What Is Narrative Therapy? | Introducing TMC’s New Counsellor, Bronte!

Hi there! As an ACA registered Counsellor I pride myself on being the best listener you will ever meet, and I’m pretty good at puns to boot! My main focus is the way our life stories are formed by society, by others and especially by ourselves and how to reverse the effects of a negative story told one too many times. I have a strong counselling framework rooted in a combination of Narrative Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, but believe the most important part of a therapeutic relationship is trust. As I am accredited by the Australian Counselling Association I constantly undertake training and development to broaden my skills and understanding and adhere to strict guidelines to ensure quality support. Now, onto the fun stuff!

A counsellor’s guide to narrative therapy and “shakin’ off” a negative story just like Taylor Swift

Narrative therapy is a therapeutic approach that takes our lived experiences and stories and uses them to feed new ways of thinking and being. It is a modality that is centred on the way the world around us shapes our own personal views. Think about it, in our day to day lives we get a lot of verbal and visual feedback from those around us. Sometimes we can brush off that snide comment or sideways glance. Other times those small interactions can create a lasting internal story of self-doubt and inadequacy, often feeding into a larger story that we have been telling ourselves for years. This is our internal negative narrative and if left large and in charge it can build until it saps our self-worth.

Even celebrities are not immune to a negative narrative! They, just like us mere mortals, face the feedback of friends, family, society and themselves. And they, just like us, can re-story that negative narrative. A prime example of this is the transformation of Taylor Swift from a girl with a “Bad Reputation” into a woman in charge of her own story and career. So, inspired by the absolute BOP that is T-Swifts song “Shake it off” here is a run down of catching that negative story and reclaiming your own narrative. Let’s put our personal reflection hats on and get down to this.sick.beat.

“ That’s what people say, mmm hmm”

Much like T-Swift – I’m sure many of us have experienced others talking about us and been given societal labels. She goes on too many dates but can’t make them stay, but maybe your story is one of being a failure, being not good enough or just generally sucking as a human. The first step in pulling a Swiftie is knowing when our internal narrative is becoming a problem. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • When something goes wrong what do I tell myself? am I a failure? Is this something I ALWAYS do?
  • When something goes right what do I tell myself? It must be a miracle? About time I did something right? Or is it a case of yay I did it again?
  • Are you a player who is going to play? A Hater who is going to hate?

Did answering these questions make you squirm and feel a bit bummed out? You and me both! But looking at the stories we tell helps us identify if we tell them too much and too often. It helps us decide if we truly agree with these stories or do we want to shake it off and tell a different story.

“And that’s what they don’t see mmm mmm”

On the topic of telling a different story, sometimes when that negative narrative is too loud, alternatives can be hard to see on our own or completely unseen by others. While me may be bit incompetent in one area of our life we might be AHMAZING in another. Taylor Is lightning on her feet and you might be too! This where narrative therapy shines in helping us explore alternate stories, times where there has been an exception to that not good enough story we hear constantly. And when we start seeing more than one story and living life through multiple stories that’s we really start to reclaim our own narrative.

“Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake I shake it off, I shake it off”

 

Want to book in with me? I’d love to have you! Click this link to book online for in person or online appointments.

I can’t wait to meet you!

 

-Bronte

We’re Moving!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Hello everyone! we have some exciting and amazing news! We are moving to Paddington on the 18th November 2019!

For all clients that are planning to see Amy from this day onwards please come to this new location!

 

Address: Top floor, 189 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington 4064

Opening hours: Currently, opening hours will remain the same, however, keep an eye out as Amy may be increasing to 4 days per week in office.

Parking: There are 3 on-site parking spaces at the rear of the property and plenty of 2hr street parking (dependent on exact location).

Bus Services: There is a bus stop immediately outside the property catering to routes 61, 375 and N385

 

We apologise for the very short notice, however, this was a very fast-moving process. If you have any concerns or queries please feel free to give us a call on 0451 060 764 or email on hello@themindfulcollective.co

Also, please be aware that we will be gradually decorating and furnishing the premises over the next few months.

We are surrounded by some amazing local businesses, so take a chance to venture out from the clinic and explore the area!

See below for a map of our new location. Click on the map to open up google maps to explore in more detail.

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It’s Brisbane Pride Month 2019!

You may or may not know it, but this month is Pride month! Bec Johnson, who was appointed Brisbane Pride president earlier this year, has announced that Brisbane Pride has partnered up with Queensland Health this year, making this year’s theme focused on Mental health!

 

She went further, stating that “A lot of events during Pride month are focussed on wellness, Queensland Health’s message is ‘making time for you’”.

 

Bec being a big advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, LGBTIQ+, sistergirl and brotherboy communities, has stressed that festivals such as this one will be an opportunity to help individuals feel more connected and feel a sense of belonging. These groups tend to feel a higher rate of isolation, discrimination and exclusion. Events like these play a pivotal role in creating a safe space to express oneself.

 

Open Doors Youth Services has also announced that they will be hosting “A Week of Wellness”, holding back to back events for a whole week surrounding wellbeing. These will primarilly be aimed toward LGBTIQ+ young people and families!

 

“Fair Day” includes the famous Brisbane Pride march and LGBTIQ+ focused stalls and entertainment, as well as a “chill out zone” this year. Proudly brought to you by the Queensland AIDS Council. The ‘chillout zone’ will include free mental health support for eventgoers and discussions on how to strengthen your mental health!

 

Brisbane Pride started in 1990 as a means to organise social gatherings and events within the LGBTIQ+ community. The first event started as a small march in the streets of Brisbane and ended on Musgrave Rd in South Brisbane. It has never been smooth sailing through the years for the LGBTIQ+ community, for example, the gay panic defence was only abolished in 2017! These events aim to celebrate the diversity we have in our community and to educate others about who we are. They look to bring people together and recognise how far we have come as a community and as a society as a whole.

 

So a little homework for our readers today! Go out and celebrate the Brisbane pride festival! Whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, bi, trans or any one of the many other fabulous groups under the LGBTIQ+ rainbow. Brisbane Pride month isn’t an exclusive event! It is an inclusive one! Invite your straight friends along! And remember that the theme this year is mental health and wellbeing! A simple “are you okay?” is all you need to start a meaningful and beneficial conversation!

 

There is so much happening this Pride month that you can’t help but go out and celebrate the diverse community that Brisbane is!

 

FEATURED EVENT! : from our very own talented Tayla!

Sep-28 CandleLight: Here We Queer X Brisbane Pride:

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Candlelight is a space for LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy people to gather and share their stories on coming out, accepting themselves, and embracing queerness.

This event prioritises listening, sharing, and understanding. Coming out and embracing our shared experiences is an invaluable part of recognising our own identities, and the agency we have in controlling our stories. Candlelight also invites heterosexual, cisgender folk to join us to listen quietly to these stories with understanding and acceptance. We invite people who have embraced their queerness for years, and those who are still questioning and learning, to speak and be heard in this inclusive safe space. Free entry. Wheelchair accessible.

 

Some other amazing big events happening this month include:

Sep-06 Pride Connection & Belonging Dinner: This event will be hosted by 2Spirits for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community! A dinner with some great tunes and food provided!

 

Sep-08 Rainbow Families Waterslide Pride Party: This event is aimed towards the families of LGBTQ+ members, particularly kids who might identify somewhere on the LGBTIQ+ rainbow. The event will help fund new childcare and health service resources!

 

Sep-08 Same Same Weddings Expo Brisbane: Hosted at the Brisbane Powerhouse, this free wedding expo is aimed for all those LGBTIQ+ couples out there looking to get hitched!

 

Sep-08 Sister Funk: In the mid-1990s, Sister Funk was a monthly event for women to dance and party the night away! This year at Brisbane Pride the event will happen once again with great line up of female DJs right here in Brisbane!

 

Sep-14 Rainbow Story Time: Another event hosted by Rainbow Families Queensland! Rainbow Story Time will be held at Brisbane Square Library and will be a reading of some great LGBTIQ+ themed stories on family, community and friendship. This event is great for kids under 5.

 

Sep-15 Drag Storytime at Brisbane Square Library: Another Story Time hosted by Rainbow Families Queensland! But this time with Drag and sequins!

 

Sep-19 PRIDE Sessions Ft Alfie Arcuri LIVE: As a part of the ‘Fair Day’ Launch party, Alfie Arcuri, the winner of the Voice 2016, will be performing live and unplugged!

 

Sep-20 Story Bridge Pride Lights Up: On this evening the story bridge will be lit up with all the colours of the rainbow!

 

Sep-21 Pride Rally & March: It’s the big one! The pride rally & march! Get your boots on and walk the streets of Brisbane flying the rainbow flag!

 

Sep-21 Brisbane Pride Fair Day Chillout Zone: Don’t forget to make time for yourself and head to the Chillout Zone and learn how you can strengthen your mental wellbeing!

 

Sep-21 Pride Fair Day 2019: Pride fair day will have some fantastic LGBTIQ+ focused stalls and entertainment! Proudly sponsored by Queensland Health!

 

Sep-21 PROUD (Official Brisbane After Party): You have got to have an after-party to any good festival! At this one, pop princess, Samantha Jade will be performing live, releasing her new single!

What can an aspiring nurse, mother and student teach us about Self-Care?

Danielle is an awesome young mum who is about to complete her nursing degree! (yaay!!) She has completed our online Self-Care course twice, which I think is awesome! I was lucky enough to interview her to see how she incorporates mindfulness as a mother, student and soon to be Nurse!

 

My mindfulness/self-care journey

I’ve always taken a proactive stance with my physical, emotional and mental health, and even more so after becoming a young single mother to a very energetic (& wonderful) son. I’m currently in my final year of my nursing degree, and early on became determined to focus on developing a self-care routine, to be my best self for my son, as well as maintain career longevity as a nurse. I’ve now done The Mindful Collective’s online Self-Care Course twice, and both times have discovered values and needs that I was unaware I had. Now when I feel burnt out, stressed or run down, I am able to better reflect and tailor my self-care to what I need at the time, whether it be physical, emotional, social or spiritual.

 

How I apply a self-care perspective to fit into my life

Given that I am stretched quite thin between family, study and placement commitments, I feel that I have very little time for self-care activities. However, what I have found useful is slightly altering and applying a shift in focus to everyday activities, rather than introducing new activities, can be really helpful. E.g. if I need to clean my house, I might put on some music and sing along – that’s a really effective destress tool for me. Or, rather than ‘forcing’ myself to do a chore I don’t want to do (e.g. washing the sheets), I might change my focus of thought to ‘by washing my sheets I am caring for myself by making sure I have a lovely clean bed to get into tonight’. It seems overly simplistic, but it works really well!

 

Which stress-busting tools have I noticed work well for me?

The most effective action I can take when I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed with life – if I have the time – is to take a ‘mini holiday’ for the day. I love driving up the coast to Mooloolabah or Maleny, or taking my little boy to the zoo or a theme park. When I have less time, I might just do something simple, like getting out in the sunshine or making something different/special for dinner. I also love yoga and do it quite regularly (just at home), and love working out at the gym when I get the chance!

 

Who inspires my self-care, and why?

Definitely my son – he’s motivated me to be my best self and for that reason, I’ve decided to always take care of myself so that I’m fully able to take care of him.

 

How do I express my creative self in my parenting?

I find that being a parent is one of those roles which brings with it ample opportunity for creativity – particularly with toddlers; every day is full of imagination play, storytelling and adventure. Also, sometimes avoiding oncoming meltdowns involves a lot of creative distraction tactics!

 

How do I stay motivated to care for myself?

I find it particularly easy to notice when I’m running low on emotional energy, going from someone who’s fairly patient to losing my temper easily and snapping over the smallest things. A positive (or negative, depending on how you look at it) of being a single parent, is once my son falls asleep at night I have a fair bit of time on my own to reflect and think (and admittedly overthink) about how things are going; this works well for me as I am able to use the time to determine what my needs are and what I can do to help myself fill them.

 

Have I seen a therapist, and what have I learned about my self-care?

I’ve been having sessions with Amy since my son was about 6 months old, and through our sessions I’ve been able to challenge myself to increase the diversity of my self-care techniques; I’ve always been heavily reliant on physical self-care (going to the gym, doing yoga or running) but once I became a mother I had much less time to do so, and was struggling as a result. Amy helps me keep focus on the importance of my own needs, which is something that I think mums often need to be reminded of!

 

My thoughts on values-centred living

Having a better understanding of my own values has been enlightening in how I deal with challenging situations, in particular, conflict. Co-parenting has proven more difficult than I was anticipating, and I often feel that there is pressure on separated parents to ‘fight to win’ – more custody, more child support (or to pay less child support), more control. It has only been recently that I’ve realised one of the major reasons this has been such a distressing time for me, is that my major values involve empathy, kindness and compassion for others, and therefore taking an offensive stance becomes a very unnatural and resultantly stressful endeavour. By understanding what your values are, you can make the choice to stay true to what feels right – in that sense, no matter what the outcome of any challenging situation may be, you are left feeling more secure and happy with the decisions you made.

 

Thank you, Danielle! Such a fantastic interview! You have really done an amazing job incorporating self-care techniques into your day to day life, and also recognising that your needs are important too!

Evie’s Second Birthday Event

If you would like to come along, head over to our Facebook page and purchase a ticket!

 

 

We had such a hilarious time celebrating with you last year, so we are doing it all again for Evie’s 2nd birthday.

Evie has enjoyed a big, exciting year (as you can probs tell from our insta stories).  A standout moment was becoming trained and accredited Therapy Dog with Therapy Dogs Australia!!

Hosted by The Mindful Collective, the event looks to fundraise for OneGirl, a charity which aims to educate girls in third world countries, specifically Uganda and Sierre Leone. All ticket sales from Evie’s big day will be donated to OneGirl. There will food, dogs, good vibes and over $3000 worth of raffle prizes!!


When:

9.30am-11.30am, August 4th

Where:

Sunset Dog Park, 30 Monoplane St, Ashgrove QLD 4060

 

Ticket Pricing:

Silver: $5 for 1 raffle tickets and a gift bag
Gold: $10 for 3 raffle tickets, a gift bag
Platinum: $20 for 8 raffle tickets, a gift bag
There will be delicious pupcakes and cupcakes for purchase! We ask for these to be prepurchased so we know how many to order!
Cupcake Price: $5.50
Pupcake Price: $5.50

 

Raffle:

Don’t forget that we have over $3000 worth of prizes! The tickets will include a certain number of raffle tickets, which you can put towards a prize of your choosing! You can throw it all into a single prize or diversify your risk (a bit of business strategy there 😉). The current amazing prize sponsors, as it stands, includes:

Not only do we have this but everyone will get a gift bag filled with local goodies and vouchers! From awesome businesses like:

 

If you would like to come along, head over to our Facebook page and purchase a ticket!

 

We hope to see you there!!

 

FAQs

 

I don’t have a dog but I do love them, is this event for me?

Absolutely!!  Come along to cuddle someone else’s dog and enter the raffle!!

 

My dog is often scared and unpredictable around other dogs, should I bring them?

In the spirit of safety, this isn’t the event for them.  We would not recommend bringing them along to a big dog park packed with excited humans and puppers.  We would recommend bringing them to seek further training (perhaps even with the team at Therapy Dogs Australia – they do more than just therapy dog training) to help with their anxiety.  It would be great to have them next year!!

 

Where can I sneak a coffee and bathroom break before/during/after the event?

There are many amazing places close by; however, the closet would be Banneton Bakery on Waterworks Road.

 

Are there minimum age requirements to enter the event?

Anyone under the age of 16 needs an adult accompanying them as Evie’s party is in a public dog park and we have absolutely no control over the dogs and people who are using the park at the same time.

 

What are my parking options for getting to and from the event?

Parking and access to the park are available on Monoplane Street and Barnett Road.  Please see the Translink website for current public transport options.

 

What should I bring into the event?

Your mates, your doggos and a printout or screenshot of your ticket to claim your raffle tickets!

 

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Contact Nikita on 0451060764 or hello@themindfulcollective.co

 

DISCLAIMER

The Mindful Collective and other local businesses involved in Evie’s 2nd Birthday Party do not accept responsibility and cannot be held liable for injuries, illness or other negative outcomes caused during this event.  This public event is being held in a public dog park and the team have absolutely no control over the attendees, their dogs or dogs and people who are using the park at the same time.  Please be very mindful of your children and pups during this event.

How Do Therapists Self-Care? With Amy Sketcher

Amy Sketcher is an awesome child psychologist based not too far away in Coffs Harbour! I was lucky enough to get the chance to pick her brain into what she does for self-care and how she incorporates mindfulness into her everyday life.

 

We would love to hear about your mindfulness/self-care journey! What helpful changes have you noticed along the way?

Years ago I used to think of self-care as a luxury, and an almost self-absorbed concept of bubble baths, massages, and facials, which at the time I had neither the time to allow, or money to fund. I now know that notion was totally ridiculous. I think as I have grown, read, explored for myself, and walked with others on their journey I have come to a fuller understanding that self-care is just such a broad term for what fills your cup back up again, and it looks different for every single person.  When your cup is empty you not only have nothing for yourself, but you also have nothing left to give to others, so in many ways, self-care is the furthest thing from selfish and a necessity rather than a luxury. 

How do you apply a self-care perspective to fit self-care into your life?

I have to mentally and tangibly schedule in self-care sometimes, I know that doesn’t sound very dreamy but life gets so busy with work, social life, church, and other commitments that if I don’t block out time in the diary for me it just doesn’t happen.  I have my regular routine self-care like exercise, eating well, certain social catch ups that are set, but I then like to carve out time to phone my bestie living in another state, or to be on my own with no plans, just have solo time thinking and doing nothing, or taking a night to do something for me like a face mask and hair mask.  My self-care is broken into the routine self-care, and the spontaneous/ free self-care and both are equally important.

Which stress-busting tools have you noticed work well for you?

For me, I find the best stress-busting is done physically, and socially- combining the two if possible! It might sound cliché but I have ALWAYS hated exercise, in the past, I did it because I knew it was healthy and good for me but I used to dislike every moment. I have tried literally everything from gyms, to team sports, to group classes and it is only recently I have found what works for me so stick at it people! I now do personal training with a really great trainer and friend, combined with yoga weekly. I really notice when I miss my sessions cause I can feel the physical build-up of stress wanting to burst out of me.

How do you express your creative self in your work/parenting?

In the past, I used to think I wasn’t a creative person cause I don’t have the ‘traditional creative’ outlets like painting, music, etc.  I have found however that creativity looks different for every person and it is more about expression then talent or skill.  As a Psychologist, I find my creativity is at it’s highest when I am working with kiddies and trying to find a way to teach a skill or explain a complex concept. I love exploring this and the feeling when you think up something different, or find a new way to do this; whether it is drawing little comics strips to explore social skills, or seeing who can blow the biggest bubble to teach slow breathing.

How do you stay motivated to care for yourself?

I am not sure it is a case of staying motivated or surviving.  Taking care of myself (or self-care) is just a way of being now, and without it, I find it really hard to function well, and get through my weeks.  Obviously, there are times in life where I need to amp it up, or when it takes a backseat but overall it seems to find a balance.  I have gotten pretty good at recognizing when I need to make it a bigger priority and now know myself well enough to listen to that inner voice (or body that is getting sick or tired) and put self-care back in a prime position again.

Have you seen a therapist? If so, what did you learn about your self-care?

YES! I am a therapist and I have seen a therapist before too. I think sometimes there is still a stigma around accessing support. This is heightened when you are in the industry, cause there is the additional factor of ‘you know all this, you should be able to sort yourself out’ but honestly having someone else to talk to, that you can trust, who will give you unbiased discussions without judgment is really just a wonderful thing.  I think that one aspect of self-care I have learnt through therapy is simply that it is ok to take time out for yourself, it is ok to have needs, and it is ok to seek out ways to meet your needs, and it this not a flaw in you but rather it is a basic part of being a human being.

Share your thoughts on values-centred living

Values- centred living is really the key to living a flourishing, and healthy life.  It is important to remember though that values centred does not mean perfect happy life- but rather a knowledge of where your priorities are, and a strengthening of your resilience to tackle the tricky phases we are all thrown time to time.  Knowing what is important to you at your core can really support you to live your life in alignment and give a sense of knowing to the direction you take and goals you develop.

 

We’d love to hear about your experiences with women coming together for a cause, as a collective.

I am not sure if this fits in this space, but each fortnight I meet with a group of girlfriends for what we call Bridge nope not the old people card game.  It’s just us doing dinner, catching up, chatting about our faith, lives, struggles, achievements and all round just being each other’s cheerleaders.  It became a really important and lovely part of my life when I moved to a new area and was trying to find where I fit in.  Since then it’s also given me a lovely opportunity to welcome others into our group to find a home away from home, in the same way, that I did when I first started going to Bridge.

Amy Sketcher

Thank you, Amy, for that insightful interview! It’s not often that we get a perspective of self-care from a therapists point of view! I love how Amy found a way to make exercise work for her, we all know the importance of exercise but it may just take some time to find something that works for us! Amy is right on the money when she says values centred living does not mean happiness 100% of the time, but rather, learning how to overcome those more difficult stages in life that everyone, even therapists, happen to go through!

If you want to know more about Amy and her awesome practice, head over to her Instagram @seasonalliedhealth and give her a follow!

If you would like to learn some important self-care skills, we will be running another online self-care course in the near future and would love to see you there. Book online via: themindfulcollective.co/online-courses/

Juggling Work Life Balance with Entrepreneur Korryn Haines

Korryn Haines is juggling all of the balls of life, virtual assistant and small business owner of Encore Admin Consulting, mum of two (and a fur child), wife, sister, daughter and friend. Based in Brisbane, Korryn is currently navigating a small business three days per week whilst spending as much time as possible with her young family. She decided to join The Mindful Collective’s Self-Care Course to try and bring back some clarity into her day, and with all of the competing demands in her life, she felt like she has lost her way. I was lucky to be able to have a chat with her to find out what she does for self-care.

 

What does a day in your life look like?

A day in my life is controlled chaos (as a Mum to a 4 and 1-year-old, wife to a very patient husband, and small business owner that’s the best way I can describe it). My kids are in daycare 3 days per week so on those three days I’m head down bottom up doing administrative support work for my numerous clients all in varying industries. So the majority of my days are started with a cup of tea and if I can manage to beat the kids before they wake up sitting and writing in my journal (helps clear my head of the clutter for the day). Then it’s hubby and I tag-teaming to get the kids ready and off to daycare. As I work from home I try and work in 1-hour timeslots with my client work and take breaks throughout the day with either a walk or a cuppa out on the back verandah. Some days I get out of my home office and work from a cafe or head to a networking event just to change it up and be amongst noise and life instead of being in my office all the time. Then at the end of the day I’m usually picking the kids up from daycare and we head straight into dinner, bath bed routine and once they are down I either punch out any urgent work that needs finishing off, heading for a shower and a quick read of a book in bed / chat with hubby about our days.

 

We would love to hear about your mindfulness/self-care journey! What helpful changes have you noticed along the way?

Doing Amy-Kate’s online course actually opened my eyes to my lack of self-care going on (in the day I described is very much most of my days) so it reminded me to step back and find the pockets of activities and ways I could bring some of my own enjoyable activities into my days. So now I have started taking drum lessons once a fortnight and I am absolutely loving it. I’m also reading more (the pocket of time before I go to sleep is that right there). I’m also stopping and taking things in a lot more instead of going run run run. I’m not perfect at it but it’s changing – it’s definitely something you forget in the busyness of the day to day life.

 

Which stress-busting tools have you noticed work well for you?

Movement and exercise are my biggest. Pre-kids it was boxing but now I’ve had to wind that back to just some form of exercise consistently. So every week I head to my gym (which has a creche) and make sure I do a BodyPump class at least once a week and I try and fit in a second when I can. Then 1-2 mornings a week I will try and go for a walk with Angel my Cocker Spaniel. The physicality of moving the stress out with exercise is what works best for me.

 

How do you express your creative self in your work/parenting?

I’m very lucky in my line of work that I can flex my creative thinking muscle in coming up with processes and solutions for my clients with their administrative tasks and how they can best do things in their businesses with specific software and apps. I honestly have built my business in doing the work that I genuinely enjoy and saying no to the things that I don’t. And parenting, with my kids so young, they’re definitely forcing me to unlock my imagination and get creative with how I can keep them entertained. It’s amazing watching them learn and take in the new things around them and working out how to do tasks every single day.

 

Who inspires your self-care, and why?

Firstly, my kids – if I can’t be 100% for myself then I can’t be 100% for them. And secondly my husband – he really does endure me at my worst when the ends are fraying, and he has managed to keep focused on maintaining his own self-care activity since becoming a Dad so I realise I need to do the same. It’s a juggling act but we are getting there.

 

How do you stay motivated to care for yourself?

It is really hard – but I keep reminding myself it’s the small steps and small actions that add up – if I skip the one small thing I have for myself each day then it adds up to a big problem to fix.

 

How does social media fit into your self-care perspective?

Social media – especially in my line of work – is too easy to fall down the rabbit hole. So I’ve now set up a timer to switch off the apps after a certain amount of use per day as well as after 6 pm every night. I’m also much more mindful about the types of accounts I follow – if they truly inspire me yes. If they bring up bad self-talk in me, then no, unfollow. I also use social media to keep connected with people that lift me up and will give me the tough love when I need it so it’s fantastic in that way.

 

Share your thoughts on values-centred living.

Again, doing Amy-Kate’s course really highlighted how much listening to your own values have an impact on how you approach everything you do day-to-day. I have honestly been trying to do all the things that I thought others thought I should do and I’ve really been stepping back and evaluating how much that aligns with my values. It was no wonder I was feeling so depleted and not finding the motivation and joy in things that I usually did, it was because I had lost sight of what my values were and was just running on the treadmill trying to keep up with the direction I had found myself in. It really is a one-way ticket to burnout very quickly.

Korryn Haines

Thank you Korryn for an incredibly motivating interview! I love how you were able to step back and reevaluate how you conduct your day to day life to align with your personal values and not others.

If you want to learn more about Korryns business, head over to her website and see what she is all about! https://www.encoreadminconsulting.com.au/

Now, we do offer an online personal self-care course which is starting very soon from the time of publishing. This course aims to provide you with the skills and knowledge to effectively care for yourself, fueled by your own personal values! Head to themindfulcollective.co/online-courses/ if you are interested!

A Personal Reflection with Sarah

Sarah is another one of the amazing people I was lucky enough to meet through a self-care course I have run in the past! She is an awesome person and I was fortunate to be able to interview her to reflect on her self care journey and her experience in the mindful collective self-care course! She has some great methods to incorporate mindfulness and self-care into her life!

 

We would love to hear about your mindfulness/self-care journey! What helpful changes have you noticed along the way?

My mindfulness/self-care journey seems long but I also still feel like I’m at the very beginning sometimes.  A really pivotal moment for me came after reading “First, we make the beast beautiful” by Sarah Wilson. The book made me realise, & helped me to accept, that my anxiety was not necessarily something I could “cure” but that with the consistency of self-care practice & kindness to myself, I could learn to live & even thrive with it.

 

Do you meditate? If so, what anchor do you prefer and why?

I do meditate but from a traditional standpoint, I’m not very good at it! I have always struggled to quieten my mind to have found more success in meditation techniques that don’t try to block out or shut down thoughts. Exercise-based clarity of the mind is something I am much better at e.g. during RPM when you can barely breathe let alone think or during an uphill hike when your legs are burning. Guided meditations are also a favourite but I have to be careful when & where I do them as otherwise I’m very likely to get pulled off to sleep. One of my favourite self-guided techniques is one that I learnt during a meditation course at my local yoga studio. You think about your favourite place or memory & try to recall every detail that you can. So you aren’t trying to shut out thoughts, but you redirect & focus your thinking on something positive (I think about an amazing day out on a catamaran in Santorini!!! #extra)

 

Which stress-busting tools have you noticed work well for you?

MASSAGE! Not like one of those relaxing ones but the occasionally painful remedial ones! I hold so much of my stress & tension in my body that I can literally feel it melting away when I get a massage. Exercise & fresh air (normally with my pup in tow) are also great for me! Talking out my problems has also always been something that helps when I’m feeling stressed. I have my little black book of people who I will go to with different problems to get their advice & support.

 

Who inspires your self-care, and why?

I think I try to inspire myself with my self-care! I feel like there can be such a fine line between inspiration & comparison that maybe I try to avoid the slippery slope. I do however have a number of cheerleaders who help to motivate my self-care & celebrate my wins. If I do look for inspiration I tend to go for books, magazines, courses or podcasts over social media which can bring on that comparison more so easily.

 

How do you stay motivated to care for yourself?

As I suffer from depression & anxiety it can be really hard to stay motivated. Quite often the things you need most (e.g. exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep) are the hardest to do when you are in a slump. This is where I use my support networks to help. I organise exercise outside with friends (like a hike) so that it feels less uuugh. Or if it’s all too much, I’ll try something lower impact like a bath, watching a favourite movie or just ticking one thing off my list around the house for a feeling of accomplishment. I often find it’s easier to stay in good habits rather than creating new ones so I try to stay consistent, at the very least by keeping my self-care as a priority in some form or another. Something new I’m trying too is saying “not today satan” to feelings of guilt if I don’t or can’t engage in my planned self-care. It’s all about balance.

 

Have you seen a therapist? If so, what did you learn about your self-care?

Yes! Seeing a therapist has been a big PART of my self-care for some time. Just like exercise, I find looking after my mental health easier when I’m accountable to myself & someone else. Having an appointment locked in each month (& quite often, homework to complete too,) keeps my mental health top of mind & a priority even if the rest of my life gets out-of-control busy! The most important thing that I have learnt, courtesy of the Mindful Collective Self-care Course, is just how broad & varied self-care can be. The course also helped me to try new things and build a list of tried & tested techniques that work for me. This makes things easier when I’m feeling flat as I don’t have to think as hard about what I can do for myself at that moment. Participating in the course also reinforced for me that Amy Kate was the psychologist that I wanted to continue my self-care & mental health journey with so I switched and never looked back!

 

Share your thoughts on values-centred living.

Values was actually a really interesting part of the Mindful Collective Self-care Course. To start with I think I chose things that I WANTED to value the highest in my life as opposed to the things that I intrinsically valued as part of my ingrained personality. Working through a number of activities in the course with Amy Kate helped me to discover these intrinsic values. What was really interesting to learn through the course though is how I could use value-centred living to achieve the things I wanted. So I originally said that I valued “Health” because this is something that is important to me. But “Health” is not one of my intrinsic values so I’m unlikely to naturally prioritise it no matter how important I tell myself it is. And here comes the twist! I can use my actual values (organised & dependable) to help achieve my health & fitness goals. I can ORGANISE a physical activity with a friend & then because I’m DEPENDABLE I will show up & achieve my goal. Ta-da….#winning!

 

We’d love to hear about your experiences with women coming together for a cause, as a collective!

I was recently taken away for a weekend by my sister & a number of girlfriends for my 30th birthday. What was so lovely about this trip was that I knew the three gf’s from different school’s/workplaces & they had all only met each other once or twice but we had a great time. Over half the group were going through difficulties in their relationships but we all came together to have a very supportive (& fun) weekend. I ended up calling it my “relationship bootcamp/30th birthday weekend”! We have since had dinner together & have brunch in the works scheduled in too. I’m just loving that all of my closest friends are now becoming a tight-knit little group who support each other & who can have a lot of fun.

 

I’d love to thank Sarah for that awesome interview! I would also like to take a moment to talk about the book Sarah mentioned, “First, we make the best beautiful”, written by Sarah Wilson. It is an absolutely stunning book focusing on anxiety and the hold it takes on a persons life, but the author also unpacks it, analysing the triggers and treatments, talking to sufferers, philosophers and experts to breakdown what anxiety ultimately is and how we can live a happy and joyful life with it. If you would like to find out more, check out a description of the book on the good reads website and maybe give it a read!

 

If you would like to learn some mindful and self-care skills to help overcome some of the daily struggles, my next personal self-care course is starting in a little under two weeks. There are only a few spaces left! Book via the link: https://themindfulcollective.co/online-courses/

A Mindful Chat with a Hardworking Mum

I was honoured to get to know Chloe through our personal self-care course not too long ago. She is an inspirational mother of three who is kind enough to share her self care journey and tell us how she manages to incorporate mindfulness into her life. Being under the pump as a working and studying mum, she has spent the last few years on a journey of self-discovery and learning the many skills of self-care.

 

What does a day in your life look like?

I am a mum to two and a step-mum to one (ages 12,14 and 15) so my day generally starts with getting the kids ready in the morning…the normal things…showers, brekky, lunch prep, feed the tribe of pets and school runs. I am a Service Manager for a disability organization which is where I spend 8 hours each weekday (I love my job). Afternoons are school pick up, and 3-5 days per week I will exercise depending on kids’ activities, dinner prep, homework and family time. Then most of my evenings are usually spent studying.

 

We would love to hear about your mindfulness/self-care journey! What helpful changes have you noticed along the way?

One of the biggest things I took away from my journey was learning to identify my values. I have always been a goal driven person, however, focusing on my values gave my goals greater meaning and also gave me a great sense of fulfilment.

Throughout Amys personal self-care course, I implemented a lot of non-negotiable self-care habits that I have continued to use. My favourite is the non-negotiable bedtime of 9:30 pm. Prior to the course, my sleep habits were very irregular, and I’d allow the pressure of Uni assignments to keep me awake long into the night. I now have a study schedule to keep me accountable and in bed by 9:30 pm every night.

 

How do you apply a self-care perspective to fit self-care into your life?

Over the last 3-4 years, I have been on a big journey of self-care and self-discovery, the most important lesson I have learnt is that no-one will (or can) take care of me as well as I can take care of myself. I am useless to those around me unless my own cup is full. Self-care is non-negotiable and while it is easy to lose focus on yourself, you need to be aware of this and learn how to refocus and recharge your own batteries. I’m a busy mum with a demanding career and Uni life so I understand how easy it is to say ‘oh I don’t have the time’, but you know what…you’ve got to make the time!

 

Do you meditate? If so, what anchor do you prefer and why?

Meditation is still something I am working on! I find it super difficult to switch my thoughts off however I do practice mindfulness constantly throughout the day. You’ll often find me ‘daydreaming’ or looking like I am lost in my own world, this is me taking in what I am feeling and why, or considering a decision/dilemma deeply prior to reacting.

There are times, however, when I just know that I need to meditate. I have a couple of good apps on my phone that will help guide me through a meditation. I find these useful as I can really focus on their voice and guidance instead of getting distracted by my own thoughts.

 

Which stress-busting tools have you noticed work well for you?

There are times where I prefer being alone in stressful situations. I’ll pop my earphones in and listen to a podcast that has absolutely nothing to do with anything occurring in my life at that moment (usually something strange like ‘Was Atlantis real” or breakdowns of iconic world history events). Then there are times where I just need to be with my tribe. Whether that is my family, my best friends or the crew I train with. Just being around them and not necessarily talking about what is happening will automatically have me feeling a lot more relaxed.

I also take deep comfort in using essential oils and crystals.

 

Who inspires your self-care and why?

Independent and honest individuals, such as Amy-Kate, who take full responsibility for their own lives, thoughts and actions. It is so easy to blame those around you for your own mistakes, decisions and thought processes but surrounding yourself with humans who hold their destiny in their own hands is very inspirational. I am a big fan of people like Louise Hay also. I love that she was able to turn her life around by simply taking responsibility and control over it, and then share that knowledge with others. She is definitely one of my biggest inspirations.

 

How do you stay motivated to care for yourself?

Feeling cared for feels so damn good! That is my motivation! I have occasionally dropped the ball. I’m not perfect. However, I take notice of how I feel at that moment of not being cared for. Whether it be that I didn’t get enough sleep, I ate something I knew I shouldn’t have, I have one too many drinks…I make sure I really feel that feeling and then compare it to a happy and cared for version of me. I am a big believer in consistency! Nothing in life will remain how you want it too without consistency and it only takes one little bit of complacency to lose it. The most important goal I work towards daily is to be a better version of myself than yesterday.

 

Have you seen a therapist? If so, what did you learn about your self-care?

It takes a tribe, right??? I am lucky enough to have many professionals around me to keep me on the right path.

As required, I have a Chiropractor, Acupuncture/Chinese Herbalist, health & fitness Coaches, ENAR therapist, Life-coach and Nutritionist available to keep me accountable. I would not be who I am today without the assistance of these individuals.

 

How does social media fit into your self-care perspective?

Social media is a tricky one. We often hear about all the negative effects of using social media however I believe by following influencers related to your goals and journey, it can be quite therapeutic. I tend to only follow people or pages that encourage holistic approaches to health goals. People that are non-judgemental and promote services/advice diversely are important to me as no two people are ever the same. I think when used in the right way, social media can definitely assist people on a health/self-care journey.

 

Share your thoughts on values-centred living.

Throughout my journey with Amy Kate’s course (“Your Personal Self-Care Course”), focusing on my values was a very positive and self-awakening experience. As previously mentioned, goals are huge for me, I cannot function on a daily basis without goals. Focusing on my values, however, really realigned my goals and reminded of what is important, and more crucially, what is achievable (self-confessed overachiever over here 😊)

For example, being grateful daily is an important value of mine, however, running on minimal sleep and caffeine due to staying up late working on a Uni assignment leaves me feeling grumpy, snappy and short-tempered throughout the day. I then also have a family to care for and a service to run. I am not displaying gratefulness at all while exhibiting these negative behaviours. To be truly grateful for what I have and those around me, I need to first be grateful to myself and my own abilities. I cannot expect my mind or body to function at an optimal level if I am not taking care of it.

 

Chloe, thank you so much for taking the time to share your journey with us! You’re a real life mindfulness champion! As a Psychologist, it shatters me to see how many wonderful women end up in my treatment room because they haven’t been taught how to care for themselves, nurture themselves and value themselves. Chloe is a great example of someone who works hard in her life, and is doing it amazingly! She applies some great mindfulness and self-care principles to keep herself moving in the best version of herself! We do have another “Your Personal Self-Care Course” coming up in just two weeks! So if you would like to learn some vital skills to care for yourself then head over to https://themindfulcollective.co/online-courses/

Introducing Entrepreneur Taleah, from T-Leaf Collections

Hi, I’m Taleah! I run my own small business, T-Leaf Collections, which specialises in prints, luxe timber hangers and memory drops. I also work full-time in Human Resources in the mining sector.

 

We all need some crazy powerful stress-busting tools and techniques – we would love to hear works for you!

So true! Sometimes it can all just get on top of you can’t it? For me, I take a bit of time out and step back from the task that I’m doing. It’s easy to get overwhelmed so I find just having some quiet time, a nice cup of tea (or whatever you fancy!) and burning a candle, really helps me breathe again!

 

Have you had a delicious experience of mindful eating? If so, give us all the juicy details!

Oh mindful eating, how I love you. My favourite form of food is just eating out in general, no matter what the cuisine! But I would have to say the most ‘mindful’ eating experience I have had was the night my husband proposed to me. We had an incredible degustation where I asked the waiter to take away the menu so I couldn’t see what was coming next. I really had to focus on her description of each meal as it came out and ‘discover’ the delicious flavours that came to my plate. I savoured every bite of that meal and the memory has remained of not just my new shiny diamond ring but of the food and the entire experience!

 

How do you express your creative self?

I’m happy to say my little business, T-Leaf Collections, is the way I get to express my creativity. I work full time in the Human Resources sector within the Mining Industry, so to be able to have a creative outlet such as running my own print design business really helps me achieve a great work-life balance and one that definitely helps me stay sane after a long day at the office!

 

What’s your favourite way to treat yourself?

Wining and dining with friends and family or buying myself something that I’ve had my eye on for a while…

 

How do you embrace yourself, flaws and all – even in self-critical times?

This can be tough at times but I really find, just like the question says, you have to embrace those qualities, that is what makes you you! I love the saying ‘be yourself, everyone else is taken’. When I started out my business on Instagram, I was really quite insecure about ‘being myself’ but I soon realised that it is those that stand out from the crowd and speak openly and honestly (flaws and all!) about themselves were having the most success. I just decided to go for it and I haven’t looked back!

 

How do you manage to stay motivated both in your personal life and work life, even on those mediocre, flat days?

I think goal-setting is really important if you want to stay motivated. I continually have a list of ideas that I want to achieve in my business and I’ll just slowly plug away at them when I get the spare time. It can be really hard sometimes when you see the success of others but I always remind myself that what is shown can sometimes be glorified. I try and stick to my goals and not let the success of other prohibit my own.

 

Who inspires you and why?

I am continually inspired when I scroll through my Instagram feed. There are so many amazing women out there creating and making their dreams come true! They inspire me because it shows me that it is possible, they’re business which started out small just like mine has become a full-time gig and that continues to inspire me to work hard at my business. I’ve also connected with many of these women and it’s those connections that make you feel part of something really special.

 

What is your life vision for the next 5 years?

Tough question! 5 years goes so quickly! My husband and I have just bought our first home and I can see us being in there for around the 5-year mark, making it our home, having children and being happy and healthy. I would also love to see my business, T-Leaf Collections, move into a full-time gig!

 

I would love for you to pop over and follow my feed on Instagram @tleafcollections or check out our webpage  www.tleafcollections.com.au