How to indulge - without the hangover!

When I look at my calendar and inbox it feels full of plans for drinks gatherings, bbq catch ups, family parties and even a recipe from my aunt for fabulous chocolate truffles! A whole lot of delicious decadence and fun.

But I’m a bit nervous about the hangovers!

I’ll probably risk indulging with delight in the great food and drink. I definitely can’t wait to make the chocolate truffles. However, at the same time I also want to plan some healthy indulgence.

I’m keen to boost my positive emotions and positive relationships without nasty side effects!

How can we indulge AND increase our flourishing?

Indulgences to help us flourish

1. Indulge in movement

The research is in and well accepted, there’s no argument that movement is good for us physically and mentally – but often it’s the first thing we lose track of when we’re busy. Ironically this is probably when we might most benefit so could it help to plan for it and think of it as an indulgence?

How might you indulge? Could you?

  • Book a walk into your diary (if it feels good make it a recurring date!)

  • When no-one’s watching turn up your favourite music and dance (or tap your foot and sway if you’re really not a dancer!)

  • Trial the exercise class you’ve been thinking about or test out the benefit of a few yoga stretches before bed

2. Indulge in nature.

The benefits of being in a natural environment or even simply looking at some beautiful pictures of natural areas is also really well researched. It’s been shown to reduce feelings of stress, fear and anxiety and increase positive emotions such as awe, gratitude and meaning.

How might you indulge? Could you:

  • Plan to watch the sunset one night this week

  • Find a flower and spend a few moments quietly enjoying the colour and the scent

  • Find some incredible nature photos online

3. Indulge in time for you

For many of us this probably feels like the ultimate indulgence! However the science of self compassion tells us that when we look after ourselves and occasionally put our own needs first, the benefits are enormous. Simply giving yourself permission to indulge, taking a guilt free break from your to do list, will give you a burst of energy and positive emotion. It might even help you accomplish more later on.

How might you indulge? Could you:

  • Go to see that film you’ve been longing to see – or if it’s left the cinemas, download it and indulge

  • Call the friend who you love love love chatting to but just haven’t had time to catch up with for months

  • Take a 20 minute nap

  • Make a coffee date with yourself and a good book

Time for a treat!

Whatever speaks to you we encourage you to give it a try! You work hard and deserve a little healthy indulgence!

We’re in your corner

Kate & Debra

indulge without  hangover



The Busy Trap - What's really behind your ToDo list, and how to take back control

Have you bumped into a friend at the supermarket and had the following conversation?

You: Hi! How are you?

Friend: I’m insanely busy! You?

You: I’m crazy busy too!

You wouldn't be alone! A strange cultural phenomenon has led us to wear “busyness” as a badge of honor. This also extends to our kids - they’re often scheduled to within an inch of their lives outside of school with extracurricular activities.

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Somehow we’ve normalized — and even praise our busyness. But are we really doing ourselves any favours? The truth is, our insistence on staying busy can have damaging effects on our mental well-being: more stress, exhaustion, burnout, and an inability to focus on the present. And our kids come home at the end of the day as tired and stressed as we do.

So, what’s the deal with being busy? Why are we doing this to ourselves?

Here are a couple of home truths to ponder:

We spend a lot of time doing things we should do, or that society expects of us, or that everyone else is doing. Our houses should be spotless, we’re expected to have manicured toes and no greys in our hair, everyone else is sending their child to extra sport/music/drama/tutoring! No wonder we get a sense of overwhelm from all the things we do, compared to the far smaller quantity of things we’re actually capable of doing with the time available.

And perhaps deep down, a lot of us are using busyness as a way to hide from ourselves. Who would we be if we weren't busy accomplishing stuff? What truths about ourselves or our lives would we have to face that we can avoid facing when we’re crazy busy? Are we reassuring ourselves about our worth by making a link between being busy and being important and valuable?

We recommend coming out behind your “ToDo list” and taking back control of your life.

Here’s how:

  1. Ditch the “shoulds” and do the “want to’s.” Prioritise your ToDo list by the most valued tasks. Anything that’s not truly important to you personally, delegate to someone else, or just ditch it! What events have you committed to over the next month? Which of these are less meaningful, or events you feel you should go to (but don’t really want to)? Find a way to graciously relieve yourself of these commitments.

    When we pursue goals that we want to do, because they’re important to us, we have a recipe for high levels of wellbeing.

  2. Reframe success. Turn your “ToDo” list into a “TaDa!” list. Instead of being overwhelmed with everything you haven’t ticked off your list, at the end of each day write down what you have achieved. Then sing “TaDa!” and do a happy dance.

  3. Detox from your busyness addiction. When we’re on the urgency treadmill, it can feel excruciating to slow down – but you may end up getting more done if you try. Experiment with doing nothing at all for 10 minutes between tasks: the harder that feels, the more you may need it!

  4. Be the change. Reverse the cultural narrative around the pride of busyness. Resist the urge to compete with the “busy bees” or engage in one-upmanship. Your schedule does not make you important.

The truth is our busyness is self-imposed. It's in our control because of the choices we make. Instead, we encourage you to enjoy what’s important, be present with your loved ones and savour the moments.

We’re in your corner,

Debra and Kate

Are you a dipper or a diver when you make plans? - Which is best?

I just spent a weekend away with my girlfriend who’s struggling with what so many working women wrestle with. The confidence to make change to do work she loves! She wants to try a new vocation but hasn’t done anything about it. Do you have any ideas, I ask? Yes, she smiles, and looks dreamy. What’s holding you back, my friend? I don’t know whether to trust my ideas or not, she says….how will I know?

The problem is she’s second guessing her ideas.  She knows she’s scared to dive straight into the deep unknown, but she’s losing ANY confidence to act!

In truth, her lack of confidence comes from two things.

  1. A lack of clarity about her values, priorities and deepest wishes for her life.
  2. She believes she needs to make big decisions right now.

I’m here to tell you my friend, the dive is indeed too scary. Just dip your toes in first, and feel the gentle current against your skin.

….dip your toes in first, and feel the gentle current against your skin

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Because, really, she just needs to figure out her very first step.  To do one thing. To just dip her toes in. This will help her feel if the current is taking her in the direction she wishes to travel, and to know that she can swim. For her, this might be getting some ideas out of her head and onto paper, starting to talk to people in the area she’s interested in, or doing some desktop research. Not so scary after all.

About confidence

From a confidence point of view, the best thing about taking smaller steps is that by breaking down your larger more intangible goal, you can start to see these as very possible to do. Once you think it’s doable, you imagine succeeding. You get a sudden boost of motivation and an urge to act. You take the next step towards your goal.

Scientifically proven - small acts boost your confidence:

  • They help you visualise what needs to happen and prime you to notice opportunities that move you towards your goal.
  • Smaller, (more tangible) goals are much more likely to be achieved.
  • The positive feelings of hope and optimism that come from succeeding enhance your problem-solving abilities, help you see more ways to achieve your goal, and give you the courage and motivation to keep going.

3 steps to dip your toes in

  1. Brainstorm OPTIONS. There are many pathways to your goal. What do you still need to know or find out?  This is a time to expand your options (not narrow them). That way, if one path reaches a dead end, all hope is not lost, you have other routes to follow.
  2. Write it down. Define the small steps you can take to make progress on each pathway. Your steps need to be “doable”! Then test them out.
  3. Celebrate. Acknowledging your small wins along the way will boost your self-belief and fuel your motivation to keep going.

I know my friend will take these steps and enjoy the journey. And, she doesn’t have to do this alone! She can tell someone what she’s working on, so they can follow her up. She can have coffee with people who can answer her questions. She can go to a professional and hire a coach!

As her goal of a career change takes shape, piece by piece she’ll feel more excited and confident. We wish this for you too!

Best wishes

Flourishing Mothers