Ditch the Guilt #SelfLove #Happiness

Ditch the GuiltWe are half way through the school summer holidays and I have had plenty of time to sit and ponder on what I hope to achieve for the remainder of the year. September, for me, is more of a ‘New Year’ than January 1st and I’m sure I’ll be sharing a blog post about this soon enough. The summer holidays are the ideal time to think about life, dreams, and hopes for the future, ourselves, and our family. I’ve been incredibly lucky to experience a few life changing moments over the past month and one of the topics that popped up for me was self-love.

So, I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss a topic that might impact our personal development, and hold up our well-laid plans of loving ourselves unconditionally.

That issue is GUILT. Not in an ‘oh my god, I slept with my husband’s brother!’ kind of way, although if you did do that, then you might want to skip off and sort that issue out!

The guilt I’m talking about today includes all the mistakes or mundane nonsense we beat ourselves up about. It could be that we weren’t there when someone needed us, or you’ve shouted at the kids over something trivial. For me, I feel guilty about my overwhelming ironing pile (I know, it sounds ridiculous doesn’t it!). In truth it makes me feel like I’m neglecting my family, failing as a mother and adds to my ever present ‘I’m not good enough’ limiting belief, I mean, seriously, who beats themselves up because of the ironing?

Surprisingly, it’s increasingly common for us to feel guilty about a host of mundane chores that don’t get done, or not being available 24-7 for our friends and family. However, in today’s society, we, as women, tend to be running a full-time job, a home, and dealing with family and friends, as well as coping with a host of other tasks. No wonder we feel so guilty if we can’t manage it all.

The only thing this guilt does is crush our self-esteem and, in turn, we begin to loathe the fact that we can’t ‘do it all’. We fall out of love with ourselves because we’re not operating at one-hundred-per-cent. It drains our energy, and we end up being moody which, of course, we feel guilty about.

As a single mum, I sometimes snap at my kids when really it’s because I’m worried about something else and I don’t have another adult to talk to. I feel guilty about snapping, and if I don’t apologise, then it escalates in my mind. By recognising what I’ve done, and saying I’m sorry, I neutralise the guilt. Why, because it’s normal guilt; the usual kind that doesn’t do that much harm if dealt with appropriately.

On the flip side, there is a form of guilt that is far from normal; it’s the unhealthy guilt that eats away at us. The voice in your head that always ridicules you, and wants you to believe that you are a waste of time. It’s this guilt that we need to stop feeding. Knowing the difference between normal guilt where we can resolve the issue and put it right, and the unhealthy toxic guilt will help you to deal with it.

Don’t allow your inner critic to fuel the negativity of unhealthy guilt. Believe that you are doing everything you can in the best way you know how. I find that writing in my journal every night helps me to differentiate between the two forms of guilt. Not going to the gym isn’t the kind of guilt that will derail my personal development, but telling myself that I’m a fat, useless, lazy creature who is unlovable because I didn’t bother going to the gym is a warning sign that I’ve let the unhealthy guilt take over my thoughts.

It can be one of the hardest things to do, learning to recognise what you are doing and disregarding it. But, learning how to deal with guilt can clear the path for greater respect for yourself. Turning these thoughts around will silence the inner monologue of negativity, and you can concentrate your efforts on filling your head with positive affirmations, and self-belief.

‘I am enough.’

‘I’m doing okay.’

‘Everything I do is done with the best intentions.’

‘What I do is done to the best of my abilities.’

Grab yourself a journal if you haven’t already got one, and begin recording your thoughts and actions. Start noticing what you’re telling yourself. Observe your thoughts and start challenging your negativity and before long you’ll be living a life full of self-love.

What do you feel guilty about? How do you cope with these feelings?

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

6 Tips for a Perfect Summer Holiday

6 Tips for a Perfect Summer holidayThere’s a Billy Crystal film called City Slickers that was a firm favourite of mine back in the 90s. The basic plot was about three friends who take an annual trip together without their wives. Each year the trips get wackier. In City Slickers they travel to the Southwest to drive cattle on a supervised vacation. The legendary Jack Palance plays the tough cowboy, Curly Washburn and Billy Crystal plays Mitch, the man on the edge of a midlife crisis.

It’s a fun film to watch, but it also has a few valuable lessons mixed in amongst the humour. One of my favourite parts is when Curly explains ‘vacation’ to Mitch. ‘Y’all spend fifty weeks a year getting knots in your rope and then expect to come up here and unwind them in two weeks.’ This pretty much sums up the basic work/life balance of the twentieth century. We work long hours sometimes risking our family time and leisure activities and then expect to fully relax when herded onto bus, plane, and coach on an all-inclusive trip to Spain!

After many years working in holistic health, I’m fairly lucky that I’ve learned how to master the work/life balance reasonably well. Although, social media time can become incredibly overwhelming sometimes! My holidays tend to be a time for reconnecting with my three children who have a better social life than me and enjoying relaxing meals with my parents. I also love to visit historical sites, swim in the sea, and shop at quirky markets.

I’m slightly alarmed that this all sounds like a dating profile, so I’ll swiftly move on! Holidays are the ideal time to explore new and exciting places. I try to pick a new destination each year so that over time my children and I travel to as many places in the world as we can. Yes, I have my favourites (Barcelona!) but discovering new locations is half the fun of a holiday.

Being able to relax fully is something we all long to do when we step off a plane in a sunny climate, but quite often we end up doing too much, getting ill, or over indulging so that our well planned and eagerly anticipated holiday ends up as another stressor.

So, how can we embrace the holiday season and totally switch off? I’ve just returned from ten days in America where I was rushing here, there, and everywhere on site seeing tours, however, I was also able to commit fully to my time away and reap the benefits. Here’s what I did:

  1. Switch off your phone – I used my phone to take photos (hundreds of photos!) and face time my children a few times, but other than that I switched it to silent and kept it in my bag. Due to the time difference I was in bed when the UK was awake, so before I went to bed each night, I would do one Facebook update of the activities we’d done that day and add a few photos. One Facebook post a day to keep my family and friends in the loop. No twitter, no blog posts, no Instagram, no emails – no stress!
  2. Eat right – It’s tempting to over indulge on holiday, but if you aim to fill up on the incredible fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, and lean meats that are readily available then it will help maintain your weight. I thoroughly enjoyed the occasional milk shake and Krispy Kreme (well, I was in America!) but I also filled up on bowls of fruit and yogurt and tasty evening meals that weren’t deep fried.
  3. Water, water, everywhere – Drinking plenty of fluids when in a hot climate is important, and I don’t mean mojitos! Staying hydrated helps your skin, reduces headaches, and keeps you cool.
  4. Leave the sunbed behind – For loads of people, lying on a sunbed for a week is their idea of a relaxing holiday. There’s nothing wrong with this at all and I certainly engaged in a few hours of pool time while away, however, getting up and going for a walk, or site seeing can be just as relaxing as well as stimulating for the mind and soul. I visited some incredible museums, galleries, and forests in America and soaked up the magic of the new surroundings.
  5. Stock up on Vitamin C – It’s happened to us all. We arrive at the beach all excited for a week in the sun and the next day are struck down with a cold. Ensure you have all the necessary lotions and potions with you to help combat any bugs, bites, or indulgences.
  6. Meditation works – It can be hard to switch off from home life when away and as your holiday draws to a close you might find thoughts of work creeping in. Try a spot of meditation to bring your mind back to the present moment. If you’re in the swimming pool rest against the side, close your eyes and listen to the lap of the water against the pool edge. If there are kids laughing and splashing try tuning into these sounds as this is a typical holiday vibe. At dinner there are often candles on the table, gaze into the flame and concentrate on the shape and colours.

USA 2017 434The most important part of a holiday is to enjoy it. Throw yourself into a new culture, exotic places, and meeting lovely people. Sample foods that are unusual, and visit independent shops to help local communities. Do the tourist attractions but also look out for other, less obvious places to visit as there are gems dotted all over.

I’m sharing my American trip highlights over on my author blog, so please feel free to pop over and read about the incredible activities I enjoyed and the places I visited.

Happy summer x

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

How to Create a Visual Healthy Eating Plan

How to Create a Visual Healthy Eating PlanSummer is fast approaching, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be in a blind panic that the only summer clothing that still fits you is your flip flops!

I have taken part in every possible healthy eating regime known to man, purely for blogging purposes of course! So, what have I discovered? Ultimately, I’ve realised that I have absolutely no willpower whatsoever – zilch, nada, nowt! I begin full of enthusiasm and dedication to the cause, but it rarely lasts. The problem here is not the regime; I know so many people who are at their ideal weight and loving a new found confidence after following a specific routine. I understand that my problem is inside my head, and unless I can ditch the self-loathing, I will never crack this. Read more