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Create Yourself - Practical Activities for Self-Discovery and Change

Create Yourself - Practical Activities for Self-Discovery and Change

By Kay Holdsworth
Every Friday I share practical tools, activities and exercises that help women to reconnect to their purpose, passions and potential. This includes guided relaxations, meditations and visualisations, as well as journaling activities and coaching exercises. It is for women who want to learn, grow and gain deeper insights into who they really are and what they most need to show up fully as themselves.
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Interview with Blue Glasses Girl - Emma Roberts

Create Yourself - Practical Activities for Self-Discovery and Change

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Dealing with Tough Times
Let’s face it when challenging things happen.  We all face tough times and life can throw us curve balls.  The problem is that when we are feeling stressed, anxious or low we are not always at our most resourceful. It's hard during these difficult times to think about what could help us the most.   This is why it’s always good to prepare for these times in advance.  It helps to prepare some reminders or some actions that we could do.  In this episode we create a plan for tough times and consider the things that can really help us overcome them.
08:42
June 18, 2021
Focusing on the Good
In today's episode we look at activities you can do to feel better about ourselves.  Often when we are feeling in a bad place we tend to focus in on all the things that are not working in our lives, whilst the good stuff gets totally overshadowed. We forget all about our strengths, skills and great qualities, all the wonderful things about us that make us unique and special.   These exercises will help you reconnect and remind you of the positives in your life.    
08:48
June 11, 2021
Ways to Deal with Setbacks
In this episode I talk about setbacks.   Setbacks are a normal part of life, things don't always go according to plan. So its important to recognise that setback are likely and they do not mean that you are useless, that its all pointless and that you are a failure. Watch out how you talk to yourself during these times because this has such a powerful impact on us. The way we talk to ourselves has the ability to lift our mood or bring us down. The way we talk to ourselves will effect our confidence and self-esteem, and can easily lead to us feeling bad about ourselves. Can you change the conversation you have with yourself. Catch yourself when you are falling into unhelpful thinking , like I’m a failure, it pointless , its useless. And instead say to yourself. It’s okay, it’s just a setback. And prepare for when setbacks are most likely to happen. There is always certain times when we might not be functioning as well as we could be. It’s normal to have times when motivation plummets and self-doubts creep in. What we don’t want….Consider when this might happen. Have you heard of the acronym HALT.  Hungry, angry lonely and tired.  If we are feeling any of those 4 or even all 4 at the same time. It’s likely that we are not going to be at our most resourceful. So having some strategies up our sleeves for these moments can be really useful. Think of setbacks like a bump in the road, simple a blip. Nothing more. And before you know it you be back on track. Don’t allow negative thinking to sabotage your progress, sometimes we forgot about how far we have really come and all the progress that we have actually made. So when things get touch as they will try and remind yourself that it will pass. Things won’t be like this forever, and you have probably been through equally tough times and come out of it the other end. You will also find me at kayholdsworth.com
04:58
June 04, 2021
Creating Better Relationships
Most of us want to fit in and feel like we belong. Its normal to want to feel that we feel connected with others. But relationships with others is not always easy. It can be fraught sometimes with difficulties and even the best of relationships can have its ups and downs. In this episode I offer some suggestions of ways we can build better relationships with people. You can find out more about me over at my website kayholdsworth.com
08:02
May 28, 2021
Journaling Activity - Learning to be kinder to Ourselves
Here's a reminder of the 5 steps to challenge unhelpful thinking. 1) Identify the thought 2) Write it down 3) Challenge it Ask yourself, Is this true?  Is this fair? Is there another way of looking at the situation What would you say to a friend who had a similar thought? 4) rewrite the thought. Create a more balanced and realistic thought. We can also apply mindfulness which helps us to learn to interact with our thoughts differently.  We have a choice how we engage with them.  When we practice mindfulness we learn to become more present and in the moment and living less in our heads. Now we all have an inner voice.  This is simply the inner dialogue that is going on inside our head. Everyone has this. Unfortuntley for many of this voice can be harsh, critical and rather unkind. Here is todays task that I suggest.   Think about a recent situation that has been a struggle for you or you have been finding difficult. Write specifically about what has bene challenging for you. Write about in as much detail as possible what has been challenging for you about this situation. I want you to write about this for 5 or 10 minutes. You might set a timer on your mobile phone. And really don’t overthink this exercise, you really can’t get it wrong. You don’t need to worry about punctuation, grammar or spelling. This is only for your eyes. You can use your mobile or computer . Do what works for you. Now I want to ask yourself, how have I been talking to myself about this situation? How have you been speaking to yourself about this? The problem is that when we are feeling low , anxious or stressed this is often the times we talk the most harshly and unkind to ourselves. This is such as shame isn’t it, because this is the time we really need to talk to ourselves when we need to be supportive, understanding and offering ourselves reassurance. I then ask you to reflect on how you talk to yourself and ask yourself what effect do you think the things you are saying to yourself are having on you? Is this way of talking to yourself helping or hindering you? Are you been encouraging and supportive or is the way you speak to yourself about this bringing you further down. Think about the effect you are having on yourself by Are you been kind supportive? Would you talk to a friend the same way you talk to yourself?  Feel free to come and be part of the Create Yourself Facebook group where I share a variety to tools and practical activities for self-discovery and change.  You can also find me at kay.holdsworth.com
06:10
May 21, 2021
Understanding Stress & Anxiety
If you are experiencing stress & anxiety it can help hugely to understand why we experience it. In a nutshell it is our bodies natural response to any perceived threat. This is called the Fight/flight response that has evolved to protect us from danger & keep us safe. These days assorts of things can trigger our flight/fight response to switch on. It helps to remember that this is a totally normal human response & the feelings, if we allow, will soon pass.
07:07
May 03, 2021
Self-Discovery Activity - What Do You Truly Enjoy?
This is such a simple, yet effective activity to do. All you have to do is make a list of 20 activities and pastimes that you enjoy. It really is that easy.  The activities may be things that you used to do as a child or in the past, or things that you currently enjoy doing.  It might even include things that you've hardly tried but are drawn to.  Activities that you have a sense that you will enjoy.  This is a great activity to do if you are feeling stuck in a bit of a rut or feeling lacking in energy and enthusiasm.  It can also help to do this if you are considering changing careers and are unsure what direction to take.  It can help you re-assess and remember the things that light you up.  It can reconnect you to your values, what is important and what matters to you.  What activities and pastimes make you feel alive.  Once you've completed it take some time to reflect on any themes that jump out at you.  What stands out? What do these activities say about you as a person? How long has it been since you enjoyed these activities.  It can be quite shocking to realise how long it has been since you last did some of your favourite pastimes.  Ask yourself, what gets in the way?  If you were to choose one activity to do this month which one would you choose? To take a look at my list of 20 activities and pastimes visit my blog over at Kayholdsworth.com
08:24
April 16, 2021
Letting Go to Move Forward Meditation
A short (6 minute) mediation practice. As we know the breath is a powerful tool. In this very simple short meditation I invite you to let go of whatever is stagnant & stuck. By letting go we create space for new possibilities & opportunities. What do you need to let go of the most right now? What is holding you back? When we start to let go we make way for new growth & learning. We make space for more of what we need in our lives to emerge. If you are interested in activities for self-discovery & change I have a new Facebook group called Create Yourself. Only for members I run a weekly group called Writing For Self-discovery. You can also check out my blog over at kayholdsworth.com.
06:57
April 09, 2021
What Makes You Feel Bad
Today I share some of the things that make me feel bad. This is part of last weeks simple exercise where we got pen & paper and brainstormed all the things that make us feel good. On the other half of the paper I want you to tap into the things that bring you down & make you feel bad about yourself. After you’ve done it see if you can notice an themes or patterns. What stands out for you? Is there anything useful you can take-away from this exercise? Any valuable learning?
15:20
April 02, 2021
Simple Ways to Feel Good About Yourself
We all want to feel good. In this session I talk you through a very simple activity of reminding yourself of all the things that make you feel good about yourself. All you need is paper, pen & a spare 10 minutes. I share all the things that help me to feel good too. Although we probably know what makes us feel good, we don’t always do them! For instance I know dancing makes me feel amazing but I’ve hardly danced this year. Time to get my dancing shoes on!
13:41
March 26, 2021
The Ideal Day Guided Visualisation
In this episode we harness the creative potential & power of our amazing minds. Guided imagery & visualisation are powerful tools that can help us create a life true to who we are & what we want. In this guided exercise I encourage you to step into & fully experience your ideal day five years from now. How do you want to feel? What do you want to be doing? By tapping into our limitless imagination we can start to move toward a future that brings us more enjoyment, purpose & pleasure.
19:16
March 19, 2021
Taking a Comforting Breath
Often when we choose to meditate or relax we are not as fully comfortable as we could be. In this practice I want you to see if you can make yourself that bit more comfortable. What adjustments do you need to make? What could you do to make yourself just 5% more comfortable? Comfort is King! So grab a pillow, maybe an eye mask or a flannel and a blanket. Maybe even a rolled up towel for the ankles to rest on .... Take some easy, relaxed breaths.
08:49
March 12, 2021
A Guided Mindful Awe Walk
We spend so much time stuck in our heads that we miss so much of what is going on around us. During this walking practice I help you to appreciate & savour the world around you. It involves using all your senses to be fully present & fully experience the here & now. Enjoy!
11:28
March 05, 2021
Grounding Techniques for Stressful Times
In this New Year episode I talk about grounding techniques that I find helpful. There are so many different ones so it is trial & error to find one that works for you. Be willing to experiment. Like any skills it takes time & practice.
12:19
January 08, 2021
Find Your Anchor - A simple breath practice
This is a good practice to do for 1-3 minutes to begin with. The breath is the perfect anchor to tether us to the present moment...and it’s literally under our noses.
08:53
December 04, 2020
Just One Breath Meditation
Even just taking one simple breath can help us come back to the present moment. Give the breath your full undivided attention. Be with it, beginning, middle & end.
02:14
November 28, 2020
A simple Grounding Technique
This is such a simple Grounding Technique that you can do it anytime & anywhere. It will help anchor you back into the present moment.
08:55
November 20, 2020
Connection & Wellbeing - Ways to Connect More
We all need human contact and connection. If we feel disconnected from others, lonely & isolated it can effect our mental health & Wellbeing. It is harder than ever to be connected to others with all the restrictions at the moment due to the governments response to Corona. In this episode I consider just a few ways we can reach out to others & connect.
15:30
November 12, 2020
Creating Your Own Mental Health First Aid Kit
In dark times it’s good to have strategies & ways to help you feel better. In this episode I talk you through what you might include in your own wellbeing plan or Mental Health First Aid kit.
13:10
November 06, 2020
Interview with Blue Glasses Girl - Emma Roberts
In today's episode I interview Emma Roberts, who goes under the name of Blue Glasses Girl.   Emma is a  Creative Coach, Artist, Writer and an activist for disability rights.   Last summer I had some life coaching sessions with her, and found them extremely helpful.   I asked Emma on the podcast as she is such a wildly creative & inspiring, person. She freely talks about what it’s like living with a mental health illness and a disability. Yet this does not stop her from getting out into the world and creating a life she loves.   During our interview she offers advice on how to " live life, your way."  We talk about the importance of listening to our intuition, how to overcome creative struggles, and ponder whether there is such a thing as really living your best life? If you are interested in finding out more about what she does head over to blueglassesgirl.com. Or you can look her up on Facebook, Blueglassesgirl. Here are some links to the organisations which Emma refers to and is active member of. I hope you enjoy the episode. http://ldpo.co.uk/ https://cocreateartshealth.teachable.com/p/salespage https://www.lahwn.co.uk/
49:35
October 27, 2020
A breakdown of the 5 Steps to Exploring Emotions
In this podcast I talk you through the key steps to exploring your emotions. Pause, Notice, Name the Feeling, Explore, Validate & Need. Originally there was 5 but I’ve added an extra one. Too often we suppress & push down our emotions. Yet what we resist, has a tendency to persist. This simple, easy to follow practice will help you to acknowledge, validate & experience your feelings more fully. Learning will benefit our emotional & mental health.
10:38
October 21, 2020
A 5 Step Practice to Explore Your Emotions
Most of us avoid, suppress, deny & ignore our emotions. We rarely take the time to fully validate & experience them. It’s perhaps too uncomfortable, unsettling or scary. Yet by resisting our emotions we create another layer of potential struggle & pain. I this practice we notice, acknowledge & allow our emotions to be just as they are.
09:28
October 19, 2020
Getting Out of Your Own Way
It’s easy to get caught up in overthinking. A simple definition of overthinking is to think about something for too long or too much. We all do it. The first step to changing a tendency to overthink is to catch yourself in the act. Notice how your overthinking impacts you. Does it make you hesitate or doubt yourself? Perhaps you end up losing motivation & confidence? Let’s start getting out of our heads & out of our own way. Kayholdsworth.com
03:48
October 08, 2020
Easing Anxiety- A Guided Practice
When we are anxious it can feel like we have no control. Yet we can control our breath. The breath can be our secret tool for helping ease anxiety. This simple practice explains how by changing our breath pattern we can start to send a signal to our bodies that we are safe.
10:49
October 06, 2020
Who Am I? Free-flow Writing Exercise
I’ve just been flicking through an old journal from 2016 & I came across a timed piece of writing titled who am I. On the spur of the moment, with nothing better to do with myself on a Friday night, I decided to share it. My challenge to you is to have a go at a 20 minutes timed writing exercise.
04:53
October 02, 2020
Taking Five Minutes to Calm the Mind
Sometimes all you need is five minutes to calm the mind. It’s surprising just how quickly the mind can start to settle, when we give it the space to do so. So why not a take five minute refresh break right now. Feel free to come and find me over at Kayholdsworth.com
04:33
September 30, 2020
A Poem About Making Mistakes - My Life in 5 Chapters by Portia Nelson
It’s funny how we can end up getting stuck & repeating the same mistakes. It can be so frustrating. This poem perfectly illustrated how this is all part of the process & our human journey. Change is possible but it often takes time. We need to be patient with ourselves.
15:43
September 28, 2020
Here Now- A Mindfulness Meditation
This short meditation gives you an opportunity to create some space & come into the present moment. We use the breath & the body to anchor us into the here & now. Kayholdsworth.com
16:54
September 25, 2020
Taking Ten Breaths - 3 minutes to re-set
If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed this short practice can help you create some space. It’s so easy, that you can do it anytime & any place. It might be simple but I find it really effective. Check out my other tools & activities at Kayholdsworth.com
03:33
September 24, 2020
Meeting & Greeting Anxiety
The feeling of anxiety & panic can be overwhelming. Our natural urge is to want it to stop. We resist the feelings & push them away. Yet by resisting these difficult feelings we can end up feeding them. It feels very counter-intuitive but when we start to get curious & lean into our anxiety, it’s hold over us can begin to lessen.
16:29
September 23, 2020
You Are Good Enough
You are good enough is a short poem for all you women out there who ever doubt your potential & capabilities. It’s normal to have self-doubts & low days, yet some of us constantly battle with feelings of low self-worth. This poem is the perfect reminder that YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise...especially yourself. Find me at Kayholdsworth.com
02:07
September 22, 2020
Sleep Better - The Practice of Yogic Sleep
Yoga Nidra is a guided practice that allows you to access a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping. During this practice the mind & body will begin to switch off. It is often used to aid sleep and help reduce stress & anxiety. Like any meditation, it’s about finding the right one for you. Give it a try. Make sure you are warm & comfy enough. Ideally place something over the eyes. Not only will the dark help quieten the senses,the weight will help calm your nervous system.
18:36
September 21, 2020
Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude
An attitude of gratitude doesn’t necessarily come easily to most of us. We have a tendency to take things for granted, that include me. We have a tendency to focus on what’s wrong in our lives instead of what’s going right. Yet research shows when we train ourselves to focus on the positives we feel better & our wellbeing improves. Cultivating a more appreciative outlook takes practice. This guided meditation will help you begin to do just that.
11:15
September 18, 2020
Finding Happiness -A guided Meditation Practice
Life isn’t always butterflies & rainbows. For most of us real happiness is fleeting. Yet most of us would say we want to be happy. What’s does happiness mean to you? Tara Brach describes it as a profound sense of okayness. Not necessarily free from discomfort or pain. Feeling a sense of okayness in the midsts of life’s challenges. Let’s see if we can tap into this sense if our okayness during this meditation.
17:52
September 17, 2020
Offer Yourself Self-Care - A Guided Relaxation
Self-care is not all about spa days & bubble baths. It’s about taking the time to understand & tend to our own needs. Self-care is even more important in these challenging times. When we take the time to fill our own cup we find, not only do we feel better, we have more patience & energy due others. Kay@kayholdsworth.com
13:07
September 16, 2020
Sunshine Meditation
Today’s meditation is inspired by the sunshine. The sunshine has the power to lift our spirits. This guided meditation will help to cultivate a more positive mood & harness some feel good energy. Kay@kayholdsworth.com
10:58
September 15, 2020
Mindfulness Meditation
A mini mindfulness meditation. We have so many thoughts each day. It’s so easy to identify & get caught up in them. Mindfulness teaches us to detach & be more of an observer. See our thoughts for just what they are...only thoughts.
11:58
September 14, 2020
Walking Meditation
An opportunity to cultivate mindfulness as you walk.
13:48
September 12, 2020
Guided Relaxation ... Let’s Relax...
Short but sweet guided relaxation.
11:41
September 12, 2020
10 Minute Standing Mindfulness Practice
Finding balance in life can be tricky. This standing mindfulness practice is about learning to ground ourselves in the here & now. It might be a bit of a wobbly one!
13:14
September 11, 2020
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is based on the simple practice of tensing or tightening the muscles & then releasing them. When we are stressed & anxious we tighten & tense the muscles. PMR helps us to break this cycle.
16:14
September 10, 2020
Guided Relaxation- Relaxing the Mind
Some days our minds are so busy. Constant thinking can be exhausting. This relaxation will hopefully help to create some space & bring you into the present moment. Usual I create my own relaxations but this one is from Lama Yeshe Rabgye a Buddhist Monk from India
07:26
September 09, 2020
Guided Relaxation - Letting Go of Stress
When we are stressed & anxious we tend to contract & tighten the body. Today’s relaxation is all about starting to release & ease some of this built up tension.
11:07
September 08, 2020
Your Future Self Guided Relaxation
Imagination is a place where anything is possible. Einstein said it was more powerful than knowledge, as it has the potential to encircle the world. During this guided relaxation we will meet our future self. Put your scepticism & doubts aside & see where this guided visualisation takes you. Kayholdsworth.com
11:33
September 07, 2020
Guided Relaxation for Offering Yourself Kindness
Often we can be super harsh & down on ourselves. This guided relaxation will help to show yourself more kindness , compassion & care. kayholdsworth.com
07:01
September 04, 2020
September 3, 2020
00:39
September 03, 2020