How can we help our children to think positively?

February sees us celebrate children’s Mental Health week. Something that many of us myself included are very mindful of at the moment.

I have seen many conversations about how resilient children are and how we must realise that they take things in their stride and they will be ok. For some this is true. For many, the harsh reality is broken routines, environments that aren’t school, social disconnection from friends, limited conversations and most of all limited social interaction. ALL of which we rely on for enabling us to feel good and feel part of something bigger.

What do our children need?

As human beings we need regular contact, movement and a good flow of positive thought to enable us to be in a good place and support our mental and physical health. For children they rely predominantly on parents’ friends and teachers to support this. Now it’s back to those who are at home. Some are fortunate to have siblings to play with (not always in my house as by Wednesday they do each other’s heads in! LOL!) some don’t have others in the home and fully rely on a parent to take on many roles.

All children are different

But, when all is said and done, this situation isn’t normal, and it can impact on everyone differently.

That’s right, we are all different!! Thankfully.

Say for example, two children are both unwell and end up going into hospital. One child talks to his mum and says don’t worry we can fight this. I just need to stay positive and I will get well.

The other child is very worried and scared that they are going to die and will never recover. Despite being told they have every chance of getting better.

Now this isn’t just about positive thought. This is about stress. If we have an increased amount of adrenalin and cortisol in our body and are constantly creating a fight or flight response in our body, then we are more likely to be unwell for longer and take longer to recover. Whereas if we are able to stay intellectually in control and manage our stress well with a happy it will be ok attitude, recovery is quicker.

How can we help our children?

So how can we begin to change things for the better for our children?

Implementing the 3 Ps (I don’t mean mushy) is a great start.

At the end of each day grab a nice notebook and pen and sit together. Collectively write down what has been good today.

Include a

  • Positive Action
  • Positive Interaction
  • Positive Thought

Consistently doing this will enable the brain to start to change its rewiring process to look for the good in things. This supports the brain in finding a constant flow of serotonin and enabling it to stay intellectual in control. More control, less stress.

And remember this tool isn’t just for kids you know!!

This biggest factor in mindset and mental health is FUN! Working together to find fun things to do with each other as a family unit. Collectively getting our happy hormones serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin will support the whole family. Especially if you throw in a 20 second hug or ten!

If you would like to book a free consultation with me to find out how clinical hypnotherapy would benefit your child then please enter your details here to get in touch.

 

Avoiding Burnout – Balancing Business and MUM

Image of Mum and children - Hypnotherapy Peterborough

I posted this month on my personal journey with burnout and the negative impact it had on my life, showing two pictures three years apart. The point being that looking at them both you wouldn’t see any difference. So how can we juggle it all and manage everything in our day without compromising on our health?

The first thing to acknowledge is that it is your health, not mental or physical, it’s both. Your overall health is impacted by everything you do.

Quiet Time

One of the main things I make sure I do when planning my week is to ensure I get some quiet time. Silence has become my best friend most days. It gives me the time on my own I need to reflect and connect back to myself.

Exercise

Exercise is a no brainer (see what I did there!). The physical impact it has on our body is amazing but the mental impact is chemical inducing. We create an abundance of serotonin and endorphins which light our brain up like a Christmas tree. (so last season).

The biggest hit is when we have finished. The internal reward mechanism of dopamine. Like the sigh you get when getting in bed after a long day. All of these chemicals help with stress levels, brain fog, mental, clarity and endurance.

Good Diet

Food… glorious food. The joy that is a walk to the kitchen at the moment. But, be mindful when your getting there. A good diet high in fruits and veg, plenty of water, good carbs and proteins will always support your brain and your body.

Staying hydrated is a must. I used to rely heavily on caffeine laden drinks to keep me going, that just played havoc with my adrenals and my sleep pattern. So, just be mindful where you get your quick fix from and what is in it.

Reward yourself!

The biggest thing I learnt is that I have to reward myself for a job well done. I am really dismissive of my achievements. Once I have done a job I quickly move on to the next without even acknowledging it. So a great tip to enable you to look at what you achieve is to celebrate them every week. On a Friday a look over the week. Both business and home and write a list of what I did that week. A visual representation of a job well done. Your brain cant argue with that. Then choose a reward…. You deserve it.

A bath, take out, walk, favourite coffee, snack, anything that will enable you to mark the occasion. An opportunity thank yourself for all your hard work.

If you are struggling with juggling, then book a free initial consultation and together we can get you back on track.

Nicole

When did you become last on the list?

Where do you sit right now with your list of priorities?

When you create that daily to do list, what goes on it first?

I can guarantee it isn’t something for your. With our ever increasing need and feel to do more, are we becoming more disassociated from those things we need for ourselves? The words self care are banded around everyday but what does it actually mean for you?

The first thing that will always get neglected if things don’t go to plan is the one thing we probably need the most.
” Oh it doesn’t matter ” are those few words that we say to others if we need to cancel, rearrange or just no longer have the time.

Even when you cannot do anymore, your exhausted, feeling unwell, the mental punishment and questioning we then give to ourselves is just as stressful as having to stop in itself.

So….. When did you put yourself last on the list? Who told you that you don’t matter enough to take an evening off, to make time for a bubble bath, to take that walk at lunch. To eat, drink well, look after yourself. Who actually said “you don’t matter so why bother?”

I’ve got bets on, you! You chose to decide you don’t matter. You put yourself at the bottom of that pile. How do I know? Because i’m the same. The difference is that I am slowly make better choices for myself and not others. I am choosing to show up differently and not try and do it all.

So, what can we do differently?

* Make things you enjoy non negotiable. Have daily things to look forward to.

* Move! When we get ourselves moving forward even if it is one step at a time, we can achieve more therefore having the time to give ourselves some space. Destination procrastination station doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

* Plan regular interaction with others. It is really beneficial to talk things out with others so you can find solutions to problems and get a hit of serotonin from being in someone else company.

* Take things one step at a time. Being overwhelmed is a sure fire way of forgetting yourself. So take things one task at a time.

If your struggling to prioritise yourself right now, get in touch. Clinical Hypnotherapy can really support you getting back on track.

Random Acts of Kindness


Random Acts of Kindness began in 2018. Being an avid fan of cheering people up, I became really aware that we all need joy in our lives. I gifted a Costa and a piece of cake in December 2018 to someone who I knew had been having a tough time and thought I’d really like to do this for more people. It really made her day. During lockdown we all needed a pick me up so I contacted a number of local friends and businesses. The generosity was incredible from meals out, gifts, pictures and afternoon teas, everyone locally wanted to be involved. Being able to support local businesses in the process was an added bonus. Once lockdown eased nominations came flooding in for those who had gone above and beyond for others. Doorstep deliveries commenced and kindness was delivered.

This year has already begun. Local businesses donating gifts, services, vouchers. November will see nominations opening. People can nominate those who they believe may need a pick me up, a quiet thank you for everything they do. A message delivered to show they are thought about. The ability to just spread kindness to others.

Delivery begins on the 1st December 2020. Gifts dropped on doorsteps. An entire advent of kindness. Everyday until Christmas Eve.

If you would like to donate or nominate anyone within a five mile radius of Bourne please get in touch with Nicole at Hummingbird Hypnotherapy via Facebook. www.facebook.com/hummigbirdhypnotherapy

 

Lets talk about Fears and Phobias

Fears and Phobias at Hummingbird Hypnotherapy. With busy life styles including positives and negative events is it any wonder at times we become uncomfortable with certain things and situations. 1 in 10 people struggle with a phobia and manage their day to day life efficiently enough to be able to ensure that it does not appear in front of them.

Sometimes even relying on others to support you with making sure a spider or bird are not around. Taking the stairs instead of the lift. Cancelling medical appointments continually for fear of seeing the GP or going into hospital. Our brain is very clever, if we are really stressed and anxious our fears and phobias can be exacerbated because our brain thinks it is keeping us safe. So keeping us on high alert, looking out for those things that scare us so that we can be ready and prepared to deal with it.

Just imagine a meerkat popping its head out of the sand continually looking out for predators. Over the years the clients I have seen with phobias have varied from a young person who could not wear clothing with buttons on or even look at is mums top if it had buttons on it without getting over anxious and fearful. To clients scared of flying and fearful of feathers and birds and anything that flaps. That last client as you can see has extended her phobia of feathers which she was originally scared of to now being fearful of all birds and anything that flaps. Our brain is very clever because it can associate things to that flight/fight state and then our phobia can become a lot bigger. This then begins to affect us more within our life.

Specific phobias can be treated with three sessions of Clinical Hypnotherapy once the Initial consultation has been completed. So three weeks from now you can be enjoying all of those things that you have stopped doing and start living. For daily insights and positivity head over to www.facebook.com/hummingbirdhypnot

Re opening after Lock down.

Things are beginning to change. As the UK begins its reopening plans to get our economy back on its feet, there appears to be far more that we need to begin to think about.

Remember March 2020 seems an age away, those moments of fear we all had about the coming months and being locked in our homes. The change that happened during this time has been immense. Businesses closed or furloughed staff, schools closed, daily shopping becoming a weekly occurrence and definitely not a family outing. Home schooling and juggling working from home. At the beginning it was so much to manage and adjust but we all did both. Managed and adjusted to our new way of life.

June 2020 and that change returns again. The process whereby we’re all confused as to what is actually happening other than garden socialising is the new thing of the year. Some schools return, others don’t. Some businesses can open others can’t. Is it any wonder that things have been overwhelming, anxious, fearful and at times emotional.

Add to the recipe the further ingredients… judgement, opinions, racism, consistent negative news feeds and a bundle of anger. Brain overload at its finest.

So, how are you feeling about this transition? New Normal as it has been named. A time to do what is best for you and your family. A time to stay safe, stay alert, don’t go out, do go out, go to work, or don’t!

This is a time for personal strength, a time to reunite and share positive support. If you don’t agree with someone else and their decision, remember that’s fine, it’s not yours. Leave your judgement at the door and be happy with your own decisions.

If nothing else, this year has taught me that even in our own homes with limited face to face contact with friends other than via a screen, supporting each other is the way forward. In business, in choices, in your trips to the beach. Share your wins, be grateful that your safe, carry on being kind and smiling…. please keep smiling. We have all managed this in our own way and have started to come out on the other side so lets build each other up and restore each other with faith and kindness.

I will have access to my office again after June 16th which I am looking forward too. Ready to deep clean and set up for social distanced sessions. Hummingbird Hypnotherapy will be offering Evening appointments from 6-9pm online. Monday to Friday Preparing for face to face sessions as soon as I am allowed too. Keep posted for updates

Guided Relaxations are still available online on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9pm. www.facebook.com/hummingbirdhypnotherapy

 

Mindful Moments in Lock down.

My office space

with Nicole Woodcock, Hummingbird Hypnotherapy.

My Favourite picture of Hummingbird Hypnotherapy
My Favourite Picture of Hummingbird Hypnotherapy.

As I am sat at my dining room table aka The Office I realised that it was Wednesday. Now for some I apologise if you have lost what day of the week it is right now and I have just reminded you.

Today is quite a big deal for me at Hummingbird Hypnotherapy because I have noticed how much I am enjoying my day.

I decided this morning enough is enough got up worked out and then managed to read, lit my favourite candle pineapple of course and drink my matcha in my super sized mug before settling down to write my editorial for Discovering Deeping Magazine. Now you might be thinking where is this going but… today I have managed to re frame in my mind what would normally be a rubbish day. I DO NOT LIKE WEDNESDAYS!

Its a fact, I have no idea why but it was always a day of rubbish lessons at school, the same in uni, most jobs that midweek hump would just be like bleurgh… Wednesday. In my previous job before I opened my practice it was always the shift no one wanted at work. It would either be very boring or you would probably spend most of the shift waiting to get hurt.

I even joke with my friends about Hump Day and have tried to make it more enjoyable, do those things I like but, inevitably I am tired, feel a bit yuck and so the name gets the blame.

Today is different at Hummingbird HQ because I sat and in my mind realised with a ping of acknowledgement right now today is a good day. The sun is shining, I have looked after myself so far, my children are still happy if not maybe a bit delirious on you tube (lol) but it is a good day.

Good days happen even when our world outside is somewhat different. I know that I have put extra effort into making sure I show up today, exercise, anti bac the kitchen, connect with friends, look at shoes.

Those positives are all out there its how you decide to see them.

How did I notice that this Wednesday was different?

I am less stressed, happier and I took control of how I want my day to be. We all have that ability within us, you just have to slow down and mindfully see.

Want to be more mindful? Join me on Monday evenings at 9pm LIVE on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hummingbirdhypnotherapy/live

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy on Lockdown

It has been three weeks since I moved out of Hummingbird HQ at Wake House in Bourne. I have to say I miss that space immensely but have found a small area of the dining room to replicate a smaller version. Positive Pineapples included.

Hummingbird Hypnotherapy continues to support people by offering sessions online via zoom and video call. With some fantastic feedback from a client in spain who wrote ‘ Don’t let your self care slip because of lockdown because i’m not.’

It is so very easy to let things go particularly under stress of not knowing what is happening or having an outcome or end date.

But, there are a lot of things that we do know and they are the things that need the attention, positive focus and will keep that serotonin rolling.

  • Aim to keep a good routine. In particular getting up and going to bed at the same time.
  • Get ready for a new day. Self care, fresh clothes, positive start.
  • Grab that daily exercise, even a walk outside can get those endorphins boosting and you never know what you might see.
  • Make time for some peace and quiet. In particular if you have children. Book a mini break with yourself even if it is at the bottom of the garden where they cant find you.
  • Write a list of good things. Notice what has been good every day and write it down. Acknowledge that even in this situation there are still plenty of things you can achieve. No matter how small.
  • Try something new. Listen to new music or find an interesting podcast.
  • Most of all do not be too harsh on yourself. We do not have a pattern in our brain for this situation and so our emotions can run wild at times. Remind yourself that this is ok and that everyday you are still doing your best.

If you are struggling with your mental health at the moment you can book a 1:1 initial consultation with me via Zoom call.

You can also find me on facebook sharing guided relaxations with you every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to help you relax during this time http://www.facebook.com/hummingbirdhypnotherapy.

My Solution Focused Story and working with children with additional needs.

My solution focused story and working with children with additional needs and challenging behaviour.

I am often asked how I became a solution focused hypnotherapist. Whenever I share my story it always makes me giggle. I was fortunate to have an amazing birth with my youngest daughter using the self-hypnosis for childbirth approach. A good friend and now colleague of mine Gary Johannes helped me build the confidence to have a home birth and faith in my body to deliver at home. Being 40 minutes away from the nearest hospital in rural Lincolnshire I knew deep down we wouldn’t be going anywhere near one after having such a traumatic time with my first child.

Safe to say my daughter was delivered by her dad in our lounge with the help of the 999-operator talking him through the process. I on the other hand cool as a cucumber and enjoying my birth experience knowing we were doing this together. Our daughter arrived in her amniotic sac at the same time as the paramedics walked through the door. The midwife arrived 50 minutes later and could not believe we had achieved such a wonderful birth.

My Hypno baby now Aged 4. Chilling on my couch.

There begins the story, four months later I was on CPHT Peterborough course adding a qualification for my CV.

Qualifying in June 2016 with my practice Hummingbird Hypnotherapy. Unbelievable. Did not see that coming at all.

My background has always been working with people in particular elderly mentally ill, additional needs and challenging behaviour. Previously 11 years working for the local authority for children with additional needs, sensory processing, autism and behavioural issues.

To put it into context, everyday was different many days involved confrontation, increased anxiety, ‘kick offs’ and waiting to get hurt. Not your average job but at the time I loved it.

Fast forward three years after qualifying and I am now working with children with complex needs, autism, behavioural issues, challenging behaviours, anxiety and more. The difference? The way I work now is non-confrontational in a fun neutral space where all that’s been good goes.

If only I had been allowed to bring this practice into my workplace. Not just for the children but the staff too.

I took a leap of faith when I began to work with children with additional needs, I hoped that this process would have a profound impact, the reality is it changes lives. Not just of the child but the family too.

I have been so privileged to work with some children who over the course of their 14 years have been given 14 different diagnosis and labels. 8 sessions later and she is a confident artist who has just set up her own online business selling her fantastic artwork.

 She has chosen too to be home schooled and after only leaving the house with the company of her mum, now walks her dog for two hours a day, on her own and managed to attend a concert in London without a panic attack. Just WOW!

A little boy who  does not stop and enjoys most of his sessions playing with tangle toys, squishy and sticking his head in the massage face hole in my couch (lol) who managed to transition to a new school without increased anxiety and behaviour. He kindly threw me a curve ball not wanting to attend a session in my room and preferring to be outside. Nothing beats asking what’s been good?’ sat in the sunshine on a bench.

Reducing anxiety with children with additional needs by using the solution focused approach is at times mind blowing. Working out that classroom layouts cause such profound anxiety in some children  their opportunity of learning goes out of the window. Getting them to imagine and choose where they would sit has been a fantastic solution with amazing outcomes.

 After his mum spoke to the teacher about our sessions, she agreed to trial it for a week. He paid more attention, his class scores increased, and he stopped taking home all the work he couldn’t do in class as he completed it all in the day.

Part of the work involves my environment and fun. I talk about being a positive pineapple, no drama llama, having a box of emojis stickers and a crate of sensory toys to help with self-regulation and relaxation. Colour boxes, ceiling lights and a comfy couch with a llama blanket just add to a session.

Who said therapy had to look boring?

If you are looking for additional help for your child, please get in touch here

Also find me on Facebook here and Instagram here

Being on your own

I have often wondered about how people feel about being on their own. Taking time to just be with yourself and enjoy your own company. For a long time I always imagined it to be quite uncomfortable, my own negative brain screaming at me shouting ‘ look at that loner on her own’,  ‘ obviously has no friends’. I have often sat and admired people that are just happy to sit and read a paper and have a coffee within their own company and wondering if they have this annoying scenarios pop up and shout at them too.

I remember quite vividly living on my own in Leicester and a friend of mine just mentioned that maybe I should take myself for coffee in my favourite shop to overcome the fear of being on my own. I took him up on it, grabbed my book and headed out. Scared!

I found a quiet corner ordered a mega mocha and sat and read. After 5 minutes the noise in my head began to quieten and I got lost in my book in a caffeine fuelled daze.

These days its very different. In between work commitments and family alone time seems like such a privilege if not a reward for juggling everything in the week and surviving. I spend most my mornings in anxiety mode getting my children ready aiming to be on time for school. Inevitably im always late and instead of adding that too my bucket of negative crap I embraced it. In actual fact we now have a joke about it with all the other late mums. We now aim to beat each other.

Our fear stops us from making a proper assessment of the situation. It bombards us with lies and will continue to do so unless we take control and work with it.

Enjoy that quiet time, fill it with things that you love. Learn to have the courage and confidence to step outside of the wall you have built inside your head, one step at a time.

We all want to achieve things now! We have everything we need at the touch of a button but we have forgotten to give back and enjoy time with ourselves without technology. Those hobbies, crafts, exercises you enjoy doing are all the things that make you feel good and the things that enable you to process positive information and move forward. Take a moment to find that one goal that will help you to step outside of that comfort zone and spend sometime with you.

Whilst writing this months article I stepped outside with my laptop and headed to Stamford enjoying tea and cake at The Lean Pantry. I found a spot to people watch and thoroughly enjoyed my time writing. Eating chocolate cake and a matcha latte. Just time with me.

If you struggle with anxiety, fearful of stepping outside those comfort zones and need a confidence boost to move you forward in life. Get in touch.

Further information and videos on various subjects can be found on my facebook page Hummingbird Hypnotherapy.

Positive Thoughts

Nicole