Holly’s health corner- coping with work

Many of you know I went on long term sick in the middle of 2018 due to Anxiety. I have been working towards getting back into work over the past couple of months and taking things slowly. 

When you suffer from Anxiety work can become extremely stressful. Not only as a business owner but for anyone working along side this difficult condition. Over the past 5 years of owning the salon I ended up sending my body into overdrive due to personal circumstances. This is one of the main reasons I ended up very unwell last summer. As a business owner I find it very difficult to take time away from work. Although I already have a human baby who I adrore, my work is like a second baby to me. I use to spend hours and hours at home trying to juggle a busy life of being a mum, running a business, keeping to deadlines, ordering stock, spending time on work social media, advertising, spending time with family, friends, housework…the list goes on and for many people like myself it never ends. Now, everyone has plenty of responsibilities to tackle in their daily life but those who struggle with anxiety can often forget to add in the “rest” part of the day. I also find resting very difficult because its often the time when my thoughts will wonder, But that’s a blog topic for another day!

When you’re stressed, anxious, depressed etc the last thing you feel manageable, is work. All you want to do is hide away. Stay home and not face the day. Things can get worse by this and your body can actually prevent you from leaving the house. When we feel like we need to take time off work that then causes more stress. For me personally I felt like taking time of work being unwell made me a failure. Not being able to get up and do the job I love was so difficult. But my body was telling me to stop. Spending time off work away from the salon made my anxiety worse. All those feelings that you’re letting other people down because you can’t make it in exacerbate anxiety and so the vicious cycle begins.

It took me many months to come back to work (let alone leave my house) and slowly but surely I’ve done it. What’s been most important is to take things slowly. Not to rush back into doing everything you feel like you have to do because ultimately the only thing in life you have to do is look after yourself.  I started by spending a few hours in the salon. Then a couple of half days. I’m still currently only here 3 days a week working longer hours and eventually I would like to be back up to 4 days. When I’m at work it’s a distraction. I have a purpose when I’m here and the anxiety improves because I am doing something that I enjoy. There are days when I can’t manage and times when I want to run back home but this feeling is slowly diminishing and I’m finding work easier and easier as time goes on. 

My advice to anyone who is struggling with mental health and if it’s affecting their work would be to tell someone. Tell your boss, tell your doctor, tell your friends. Anyone that you think will lead you in the right direction. Sometimes pushing on isn’t the answer and this can take things too far and before you know it you have no choice other than to not be able to go to work because your body is in shut down mode. Get the help you need before it’s to late. It really is that simple. 

When I’m at work. I work. When I’m at home I spend the time finding who I am again. Having the balance between the two is enabling me to get back the life I’ve always wanted.

If work is your main cause of stress then make sure you really sit down and figure out what it is that you want. Life is too short to spend in a job that you hate. Regardless of the pay cheque you receive at the end of the month. I’m certainly not suggesting you leave your job straight away. Give up all your responsibilities but taking the time to seek your other options can be really beneficial. For me taking a step back and allowing my body and mind to recover has improved not only my mental health but also my business.

I have been very lucky in the sense that my transition back to work has been at my own pace and although people feel they may not have the same opportunity as I do when it comes to taking thing slowly then it’s time to see what’s the most important in life. You. Your physical and mental wellbeing and your happiness. 

Thank you for reading! If you’re enjoying these posts then please comment below either on Facebook or directly to this blog post. If there’s any areas you would like me to cover on how I cope in daily life or anything you find anxiety provoking then please do let me know 😌

Holly x

 

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Holly’s health corner – Happiness

Hi Everyone! 

The past 6 months have been tough as you all have seen from my previous posts but I finally have something to celebrate and I’m so excited to share it with you! 

This Saturday (9th February 2019) myself and Stuart will be celebrating 5 years of running Alchemy Therapy Centre! I can’t quite believe its been 5 years. The time has flown and I am so incredibly happy with where the business is and how I get to spend my days living a dream I have always had. 

Don’t get me wrong it certainly hasn’t been the easiest thing I’ve done and opening at 21 I had many reservations if this would even work. Yet here we are 5 years on opening the doors into our 6th year of business.

I haven’t had much to celebrate recently but this is one of those things that has boosted my moral, made me realise how incredibly lucky I have been to have such a great opportunity in life to run my own salon and how grateful I am to everyone who has support us on a business and personal level over the past 5 years

We should celebrate even the smallest achievements along with the largest ones! 

Only 4 months ago I was writing my achievements in my daily log stating “I managed to get out of bed today for 2 hours” and now I’m writing “celebrating 5 years of business”. Neither one or the other of these achievements are better than the other. They’re both huge achievements at different stages of my life. I really would advise everyone to write a monthly achievement log down just to run through all the things you have achieved over the past month! It’s incredibly empowering and can give you insight into all the amazing things you’ve done without even realising! Write the small things. Write the big things and everything in between. Some times the smallest achievements have the largest impact!  

I’ll be opening the salon doors this weekend for our 5th year birthday party and I can’t wait to see you all! All our details can be found on our Facebook page or call me for more info 01908 567766.

Holly x

Holly’s health corner – Stress Buster

Hello everyone! 

Over the past few months I have been researching and planning a brand new treatment for you all to help reduce anxiety, depression and stress and below is what I have created! 

Alchemy Stress buster massage.

A 45 minute scalp, neck, back and shoulder massage for £35. The best thing about this massage is it give you a chance to get some time in for you and it comes with a donation to charity! As I have wrote on my previous blogs, massage has a huge impact on helping to relieve the symptoms of mental stress and can improve your health and well being. Every time we perform one of our Alchemy Stress Buster massages at Alchemy we will donate £5 to Mind BLMK. A charity well known for supporting positive mental health and wellbeing. They are a fantastic charity and I am excited to be working with them in order to raise money for a cause that is so close to my heart. Had I not been through the experiences that I did in 2018 I would have never thought to introduce such an important and life changing treatment not just for you but for others too! Mental health is now something I am very passionate about and will use Alchemy as my platform to help others in need.

As you all know I get my regular weekly massages and have found them so beneficial to my mental health and always find it reduces my anxiety and brings me back down to earth. At the end of each month we will be donating £5 from every  Alchemy Stress Buster Massage directly to Mind BLMK and will be posting regular updates on how much we have raised. 

You can book these treatments with ALL the therapists at Alchemy including myself! I want to thank Mind BLMK for their personal support over the past 6 months and hope you will join me in supporting their cause further. 

Thank you 

Holly x

 

Holly’s health corner – 7 daily steps to mental health

Hi All, 

Today I want to talk about the 7 daily steps I take to improve my own mental health. These are things I’ve tried and tested over the past 6 months and these 7 are the ones I’ve found work best for me. Not all these things will be necessary to everyone and you may find you want to add things in and swap things out for other mental health steps but below are mine 😊

 

  1. Medication- currently this is the number one priority in my road to recovery and that is taking the medication prescribed by my doctor to help me progress in my journey. Not everyone needs medication and not everyone likes to take tablets that might change their moods and that’s absolutely fine, However in my case it was and still is a necessity. I hope to one day come off anti-anxiety medications but as it stands now I’m happy to take them 😊Be sure you speak often and thoroughly with your doctor so you can get the right medication for you and always, ALWAYS take as prescribed.
  1. Meditation- This has been a saving grace for me. I used to meditate on and off but often found it didn’t help me in the moment, so I gave up. I recently starting meditating again for 30 minutes every day before bed. Now, I’ve heard lots of people say they just don’t have the time to fit meditation in but there’s some great meditations you can find online that are only a minute long. Everyone can spare 1 minute out of their day to ground themselves and give a short amount of time for a break. It took me a long time to find the right types of meditation that worked for me and now that I’ve found it, I know I’ll never stop! 
  1. CBT- Cognitive behavioural therapy. There is absolutely masses of information on CBT online if you don’t know what it means. The basic concept is to change the way our minds think and process information. Rather than thinking negatively or getting into downward spirals its about training our brain to think logically and structured in a much more positive way. Many times thoughts have popped into my head like “I’m not good enough” “I’m worthless” “I can’t do anything right” and so on and so forth. These types of thoughts are damaging and destructive. Not only are they things you would never say to a friend they’re certainly things you should never say to yourself! There’s plenty of ways you can use CBT to help you such as breathing, grounding, positive affirmations and positive writing. You just need to find the ones that work for you and in time those negative thoughts will leave and the positive ones will come. 
  1. Exposure- One thing that massively impacts those who have anxiety is that it really prevents us from doing the things we want. It gets in the way of us truly living our lives because we end up so caught up in the fear of “what might happen” rather than what is happening. Exposure is about getting yourself to face the things that frighten you. It could be leaving the house, joining a club or anything at all! No matter how small or silly you think it might be it is something you can overcome! By taking small steps to expose yourself to things that make you anxious over time the anxiety lessens and it will be like you were never scared at all. Now although this is on my 7 daily tasks it isn’t necessarily something that is done every day. For me my goal is to leave the house every day and get some fresh air. I’m not frightened of being outside although when I was very unwell. I found it difficult to even leave my bedroom in fear of fainting. So now I make sure I get out and about every day so I never slip back into that feeling again! It’s important that any small step you take towards facing a fear is a huge victory compared to not trying at all 😊
  1. Relaxation- The best part of the day. The part of the day when I find myself spending some time to do things that are relaxing. For me personally that’s cross stitching, baking or writing in my bullet journal (more on that in a future blog). It’s a time of the day to reset, spend some time on yourself and reflect on what really matters to you in your life. Relaxing things are different to everyone, Some people find going to the gym relaxing or cleaning the cupboards. It really is anything YOU want to do rather than what you feel you HAVE to do. We aren’t built to be on the go all the time and this is often where mental health issues such as anxiety stem from because we are too busy working and living our lives to suit others that we forget to look after ourselves. That’s why relaxation. Daily. Is so important!  
  1. Sunlamp- With this cold and damp weather it’s easy for us to slip into feeling miserable and wanting to spend all our time inside and cosied up. It makes tasks more difficult and mundane when the weather is not great. I was recommended a sunlamp to help with vitamin D. These are amazing for anyone who suffers from Seasonal affective disorder. You sit in front of your lamp for 30 minutes per day and it helps increase the vitamin D in your body, makes you feel more energised and less sluggish. You can use it when you’re getting ready for work. Doing your make-up, Eating your breakfast or on your lunch break at work. It really doesn’t matter when or where you use it as long as you use it! I love mine and I use it every day without fail.  
  1. Vitamins- Our bodies just don’t store enough of the vitamins that we really need. Every day I take vitamins to help improve my strength, my mind and my body in general. I am trained in the knowledge of how important vitamins are but not everybody knows! Get yourself some vitamins. Do some research and find out the ones that will work best for you and any concerns you might have that just need a little extra help. 

All these steps are things I try and do every day. They’re second nature to me now and I don’t have to think about doing then as they just subconsciously fit into my day due to habit. They make me feel good, they make me feel happy and I know they’re all good at improving my mental well being and who wouldn’t want that! 

If you have any questions about anything in my blog today feel free to contact me. I hope you manage to find you daily steps to mental health whether it’s 1 thing or 10 things.

Good luck and thank you for reading! 

Holly

Benefits of skin analysis.

What is a skin analysis event?

The salon will offer 45 minute appointments with a highly trained skincare professional, who will undertake a detailed consultation about your skin and your current skin-care routine and will analyse your skin using a state of the art machine. The machine takes a photo of your skin and analyses the depth of the wrinkles and lines, takes a measurement of the depth of the pores, and assesses the amount of sun damage to your skin. Finally it will show you how your skin will look in a few years (if your skin-care and lifestyle stays the way it is.) The analyst will then be able to go through with you why this might be happening and what you can do to prevent it. She will leave you with a suggested treatment plan and home-care prescription to start you off on your skincare journey.

“I always find it quite intriguing to find out what’s really going on underneath mine and my clients skin. It helps me to understand the main areas I need to address and sometimes it is not always the places you can see on the surface. Even as a professional therapist I was surprised by what came up when I had mine scanned.  After following the plan I have noticed even more of a difference in my skin” – Skincare Therapist (Milton Keynes)

The main benefits of having your skin analysed are:

  • We can address hidden sun damage, pigmentation, blocked pores, wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Your salon treatment and home-care is  100% tailored to your needs and will start preventing and treating your skin issues.
  • It will allow you to stop signs of damage before they reach the surface of your skin.
  • You can attend a free skin analysis every 3 months – this allows you to decide if the treatments and products you are using are actually working for you.

If this is something that interests you Alchemy Therapy Centre are holding a free skin analysis event on 18th March 2014.  For more information or to book your free 45 minute slot call 01908 567766.

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