Spring cleaning your mind

It’s actually sunny outside in the Yorkshire Dales today!  The garden is full of daffodils and snow drops and as spring comes it’s a perfect time to turn our attention inward and embark on a bit of spring cleaning for the mind. Just as we tidy up and declutter our homes, it’s a great time to engage in mental decluttering.

Declutter Your Thoughts

Our minds can often become cluttered with an overwhelming array of thoughts, worries, and distractions. Spring is an opportune time to declutter the mental space by practicing mindfulness and meditation. Set aside a few moments each day to sit quietly, focus on your breath, and observe your thoughts without judgment. This practice can help you become more aware of your mental clutter and gently release it, creating space for calmness and clarity.

Reflect and Release

Spring is a season of growth and transformation, making it an ideal time to reflect on past experiences and let go of anything that no longer serves you. Take some time to think about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences from the past. Identify any negative patterns or emotions that you’re ready to release, and consciously choose to let them go. By releasing the past, you can embrace the present moment.

Cultivate Gratitude

Practicing gratitude is a powerful way to shift your mindset and cultivate a sense of abundance and appreciation in your life. Make a habit of reflecting on the things you’re grateful for each day, whether it’s the beauty of nature, the support of loved ones, or the simple pleasures of everyday life. Keeping a gratitude journal can help if this is new to you.

Nourish Your Mind

Just as we nourish our bodies with healthy food, it’s important to nourish our minds with positive input. Take time to engage in activities that bring you joy and stimulate your mind, whether it’s reading a book, listening to music, or seeing friends.  Surround yourself with uplifting and inspiring content that feeds your soul and energizes your spirit. This might also mean doing a detox of your social media content!

Practice Self-Compassion

Spring cleaning for the mind isn’t just about decluttering and revitalizing—it’s also about showing yourself compassion and kindness along the way. Be gentle with yourself as you navigate this process, and remember that it’s okay to take things one step at a time. Celebrate your progress and acknowledge your efforts, no matter how small they may seem.

.Happy spring cleaning!

Holidays are coming……

Christmas is round the corner and whilst it’s usually depicted as a time of joy, love, and togetherness, for many of us Mums Christmas can also be a source of stress and anxiety. The pressure to create a perfect Christmas experience, Elf on the Shelf, Christmas Eve boxes and no end of other shit combined with the hustle and bustle of shopping, cooking, and decorating, can take a toll on your well-being. And don’t even get me started on the amount extra admin that comes from school and nursery. It’s insane.

Fortunately, there are ways to minimize stress and anxiety during the festive season.

So here are my top tips to help you enjoy a more relaxed and peaceful Christmas season.
1. Plan Ahead
One of the most effective ways to alleviate stress is by planning ahead. Create a to-do list or a calendar of events. I have one master spreadsheet onto which I write everything that’s happening at school, my present list and a to do list. I’m lucky I don’t have to cook Christmas dinner but if I did then the food list would go in here also. This will help you stay organized and reduce the last-minute rush. Make sure to set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish. You can share your spreadsheet with other people in your life e.g., partners, ex partners, in laws and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
2. Set a Budget
Financial stress is a common source of anxiety during the holidays. Set a budget for your Christmas spending and stick to it. Consider homemade gifts or thoughtful gestures rather than expensive presents. Anything with a drawing on it your kids have done that can be made into something for a relative is always a winner!
3. Simplify Decorations
You don’t have to turn your home into a winter wonderland to create a festive atmosphere. Simplify your decorations, focus on the ones that bring you the most joy, and don’t overextend yourself. A few well-placed ornaments and lights can work wonders without overwhelming you. Do not get swayed by all the stuff you see on Instagram!
4. Delegate Tasks
You don’t have to do everything on your own. Enlist the help of family and friends for tasks like cooking, decorating, and cleaning. Sharing responsibilities can lighten the load on your shoulders. Get your kids involved if you can if they are old enough.
5. Self-Care
Remember to take care of yourself during the holidays… It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and forget your own well-being. Make time for relaxation, exercise, and healthy eating. Practicing self-care will help you stay grounded and better equipped to handle any stress that may arise.
6. Manage Expectations
Perfection is not the goal. No holiday is without its imperfections, and that’s okay. Set realistic expectations for yourself and the day. Focus on the joy of spending time with loved ones, rather than striving for a flawless, social media worthy day.
7. Say No When Necessary
You don’t have to say “yes” to every invitation or request over Christmas and New year. It’s perfectly acceptable to decline some commitments if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Prioritize the activities and events that mean the most to you.
8. Stay Connected
Even if you can’t be physically present with your loved ones, stay connected through video calls, phone calls, or heartfelt messages. Loneliness can exacerbate stress, so maintaining connections can provide comfort and support.
9. Embrace Imperfection
Lastly, remember that perfection is not the key to a great Christmas. Embrace the imperfections and cherish the moments of laughter and love. Christmas is about creating cherished memories and celebrating the people in your life.
10. Set Boundaries
Set Clear boundaries with family members in regard to what you will and won’t do or tolerate. Family can massively contribute to stress and anxiety over the Christmas periods so having clear boundaries for yourself can help to protect your mental health.
The holiday season is meant to be a time of joy and togetherness, not a source of stress and anxiety. By following these top ten tips, you can create a more relaxed and enjoyable Christmas experience for yourself and your loved ones. Plan ahead, set a budget, simplify, delegate, practice self-care, and manage expectations to help keep stress and anxiety at bay. This way, you can focus on what truly matters during the holidays: love and connection.

And the award for best actress goes to….


I feel like an actress most days.


A client said that to me the other day. That she feels like an actress playing a part of a women who has it all together when inside it’s a whole different story. I really resonated with that.


After I had Bella I took a year off but I agreed to take a few meetings with one or two key clients  just to keep my hand in over the year. The first meeting I did was when Bella was around 3 months old. I felt like absolute shit. I was by this point in the grips of what was to become a year long anxiety battle but I went anyway.  Mainly because one of my anxieties was about not being at work but that’s a whole other story!

I stuck on some heels and a semi smart top and stuck some make up on my face and off I went. I still remember it today 8 years later. We met at a hotel in Kings Cross and when I walked in, I felt nervous. For context I had been in my job 13 years when I went off to have Bella. I hadn’t felt nervous for a meeting in YEARS. And this was with a long standing client and my boss who I considered friends. And yet here I was.

I stuck a smile on my face and walked in. The first thing my boss said as he turned to my client was ‘See she looks amazing’. I don’t think he was talking about my weight, just my general attitude and overall look. I guess I looked like my ‘old’ pre baby self.

But I was far from it. The lipstick and the heels were doing a great job of masking what I was feeling inside.  I was happy to have a window into my old life, to sit in posh hotels and wear nice clothes again but I didn’t feel like the old me. I was tired, missing my baby, feeling guilty for being even  a bit happy that I was away and anxious that I didn’t know what I was doing anymore and I would get caught out.

I was also starting to do that thing that anxious people do. I was going inwards with my thinking. Running a monologue in my head that meant I wasn’t really focused on the meeting and what was being said.

I did the meeting and rushed to get the train home.  I had played the part of my old life and the old me for a few hours and now it was back to the new life and the new me.

New Year new Who?

New year new who?


Right about now people the world over are realising that they have fallen at the first hurdle. Maybe having that glass of wine when you said you wouldn’t. Missing the gym session or eating the crisps.

I have never believed in New years resolutions. In fact, I HATE new year’s altogether. New year’s resolutions are destined to fail because you are trying to be someone you are not. If on the 31st of Dec you were not the sort of person who gets up at 6 to go to the gym or the sort of person who always leaves the kitchen tidy before bed then why would you suddenly be that person when you wake on the 1st of Jan?


It doesn’t make sense. All it does is set you up to fail and to feel like shit because of it.


But wait…..


I’m not saying we shouldn’t have goals, things we want to achieve, we just need to take into account our personality types, our current season of life (more on that in a minute) and most importantly WHY we want to achieve this thing.

I find the best way to look at a new year is to have a key word. For example, your word might be HEALTH. Not about losing weight or dieting just overall being healthier.

What does that look like for you? How will you know when you have achieved it?

The next step is to think about what SMALL changes you can make that move you towards that overall aim. If the season of life you are in currently is one of babies and small children at home, is it realistic to think you can get to the gym? If it is, then great but the reality is you probably cannot. So what small step can you do that will help you move towards that goal.

Its FAR easier to complete one small step each day than try to suddenly become someone you are not overnight.

what my anxiety feels like to me…

Lots of people use the analogy of the black dog to describe what living with depression feels like but no one has an equivalent for living with anxiety.

I see the dog as a slow moving, sloping, sly figure that lumbers up sits with you and is heavy it wont move. Its voice is slow. And it’s black.

Anxiety is different. Well, mine is. It has a frenetic quality. It makes me restless. I can’t settle to anything. It’s a like a ball of red fire that’s bouncing around me.

Tormenting me. Its voice is whiny and high pitched. Evil. Ripping away the peace and joy of the day.

It starts in the pit of my stomach, and I feel the hot sensation rise in me. Then it spills out and then it’s war. It rages on me against the fire. Every anxious thought I have fuels the fire. I can feel it getting bigger.

All the external noises, the life noises get louder. Too loud and I can’t think. I get irritated too. Short tempered. Like the fire is making my temper rise.

That’s how I see it. How I experience it.

How woud you describe how you feel?

You wake up feeling dread…..

You wake up every morning feeling dread. As soon as your eyes open that feeling is there in your stomach. You have a full day with them on your own. That’s the first thought. Followed by ‘and I won’t cope’. It’s terrifying.

You look at your sleeping partner and your are instantly full of resentment. It’s like bile rising up in your throat. he gets to leave. He gets to still have a life. You look at the sleeping baby and you love him so much you feel sick with worry, asking yourself over and over Am I doing this right? Then major guilt that sometimes you want to run away. back to your old life.


You get up and shove on yesterdays clothes. Hair goes up. No time for makeup. You used to love makeup. You catch sight of yourself in the mirror and don’t recognise the women in the mirror. She looks broken.

She hasnt slept properly in weeks. Even when the baby is asleep you still can’t sleep. You can’t turn off the thoughts.

You go downstairs and the house is a tip. It feels like its a visual smack in the face of your failure.  You hold the baby as your partner leaves and wave and smile and say ‘wave bye bye’ but inside you are screaming.  You now have 8 hours to fill. 8 hours to feel lonely. 8 hours to feel like you are going crazy. 8 hours to feel like you can’t do this.

You need help but you are scared. Scared to admit that all is not well. Scared of what will happen. Scared.

Riding the wave of emotion

Emotions are valuable things, even the ones that leave you paralysed with fear or so raw and broken you don’t know if you will ever recover. They offer you lots of benefits once you know how to process them properly.

Because your emotions are always telling you something. They are natures way of spurring you

into some form of action.

Sometimes it can be difficult to understand how you feel because you can’t name the emotion. Whilst I don’t think we need to get to caught up in words it’s good to know that sometimes we might use a word to describe how we feel without realising the emotion it relates to.

I believe that knowledge is power. In order to gain a better understanding of our emotions and gain more control of them, stop them becoming overwhelming we need to start with naming them properly. This is also really helpful if you are someone who struggles with talking about how you feel.

For example sometimes we might say we feel annoyed, livid, furious, irritated. All of these words relate to the emotion of Anger.

If we feel agitated, bothered, fretful, jumpy, nervy, panicky, tense, uneasy or worried then the emotion would Anxiety.

How about humiliated, undignified, mortified or discredited? These all relate to the emotion of shame.

But where do emotions come from?

First comes the thought then follows the emotion. Our thoughts determine our feelings. If you think about the feelings associated with excitement; tingly, fluttery tummy, hot flush? The same feelings are associated with anxiety. The only difference is the thought.

If we gain better control over our thoughts it’s the building block to gaining control over our emotions.

Asking yourself these questions

Anxiety – What am I scared of?

Sadness- What have I lost?

Anger- How have my values been attacked?

Happiness – what have I gained?

Guilt – what personal rule have I broken?

Once you know how to label your emotions you can start to practice a technique called riding the wave. Imagine your feelings are a like large waves and rather than trying to push the wave back you embrace it. Let it wash over you. Name it and accept it. Acknowledge that this wave is temporary.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on.

One tiny word with a mighty punch.

The word should is such a small seemingly innocent little word but it packs a lot of punch.  This is the dictionary definition of it: used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.

It brings with it a boat load of guilt and unrealistic expectations. Have a think about the last time you used the word ‘should’ I bet you say it more often that you realise.


When you hear yourself say ‘I should have tried harder to breast feed’ or even ‘I shouldn’t have shouted at my toddler’ how does that make you feel when you say those words? I am going to guess its not a great feeling. As soon as we say I should have, or I should not have it immediately implies we have done something wrong which then leads to a feeling of guilt.


When we use the word Should it has the opposite effect. Imagine saying to yourself ‘I should do the washing’ how does that make you feel? Does it make you feel more like doing it or less like it?

The same goes for the words ‘have to’ they also carry a load of unrealistic expectation.

So, let’s try a little experiment. Let us try changing a few words and see if that changes how we feel.

Let us change should for could.

So ‘I should be making home made food for my children all the time’ becomes ‘I could be making homemade food every day for my children, but I accept that’s not always going to be possible’. Does that feel different?

Or even

I could be making home made food for my children every night, but I am choosing to spend my time doing other things.

This takes back your power. Your choice. It eliminates the feelings of guilt and the weight of expectation.

Think of this scenario. You are feeling resentful because you don’t feel as though your partner is helping you out enough at home or with your children. Have a think of the way the conversation would go if you started with ‘You SHOULD be helping me more’. What do you think their reply will be?

Now imagine saying ‘I would love it if you COULD help me more around the house or with the children’. Do you think that would go any better?

Give it a go and let me know if you see a difference in how you feel but just changing one tiny word.

New Year New you? All bullshit right?

So here we go it’s nearly the end of the year and it’s that time when we all start talking about New Years resolutions. We all have the best of intentions to stick to that diet or to go to the gym every day but by mid Jan its all over and we feel rubbish because we feel like we failed. Sound familiar?

I know in years gone by there have been many a NYE where I have pledged that THIS is the year I’m going to give up drinking or THIS is the year I am going to get fit and it never happened.

So a few years ago I changed tack. I gave myself an over arching goal. Each year I assign a topic or a goal so for example my goal for this year is WELLNESS. Now I can already hear you saying ‘but is this not just another way of saying diet?’ well you would be right that food plays a part but for me this goal is bigger than that.  I am looking at my overall Wellness and making small changes around my diet, my water intake and exercise but it’s much more than that. I want to try lots of new things this year around supporting not just my physical wellness but also my mental health. Some I might try and stick with because I dont like them but others I will love.

Other areas you could focus on might be

A year of Travel

Now I realise in these current times this one might be tricky but if this was your goal you could start just by reading up on the places you would most like to visit. You might then start by listing places within your own country that you have never seen but would love to. You might want to look into learning a foreign language.

A year of Education

I have done this one before. It doesn’t have to mean going back to college or Uni ( but for some it might) it may just be taking free courses on line in something that interests you.

A year of Money

This could be getting in control of your finances. Starting by looking in depth at your bank statements, breaking down your bills and seeing where costs can be made. Booking an appointment at the bank and seeing where you can be saving better. If you have money to play with this might include looking at investments or buying a home.

A year of Relationships

Full disclosure the first time I ever did a Year Of… was around this topic. I had been single for some time and I decided this was the year I was going to throw myself into dating. I joined online dating sites and committed to being consistent in using them. And it worked because I met my partner that year! But for you it might mean reassessing relationships, looking at what needs work.

A year of My Home

You might want to look at improving your home or even moving house. Reading up on people like Marie Kondo and watching documentaries like the Minimalists on Netflix around how to de clutter your life and down size. Or maybe you want to renovate so creating pinterest boards and a time scale and budget.

So that’s how I do NYE resolutions. If you call it YOUR YEAR OF….. then you cant fail because it’s not an all or nothing situation.

Pop me a comment or a message on social media and let know what your Year of is!



This is why I bloody LOVE what I do!

I LOVE what I do. When a new client walks into my room or pops up on my screen I never know where the next weeks or months are going to take to take us. I have no idea what is going to transpire. But what I DO know is I can help. I can nudge, and prod and help steer the ship through the choppy waters. We will collaborate to work together in your road to wellness.


And sometimes I get e mails like this which remind why it’s so worthwhile and rewarding.

“I met with Andrea at a time where I was not sure what sort of help I needed. I had never seen anyone for advice about my mental health previously but had been through a difficult fertility journey and two premature babies, both of whom were complicated. It turned out that I only needed a sympathetic ear and someone to listen to what I had been through. Andrea created a safe place for me to tell my journey and empathised with everything that I had been through. Her personal experiences meant that I truly felt she understood what I had been through. She offered me practical, sensible advice that enabled me to understand the thoughts that had been upsetting me and how to deal with them in future. I am so grateful to have met her and feel better able to move on with my life now.”


If you are reading this now and feel like you are not even sure whether you need help but you feel like something is ‘off’ or you just haven’t felt ‘right’ for a while then pop me a message and let’s chat. It may be that all you need is one session to get your story out and be heard.


Andrea x