How to make mornings happier and easier

August 29th, 2014

How to make mornings happier and easierStruggling to get off to a good start? We have some tips to help you feel brighter and more alert in the morning.

At 7am many people consider it lucky if they’ve found the energy to reach for a cup of coffee.

Mornings can be a struggle, especially for those who function better in the evening and don’t usually get to sleep until 12am.

Yet as the saying “the early bird gets the worm” suggests, being a morning person has several perks, and numerous studies have linked it to improved health and enhanced productivity throughout the day.

In order to reap the benefits of getting up early, we have some great tips to help you feel better about embracing the morning light:

Clear away clutter

Scientists in America have found that stress levels are linked to how tidy your house is. This tends to affect women more than men, but clearing away bedroom clutter can be beneficial for anyone trying to get up earlier. If mess is the first thing you see when you open your eyes in the morning you are guaranteed to feel grumpy about getting up. Make an effort to clear up before bed to ensure you sleep well and wake up happy.

Listen to the birds

In the early hours the birds will be enjoying their morning chorus, but rather than shutting your windows to block the sound, embrace it. Listening to bird song has been found to make you feel happier, and chanting has been used for thousands of years to lift mood.

Bin your bad thoughts

Waking up in a bad mood can hinder your ability to feel alert and ready for the day. In order to shake off worries or concerns, write down your thoughts on a piece of paper then bin it. A report published in Psychology Science suggests this can help to boost mood instantly – but only when it is done quickly and immediately after waking.

Check your social media

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have found that scrolling through past photos and posts on your social media profiles can make you feel happier. This activity is similar to ‘reminiscence therapy’, which allows us to connect with our past selves while reassuring our present selves.

Drink fruit juice

Getting your juice fix first thing is great for tackling the early morning blues. Orange juice in particular contains vitamin B6 and folic acid – nutrients found to be lacking in people with depression. Just the smell of oranges can lift your spirits! Adding a banana to your cereal or porridge will also help as they are packed with potassium and mood-lifting carbohydrates.

If you feel drained of positive energy you may want to see a life coach. Life coaching can help identify what is draining your energy levels and develop strategies to manage these and restore your zest for life. For more information, please see our energy page. 

View and comment on the original Daily Express article. 

Tactics to help you avoid burnout

August 26th, 2014

Tactics to help you avoid burnoutFeeling overwhelmed and stressed? Take a step back with the following tips.

At some point in our lives, many of us experience burnout; this is when we have been pushing ourselves too hard for too long and the stress affects our mental and physical well-being. You may start to feel lethargic and run down, wondering desperately where the pause button in life is.

Sadly, there is no pause button. But that doesn’t mean you have to run yourself into the ground. When you start to recognise the fact that you are heading towards a burnout, there are a few things you can do to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Create an action plan

This will help you regain a sense of control, something we can begin to lose as we get overly stressed. If you have a million and one things on your to-do list, try to break it down into manageable chunks, taking one day at a time. Prioritise your tasks according to their urgency and keep your list somewhere you will see it everyday. If you are finding it difficult to remember your tasks, try setting a reminder on your calendar/phone.

Take a break

When you are incredibly busy, the idea of taking a break may seem counterproductive – but your health could well depend on it. When you start to feel overworked, book yourself a few days off. If you can, go away for a day or two and allow yourself the chance to really relax and unwind. Even if the only break you can take is during your lunch at work – don’t forget to take it. Even an hour to yourself can make the world of difference.

Look after yourself

Another key thing to remember is to keep yourself healthy during busy times like this. Ensure you are fuelling yourself with nutritious food and avoid high sugar or high fat foods. Take the time to fit exercise into your routine to promote well-being too. This will keep your immune system strong and will help you cope with stress better.

Tell someone

It is exhausting putting on a brave face all day, whether it’s in front of your family, friends or work colleagues. When you are feeling burnt out, don’t be afraid to tell people. If your friends are making you feel bad for turning down invitations, tell them the real reason. If your work is beginning to suffer, tell your manager and ask for help. Having limitations does not make you weak – it makes you human.

If you could do with some guidance to help with stress or time management, why not consult a life coach? Find one in your area using our search tool.

Coping with ADHD

August 22nd, 2014

Coping with ADHD Managing ADHD and the associated shame can be hard, but we have some pointers to help.

For people living with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), shame can be a big part of the experience.

Many will struggle daily with feelings of inadequacy and embarrassment as they try to cope with their condition and fit in with other people.

This pressure to act ‘normal’ however can be detrimental to their health and well-being, and many people with ADHD can end up developing depression and anxiety as a result.

It is unfortunate that there is a still a taboo associated with ADHD, but it is important for sufferers to remember that ADHD is not their fault.

Below we have a short guide to ADHD and how it can be possible for sufferers to live in harmony with their condition.

ADHD is not a personal fault 

ADHD is a genetic problem that affects one in 100 children. It is characterised by restlessness, inability to concentrate and lack of motivation, and as a result sufferers are often perceived as lazy and uncooperative. Although more prominent in younger people, ADHD can continue into adulthood, and this is when it can be particularly difficult to live with.

ADHD is not all bad

Although heavily weighted by negatives, ADHD does entail a great number of positive characteristics, including creativity, persistence, sensitivity, originality and enthusiasm. Individuals with the condition are usually very talented, yet can find it difficult to believe in themselves and embrace their strengths.

It’s OK to seek help

Having ADHD can be a very isolating experience, and many sufferers may feel people don’t understand what they are going through. There is however support available, and ADHD coaching in particular is considered highly beneficial for helping individuals to develop structure, focus and purpose in their lives. By giving them a greater sense of control over their condition, ADHD coaches can enable people with ADHD to feel more confident about the future.

To find out more, please see our ADHD coaching page. 

View and comment on the original Additude article. 

Interview tips for your dream job

August 19th, 2014

Interview prep for the job of your dreamsHave an interview coming up for a job you really want? Follow these fool-proof steps to give yourself the best chance of success.

Job interviews can be nerve racking – no matter how many of them you’ve attended in your career. Whether this is your first ever job interview, or you are taking a step up into the job of your dreams – carry out the following steps to help you be at your absolute best.

One week before the interview

This is when most of your prep should take place. Make sure you are up to speed by researching the company thoroughly and re-reading the job description. Spend some time considering what you can do personally to help the company achieve their goals.

You should also think about why you want this job – what are your motives? What will make you better at it than anyone else? Once you have a clear understanding of the company, the job description and what you have to offer – you will feel more confident and this will show in the interview.

One day before the interview

The day before your interview think about what you want to wear and pick out an outfit. It may sound superficial, but first impressions are generally visual, so don’t discount the power of a good outfit. Wear something that makes you feel confident and comfortable whilst keeping in line with the feel of the company.

The morning of the interview

In the morning take a few minutes to think about a time in your life when you felt incredibly confident and got what you wanted. Remember this feeling and hold it with you all day. It is also an idea to eat some brain food – put down the sugary cereal and eat blueberries, eggs and salmon for breakfast.

An hour before the interview

About an hour before your interview, find something that makes you laugh – whether it’s a funny TV show, clips on YouTube or a funny book. Laughing will encourage the production of endorphins, making you feel calm and happy. Now is also a good time to get inspired – read something that will motivate you or say some positive affirmations.

Five minutes before the interview

When your interview is imminent do some physical movements to help you loosen up – practise some power poses. Finally, before you head in, think about what gives you the utmost pleasure in the world and smile inside and out.

After the interview

Thank the company for meeting with you via email and follow up in a couple of weeks if you haven’t heard anything. You should also celebrate yourself, whether you got it or not – remind yourself that you are worthy and treat yourself to some flowers or a coffee with a friend.

If you think you could benefit from career advice like this – why not hire a career coach? Find one near you using our search tool.

View and comment on the original Life Hack article.

Young, bored and unmotivated? Read on for coaching tips from the experts

August 15th, 2014

Young, bored and unmotivated? Read on for coaching tips from the expertsIn line with this year’s International Youth Day, Life Coach Directory offers advice and coaching tips for young people.

Every year, on 12 August the United Nations’ (UN) International Youth Day celebrates the efforts of the world’s youth and their contributions to society. As well as recognising achievements, the day also aims to inspire young people to be more actively involved in their community. To help promote this, Life Coach Directory wanted to look at the difficulties younger people face and how youth coaching can help.

During our transitional years, when we grow from child to adult, there are generally quite a few rough patches. Such difficulties may include:

  • problems at school (exam stress, bullying etc.)
  • problems with friends
  • family issues
  • relationship difficulties
  • lack of self-confidence
  • lack of motivation
  • difficulty deciding what to do after school ends.

Even if you are lucky enough to escape such problems, at this age most of us feel torn between wanting independence and shying away from responsibility. Not having a sense of direction or purpose at this stage in our lives can exacerbate stress, making difficult situations feel even worse.

How youth coaching can help

For some people, hiring a coach is an ideal option to help them get back on track. A youth coach can help you uncover your passions and talents, and will work with you on an action plan for the future. Whether you choose to utilise these skills at school/work or you decide to contribute in some other way, having a better understanding of your goals is the key to self-motivation.

On top of this, a youth coach may also be able to help improve your family dynamic or encourage certain skills to help you develop personally. A youth coach doesn’t look to ‘fill in’ as a parent or teacher, they are simply there to provide a sense of support and guidance when you need it.

If you’re feeling unproductive, de-motivated or simply bored, London based life coach Georgina Elliott has the following tips:

Set the right goals for you

An essential ingredient to achieving your aims in life is having the motivation to take the (sometimes challenging) steps to get there. Try to make sure your goals are what you really want to achieve and make a list of all the benefits that will make all the hard work worthwhile!

Work hard, play hard!

A major factor of a happy, successful life is having balance. Whether you are studying or embarking on a career, work hard but also make time for interests outside of work that you really enjoy.

Surround yourself with the right people

The people in our lives are incredibly important. We need them to love, live with, work with, socialise with and to give and receive support. It’s vital that the people in your life are the right people: like-minded, positive and willing to support what you want to achieve in life.

Volunteer

There are so many reasons why doing voluntary work can be massively beneficial; it’s a great way of connecting with new people and achieving a sense of enormous personal fulfilment. Plus it says a lot about you as a person, when submitting a CV or UCAS application.

If you want to find out more about youth coaching, how it could help you and where to find a coach in your area – visit the Life Coach Directory today.

For further information or to arrange an interview with life coach, please contact Katherine Nicholls.

Email: press@lifecoach-directory.org.uk

Tel: 01276 301239

One in 10 Britons have no close friends

August 14th, 2014

One in 10 Britons without a close friendA new study shows that millions of people in the UK feel unloved and lonely. 

According to a new survey, one in 10 people in the UK do not have a single friend and one in five feel unloved and uncared for.

This means that approximately 4.7 million Britons may be leading very lonely lives and lacking in the vital support of friends and partners.

‘The Way We Are Now’ survey – conducted by relationship charity, Relate – looked at 5,778 people aged 16 and over from all over the UK.

Participants had all aspects of their relationships put under the microscope, and they were asked to rate their closeness with partners, friends, bosses and workmates.

In regards to colleagues, 42% of voters said they had no friends at work, while 35% said they believed their bosses consider the most productive employees to be the ones who put work before family and social life.

This statistic could suggest that a great number of Britons are choosing to put their career before their social life, which could be to the detriment of their relationships.

Ruth Sutherland, the chief executive of Relate, said:

“Relationships are the asset which can get us through good times and bad, and it is worrying to think that there are people who feel they have no one they can turn to during life’s challenges.

“We know that strong relationships are vital for both individuals and society as a whole, so investing in them is crucial.”

Significantly the study showed that participants who reported good relationships had higher levels of health and well-being, with 81% who were married or cohabiting claiming to feel really good about themselves.

In contrast, those with poor relationships showed low levels of self-confidence and fewer signs of good health and well-being.

If you are finding your relationships are under a lot of strain and not providing the support and happiness you’d like, speaking to a life coach can help. To find out more, please see our relationships page. 

View and comment on the original Guardian article. 

Kat’s Happiness Project – July

August 12th, 2014

Kat's Happiness Project - JulyCan money buy happiness? Life Coach Directory blogger Kat finds out.

Hello1as we head further into a particularly lovely British summer, I can’t help but think how happy the sunshine makes us. I don’t know if it’s because I am thinking about my happiness levels more than usual or because the sunshine has been so forthcoming this month – but even when I had a few setbacks this month, my smile was hard to shift.

For July I wanted to look at the influence money has on happiness. Let’s see how I got on.

1. Indulge in a modest splurge

At the moment I am in deep saving mode (deposits for houses don’t grow on trees you know) so I must admit, I found it incredibly hard to ‘splurge’. The most I probably spent was on a trip to London to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We went to a luxurious rooftop bar and indulged in cocktails and nibbles all afternoon while the sun shone above us. I couldn’t have done this without money in the bank and I must admit – it made me happy.

Would I have been just as happy on a park bench drinking water with my friends? Probably. But the act of ‘splashing out’ and celebrating an occasion made it feel more special.

2. Buy needful things

I should have bought new shoes, new jeans or even bits of furniture for my future house – but I didn’t. Most of my money this month went on socialising, but I like to think spending money in this way makes you happier than a pair of work shoes.

3. Spend money on an experience

This month I did spend money on tickets for future experiences. A comedy night as an anniversary surprise later this year and a music festival in August. While I haven’t had these experiences yet, I’m positive this will be money well spent.

4. Get rid of possessions I no longer need/use

While I didn’t technically get rid of things I no longer need, I did move some things around – namely my winter jumpers from my wardrobe into storage. A simple change to make, but it made my wardrobe feel lighter and it makes life that little bit easier for me when I get dressed!

So, can money buy you happiness? I’m not going to lie – it certainly helps. Having said this, I think it’s the way we spend our money that determines our long-term happiness. Spending it on experiences and socialising this month made me happier than any pretty piece of clothing would. There are plenty of things that make us happy that don’t require money too, and next month these are the things I will be focussing on.

Goals for August

In the Happiness Project book, August is dedicated to considering the ‘heavens’ i.e. exploring your spirituality and being mindful of your mortality. It sounds slightly melancholy, but in reality it is about enjoying life in the moment and considering where you fit in the grand scheme of things. With this in mind, my goals for August are:

  • meditate more often
  • make some keepsakes
  • learn more about the spiritual side of yoga
  • figure out where I want to be in 10 years time.

To read about previous months, please see the Happiness Project archive.

How to feel better as a parent

August 8th, 2014

How to feel better as a parent Parenting can be hard and stressful, but there are ways to relax and enjoy spending time with your children while being the best you can be.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with parenting these days, thanks in particular to societal pressures and ever-changing child-rearing theories that can put a lot of pressure on parents.

Many will worry that that they are not doing their best, and some may blame themselves if their children get into trouble or experience difficulties.

Parenting however doesn’t have to be stressful and chaotic, and there are ways to enjoy being a parent without worrying whether you are doing a good job.

Here is a simple guide to feeling better as a parent:

Spend more time with your kids

Research shows that parents in the UK work the longest hours in Europe and try to make up for it by buying their kids all the latest gadgets. This can be easily resolved if you make simple changes to your daily routine. Cut out the weekly food shop by ordering online for home delivery and ensure mealtimes are spent socialising with the family. This will give you more valuable time to spend with the kids.

Try not to shout

Shouting and yelling about your frustrations can negatively impact a child’s development. If they need to be told off, aim to do this calmly but firmly, telling them what they have done is wrong and establishing clear rules there and then.

Set a good example

Do you swear and curse in front of your children? Children are always watching and listening, so they pick up behaviours – both positive and negative – very quickly. To bring up children that are honest, respectful and balanced, parents need to make sure they are setting a role that matches this.

Do fun things together

Dedicate your weekends and spare time to having fun with your kids – playing games, taking them for bike rides, going to the park or doing sports. This will not only help to strengthen bonds, but the physical exercise will keep everyone active and happy due to the release of endorphins.

Kids aren’t perfect either  

Parents often strive to live up to an image of parenting perfection, but they may also put this pressure on their kids too. Setting sights too high and wanting our children to do well is inevitable, but lowering standards and accepting that kids are going to spill things and lose their tempers is essential for relaxing into the role of a parent and enjoying it wholly.

If you need some extra guidance on how to rear your children into happy, healthy, well-rounded individuals, you may want to consider parent coaching.To find out more about this service, please see our parenting page. 

View and comment on the original Life Hacks article. 

Three ways to love your job

August 5th, 2014

Three ways to love your job In this blog we look at simple ways to find joy in your work.

Many workers find themselves contending with the struggle of being successful and loving work – not believing that the two can become one. All too often the emotional sacrifice of joy is rationalised by the fact that they are being paid and can therefore support their family or support the lifestyle they view as ‘successful’.

Loving work is viewed as an ideal that few can achieve – but it can be done. The key is not to view it as a by-product of being successful, rather a stepping stone to success. The following three tips can help you find the joy in your nine to five.

1. Make loving what you do a priority

We are all naturally programmed to want to enjoy work. Psychologists agree that humans enjoy being stretched to accomplish something challenging. We need to take responsibility for creating conditions for this to occur however, not wait around for it to happen on its own.

This means you need to create a proactive perspective, not a reactive one. Once we get settled into a role we tend to fall into reactive mode, dealing with challenges as they present themselves. Try to think more proactively – try to foresee future issues or opportunities and research their impact.

2. Know what your talent and purpose is and use them in your job

A key part of loving your job is utilising what you are best at – your talent. If your not sure what this is, pay attention to the areas of your job that you feel excited about and ask your manager to highlight your strengths. Your purpose is what makes you feel fulfilled at work. Find out what areas of your job make you feel fulfilled and why. If your job isn’t utilising your talents or making you feel fulfilled, speak to your manager or, if necessary, consider another line of work.

3. Change your habits

For many, not being engaged at work is a habit. You may find yourself accepting projects that don’t challenge you because that’s what you’ve always done. Try to take a step back and build a case for work that would keep you motivated and challenged. Find someone else in the company who would benefit from doing the work that doesn’t suit you and then go to your superiors with your plan. Showing initiative like this will impress and you may well end up with a more fulfilling role.

If you are bored in your job and aren’t sure how to move forward, you may find it helpful to speak to a career coach. Find a coach in your area using our advanced search tool.

View and comment on the original Daily Muse article.

Six habits that will make you smarter

July 31st, 2014

Six habits that will make you smarterIncreasing your intelligence doesn’t stop at school – keep reading for six easy habits to boost brain power.

Many of us think that our intelligence is a fixed quantity that can’t be changed, but research suggests that this isn’t true. The way we approach situations and the things we do to nourish our brains can significantly impact our mental prowess.

Even if ‘getting smarter’ isn’t a priority for you, stretching your mental muscles will help you be more creative and help you think in new ways, both at work and in your personal life. The following six habits are easy to carry out and can be incredibly beneficial to your cognitive function.

1. Use your online time wisely

While most of us spend time online catching up with friends, reading celebrity gossip or watching videos of cute animals – the Internet offers a vast opportunity to increase intelligence. Why not spend some of your time listening to thought provoking talks or start an online course?

2. Write what you learn

Taking just a few minutes every day to write down what you have learnt that day can help you to reflect. On top of this, reiterating the lessons you’ve learnt this way will help you to retain the information as it forces you to recap what you’ve learnt.

3. Play games

Puzzles and board games are a great way to pass the time and give your brain a workout; problem solving games like scrabble and Sudoku are particularly beneficial.

4. Read more

This one shouldn’t come as a big surprise. By reading more you will widen your vocabulary and boost your learning potential. Opinions vary regarding the subject matter you should read, but experts agree reading a lot (whatever it is) is beneficial.

5. Learn a new skill

Learning a new skill will understandably help to challenge your intellect, no matter how irrelevant the skill may seem. A good example to highlight this is the story of Steve Jobs, who wandered into a calligraphy course when he dropped out of college. At the time the skill seemed irrelevant, but the design skills he learnt here were later used in the first Macs.

6. Have some downtime

While doing all these intellectually stimulating activities is great for the brain, it is important to give yourself some time to absorb it all. Allow yourself some mental space at the end of the day – maybe spend some time in silence or exercise to quiet your mental chatter.

If you want some guidance when it comes to self-development, you may find it useful to hire a coach. Find out more on our personal development page.

View and comment on the original The Muse article.