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mental health, wellness

Never Too Old

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I sometimes feel like our lives can get too serious. We spend most of our waking hours working, trying to follow process and procedures, organising ourselves and our families, then passing out each day only to do it all again tomorrow.

We spent the last few days in Bali as many Australians do each year. Whilst enjoying a cocktail by the pool, one thing my husband and I realised is that our lives have become very serious and ‘adult’. It’s great when you are setting goals and achieving them but we had to ask ourselves; “When was the last time we laughed so hard that we cried?” or “Felt so excited about something we could burst?”

If you already have kids, I can imagine they make you stop and smell the roses, get out of your head and into your heart and have fun. We’re not at that point yet so we have to pull ourselves out of it. How did we do it? Yesterday we decided to try Asia’s biggest water slides at Waterbom Park!

I have to admit I woke up feeling a bit nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I’ve always loved rides as a kid, climbed a mountain, jumped out of a plane, swung 30 feet in the air (okay now I’m showing off) but as I get older there is more hesitation before I do things. However when I feel that nervous energy usually something really awesome is about to happen.

We had the best day out; sliding around, running up and down the stairs with donut rings, laughing, screaming and reviving our inner child. It was so good to see each other like that and it reminds you how fun life is. The best part was seeing older parents taking on the mammoth slides that were too scary for us!

Moral of my story? You are never too old to get out there and have some fun when life gets too serious. If we don’t push ourselves to step out of the daily grind and experience joy, then what on earth are we here for? Do something this week that brings out your inner child and tell me about it, I’d love to know what you get up to!

mental health, wellness

Check in with YOU

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Recently I’ve been spending all my waking hours on the business and looking at ways to learn more, do more, see more etc; but the most important thing that I forgot to do was check in with myself.

On the weekend I battled through a nasty head cold with the realisation that I was physically and mentally depleted. Now you’re probably thinking – “Mel aren’t you a Life Coach? You should know what to do with this kind of thing”. The truth is, even people who help others need people to nudge them in the right direction sometimes. I have great mentors in my life who keep me on track and remind me, that in order to be of service to others, I need to be ok with myself first. This applies to everyone in all aspects of life. Whether you’re a CEO, a working or stay at home parent, a student, or all of those things; check in with YOU each day, even if it’s for 5 minutes. Ask yourself things like; How do I feel today? Am I in the right frame of mind to have this conversation? Is there anything I could be doing differently to result in a better outcome? What haven’t I done today that I know I should do, to feel good?

The goal isn’t to be this perfect person who always has their stuff under control, let’s be real here. All you are trying to do by asking these questions, is make life easier for yourself and those around you. Unfortunately, the people who get hit the hardest when we aren’t being the best version of ourselves, are our loved ones. We hold it together in the workplace and for our friends, then unleash the beast when we get home, while we unload the dishwasher and decide that someone is going to cop it for not stacking it properly! Sound familiar?

So how do you find those 5 minutes a day to check in? My first answer is meditation, but not in the traditional sense. Sure, it’s great to have the luxury of sitting in a quiet room with candles and incense while you sit on a magic carpet and try to leave your body for an hour, but a lot of people tune out when the words “mindfulness” and “being present” are mentioned. My simple answer for those in the thick of it? Talk to yourself in the car, in the shower, at a café, at the gym, in the garden, wherever that place is by yourself; because that my friends, IS meditation and so crucial for your happiness and being the best version of you.

mental health, wellness

My Consumer Detox

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I never knew what it meant to seriously “watch your money” until I quit my full-time job in sales to pursue my coaching business. Wow, what a reality check! I had saved for years to get to this point, but it was all the day to day things that I just took for granted, until I no longer had access to them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very fortunate that I’m in a supportive relationship where my husband has backed me and my decisions, but I’m not one to go and spend our hard-earned savings on the next shoe sale right now….

So, how do you watch what you spend, to save for that side hustle you want to turn into a full-time business? Or that car, house, or holiday you have been dreaming about for so long? Look, there’s no easy formula. Cutting back on dining out and online shopping addictions will help, but it’s about way more than that. It’s to do with our mindset. How much we honestly believe we need in order to feel whole, included, accepted and ENOUGH.

When I first cut back on all those things, I had a bit of a “consumer detox”. I went through all the stages of grief: Shock and denial, anger, loneliness, guilt, depression and reflection. I was someone who used to go out for client lunches every week, have the latest outfits, hair and make-up done and would be flattered when my colleagues complemented me on how I looked. From the outside, I had it all, but I was miserable. I was stuck in a career that just wasn’t me anymore and my immune system was shutting down. Every day the thought of putting on make-up and stilettos was making me physically ill. I needed out of this life I was pretending to live.

As soon as I realised that material things don’t define me as a person, that’s when my world opened up. There is so much to be thankful for in life. A walk on the beach, or a gym session is worth so much more to me than looking like a fashionista or going to the latest café’s and bars. Sure, those things are NICE to have, but I am still me without them. In fact, I’m more ME than I ever have been and it feels really good.

We live in a world where consumerism has been killing the environment for years and we are only now starting to wake up to the message; enough is enough. So why not start being more aware of your footprint on the planet and next time you go to buy that 10th pair of jeans ask yourself, is this really what I need right now?

mental health, wellness

My Story

coming soon
You know that question teachers ask when you’re trying to figure out who you are; where do you see yourself in 10 years?

My response;

“Well gee I don’t know, I’ve only just worked out how to sneak into the club on Saturday night with my fake ID!” (thanks cousin Tina…)

The one thing I’ve always known though, is how much I loved talking to people, and helping others when they felt like their world was imploding. It was so good when someone walked away feeling happier from a conversation we’d shared. So I thought about becoming a psychologist, a teacher… Or perhaps even an actress during my drama phase at school! Where I did eventually find myself, was in the world of media sales; and what a journey that was.

I’ve spent the last 15 years talking, selling, presenting, and eating, drinking and laughing with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met; many of whom remain great friends of mine today. I loved what I did for the first few years, and it made me feel so connected to people, but something was missing.

I started to feel burnt out and no matter what I did, I just couldn’t shake the stress and anxiety that was building. I wasn’t living my purpose; in fact I was avoiding it like the plague. I finally reached breaking point one Sunday morning, when I had a panic attack while making a cup of tea. It took a lot for me to walk away from the career I’d built, but I did.

I created Time to Exhale so that I can help others who are going through a tough time like I was. We can all get back to being the best version of ourselves, which doesn’t involve an overnight fix, or suppressing feelings until they disappear (because they don’t).

My journey didn’t happen overnight, and it’s one that sees me learning new things about myself every day. I have a great team of people around me. Some of them are coaches, and others are my natural therapy gurus. We all need a little help sometimes, so don’t be scared to reach out when things aren’t feeling right.

Welcome to my community!

mental health, wellness

Introducing Reiki

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About 7 years ago, I was working at one of the commercial TV networks and had just moved from Perth to Melbourne. I was completely overwhelmed and struggling with all the things a move across the country brings; new job, place, relationship etc. I met one of my closest friends through work and she introduced me to her mum – a Reiki practitioner. I had no idea what Reiki was at the time but was willing to try anything. I was on the verge of having a nervous breakdown at 27 years of age.

She explained to me that Reiki works on an energetic level to emotionally and physically heal your body. My first few experiences were lying on a massage table, while she practiced different hand positions and movements over my body. I felt completely relaxed as she worked on me, and sometimes I would even fall asleep. Those were some of the calmest and happiest moments in my life.

As I had more sessions, I started feeling a clarity in my mind that I had never experienced before. There was an inner peace that I had always read about, but never believed I could actually achieve. Sometimes I would have an emotional release throughout the treatment and challenging memories would come up, but that experience always made me feel better when I left the session.

If you’re wondering whether Reiki is for you, or aren’t sure where to start – let’s have a chat!