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


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 – Hand and foot pain!

Hi Everyone! 

This week I’m going to talk about hand a foot pain. How it affects me and others and how I and the team at Alchemy can help. 

Due to my recent anxiety I’ve personally been holding a lot of tension in my hands. I often feel as though they are aching and sore. I’m either clenching them to tightly. Holding onto things with too much strength or its just one of those weird side effects to stress… Either way I’ve been researching what I can do to help myself get rid of this pain and in a round about kind of way I’ve set up a new treatment that will help others. 

We all use our hands and feet daily and can often get issues such as carpal tunnel, arthritis and joint pain. The hospitals offers a paraffin wax treatment that helps to ease these kinds of pain but rather than spending 6 weeks + on a waiting list you can have the exact same treatment with us whenever you want!

Paraffin wax is beneficial for:

  • Arthritis 
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Joint pain 
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Dry skin 

Paraffin wax is known to help ease pain and soften the skin and it’s really helped my hand cramps over the past couple of weeks! I find my fingers are less tense and my wrists don’t hurt anymore! The warmth of the wax helps to reduce pain, increase blood flow and soften skin.

As with everything I do to try to improve my own health I try to make a way I can put it out there to help others and this is why I have added a new treatment to our ever expanding list. Book in for a 30-minute paraffin wax treatment of the hands or feet to help reduce your tension and you’ll receive a nice mini massage or the hands of feet too!   

As an introductory offer our treatment is £15 instead of £25 until the end of February (2019)

Call me on 01908 567766 or click the book now button on our website. 


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! 


Surviving the new year – Holly’s health corner

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to 2019 and the 1st blog of the year. I hope you all survived the busy Christmas period and are all settling in to what will hopefully be a great year! If you joined the chat on Facebook you’ll know I sent out tips and tricks to help you stay calm over Christmas and now I want to share with you some things you can do this year to help improve your life!

As most of you are aware 2018 was a very difficult year for me personally and I’m grateful to be seeing in the new year with positivity and a lot more self care. It’s easy for us to look ahead for the next 12 months and plan ahead but not all things go to plan all of the time. So below are some things you can do to get the best out of your year!

1.Set yourself a goal.

Not all New Years resolutions need to be made to start on the 1st January. A lot of the time we say we are going to eat healthier, go to the gym more or give up smoking. And by the evening of the 1st we’ve already done what we believe we shouldn’t do. Change your thought processes and rather than giving something up completely why not give yourself a more realistic goal?

Rather than saying “I’m not eating bad food ever again” say instead “I’m going to swap some bad food with good food”

Instead of pressurising yourself into giving up smoking immediately. Getting stressed out and buying a packet of cigarettes 2 days later say “Every other cigarette I have I’m going to try and drop”

Thinking in this way makes our goals more realistic and much easier to manage. They’re easier to get back on track if you do have a slip up and can ultimately make you change habits much quicker. Once you’ve got the hang of ‘cutting things down’ instead of ‘cutting them out’ then slowly and surely you can end them all together!

2.Go with the flow

We can plan and plan and plan every step of our lives and yet some things pop up and throw our devoted structure of course. Try to remember life throws curve balls at us (often the worst times) yet some how we always manage to get through them. Keep a plan but nurture the needs that arrive when and if they happen. Don’t expect bad things but also be prepared for them! This way you’ll be able to tackle the more difficult parts of the year a lot more logically and head on.

3. Look after you.

2019 should be the year for you. Along with every year that comes along. The thing I hear the most as a beauty therapist and also the thing I say to myself is “I just don’t have time”.

It’s hard to fit time for ourselves when we have so many other things that need doing or other people to look after but as I have said in my blogs before WE are the most important people in our lives and our health should come first above everything else.

When you find a free half an hour do something you love. Not something you feel you have to do. The clothes washing and washing up can wait a few hours. Read a book, go for a swim, watch a movie. Anything that YOU find calming and relaxing is what you really NEED to do.

Get yourself a massage. I guarantee if you suffer from anxiety and depression massage is one of the best ways in which you can relax and keep calm. It gives you that break, relaxes your body and re sets your mind to tackle the days ahead.

“We can’t make more time, we can only take more time”

My biggest and most important realisation in 2018 is to “take the pressure off”. We are all unique and wonderful in our own ways and trying to be someone who we think we should be just doesn’t work and ultimately makes us miserable. Love who you are. Enjoy what you have. Be grateful. Laugh. Love and enjoy ❤️

Good luck to everyone on your 2019 journey! Feel free to share your experiences with me and where you’re headed in the next 12 months! You can achieve anything you set your mind to.


Keeping calm for Christmas!

Christmas is amazing, but it can also be stressful, having a negative impact on your mental health. I’ve been there and over the years I’ve developed some steps I use in daily life to release that stress and keep me focused on the great things going on in life. I hope my tips will help you get through the holiday period feeling fab and hit January with your sanity intact. 

5 ways to stay calm over Christmas 

 1. Be kind to yourself. Breathe. Relax. Rejuvenate.

Christmas can be a stressful time of year. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to buy the perfect gift. Host the perfect meal and ensure everyone else has a good time.Take the time you have off to enjoy the things you like. If that’s an activity, a pamper or just relaxing in front of the tv then do it! Make some time for yourself this year as well as everyone else! 


2. Don’t compare. Take the pressure off. 

A lot of times we can become engrossed in what other people are doing for their Christmas and we end up adding pressure onto ourselves. Purchase things people really would like and not just a gift based on how much money you think they want you to spend. Also, social media can put way too much pressure on us to be perfect! That perfect social media post your glamourous friend posted in front of the perfect tree probably took 50 attempts and 3 hours to get and ended in a massive family argument. Life is real and social media only gives you a glimpse into someone’s life, the part that they want you to see. Not the full picture, so don’t compare!  


3. Be grateful.

Not everyone has buckets of money to spare around Christmas time and this is one of the biggest causes of stress for most people. Being grateful for all you receive no matter how big or small can really take the pressure off yourself and others. Rather than expending your energy on worrying what you got people or what they’ve got you just be grateful for the things you have and not for the things you don’t. 



4. Be the bigger person. 

If you feel stressed around Christmas, you can imagine most other people do to. With big family get togethers fall outs are bound to happen. Be the bigger person and empathise when people are stressed. Lend a helping hand to those in need and most importantly walk away from the drama. It will make your Christmas a lot more enjoyable.


5. Enjoy it. 

Christmas only comes once a year and it’s a time for enjoyment. Family. Giving and fun. Try your best to enjoy every moment and if things don’t go to plan don’t stress just go with the flow. Spend wisely. Relax and rest. It’s the most wonderful time of the year after all so make the most of it!