Breakthrough Counselling

7 ways you can beat the winter blues

Are you feeling down with the onset of the colder months? If so, you’re not alone. The shorter days and gloomy weather take their toll on our wellbeing, and while the festive period is a time of joy for many of us, the high expectations to be happy can sometimes cause stress and loneliness.

Many people feel a bit low and lethargic over winter, but if the change in weather is having a severe impact on your mood and affecting your daily life you might have seasonal affective disorder or ‘SAD’. This is a type of depression that’s triggered by certain seasons and weather conditions.

Whether you’re struggling to cope with the festive season or the cold weather has left you feeling depressed, the good news is there are things you can do to boost your spirits. Read on for the best self-care tips to help you stay positive over winter.

Read more7 ways you can beat the winter blues

How to recover from an abusive relationship

Leaving any relationship can be difficult, but ending an abusive one takes a great deal of courage. If you’ve left an abusive relationship, give yourself credit for taking the hardest – and most important – step. You’ve freed yourself. And if you’re considering leaving an abusive partner, give yourself credit for recognising the truth of the situation. You have the strength to leave, and there are resources available to help you.

Recovering from an abusive relationship takes time and effort. You might feel like you’ve lost your identity because your ex has convinced you that you’re worthless, though this isn’t true. You might feel frightened and unable to trust other people. But you won’t feel this way forever. With patience and self-care, you will begin to heal and remember who you really are. Your life will get better.

Here are some steps you can take to rebuild your life after an abusive relationship:

Read moreHow to recover from an abusive relationship

9 tips to help you get a better night’s sleep 


Do you struggle to get to sleep? We’ve all had nights where we can’t switch off, or wake up frequently. But if you’re regularly not able to sleep well it’s called insomnia, and it can affect your daily life. You might find it difficult to concentrate or remember things, and have more negative thoughts. Disturbed sleep can also impact relationships and make everyday tasks challenging.

Insomnia can have lots of possible causes, and worrying about not sleeping can itself make it harder to go to sleep. But there are things you can do to help relax your mind and body so you can drift off more easily, and sleep better through the night:

Read more9 tips to help you get a better night’s sleep 

Going through a tough time? Here’s how to boost your resilience

determined child wearing boxing gloves

Life has a habit of throwing obstacles in our path, often when we’re least expecting them. Loss and misfortune may impact your life, but you can control how you react to these events.  Whatever challenge you’re facing, boosting your emotional resilience can help you weather the storm.

What is emotional resilience?

Resilience isn’t about pushing yourself to get over adversity before you’re ready. And it doesn’t mean you should cope with difficulties without being affected by them.

Actually, being resilient means you’re able to acknowledge your emotions, and respond in a constructive way. With self-awareness and self-care, you can adapt to challenging situations without being overwhelmed.

Read moreGoing through a tough time? Here’s how to boost your resilience

Fight the fear: 7 ways to overcome anxiety

Do you often feel overwhelmed with worry? Do you find yourself feeling panicky, or have trouble sleeping? If this sounds familiar, you may have anxiety. And you’re not alone: anxiety affects one in five people in the UK.

As a therapist I understand how difficult life can be if you have anxiety, and I want you to know you can overcome it. Read on to find out more about anxiety and the steps you can take to recover.

What is anxiety?

We all get anxious sometimes. It’s a natural response that puts our mind and body in ‘fight or flight’ mode and helps us react faster to potential challenges. But if we feel anxious very often or very severely, this impacts our quality of life.

Because anxiety affects the way you think, everyday situations may seem dangerous. You might avoid certain people or places, or stay late at work to check you haven’t made a mistake. Anxiety causes physical changes too, which aren’t dangerous in themselves but can feel very unpleasant and scary.

Read moreFight the fear: 7 ways to overcome anxiety

Are you hiding your depression?

Are the following resonating with you?

    1. constantly feeling tired
    1. feel like you have no energy left to to do daily chores
    1. not wanting to socialise
    1. Using alcohol and substances a lot
  1. Suicidal thoughts

These are all signs of depression, which can be masked or denied. Are you stunned, surprised thinking I have everything, and I shouldn’t being this way.

Depression is a feeling which surpasses culture, religion, social status etc. We are all unique, and have different life experiences which make up us. If we are feeling depressed remember there is always as a cause and a reason. This can be childhood abuse, domestic abuse, bullying etc. It is well known that these issues can cause depression. I feel I also need to point out, that depression can hit you at any point, even after the incidences.

Read moreAre you hiding your depression?

The importance of self care

Do you remember the days when you would have a day to wash your hair, or have a girly night out with friends to relax? That is caring for yourself, and enjoying life.

If you have suffered a tragedy through some form of loss, those days just become past memories, as you tend to feel that, that was a different you, and now you are not the same. Your point is true, however, you can still find ways to self care without feeling guilty, or feeling as though you don’t deserve to be happy. Are you aware that Happiness and self care are not the same thing. They appear that way but they are not. Are you wondering what is the difference? Self Care is is looking after yourself daily, bathing, household chores, looking after family if you have them. Happiness is a state of emotion, encompassing joy.

Read moreThe importance of self care

The importance of identifying signs of anger

Anger as we know, is part and parcel of our lives and stems from unresolved issues we have over time. When our handling capacity has reached its peak, anger can emerge as we panic, and are unable to see a way forward.

There are tell-tale emotions that we can identify with, and should look out for which are listed below.

Signs to look out for

Emotions stirring within the body – feeling of some emotion stirring in the body and heading upwards. This can feel like a volcano erupting, or steam coming out from your ears. It is important you listen to what they are telling you, as this is the sign that you need to take a step back and see what is happening in your life, and see if it is something you can change.

Read moreThe importance of identifying signs of anger

6 things to help support your friends through their grieving process

We all know how hard it is when our friends have lost someone they have loved be it a child, parent, spouse, relative, friend. Has this led you to not contacting them because you don’t know what to say or how to behave? Have you walked across the road, or turned into another shopping aisle when you see your friend? These are all behaviours that we tend to adopt when we are out of our comfort zone. The truth is there is no manual on how to behave, it is all in your own hands how you be behave. What you can do is imagine what you would like your friends to say to you if that had happened to yoInspiring noteu. That will always give you a starting point.

What can I do? How you can help overcome your fear:

Read more6 things to help support your friends through their grieving process

Feeling lonely? You’re not alone: 8 simple ways to overcome isolation

Do you suffer from feelings of isolation and loneliness?

Everyone feels lonely sometimes. But if you feel this way severely or over a long period of time it can have a profound impact on your life. It can even lead to serious health issues like anxiety, depression, lowered immune system and disturbed sleep.

As a therapist I understand how painful and difficult these feelings are, but I’ve also seen that they can be eased. Identifying the cause of your loneliness will help you gain control over it. And there are steps you can take to help yourself overcome feelings of loneliness.

Loneliness isn’t the same as being alone

Loneliness isn’t the same as comfortably spending time by yourself. It’s the feeling of being unable to connect with others. And you don’t have to be alone to feel lonely – you might be surrounded by friends and family but feel detached from them.

What causes feelings of isolation?

Isolation and loneliness can affect anyone at any stage in life. In today’s society more people are feeling lonely because we tend to move away from family and don’t connect with our new neighbours. But you can also experience isolation if you feel unable to conform in a close-knit community.

Sometimes an event in your life can cause physical or emotional distance from others, like moving somewhere new, the loss of your health or a loved one, or the arrival of a new baby. Feeling different from others because of a language barrier or a disability can also cause acute loneliness. And if you’ve experienced physical or verbal abuse, this can make it difficult to trust people and make new connections.

If you feel isolated and lonely, you can find yourself withdrawing from others and avoiding social situations, which in turn makes the lonely feeling worse.

You can overcome your loneliness

While it can be hard work – especially at first – you can break the cycle and overcome loneliness and isolation. I’ve outlined below some simple steps you can take to heal yourself:

Read moreFeeling lonely? You’re not alone: 8 simple ways to overcome isolation