhelmed or stressed out during the day.
Here’s how: Close your eyes. Breathe in deeply through your nose. Try and count slowly to 4 and visualise filling the whole of your lungs. Breathe out through your nose, trying to breathe out for the same count as you breathed in. Use your tummy muscles to force out all the air from your lungs. Before your next breath in, try and pause for a few seconds, or as long as feels comfortable. Repeat! You will gradually be able to take longer, deeper breathes and at the same time feel your body relaxing more and more with each out breath. If your mind still wanders, with your eyes still closed, focus on the point between your eye brows while you continue breathing.
Give it a go, it really is a wonderfully calming and relaxing thing to do.
Wishing you a calm and peaceful Christmas!
Homeopathy Awareness Week runs from June 14th – 21st this year and focuses on skin conditions. I thought I would write a few words on this subject and look at how homeopathy’s holistic approach can be used to help skin conditions.
When we think about our health we might think about the various organs in our body such as our liver, our lungs or our heart. It can be easy to forget that our skin is our body’s largest organ and it has some very important jobs: it protects us, it keeps us warm, cools us down, plays a part in eliminating toxins and allows us to interact with the world. When someone has a problem with their skin, they often see it as an isolated problem, as though the skin is just the packaging around what’s really important - so if the packaging is torn it doesn’t really matter as it’s not going to affect what is underneath. That’s just not true. Our skin gives us a clue as to how healthy we are on the inside. If something’s not quite right on the outside, there’s probably something not quite right on the inside either.
This way of understanding the skin as an integral part of the body rather than just as an independent outside layer reflects the holistic approach used by homeopathy. As a homeopath I want to know not only about your skin condition but about your general health and wellbeing. I will then find the best remedy for you to address the imbalance of your body as a whole, rather than just treating you for a skin condition. In this way homeopathy will addresses the underlying problem rather than just dealing with the skin itself by way of a localised treatment.
A skin problem can be an indication of something more serious. As a homeopath finds out about all of your symptoms they are well placed to spot potential problems and would advise you to get any concerning symptoms checked out with your GP. Liver problems commonly show themselves on your skin and other conditions can be indicated when there is a skin complaint accompanied by other symptoms. An example of this is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) where excessively oily skin along with sometimes embarrassing facial hair growth and absent or infrequent periods could be the first indications of this condition in a teenage girl.
Remember to always look for a registered homeopath if you are thinking of trying homeopathy. A homeopath registered with the Society of Homeopath’s follows a strict code of conduct requiring them to practice safely by advising patients to go to their GP if there are concerning symptoms – for example if a patient seeking help for eczema was at risk of getting infected skin I would advise them to go to straight to their GP as if the infection did not clear up quickly it could lead to a serious infection of the blood.
I hope this article will prompt you to think in a different way about any skin problems you or someone in your family might be suffering with. It can be very difficult coping with skin problems that can be itchy, sore, and can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. Try and think about it as your body trying to tell you something isn’t quite right and giving you the opportunity to do something about it. It could be caused by any number of things such as a food intolerance, stress, or a bad reaction to skin products or washing powder. Putting a cream on it so it goes away won’t actually get rid of the root cause, it just means that your body has to try harder to get your attention and let you know something isn’t quite right. In the meantime, I hope you all get the chance to let your skin safely soak up the vitamin D-rich sun rays this summer!
And if homeopathy just isn’t your thing I also sell a range of locally produced organic skincare products which can help you to cope day to day with your skin condition while naturally moisturising and protecting your skin. For more details check out my website.
If you are interested in discussing in more detail how you can get help with a skin condition feel free to contact me – all my contact details are on my website.
If yes, then you are not alone! If not, well, read on anyway - you never know what you might find out!
In 1690, John Locke the English philosopher and influential Enlightenment thinker wrote
"New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common".
These words are over 300 years old, but I think many people will agree with me that they stand the test of time. As an adult it is instinctive, and probably quite sensible, to be suspicious of something you know nothing about.
As a homeopath I come across many people for whom homeopathy is a new concept which is to be expected in a country where conventional medicine has become the norm. So, in an effort to allay the suspicions of anyone to whom homeopathy is something new I will give you a potted history of the origins of homeopathy in my own attempt at some enlightenment on the subject!
In the 4th century BC Hippocrates, widely considered as the Father of Modern Medicine, highlighted two ways of healing: the way of Similars - that 'like treats like' as used by homeopathy; and the way of Opposites - as used by conventional medicine (e.g. if you have a high temperature you are given something to lower it).
After Hippocrates death it was the way of Opposites which achieved greater popularity in Europe, and the way of Similars went underground as 'folk-medicine'. It made a brief appearance at the time of Paracelsus (1493-1541) when he recognised that poisons could have a positive medicinal benefit if the dose was reduced.
Two centuries later, it was discovered again by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) a German physicist and translator.
Unhappy with the harsh medical practices of the day Hahnemann looked for a way to reduce the damaging side-effects associated with medical treatment. Hahnemann's breakthrough came while translating an article about the action of quinine in the treatment of malaria.
He was dissatisfied with the explanation given in the article and took matters into his own hands by conducting some self-experimentation. He discovered that by taking regular doses of the source of quinine - Peruvian bark - he developed the symptoms of malaria.
When he stopped taking the doses the symptoms disappeared proving that he did not actually have malaria. He deduced that the reason why this substance was successful in curing malaria was that, in a healthy person, it produced the symptoms of malaria.
This was the beginning of Hahnemann's discovery of homeopathy.
Over time and with much experimentation on himself and other willing healthy individuals he discovered that (as Paracelsus had realised centuries before) by reducing the size of the dose, the healing benefits of a substance were maintained while the side-effects were diminished.
On one occasion, a vial of medicine was dropped on the floor of his carriage. It remained there for some time being shaken by the unmade roads of the time. When he found it and used the medicine again he realised it was now even more effective. It is from this chance happening that he came across the notion of energising his medicines by shaking them - now known as succussion.
Hahnemann took the long known principle of the way of Similars and organised it into a workable, methodical system of medicine. It is these methods of dilution and succession that are still used today over 200 years later.
Interested in finding out more?
If you are interested in finding out more about working with me, and how I can help you, please get in touch to book a Discovery Call. I'm easy to talk to and a really good listener :)