4 Tips For Building a Resilient Mindset

Building a resilient mindset is something that I’ve had to work on over the years. When my marriage fell apart a few years ago, I was at a complete loss as to how I should move forward. It felt like I had to draw upon every single ounce of energy I had just to remain positive.

Although I believe we all start with a level of resilience that’s cultivated through our childhood and teenage years, it’s taken practice and time for me to build my own resilience to a stage where I’m not that phased by big periods of change. I believe I can deal with it, just like I’ve dealt with change before.

So how do you go about building personal resilience?

Well the 4 tips that I’m about to share with you are things that I’ve had as part of my daily routine on and off over the last few years. I’m now in the position where I do all of them, and to say that they’ve helped me with all he uncertainty that 2020 has brought with it, would be an understatement.

I urge you to give a few of them a go (if you don’t do them already) so that you can build your own resilience; hopefully facing whatever life has in store for you next with a greater sense of inner strength.

Start Journaling

woman writing in her journal, with an iced coffee to the side
Image from Unsplash

This is something that I returned to earlier this year when lock down set in. I find that by noting down what’s on my mind, and how I’m feeling about it, helps me deal with it much better, and builds my resilience in the process.

By getting curious about why I react to situations in a certain way, or why I’m feeling particularly emotionally charged towards something, has been a great tool in me getting to know myself better too. And when I know myself better, I can trust that the decisions I’m making are the right ones.

It hasn’t always been that way though. When I first started journaling, I struggled with what to write. That’s where prompts can be really helpful. You can look on Pinterest or Google to find useful prompts to get to know yourself better, or reflect on how your feeling about the curve ball that life’s thrown you. I even made myself a jar full of prompts at the start of lock down.

Recently, I’ve been preferring just writing for 10 minutes first thing in the morning about everything that’s on my mind. That way it’s out of my head and on paper. And once it’s out, that’s when I can start to deal with it.

Listen to Inspiring Podcasts

woman standing by the tube smiling with a sunglasses and a bright pink pair of headphones on
Image from Unsplash

It might sound a little strange, but my favourite way to listen to podcasts is in the shower. I used to listen to them on the bus on the way to work, and once I was put on lock down started, I had to figure out another way to get my fix.

The main reason why I listen to podcasts is because they inspire me to see things from a different perspective, or they affirm something that I’ve already been thinking. Both of which builds my resilience because I learn to trust my judgement more, whilst keeping my mindset in a more positive place. Things always seem easier to face when you can find the silver lining, no matter how small.

The podcasts I’m loving at the moment are:

Practical Positivity with Sophie Cliff – short bursts of weekly advice to help you find joy in your everyday.

Deliciously Ella – the podcast series covers all aspects of wellness and well-being. I particularly love the episodes about finding happiness and the importance of sleep.

How To Fail with Elizabeth Day – Elizabeth champions things not going right in life, and everything that we learn from them. Each episode she speaks to a well known person about their perceived failures.

Read Self Development Books

Image from Unsplash

Reading is the first thing that I turned to on my quest to build my resilience because I enjoy reading so much anyway.

I’ve written a blog post (you can read it here) about the 5 self-development books that have had the biggest effect on my life. Like I say in the post, I a big believer that the book you need the most at any given point in time will work its way into your hands.

Just like with podcasts, books encourage me to view my life from a different perspective, and they help with building my resilience because I’m learning that there is always a different way to view or approach a problem that will lead to solving it. This inspires me not to give up when things feel like too much, because I know there will always be another way.

At the moment I’m reading Super Attractor by Gabby Bernstein. It’s based around the idea of manifestation which is something that I’ve become more and more interested in. If you’re in need of some inspiration with what to read check out the ones I mention in my blog post that I’ve shared the link to just above.

Use Affirmations

woman standing in a sunlit field with her arms lifted above her head
Image from Unsplash

I’m admit, affirmations are something which I’ve only started to come back to recently. Mainly because I stopped them when they started working, not realising that for them to really work, you need to be saying them to yourself consistently.

Affirmations help to build a resilient mindset because they reframe negative thoughts you have either about yourself, or your situation into positive ones. When you say affirmations often enough you trick your brain into actually believing that they’re true.

I’ve been finding it tricky recently to really believe that I’ll make my freelance business plans work, but I’ve been surprised just how much affirmations have helped my mindset. I’m starting to believe in myself much more, and that makes it so much easier to face more challenging circumstances.

In case you were wondering, saying affirmations in your head works just as well as saying them out loud. (so no need to worry about the potential awkwardness of someone else overhearing you) And if you’re not sure where to start, I wrote a blog post featuring 5 affirmations to increase your positivity that you can read here.

Which of these tips for building resilience will you be trying first?

Featured image from Unsplash

You may also like: The 5 Motivational Quotes You Need In Your Life

Follow @theyorkshirebird on Instagram

Pin It:

Pinterest pin for 4 Tips for Building a Resilient Mindset blog post

3 Things To Remember When You Feel Overwhelmed By Change

To say that 2020 has been a year of overwhelming change would be an understatement. It’s affected so many of us on so many levels.

In fact, for me, the last 3 years or so have be a roller coaster ride of various changes and my trying to cope with them. It started with my marriage ending, then getting out onto the dating scene, starting a new job, (and then another) and moving house. This year then brought a pandemic that forced me into redundancy and now into a freelance career. I bet that reading this, you’ve been through a similar amount of change in the last few years or so yourself as well.

Often, it can feel like big periods of change happen back to back to one another without giving you the chance to pause and regroup. That’s certainly how it’s felt for me anyway, and I’ve found myself feeling overwhelmed all the time.

girl hunched over feeling anxious
Image from Unsplash

Having spoken with some of my followers on Instagram, I’m understanding that I’m not alone when it comes to not knowing where to start in the midst of an overwhelming amount of change.

When you’re overwhelmed, it can feel like your frozen; so much is different that you don’t dare take another step in any direction for fear of toppling an already unsteady ship.

So how do you deal with feeling overwhelmed? In my experience it all comes down to mindset. If you can get yourself into a positive and productive mindset as much as possible, the rest will feel so much easier.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have bad days. Feeling down and not wanting to face everything that’s happening is natural. We’re not robots. It’s especially on those days that I remind myself of these 3 things to help me feel less overwhelmed:

It Won’t Last Forever

image of leaves changing colour to show the different seasons
Image from Unsplash

I know this is a difficult one, because when you’re in the middle of it, it can feel like the fog of change and the uncertainty that it brings with it won’t ever lift. That’s all part of the overwhelm.

It might sound like a bit of an obvious or cheesy analogy, but just like the seasons change, so do our circumstances. If we embrace everything that those seasons have to offer us, it can be that much easier to make the transition into the next one.

Lock down has been a Winter for us all; filled with darkness and storms of uncertainty for us to weather. Winter is a time for self-care and to rest, to prepare ourselves for the fresh start that moving into Spring inevitably brings. Lock down definitely felt like the rest I so desperately needed after being busy, almost to the point of burn out, in my last job.

Navigating a new normal, and what it means for our work and social life, is us moving into Spring. If we look hard enough, there will be opportunities to be had and silver linings to be found.

You Have People To Support You

4 friends walking on a sunny road together
Image from Unsplash

I’ve said it before in a blog post that I wrote about feeling lost, but I think it’s definitely important enough to mention again.

You are not alone in this. You do not need to suffer in your overwhelm by yourself. You have friends and family who want the best for you, and who will be there for you. Given the hand that 2020 has dealt us so far, they are likely to be feeling a similar way to you themselves, and you’ll both feel better for getting things off your chest.

I’ve found so much solace in connecting with like minded people on social media too. Being able to consume content from people who are going through, or have been through similar things to me has been a huge boost. Find your online tribe by searching for and following hashtags that interest and inspire you.

Control What You Can Control

girl with her hands clasped, thinking
Image from Unsplash

I think that a lot of the overwhelm that comes from change is that it can feel like there is so little that we can control; so why bother trying to do anything?

In the initial weeks of lock down I felt frozen and overwhelmed in this way of thinking for sure. I soon realised this was making me miserable though. Feeling helpless isn’t a good starting point for being able to move forward.

What began to be, and still is, my mantra is; ‘just control what you can control’.

From a practical point of view with Covid, this has meant washing (with gel or water) my hands as often as I feel comfortable when visiting new places and wearing my face mask according to government guidelines. The rest I can’t control, so I try my best not to worry about it.

When facing redundancy, I knew that in seeking out a new working opportunity, the one main thing I could control was my mindset. So to reduce the overwhelm I doubled down on the amount of self development (you can read about my top self development books here) that I was doing, and actively sort out opportunities to be positively inspired.

Which of these things could you do with remembering the most at the moment?

Featured image from Unsplash

You may also like: 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared of Change

Follow @theyorkshirebird on Instagram

Pin It:

Pinterest pin for 3 Things To Remember When You Feel Overwhelmed By Change blog post

The 5 Motivational Quotes You Need In Your Life

It’s hard not to scroll through Instagram or Pinterest these days without being inundated with super motivational quotes; one’s shouting at you to take action and change your life. These motivational quotes cover everything, and promise success in work, study and life in general. Well, in theory anyway.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’m a fan of quotes myself. However, words can seem empty if they don’t have any meaning behind them. (trust me, I’ve had enough dates in the past that promised to be in touch, but never followed through)

My top 5 motivational quotes are my favourites, because, rather than being an empty cheerleading cry, they inspire me to see my life circumstances from a different perspective. That’s what the best intentioned words have the power to do.

Quote by Confucius about rising every time we fail

Our Greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail” – Confucius

I’ll be honest, this is a quote that I’ve come back to A LOT, which is why it’s top of my list. It’s been the motivation that I’ve needed in so many situations. I love it because it inspires resilience. Which, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know is what I’m all about.

I’m a strong believer that life knocks us off course for a reason; it’s the nudge that we need to move off the path we were on, and take ourselves in a new direction. A direction that will make us happier in the long run.

Person reaching for the hand of another after a fall
Image from Unsplash

When my marriage was falling part, I felt like I’d failed because I hadn’t been able to make it work. Being divorced by the time I was 30 seemed like a massive fail to be able to rise from. At times, and certainly at the beginning, it felt insurmountable. I eventually rose, and am now in a relationship where I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time.

My friends have had similar experiences. One of my best friends lost her job during lock down. She was devastated because she really enjoyed what she did and couldn’t see things getting back to normal in the industry she was working in for a long time. It felt like a massive piece of her life was missing, and still is.

However, her failure to go back to work after her period on furlough has meant that she’s been able to pursue a career path that her previous job didn’t really offer the time for. She got a job almost immediately in another area that she’s passionate about, that will end up giving her loads of valuable experience.

Quote by Marie Van Ebner-Eshen Bach about our strength to move mountains

If there is a belief that is capable to move mountains, it is the belief in our own strength” – Marie Van Ebner-Eshen Bach

This is a quote I turn to time and time again when I’m having a bad day, or it feels like nothing is really going as I want it to. We’ve all been there right?

It’s the nature of life that we will all go through difficult times. It’s unavoidable, and as much as it feels bad at the time, it’s experience that makes us stronger.

Reading this quote motivates me to think just how far I’ve come and the difficulties I’ve faced and overcome in the past; like getting divorced and being made redundant.

I think we’re the last to give ourselves credit for things we’ve achieved. Especially when it comes to scenarios that were emotionally challenging. Often we just pick ourselves back up, and although are grateful for having got through it, don’t celebrate just how much stronger it’s made us.

I bet you can think of at least a couple of situations that have made you stronger, and sometimes we need a prompt like this to remind ourselves just how much strength lies within us.

Quote about change by an unknown author

Sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us” – Unknown

This is one of my top motivational quotes because I think it couldn’t be more relevant right now.

The global pandemic that we’re still continuing to go through has shown us that there is so much out of our control, and it could stay that way for a long while to come.

However, if I think back and compare myself to the person I was at the start of lock down, to who I am now, I’m not the same. I’ve learnt so much not only skills wise, but about myself as a person. I never in a million years would have thought it would have taken something as big as a global pandemic for me to see that.

I learnt all the skills I needed to launch and run this blog, I’ve learnt to slow down from the fast pace of life that was burning me out, and to stop and appreciate everything that I have. With my new found more balanced lifestyle, I’ve carved out a new career for myself too, rather than going back to a job that wasn’t doing my mental well-being any favours.

Even if it’s just a relatively small thing, I reckon that if you look back over the last 5 months, you’ve changed for the better too.

Quote by Peter Cohen about the little steps that get us to a goal

There is no one giant step that does it, it’s a lot of little steps” – Peter A Cohen

This is a quote that I find super motivational when I’m struggling to see my progress.

It’s like the saying; no one is an overnight success. Too often we end up getting caught up in comparing our lives to the highlight reels other people show us on their social media. We’ve not seen all the hard work, and the thousands of steps taken to get them to that point. Because undoubtedly that’s what it has taken, but it’s hard not to feel frustrated with ourselves.

It’s happened to me before with this blog; I’d been plugging away for weeks and weeks without really seeing any results, then all of a sudden I got a jump in Instagram followers or a big surge in my Pinterest reach.

In the midst of doing the do, it can be easy to forget that the habits that we’ve taken the time to cultivate, are moving us forward one bit at a time. We just can’t see those steps working in our favour, and it takes quotes like this to remind us.

Quote by Kurt Vonnegut about little things actually being the big things

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realise they were the big things”– Kurt Vonnegut

This quote has made it into my top 5 because it’s another one that I think is more relevant than ever considering the strange times we’re living through at the moment.

Being kept inside our homes for the majority of the day for weeks on end I think has forced us, me certainly, to appreciate and enjoy the little things in life.

The alternative was to wallow and morn the life we had before the pandemic took hold. Whilst I think we all did this on some level, adapting to the new normal we found ourselves in meant appreciating everything we did have rather than everything we’d lost.

Those little things in life for me looked like discovering the joys of Disney+, finding new corners of my city, ones that I only saw by getting out and walking, and the satisfaction of a new bake turning out well.

There have been days, and I’m sure you’ve felt it too, where the Corona-coaster has felt like to much to bear. It’s on those days that reading this quote has reminded me just how big those little things are for my mental well-being.

Which of these quotes do you find most motivating?

Featured image from Unsplash

You may also like: 5 Ways To Transform Your Life When You’re Feeling Lost

Follow @theyorkshirebird on Instagram

Pin It:

Pinterest pin image for The 5 Motivational Quotes you Need In Your Life blog post

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared Of Change

If there’s one thing that’s pretty much guaranteed in life, it’s that we’ll experience change on some level. Some change is expected, and some really isn’t. (erm, hello Corona) Getting nervous about change is definitely a feeling that I’m familiar with.

In the final year or so of being married, I spent what felt like thousands of hours agonising over the reasons why, even though I was desperately unhappy, I should stay in my relationship. Taking a big step into the unknown just seemed like too much change to deal with. I was anxious, and let the fear of everything that change represented keep me frozen where I was for too long. I was scared to walk away from the comfort of what I’d known for so long.

Man sat in a field with smoke around his hands
Image from Unsplash

When I did eventually get divorced, (you can read everything I learnt from getting divorced here) rather than feeling overwhelmed, it felt like a weight had been lifted. Now, I’m going to be honest and say that overcoming my fear of change didn’t happen overnight, in fact, at times it was it was emotionally draining, and it took some real inner work. Was it worth it though? For sure.

I was originally inspired to write this post after reading a blog on a similar subject by Jodie Melissa. She wrote about how our anxious reaction to change is natural because we crave safety, and I would agree with this for sure.

However, as with pretty much everything that I’ve learnt, seeing things from a new perspective really does help when faced with change. I wanted to share with you the reasons why I’ve found that stepping away from safety and into the unknown isn’t something to be scared of, but instead, is something we all have the strength to embrace.

It’s A Learning Experience

Man throwing books up into the air
Image from Unsplash

Change knocks us off course, and as you try to navigate through it and out the other side, things probably won’t happen exactly as you want them to along the way.

But that’s okay, because it’s through that experience that you’ll learn. Some lessons will be harder than others, but ultimately they will help you grow.

When my marriage was ending, I made, in hindsight, some questionable choices with my finances. This included putting a long weekend in Ibiza, (my way of escaping everything that was going on) all on my credit card.

Whilst this didn’t put me in the greatest position financially, as I was saddled with a substantial amount of debt to pay off, it did teach me the importance of budgeting effectively. Meaning that I can now experience the events and parts of the World that will leave me with the best memories, not a massive hole in my pocket.

You’ll Grow Stronger & Wiser

Man stood on a rock with his arms out stretched
Image from Unsplash

It’s through things not going right, that not only will you learn, but you’ll also become stronger. As Kelly Clarkson famously sings “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, and by getting back up again, you gain the resilience to be able to face the next change that comes your way without feeling quite so scared.

I was terrified about getting back on to the dating scene after my marriage ended, but threw myself into the dating apps anyway. Through A LOT of trial and error, disappointments, and frankly weird experiences, I became wise to the behaviour of certain men on the apps, and the red flags to avoid.

I don’t view it as wasted energy though, because I became more resilient to rejection, and despite the ups and downs, I actually met my current boyfriend on a dating app.

What’s Meant For You Will Not Pass

Woman surrounded by gold confetti
Image from Unsplash

Although you may feel lost in the midst of all the change initially, I’m a strong believer that what’s meant for you will not pass. This can offer the much needed comfort that we crave as a knee-jerk reaction to change.

Forgive me for sounding a little woo, but, if you’ve set the intention for what you want from your life moving forwards out of the change you’re experiencing, and you’re doing the things that will get you there, then the Universe will step in and support you.

Even though I was stepping away from everything I had known in my marriage, I had a gut feeling that the pieces would eventually come back together again. I never imagined that those parts of my life would be gone, but I had faith that the new pieces would create a happier and more fulfilled picture for me.

What’s the biggest change that you’ve learnt from?

Featured image from Unsplash

You may also like: 5 Self-Development Books That Changed My Life For The Better

Follow @theyorkshirebird on Instagram

Pin It:

Pinterest pin for 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Be Scared Of Change blog post

5 Ways To Transform Your Life When You’re Feeling Lost

When life throws an unexpected curve ball your way, it can lead you to feeling lost. When everything you once knew is shaken to the core, it’s natural not to know how to move forwards.

I’m speaking from experience, because I’ve been there. When my marriage fell apart, I lost my sense of self. I had been one half of a partnership for so long (the best part of a decade) that I’d forgotten who I was outside of it. The future that I thought I had was taken from me, and I had no idea how to move forwards.

Person in the middle of fog feeling lost
Image from Unsplash

More recently, my role at work was made redundant. (you can read all about it in the post I wrote here) Again, my preconceived ideas of what my work life would look like over the next few years was stripped away, and I wasn’t sure what the best way of moving forwards would be.

So, what do you do when you feel lost and confused in life? The 5 tips that I’m about to share with you below are based on what’s worked for me, and are a formula that you can return to again and again if you need to. After all, life does have a habit of keeping us on our toes.

I want to preface this by saying that I’m not a Doctor, so if these tips feel like too much, or you sense that there is something much deeper behind you feeling lost, please go and see a professional to work through it.

1. Focus On The Things That Bring You Joy

Joyful woman in a field of flowers
Image from Unsplash

When you’re feeling lost, it makes sense to return back to things that make you feel good. This is more than just self-care; it’s consciously seeking out opportunities in your day that bring even the smallest smile to your face.

This is a concept I first read about in the book, Light Is The New Black by Rebecca Campbell. This book is quite spiritually lead, but essentially focused on doing the things that ‘light you up’. (or bring you joy) For me, when my marriage was falling apart, the things that brought me joy were filling my bedroom with flowers, fairy lights and photos of the people I loved, and going to dance class to really let loose.

The things that bring you joy don’t have to just be activities. Like in my example, they can be things which bring you joy in your own home or space, and make it feel more like ‘you’. If you’re feeling so lost that you’re not even sure what might bring you joy any more, use Pinterest or Instagram as inspiration and try a few things until you find what the magic combination is that lights you up.

2. Use Your Support Network

A group of friends supporting each other
Image from Unsplash

When things were starting to get rocky within my marriage I’m the first to hold my hand up and say that I buried my head in the sand with it all; which just made me feel even more lost.

If I didn’t acknowledge that things weren’t very good, or that I wasn’t happy, then I wouldn’t have to admit that it was actually happening. I kept my group of best friends in the dark for so long, that when I did eventually speak to them about it, they were surprised that I hadn’t said anything sooner.

When you’re feeling lost, it’s the time when you definitely need to be leaning on your friends and family most. They love you, so will be more than happy to be a shoulder to cry on. Ask them questions, listen to their advice, and make sure you schedule in time to spend with them either in person or virtually as much as you can.

They’re likely to be the people that know you best, and the more time you spend talking about how you feel with them, the more you’ll start feeling yourself again. They are you’re biggest cheerleaders after all!

3. Trust What Your Body Is Telling You

Hands twisting about a woman's head
Image from Unsplash

My body has the habit of forcing me to submit when it’s trying to tell me something. When I was super stressed during my divorce process, it forced me to step away from things and rest by giving me a nasty viral infection that left me exhausted for weeks.

Even now, I know that something isn’t right when my period is off. Basically I bleed when something big in my life is off-kilter. Getting this in tune with my body has taken years of practice though.

After you’ve started focusing on the things that bring you joy, you’ll start to know better what feels good and what doesn’t, rather than every day feeling like you’re stuck in a fog.

I’ve said it before over on my Instagram, but don’t be afraid to feel all the feels. If you’re noticing that you’re not feeling good; having a bad day or week, lean into it rather than fighting it.

By embracing your feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger or grief, and doing the self-care activities that make you feel better, you pave the way to eventually let them go and start moving forwards. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a good cry. You’ll feel better for you – I know I do.

4. Make Self Care A Priority

Woman sat on a bed reading and drinking a cup of tea
Image from Unsplash

To say that you’re emotionally drained when you’re feeling lost would be an understatement. Believe me, I’ve been there. Bearing that in mind, it’s so important to focus on the activities that benefit your mental, physical and emotional well-being as much as possible.

Don’t confuse this with my earlier point of doing things that bring you joy; yes there will be overlap, but for you to really feel like you’re getting some clarity, I would recommend that you do both.

Carve out at least 30 minutes a day just for you. If you have a busy work and family life this can feel like a lot to find time for. However, you could break it down into 3 sets of 10 minutes throughout the day, which is automatically more manageable. Plus, you deserve it.

Savour your morning coffee, dance like a loon to your favourite tunes, go for a walk, read, journal, meditate (you can read my beginner’s guide here), have a bath; basically any activity that will replenish your energy.

I add self care into both my morning and evening routines and feel so much better for it. If you need some inspiration for how to build a morning routine with self care that serves you, I have a blog post to help you out that you can read here.

5. And Finally….Set Goals For How You Want To Move Forwards

Goal planner & pens
Image from Unsplash

The likelihood is, that after after a few weeks or months of consistently doing the 4 things that I’ve already mentioned, that you’ll be starting to feel a little more like yourself.

I want to stress that I wouldn’t advise that you move on to this final stage until you’re feeling stronger and ready to take some steps forward out of your comfort zone. Otherwise, you may well end up feeling overwhelmed.

To be able to set goals for how you want to move forward out of feeling lost means asking yourself some important questions. How do you want your work life and/or relationships to change moving forwards? And, what would having your mental well-being in a good place look like to you?

When asking yourself these questions, be completely honest with yourself. This is your life, and it’s down to you what you want out of it, not any one else’s, or society’s expectations. You deserve to be happy, and that starts with being true to yourself.

After you’ve answered these big questions for yourself, write a big goal (or two) down that will get you there. Even if it feels scary or unrealistic, and a long way from where you are now, go with it. Once it’s written down you can start to figure out the small steps to get you there. Start with small actions that will be easy for you to do consistently on a daily basis and keep on going.

When I was lost and coming out of my failed marriage, my big goal was to develop a relationship that was a true partnership, and to find someone who would love me for all I was, rather than just some of the parts. I realised that in order to expect this from another person, I would need to do some serious work on myself. I committed to getting to a place where self-love came easily, and day to day this looked like listening to uplifting and/or inspiring podcasts or reading self-development books and taking action on what I learnt.

Have you tried any of these tips before when you’ve felt lost? Let’s chat in the comments.

Featured image from Unsplash

You may also like: The Healing Power Of Forgiveness

Follow @theyorkshirebird on Instagram

Pin It:

Pinterest pin for 5 Ways To Transform Your Life When You're Feeling Lost

3 Unexpected Benefits of Being Made Redundant

The aftermath of lock down has unfortunately brought with it just as much uncertainty for businesses as there was going in to it. Many companies have had to drastically restructure to make up for the short fall in income. The harsh reality of this for many, has been that they’ve been made redundant whilst on furlough.

I’m one of the people living that reality. Going in to lock down I worked for a global hospitality brand. Although I knew that the pandemic would of course have a negative effect on business where I worked, I, perhaps naively, thought that working for such a large company would offer some job security.

My Experience

Woman sitting alone on a chair to show that she feels sad
Image from Unsplash

My redundancy journey started with a very sudden (and unexpected) request that all employees at my work attend a Zoom call with the big boss. What followed was the announcement, that in no uncertain terms, there would be job losses in the coming months.

As is standard with redundancy in the UK, there then followed a consultation process, where each team that had job roles at risk could discuss possible solutions to help lessen the need for people to actually lose there job.

It was during this period of time that anxiety really hit me hard. After the initial announcement, I had a brief period of sadness. I was sad because I knew that the place I worked at wouldn’t be the same again for a long time.

It was a grief for the loss of my work life as I had known it pre Covid too, and to be honest, it shook me more than I thought it would. However, it was the uncertainty of everything that was to come afterwards that sent me into an anxious spiral.

Woman sitting alone by a window to show that she feels sad
Image from Unsplash

I definitely think anxiety is a perfectly natural reaction to have when faced with so much uncertainty. I soon realised that I needed to do some serious work on myself so that I didn’t wallow in anxious and fear laden thoughts constantly. I started to properly meditate, (read my beginners guide to meditation here) journal, and basically get more curious about the emotions I was feeling.

It was through this work on myself that I felt strong enough to make the decision to take voluntary redundancy. For me this was my way of taking control of the situation. As I had already grieved the loss of my pre Covid work life, it made sense to me that my period of furlough would end with starting a brand new chapter elsewhere. Was it a scary decision to make? For sure, but I felt in my gut that it was right for me.

It’s with this idea of a new chapter in mind, that I’ve been able to approach my search for a new job with a more positive mindset. Here are the 3 unexpected benefits of being made redundant that I’ve uncovered along the way so far….

An Opportunity to Evaluate What You Really Want Out Of Your Work Life

A laptop, phone and mug showing someone working. The mug says live the life you love
Image from Unsplash

Being made redundant is the perfect time for you to think about what you want out of your work life moving forwards, as you head into the next chapter of your career.

As I’ve already discussed before, spending so much time at home during lock down has brought a lot of things into perspective for me, and allowed a lot of time for self reflection. After being thrown into yet another period of uncertainty, it felt natural to start reflecting again.

I got initially upset at the prospect of losing my job because I really did enjoy it. However, there were certain aspects of it that I didn’t enjoy. They were seemingly little things that I put up with, but in hindsight I can actually see were having a negative impact on my mental well-being. (read my guide to mental well-being here)

An image of a desk with a laptop on to show the idea of working from home
Image from Unsplash

Things like only having 30 minutes for lunch, working in an office with no windows, and having a relatively long commute. When searching for new jobs I’m bearing in mind that I don’t want to have to put up with these things next time.

After spending time reflecting on what I wanted moving forwards, I also realised that I’m at a point in my life where other things are more important to me than my work. I want a job that yes, I enjoy, but also allows me the balance to live life how I want to, rather than just being stuck in a monotonous work routine where there’s little time or energy for anything else.

Identifying Your Skills

A woman working at her desk
Image from Unsplash

One of the good things about sitting down to freshen up you CV is that you actually realise just how skilled you are.

Listing your employment history and your career achievements needn’t be a dull process. I found that putting down everything that I’ve done made me see just how much I had learnt over the years, and how I had applied what I’d learnt in each role change I made. It felt good to see just how far I had come.

It’s with this perspective that I could also see all the transferable skills I had gained, like excellent interpersonal skills, and working well in busy, hectic environments. It’s with these kind of insights that you can see how you can really add value for prospective employers and sell yourself on that all important cover letter.

Knowing your transferable skills can also be useful in the current job market. Although I have initially started to look at jobs related to my more recent experience, having transferable skills in my back pocket means that if need be, I can look at other options further down the line that still play to my strengths.

Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

A woman walking in the woods to show that she is starting on a new path
Image from Unsplash

I’ll admit that this one doesn’t sound like it would be a benefit, but bear with me.

Opening ourselves up to new opportunities can feel uncomfortable for sure. Stepping away from what we’ve known for so long and putting ourselves in situations that make us feel vulnerable (hello awkward Zoom interviews) is scary, and frankly, triggering.

If we’ve got limiting beliefs about ourselves this is when they’ll crop up. For me, my initial barrier with job hunting was actually believing I would be a valuable asset to the organisations I was applying for. Yes, I had written down everything that I was skilled at, but I still needed to make the connection with my inner self to actually believe it was true. That’s why I’ve been doing so much work on myself recently.

What I’m saying is that all the new experiences you’ll be having as part of your redundancy journey, although probably won’t feel great, will definitely help you grow. We don’t learn anything if we keep doing the same things day in, day out. Being thrust into a new environment forces us to adapt, develop, and ultimately grow into a better version of ourselves than we were before.

Have you been made redundant during the pandemic? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Featured image from Unsplash

You may also like: 5 Self-Development Books That Changed My Life For The Better

Follow @theyorkshirebird on Instagram

Pin It:

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

Truly forgiving someone can be difficult. Believe me, I’ve been there. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll already know that I got divorced a few years ago, and one of the biggest lessons I learnt from it was the art of forgiveness. (you can read the full post here)

I also think that forgiveness has different levels to it. Forgiving a friend for turning up an hour late to meet you is very different to the level of forgiveness required if your partner has cheated.

I personally thought that I didn’t have a problem with forgiveness, until it came to my ex-husband. I’ve been reflecting on this a little recently, and it’s only with the hindsight of being 3 years further along with my own self-development, that I can see more clearly why it became such an issue for me.

Woman balancing on a rock because she feels free
Image from Unsplash

When I was actually going through the practicalities of getting divorced, I felt like I was losing myself to the stress of it all, so I invested in a course of life coaching with some one I trusted. My coach was great, and she posed some questions that felt very difficult to answer at the time. One of them was; ‘How would it feel if you forgave him?’

Although initially painful, that one question felt like a key that would unlock a door inside me that had been keeping all my painful and difficult feelings at bay. By choosing not to forgive him up until that point, I was also choosing not to properly deal with the rawness of what I was feeling. I was keeping it bottled up, and the negative effect it was having was actually making me physically unwell.

A door opening to show bottled up feelings being released
Image from Unsplash

Forgiveness allows us to grow, move on, and ultimately be happy. I was holding on to my hurt, resentment and anger so tightly that I couldn’t see that it was doing me more harm than good; I wouldn’t be able to properly move on until I let them go.

By giving so much of my energy to feeling that way, I was giving my power to him, not to myself. I definitely didn’t want him to have power over my life any more, so I knew that by forgiving him I would feel better.

‘Forgiving doesn’t make you weak, it sets you free’

This quote resonates with me because I felt that by forgiving him, I would be giving in or giving up; something that I saw as a sign of weakness. It’s funny to think now, that all these negative thoughts were pretty much born out of my own stubbornness. In a relationship where it felt like what I wanted always came second, I wanted to win for once.

Woman stood by the water with her arms out, feeling free
Image from Unsplash

The first step in the process of forgiving my ex was writing him a letter (that he will never see) as if he was an old friend, thanking him for everything he had brought into my life, and offering understanding for why he had acted like he had. That first step felt like a massive one. I could feel the tension lifting from my shoulders straight after I had written it.

Rather than holding on to bad memories and feelings of resentment from the past, forgiveness frees us to live in the present. I now focus on my life and what I want to achieve from it, rather letting myself feel like a victim for everything that happened in that past, frankly toxic, relationship.

Woman in a field with her arms in the air, feeling free
Image from Unsplash

‘There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love’

This is another quote that I emphatically feel is true. Although I no longer love my ex-husband, there was of course love in our past, otherwise we would never had got married in the first place. I believe it’s the memory of that love that’s allowed me to forgive completely. I realise he was trying his best at the time, and so was I. We just couldn’t be what each other needed any more; we had grown, but in different directions.

As I had written in my letter to him, there were certain things that he did, that although hurtful at the time, brought me to where I’m at now in my life. I’ve returned back to my maiden name, and feel more myself and content than ever. I see that our relationship was the journey I needed to go on in order to get to this point. The journey may have been painful, but it taught me a hell lot about myself on so many different levels. He was my teacher, and that is why I forgave him.

Is there someone you need to forgive for your own mental well-being? How would it feel if your forgave them?

Featured image from Unsplash

You may also like: How To Keep Calm In Uncertain Times

Follow @theyorkshirebird on Instagram

Pin It:

5 Self-Development Books That Changed My Life For The Better

Thankfully, I think that the stigma that there was around reading self-development books is fading. More so because of the wealth of different kinds of people, from all kinds of backgrounds, and with a variety of experiences, sharing what they’ve learnt, being so prevalent right now. This has lead to thousands of self-development books on so many different topics.

I also think that, even if it isn’t necessarily a strictly conscious feeling, we all want to feel better on some level. Reading about other people who’ve made their lives better inspires us. We know that better is out there, we just have to be willing to see situations, and ourselves, from a different perspective.

Books stacked up to show the post is about books
Image from Unsplash

So what are the best self-development books and where do you start I hear you ask?

I’m a strong believer that the book that you ‘need’ most will present itself at the right time for you. There’s some books (a couple of them are on this list) that I started reading and couldn’t get in to simply because in hindsight I can see they weren’t right for me at the time. I kept them knowing that I would be able to benefit from their wisdom in future.

Basically, the message I want to get across is that don’t give up on self-development if a book isn’t right for you. Try a different one instead and come back to it when the time feels more fitting.

1. The Universe Has Your Back – Gabrielle Bernstein

Read it if you’re struggling with feeling abundant.

Image to portray the idea of spirituality
Image from Unsplash

‘The more joyful we are, the more light we shine on the world, the more power we have to express our presence, and the more positive energy we put out’

I’ll be honest, I’ve probably started this book about 3 times, but never finished it any of those times, simply because I couldn’t get into it. As I’ve already said, I definitely think that the book you need to learn from the most will fall into your hands when the time is right.

I’m reading this book at the moment for that very reason; it just feels right. Gabrielle is an author and international speaker, and is all about transforming fear into faith. Faith in the Universe to be exact.

A word of warning; due to the spiritual nature of this book, you’ll probably only take something from it if you’re open to that kind of thing. Through the universal lessons that she shares, it can help us relinquish our need for control and relax into a sense of certainty and freedom. This is definitely something I’ve needed recently.

Image of a book
Image from Unsplash

Covid-19 has brought with in so much uncertainty on so many levels, and given that I’m currently facing redundancy, I knew that I needed to loosen my grip if I wanted to feel less anxious.

At the moment I’m getting so much benefit from the meditation and affirmation based exercises in the book. When I come away from the meditations I feel like I’m tingling all over and so much lighter; most likely because I’ve raised my positive energy. It’s the tonic I’ve needed to maintain a positive mindset as I move forward into a different chapter post lock down.

2. Rising Strong – Brene Brown

Read it if you’re finding it hard to overcome past struggles.

Image to show a person feeling strong or empowered
Image from Unsplash

‘If we’re brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability’

I finished this book earlier this year, and it’s another one that when I tried reading it before, I could never get into it. The reason why I gave it another go was because I knew that I still had some resentful feelings lingering towards my my ex-husband.

If you’ve not heard of Brene before, her TED talk on the power of vulnerability is one of the most watched TED talks of all time. She’s spent years researching vulnerability and being brave, and shares what she’s learnt, as well as her personal stories in her books, including this one.

Rising Strong presents a powerful process to rise from falls, overcome mistakes and face hurt in a way that brings more wisdom and meaning into your life.

Image of a bookshelf as the post is about books
Image from Unsplash

I found the most useful part of this process what she’s called ‘the rumble’. This is the part where you do the work; facing up to all the uncomfortable and difficult emotions you feel as a result of falling, as well as the mindset that got you there in the first place.

If would perhaps be hypocritical when writing about vulnerability Brene isn’t vulnerable herself, and I enjoyed the fact that she shared so much of her personal experiences in the book; it made it that much more relatable. I especially like the lake swim story that she circles back to.

I gained a much kinder perspective towards myself from reading this book, and it’s for that reason that I’ve recommended it several times, and even bought it for my friends.

3. The Goddess Revolution – Mel Wells

Read it if you want to repair your relationship with your body and food.

Image to portray the idea of a goddess
Image from Unsplash

‘The scales will tell you the numerical value of your effect on gravity. They will not tell you how beautiful you are, how loved you are, or how amazing you are’

As I’ve already gone into more detail of in an earlier post there was a point a few years ago when my marriage was breaking down that my eating became disordered. It’s taken quite a long time to heal my relationship with food and how I view my body, and it’s something that I do still have to check in with from time to time.

This book, as well as her second book, Hungry for More, has really helped me. If you’ve ever struggled with diets, food, body image or your weight, then The Goddess Revolution is for you too.

Mel’s face is on the back cover, and you might recognise her, as she used to be in Hollyoaks in the early 2000s. She used to be a model too, and had an unhealthy relationship with food and her body image for years. In the book she shares techniques that she’s used herself to transform our relationship with food, and have healthy, satisfying, guilt-free relationship with our bodies.

Image of books stacked up
Image from Unsplash

I think this book is a breath of fresh air in a society that is still very much focused on fitness and reaching that ‘goal weight’. A society that basically shames women into feeling inadequate. Mel is so honest with the way she writes; sharing her own experiences with openness, kindness and passion. You can tell it’s something she really cares about.

Since reading her books, I can 100% say that I am so much more comfortable around food. I’ve stepped out of the guilt/shame cycle and now trust my instincts with what I put in my body, knowing that I’m nourishing it in a way that feels right for me, and maintains the natural weight that I’m meant to be at, rather than what society deems to be acceptable.

4. The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod

Read it if you’re wanting to create a set of habits that will benefit your mental well-being.

Image to show what the start of a day typically looks like
Image from Unsplash

‘In order for you to stop settling for what you deserve….you must first dedicate time each day to becoming the person you need to be’

I’m not usually a fan of the direct, ‘get your act together’ type of self-development books as in the past they’ve tended to trigger limiting belief that I still have that I’m not good enough.

I managed to see past the writing style with this book though, as I could really see the benefits of the method that Hal shares. He calls them 6 life S.A.V.E.R.S, and by doing them each and every morning, it will take you that bit closer each day to what you want to achieve.

S = silence (or meditation)

A = affirmations

V = visualisation

E = exercise

R = reading

S = scribing (or writing)

Although over the years the time I’ve spent on each of these activities have varied, having them in my morning routine every day has really helped me to face the day with a more positive mindset, no matter what’s been going on in my life.

5. What I Know For Sure – Oprah Winfrey

Read it if you’re a fan of self-reflection.

Image of a person inviting you to dance
Image from Unsplash

‘And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance’

This book is just so beautifully written; it’s one of the ones that I keep on going back to, especially if I’ve going through a period of feeling a little bit lost.

The book is a collection of all the best bits from the column that Oprah has in O magazine. It’s a delightful mix of personal anecdotes and life lessons that make you feel warm and fuzzy, and for me have often sparked bigger light bulb moments.

The sections in the book cover the big self reflective topics of joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power. I flicked back through the book before I wrote this post, and literally every other page is turned over because I’ve taken something from the words written on it.

Every bit of wisdom that Oprah shares encourages you to lean into the messiness of life and embrace the lessons that it teaches you. It’s for that reason that I dip back in and out of it at least a couple of times a year; through her words I’m reminded that things will only change if I change the way I look at them.

Have you read any of these books? What self-development book has had the most impact on you?

Featured image from Unsplash

You may also like: 5 Powerful Affirmations To Increase Your Positivity

Follow The Yorkshire Bird on Bloglovin

Pin It:

Image to be used for a Pinterest pin

5 Signs That You’re An Introvert

I think there can be quite a lot of confusion about introvert characteristics. People often come to the wrong conclusion that introverts are shy, quiet and anti-social. I identify as having an introverted personality, but I wouldn’t say I’m any of those things.

girl alone on a pier
Image From Unsplash

Whether you are an introvert or extrovert all depends on how you get your energy. Extroverts feed off others energy and social scenarios in order to fill up their cup. On the other hand, introverts recharge their batteries by having quiet time by themselves.

Intrigued to know if you’re an introvert or not? Here’s 5 signs that you could be:

Being Around Lots of People Drains Your Energy

an introvert spending time alone
Image from Unsplash

There have been points in my life, particularly when I was younger, when I’ve worried that I was strange for preferring one on one time with friends rather than being at a big party or social event.

As I’ve already mentioned, introverts recharge their batteries by spending time on their own. It perhaps makes sense then that being around so many other people drains them.

Before lock down, a major part of my job involved standing up and speaking in front of others. I also enjoy dancing and performing, being silly, and generally making people laugh. However, after a week of these kinds of activities I feel exhausted and crave time alone.

You Have A Small Group Of Close Friends

two friends hugging
Image from Unsplash

Introverts love to build deep connections with other people, so having a large social circle of people they only know on a superficial level really doesn’t appeal to them.

I can count the amount of people I would consider my close friends on both hands, and a handful more that I would class as good friends. It’s just the way I roll.

There’s few things I love more than catching up over dinner, drinks or a cuppa with one of these friends. This is because introverts gain so much joy from focusing their full attention on others, listening, and reflecting; basically having deep and meaningfuls.

You Enjoy Time On Your Own

cup of tea and an armchair
Image from Unsplash

As I talked about in my post last week, I realised that before lock down kicked in, I was feeling exhausted because I wasn’t getting nearly enough time on my own to rest and recharge. Spending all this time at home has affirmed to me just how much I love sitting alone either reading, writing, or watching one of my favourite shows on Netflix.

There are times in my life that I’ve felt strange or the odd one out for wanting to spend time on my own rather than with others. My Mum told me about a time when she saw me playing in the play ground on my own when I was about 5. Her heart broke for me because she thought I didn’t have any friends. As a young child I was shy, which made it more difficult to make friends initially. However, the truth was that whilst my Mum saw a lonely child playing on her own, I was content in my own company; I was in my own little world.

Too Much Stimulation Makes You Feel Distracted

busy party with people drinking
Image from Unsplash

When introverts spend a lot of time in hectic environments, they often feel distracted or overwhelmed.

An example of this for me is being at big parties or social events, especially when I don’t know many other people. I have a few friends that are much more extroverted than me, and I will put myself in hectic situations if I know it will mean a lot to them. However, I’ll be honest and say that I don’t enjoy them. In fact I usually feel uncomfortable the entire time; like I can’t properly be myself.

It comes back to the fact that introverts much prefer situations where we can get to know some-one else one-on-one. Therefore the idea of meeting a lot of new people all at once in a social situation can be overwhelming.

You Are Very Self Aware

cup of tea and a book
Image from Unsplash

As I’ve already said, I’m very happy to spend my weekends at home rather packing my days with seeing other people. I’ve come to learn that this quiet time is where the strength of the introvert lies.

Introverts tend to be very inward thinking, and spend a lot of time examining and exploring their own internal experiences. This is probably why I’ve found my journey with self-development so interesting. I’ve read lots of self-development books over the years (watch out for a blog post on that topic coming soon!) and love the insights that they give me.

I’m a massive fan of self-reflection and getting to know myself better, and I’ve taken the opportunity to do a lot more of it during lock down. For me, if I understand myself and my motivations better, it means that I am more able to show up as my best self for the people I care about.

If a few of those signs resonated with you, the likelihood is that you’re an introvert too – welcome to the club!

Are you friends with more introverts than extroverts? (or vice versa) How do you think their characteristics affect your relationship?

Featured image from Unsplash

You may also like: 5 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

Follow The Yorkshire Bird on Bloglovin

Pin It:

Pinterest pin: 5 Signs That You're An Introvert

The Lessons I’ve Learnt In Lock Down

It’s been a strange old time hasn’t it? The last 3 months or so of staying at home for the majority of our time have been trying to say the least.

Having shared with you my honest thoughts about lock down already, as we start to get some normality back, I wanted to take some time to pause and reflect. Just what have we learnt during lock down?

Image from Unsplash

I’ve seen several of my favourite influencers and bloggers taking the time to consider the parts of lock down that they unexpectedly enjoyed, what they’ve learnt about themselves, the habits they want to keep, and different mindset they’ll have moving forwards.

I think one thing is for sure for all of us; we won’t be taking things for granted any more, because it can, and has, been snatched away from us so quickly.

Here’s the 4 lessons that I’ve learnt in lock down:

Life Isn’t All About Being Busy

Image from Unsplash

I think that being forced to slow down has definitely been one of the biggest silver linings to take away from this whole experience. Not working (I’m on furlough) for such a long period of time has for sure put into perspective just how busy I was before. How exhausted it was making me, and to be honest, how it was affecting my happiness.

As an introvert, I replenish my energy by spending time on my own being quiet. In hindsight, I can see that I wasn’t getting any where near enough quiet time to recharge on a daily basis.

I always felt guilty for not doing anything, when I could be doing something productive instead. I know there has been a lot of discussion about this on social media too. It’s clear a lot of us having been feeling it, even during lock down.

I now realise that taking the time to slow down isn’t selfish; it’s actually key to keeping my mental well-being in check. When I eventually go back to work (I’m still not exactly sure when that will be yet) I’ll 100% be making it a priority to block out pockets of time to recharge each day.

The Simple Life Is Better Than I Thought

Image from Unsplash

I never thought I would enjoy the simple things in life just as much as I have. This comes back to the point about being busy.

When we’re rushing through life at break-neck speed, we literally don’t have chance to smell the roses. Or, look in wonder at gorgeous blossom trees, appreciate the way the sunlight dapples through the branches of trees above, or reflects off the water like tiny specs of gold. To hear birds tweeting rather than traffic, and to just be content with what we already have. I’ve found myself really savouring these kinds of moments, and taking away the small joys that they offer.

Lock down has definitely forced me into thinking about about everything I’m grateful for having, rather than focusing on what I don’t have. Being faced with the devastating reality of the number of lives lost to this virus has jolted me into changing my perspective of just what’s important. It turns out the little things actually mean the most.

That Self-Reflection Is Underrated

Image from Unsplash

Not working has been the pause I’ve needed to step back and evaluate where I’m at right now, and the vision I have for my life moving forward. Big stuff.

It’s allowed me to actually do the activities that I didn’t have the time to do before because I was so busy. Those activities have brought me so much clarity; journaling, reading inspiring books, and getting outside for long(ish) walks.

As my partner is a key worker, who at times has worked back to back night shifts, I’ve ended up spending a lot of time alone in our flat. It’s perhaps the introvert in me, but I’ve not found the alone time lonely. Peace gives you strength. The strength to get to know yourself better, work through difficult emotions, and trust your instincts.

One of the conclusions that I’ve come to through self-reflection and embracing the simple life, is that I don’t want a career, I just want a job. By this I mean that I’m not craving the thrill of pushing my career forwards any more. (and the long hours that inevitably come with it) I would rather do a job that, although less challenging, I enjoy, and gives me the mental head space to spend time on the things I’m really passionate about outside of work. Basically I don’t want to live to work, I want to work to live.

Boundaries Are Everything

Image from Unsplash

Living off 80% of my wage throughout my time on furlough has forced me to re-evaluate what I spend my money on; what I really ‘need’. It turns out that a lot of my money was being spent on the social activities that were draining me.

It’s put into perspective just what I will be saying yes to in future. My close circle of friends will always get my time, but I will be more careful with other commitments. If I feel like it’s an event I ‘should’ be at to show face, then that’s a signal that I shouldn’t be wasting my time or energy going to it.

Through lock down I’ve come to value preserving my energy for the things that only make me feel good; my mental well-being deserves it.

Do you agree with any of these lessons? What have you learnt that you’ll be taking forwards after lock down properly ends?

Featured Image from Unsplash

You may also like: How I’m Overcoming Imposter Syndrome (& How You Can Too)

Follow The Yorkshire Bird on Bloglovin

Pin It: