alarm clock

So what’s a morning routine? Well, buried in that frantic rush that passes for mornings in many households is a morning routine. Much of it is mundane – toilet, washing, dressing, breakfasting – but it is setting the scene for your day, even if you’re not aware of it.

If your day starts with shouting or wrangling, does that set the tone for the rest of your day, or do you already have an unconscious process to unwind? Maybe you have a cup of tea whilst you stroke the cat, or perhaps you take the dog for a walk and get to exchange cheerful greetings with other dog walkers.

But what about those of you who have to navigate the morning rush hour rather than return home for a period of head clearing, especially when there’s literally no spare time before getting to work yourself?  If you have to sit in your car or on a train, do you stew in traffic or do you listen to music, a witty podcast, a learn-a-new-language recording, an audio book of a favourite author, an uplifting talk, or maybe you need simply silence before the assault of voices starts once more?  Whatever it is, the choices you’ve made are your current morning routine.

So, does it work for you? Are there better options you could choose?

The morning routines of hugely successful people are being made public, presumably in the hope we can emulate them and thus become as successful as they are. But is it that straightforward? Probably not, especially if your life is largely re-active. Not all of us can fit in 30 minutes of meditation, followed by 30 minutes of yoga or pilates, before breakfasting on a healthy smoothie. Most of us don’t have a personal assistant who’ll screen out the junk from the vital in our email in-boxes.

But what if you could grab 10 minutes for yourself – either to meditate or simply drink a cup of coffee in peace before the madnress erupts. Finding a way to get out of bed when the alarm first goes off, rather than hitting snooze, could make a significant change.

I was surprised by the difference to my energy levels when I followed a very simple morning routine – nothing fancy, no yoga or meditation, just putting my home straight before sitting down with a morning cuppa. Even though I’m lucky enough not to be wrangling small people, or having to commute any further than down the corridor to my desk, it’s been a sea change. The key part was getting out of bed when my first alarm goes off. Yup, I’ve outed myself. For a long time, I required four alarms (yes, four). I’m not a morning person, but still …   And all I did was change the ring tone on that first alarm to a piece of music I love – a lively, energising, want to get up and dance piece of music. That’s it. Instead of groaning and dreading the day, I smile and get up. The old bones creak too much for a samba down the corridor, but I’m up and I get going. I was losing up to 2 hours every morning, the place looked a mess, and I never caught up.  But the most important part is I hadn’t realised is just how frazzled that made me feel.

So in formulating your routine, look for those things that would make your life easier, or better. You don’t need an immaculate house, unless the mess is causing you internal mithering. You don’t need perfect personal files, unless you are driven crazy by the frantic hunt for that piece of paper when it’s needed. Do what makes a difference to you, not what other people think you should. Life is stressful enough without someone else telling us to be perfect, or how to live.

Of course, your frantic lifestyle may simply not have the space for a morning routine – not without your having to get up at stupid o’clock, so perhaps an evening routine would be more beneficial. By that I’m not necessarily talking about getting things ready for the morning (although that could be the option which works for you), because what might be best for you is a routine which helps you to get both quality and quantity of sleep. After all, everything seems better when you’re properly rested.

© 2018 Caring Coaching

Tenets to live by ...(1)

The twist? That these are the tenets of Leo Esaki, Nobel Prize winning Physicist, and not those of a self-development guru.  For if we limit ourselves to a narrow source of inspiration, we risk closing our minds to the vast range of wisdom and experience available to us. Or, in the words of Haruki Murakami If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

So, on to those five tenets …

Don_t allow yourself to be trapped by your past experiences

In the womb we are formed simply from our genes – that which we’ve inherited from our biological parents. This forms the Nature aspects of who we are.

But then we are born, and everything from our experience of birth itself onwards, forms the Nurture aspect of who we become. Some of those experiences will be positive and some will be negative.

The obvious take is that we should avoid being trapped by the negative, but I suspect that Esaki also intended that we should not be limited by the positive. Simply because one option has been easy, or proven to be successful, we need not limit ourselves to that one route. If opportunity, or our enthusiasm, takes us elsewhere – open your mind to the possibility.

You're awesome, Dad.

This post is written on the basis of this very tenet. Relying on only one source will be limiting. Reading, studying and engaging widely will ensure that ideas and information come to you from a variety of backgrounds and points of view. The danger of one single source is that it re-inforces what you already believe and know, leaving you unaware of new developments and concepts, or simply skewed to one train of thought.

Don_t hold on to what you don_t need

Lifestyles have become skewed towards the material, about what we possess rather than what we experience. Living a simplified, more stripped down life can also make us feel lighter of heart, freeing us from keeping up with the Joneses.

An even more important take on this is mankind’s tendency to hold on to thoughts and emotions which are unhelpful, even debilitating. Those which prove limiting to us and prevent us living the best life possible, are not needed. If you’re not able to shed them alone, seek support. NLP has some very effective techniques for dealing with these particular challenges.

Let journalism thrive!

What this doesn’t say is seek confrontation. Rather that when you hold a belief, when it is well-formed and deeply-held, be willing and prepared to stand by it and to defend it.

It's #NewKicks Friday!

You never know what is going to “feed” you. I’m not scientist (indeed, I’m a long way from it) but I do enjoy the challenge science provides to my mental capacity. For I am curious. When I read a piece of science fiction, I look forward to checking out the seemingly out-of-this-world sciency stuff with my friendly neighbourhood scientist. Boundaries are great for keeping you safe – both physically and emotionally – but let your mind roam freely. And let what it finds … surprise you.


Finally, my thanks to Dr Paul Coxon, Physicist at Cambridge University, for his informative tweet which inspired this post.

© 2018 Caring Coaching


On January the 2nd, the hashtag #NewYearNewYou was trending on Twitter. Being a coach, I headed over there pronto to see what I could pick up – some new inspirational quote or meme, perhaps a new twist on resolutions and how to keep them? But what resonated with me was how many people were already rejecting it.

And we’re not talking people who’d picked the wrong resolution, or those who just couldn’t be bothered but … well, this tweet put it succinctly:


The self-development and coaching businesses are a massive growth industry, but I believe this statement has a lot of validity.  It’s easy to be glib and to assume that everyone needs or wants to change for the better. It’s even easier to chuck out ideas, suggestions and opinions for how a person might make those changes. And sometimes, for some people, that is all it takes.

But change isn’t easy, especially when the change which needs to happen is the one within us. Being content with life – whatever type of life a person may have – isn’t always an outside-in process. After all, you can have everything you desire in the world and still not be content. The biggest challenge can lie within you – in accepting that you are good enough, in boosting your self-esteem, growing in self-confidence, enhancing self-worth and belief. And that’s where this tweet strikes home. You don’t need to be a new you, you just need to truly believe that the existing you is pretty damn good already and to act on that belief.

And for me, this is where Life Coaching neatly dovetails with Neuro Linguistic Programming. NLP provides great tools for working on limiting beliefs, allowing you to quosh previous negative experiences and replace them with more positive ones, encouraging you to dream whilst ensuring that you plan and strategise so as to reach your dream,  allowing you to bottle helpful memories and experiences across all five senses so you can call on them whenever you need them to provide support for all your endeavours.

For NLP believes that we have within us everything that we need. Unfortunately, the good stuff can get buried amongst all that other stuff assaulting our brains each and every second of the day. So what NLP does is to help us dig out that good stuff and make it accessible and useful. And that’s how you become the best you. You don’t need to be a new you, just to bring the best of the existing you back to the surface.


© 2018 Caring Coaching


TATT – or feeling Tired All The Time – isn’t an acronyn I made up, it’s one that doctors use and use a lot. Especially when describing women ‘of a certain age’. Isn’t that a horrible term? There’s an aspect of judgement to it, suggesting crazy hormonal mood swings, a woman past her best, even a certain nuttiness. But more often, those women are juggling demands that would make a lesser person quail – those of child rearing, employment (be that full or part time), supporting their husband and running a home, as well as caring for elderly relatives or less fortunate members of the community.

Remember Superwoman? Remember being told “you can have it all” and then finding out what it really meant is “you’ll be doing it all”? And whilst we don’t want to return to the dark ages, a bit of balance would be nice …

But doing it all can also mask physical symptoms which could – and should – be addressed. All woman are aware of the menopause, but few are aware of the impact of pre-menopause. If you’re unsure what symptoms might indicate pre-menopause, here’s a link from the Mayo Clinic.  As it shares some symptoms with the menopause, it’s enough to strike fear into the heart of a 40-something woman, who’s not ready to give up on life yet.

But, like all things, you don’t have to suffer silently. Unfortunately, the medical profession – even the female practitioners – aren’t terribly good at dealing with this particular life phase. So, you’re often left to work things out alone. And, when you’re not feeling at your best, that’s a pretty tough ask. Because one real problem is that it might not be pre-menopause – it could also be adrenal burnout, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, even depression just to name a few options. But unless you’re lucky with your doctor and have a supportive partner/family, you may be just too tired to keep on asking the question.

Rather than end up overwhelmed, Caring Coaching can give you that helping hand to navigate through the process, to find the energy to do your own research, to uncover treatment and lifestyle options that work … for you.


© 2018 Caring Coaching


I bet you hate that saying, especially when someone – your mother maybe – suggests that’s what you’re doing. And why wouldn’t you? You’re young, you’re talented, you’re ambitious. You work hard, but you play hard too. And that’s a good thing … no? It certainly can be. Especially if you’re enjoying it.

After all, what is stress but …

  • “just a deadline”
  • “nothing gets done without deadlines”

You probably look at those wilting under the pace as being a touch soft, maybe even a bit work-shy. For you’re a high achiever, you’re a success.

But what happens if your body lets you down? If it gets worn out by the constant late nights, by the lack of nutrients in your diet, or by an excess of cortisol?

  • You start to get colds, and they hang around
  • Your complexion goes to pot – spots, patchy dry skin, cold sores
  • You get lots of sleep, but you wake up tired
  • You don’t bounce back after a boozy night out the way you used to
  • You feel cold
  • You get grumpy

But you don’t want to give up this fantastic life you’ve worked so hard to create. You just need a holiday. And that seems to work, at first, but then you find yourself back where you started. And you start to wonder “what’s wrong with me?” In these circumstances, a thorough medical check-up is A Good Thing. But when the medical profession has passed you fit, although they may suggest you need to look at your lifestyle … what then?

Here at Caring Coaching, we understand that change isn’t easy, nor is it always welcome. We care about helping you choose the right strategies to find the right outcome … for you.


© 2018 Caring Coaching