HOW TO MANAGE THE CLOCKS SPRINGING FORWARD

HOW TO MANAGE THE CLOCKS SPRINGING FORWARD

HOW TO MANAGE THE CLOCKS SPRINGING FORWARD THIS WEEKEND

Twice a year when the clocks change, we are inundated with questions and parents asking what they can do. Although the spring clock change can play havoc with our bodies (an increase in heart attacks and strokes the day after this happen) but it can really help you if you have a little one who likes waking before 5am!

If you happen to have an early riser just don’t take any action and stick to their current body clock – this means that the clocks change but their body clock wont and 5am magically became 6am!

If, however, your routine works for you we have a guide for how to mange the upcoming clock change, depending upon the age of your little one!

For all little ones (and us adults):

Bear in mind that the clock change also brings lighter evenings. This may nt be as much of an issue for us as adults but your little one may be going to bed when it is very light outside. With this in mind, we recommend you make your child’s bedroom as dark as possible to limit any sunlight coming into their room which could make it difficult for them to fall/stay asleep. Ideally a 10/10 for darkness until they become a toddler and may need a little night light if they are scared of the dark.

Using something like a blackout blind or even blackout card/material over the window can be really helpful to block any residual light.

Daylight is the best regulator of our circadian rhythms (body clock) so ensure your little one, and you, get outside to use the daylight to help your body clock adjust.

Overall, it can take about a week for children and babies to completely adjust to a new time, some children can take up to a month. Be patient and remain consistent and it will happen!

Older children:

For children who are no longer napping we would advise you ‘split the difference’ between the old time and the new time. You don’t have to do anything until Sunday morning (and pretend you have a lie in) so start on Sunday night (first night of the change). Put your child to bed 30 minutes ‘later’ than they would usually go to bed – as an example, if their usual bedtime was 7pm you would put them to bed at 7.30pm (new ‘springtime’) instead. Do this for 3 nights and then on the 4th night put them to bed at the normal time – 7pm.

It may take a week or so to adjust (our body clocks can take it’s own sweet time) but persevere and try not to get involved too much after you have put your little one to bed It may take a little longer for them to fall asleep but, if they are happy, just leave them to it and they will naturally adjust.

Toddlers (over 1 and older):

These little ones will still be taking naps but, again, you don’t need to do anything until Sunday nap time. If they have two naps, put them down for their first nap 30 minutes later than normal. For example, if they usually nap at 9.30am you would put them down at 10am instead and do the same for the afternoon nap.

At bedtime if you usually put them down at 7pm, move this by 30mins and put them down at 7.30pm. Do this for 3 nights after the time change and then on the 4th night put them to bed at the normal time of 7pm. You can then move nap times back to normal on day 5. Again, it may take a week or so to adjust but try not to get involved too much after you have put your little one into their cot. It may take a little longer for them to fall asleep but, if they are happy, just leave them to it and they will naturally adjust. 

Infants (between 4-12 months):

For little ones of this age, we can change their internal body clock a little more gradually. They will be having between 2-4 naps per day so we will move nap time by 15 minutes each day until they are on their ‘usual’ nap time by Thursday.

You would also do the same for bedtime, if their bedtime is normally 7pm then move bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach their normal time. So, on Sunday night you would put them down at 7.45pm (‘new springtime’), next night at 7.30pm and so on. By the fourth night you should be back to their ‘normal’ time of 7pm.

Newborns:

These little ones have not developed sleep cycles or melatonin so you will find their sleep is much less predictable. If you have a newborn you can simply just jump to the new time on Sunday night as if you were traveling to a new time zone. It may take your little one a little longer to fall asleep which is expected as they might not be as tired to start with but just allow them to fall asleep independently, as much as you can.

If you are having any trouble with any aspect of your child’s sleep please do get in touch with Little Dreams Consulting – we would love to help you all get a better night’s sleep.

About Little Dreams Consulting:

Established by Jenna Wilson, a former solicitor, in 2016, Little Dreams Consulting is an award-winning baby and child sleep consultancy based in Bristol. It works with tired parents around the UK to help everybody get a better night’s sleep.

Having proved the business is profitable and sustainable, Little Dreams launched their British Franchise Association accredited and award winning franchise in December 2021 and now has 4 franchisees working around the UK. If a new career you can be proud of, whilst changing the lives of sleep deprived families, is something you have been looking for get in touch with Jenna or download a prospectus here: (Franchise Your Own Sleep Consultant Business for Children (littledreamsconsulting.com)

 

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith:

On Creating more time with your family outdoors

By Lolo Stubbs, Editor-in-chief

__________________________________

It can be hard to find balance in life when we are so busy with all the other things that we have to juggle. One thing that has stood out since starting BROOD, is just how many of us are constantly looking for more ways to try switch off and spend quality time as a family. It’s also clear that we all want to incorporate ways to exercise into our weekly routine and encourage our kids to be active and outdoors too, but it can be hard to fit it in when there is only so many hours in the day!

So, with a new sport activity sweeping exciting across the UK – Padel – we just had to find out what all the hype was all about, and to see if it was an activity that would fit into family life.

When we arrived at The Padel Club, in Wilmslow, each court was filled with people obviously having a great time and we were surprised to see that the whole of The Padel Club was completely outdoors – seating areas and all! However, we quickly noticed that it didn’t affect the capacity for pre- and post-match socialising, or people coming along to watch, if anything – thanks to the various pergolas and stylish outdoor furniture – it enhanced it!

Sarah Jayne Dunn playing Padel

 Sarah Jayne Dunn © Tom Pitfield Photography for BROOD Magazine

BROOD LIVE

We chatted to various people at The Padel Club, who explain and that Padel was more than just a fun and challenging sport, it was bringing people together and building an important community. So far Padel, seemed to be ticking a lot of boxes; we all know how important networking is throughout your career or when running a business, and this way you can look after your wellbeing and fitness at the same time! It also felt like a safe and inviting space and when we heard that they also were holding classes to teach children, and that more and more parents were heading down to take to the courts with their kids, it ticked that final and very important box – family time!

We spoke to our friends, Sarah Jayne Dunn and Jon Smith (who were BROOD’s very first cover stars when we launched as an online magazine in April 2022) and they too, had been drawn to The Padel Club for all of the above reasons and they had also transformed their outside space over the summer, incorporating outdoor living range and pergola in to their garden. (LuxSol are the same brand that has created such a clever outdoor space at The Padel Club) So we sat down on the uber comfy corner sofa, snuggled under blankets, and sheltered from the rain under the pergola and chat all about being outdoors and incorporating new activities into family life.

What initially drew you to the padel club?

Jon – “I know a lot of people who play that really enjoy it, and so I was curious because everyone keeps banging on about it! [He laughs] I wanted to see what it’s all about!”

Sarah Jayne – “Yeah, I’ve seen it a lot on social media, because there is a lot of people that we know that come here. Like Nick Bianchi, who is fellow school parent and neighbour, and all the Thomas brothers are always here, and I know them, and so I kept seeing it, and it made me curious too.”

Jon – “I’d never seen it played or played it, so I was just like ‘what is it?’ basically”.

Sarah Jayne – “It’s just become such a big thing it’s huge!”

Do you think that Stan would enjoy playing Padel?

Jon – “Oh yeah, give him something to hit something else with and yeah, and I’m sure he’d love it!” [We laugh]

Sarah Jayne – “He’s played tennis at Summer Club at school, and he liked that, so I think he definitely would.”

Jon – “He likes crazy golf too.”

Sarah Jayne – “That’s another thing that appeals to us, as I think it could ne a nice little thing that we could do as a family. Especially as a father and son activity – just because Jon is sportier than I am – but you could come down and it would be a nice little activity to do at the weekend. I think kids can come and do lessons from 3 years too, and they recently had a little Halloween event on, so I think it’s definitely something that Stan would like”.

“HAVING THE PERGOLA HAS REALLY INCREASED THE AMOUNT OF TIME WE SPEND OUTSIDE TOGETHER AS A FAMILY”

Sarah Jayne Dunn and her husband Jon Smith.jpg

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith images © Tom Pitfield Photography for BROOD Magazine

Sarah Jayne Dunn Brood
Luxury Outdoor Furniture

Stunning Aluminium Pergola by LUXSOL Images © 

The Padel Club
Sarah Jayne Dunn, The Padel Club Wilmslow

Kids just love spending quality time with their parents don’t they, be that playing a board game, doing an activity, whatever it maybe, that’s what they crave, and this is something that a parent can enjoy too, isn’t it?

Sarah Jayne – “Absolutely! I remember I used to go and play tennis with my Dad – I was dreadful! But it’s a core memory for me. I was quite young and that was his thing and we used to go to the local tennis court, and knock the ball around, and I loved spending that time with him, so it made us both happy.”

Jon – “Yes, and I think getting out of the house and being outdoors is really important too. Away from technology.”

Sarah Jayne – “It feels like a safe space here as well, you’re coming in, and you can sit with the kids, or if the kids are playing you can sit and have a coffee and watch the kids. And what I found with Padel is that it feels very community based. What the guys we’re saying before was that everyone ends up knowing everyone, so again if you were coming In with your family, then you suddenly become friends, and to have that added social aspect is really nice too. And you can enjoy it regardless of the weather which is great.”

Talking of which, you have a LuxSol pergola and some of their outdoor living range at home don’t you? And you recently added a garden room at home, how has the additional space at home improved your family’s lifestyle and wellbeing?

Sarah Jayne – “For me in particularly, the garden room has made a massive difference as I’m using it as a studio space. So it’s meant that I moved all of my work that I was doing inside the house and that can be creating content, for myself or partnerships, or even just sitting and doing some admin business work; I’ve now moved it into the garden room and  I have that separate to the house, which has been great to create that work/life balance. It’s always organised now and it’s just so much better having a space that is dedicated to work.”

Jon – “There’s no toys anywhere!” [They laugh]

“HAVING A GLASS OF WINE OUTSIDE IN THE GARDEN IS AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN GET TO FEELING LIKE YOU’RE SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD”.

Sarah Jayn Dunn, Lux Sol & Padel Club

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith with Kris Ball, CEO of The Padel Club & Nick Williams, CEO of Olympian Garden Buildings

Sarah Jayne – “Yes, there’s no Lego pieces to stand on! It’s lovely – I don’t actually do any work; I just go in to sit in there” [She laughs]

Jon – “Yeah, I’m a bit jealous!” [We laugh]

Jon – “And having the pergola has really increased the amount of time we spend outside together as a family, because even if it starts raining you stay outside – which is kind of a big thing in this country! It doesn’t mean pack up and go inside, sit I the kitchen and dining room again, it means if it’s not too cold you can just carry on regardless of the weather.”

Sarah Jayne – “Yeah, you just get that indoor outdoor space and where we have ours, it’s just outside the dining room, so it means if we’re hosting and we have people over you can have the dining room doors open and then you’ve got your indoor seating area, your outdoor seating area, but it becomes one space”.

Jon – “We love our garden, but you can’t sit out there much living in the UK, so it kind of gives you a little bit more time in a space that you actually enjoy being in.”

Sarah Jayne – “And actually, when we’re sat under the pergola it’s a really nice view of the garden room and I find myself sitting there just admiring our garden space! [She laughs] Don’t you?” [She turns to Jon laughing].”

Do you have a specific memory at home where the experience was enhanced by having your outdoor living space?

Sarah Jayne – “Yeah, we were talking about this, we had a barbeque at the end of summer – when we suddenly ended up with that really nice weather – we had all just got our jumpers out and then out of nowhere it was warm again!

So, we had a barbeque, and then later, after we put Stan to bed, we went and sat back outside, which we never would have done normally. We put the little lights on that we have around the pergola, we had a glass of wine and we just sat there relaxing and chatting to each other. It was a lovely mild evening, and we wouldn’t have done that had we have not had this lovely comfy and tranquil area outside. Normally we would have just crashed onto the sofa and put the tele on”.

Jon – “Yes, it was really nice. It kind of emulates that holiday vibe. Having a glass of wine outside in the garden is as close as you can get to feeling like you’re somewhere else in the world”.

Do you think it’s important then that people are making their gardens more accessible and enjoyable to be in, in all weathers, and places like The Padel Club doing the same at their venue, given the value of being outdoors?

Sarah Jayne“Yes, definitely, I mean look at us today, we’re all sat outside and it’s absolutely lashing it down!” [She laughs]

Jon – “It’s like what we just said, having the pergola at home means we don’t have to go inside mid barbeque if it starts raining, and here it means we don’t have to pack up and go home – you can wait for the shower to pass; you can have a break.”

Sarha Jayne – “It’s nice seeing the pergola here today actually, as we’re getting the side screens added to ours at home, and it’s nice to experience it in this weather, because you do feel even more sheltered and more of that inside outside feeling. It’s lovely!”

Interview by @lolostubbs.author

Images by @tompitfieldphotography

JMW Solicitors

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Related Articles

HOW TO MANAGE THE CLOCKS SPRINGING FORWARD

Twice a year when the clocks change, we are inundated with questions and parents asking what they can do. Although the spring clock change can play havoc with our bodies (an increase in heart attacks and strokes the day after this happen) but it can really help you if you have a little one who likes waking before 5am!

read more

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

It can be hard to find balance in life when we are so busy with all the other things that we have to juggle. One thing that has stood out since starting BROOD, is just how many of us are constantly looking for more ways to try switch off and spend quality time as a family. It’s also clear that we all want to incorporate ways to exercise into our weekly routine and encourage our kids to be active and outdoors too, but it can be hard to fit it in when there is only so many hours in the day! So, with a new sport activity sweeping exciting across the UK – Padel – we just had to find out what all the hype was all about, and to see if it was an activity that would fit into family life.

read more

Recharge Through Nature’s Medicine: Cacao Ceremonies

Recharge Through Nature’s Medicine: Cacao Ceremonies

RECHARGE THROUGH NATURE’S MEDICINE:

CACAO CEREMONIES

My Experience, by Editor-in-chief: Lolo Stubbs

“I was completely new to the world of Nature’s Medicine Ceremonies, and if I’m honest I was both excited and daunted in equal measure when the day of my weekend retreat arrived. Now, having experienced the ceremonies first hand, I had no reason to be wary of them. Each ceremony raised a lot of emotion, sometimes opening deep emotional wounds, but somehow, even when sobbing my heart I felt enveloped in warmth and love, and it actually felt good to release the emotions. These ceremonies do not just stir up sadness though, they made me feel empowered almost immediately. I felt completely centred and at peace – and I don’t even think I have ever used the word centred but there really was no other word to describe that feeling that I had post ceremony – it was complete bliss! It was also very powerful to be in a room with other people who were also showing up, opening their minds and willing to be vulnerable. I’ll admit there was one part at the beginning of the ceremony where I did open one eye just to check I wasn’t the only one dancing around and shaking off my bad vibes to Makeba.- I wasn’t by the way – but overall I didn’t feel silly at all, in fact I felt completely accepted as my authentic self. Since the ceremonies I would say three of the most noticeable factors for me are that I feel more confident, I’m more content both with where I am in life and with who I am as a person and last but by no means least – I’ve started wearing colour! That may sound strange, but for everyone who knows me will know that I have pretty much worn black for the last 10 years, I may have got as adventurous as wearing white or khaki, but in the main it’s been black all the way. But not anymore, I have bought Orange, Hot Pink, Sapphire Green and Electric Blue dresses since and I have worn each and everyone one of them comfortably. It’s like I’m not afraid to be seen anymore. It’s quite liberating! So, if you’re wondering whether it’s something you should do or not, I would say absolutely go for it. Find someone with a good reputation, as I’m sure a lot of my experience was equally down to the fact the amazing earth angel Ashleigh Guthrie was holding the ceremony, so make sure you attend a ceremony with someone you trust and have a good connection with and you won’t regret it!”  

CACAO CEREMONIES
Bensons for beds

Cacao ceremonies

Cacao ceremonies have gained popularity for their potential physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental benefits, all of which can contribute to a deeper connection with oneself, enhanced creative flow, self-expression, and self-acceptance. Here’s a breakdown of these benefits:

 

Physically:

  • Heart-Opening Properties: Cacao is often associated with opening the heart chakra, which can help people experience a greater sense of love, empathy, and connection with themselves and others.
  • Stimulant and Mood Enhancement: Cacao contains natural stimulants like theobromine, which can provide a gentle energy boost and improve mood. This can aid in maintaining focus and mental clarity both during and after ceremonies.
  • Nutrient-Rich: Ceremonial-grade cacao is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which can support overall health and well-being when consumed in moderation.
  • Enhanced Senses: Some participants report heightened sensory perception during cacao ceremonies, which can lead to a deeper connection with the environment and oneself.

 

Emotionally:

  • Emotional Release: Cacao can act as an emotional catalyst, helping participants release and process repressed emotions. This can lead to a profound sense of emotional clarity and healing.
  • Stress Reduction: The relaxation and grounding effects of cacao can help reduce stress and anxiety, facilitating a more open and receptive emotional state.
  • Self-Discovery: Cacao ceremonies often encourage introspection and self-reflection, allowing participants to better understand their emotions, thought patterns, and past experiences.
  • Enhanced Empathy: Cacao is believed to promote empathy and compassion, which can lead to improved relationships with oneself and others.
Cacao ceremonies: Ashleigh Guthree

Spiritually:

  • Connection to Inner Self: Cacao is sometimes referred to as a “plant teacher” and is believed to facilitate a deeper connection with one’s inner wisdom and intuition.
  • Spiritual Insight: Many participants report experiencing spiritual insights, heightened intuition, and a sense of oneness with the universe during cacao ceremonies.
  • Ceremonial Ritual: The act of participating in a cacao ceremony itself can be a spiritual practice, fostering a sense of reverence and mindfulness.
  • Connecting with Spirit Guides and Loved Ones Who Have Passed: In some cacao ceremonies, participants report experiencing a heightened spiritual connection, allowing them to connect with spirit guides, ancestors, and even loved ones who have passed away. This connection can provide a profound sense of guidance, comfort, and closure, leading to emotional healing and spiritual awakening.

 

Mentally:

  • Enhanced Creativity: Cacao ceremonies can boost creativity and inspiration, allowing participants to tap into their creative potential more freely.
  • Increased Focus: The mild stimulants in cacao can enhance mental clarity and concentration, making it easier to access deeper parts of the mind.
  • Self-Acceptance: The heart-opening and self-reflective aspects of cacao ceremonies can lead to increased self-acceptance and self-love.

It’s important to note that the benefits of ceremonial cacao can vary from person to person, and individual experiences may differ. Additionally, the effects of cacao depend on the quality of the cacao used, the intentions set during the ceremony, and the facilitator’s guidance. As with any practice, it’s essential to approach cacao ceremonies with an open mind and a respectful attitude toward the traditions and cultures from which they originate.

Reducing Stress:

  • Relaxation and Grounding: Cacao contains compounds that promote relaxation and grounding, making it particularly effective in reducing stress levels. When consumed mindfully during a ceremony, it can induce a calming effect on the nervous system, helping participants find a sense of peace and tranquility.
  • Cortisol Regulation: Cacao has been linked to the regulation of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone. Consuming cacao in a ceremonial setting may support the body in maintaining healthy cortisol levels, which can, in turn, alleviate the physical and emotional symptoms of stress.
  • Emotional Resilience: Through its heart-opening properties, cacao can foster emotional resilience, allowing individuals to better cope with stressors and emotional challenges. Participants often report feeling more emotionally centred and better equipped to face life’s difficulties after a ceremony.
  • Mindfulness and Stress Reduction: Cacao ceremonies encourage mindfulness and being present in the moment. This practice of mindfulness can help individuals manage stress more effectively by redirecting their focus away from worries about the past or future, leading to a calmer state of mind.
  • Community and Support: Participating in a cacao ceremony often involves coming together with a group of like-minded individuals in a supportive environment. This sense of community and shared experience can itself be a powerful antidote to stress, offering a feeling of belonging and connection.

By reducing stress, ceremonial cacao contributes to a more harmonious balance between the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of an individual’s well-being. 

 

Healing Childhood Trauma and Overcoming Self-Sabotage:

 

Healing Childhood Trauma:

Cacao ceremonies have been increasingly used as a tool for healing childhood trauma. Childhood trauma can leave lasting emotional scars and deeply ingrained patterns of behaviour that can undermine one’s self-esteem and well-being. Ceremonial cacao can play a significant role in this healing process by providing a safe and nurturing space for participants to confront and process their past experiences.

 

  • Emotional Release: Cacao’s heart-opening properties can help individuals access and release deeply buried emotions related to childhood trauma. This emotional release is a crucial step towards healing, as it allows participants to acknowledge and let go of painful memories.
  • Inner Child Work: Ashleigh’s Cacao ceremonies often involve inner child work, a therapeutic approach that focuses on nurturing and healing the wounded inner child within us. Participants may gain insights into their past and learn to provide the self-compassion and care that their inner child needs for healing.
  • Self-Reflection and Integration: Ceremonial cacao encourages self-reflection and introspection, enabling individuals to gain a deeper understanding of how childhood trauma has influenced their beliefs and behaviours. This self-awareness is a crucial first step towards healing and transformation.

Overcoming Self-Sabotage:

 

Self-sabotage often stems from unresolved issues, including childhood trauma. Ceremonial cacao can aid in breaking self-destructive patterns by addressing the root causes and fostering self-empowerment.

 

  • Increased Self-Awareness: Cacao ceremonies promote self-awareness, allowing individuals to recognise self-sabotaging behaviours and thought patterns. This awareness is the foundation for initiating change.
  • Empowerment and Self-Compassion: Cacao’s heart-opening properties can help individuals develop self-compassion and self-love, which are essential for overcoming self-sabotage. It can shift the inner narrative from self-criticism to self-acceptance and empowerment.
  • Clarity and Goal Setting: Cacao ceremonies can provide mental clarity and focus, enabling participants to set clear intentions for personal growth and positive change. This newfound clarity can be harnessed to break free from self-sabotage.
  • Support and Guidance: The supportive environment of a cacao ceremony, often facilitated by experienced guides, offers guidance and tools for participants to address self-sabotage constructively. It can be a transformative experience that catalyses lasting change.

Incorporating ceremonial cacao into a therapeutic or self-help journey for healing childhood trauma and overcoming self-sabotage should be done with care and ideally under the guidance of a trained facilitator or therapist. It can be a powerful complement to other therapeutic modalities and self-improvement practices, offering a holistic approach to personal growth and healing.

 

Sound

 

Combining a sound bath with a cacao ceremony can enhance the overall experience and provide additional benefits for participants. Sound baths involve the use of various instruments, such as singing bowls, gongs, and other sound-producing tools, to create a meditative and immersive auditory experience. Here are the benefits of incorporating a sound bath into a cacao ceremony:

 

  • Deeper Relaxation: The soothing and harmonious sounds produced during a sound bath can induce a state of deep relaxation. When combined with the calming effects of cacao, participants may experience a heightened sense of tranquility and inner peace.
  • Enhanced Meditation: Sound baths can aid in meditation by helping participants reach a state of mindfulness and focused awareness. This can complement the introspective aspect of the cacao ceremony, making it easier for individuals to connect with their inner selves and explore their thoughts and emotions.
  • Stress Reduction: Sound baths are known for their stress-reducing effects. The gentle vibrations and frequencies produced by sound instruments can help release tension and promote a sense of ease. When combined with cacao’s stress-reducing properties, this can lead to a profound sense of calm.
  • Chakra Balancing: Sound baths are often used to balance and align the body’s energy centres, or chakras. When integrated with a cacao ceremony, this can help participants achieve a greater sense of emotional and spiritual balance, which is conducive to self-understanding and self-acceptance.
  • Enhanced Creativity and Self-Expression: The combination of sound and cacao can stimulate creativity and self-expression. Participants may find it easier to tap into their creative flow and explore their thoughts and emotions through artistic or introspective means.
  • Heightened Spiritual Connection: Sound baths are believed to open up channels for spiritual connection and exploration. When used in conjunction with cacao, individuals may experience a deeper connection to their inner selves, spirit guides, or the spiritual dimension, enhancing the overall sense of spirituality during the ceremony.
  • Increased Self-Awareness: Both sound baths and cacao ceremonies encourage self-awareness. Together, they can create a synergistic effect, allowing participants to gain deeper insights into their thoughts, emotions, and life experiences.
  • Community and Connection: Sharing a sound bath within the context of a cacao ceremony fosters a sense of community and shared experience among participants. This collective experience can strengthen the sense of connection with others and promote a feeling of unity.

It’s important to note that the combination of cacao and a sound bath can be a deeply personal and transformative experience.

BROOD LIVE

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Related Articles

HOW TO MANAGE THE CLOCKS SPRINGING FORWARD

Twice a year when the clocks change, we are inundated with questions and parents asking what they can do. Although the spring clock change can play havoc with our bodies (an increase in heart attacks and strokes the day after this happen) but it can really help you if you have a little one who likes waking before 5am!

read more

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

It can be hard to find balance in life when we are so busy with all the other things that we have to juggle. One thing that has stood out since starting BROOD, is just how many of us are constantly looking for more ways to try switch off and spend quality time as a family. It’s also clear that we all want to incorporate ways to exercise into our weekly routine and encourage our kids to be active and outdoors too, but it can be hard to fit it in when there is only so many hours in the day! So, with a new sport activity sweeping exciting across the UK – Padel – we just had to find out what all the hype was all about, and to see if it was an activity that would fit into family life.

read more

Improve your Mood with your Food

Improve your Mood with your Food

Improve your Mood with your Food

October, the month of spookiness and seasonal changes.

I can’t tell you how many time I’ve discussed the weather with clients over the past month. A strange sentence to begin with, I know, but bear with…

There’s been a definite shift in temperature and autumnal days are getting more and more. Thankfully, these include crisp, sunny days but so far, there’s been more rainy and dull days. This is the reason why I wanted to quickly discuss something that has been cropping up a lot in my clinic recently…Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

SAD is a hormonal imbalance between melatonin and serotonin; due to the reduced amount of time we spend outside during the colder months. It affects approximately 2 million people just in the UK alone and is predominantly more common in women than men.

As the days begin dark and draw to a close earlier and earlier, you may find yourself feeling a bit ‘meh’ more than usual. Here’s the sciencey bit – a small gland in the brain called the pineal gland, produces more of the hormone melatonin during the winter months, which regulates glandular function and makes us feel more sleepy. Serotonin, Melatonin’s counterpart, is known as the ‘happy hormone’ and is secreted during daylight exposure. Therefore, the less daylight, the less serotonin and the more out of balance the two become.

Symptoms may include:

  • Low mood
  • Appetite increase/food cravings – when there is insufficient daylight available, the body will try and boost its serotonin levels by craving sugary, starchy carbohydrates and fatty foods
  • Low energy
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low libido
  • Depression
  • PMS-type symptoms
  • Increased desire to sleep – sleepy during the day but unable to sleep at night
  • Increased feeling of ‘feeling useless’
KATE DEVINE. IMAGE © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY

I always recommend to my clients to try to get outside as much as possible; for a walk/exercise, enjoy your down time by sitting reading a book outside/drinking a mug of something warm, gardening, walking your dog/cat (that’s a thing, right?). It doesn’t have to be anything too overwhelming, but getting that exposure to natural daylight will help to keep a balance between the sleepy and happy hormones!

Light therapy is another good way of balancing those hormones for those times when you can’t get outside. A light therapy box or lamp mimics outdoor light. It is composed of fluorescent lights on a metal reflective base with a plastic screen on top to diffuse the light and filter out harmful UV rays. All you have to do is sit in front of it, close enough so that your eyes and skin can absorb the light (follow the manufacturers instructions as they all differ slightly). The machine gives off a bright light that simulates outdoor sunshine, therefore boosting serotonin, melatonin and vitamin D, as well as other beneficial effects. You can find them at www.lumie.com or Amazon but make sure it has no less than 10,000 lux.

Supplementation of Vitamin D (especially D3) is a must as well, for the same reason as above – lack of sunlight exposure on the skin. Vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus; both are critical for building bone and maintaining teeth and muscle health. It can also help reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation. It is naturally present in only a few foods like the flesh of fatty fish and in smaller amounts in egg yolk and beef liver; but added to some foods like fortified cereals, orange juice, dairy & non-dairy milks.

I would recommend to supplement during the months of October to March as these are the months we are likely to spend less time outdoors. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D supplementation for adults is between 800IU-1000IU per day and babies and children between 400IU-600IU per day, with the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for adults and children age 9 and over is 4000IU per day.

Avoiding/reducing intake of certain foods and drinks can help alleviate SAD symptoms, such as:

  • Caffeine – coffee, black tea, fizzy drinks/energy drinks
  • Sugary and starchy carbohydrates – chocolate/sweets/processed foods
  • Alcohol – it lowers brain levels of serotonin (happy hormone) so reduce and limit

Friendly foods to incorporate into your daily diet to help alleviate SAD symptoms would be:

  • Serotonin-boosting foods – poultry (chicken/turkey,) cottage cheese, eggs, spinach, soy, bananas
  • Omega 3 brain-boosting foods – oily fish (salmon/sardines), nuts, seeds, avocado
  • Fibre-rich foods – beans (canellini/kidney), lentils, broccoli, sweet potatoes, bright colour fruits and vegetables
  • B Vitamin foods – liver, poultry, seafood, dairy products (milk, cheese), leafy greens, eggs, legumes (beans/peas/lentils/chickpeas)
written BY KATE DEVINE

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Loss and grief is something that every single human being will experience at some time in their lives, and so we are never alone in this, however, despite this, it can still feel like a very lonely and overwhelming experience when we are in it. Grief can often feel more difficult at certain times of the year, for example, when there is often more talk around family and loved ones getting together to celebrate, and those that are now missing from our lives are remembered, we may find ourselves feeling sad and overwhelmed, wishing they were still with us.

There is no quick fix where grief or loss are concerned, and there isn’t an answer or a strategy on how to cope, but there are certainly some things that we can consider at the most challenging of times.

Patience is one of the main gifts you can give yourself during these times. I have often heard people saying things like, ‘I thought it would feel easier by now’ or ‘It’s been so long I should be feeling different by now’ and many other versions of this. There are no ‘should’ and ‘should not’s’ when it comes to grief. There also isn’t a timeline. It takes as long as it takes for the intensity of feelings to ease, and these feelings can also come in waves, particularly as I already mentioned, around the festive season, birthdays and anniversaries and so on.

Be kind and compassionate with yourself. Grieving doesn’t have a start and an end date, we are not waiting until it just disappears and then we won’t feel loss or pain anymore. Therefore when it does feel particularly overwhelming, notice how you talk to yourself, avoid judgment and criticism and show yourself love and compassion, especially at the times you need it most.

Understanding and awareness is also key. There are various stages of grief we can go through such as denial, anger, depression, but these are not linear stages and so you may find that you dip in and out of the stages, and this is perfectly OK. It can be comforting to know that everything you are experiencing is normal and to be expected. Although grief is something we all experience, how we deal with it and manage it doesn’t need to be the same for everyone. Follow your own gut instinct and give yourself permission to grieve YOUR way.

If you are facing the festive season and feeling like you are dreading this time and want it to be over with quickly due to feeling the sad loss of a loved one, then it’s important to consider lowering your expectations of yourself and your feelings. It’s OK if you don’t want to socialise much. It’s Ok if you don’t want to decorate your home. It’s OK if you want to spend time alone. Equally it’s also OK if you still want to celebrate and make the most of the time you have with friends and family, it’s OK if you want to decorate your home more than ever before!  We are still OK to enjoy our time and socialise when we are grieving too. We can experience the whole range of emotions in equal measures, and there is no need to feel guilty about that as feelings are not fixed, they ebb and flow naturally, and the less we resist all of them, the more peace we will feel in our loves day to day.

Overall, it’s really about you seeking comfort in people and things or ways that make you feel more at ease, and that will vary for everyone. From myself and the team at Brood, for anyone feeling grief, sadness or loss, we are sending you lots of love. I wanted to finish with a little quote that gave me comfort when I lost very special people in my life over the years.

“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. Alfred Lord Tennyson

Article by Sarie Taylor

For further help, contact Sarie Taylor direct: sarie@sarietaylor.com or you can call Samaritans on 116 123

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HOW TO CO-PARENT A HAPPY CHRISTMAS

I love Christmas as much as my children do.  When I was younger I used to get so excited on Christmas Eve I used to give myself stomach ache and my mum would get cross with me and have to calm me down. Now I’m a parent myself I don’t get the Christmas Eve stomach-ache (now it’s usually the anxiety of how many presents there is left to wrap) but there’s an added layer of excitement to Christmas when you get to experience those feelings all over again with your own children.

But what if your divorced or separated and have to share the holidays with your ex-partner? It can be a tricky one, Christmas is an emotional time for many of us and navigating it so everyone’s happy can be a juggle.

In my research for this piece, I spoke to parents whose experiences were positive and negative.

 Suzanne told me she finds Christmas a depressing and lonely time as she’s completely alienated at Christmas. ‘I’m not the residential parent of my girls so I find Christmas awful as my girls prefer to be with their dad. I find it difficult as we don’t share the holidays. Fortunately, I have a lovely supportive boyfriend who I will be spending it with and pray that one day that things will get better’

Laura Naser, family lawyer and author of ‘The family lawyers guide to separation and divorce – How to get what you both want’ advises planning early and considering the lone parent in your discussions Although the focus is on the children, and from a legal perspective the decisions about arrangements for children are always based on ‘what is in the child’s best interests’, I commonly see solo parents having concerns about the Christmas period in particular because if it means the children are with their other parent, it often also results in that parent spending time alone. Depending on when the handover is between the parents, it is frequently an issue for the other parent to not have enough time to travel anywhere to be with family or friends because they need to stay local to do a handover, meaning they not only spend Christmas without their child, but they may also spend it without their extended family or friends.

Alice on the other hand has a great relationship with her ex and even though they both now have new partners they still spend Christmas morning together for the sake of their son Jesse and split the rest of the day. “We make it work even though we have different partners, they have to accept this is how Christmas is for us. They can join in or do their own thing, but this has worked well for us for 11 years, so we stick to it”

I separated from my husband some years back and while I dreaded the first Christmas we weren’t a full family unit it’s always been something that’s turned out happily. We are lucky that we get on as friends well, (arguably better than we ever did as husband and wife) so my situation is unique in that we are still close enough that we do things together as a family and my ex-husband  still likes to spend Christmas day with me, my children and my extended family. We did it once successfully and it sort of set a precedent for all future Christmas’s. I feel torn somewhat in that my parents still traditionally host Christmas dinner (I’m a good cook but my Christmas dinner doesn’t come close to my mum and dads, and they aren’t ready to pass the baton on yet thank goodness) I can’t invite my ex-husband without them offering first but care about him enough that I won’t leave him alone either. The children understandably just want everyone together and we always put them at the forefront of our decisions. We split the rest of the time between us equally and alternate bigger days like Boxing Day and New Year etc.

If you don’t get on with your ex-partner communication is key in any decisions about co-parenting but especially for the holiday season. Kids don’t want the burden of choice around who to spend it with as they will feel guilty about whichever parent is left alone so its preferable if you can sit down amicably and do it together as early as you can. Make sure to stay as busy as possible if you are the lone parent to distract yourself from overthinking about what you are missing out on. Have a photo of the children in front of you while you discuss it together can serve as a visual aid in making them the priority in your decision making. Keep going back to the same question, what would make the children the happiest? and you will be at a great starting point for negotiation.

For the parent who won’t be able to be there for wake up and present opening arrange a separate time for opening gifts, not forgetting grandparents and extended family as well who may still want to see them.

Consider a fake Christmas where you do all the festivities again on a different day meaning no one is left out and the children benefit from two separate days of celebrations.

If you do feel completely alone consider reaching out to like-minded individuals if not friends in a similar situation, then online apps such a Frolo a single parent community where you can meet up and make friends with local people in your area.

Laura Naser says the most common arrangement for Christmas is to alternate each year and to remember that whatever you argue for this year you will experience the flip side the following year, so try to visualise what both sides of the schedule would look like for you.

Laura says it’s a rare few in my situation that have a joint Christmas and gifting joint presents but if you can manage it, it’s bound to be something that your children will benefit from.

Natalie Ferrigno is a writer, health coach and single parent of two boys.

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Sarie Taylor: Overwhelm

Sarie Taylor: Overwhelm

Overwhelm – anxiety, stress & worry

Feeling overwhelmed? Our resident Psychotherapist, Sarie Taylor gives us some tips to reduce our stress and anxiety when juggling work and family life…

Let’s start by looking at what we even mean by overwhelm? Usually we are talking about when we feel like we have too much on our plate! Too much to do, or to think about, and we often get to a place where we feel like one more thing will happen and it will tip us over the edge!

There is often an innocent misunderstanding about overwhelm in that we believe it stems from the challenges we face, the external things in our lives that cause us to get overwhelmed, our work, our family and so on. I really get it, and believed this wholeheartedly myself for many years until I was able to understand more and see things differently. Bare with me whilst I explain!

Life does throw so many challenges our way, as well as opportunities, and at times it can feel never ending as though we are being faced with one thing after the other, and we have no control! Now there is some truth in this in that the majority of things day to day are actually very much out of our control. The issue comes when we find discomfort in what we can’t control, and so we try to control the uncontrollable using the gift of thought, our minds, queue the worry!

Lets just say it was the external stuff that caused the overwhelm directly. We would all have the same levels of overwhelm and stress about the same things and yet we don’t. Something I find stressful may be a breeze for you, and then something you really fear may be an everyday easy occurrence fo me? It’s our response to the challenges we face, our perspective and our thinking about what is happening that creates the overwhelm. Overwhelm comes from the inside out, not outside in!

I would actually go a far to say that the overwhelm is caused 99.9% of the time from the pressure and expectation we put on ourselves, often habitually without even realising, we just get so good at it. Let’s take guilt as an example, parental guilt is talked about a lot. Our feelings always come from our thinking and this includes guilt. Feeling guilty as a parent often involves feeling that you are struggling to be all things to all people and somehow not quite hitting the mark (your expectations). This is not a reflection of your ability as a parent, it does not correlate with whether you are enough, doing a good enough job or getting it ‘right’. It is simply an indication of where your thinking is at…

“I feel bad I haven’t spent much time with me kids”

“I am behind at work because my child has been unwell”

“I feel selfish but I just need a break”

We could go on, and I am sure we could all add hundreds if not thousands of comments and thoughts to this! All of these thoughts create feelings of not quite being enough and then naturally cause us to feel overwhelmed. What if you could change the goal posts yourself? What if you could lower your expectations? Even with all the challenges we face as parents, we can still change the pressure and expectation we put on ourselves. ‘Yes but’ I hear you say! Well you can come up with all the reasons as to why you cant reduce the pressure or expectations, but ultimately if you don’t, your body will slow you down anyway, through feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, catching every cough and cold you come into contact with amongst many other things. It’s our bodies job to slow us down when we don’t take notice. We are humans not robots.

The other aspect to overwhelm, that we don’t always notice, is that we are not often concerned with that present moment, (as we are actually managing and more capable than we give ourselves credit for), but again we are more in our head about what happens next! Let me give you some examples.

‘My child is ill and I feel overwhelmed’ – usually translates to, what if they get worse, what if I am off work for another day, how will I manage (future what ifs)

“I just don’t get a minute to myself” – usually translates to if I carry online this what will happen, when does it end? (Future what ifs)

“I keep getting terrible headaches” – usually translates to what is wrong with me, is this something serious, how will I manage if it is, who will take care of my children? (Future what ifs)

I would love you to reflect on how much of your suffering is really about the here and now, or if it is in actual fact more about the what ifs, the stories we create trying to predict the future and believe we are in control!

How can you start to reduce your overwhelm starting right NOW? Even just picking one will make a difference!

*Treat yourself with compassion NOT criticism

*Adjust your expectations, lower that pressure

*Remember we are only ever doing the best we can given our thinking at the time

*We are enough!

*Ask yourself…would you treat your closest friend or family in the same way you treat or talk to yourself?

*Ask yourself…right in this very second am I OK?

– will it all get too much to handle? (Not sure how you want to start it or how you plan to do the title)

Let’s start by looking at what we even mean by overwhelm? Usually we are talking about when we feel like we have too much on our plate! Too much to do, or to think about, and we often get to a place where we feel like one more thing will happen and it will tip us over the edge!

There is often an innocent misunderstanding about overwhelm in that we believe it stems from the challenges we face, the external things in our lives that cause us to get overwhelmed, our work, our family and so on. I really get it, and believed this wholeheartedly myself for many years until I was able to understand more and see things differently. Bare with me whilst I explain!

Life does throw so many challenges our way, as well as opportunities, and at times it can feel never ending as though we are being faced with one thing after the other, and we have no control! Now there is some truth in this in that the majority of things day to day are actually very much out of our control. The issue comes when we find discomfort in what we can’t control, and so we try to control the uncontrollable using the gift of thought, our minds, queue the worry!

Lets just say it was the external stuff that caused the overwhelm directly. We would all have the same levels of overwhelm and stress about the same things and yet we don’t. Something I find stressful may be a breeze for you, and then something you really fear may be an everyday easy occurrence fo me? It’s our response to the challenges we face, our perspective and our thinking about what is happening that creates the overwhelm. Overwhelm comes from the inside out, not outside in!

I would actually go a far to say that the overwhelm is caused 99.9% of the time from the pressure and expectation we put on ourselves, often habitually without even realising, we just get so good at it. Let’s take guilt as an example, parental guilt is talked about a lot. Our feelings always come from our thinking and this includes guilt. Feeling guilty as a parent often involves feeling that you are struggling to be all things to all people and somehow not quite hitting the mark (your expectations). This is not a reflection of your ability as a parent, it does not correlate with whether you are enough, doing a good enough job or getting it ‘right’. It is simply an indication of where your thinking is at…

“I feel bad I haven’t spent much time with me kids”

“I am behind at work because my child has been unwell”

“I feel selfish but I just need a break”

We could go on, and I am sure we could all add hundreds if not thousands of comments and thoughts to this! All of these thoughts create feelings of not quite being enough and then naturally cause us to feel overwhelmed. What if you could change the goal posts yourself? What if you could lower your expectations? Even with all the challenges we face as parents, we can still change the pressure and expectation we put on ourselves. ‘Yes but’ I hear you say! Well you can come up with all the reasons as to why you cant reduce the pressure or expectations, but ultimately if you don’t, your body will slow you down anyway, through feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, catching every cough and cold you come into contact with amongst many other things. It’s our bodies job to slow us down when we don’t take notice. We are humans not robots.  

The other aspect to overwhelm, that we don’t always notice, is that we are not often concerned with that present moment, (as we are actually managing and more capable than we give ourselves credit for), but again we are more in our head about what happens next! Let me give you some examples.

‘My child is ill and I feel overwhelmed’ – usually translates to, what if they get worse, what if I am off work for another day, how will I manage (future what ifs)

“I just don’t get a minute to myself” – usually translates to if I carry online this what will happen, when does it end? (Future what ifs)

“I keep getting terrible headaches” – usually translates to what is wrong with me, is this something serious, how will I manage if it is, who will take care of my children? (Future what ifs)

I would love you to reflect on how much of your suffering is really about the here and now, or if it is in actual fact more about the what ifs, the stories we create trying to predict the future and believe we are in control!

How can you start to reduce your overwhelm starting right NOW? Even just picking one will make a difference!

*Treat yourself with compassion NOT criticism

*Adjust your expectations, lower that pressure

*Remember we are only ever doing the best we can given our thinking at the time

*We are enough!

*Ask yourself…would you treat your closest friend or family in the same way you treat or talk to yourself?

*Ask yourself…right in this very second am I OK?

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SURVIVING THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS BY SARIE TAYLOR

SURVIVING THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS BY SARIE TAYLOR

Surviving the summer holiday juggle!  

By Sarie Taylor

___________________________________

This can be a difficult time for a lot of parents, despite the sun (hopefully) shinning, and if we are lucky enough we may get to go on holiday, but as well as all of this, we have to find a way to take care of our children for many more hours, often whilst maintaining a level of work that quite frankly at times feels impossible. (This can be difficult enough outside the holidays too!)

I know a lot of parents save their holidays for summer, and that is sensible but lets face it, summer isn’t the only time they are off and if like me and many of us at Brood you work for yourself, you wont have the luxury of taking holidays and completely switching off!

It can feel like such a juggle at times and its easy to get caught up in parenting guilt, feeling like we should just be able to manage all the time and hide it when we are not, and I am here to say absolutely NOT, we don’t need to hide that we are struggling, that it feels tough, and that sometimes its easier to be at work! (This may just be me, but I am not afraid to admit it – I do have one year old!)

I am just going to jump straight in and share some key points below that I think may help to consider before the holiday juggle…

Separate your time in a more structured way where possible – I find if I am trying to parent but I also know I have work stuff to get done I really struggle to be good at, or enjoy either! I find it I give myself a plan and permission to just focus on one thing at a time, I am way more productive and less likely to feel like I am losing my sanity!

Don’t compare yourself to others and their situations – It may appear that others have it easier in some ways compared to you, but ultimately none of that matters. Thinking about it and ruminating is only taking up valuable time where you could be doing other things. Remember you are only seeing your perspective of someone else’s situation. You are dong YOUR best.

Be realistic – How often do we write ourselves a list of tasks or jobs for the day, or even the week and when we look back we can see that it was never in a million years going happen? When you have extra duties as a parent, then its ok for other things to be reduced. In fact its crucial that you do! Now I know some of you will say, but everything has to be done, however what we would like to have done, and what actually has to be done are often two very different things if we are really honest with ourselves.

Schedule some downtime – Easier said than done at times, but so many parents I work with get to a point where its not even on their radar anymore as they cant remember the last time they had time to rest and relax. I want you to have this on the radar again, and it doesn’t need to be hours, even minutes to just pause and consider ourselves can do wonders for our mental health. Even if this just starts with a little compassion for yourself with everything you have to manage, you will benefit greatly.

Communicate with your partner or other caregivers – It’s so easy to resent our partners or other family members if we feel like we are ‘doing’ more, or that we feel we have more responsibility, and yet the funny thing is that your partner may also be feeling like this too! Talk to each other about what you need from each other and how you can best make it work for all of you. Check in with each other regularly to see if its working for you both and be open minded to their perspective.

And finally, don’t bury your head in the sand – I have done this so many times because it feels overwhelming and impossible, I will put things off and just imagine that the magic fairy will come and take all my logistical nightmares away – it never happens! As much as it may hurt your head to consider what needs to happen, and what support you may need or conversations with partners and so on, the sooner you get this part out of the way, the less overwhelmed you will feel.

WE CAN DO THIS!

Sarie Taylor is a trained psychotherapist and a life coach who works with people across the world with a wide range of issues. Having suffered with severe anxiety for many years herself, Sarie also has personal experience and an understanding of what it feels like to struggle. Sarie will be a regular contributor for BROOD magazine, answering questions, sharing ideas and helping our readers understand more about the principles that eventually helped her transform her anxieties, relationships and business – enabling her to fall in love with life again!

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Auntie Cath’s Energy boosting flapjacks

Auntie Cath’s Energy boosting flapjacks

This month’s recipe is one of my absolute favourites – Auntie Cath’s energy-boosting flapjacks. They’re super healthy and kids are going to love making them. They’re fab for lunch boxes, and you can freeze them!

Catherine Tyldesley (or Auntie Cath as she’s often known!) is one of the UKs favourite actresses. Making in her mark in the likes of BBC Ones ‘Lilies’ , sitcom ‘Scarborough’, ITVs ‘View Point’ and Ofcourse- the nations favourite‘Coronation Street’.

Catherine has recently finished filming another drama for ITV and was crowned Winner of All Star Musicals 2021. Cath’s other huge passion in life is Food! After study nutrition on maternity leave with her first child- Caths enthusiasm for food grew. Especially nutritious, budget friendly, tasty family meals. We’re thrilled to bits to have Cath join us and share her knowledge and passion! You’re in for a treat with Auntie Caths recipes!

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL AND WATCH AUNTIE CATH COOKS:

AUNTIE CATH’S EASY ENERGY-BOOSTING FLAPJACKS

Ingredients
3 large bananas
175 g dates chopped
180 g oats
75 g butter melted
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 pinch salt

 

Instructions
Preheat oven to 180c/Gas 4
Mash bananas in a bowl (get your hands in there, it’s strangely satisfying)
Stir in everything else, mix it up and let it stand for 15 minutes
In the meantime, grease an 8″ square baking tray
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top
Take out of the oven, let cool and then enjoy a little piece of damn healthy heaven!

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IS GUILT A GIVEN WHEN YOU ARE A WORKING PARENT?

IS GUILT A GIVEN WHEN YOU ARE A WORKING PARENT?

Is guilt a given when you are a working parent? 

 

I talk to so many parents about trying to manage the ever changing and ever growing guilt around trying to be all things to all people. It can often be a difficult and challenging juggle when you have a job to do, the house needs sorting and your children need taking care of 24/7. This doesn’t even include contemplating what your individual needs are, and that its important to have time and space for yourselves, whether that be to rest and reset or to spend time socialising and having fun with friends. 

 

It may feel familiar, as so many of us do this, that you put yourself at the bottom of that list, and then may actually find yourself occasionally resenting your life, wishing you could find more hours in a day, and wondering how other people and families seem to manage and have it all! Now when we do make the time and effort to put ourselves first occasionally, this is where it can lead to feeling guilty, as there is always something else we ‘could’ or ‘should’ be doing. I don’t think I have met a parent yet who doesn’t find themselves trying to manage everything as best they can and yet still feel guilty in and amongst everything else, its almost like we can’t win. 

 

A number of years ago I was able to understand guilt and see it for what it really is, and I want to share that with you now as it was a great relief for me. Guilt is a feeling just like any other, and feelings always come from our thinking, not our external circumstances, but our thoughts about our external circumstances. We can often be tricked into thinking that we feel guilt because its an indicator that we need to do better, that we are not enough, and we need to make some changes or improvements. However, guilt comes from our thoughts about ourselves and our situation, so the feelings of guilt come from thoughts such as, I need to do more, I should be spending more time with my kids, I am not on top of my work and so on. 

 

When I started to really see that my feelings of guilt came from the thoughts I had about myself, I started to see guilt as a wonderful alarm and indicator for me to actually lower my expectations of myself, relieve the pressure and be much more patient and compassionate with myself! It is simply and indicator that our thoughts have gone off in an unhelpful direction. When we see thoughts for what they are, thoughts and not facts, we can much more easily let them come and go, creating much more space for thoughts around how amazing we are at managing the juggle even when we lose sight of that. If you can do one thing for yourself today, remember you are only ever doing your best and that is more than good enough! 

 

Brood Live Speakers
No more years of hurt!

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This issue of BROOD comes during one of the most exciting international football tournaments, the Euros. For so many of us it’s a time to look forward to, a time of hope – the eternal hope that so many of us have – and a time to go out and enjoy ourselves. But for those living in refuges for survivors of domestic abuse, just the sound of the Euros might mean switching the TV off.

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REMIND YOURSELF WHAT MATTERS BY ASHLEIGH GUTHRIE

REMIND YOURSELF WHAT MATTERS BY ASHLEIGH GUTHRIE

© BROOD MAGAZINE

Remind Yourself of What Matters

 As I sit here and breathe deeply, sipping my tea, eating a morning pastry, I am reminded of the importance of taking time to pause.

Questions swirling through my mind, “Who are you beneath the fast paced ‘doingness’ of life?” Chopping and changing, constantly moving.

Oceanic waves of emotions rise to the surface before crashing to the shores of my active mind. I ask myself “what would happen if you just stopped for a moment, closed your eyes and took a long deep breath?”

“What would happen If you slowed down long enough to FEEL what was bubbling beneath the surface, to be with the swirling sensations lingering in the pit of my stomach.”

Who are you beneath the surface level responses to “How are you?”

If lock down taught us anything it is that we as human ‘beings’ are not meant to be living life at a million miles an hour. Savour every moment, take time to rest and recalibrate, allow yourself the space to regularly reflect in order to see how far you’ve come.

Remember to celebrate the beauty of who you are, in both the shadow and the light.

Release Rituals

To honour the change in season, we can begin by exploring if there is anything in your life that you feel it is time for you to let go of and forgive or if there is anyone you wish to apologize to. You can ritualise this by lighting a candle and incense.

A great practice to accompany this is the ritual of Ho’oponopono, a traditional Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. You can listen to a version of this practice on one of my playlists here.

Taking time to pause and go within can help you to remember that you have the power to bring awareness to all that has been holding you back. Walks in nature could be ideal at this time for helping you to become grounded in your body as you connect with where you are storing dense energy, people or situations that are ready to be released.

 Self-Care

We are continuously reminded that our world is facing many challenges and that caring for ourselves is more important than ever. You can bring awareness to this by making time to be intentional in your self-care routine daily. 

My invitation is to take a moment before you start your day to look in the mirror and ask yourself, what you need in order to cultivate peace from within your own mental health.

When I wake up, I like to ask myself these 3 questions.

“How am I feeling today?”

“What do I need today?”

“How can I best show up in the world today?”

When we practice genuine self-care, we get the opportunity to understand ourselves better, recharge our batteries before they’re empty, and maintain the ability to make a difference for our loved ones and communities.

“It’s okay to take time for yourself. We give so much of ourselves to others, and we need to be fuelled both physically and mentally. If we are in balance, it helps us in all our interactions.”
— Faith Hill

An Act of Love

Take time this month to express love in all its beautiful ways throughout all your relations. Love is the most powerful force we can experience as humans. It helps us to call upon strength to transmute all suffering on earth. I recommend taking time to pause and tune in to the love you cherish in your life and offer gratitude. Write out a list of all the people you love, how they have impacted you, and how you have felt loved throughout your life so far.

Wishing you a magical October!

Want to get in touch with Ashleigh? She is available weekdays at courage.freedom.joy@gmail.com or chat with her directly on Instagram @ashleighguthrie01

Ashleigh Guthrie is a spiritual mentor, women’s circle facilitator, sound healer and trauma informed child hypnotherapist – trained by teachers from different traditions all over the world. Ashleigh is BROOD Magazine’s bonus mum and earth angel. 

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DO YOU NEED TO INCREASE YOUR SELF-ESTEEM AND CONFIDENCE, OR ARE YOU PERFECTLY IMPERFECT?

DO YOU NEED TO INCREASE YOUR SELF-ESTEEM AND CONFIDENCE, OR ARE YOU PERFECTLY IMPERFECT?

Need to increase your self esteem and confidence, or are you perfectly imperfect?

Confidence and self esteem are talked about so much, and thats usually because we are looking for an answer on how to improve ours! If you look up what these actually mean you will find there are many different explanations and variations depending on who you follow or read about. I like to take everything back to as simple an explanation as I can see with my own understanding and experience. For me these words could be substituted for many things like, self belief, self love, self image and so on, but it all ultimately leads to the same thing for me, which I want to share with you below.

As a human being we will always fall into the trap of judgement, particularly about ourselves and when we are criticising and judging ourselves we are by default getting further and further away from showing ourselves love and compassion. Despite what we tell ourselves at times, it is not about looking for the perfect finished article of a confident person, (which doesn’t exist, or does it?) But more about realising that we always have the gift of perspective and therefore constant change is possible for each and every single one of us. If you were to question your level of self esteem or confidence in any given moment I would probably ask you to reflect by asking yourself the following;

How much do you like yourself right now?

How much do you value yourself right now?

How do you see yourself right now?

What are your beliefs about yourself right now?

I am sure you get the picture, and the reason I add ‘right now’ onto each question, is because this will always change, it’s never static. This is why I would never describe a person as having, or not having low self esteem or confidence, as I accept and see human nature as one momentary experience after the other, no two moments the same. This is actually good news as this means that by default, there is always opportunity for a new experience, in other words a new way to see ourselves and a different way to treat ourselves – hopefully with more compassion! Instead of how do we become more confident or increase our self esteem, reflect on how compassionate and loving you are towards yourself.

If we all gave ourselves a daily dose of compassion as a general rule, the difference in our experience of life would instantly be uplifted, and filled with so much more contentment and peace of mind. Often people don’t see the value in this and the power it has to show ourselves compassion, and yet when it comes to others we often instantly see the value in it? In fact we will talk about it as though it’s a necessity for us to support others, see the good in them, reach out to them and be a shining light, and yet it somehow seems alien, unnecessary or maybe even too indulgent to do it for ourselves?

We were not born this way! If this is something you find challenging, you have ‘learnt’ or ‘thought’ your way out of naturally seeing your core nature of love and compassion. The reason I said above does the perfect finished article exist, is because in my eyes it does, but maybe not in the way you initially think of perfection! We are all perfectly imperfect. Part of my own experience of showing myself a tonne more love, compassion and understanding was that I could accept that I was not and did not need to be perfect, and in actual fact it is all of me that makes me perfect just the way I am. Instead of always thinking I need to be better and do better, I am much more able to lower my expectations and the pressure on myself so that it is much easier to see myself as good enough just as I am, I change the goalposts, not myself.

One more thing to mention is that I know some people will read this and say there are some things people do need to change and there are habits that I have that I don’t want to continue with, they are not good for me or my life. Thats OK so do I. These are my habits and they can change without me having to be a super human and in fact the irony is, if I lower my expectations, the pressure I put on myself and accept myself as I am. A large part of getting a quieter mind and there for feeling better in ourselves starts with that daily dose of compassion, so you can start NOW, right this very second!

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