The compassionate art and practice of Self Care

What is Self Care?

The art of self-care is deciding to take personal responsibility for your own physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being. Practising self-care is preventative, not selfish.

Why is it important?

Lack of self-care can lead to a build-up of stress, resentment and dissatisfaction with life. The stress hormone cortisol builds up in the body causing our immune systems to become more susceptible to illness and disease.

If you don’t take the time to exercise regularly or eat healthy, balanced meals this further increase the chances of chronic health problems.

Why is it especially important for women?

Women often suffer more from immune illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome and thyroid disorders, ailments that experts believe are often exacerbated by stress. Women suffer emotionally from a lack of self-care can leaving us anxious, depressed and less productive.

Women often carry most of the mental and emotional load – women are the managers of the household and often the main caretakers of the family. We organise and manage the kids, the family social activities, the diary, the household chores, the bill payer, the meals, the list is endless. This mental managerial role often goes unnoticed. Women also carry the emotional load of the family.

Often women postpone self-care to better serve those we love — taking that bath can seem petty when your kids need help with their homework — although forgoing our own needs can actually damages those relationships in the long run.

Even though it feels like there’s no time for you, looking after your own health (emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually) is essential.

Here are some self-care suggestions:

  • Find time for friends – Laughter is the best medicine. Take time to watch a funny movie or laugh with a friend on the phone.
  • Learn to say ‘no’ and set boundaries. Identify situations where you habitually say ‘yes’ and notice if you become resentful – this is a clear sign that you have taken on too much.
  • Learn a mindfulness or meditation tool to help when your feel overwhelmed.
  • Accept help from friends, family members and professionals so you can have break for a few minutes, hours or a day or two. Learn to delegate.
  • Exercise: It has a positive impact on both your physical and emotional well-being. Aim for small enjoyable things try walking, run, swim, garden or learn yoga. It’s a natural way to relax body and mind.
  • Be your own best friend. If you were, what would you tell yourself right now? Look in the mirror and say it.
  • Make a list of activities or hobby that you used to enjoy and add some that you think you might enjoy.
  • Let yourself be cared for. A regular massage or Energy healing session or treatment might help to develop a sense of well-being and is something to look forward to.
  • Talk it over: A therapist can help assist with stress management techniques and will be a sounding board when you need to make decisions that are appropriate for your personal situation.

Heather is a mindfulness-based therapist, Hypnotherapist and Energy Healer at the Lotus Centre. Heather has three grown up kids, a husband and a dog. To book an appointment call 0405 821880.

Is Fear holding you back?

What is fear?
A collection of physical sensations experienced from an emotional response to a perceived threat. The collection of physical sensations we label as fear or anxiety are often labelled as unpleasant signalling an immediate threat of harm, pain or danger. Fear tells us to pay attention, and prepares us for or induces the fight flight freeze response in the body.

Common fears of modern life
Fear doesn’t discriminate, we are all familiar with it. It can be crippling or empowering. As a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist and business coach I see many clients and practitioners with fear based thinking and behaviour holding them back. I have learned to face many fears in my life because I don’t want to restrict myself my life or feel dis-empowered by fear. Here are some of the common themes I’ve encountered as a therapist that you may relate to:

  • Fear of not being good enough
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of judgement
  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of losing something


5 Telltale signs that fear is holding you back

So how do you know if you are being restricted by fear?

  1. Are you focused on the negative? Fear selectively draws our attention to what could go wrong, what we could lose or the potential downside of any situation. The mind can get stuck in distorted thinking patterns of what if’s, disqualifying the positive, and imagining the worst.
  2. Do you feel stuck? Fear tells us to avoid the new or and be scared of the unknown, even if we are not entirely happy with our present circumstances.
  3. Are you avoiding discomfort? Fear constricts rather than expands us, and it feels uncomfortable. Emotional reasoning is when we treat our fears as if they were facts.  If you have a low tolerance to this feeling it will continue to have power over you. If we let fear guide our version of reality we remain stuck.
  4. Do you feel lost or not aligned with self? When fear is present we often can’t hear our intuitive voice. Intuition is only available to us when we are relaxed and in flow with ourselves and the world around us.
  5. Do you feel unable to make a decision? Fear freezes us and stops us making decisions or taking action. Often there is fear of making a mistake, doing it wrong, or failing leading to self doubt ruminating thoughts and anxiety. Are you experiencing analysis paralysis where over thinking leads to doing nothing?

How to successfully engage with fear

Antidote to fear of the unknown: be aware that we cannot know all the answers or predict the future. Stay in the present moment and be mindful of automatic fear based thinking patterns. Trust you’ll be OK – you don’t need absolute certainty to know that you’ll manage, because no-one knows all the details of the future.

Antidote to fear of change: understand that change is inevitable, it is the only constant. Relax and accept what is, practice going outside your comfort zone. A wise person once said, “Choose a path or a path will be chosen for you.”

Antidote to low self esteem: Ask yourself how you would view this situation if you were feeling more centred, or more confident? How would the situation be different if I truly believed in myself, or knew i couldn’t fail?

Antidote to feeling stuck: Decisions can be made both rationally and intuitively. The conscious mind informs the reasoning brain of the rational choice and the subconscious mind informs the body about the intuitive one. Decisions can be made using both strategies.



How to shift from fear to excitement?

Consider that fear and excitement are essentially the same – it just depends on how the mind labels it.

Adrenalin and cortisol are chemicals released during moments of arousal to prepare the body for action. The chemical response to fear and excitement are the same in the body, it only changes when we label or give meaning to the sensations we feel based on how we interpret whats happening. So how do you decide?

We all have the power to change our responses to our present moment experience. We can decide to label it excitement, or anticipation instead of anxiety and fear. What we focus on is what we get, or what we become. Every thought, feeling and experience alters our brain wiring in some way.

Acknowledge, accept and respond to the feelings of fear

Be aware of your response, accept it and embrace the present moment with compassion. Use tried and tested methods to calm the nervous system.

Feel the fear and take fearless action

Fear is part of life. However you don’t need to allow fear to stop you moving forward. Remind yourself you don’t need to have it all figured out in detail. Know that whatever happens you will handle it.

Take charge of your story

Change the context. Take charge of your thinking and focus on the positive. If you tell yourself you’re exited and chances are you’ll feel more confident and empowered.

Do you want to release your fear? See our practitioner list for hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and counselling services.

They say life can be like a roller coaster, you can scream in fear or throw your hands in the air and enjoy it. First you have buy the ticket and get on it to experience the adventure.