mental health, Mindfulness, Uncategorized, wellness

Love It Or Hate It

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I’m talking about my relationship with social media. Ironically, I’m now sharing this article via those platforms, but I just wanted to express my thoughts and feelings about them since launching my business.

Let me start with the positives. I love how it connects me with people who I just don’t get to see anymore. Some days I feel more connected than ever. Especially when I hear about new babies, engagements, career changes and basically any great moment in someone’s life. It lights me up inside. I’m all for sharing articles and videos that challenge the way society is, or help us to make sense of the world we live in today. I love that I have connected with more like minded businesses since I started and it’s opened doors that I would have never thought possible. The downside? Well, where do I start?

I was never a big user of social media before I launched my business. I was more of a quiet background creep. I would still scroll through every day and hit “like” on people’s posts, but was too shy to write or post anything myself. I think I’m over that whole phase now, but what I still struggle to understand, is how fickle the world of Instagram can be and how it’s existence sometimes does not resonate with the values of my business.

I couldn’t understand why people buy followers, follow you for a follow back, then drop you like a hot potato the next day and you’re left following all these people and you don’t know why. Did I mention follow? It’s like a fake currency that we trade with and your worth is based on how many people follow you, how many likes and comments you get on a post and how amazing your life “appears” to look. Don’t get me wrong, social media is a great tool for loads of businesses and creates a sense of community among many, but we need to be asking ourselves if we are being truly honest and authentic with our communication.

At first, Instagram got me down and I felt like I was in another country, trying to speak the native tongue without a dictionary or a tourist guide. Then I realised something. Instagram does not define me and my business. It is purely another channel for me to get my messages out to the people who matter and resonate with my brand. My relationships with potential clients happen either over the phone or face to face, like in the old days. My currency is human connection and energy work. You can’t translate that solely with an image. I refuse to try and fit into the Instagram box of perfect feeds where all the colours and fonts match all the time and there are perfect pictures of a mug on a table with a magazine. That’s just not me. Kudos to the people who produce these beautiful works of art, as they truly are gorgeous to look at, but who am I kidding? I’ve never been that polished version of a human. If you come over to our place for dinner, you will see that all of our plates are chipped because of my clumsy nature and most days I can barely do my hair and make-up. That’s just me.

And those boyfriend shots where your man takes your hand and it looks like you’re just casually leading him, walking into the ocean/sunset/cliff, well my husband would rather the cat take those pictures than him.

So I put this challenge to you; let’s stop worrying if our feeds are Instagram worthy and let’s starting posting completely and utterly from the heart. It doesn’t matter how many likes or comments we get, or how we look when we post. If we feel compelled to put something up because we love it, then do it. We need to stop comparing our lives to the strangers on Instagram and start sharing all of who we are, warts and all (I mean if you have a wart I probably wouldn’t take a picture of it but you catch my drift). Love and share your life through YOUR eyes, not through the manufactured lens of who social media says we SHOULD be.

How do you show up in the world of social media and is it really who you are?

Mindfulness, Uncategorized, wellness

Winter Comes and Motivation Goes

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It’s day four of our Aussie winter, but I already started saying goodbye to some healthy habits last month, as the cold came in. Waking up at 5am for the gym? FORGET IT. I’m too cold, too tired and feel like a bear going into hibernation. It was also my first month juggling part time work and the business, so meals have just been whatever we can get our hands on, plus a few cheeky orders from menulog and uber eats!

And there it is, I can feel you checking to see who has written this; “Hang on, this chick is a life coach right?” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I am not perfect, nor do I claim to be. What I do know is that the changes over the last month have taught me to go easy on myself.

My priority has been to build the business and put my head down into some serious work. The results? I may not look as bronzed and healthy as I did in my website pics, but I’ve met some amazing clients. Every time they walk out of my office, I feel like my heart is going to explode with joy. Too mooshy for some of you? Well, it’s the truth and if I have to go easy on my strict health routine for this period of time in my life, then so be it.

I’m not saying to throw it all away when winter strikes and work takes more hours of the day than usual. What I do want to encourage people to think about is the four seasons. Not only does this happen with weather but is inside of us and effects every aspect of our lives. Right now, my body is in full on winter mode. Apart from the hairy legs and unmanicured toes, this means that I give myself permission to sleep more, eat more and be indoors more than usual. If I didn’t go to the gym this week, it’s ok. For me it’s more important that I’m moving. This could mean I go for a walk, do a yoga class or just a few stretches on some days. If your body wants to slow down let it. I mean, don’t go full sloth for 3 months, but also don’t put massive rules and restrictions on yourself.

What you can do is take your vitamins and stay away from sick people, Better yet, if you are the person who happens to get sick? STAY HOME. Don’t be a hero and go into the office. Give your body time to rest and also give others a chance to stay well.

This time of year reminds me of having a nice red wine by the fire in a pub, or sitting under a thick fleece blanket excited to watch Game of Thrones (can’t wait for the final series next year!) Just like the seasons, we can’t expect ourselves to be sunshine all the time. We need the winter to appreciate the summer and vice versa. Remember, be gentle on yourself and enjoy the hibernation while you can.

 

 

mental health, Mindfulness, Uncategorized, wellness

Out of the Phone and Into Real Life

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I have a confession; I’m starting to have an unhealthy relationship with my phone. I love how convenient it makes my life, but I hate that sometimes I go to bed and feel like my eyeballs have merely jumped from one screen to another for 16 hours of the day! Ironically you are now reading an article about how to minimise your smart phone screen time while you’re on it, am I right?

I realised that I needed to change things when my phone was the first thing I reached for upon waking and the last thing I touched when I went to bed. Too much information? Spooning becomes less romantic when you are holding your phone that’s for sure. I also have moments with my device in the bathroom, the kitchen, the lounge and dare I even say it; the car (only at the traffic lights). But seriously WTF is so important all the time that we need it glued to our hands?

I have a few theories, the first one is FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). God forbid that we will miss something on our Instagram or Facebook feed that happened between the 10 minutes of not checking it! Secondly, the thrill of receiving a notification and the inner dialogue associated with it; “How many people like my post?” or “What did they write?” or “What will they think of me if I don’t write back quickly?” Truly, this happens to all of us, but especially when you’re starting out in business and have never been a massive social media user, hoping that at least someone is finding your content useful. Again, these are my confessions….

So how do we minimise our screen time, when it’s not just social media that lures us, but also our work emails and other stuff like online shopping or the latest viral video that everyone’s talking about. I’m hoping the below list gets me through the next month, so maybe you can try a few tips if you’re feeling the same and let me know what worked for you:

1. Buy an old school alarm clock and keep technology out of the bedroom

2. Stop taking the phone into every area of the house (my place is tiny, this is a problem!)

3. No phone use half an hour before bedtime

4. Give people your full attention when having a conversation – phone down

5. Set a timer for work email notifications i.e – nothing comes through between 7pm and 7am

6. No phones at the dinner table

7. Do something on the weekend without posting about it #guilty

8. Have a meal without instagraming it – I’ve never done this but it may be helpful for others, I’m always too hungry to take pictures!

9. Play with your pets when they are sitting there staring at you on your phone

10. Same as previous but replace this with kids (for me this will be my husband!)

Really, we all just need to reconnect with what’s around us and get our heads out of the phone and into real life. When you have to visit the Chiro because your forehead is constantly facing the floor, it’s time to take action. I’m not there yet and hopefully never will be that bad!

mental health, Mindfulness, stress, anxiety, depression, help, support, wellness

Mind Empty or Mind Full?

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Over the years people have asked me what I’m into, what I want from my career and what I like to do in my spare time. Sometimes I’m referred to as a ‘hippie’ a ‘tree hugger’ or I get asked; “Are you into those crystals and oily things?”

My answer – I’m into anything that makes me happy! Which includes practicing mindfulness, something we can all fit into our lives even (especially) if you spend a lot of time in the corporate environment. Mindfulness simply means giving your undivided attention to the present moment, something we can all do and have probably done before.

Have a think about the times in your life when you have been so immersed in something that everything else just slips into the background. Cast your mind back to a movie you were so engrossed in that you just couldn’t take your eyes off the screen, playing in the park with your kids and pushing them on the swing, or maybe just sitting down after dinner is done and enjoying some chocolate or a glass of wine!

All these moments in time help us understand that life is to be enjoyed. The moments where we stop multitasking and really start to see everything in front of us for what it is. This allows us to slow down, relieve stress and keep life in perspective. We can be in flow with the present instead of getting caught up in our minds asking ‘what if?’

Are you struggling to find time to be in the present? Simply stop where you are right now and pay attention. Notice the smells and sounds around you… what can you see?… slow down your breathing and listen to it. Following simple steps like these can help you feel ‘in the moment’ no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Being self-aware is the first step to mindfulness. Time to Exhale is all about making it possible for people to reconnect with themselves and find balance in their lives. Mindfulness training is just one of the things I would love to help you with.

To raise awareness for Mindful in May, I will be offering 2 for 1 sessions to anyone who books with me across the month, so if you refer a friend your session is free! For more details email me at – mel@timetoexhale.com.au

 

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!