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Learn the secret to creating the life you really want PSYCHOLOGIES.CO.UK





DO IT! Take control of your career LIFE SCHOOL

Let go of your ex ● How to deal with rude people ● No more toxic friendships ● Change your life with veganism ●


YOGA heaven Discover your perfect retreat


Reconnect today PROFILE

Nicole Kidman

On complexity, gratitude and love of the sisterhood


No more excuses! Build your courage in 5 easy steps Be confident – don’t fear failure or disapproval

Be to yourself

Find your own balance with a little help from TruviaÂŽ Calorie-free sweetener from the Extract of the stevia leaf

Life is sweet

Contents FEBRUARY 2019



Page 110

Page 50

Page 38

Page 24

Page 20

Page 56 Page 54

Page 58

Page 94

Cover: Josh Telles / August Image


















Nicole Kidman

“I follow my spirit… I love jumping into the deep end. Why not?” Be part of our club!


Our online coaching club is free to all subscribers (see page 74). Access interactive videos, podcasts and downloadable workbooks, plus join a kind community of like-minded people. Change your life at





Ruby Warrington asks what life might be like as a soberista 24



Letting go of an old flame was a tough lesson for Anna Behrmann


Coach Gabriela Lerner found her purpose on a journey to good health 38



Relationship help from Sarah Niblock 40


Kate Townshend lifts the lid on her secret stash of treasured keepsakes 44 SHARED VALUES

The guiding principles and passions of Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes 46 ‘I CAN’T STAND HER DRINKING’

Our agony aunt, Mary Fenwick, assists three readers in distress


A brave new you in 2019 60 WHERE COULD BRAVERY TAKE YOU?

What is possible, if only you learned to flex your courage muscles? Fledgling warrior Anita Chaudhuri seeks answers 66 GATHER YOUR SISTERS IN ARMS

Build a kind, inspirational support network of like-minded people. Suzy Walker, our Editor-in-Chief, tells you how to be brave 68 ‘I REPLACED MISERY WITH HAPPINESS’

The day Christine Clayfield, author of No Fourth River, decided to be strong was the turning point in her life 70 WHAT ARE YOU REALLY AFRAID OF?

Is fear holding you back? Take our test to find out what’s keeping you stuck in your comfort zone, and what needs to change F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 3

Contents FEBRUARY 2019


Karla Newbey’s sexual journey continues 50


Scared Amy Pierce fakes it till she makes it, and discovers the heady power of self-confidence 54


Award-winning coach Kim Morgan mentors a woman whose friendships aren’t serving her well 56


Straight-talking Oliver Burkeman has the Last Word on dealing with impolite people


Chris Young continues his trek around the British coastline – and he needs you to lend a hand 108 THE SK Y ’S THE LIMIT

In the darkness of northern Norway, Lizzie Enfield finds light, and hope, under the dazzling aurora 110


Caroline Sylger Jones, the Queen of Retreats, presents her favourite wellbeing breaks for 2019

#360ME 78

Expert advice in four holistic sections – Mind, Body, Spirit and Gut – for happiness, and pleasure


Home is where the heart is as we batten down the hatches, hunker down and cosy up for winter






Save our skin! #360me’s gorgeous array of soothing saviours for winter-worn complexions 88


A soul-searching Ali Roff reflects on her year of letting go of ‘shoulds’ and finding peace of mind

Get your weekly fix!


WHEN YOU’RE TRYING to create positive change, it can be challenging to stay on track. So, sign up for our weekly uplifting dose of inspiration, with videos from top coaches, practical articles on how to thrive, not just survive, and inspirational and joy-filled quotes to brighten your inbox, and your week. Go to


4 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9


Eminé Rushton recalls the road to burnout with a cautionary tale of human frailty


Gather round the dining table for a seasonal feast with inspirational cook Clodagh McKenna



Bestselling author and nutritional therapist Henrietta Norton takes a deeper look at PMS


Ellen Tout’s plant-based diet changed her life 97


The feminine power of ‘women’s herb’ shatavari 99


Eve Kalinik hails the value of the humble spud

Kelsey Media, Cudham Tithe Barn, Berry’s Hill, Cudham, Kent TN16 3AG (01959 541444, email


OUR TEAM Editor-in-Chief Suzy Walker Design Director Lynne Lanning Creative Director Laura Doherty Features Director Elizabeth Heathcote Wellbeing Director-at-Large Eminé Rushton Associate Editors Danielle Woodward, Anita Chaudhuri Editor-at-Large Ali Roff Features Writer and Digital Editor Ellen Tout Acting Picture Editor Leanne Bracey Production Editor Vee Sey Deputy Production Editor Leona Gerrard Contributing Editors Wellness Nicky Clinch, Elizabeth Bennett, Larah Davies Body Hollie Grant Spirit Annee de Mamiel Mind Suzy Reading and Will Williams Gut Eve Kalinik Yoga Kat Farrants Nature Paul Rushton Retreat Caroline Sylger Jones Health Hazel Wallace Digital Katherine Weir ADVERTISING & PRODUCTION TigerBee Media, Commercial Director Nikki Peterson (020 3510 0849) Production Manager Melanie Cooper (01733 363485) Production Supervisor Dionne Fisher (01733 363485) MANAGEMENT Managing Director Phil Weeden Chief Executive Steve Wright Chairman Steve Annetts Finance Director Joyce Parker-Sarioglu Publishing Director Kevin McCormick Retail Distribution Manager Eleanor Brown Audience Development Manager Andy Cotton Brand Marketing Manager Rebecca Gibson Events Manager Kat Chappell Publishing Operations Manager Charlotte Whittaker Print Production Manager Nicola Pollard Print Production Controller Georgina Harris

Meet three of the people who have taken part in the creation of Psychologies

Fe Robinson

Psychotherapist and couples counsellor Fe is a psychotherapist, working with individuals and couples. She helps clients thrive, despite the personal and life challenges they face. Incorporating NLP psychotherapy and EMDR, Fe specialises in trauma and relational work. She is a regular contributor to our LifeLabs online platform. This month, Fe talks to Sarah Niblock, UKCP’s CEO, about loneliness in relationships. See page 38.

Salma Shah Coach

Business coach and a psychology-led personal branding expert Salma says: ‘I love helping people see things from a new perspective.’ She enables clients to share their message on a bigger platform by bringing their stories together, launching signature programmes and building their businesses. Watch Salma speak live on our Facebook page every month, as she shares her insights on personal development and success. Catch up now and watch live at 1pm on 4 January.

SUBSCRIPTIONS 13 issues of Psychologies are published per annum ● UK annual subscription price: £58.50 ● Europe annual subscription price: £72 ● USA annual subscription price: £72 ● Rest of World annual subscription price: £78 ● UK subscription and back issue orderline: 01959 543747 ● Overseas subscription orderline: 0044 (0) 1959 543747 ● Toll-free USA subscription orderline: 1 888 777 0275 ● UK customer service team: 01959 543747;

Suzy Reading

Psychologist and health coach

Find subscription offers on our website: Manage your subscription online DISTRIBUTION & PRINTING William Gibbons, 28 Planetary Road, Willenhall, Wolverhampton WV13 3XT; 01902 730011; Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London EC1A 9PT; 020 7429 4000; Psychologies is published under licence from Psychologies Magazine France. Psychologies Magazine is a registered trademark. Copyright ©2002


Psychologies Magazine is a registered trademark and is published monthly by Kelsey Media 2019 © all rights reserved. Kelsey Media is a trading name of Kelsey Publishing Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden except with permission in writing from the publishers. Note to contributors: articles submitted for consideration by the editor must be the original work of the author and not previously published. Where photographs are included, which are not the property of the contributor, permission to reproduce them must have been obtained from the owner of the copyright. The Editor cannot guarantee a personal response to all letters and emails received. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Publisher. Kelsey Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties. PRIVACY NOTICE Kelsey Publishing Ltd uses a multi-layered privacy notice, giving you brief details about how we would like to use your personal information. For full details, visit, or call 01959 543524. If you have any questions, please ask, as submitting your details indicates your consent, until you choose otherwise, that we and our partners may contact you about products and services that will be of relevance to you via direct mail, phone, email or SMS. You can opt out at ANY time via email: or 01959 543524.

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PSYCHOLOGIES FRANCE Editor-in-Chief: Laurence Folléa PSYCHOLOGIES ROMANIA Ringier Magazines, 6 Dimitri Pompeiu Street, Bucharest. Tel: +40 212 03 08 00. Managing Director: Mihnea Vasiliu ( Editor-in-Chief: Iuliana Alexa (iuliana. Advertising Manager: Monica Pop (

PSYCHOLOGIES BELGIUM Edition Ventures, Chaussée de Louvain 431D, 1830 Lasne. Tel: + 32 2 379 29 90 Editorial Director: Marie-Christine De Wasseige (mc.dewasseige@ventures. be) Chief editor (French): Christiane Thiry ( Chief editor (Flemish): Barbara Van den Abeele ( Advertising Manager: Manoëlle Sepulchre (

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Suzy is a mother, psychologist, yoga teacher and coach. She specialises in self-care and the management of our energy reserves, a passion sparked when motherhood collided with the terminal illness of her father. Suzy is our Mind Editor (#360me pages) and her book The SelfCare Revolution (Octopus, £12.99) is out now. ‘My mission is to empower people with a selfcare toolkit of smart habits and simple practices that take little time, energy or expense,’ she says.


6 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9


Your brave year ‘When I talk about being brave, I’m not referring to things that terrify us, but smaller acts which make us take a chance on ourselves,’ says Margie Warrell, founder of the Courage Academy, in our Dossier on page 58. We invite you to have your bravest year yet and, whether you’re going to sort out your finances (page 28), let go of the ex (page 24) or pitch for a great new job (page 50), this issue will hit the spot. Suzy Walker We’re inspired from the front by a host of incredible people Editor-in-Chief, with Oscar the office dog who don’t just talk about ‘making it’ but also about the bumps along the way. ‘People look at the medals and think you’re a superhero, but I fought hard to get there,’ says Dame Kelly Holmes on page 44. Gabriela Lerner talks about giving up her highpowered career to start a business in the countryside on page 30; and Psychologies reader and author Christine Clayfield tells us how she replaced abuse with success on page 68. We’re also proud to present our ‘Create the life you want’ journal (page 43), full of wisdom for your own journey to happiness. Our Life Leap Club is going from strength to strength; find out how to create your own community on page 66. It helps to have a positive, uplifting tribe behind you when you’re being brave! Here’s to a new year, full of opportunities to choose differently and create the life you really want.

Take the leap with us!

However you are planning to be brave this year, you are not alone. Join the ‘Psychologies’ Life Leap Club, free to all subscribers, and be part of a kind community of inspiring readers, who are creating life leaps of their own. Access coaching, podcasts, community and more at uk/life-leap-clubnew-subscribers






Send your letters to and tell us what you love about our magazine. You could win a six-month subscription, plus access to our Life Leap Club! Star letter

MY NEW SELF Recently retired, with a muddle of ideas about my future direction, I bought my first ever issue of Psychologies, hooked by the cover’s invitation to ‘plan your fresh start’ (October 2018). I have been inspired by your thought-provoking features and love the emphasis on wellbeing throughout the magazine. Your alarmingly accurate test in the Dossier is already helping me to gain a fresh perspective on my future and to rediscover the self that I know is locked inside! The journal I have begun as a result is proving a wonderfully safe way of sifting and analysing my thoughts and feelings. I can’t thank Psychologies enough for getting me on the right path. Meryl

Share with us…

Share your photos and comments on Instagram @psychologiesmagazine, or tweet us @PsychologiesMag both using #PsychologiesMagazine @GeorginaLucy10:

@Hannah: LEFT Self-care Saturday. Time to crack open my new issue of #psychologiesmagazine and have some me time. I’m saying ‘no’ to studying tonight and choosing a relaxing bubble bath instead.

@PsychologiesMag coming to the rescue just when I needed it! The Dossier has given me lots of opportunity for reflection and it was so needed! Thanks, Psychologies, as always.

@csmony: Carving out some time for #selfcare at the end of a busy day. Reading the latest edition of my favourite @PsychologiesMag with some camomile tea. #metime

@Marie: RIGHT These moments – Mummy is reading #psychologiesmagazine, so Baby B does, too. He climbed up to sit right next to me. My heart is melting!

@popsicles85: @HarrietMinter I absolutely love this month’s piece in @PsychologiesMag. It really is ‘in the tiniest of details’, whether that’s self-love, friendship or romance. Thank you for your words – they made me smile!

Get your weekly fix!

@bylucieann: ABOVE A lovely surprise this morning! I wrote this letter of encouragement to myself at the wonderful Life Leap immersion day led by @suzy_skywalker from #psychologiesmagazine and @nowliveevents. I completely forgot about it! At the time I said to my sister: ‘I wonder why they post them instead of us just taking them today?’ Now, I completely get it. Thank you.



feedback Letter of gratitude

PRE-LOVED MAGAZINES I have been reading Psychologies since issue one and I think it is so refreshingly different. Every magazine I open feels like it’s been personally written for me and the issues I’m facing that month. The trouble is, I’ve been trying to declutter! Each recycling day, I try to throw out my back copies, but I get lured in by the coverlines and end up stacking them back up neatly again – they are still so relevant. Thank you. Joy

I’d like to thank…

My former colleague, Dave You and I both taught physics in a busy school environment, where the constant stream of pupils, work and emails often meant that there was barely time to notice other colleagues, let alone stop and talk to them.


In spite of this, you always spotted if

I took this picture of my dog, happy and dirty after fetching the ball. I am struggling with anxiety and I am constantly trying to find happiness. The joy my dog is showing in this photo reminds me that he doesn’t need much to find happiness. I realise that, very often, simple things are the ones that bring happiness and that we, too, often miss the beauty of simplicity. Emma

The winner

something wasn’t quite right and would find the time to talk. Sometimes, hours into the day, you would arrive at my classroom door, just to ask if things were OK. Your caring, practical approach and confident reassurance that everything would be resolved got me through many difficult times. The incredible generosity and kindness you showed me cannot be praised highly enough. You took the time to notice and acknowledge me, even when you had many other pressing tasks to get done.


WOULD YOU LIKE to showcase your photographic talent in ‘Psychologies’? What moment has made you feel inspired, grateful or moved this month? Capture it and tell us why. We’ll print the winner, plus you’ll receive a six-month subscription, and access to our Life Leap Club! Share your photo with us and explain its inspiration on Instagram @psychologiesmagazine with the hashtag #PsychologiesPhoto or email to

This month’s gratitude letter, star letter and chosen photo win a six-month subscription to Psychologies worth £25.80, plus access to our Life Leap Club! Send your letters to



Thank you so much.



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Is 2019 your year for change? The Make Change! book, featuring uplifting quotes and illustrations like this one (Chronicle Books, £9.99), is a joyful testament to our ability to rise to new challenges and shape our world for the better. Filled to the brim with artwork from a diverse range of illustrators and designers, this book is a font of encouragement for us to face each new hurdle and thrive.

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 11

The Fix


Thought-provoking culture, creative ideas, insightful science and inspiring gifts OUR KINDNESS PROJECT

Mugs, £8.95 each,

CANINE CARDIO Author David Hamilton is an advocate of kindness. Here, he explains how man’s best friend helps protect our heart IN A STUDY OF PATIENTS who’d had heart attacks, the chances of them dying within a year was 400 per cent* less if they owned a dog. While we might assume that this is due to the exercise of walking a dog, research suggests a significant effect comes from our relationship with the pooch. Researchers found that when we interact warmly with a dog we’re close to for 30 minutes, our oxytocin levels increase by 300 per cent (and by 130 per cent** in the dog). Oxytocin

is a ‘cardioprotective’ hormone – it protects the cardiovascular system. One of the ways it does this is by lowering blood pressure. Ultimately, being kind to a dog (or any animal, most likely) is good for your heart. But the key here is that the positive effects were only seen when the person had a good relationship with the dog – there is little change in oxytocin levels when the relationship is not close. And that’s why dogs really are man’s best friend.



Do you need to focus? Try jogging before you have to concentrate on a task. A new study†† suggests a 15-minute run may be effective in sharpening the mind. Two minutes after a running session, students were given tests, and the runners showed increased mental speed. Researchers believe feelings of energy created by running help energise our cognition.

Sweatshirt, £24.99,

Join ‘Psychologies’ kindness tsar David Hamilton live on Facebook

@Psychologiesmagazine for his free 30-day kindness challenge every month, next on 3 January at 1pm. For access to more like this, join the ‘Psychologies’ Life Leap coaching club, free when you subscribe to the magazine. ‘The Five Side Effects Of Kindness’ by David Hamilton (Hay House, £10.99) is out now




Inspiration gram

ONE IN FIVE‡ PEOPLE say that portraying a certain image on social media motivates them to take photos, and 24 per cent say that this has caused them to feel stressed. But CEWE Photoworld’s My Inspiring Moments competition aimed to bring the joy back into photography by encouraging us to capture authentic and meaningful moments. Have-a-go photographers were asked to share their most valued memories and experiences through pictures. The 12 winners’ images make up a calendar which will help support the charity Mind. This emotive image of the famed Icelandic horses was captured by one of the winners, Theresa Wakeley, from Glasgow, during a holiday. Other images include an uplifting shot of a young boy joining the Cubs and striking images of Marsco on the Isle of Skye and Linn Jaw Waterfall near Edinburgh. For more, see

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The Fix

Thought-provoking culture, creative ideas, insightful science and inspiring gifts

SEE EYE TO EYE Think you’re generous? A study* suggests people apparently donate more when they sense they are being watched. Researchers placed a donation box in a museum with a sign reading ‘donations appreciated’, but then added an additional picture of eyes, ears or noses. On average, people’s donations increased with the sign featuring two pairs of eyes. Researchers believe seeing these sparks prosocial and cooperative behaviour. Aye aye!

Eye earrings,, £55,

Audible books

Our friends at Audible tell us why listening to The 3-Day Effect will give you a much-needed nature fix

WE LOVE The 3-Day Effect by Florence Williams

‘The 3-Day Effect’ is available for free to members or with a 30-day Audible trial. See

Science journalist Florence Williams takes listeners on three-day excursions to rediscover the healing power of nature. Williams guides former Iraqi war veterans, sex-trafficking survivors and nature cynics to see how the outdoors supports our mental wellbeing. Whether it’s rafting down Utah’s Green River, backpacking in Arizona’s wilderness or walking through Rock Creek Park in Washington DC, Williams will inspire you to retreat to green spaces.

Get your weekly fix!



14 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9


I DARE YOU… Emma Stroud encourages us to escape our comfort zone and build confidence ALL OF US have our comfort zones and those things that terrify us. For me, going to a nail salon was so scary that I thought I was going to have a panic attack before I went in. Give me an audience of 1,000 people anytime over that. But I went, I took a friend, we giggled and shared the experience. This was on my list from last year. So, write a list of 12 things that scare you. Then, once a month, put one of these things in your diary and do it. Who knows, a whole new world of nails might appear. Next for me is a facial – this clown wants to look good!


Film of the month


Directed by Wash Westmoreland

ENGAGING, WITTY AND sparklingly scandalous, with lovely costumes and entertaining performances from Keira Knightley as Colette and Dominic West as her husband, this biopic of France’s greatest female writer is sensitive and intelligent. After marrying a successful Parisian writer known as Willy, Colette moves from her childhood home in the countryside to the glamorous world of artistic Paris. Willy convinces Colette to ghostwrite for him and, when her semiautobiographical novel about a girl named Claudine becomes a bestseller, it kickstarts Colette’s struggle over

creative ownership; to find her voice and live the life that is right for her. We see her coping with her husband’s infidelities and their open marriage, and eventually falling in love with gender-nonconforming Missy (Denise Gough). Their partnership is the catalyst for Colette to reclaim her true creative self because, as it’s often said in the film: it’s ‘the hand that holds the pen that writes history’. The film has an infectious spirit that will make you smile and have you cheering for the gutsy Colette when she finally breaks free from social constraints to become the legendary female voice of 20th-century fiction. DW

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Join bananas ‘Psychologies’ clownin-residence, Emma Stroud, live on Facebook @Psychologiesmagazine every month, next on 28 January at 1pm. For more like this, join the ‘Psychologies’ Life Leap club, free when you subscribe. See our Dossier about bravery on page 58



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Pooh to Eeyore! An increasingly pessimistic Harriet Minter is aghast to see her glass half empty, so she confronts her gloomy self and chooses optimism instead



ecause I am a bit of a swot, I don’t like to fail a test. So you can imagine my horror when a friend and I took an online personality test to determine levels of optimism – and I’m more of a pessimist than Eeyore! Certain I would come back strongly optimistic (I’ve given a TED Talk on the joy of failure, for heaven’s sake), I was shocked by the result. I’d also assumed that, as an optimist, I saw the best in people, was kinder than pessimists and happier, too. There’s no reason to suggest any of this is true but so deeply did I believe it, I felt ashamed of my ‘flaw’. I tried to justify the result to my (optimistic) friend: it was a bad week; the weather was grim; I wasn’t a pessimist, I was a realist. My poor little pessimistic self bumbled on until my friend put me out of my misery; the test doesn’t determine who you are for all time, just how you are feeling at that moment. Pessimism and optimism aren’t embedded, they’re just a state of being and we can move between the two. Apparently, there are three things to think about here. First, how personally do you take things? If a friend is in a bad mood, do you assume it is to do with you, or that they’re just a bit grumpy that day? Optimists favour the latter – they know they’re not individually responsible for everything that happens in the world. Second, how pervasive is a feeling for you? If something goes wrong, do you see it as a single incident, or a sign that more bad luck will follow? Eeyores see a missed morning alarm as a portent for the entire day. Finally, how permanent do you think a situation is? Optimists are believers in the motto, ‘This too shall pass,’ but, if we’re feeling pessimistic, we believe a bad situation will stay that way forever. I started to see how my current view of the world

was making me a pessimist. I know I can take things personally – writers are not known for their thick skins – but, when I took the test, I was a writer who was exhausted, drowning in work and feeling like I was letting everyone down. So, how to change? I started small – when I was feeling unhappy in a situation, I’d ask myself, ‘How would an optimist see this?’ I looked for the gift or the opportunity in the moment. I repeated, ‘This too shall pass,’ under my breath, which had the added bonus of people avoiding me on the train and I always got a seat. Finally, I asked myself, what would be the best possible outcome? And I chose to believe in that. I chose to believe in hope, because that’s what optimists do. For weekly wisdom from Harriet, sign up for her newsletter at harrietminter. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @harrietminter

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 17

in partnership with Link Nutrition

New year, new you W e tend to start the year with lofty health goals; to lose weight, get fit or eat better. Despite our best intentions, by February, we frequently find ourselves back to our bad habits. One problem is that we focus on arbitrary goals (lose 20lb; run 10km), rather than creating the healthy habits that lead to them. So, why not try implementing the following changes to your life, one small step at a time?

Make small adjustments to your diet

The best change you can make to your diet is the one you can maintain. Try increasing the number of colours on your plate in a day to ensure you’re getting a variety of essential nutrients. If there are any vitamins or minerals you’re not getting enough of, consider adding a Food Based™ supplement to your diet to fill the gaps.


Creating healthy habits could make 2019 your best year yet

Don’t skimp on vitamin D

One of the easiest health resolutions you can make is to start taking a vitamin D supplement. Public Health England recommends that all adults in the UK take a supplement between October and March, when you are unlikely to be getting enough from the sun alone.

Exercise in ways that feel good

Instead of punishing yourself pounding the pavement in the January cold, find an exercise routine that leaves you feeling satisfied and not just sweaty. You’re much more likely to stick to working out when you enjoy the process and not just the results. You can also make your transition to the fit life as smooth as possible by supporting your body with good nutrition. Magnesium is particularly important for aiding recovery and helps prevent muscle cramps. A joint supplement high in glucosamine can help when launching into a new high-impact exercise regime.



SOAK UP THE SUN Link Nutrition create unique Food Based™ supplements that combine vitamins and minerals in the form nature intended with the highest quality herbs, extracts and mushrooms. They pride themselves on producing supplements that are safe, effective and absorbable. Until 16 January, receive a free full-size bottle of Vitamin D with any purchase from

emotional intelligence HOW TO BE …

Sober curious

As Dry January takes hold, author Ruby Warrington asks you to consider how different your life would be if you stopped drinking on autopilot, or stopped drinking altogether?


hy is alcohol everywhere? Why are the only people who don’t drink those who choose not to because of religious or health reasons? ‘I call this questioning getting sober curious,’ says Ruby Warrington, co-founder of Club SÖDA NYC, a community for people to discuss sobriety.


Be curious about why you drink.

Ask: Is my life so bereft of joy that the hangover is worth the high? How will drinking really make me feel? What am I drinking not to feel? What else makes me feel alive? How can I have fun without booze? How can I relax without it? How can I connect with others while sober?


Get emotionally conscious.


Consider moderation: ‘This


Awareness helps us make choices that support our highest self. ‘Listening to your feelings helps you discover what’s wrong; what you need; what you can do about it. Feelings don’t like being ignored, especially if they have information about our wellbeing. Drinking numbs unmet emotional needs. The only way to hear what our feelings are trying to tell us is to sit with them when we’re sober,’ she says. is relevant if you still believe your happiness is linked to alcohol: it’s how you relax; connect; find joy. Being ‘sober curious’ is learning to trust the truth for you over the messages about booze. What do you need alcohol for, even in moderation?’ ‘Sober Curious’ by Ruby Warrington (HarperCollins, £20) is out on 2 January;

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 19


Nicole Kidman

“I believe in sisterhood. We are sisters in the world and we have to support each other” The new year is looking good for Nicole Kidman. In yet another career renaissance, an Oscar buzz is building about her new film, Destroyer. She shares her love of complex roles, feminism and fun WORDS IAN FAULCONBRIDGE PHOTOGRAPH JOSH TELLES/AUGUST IMAGE


here’s something about Nicole Kidman’s feverish stare in Destroyer that draws a striking parallel with her A c a demy Aw a r d-w i n n i n g performance in 2002’s The Hours. Perhaps that’s why the Oscar excitement around her latest performance is gaining momentum – this project unleashes the full force of Kidman as a truly gifted character actress. If the past couple of years are anything to go by, Kidman’s willingness to do away with the crystalline veneer of Hollywood in order to immerse herself in bold, soul-baring, and occasionally brutal, roles is apparent. From Big Little Lies to The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, The Beguiled and now Destroyer, the Kidman of recent times is relishing every opportunity to

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explore the most enthralling and dark recesses of human existence. ‘I love complexity,’ she agrees. ‘I love that we can see the shattered side of people; I love that life isn’t explained in a sentence or a soundbite; that we have to digest things and people don’t always behave well.’ In accordance with her identities of showbiz A-lister and serious actress, Kidman is happy to trust her instincts when it comes to choosing projects to pursue. ‘I think maybe I played it a little safe in the past, and went for the work I thought I was meant to do, which spoke to the idea of what and who an actress is supposed to be,’ she says. ‘But, for the most part, I’ve followed my spirit, which motivates me to go against the grain. I’m completely spontaneous and random in my decisions. Never let it >>>


be said that I don’t have diverse taste. I love jumping into the deep end. Why not? That’s my favourite saying, I think it has such potential and choice: why not?’ For much of her career, Kidman has survived in a landscape that has sidelined women’s artistic ambitions. But that landscape is undergoing a cultural sea change. In this context, Kidman’s recent roles symbolise the culmination of a life’s work now given the credit, audience and – perhaps most importantly – direction it deserves. From Lars von Trier to Baz Luhrmann, Stanley Kubrick to Werner Herzog, Kidman’s filmography boasts collaborations with a pantheon of famed directors and writers, not to mention a gamut of leading men. That said, Kidman is now enjoying the freedom to act in an industry less indebted to the male director, under The Beguiled’s Sofia Coppola and Destroyer’s Karyn Kusama.

“Why not? That’s my favourite saying, it has such potential and choice: why not?”

her co-star Reese Witherspoon. As its dual leads and co-producers, the pair epitomise the work that industry stalwarts are doing to pave the way for their successors. ‘Women cannot be complacent’ ‘There are five great roles in it for women,’ Kidman says ‘We need the gaze and vision of these amazing female filmof the HBO drama. ‘That’s very rare. I like working with makers to keep change going,’ says Kidman. ‘Look at the women – for years, I’ve worked to support women in all statistics of women in film; there’s still a gross imbalance. fields. I believe in sisterhood. I learned so much from having It’s there – there’s no getting away from it. I’m always going a feminist mother who fought for our rights in the 1960s to support female directors, I’m not going to go a year, or and has always been involved in social work. We are sisters at least two years, without working with a female director in the world and we have to support each other,’ she says. or film-maker. It’s intentional; I want to support women ‘To work with such strong women is a sacred gift. To be in the industry. We have to support each other. We are at a sur rounded by these rema rkable young women significant moment now and we have at the beginning of their careers and to capitalise on it. lives, and seeing the energy they bring ‘DESTROYER’ ‘Sofia winning [the best director to the set, gives me life [sic].’ award for The Beguiled] at Cannes Sisterhood; family; motherhood: Karyn Kusama’s Destroyer sees last year… the huge success of Wonder these ideals are integral to Kidman’s Nicole Kidman take on the role Woman, which I loved, for [director] make-up. The daughter of clinical of experienced Los Angeles Police Patty Jenkins – we need to capitalise psycholog ist father A ntony a nd Department officer Erin Bell, who on these and keep pushing. We can’t nursing instructor mother Janelle, spent much of her early career rest on our laurels; we can’t ever get both her parents were committed undercover with a gang of bank complacent because it will revert back to social change, from her mother’s robbers in California. Faced with to what it was. So I’m going to keep p a r t ic ip at ion i n t he Women ’s the reappearance of the gang’s talking about it, keep on pushing, Electoral Lobby in Australia, to their bloodthirsty leader, Bell is forced keep promoting women and keep combined advocation against the to confront parts of her past she creating opportunities for women.’ Vietnam War. For Kidman, family considers best left undisturbed. Behind the camera, Kidman also a nd ph i l a nt h r op y go h a nd i n Kidman appears alongside Toby has a crucial role to play in this hand, and she’s used her platform to Kebbell, Sebastian Stan, Tatiana mission. Where Big Little Lies won campaign against domestic violence Maslany and Bradley Whitford legions of fans for its gripping especially, an issue she cares deeply – but perhaps the most crucial portrayal of real women – ‘I really about, which influenced her work with on-screen partnership comes in related to all the women in the book, Alexander Skarsgård in Big Little Lies: the form of her work with silverand I’ve met many women who feel ‘We wanted it to be complicated,’ she screen newcomer Jade Pettyjohn the same way’ – its journey from page says of their on-screen relationship. who, as Erin’s daughter, Shelby, to screen would have been impossible ‘We didn’t want it to be black and white witnesses her mother’s regression had it not been for Kidman and because so many of these relationships into her haunted former self.

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Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell in the mystery thriller The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

In American Civil War drama, The Beguiled. Right, attending the Destroyer premiere in Toronto last year

are complicated. That’s why they’re so hard to heal; that’s why they’re so hard to diagnose – and why it’s so hard for the people in them to see a way out.’


Love, peace and opportunity

Kidman is no stranger to complex relationships and her first marriage to Tom Cruise was placed under intense media spotlight for its 11 years. Her 12-year marriage to country singer Keith Urban is less of a tabloid topic – and, just as Kidman appears more comfortable in her career, she also seems content with her low-key personal life. ‘I feel loved and feel absolutely that I’ll give back in exactly the same way – because, for me, our relationship making it is more important than anything,’ she says. There’s a palpable feeling that most roads lead to inner fulfilment for Kidman. But it would be remiss to mark this down solely to her happy marriage and game-changing dramas – her upcoming role in heart-warming The Upside, alongside Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, underlines that she ‘loves to laugh’. Even though it’s been 15 years since she became the first Australian woman to win an Oscar for

At her character-actress best as haunted Los Angeles police officer Erin Bell in the upcoming Destroyer

Kidman with co-stars Shailene Woodley and Reese Witherspoon in the award-winning series Big Little Lies

best actress, this Kidman incarnation carries a sense of breaking new ground. ‘I’ve been doing this since I was 14; “more than 35 years’ working” is quite a number to say out loud!’ she laughs. ‘It’s gratifying and comforting because I have a deep well of emotion that only comes with life experience, and I can call on that; call on those memories that I didn’t have when I was in my 20s. I am a character actor, which was my goal. I wasn’t educated at drama school with the aim of being a movie star! There’s a bizarre lottery – of emotions and, consequently, far more roles, types of roles, demographics and situations – available to me now, compared to when I was younger. Amazing!’ A trailblazing career, a loving husband and children Isabella, 25, Connor, 23, Sunday Rose, 10, and Faith, 7… Surely Kidman has it all? ‘I’m not sure what having it all is,’ she says. ‘Have I found some peace inside me? Yes. Am I grateful for the love in my life and the people that I am sharing my life with? Absolutely. But I have been in the other place as well – that’s what life is all about.’ ‘The Upside’ and ‘Destroyer’ will be released in UK cinemas on 11 and 25 January respectively. Season 2 of ‘Big Little Lies’ is scheduled to air on Sky Atlantic later this year

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 23


Farewell, sweetheart

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relationships: that Will and I are meant to be together. Davison asked me to tell her the story. I met Will, my first proper boyfriend, at a house party while I was university. He was tall, with blue eyes and, at first, I thought he was

someone “elseI dated briefly… I was

caught between the feeling of wanting to be with Will forever and a desire for boundless freedom


ne day, on my way to school as a teenager, I saw a poster for a novel with the tagline, ‘You never forget your first love.’ Having zero idea what it was like to fall in love, I wondered if this was true. Would I truly never forget my first love, despite the passing of time and subsequent love affairs? Fast forward 14 years and, at the age of 28, it’s now painfully obvious. In the days leading up to my day-long session with breakup and relationship coach Sara Davison, I again started dreaming about Will,* my exboyfriend from university. It seemed like my unconscious was starkly aware of the coaching date in my diary, and was preparing me for it. I was nervous about stirring up old memories, especially because I had just started seeing someone new, but this was another reason to seek help. I wanted to leave behind my first love – along with the irrational thought that has intruded on all my following

slightly too serious, as he was caught up in a prolonged political discussion at the party. But I found out quickly that he was incredibly funny, and could make me laugh for hours. He acted in a lot of university plays

and was well liked so, even though I knew he was shy, it would take half an hour to walk a short distance with him on campus because everyone would stop to say hello to him. In many ways, we grew up together. I found living in university halls isolating, especially as I had nothing in common with the engineers in my block, and Will provided a lot of emotional support for me. As part of my course, I spent six months studying in Paris. We didn’t manage a long-distance relationship well, had countless arguments over the phone and broke up for some time. I dated someone else briefly, because part of me wanted to explore different experiences. I was caught between the feeling of wanting to be with Will forever and a desire for boundless freedom. When I returned, we got back together, but there wasn’t the same level of trust between us. It felt as if, since our relationship had broken down once, it could break again. >>>


Many of us have an ex whose memory lingers over the years – the one who got away. Anna Behrmann was sick of the past interfering with the present, and set out to, finally, get over him

We still had fun together, but everything had a more serious overtone. Will had warned me that if we had another bad argument, it would be the end. We broke up for the last time when I graduated a couple of years before him. I was doing a postgraduate law qualification in London that wasn’t right for me, and I was unhappy. There was a disconnect between our experiences. We had a row over the phone, and Will ended it there and then. Despite his warning, it was still a great shock to me.

Rosy rear view

In our session, I told Davison that I had never really come to terms with my breakup with Will; even now, years after we had gone our separate ways. I still believed that ours was a grand romance and we would end up together. I missed everything about him but, most of all, I missed how much he had made me laugh. I thought that no one would ever make me laugh like that again. I felt as if I had made a series of bad decisions, and that Will represented all the joy and creativity I had left behind. A year after we split up, I penned a handwritten letter to Will about how we were destined to be together, with some terrible metaphors relating to innocence and experience which, thankfully, I never sent. I remember ringing him from the roadside on holiday in Barcelona, insisting we would eventually get back together. He simply said that it wasn’t going to happen but, even then, I didn’t believe him. I had two more boyfriends over the following few years, but I couldn’t take them seriously. I had never told anyone the entire story before – especially the neverending ending – and it was cathartic. It still felt so raw and, as I spoke, my voice started to shake and I was close to tears. Davison reassured me that a breakup can be one of the most

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I realised that my “feelings about our

breakup were guilt and a sense of failure – and anxiety, that if I could ‘mess up’ something so perfect once, I’d do it again


traumatic experiences in life. As with grief, you need to acknowledge the feelings that surface – denial, anger, betrayal and sadness – to help you recover from it. Talking it through with her, I realised that my overwhelming feelings about our breakup were guilt and a sense of failure – and anxiety, which I’ve carried for years, that if I could ‘mess up’ something so perfect once, I would do it again. I realised that I had never fully acknowledged these feelings, nor given myself the opportunity to grieve the loss of my first serious relationship. Davison asked me to write the words ‘guilt’ and ‘failure’ on a piece of card, along with all the other words that I associated with the breakup. She explained that it’s important to bring whatever feelings you have in your unconscious into your conscious – where you can properly deal with them. After I’d written them down, Davison encouraged me to walk across to a shredder and feed in the piece of paper. This simple act of destruction – while acknowledging that I still harboured those emotions – was therapeutic. Just discussing my relationship with Davison, and writing down all my feelings around it, helped me see that I hadn’t made some kind of grave mistake. In fact, Will wasn’t perfect

– he hadn’t been at all supportive of me after I left university, and we stopped understanding one another. It also hadn’t been the right time for me to be in a long-term relationship, while I had the overriding urge to explore other possibilities, travel and enjoy my freedom.

‘I’m not always to blame’

I might not have been able to take my next two relationships seriously, but that was not because of some character flaw in me; it was because they weren’t a good fit for me either. Davison encouraged me to realise that I needed to be happy and secure


How to heal and move on Breakup and relationship coach Sara Davison’s tips for dealing with a lost love l Acknowledge that it

is natural to grieve the end of a relationship that meant a lot to you. Be kind to yourself during this distressing time. l Take off the rose-tinted glasses and write a list of all the things you didn’t like about your former partner. Be realistic and don’t romanticise your relationship, nor your ex. It was not perfect! l Interrupt your negative, self-limiting thoughts with five star jumps! l Experiment with shrinking images of your ex in your mind; make them black and white and

in myself, rather than looking for something to complete me in a partner. I should have been a lot kinder to myself after my relationship with Will ended. I had told myself that everything was my fault, in terms of the relationship ending, and my decision to study law. I should have realised that the two things were separate. I became much happier once I started writing again and allowed myself to be creative, and that had nothing to do with whether I was dating someone or not. I was also eager to talk to Davison about my new romance. Following my relationship with Will, I’d been

convinced that I’m ‘flighty’ and would find it difficult to settle down. Davison told me this is a life-limiting belief – something negative that I think is true about myself. We need to interrupt negative thoughts and challenge them, she says, or they can hold us back. With Davison’s help, I made the argument that, since I’ve got a group of friends dating back to the age of 11, for whom I will always be there, I am a loyal person! Acknowledging this helped me see that I will be the same in a romantic relationship, if I find the right person. I came away from our session feeling relieved and more relaxed

picture them zooming off into the far-off distance. l Stop ‘social media selfharming’ – don’t stalk your ex and follow what they are doing, it will only prolong the pain. l Write a ‘Breakup bucket list’ – everything you can do now that you could not have done with your ex, for example, travelling to a place they didn’t want to visit or becoming absorbed in a new hobby, something just for you. l Focus on what you have learned and how you can use these lessons positively in your future romantic partnerships.

about my first love, and the years that followed our breakup. I will never forget Will, and that’s OK – we shared something precious and I don’t want to blank out a large part of my university experience. But I now feel clear that our breakup is in the distant past and I can move on from him, leaving behind all my regrets and false beliefs. I’m hopeful and excited about my new relationship, too, and, far more importantly, I’m happy in myself.

Sara Davison offers breakup and divorce coaching to give you emotional and practical support when your relationship ends. She provides one-to-one coaching sessions and hosts longer breakup retreats. For more information, visit

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Coach yourself to financial security

Are you considering hiring a qualified coach but don’t know who to choose? We are excited to present the Psychologies-approved ‘Find a coach’ directory, in partnership with Barefoot Coaching. Here, respected coach Jane Rapin helps a reader sort out their finances

The ‘Psychologies’endorsed ‘Find a coach’ directory, with Barefoot Coaching, provides readers with a choice of top coaches, all with postgraduate training and accredited by the University of Chester and the International Coach Federation. Find a coach who suits you, to help you navigate and transform your life – in the areas of money, work, relationships, parenting and leadership.



Jane Rapin helps female business owners create a successful and profitable life with practical mindset techniques and sustainable strategies that get results


I never have enough money, no matter what I earn. I feel like there’s something else going on, and I want to change the way I handle my finances, but I don’t know how.

A Follow these steps to a better relationship with all things financial. ● Do a money audit. Look at your money daily and be less emotional about it. Track income and spending. This is one of the easiest ways to regain control. It’s not about seeing where you ‘waste’ money so you can beat yourself up about it, it’s about getting comfortable seeing money come in and flow out. Seeing the flow of money opens up your subconscious

BAREFOOT COACHING Psychologies’ partnership with Barefoot Coaching gives you the tools to find a coach who meets your needs. Barefoot Coaching has been at the forefront of coaching and coach training for 25 years. It has a proven track record as a provider of high-level coaching and coach

training to organisations and senior executives, nationally and internationally.

Train as a coach with Barefoot Coaching The Barefoot Coaching International Coach Federation- accredited

28 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9

Postgraduate Certificate in Business and Personal Coaching is one of the most well-established coach training courses in the UK. Barefoot runs regular, free introductions to coach training throughout the year. Visit barefootcoaching. to book.

and begins to create new beliefs that allow you to receive more money and, in turn, do more with it. ● Save a small amount regularly. Even if you can only save £1 a week. ● Do an emotional money audit. Look at four ‘types’ of money: saving, debt, income and income goal. Each of these has programmed beliefs and self-talk connected to memories, losses or events. The audit will unlock clues. For example, write down ‘Savings’, then the amount you have saved. If it’s £0, write that. Look at the number, and notice your feelings. ● Make notes about what arises for you. Repeat for all ‘types’ of money. You will uncover beliefs that are sabotaging you, and make connections to events and memories that are holding you back from earning more and building your savings.

Listen to the podcast:

Our monthly podcast with Kim Morgan and Suzy Walker discussing coaching dilemmas is on the ‘Psychologies’ Podcast Channel on iTunes and SoundCloud

in partnership with Barefoot Coaching

Rate how satisfied you feel with your finances, then create a plan to up it by 3 points this month



















The wheel of life Cut out this page and put it somewhere visible. Use the wheel of life, a classic coaching tool, to improve your relationship with money. The wheel allows you to focus on improving one segment of life at a time, while giving you an overall picture of all the parts that comprise a happy life

This month, we’re looking at your relationship with money. l Focus on how you honestly feel about

your finances, then give it a score – with 1 being awful and 10 being brilliant. l Brainstorm with a friend or invest in a coach to figure out ways that you can improve the score by 3 over four weeks.

l Break it down into baby steps. What

would improve your finances by 1 point? Track your finances weekly to see where you can save more money and spend less – then create a regular no-spend 24 hours, for example. l What would improve your finances by another point? And another? Maybe

you can renegotiate your mortgage, check that you’re getting the best deal for your credit card payments and shop around for car insurance. l Every month, we’ll address a segment of the wheel – but feel free to work on all parts at once. Refer to it frequently to track your progress. Good luck!

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 29

my life, my way

“I love showing people that whatever life situation you’re in, you can shift your focus ” Inspired by her own health journey, Gabriela Lerner shares her wholistic lifestyle through coaching, talks and retreats WORDS ELLEN TOUT PHOTOGR APHS LEANNE BR ACEY

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my life, my way

“I wanted to share my journey. I knew I needed a new career and it was exciting! I was an accomplished cook and I wanted to be able to create amazing raw food, too�

ABOVE AND LEFT Gabriela sources produce locally, as well as growing lots in her garden, which also houses their eco pod RIGHT The dining room and studio overlook the gardens at each end of the house

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“I try to wake and live by the rhythm of daylight… I thrive on this and know that if I don’t have it, I don’t feel the same”

estled in woodland, at the end of a secluded lane, Gabriela Lerner’s home embodies the values of her work – from the beds of vegetables growing outside, to the kombucha fermenting in the kitchen, the vision board above her desk and yoga mats in the corner. She shares her home, near Shaftesbury, from where she coaches and runs retreats, with her husband, photographer Neil Baird, their pug, William, and cat, Misty. Gabriela begins the day with yoga, and often a trip to the farmers’ market. ‘I try to wake and live by the rhythm of daylight,’ she says. ‘I start with a cup of lemon juice and ginger while I meditate. I then practise yoga and enjoy a green juice. I thrive on this and know that if I don’t have it, I don’t feel the same. I may then write my blog, answer emails or do my work.’ Gabriela’s passion for her business was born out of her experience of fibromyalgia and stress. She worked previously as a consultant and in pet product distribution. ‘My life was

stressful, pressured and, frankly, no fun,’ she says. ‘I suffered with fibromyalgia and had been for 18 years. I could manage it but had little energy and was in pain all the time.’ When she was diagnosed, she describes it as a ‘relief’. ‘I knew then what was wrong with me, but it was also a curse because I started to identify with it, and everything I did was filtered through the lens of, “I can’t do this or that.” My life was organised around, “Will I be able to cope with this?”’

Crunch time

Her world was changed forever when Neil was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 and began researching healing diets and lifestyle changes. ‘I was initially resistant. Change was scary,’ Gabriela says. ‘Once I understood what Neil wanted to do, I gave 100 per cent of myself to it. I became his ally and support. I shifted my mindset from feeling like a victim of fibromyalgia to focusing on Neil.’ Together, the couple experimented >>>

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 33

my life, my way LEFT Yoga and walking pug William help Gabriela unwind BELOW She loves creating a new take on her favourite dishes – like raw risotto with dehydrated tomatoes

“I noticed clients didn’t just want recipes, they wanted to share the lifestyle… that sends them away inspired” >>> with a raw, plant-based diet. ‘I looked in the fridge and thought,

“What am I going to eat?”’ remembers Gabriela. ‘I think our children and friends thought, “Oh, here they go again!”’

A decision to live well

After further reading, Gabriela realised she wanted to commit fully to their new lifestyle. ‘That day, I decided to go raw and stop putting toxins into my body. I wanted to know if it would really help,’ she explains. ‘My symptoms began to fade and I haven’t taken a painkiller since. There’s more to it than just diet, but it was a major factor in helping me realise that I can thrive.’ With that came more realisations. ‘I was stuck in a business that was struggling after the financial crash. I needed to find a way out and live more at ease, and that wasn’t easy.’ Gabriela decided to leave her profession and discover how she could use her experience of healthy living to start a fresh venture. ‘I wanted to share my journey. I knew I needed a new career and it was exciting!’ She opted to train as a raw food chef, teacher and health coach. ‘I was an accomplished cook and I wanted to be able to create amazing raw food, too.’ Reducing expenses helped support this leap. ‘We live in such a beautiful place, but it’s costly. We decided to convert

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part of the house into a studio and create our eco glamping pod, which we rent on Airbnb to give us a buffer. I felt under less pressure to earn and working became something I wanted to do.’ With large windows and views across the woods, dotted with fruit trees and a pond, their home is beautiful – and environmentally conscious. ‘We harvest our rain water, use non-toxic paint, have solar panels and an electric car. We have a low-impact life, and that also applies to the business.’ Gabriela realised this made her home not just her base for work, but the perfect setting for retreats. ‘I noticed clients didn’t just want recipes, they wanted to share the lifestyle,’ she says. ‘When people come for a retreat, they get meditation, movement, our garden and home, our story and our philosophy – that sends them away inspired. I love showing people that whatever life situation you’re in, you can shift your focus. When you clean up your life in that way, your awareness becomes bigger and you view the world in a different way.’ This led Gabriela to a more spiritual outlook – something she says she had previously denied. ‘Doing meditation and yoga, my spirituality felt stronger and I was more connected.’ She has had lots of coaching and is keen to continue learning. ‘When I was suffering with fibromyalgia, I would go to bed and

LEFT Nurturing each other’s health helped motivate Gabriela and Neil to discover raw food

BELOW Gabriela has always been at home in the kitchen and loves inspiring others to experiment more

“I really walk my talk, but I’m not perfect or a saint… I have bad days, but I’ve made a commitment to live this lifestyle”

spend that time feeling upset and guilty. I do still sometimes get pain and I used to drop back into that downward spiral. Now I recognise those thoughts and switch out of it.’ She has developed a meditation for this, which she shares with clients.


Learning to overcome hurdles

Gabriela’s typical week consists of time dedicated to preparing food – her husband is responsible for making nut milk and fresh juice – as well as coaching, giving talks, hosting retreats and connecting with members of her Conscious Raw Vegans Facebook group. ‘I love giving talks and coaching. I look forward to every coaching session; seeing the changes in a person’s wellbeing is wonderful,’ she says. ‘I enjoy public speaking because I see people become inspired. If they make one little change, or open their mindset, then I feel I’ve done my job.’ Leading videos, however, was not as natural for her. ‘I used to think it just wasn’t me, but I took a course and overcame my fear. I realised that if I think of the camera as my audience then I can get my message across well. It’s a great way for people to get to know me.’ What motivates Gabriela? ‘I really walk my talk, but I’m not perfect or a saint,’ she says. ‘I have bad days, but I’ve

made a commitment to my clients, audience, family and myself to live this lifestyle fully. I can’t imagine living any other way now.’ These days, her decisions are motivated by her values. ‘If a project doesn’t feel right, I don’t do it, and it also has to be fun and feel authentic,’ she says. Gabriela is grateful for her experience. ‘I live more fluidly, which I wish everybody could do. If I feel stressed, I stop, get my dog and go walking. I like to walk barefoot through the fields,’ she says. And she emphasises that this is attainable for all. ‘I teach that it’s about fitting it into your life, moment by moment. Just taking a deep breath can be a moment of meditation; or getting out a chair consciously can be exercise. I notice when my body, mind or spirit needs care. I try to teach this awareness – to be aware of what you need in that moment.’ Gabriela hopes to grow her online coaching and to support other people in establishing ‘soul businesses’. ‘I’d like to build a gathering for young women who want to create businesses in the vegan community,’ she says. ‘Being older, I’d like to give something back and to support the women who are emerging in business and are so excited, and who have such amazing ideas.’ For more about Gabriela, see, follow @gabrielalerner and join her Conscious Raw Vegans group on Facebook

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 35



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25-year-olds who used their service said they had experienced

on how to parachute into any

feelings of loneliness. Less than half of these individuals

situation and feel confident.

said they felt loved. In this podcast, UKCP psychotherapist

9 January at 7pm Tiu de Haan’s rituals

Fe Robinson speaks to Sarah Niblock, the CEO of the UKCP, to

for clearing 2018 and creating 2019

understand why we can feel lonely despite being in a relationship.

– out with the old and in with the new.

Listen to the Psychologies Podcast Channel on iTunes, TuneIn and SoundCloud

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Why do I feel lonely in my relationship?

In our column and podcast series, Professor Sarah Niblock, CEO of the UKCP, explores real-life challenges that affect all of us and how psychotherapy can help. This month, she explores loneliness in a partnership


ou may think cohabitation or marriage is a castiron guarantee that you won’t feel lonely. Yet, sadly, as UKCP individual and couples therapists see all the time, being in a relationship affords us little or no protection. In fact, studies have shown that as many as 60 per cent of people who feel lonely are living with a partner. Research bears this out, such as a seven-year study of couples which found that shortcomings in a marriage may actually make that relationship isolating, rather than protective.

Emotional and physical dangers

We don’t tend to think loneliness needs urgent intervention, but therapists disagree. Not only does loneliness cause emotional pain, it can also have an impact on our mental and physical health. There is evidence that loneliness can raise the prospect of ill health by compromising our immune system. Loneliness certainly increases the risk of depression and anxiety by distorting our overall picture of our selfworth. Unaddressed, that can lead to damaging behaviour. In long-term relationships, therapists say loneliness can creep up on us, disconnecting us from our partner gradually. We find the conversations that once bonded us – about shared interests and mutual goals – are replaced by transactional exchanges about household matters, parenting and paying the bills. When one partner feels lonely, they may start to become physically distant, watching TV in a separate room, or only socialising with their own friends. It’s not uncommon to adopt different bedtimes and sexual intimacy lessens, too.

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Should you stay in a lonely relationship? Ironically, many people do because of the fear that leaving will make them lonelier when, in fact, it could have the opposite effect. It can be easier to remain in a rut rather than face potential conflict, but the longer we allow our relationship to atrophy, the harder it is to repair. The good news is that relationships can be saved if both partners are willing to invest time and energy. One of the first things a therapist will ask is how loneliness has manifested itself. Do you feel unappreciated; or has the connection waned over time? The label of loneliness can mean different things in different relationships, so putting a finger on what precisely has to change is an important step. Therapists examine life events or changes in circumstance that coincide with feelings of loneliness. For example, a promotion may limit the time a couple can spend together. Having a baby can leave one or both partners too exhausted to consider the other’s needs. Or it may be that you have slipped into negative habits through familiarity. The unavoidable first step is sharing your concerns with your partner. If you have kept your feelings hidden, they may be genuinely surprised. We tend to expect our loved ones to know what we need intuitively when, in most cases, we need to be explicit. Talking is the first and most important step, but change won’t necessarily happen overnight. If you would like help broaching the conversation, a psychotherapist can help you identify what you need and how to express it. Couples therapists work with both parties, offering a safe

in partnership with UKCP


Fe Robinson is a psychotherapist specialising in EMDR therapy and counselling for couples. She gives her insight into loneliness in relationships


What causes feelings of loneliness in romantic relationships? Loneliness often comes about because something has changed in a person’s life, and it has an effect on the way you feel about your relationship. Maybe you had a child, moved home or lost a loved one. You may feel you’ve matured, or your needs are not being met. It may be that there has been an affair and trust is an issue, or just that you are not communicating well.


What are common issues, and how can therapy help couples?

and therapeutic space in which both partners can feel listened to, while recognising any destructive patterns of behaviour. They help couples gain a greater understanding of each other’s thoughts and emotions, enable them to express their understanding and intensify their bond.


Your love limits

What if you are content but your partner says they feel lonely? That may be devastating news, but all is not lost. The chances are that if your partner feels lonely, you probably do, too – but don’t realise it. A therapist would help you explore how your expectations of a relationship, and your way of relating to your partner’s needs have been shaped by your past, perhaps even your upbringing. Did your parents, carers or role models have close and caring relationships? Or were they distant, and so perhaps you grew up with low expectations of love? The bottom line is that every couple is unique and will inevitably go through ups and downs and periods of connection and disconnection over time. Learning how to navigate those occasional choppy waters is an excellent investment in a happy and fulfilled future together.

People want to understand how they feel, and why, and to work through what that means. Often, they have lost their connection with their partner, and are feeling hurt or angry. Communication comes up a lot; people want to

be understood and feel wanted. I see couples who have lost their ability to play together and be spontaneous, and have stopped getting beyond the day-to-day to meet their intimate wants, hopes and fears. Therapy helps work out what they want, where they are and how they can change.


How can you reach out to your partner if you feel disconnected? Do things that bring you closer together. Spend time together, talk to each other about what you think and how you feel. Find ways to let your partner know they matter – put a note in their lunch box; notice something they need and do it for them, touch them on the arm as you walk past. The key is knowing yourself and your partner and doing things that will be meaningful for you both.


Let’s talk about loneliness

Listen to Sarah Niblock talk to Fe Robinson about loneliness in relationships at why-do-i-feel-lonely-my-relationship-podcast-ukcp

About the UKCP and how to find a therapist ● The UKCP Alongside professional support for our members, we are the leading research, innovation, educational and regulatory body working to advance psychotherapies for the benefit of all. Our membership includes more than 8,000 therapists and 70 training and accrediting organisations. Members work privately, in public health or third-sector organisations, offering a range of approaches for couples, individuals, families and groups.

● To find the right therapist,

log on to find-a-therapist and look at our Life Labs Channel of experts who may be able to help, or visit to locate a therapist near you.

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 39


Past pleasures Kate Townshend is an avowed declutterer, with one exception – she keeps a hoard of treasured keepsakes, which she dips into to bring back memories sweet and sharp, and to keep her grounded

My own less rock-and-roll version of a heart in a drawer is a trunk (it used to be a suitcase, before that a cardboard box and, once upon a very long time ago, a simple paper folder) literally brimming with old birthday cards, notes passed in idle French lessons at school, love letters from exes and terrible adolescent poetry – all palpable detritus of my past. It’s my one concession to hoarding (that and books): I am brutal when it comes to throwing out general rubbish. Clutter makes me feel claustrophobic and panicky and my husband has

me a receipt “withGivea note and

some kisses on it, written on a random Tuesday, and I’ll treasure it forever

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One woman’s junk…

learned the hard way that, if he leaves an object on our kitchen table, it is likely to find its way into the bin or the recycling. But give me a crummy old receipt with a scribbled note and some kisses on it, written as he leaves the house on a random Tuesday morning, and I’ll treasure it forever. I suppose I’ve always been this way,

and maybe there’s even some sort of genetic predisposition towards this sentimental ‘treasure troving’. My mum stores every family photo ever taken in a huge chest, starting with her and my dad, impossibly young, glamorous and child-free, through to my graduation from university. There

is no order to her photos and rifling through them is like entering a lucky dip of memories but, when I’m sad, or shaken, or wondering what to do next with my life, handling them is an act of calming meditation.

Protected in time

In a very real way, they bring me to an acute awareness of the fact that life is a series of moments, and that chronology isn’t everything. Even if my current situation is not a happy one, I am comforted by the knowledge that I’m surrounded by these warm memories, that they provide context for my life just as much as the present but, unlike the present, they are beyond reach in a way that makes them safe. No matter what life throws at me, these happy, snow-shaker memories persist, and there’s a profound sense of security in that. Sometimes, I wonder if my threeyear-old niece will ever know this time-travelling pleasure. There are already hundreds of photos of her online, but there’s something quite >>> distinct about my physical



id you know that Mary Shelley is said to have kept the heart of her dead husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, in her desk drawer? Apparently, it was wrapped in one of his poems for added pathos. She is a heroine of mine, for her writing and politics and, while I probably draw the line at actual body parts, I have some sympathy with her attachment to this tangible reminder of her husband.


photographic jumble; about reaching in and pulling out a specific moment in time. And it’s strangely satisfying to reconstruct the events around it. ‘I think it was your eighth birthday,’ Mum suggests, and we lose ourselves in a conversation about whether a particular gift came before or after I changed schools, and who gave it to me.

The way we were

I know some might say hanging onto all of this – especially in such volume – is childish. It’s the memories and relationships that matter, not imperfect physical symbols of them. And I recognise that. But, for me, the symbols add depth and richness to the memories. The smell of my school exercise book makes me a child again, in a way that simple recall could never manage. The sight of my own young handwriting; my hopes and dreams recorded with a seven-year-old’s clarity – the memory and the object are symbiotic, one feeds the other. It’s a feeling that’s been sharpened, I suspect, since I lost my dad to Alzheimer’s. I’ve seen the visceral horror of someone cast adrift from their memories and, however silly it may sound, my flotsam and jetsam give me the sense of an insurance policy. My dad could recognise photos at a point far beyond his ability to comprehend our, ‘Do you remember…?’ anecdotes. At the end, an object that he could touch was a far more reliable witness than his misfiring brain. Maybe there’s a reason why those with the dubious good fortune of knowing they’re dying spend time leaving tangible pieces of themselves for their loved ones to cling to when they’re gone – letters for children; lists of advice for spouses. A memory of a conversation or a day filled with joy is its own gift, but you can hold a letter. You can breathe deeply and hope to detect the faintest hint of a beloved’s perfume; you can touch the

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paper they touched; you can see the physical mark they left on the world; the quirks of their personality in the quirks of their handwriting. And you can reread their words with all the certainty of the first time you saw them. How could that not be precious? This sense of developing history is another reason my memorabilia matters to me. It’s often during times of crisis that I sift through my trunk, looking for clues in my past about what I should seek in my future. It’s not all soft focus, warm and fuzzy – some objects denote memories with edges still sharp enough to cut. My diary from my early 20s makes particularly dark reading, and I want to reach back through the years with words of hope and comfort to myself. I feel tender towards my past self, and that somehow helps me to be kinder to the me of the present. It’s too late to change the past but looking back with older, wiser eyes can provide closure. When I was 18, I berated myself for turning down a place at a distant university because I didn’t want to be far from family, and my diary is full of self-loathing over that decision. But

grown-up me sees an angsty teenager doing the best she could in a tricky situation. I try to remember that even now, when tides of uncertainty and self-doubt threaten to engulf me. Of course, no human being can be reduced to a pile of papers and ticket stubs. But we do construct our identities, in part, from memories. When I trawl through my papers, I see myriad versions of myself, and sometimes I am reminded of aspects of who I am that might otherwise be buried: the idealism of childhood; the determination of my early 20s.

My glorious life

They’re also, quite simply, reminders of how lucky I am. Funny messages from uni friends I’m still close to; cards from Mum that bring tears to my eyes; invitations to parties I remember with a cocktail of embarrassment and fondness… The point is: there’s love and happiness in this tangle of tattered trinkets, and the balance is in favour of sweet, not bitter. No wonder I can’t bring myself to throw them out, though I’m going to need a bigger trunk. @_katetownshend

Memories manifested

From cards and letters to curls of hair in lockets, creatives throughout the ages have known the value of keepsakes l Writer Simone de Beauvoir’s lover, film-

l Novelist Samuel Butler said: ‘Letters

maker Claude Lanzmann, last year sold to Yale University the letters she had penned to him, fearing her family would ‘eliminate me from [her] existence.’ These objects of sentimental value were literal vindication that the events they describe took place.

are like wine; if they are sound they ripen with keeping. A man should lay down letters as he does a cellar of wine.’

l In her love poems,

‘Sonnets From The Portuguese’, Elizabeth

Barrett Browning includes a line in which she recognises the

significance of a token of affection: ‘I never gave a lock of hair away, To a man, Dearest, except this to thee, Which now upon my fingers thoughtfully I ring out to the full brown length and say “Take it”.’

l Poet and cleric John Donne wrote:

More than kisses, letters mingle souls.

Let’s fall in love with life

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shared values

Kelly Holmes

Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes shares how vital honesty and kindness are to her, and how exercise is the key to living a more positive life INTERVIEW DANIELLE WOODWARD

I want people to find something in my book that speaks to them, to help inspire them and motivate them to change their lives. There’s advice for starting a fitness regime, healthy recipes and self-help sections. I’m not an expert; I just decided to share how I live my life and what works for me, along with professional people who I trust to provide the scientific backup. I’d like people to flick through the book and take what’s relevant for them, whether it’s training tips, finding something tasty to eat for lunch or coping with a bad day… if they find a part of the book that helps them, that’s brilliant. When I feel low, it’s due to taking on too much; I want to give my best to everyone but when I try to do it all, I’m no use to anyone. You have to know yourself, recognise the signs of stress and be prepared to make a change. I’m a very driven person – people say I’m a Duracell bunny! – but when I don’t give myself enough time off, it gets serious. Self-care is really important; there’s nothing I enjoy more than spending time with my friends, having a laugh and just being myself. Exercise is one of the best ways to increase motivation; you become more self-aware because of the endorphins and serotonin released, which is empowering. I’d like people to think of exercise as not just something they have to do, but something that helps them think straighter and be stronger. I’m so proud of the work my charity [the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust] has achieved since I set it up 10 years ago. At the time, the focus was on helping sportspeople cope with retirement, but now, a big part of it is helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. We encourage them to think, ‘I can

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do this, I can change’ and give them the tools to progress. To see them at the end of our programme, when they are standing proud and talking articulately and confidently about their experience, makes me well up. If you have a public voice, I believe it’s important to use it in a positive way. I love travelling to new places, too; I visited Malawi recently, which was such a humbling experience. The people were wonderful; they had no concept of what an Olympic champion was, so when they saw me and my gold medals, they went crazy! I also filmed groups of kids and showed them the video on my phone and they’d never seen anything like that before; they were laughing at seeing themselves. It really makes you think about what we take for granted in the West and how lucky we are; I ended up sponsoring some children in Malawi to get through secondary school as only seven per cent of children get to go because of the cost – it’s not right. Kindness is important to me; if you’ve got a kind heart, it shows. There’s always someone worse off than you, so you need to be kind to others, as you don’t know what people are going through. If everyone could recognise the humanity in people and engage with them, the world would be nicer. I get annoyed when people put others in boxes; we are all human. A taxi driver from Bangladesh once asked me if I think BME groups get a fair deal in the army. But there’s no point in saying there aren’t enough of them in the army if those groups don’t make the effort to join. Yes, people may feel there are issues with certain groups being able to follow certain career paths, but I do think it’s about attitude. Don’t put barriers up to stop yourself until you actually try. Respect and honesty are my core values – you shouldn’t just expect respect; you gain it through helping and supporting other people, getting the best out of yourself and having drive and determination. It’s also important to respect yourself and not let others put you down. ‘Running Life: Mindset, Fitness & Nutrition For Positive Wellbeing’ by Dame Kelly Holmes (Kyle Books, £20) is out now. Follow Kelly on Twitter @damekellyholmes


It was important for me to be honest about my struggles with mental health in my new book Running Life; I wanted to share the story of being the high-achieving athlete people know me for, but also to talk about the reality of what I went through. People look at the gold medals and think you’re a superhero, but I fought hard to get there. Bereavement, self-harming, anxiety and depression… these things have all affected me, and it feels right to explain how I dealt with them and how I continue to cope.

Our agony aunt, Mary Fenwick, offers a new perspective on whatever is troubling you

When we go to events, my wife often drinks too much and (I think) makes a fool of herself. I understand why she does it – she’s shy and alcohol gives her a feeling of confidence, but I’m embarrassed by her and, when she’s drunk, she can be unpleasant to me. We’ve talked about it and sometimes she improves, but not for long. She says I’m controlling but I don’t want her to be like this. I love her wholeheartedly – when she’s sober. What can I do? Name supplied


We’re not quite at the nub of this problem, I feel. My instinct is to put more effort into naming what is going on, aiming to be both accurate and kind. The underlying principle is to separate the person (the human being) from what they do (the human doing). It may sound mechanical but, if we insert the word ‘behaviour’, we have more room to manoeuvre. An example: ‘I’m embarrassed by her behaviour’ is less hurtful than ‘I’m embarrassed by her’. Considering your letter, I have an image of watching a play, and I wonder about backstage – the stories, memories and fears in both of your heads as you get ready to go

out. How much do you talk about those, or is it like stepping on a wordless conveyor belt? When drinking at home, are there similar issues? I raise this because your use of the word ‘unpleasant’ could mean a number of things, up to and including an abusive relationship, or one where you don’t feel safe to speak your mind. I’m not suggesting that’s the case, but if you were a woman writing this about a man, my antennae would be on alert. Perhaps the key is hiding in plain sight and you are both right – it’s about alcohol and control. My gran identified as an alcoholic, although her drinking was only at a low level, but she didn’t want to feel alcohol was about need rather than desire.

MARY FENWICK is a writer, speaker and executive coach; she’s also a mother, divorcee and widow. GOT A QUESTION FOR MARY? Email, with ‘MARY’ in the subject line. FOLLOW MARY on Twitter @MJFenwick and Instagram @marythefenwick. For more about her one-to-one work and speaking, see

It’s not for me (or you) to say if this applies to your wife, but this is something that is clearly bothering you enough to write to me. One route to support is Al-Anon, for people affected by someone else’s drinking. There are a number of stories on their website involving men talking about their wives and alcohol; see if any of them resonate for you. There is also free live chat on the Relate website, which may help. The famous prayer linked to alcohol asks for ‘the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference’. I hope you apply courage and wisdom to honour your feelings, too.;





My wife can be an embarrassing and mean drunk



the life lab

“I’m upset because my neighbour is giving me the cold shoulder”


My neighbour has stopped speaking to me and I don’t know what I have done to offend her. I have tried asking her but she blanks me and literally runs past me if I say anything to her. It is incredibly childish and makes me annoyed, but also upset. She has not spoken to her neighbour on the other side of her house for 10 years after they had a boundary dispute, but things have always been fine between us. It is really bothering me. Can you help me deal with this? Name supplied


I don’t think your own efforts are going to fi x this, even if I offer all the tricks as a journalist and coach. In the end, you can’t force someone to talk to you and even if you get an explanation, it’s unlikely to be useful since your neighbour has a track record of taking an extreme approach. The question then becomes how you relate to a problem which can’t be fi xed. I sometimes hear my fabulous, gritty great-aunt’s voice saying: ‘What she needs is a good healthy dose of ignore.’ Could you find it in yourself to send warm, affectionate vibes to this unhappy person, while

getting on with your own business? It might sound like overkill to bring Carl Jung into the picture, but I’m also thinking of his distinction, which says that some problems can’t be solved, only outgrown. The insoluble problem loses its urgency when you find something bigger or more interesting to think about. In essence, what I’m suggesting is a policy of respectful non-caring. It’s respectful because you accept that your neighbour is an adult who can make her own choices about how she behaves. The non-caring part means setting boundaries about how much those choices affect you.

“I miss my friend now that she’s in a relationship”


I feel that since my friend has found a boyfriend, she has lost interest in me and our friendship. She’s committed to her relationship, and I understand that, but I miss her. I suspect that you will say I should just go out with other friends but I find myself thinking that they may break up soon and she will be back and things will return to normal. How do I handle this? Name supplied


I’d love you to go forward to a ‘new normal’, rather than back to the old. I hope you will have at least one or two good friends at each stage of your life, plus a happy love life. My concern is that you might rely on just one other

person to give you happiness, rather than creating your own. I hope you will read my advice (above) about taking a bigger perspective. It sounds as if you are, by nature, someone who connects deeply, and with a small number of people, which makes you a loyal friend and possibly an introvert. The Quiet Revolution website is a place to find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Making new friends as an adult is both a science and an art [see link right]. The science suggests that two people need to spend 90 hours together to become friends, or 200 hours to qualify as close friends. One element of the art is knowing enough about yourself to be able to tap into your passions, because that’s where you’ll find people like you – whether

that’s knitting, astronomy or Comic Con. You are completely entitled to miss your friend, but I am pretty sure that she wants you to be happy for yourself. /apr/30/how-to-make-new-friends-adultlonely-leap-of-faith;

Be part of our tribe Join the Life Leap Club and receive free coaching from our experts. All you have to do is subscribe to access free coaching videos, inspirational resources and masterclasses. Go to Watch Mary’s coaching sessions live every Tuesday at 1pm.


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orgasmic life

Don’t take it personally How do you navigate dating when you are also studying tantra? Karla Newbey explores new, authentic ways to be in a sexual relationship


shh,’ Miles* lifts his finger to his lips and glances around. We’re sitting in a pub garden chatting after the tantra workshop where we met. As usual, I’m speaking too loudly. Sex, tantra and pleasure are not topics of conversation others are allowed to overhear. The openness we experienced on the workshop is already shrinking as we re-enter the normal world. ‘I wore my best shirt,’ Miles laughs, ‘as it’s our first date.’ In reality, we’ve already spent a couple of extraordinarily sensual nights together on the workshop, and now we’re discussing where we might like to go from here.


The naked truth

Everything about this is new: I’ve never been to bed with a man where the main focus has been my pleasure; I’ve certainly never woken up the next morning and found myself in a workshop where I’m stripping naked in front of the man I’ve spent the night with, explaining what I both like, and don’t like, about my body, then watching and listening as he does the same; and I’ve never slept with a man who has studied tantra. Ladies, there’s a whole new dimension of pleasure here; it’s life-changing and what I was hoping to find when I set off on my journey. Obviously, the usual pattern of presenting myself in a certain light to the person I’m attracted to is already out of the window. When we came downstairs after the first night we spent together and the morning’s structure was explained – that in small groups of three, we’d stand up and, as we undressed, point out our favourite and least favourite parts of our

bodies – I was in the slightly surreal situation of being more honest with this man I’ve known for three days than I was with my husband of 10 years. Even just a few months ago, I’d have been appalled at the idea of not just revealing my body, but also my insecurities, in such a way – but it was not nearly as terrifying as I’d imagined. He, of course, has done the same with me, and we have got to know each other in an unusually deep way in a short time. What do we do with this experience that is so new to both of us? Our encounter has been much more intense both physically and mentally than previous sexual experiences. But, in many ways, it’s not personal. The intensity isn’t necessarily a reflection of our connection; rather, it’s a reflection of the journey we’re on and the skills we’re learning. Both newly divorced, him even more recently than me, we are aware that we’re working to change the deep-seated patterns of behaviour that led us to end up in unhappy marriages with stagnant sex lives. Neither of us wants to fall back into old patterns, so how do we ensure we don’t? As we talk, we realise we have both struggled with similar issues: finding it hard to ask for what we want, people-pleasing and putting aside our needs in order to keep others ‘happy’. Hesitantly, we decide we’d like to see each other again but, knowing we’re on a journey of transformation, we can make no other commitment than to be completely honest with each other and see where that leads.

Karla Newbey is attending the mixed and women’s Shakti Tantra programmes; The mixed programme has five levels, which run as consecutive workshops, spread out over a year. For details on Karla’s journey, visit and follow her on Twitter @karla_newbey

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 49


Fake it till you make it! When a contact suggested Amy Pierce pitch for a well-paid job in a new field, her reaction was, ‘I can’t do that!’ But she pushed herself, and discovered she was more capable than she had ever imagined


aves of panic engulf me. It’s 3am and I can’t sleep, thinking about the meeting later. I get up to check that I have concealer to hide the developing dark circles under my eyes, which would give me away – the confident, forthright, capable person I am at work would sleep soundly, sure in her ability… But then, she isn’t the real, shy, intimidated woman lying here. I am faking it till I make it. ‘Faking it’ is not about pretending you can do something you are unqualified for – instead, it involves imitating authority, positivity and confidence until you change your mindset and achieve those qualities. Thankfully, our brains are programmed to help us, explains Jackee Holder, leadership coach and author of The Write Prescription (Step Beach Press, £15.95). ‘If you are doing and saying, “This is where I want to be and what I want to do,”

50 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9

you give energy to the part of your brain that has developed to help you progress,’ she says. More and more women are ‘faking it’, and with good reason. Research shows that while a man will apply for a job based on the one skill he has on a list of required attributes, a woman will abandon the application if she sees one skill that she does not have, which may be part of the reason there are more male CEOs represented on the FTSE 100. Men have been putting on their game face for years; it’s time we do the same.

I am my own obstacle

Six months ago, a former colleague for whom I have worked – a proud fake-it-till-she-made-it – told me about a company that needed a communication consultant for one day a week. She said I could do it, even when I told her I had no experience in that industry, and in parts of the job, such as engaging new business, speech writing, dealing with crisis >>>

media inquiries and delivering uptake in social media. I barely tweet. The day rate she said I should go for would pay my mortgage every month! Brushing aside my protestations, she told me to ditch the impostor syndrome and fake it. As I thought it over, I realised the only thing holding me back was me – which gave me the push I needed to go for it. I worried for days in the lead-up to the interview, but told myself over and over that they wouldn’t have asked me in if they didn’t think I was good enough. Still, as I entered the meeting room, I felt nauseous and shaky. Several times, nerves made my mind go blank. Normally, I would have apologised; instead, I hoped my pauses made me look measured, rather than terrified.

Wall Street bravado

As the interview progressed, I could see where my skills were needed, such as changing the tone of their corporate language and gaining media attention. During the pay discussion, I remembered my contact’s words: if you go low, your abilities are doubted; aim high and they will value you. I felt like Gordon Gekko when my mortgage-paying day rate was agreed. As my starting date got nearer, I almost bottled it, even composing an email to say that I couldn’t make it. But, as Holder points out, ‘There will never be the perfect time to start faking it; life just isn’t like that.’ During my first days, I was so out of my comfort zone, it felt like I was looking down on my freshly suitedand-booted self. (I normally wear vintage.) I would go to the office loos to psych myself up. My mantra was: ‘You are doing this. Smile!’ which, in fact, is scientifically sound – smiling produces hormones that can make you feel more positive. Several times, particularly when I

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needed to draft important documents, I frantically emailed an ex-boss of mine for her know-how. Three weeks in, I had to prepare a senior manager for a Q&A at an important event. I barely slept the night before. I researched what she would need down to the minutest detail, and she didn’t guess it was my first time. That night, I went to bed the same time as my youngest child and slept for 12 hours straight.

I was starting to feel more comfortable when, in a meeting, several managers robustly challenged my ideas. This had never happened to me before and I started speaking very quickly, which I do when I am unsure. I felt uncomfortably close to being unmasked as ‘the fake’. I was concerned I had become so flustered about ideas that I knew would work, so I booked a career confidence-building course. There, I met others who felt as if




Lessons from the fake-it trail

Amy Pierce’s pearls of wisdom on showing your best badass self

helps you to breathe properly, which is invaluable when delivering what you want to say effectively, with authority. l

Get help or training.

Improving your knowledge will assist in areas where you have skills gaps, or find a mentor who can guide

you if you’re battling impostor syndrome.

l Prepare and make notes. These are a comfort

l Make sure everyone’s voice is heard. By

blanket, and you can always read them aloud if you have a blank moment during a presentation or meeting. These days, my husband often finds me listening to work-related TED Talks, learning and

encouraging around-thetable opinion-sharing, you not only give everyone a platform to speak, but you afford yourself a breather.

they were faking it, and admitting it made us all feel better. The trainer helped us identify that confidence is feeling comfortable in your own skin; you don’t need to feel threatened by others, or to compare yourself to them. Aim to be polite and ready to credit others, while retaining gravitas.

Fearlessness toolkit

preparing for a particular task I find daunting.

I learned to slow down my speech and to adopt open body language. The trainer pointed out that I touch my neck when I am nervous – a sign of vulnerability I needed to be aware of. Another helpful technique was to get rid of self-doubts by visualising handing them over to a gremlin – mine looks like the chief executive! I learned that when other people ramp up your self-doubt, it speaks volumes about them, not you. I discovered ways to create a mental barrier: I imagine myself, standing sure-footed and well balanced, with that person trying to push me, but being unable to do so – I am stronger than them. Holder also suggests writing a letter to my future self giving encouragement – I tell myself my self-doubt has gone and how

l Faking it till you make it is hard, but the more you

do it, the easier it becomes.

I imagine myself, standing sure-footed and well balanced, with that person trying to push me, but being unable to do so – I am stronger than them

invigorating that is. Having this on paper with me is useful when I need a quick boost in self-esteem. I have also learned by watching and listening. I am fascinated by my boss, who is respected and liked, while still tenacious and driven. Several times, she has supported my ideas when others have not, and she makes sure I get credit for my achievements. She is unapologetic that she has little communications experience even though it is part of her current role. She is calm and confident while enabling her team to flourish. During meetings, she makes sure everyone is heard, and it’s often those who come


When doubts arise,

think of something upbeat. Create a gremlin and pass over self-limiting beliefs! l Be positive; be polite; pay a compliment – they all demonstrate confidence. l

Pay it forward.

Sharing your insight with someone who is struggling is a kindness that will boost you both.

across as less sure of themselves who make excellent contributions. I am learning a lot about confidence, and how to operate, from her.

Mentoring and being me

l Stand up and sit straight. Good posture

And I am trying to pass it on. Also around the table is a junior member of staff who is far more able than she thinks. She reminds me of myself and I don’t want her to go through years of self-doubt like me. I encourage her, whether it’s speaking up about ideas or pursuing promotion. I am learning that doing this makes me more aware of my achievements, too. I still put on my figurative game face and savvy attitude every time I go to the office. With my other freelance jobs, I chat about my family and friends with colleagues, but I am not ready to do this here yet, it feels too personal – but I no longer have to psych myself up for work. Last week, I swapped the suit for my favourite vintage dress. This was a milestone, as it continues to sink in that the can-do, sassy, faking-it-till-shemakes-it woman sitting at the boardroom table is not fake at all. She is the real me.

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“I’m incapable of saying ‘no’ to my friends ” Our award-winning coach, Kim Morgan, speaks to a woman who is struggling to put her needs above those of her friends ILLUSTR ATION ANDREA DE SANTIS

Session one

“I feel used by my girlfriends and don’t know what to believe any more”

Chrissie* was instantly likeable – warm, approachable, easy-going and quick to laugh at herself. When I asked why she had come to see me, she joked: ‘Because I’ve got more issues than Vogue!’ Chrissie went on to explain that she had a lot of good friends, but she felt that sometimes she gave them more than they gave her. This turned out to be an understatement. Chrissie was smiling and cheerful as she told me about two friends who seemed to take all of her time and attention, ‘and each of them is telling me that the other one is taking advantage of me!’ She continued: ‘I’ve realised that I don’t know my own mind – I get lost in other people’s opinions. When one of my friends says something, I instantly believe them, then I hear the other one’s point of view and I believe

them, too! I hate hurting people. I feel extreme guilt if I say “no” to any request for help, but I sometimes feel like I’m being used.’ Chrissie paused for a moment and smiled apologetically. ‘But maybe it’s mean and selfish of me to think like that.’ I was struck by how forgiving she was about everyone else’s behaviour and how little she challenged anyone who made demands on her. I asked her what made her angry, and she couldn’t come up with an answer. I asked her what boundaries she had in place with her friends and she didn’t really understand the question. For homework, I asked Chrissie to tune into her feelings – negative and positive – and keep a note of them in a journal to bring to the next session.


Session two

Coaching exercises

Find out what you want

I thought that Chrissie had signs of codependency. Codependent people get caught up in looking after others’ needs at the expense of their own. They are people-pleasing and saying ‘no’ does not come easily to them. They have poor boundaries, low self-esteem, confuse love and pity, and find it hard to own, or express, negative thoughts or emotions. When I shared this definition with Chrissie, she exclaimed: ‘You’re describing me exactly! I thought I was the only one who was like this.’ As we talked, I found out that Chrissie had experienced a difficult childhood. Her father had left the family home when she was just seven, leaving her to take care of her younger brother and mother, who had mental health issues. She learned to believe, at a young age, that her own feelings and needs did not count and that she was responsible for other people’s emotions and wellbeing. ‘Am I a lost cause?’ she asked. I noticed that, for the first time, Chrissie seemed sad for herself. I thought this was a sign of progress. ‘How does it feel to think about what you want?’ I asked. She looked straight at me. ‘It feels wrong, but if I don’t learn to do it, I’m going to be bullied and pushed around for the rest of my life.’ I was pleased to see a spark of entitlement in Chrissie and I knew, in that moment, that she was going to work hard to make changes.

Emotional blackmailers know that you feel guilty easily Be kind to yourself



Further sessions I continued to see Chrissie for a long time and

we focused on some key areas – firstly, setting limits. She had porous boundaries. She didn’t really know where the line was between what was hers and what was someone else’s, and that included her feelings, thoughts, money, time and belongings. Then, we looked at noticing her negative feelings and seeing them as red flags that her boundaries were being crossed. Chrissie found it hard to recognise when she was feeling angry, uncomfortable or resentful. I knew she’d made a breakthrough when, one day, she got angry with me in a session. Next, we addressed giving herself permission to show herself as much kindness, generosity and compassion as she showed others. It was hard for Chrissie to undo the habits of a lifetime and sometimes she went two steps forward and one step back. Gradually, she began to value herself for who she was, not just for what she did for others. She’d seen some little red flags in a toyshop and bought one for each room in her house to act as daily reminders for her to notice her own feelings of discomfort about people or situations.

BUILDING BETTER BOUNDARIES Boundaries are like imaginary lines between us and others. People with porous boundaries confuse the thoughts and feelings of others with their own. Having healthy boundaries communicates to others that we have self-worth and protects us from being used. Here are some steps to creating better boundaries: ● Take time to identify your limits in relation to other people. What behaviour is unacceptable to you? What constitutes crossing the line to you? ● Remember that your needs are as important as others’. How can you ensure you respect your needs? ● Learn to say ‘no’ without excessive justification, explanation or apology. ● Trust your gut feelings. You probably know what you need better than anyone else. Don’t let other people tell you what is best for you. ● Buy yourself some time. Get used to saying: ‘I’ll come back to you when I’ve given this some thought.’ ● Develop your own opinions. Consider what you think about items in the news; what you like to do in your spare time. Learn to express your thoughts and feelings about different topics and be truthful. Accept that it is healthy to disagree with other people and don’t pretend you agree with someone if you don’t. RECOGNISING AND RESPONDING TO EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION Emotional blackmailers understand that you feel guilty easily and that you want to be liked at all costs. You need to learn to spot them, just as they can spot you. Here are some signs to look for: ● They use your insecurities against you. ● They use silence, sulking and playing the victim to trigger your guilt and get what they want from you. ● They deny the truth about things that have happened and rewrite history until you start to question yourself. ● When they want something, they flatter you. Then they will drop you again… until the next time. Learn how to develop emotional distance. Don’t get drawn in. Use silence more – you don’t always need to respond to them. Maintain your boundaries – if you say ‘no’, stick to it. Manipulators always have an agenda, which you don’t have. You won’t beat them at their game as they are the experts, so don’t play the game. For more from Kim, see; @BarefootCoaches



the life lab

The last word on…

Dealing with rude people

These gentle, yet assertive, ways of standing up to impoliteness will have you walking away with your dignity intact


veryone is ruder these days – but, then again, we’ve been saying that for centuries, long before Twitter trolls or people shouting into their mobiles. Still, how do we cope? We’re taught as children not to respond to rudeness with more rudeness; on the other hand, simply letting the impolite person have their way feels wrong, too. Fortunately, there are other options. If you’re reading this on public transport, try to ignore the person playing videos without headphones in the seat next to you, and consider these alternatives:

Switch perspective. Psychologists call it the fundamental attribution error: if I do something rude, like failing to say hello in the street, it’s because I’m having a bad day – but if you do it, it’s because you’re obnoxious. It’s worth bearing in mind that an uncouth person probably has their reasons. It’ll make them less irritating, because their behaviour won’t seem so irrationally mean.


Look out for misunderstandings.

Certainly, some bad-mannered people are rule-breakers: they know it’s wrong to push ahead in a queue, but do it anyway. But others may have been raised with different rules. Just as in some cultures it’s more polite to sniff than blow your nose in public, the colleague who ‘ignores’ you in the canteen by sitting elsewhere may feel she’s just respecting your privacy. If you suspect a misunderstanding, try making your

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preferences clear, by inviting them to join you, for example.

Focus on what you can control.

As the ancient stoic philosophers observed, we make ourselves miserable by trying to control what we can’t, and failing to control what we can. Faced with rudeness, you can choose to maintain your dignity (by ignoring it), request a change in behaviour (by politely asking them to use headphones) or leave the situation (by moving to another seat). What you probably can’t choose is to make the other person less obnoxious, or eliminate all obnoxious people from your life. Keep the distinction clear, and your stress levels won’t spiral.

Kill it with kindness. Fighting

rudeness with rudeness just escalates things – but responding with overwhelming kindness disrupts the pattern, without making you a pushover. Received an uncivil email? Thank the sender for their message, and sign off by wishing them a great weekend. By deciding on this course of action, you’re asserting your authority, rather than surrendering it. There’s nothing more satisfying than putting a brusque person in their place, in a manner so virtuous they know that they can’t fight back.

Oliver Burkeman is author of ‘The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking’ (Canongate, £8.99)



The courage to change

Fortune favours the brave, so let’s break the shackles of fear that scupper our dreams

IN OUR DOSSIER THIS MONTH, Anita Chaudhuri examines how we can all learn to be braver, inch out of our comfort zones, finally stop procrastinating and crack on with creating a life we love. Do you want 2019 to be different? Then you need to start developing your courage muscles – and this Dossier will show you how. Be inspired by a gutsy reader who overcame abuse to write a book and become a millionaire. Take our test and get to the bottom of what you’re really afraid of – failure, disappointment, social exposure or making the wrong decision – and learn how to navigate your way past those fears. Don’t forget to join our Life Leap Club, offering free masterclasses, coaching and a community that will support you, champion you and cheer you on.




Brave new you in 2019

How would life be different if you learned to flex your courage muscles? Anita Chaudhuri investigates


ecently, I attended an event about living your dream life, a topic that usually ignites my interest. But, that morning, my inner grinch was out in force. ‘Yeah, yeah, heard it all before. Life’s not that simple, is it?’ 2018 had felt like a long year, and I was frustrated about all the things I hadn’t got round to doing. The speaker was Tererai Trent, a leading voice in women’s empowerment. Five minutes in, an unexpected emotion engulfed me; humility. Trent, who grew up in rural Zimbabwe, had yearned to go to school, but it was forbidden because of her gender. At 14, she was married off in exchange for a cow. ‘A frickin’ cow!’ By 21, now living with a violent husband and pregnant with her fifth child, an NGO worker asked: ‘What are your dreams?’ No one had ever posed this question to her before. ‘I want to go to America, get a degree, then a PhD.’ Given her lack of schooling and the fact that she’d never seen a plane, this sounded improbable. Yet, through sheer courage and perseverance, she achieved it all, and more.

or economic status. Oh, and she was named by Oprah Winfrey as being her all-time favourite out of 37,000 guests. Trent had overcome obstacles of unimaginable magnitude. And here I was, with every comfort and opportunity, somehow unwilling to show up for my dreams. Catastrophising and procrastinating had become my defaults. Why? I’m not proud to admit this, but I was scared. Yet, what on earth did I have to fear? I wasn’t fleeing an abusive marriage or scavenging to feed five hungry children. Author and founder of the Courage Academy, Margie Warrell, understands my predicament. ‘Avoiding risk doesn’t make us more secure, it makes us less so. It sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? As humans, we’re wired for comfort, to stick with the familiar. We love certainty. So, when it comes to making a big decision, like whether you go for a new job, move to another country or get into a relationship, we are all going to be focused far more on what could go wrong, than right. Our brains are more sensitive to potential losses than gains.’ That immediately makes me feel better. I realise that I’ve been focusing on worst-case scenarios to an unhelpful degree. If I go ahead with renovating my home, what if the costs spiral out of control or it leads to war with my neighbours? What if I sign up for a photography foundation course, the first step towards a degree, and I’m not good enough? What if I accept an invitation to go on holiday next summer with people I don’t know well and then I don’t enjoy it? I’m shocked to realise how much time I’ve been spending in the land of ‘what if?’ Now, I’m learning it’s not a personal failing; all humans are like >>>


Spellbound, I listened to her recount how she had struggled to feed her children and take her O levels by correspondence. Her mother, a subsistence farmer, would secretly squirrel away money to cover the exam fees. Eventually, eight long years later, she was offered a place at Oklahoma University. She now runs a foundation that aims to provide universal access to education for all children, regardless of gender

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“As humans, we’re wired for comfort, to stick with the familiar. We love certainty”

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this. ‘Exactly,’ says Warrell. ‘No one is wired to do brave things. But we have to overcome that fear in order to preserve our safety. And, when I talk about safety, I really mean our sense of identity that comes from the approval of others.’


Psychotherapist Julie Leoni agrees. ‘Many of the women I see stay in their comfort zones because it suits those around them – partner, parents or family. We thrive on approval and if we change something, we fear we might incur disapproval.’ It’s an idea that resonates. For example, I realised I’d fallen into the trap of joining in when friends habitually complained about work/the housing market/available single men. Largely, I was doing so in the spirit of bonding, not because any of it was true of my own life. Leoni made me realise that, far from being harmless, it could actually be inhibiting me from moving into the next chapter of my life. Some members of my ‘complaining cohort’ may not like it if I changed my script to: ‘Life is pretty brilliant, actually.’ ‘Often, we look to the outside for something to come along and help us change, like waiting for the prince to come to the rescue in a fairy tale. Courage isn’t an attribute. We all have it but we need to practise it, and it starts from within,’ says Leoni. Again, I see the truth of this. I was waiting for something to happen that would force me to step out of my comfort zone, rather than making it happen for myself. Did I really need to change though? Might it not be less stressful to opt for an easy life? ‘Playing it safe actually chips away at your sense of confidence,’ counters Warrell. ‘When I talk about being brave, I’m not referring to things that totally terrify us, just actions that make us feel vulnerable and may make us risk a sense of impostor syndrome. When we take those chances and back ourselves, we learn that we’re capable of more than we thought. Even when our risks don’t land well, we always learn something.’

unimpressed and soon a new list was created including doing stand-up comedy and chatting up men on the train. What’s refreshing – and hilarious – about Power’s efforts is that she is truly terrified – and vicariously, so are we. ‘The stand-up was like an out-of-body experience,’ she confides. ‘I did a weekend course that culminated in an open-mic performance at a pub. The risk of humiliation in front of others cuts to the heart. By the time I was standing in the spotlight, I was so petrified that I had exhausted myself. I started talking, went through the routine I’d written and waited for some kind of panic attack to kick in, but it didn’t. I couldn’t believe it but people laughed and, seven minutes later, I sat down again.’ So, you might be forgiven for thinking that a contrived exercise such as this wouldn’t have much impact on the rest of a person’s life, but it did. ‘I’d never felt prouder of myself,’ says Power. ‘It was like I’d crossed some kind of major line. Most people would never do that in a million years, and I had not only done it, I’d done it well. I learned that I was capable of more than I thought I was.’ Referring to certain behaviour as being ‘like a muscle’ has become a trope of self-help literature but, when it comes to courage, the comparison is useful. ‘Every time you take action in the presence of your fears, you are actually building up to take braver actions,’ says Warrell. ‘When you’re practising, even if it’s saying “no” to an invitation or speaking up in a meeting, it helps to build up our tolerance for emotional risk-taking. It means that when we do have to face big things, we’re more confident in our abilities. It’s about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.’

“Every time you take action in the presence of your fears, you are actually building up to take braver actions”


Writer Marianne Power discovered this when she was conducting an experiment for her book Help Me! (Picador, £12.99). ‘The idea was to live according to a different self-help book each month. I started with Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers (Ebury, £6.99), committing to doing one scary thing every day in January. Initially, I wrote down “answering the phone” and “opening bank statements” because I am scared of those things.’ But her friends were

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The notion that bravery can be practised is actually derived from the ancient Greeks. ‘Aristotle put forward the theory of there being extremes of behaviour. If you have cowardice at one end and rashness at the other, then courage is the virtue that sits in perfect balance with the two,’ explains Polly Morland, author of The Society Of Timid Souls (Profile, £8.99). ‘Each of the virtues – qualities for living your best life – is something you repeat and practise; it’s not an afternoon’s work. It opens up an interesting way of thinking about courage.’ Morland’s book contains stunning stories of people who have acted with true heroism, from the theatre of war to the performing arts. ‘Running into a burning building to rescue a child isn’t the point,’ she says. ‘Bravery is understanding that we all live with a level of fear about certain circumstances. There are some things that will make us feel sad or that


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compromise us personally, professionally or romantically. So, a first step to practising would be to investigate what you’re anxious about and think about courage as a way of life, rather than a single brave deed. See it as responding to fear as it comes up in your life with something other than inertia or paralysis.’ What comes up for me is anxiety around upsetting the people I love. I’m perfectly good at confronting people about, say, poor customer service. But the friend who is always 30 minutes late? The prospect of saying something brings me out in a cold sweat.


situations talked a lot about fear. It’s about how you respond to it. Can you find a way of metabolising it? It doesn’t need to be anything heroic, more about reacting in a dynamic way that begins to deal with it and stops you being paralysed by it.’ This idea of paralysis describes exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. Having gone through a turbulent few years, 2018 offered me the first period of real consolidation. Yet, I’d got so accustomed to warding off impending disaster, I hadn’t got the memo that it was safe to be brave again. I put the question to Warrell. Is there a ‘right’ time to be courageous? ‘Yes. When we’re going through something big, it takes a lot of emotional and physical energy. We need a lot of social support, so we may not want to change those structures in those times.’ Her advice made me feel better about my self-imposed stasis. My hesitancy had been for good reason. I took out the book that Trent had signed for me months before. In it, she had inscribed a single African word, tinogona; it is achievable. ‘Tinogona’ I said out loud that Monday morning. Then, taking a deep breath, I picked up the phone and signed up for the course, the holiday and talked to a builder. Far from feeling stressed, finally taking action made me feel calmer than I’d felt in years.

“Think about courage as a way of life, rather than just a single brave deed”

On a mission to build up my courage muscles, the next time she turns up late, with a dramatic apology, I gently tackle her about her behaviour. I’d love to say it led to a wonderful, healing discussion, but it was hideous. She looked hurt and became quite huffy. But the next time we met, she arrived early. Emboldened, by the end of the week, I turned down a trip to see a play I had no interest in and had a difficult conversation with a family member. ‘Figuring out where to push against your comfort zone is key,’ says Morland. ‘What matters most to you? What is your value system? Ask yourself what you want to achieve this year – personally, romantically, within your family, your working life, your social life and your recreational life. And abandon the idea that being brave is about having no fear. Everyone I interviewed in extreme

To support the Tererai Trent Foundation, buy ‘Your Dream Life Starts Here’ by Kristina Karlsson (Blackwells, £12.99). Karlsson will donate $1 for each copy sold

How to be brave

Margie Warrell’s wisdom on feeling the fear, yet still finding the courage to take action


IDENTIFY WHAT YOU ARE SO AFRAID OF. Then, imagine your worst fear coming to fruition and breathe through it. How would you handle it?



to allow fear, rather than my unique talents, to be the deciding factor?


COURAGE IS ABOUT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN LIFE. Ask yourself: in which situations have I cast people as villains or myself as a victim? What other story could I tell?

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What payoff would I need to give up to do this?


WE’RE SCARED TO MAKE A CHANGE. This is because we worry about what ‘everybody’ will think. But psychologists have found that our ‘everybody’ is usually five or six people! Practise thinking ‘so what?’ when this thought arises.


HAVE THE COURAGE TO ACCEPT WHAT YOU CANNOT CHANGE. Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is to walk away from something that isn’t working, whether it’s a relationship or a project. You’ll have the energy to move on to something new.

Sign up for Margie Warrell’s ‘Train The Brave Challenge’ at

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Create your own Life Leap Club Don’t just sit there! Build a supportive, kind, inspirational community of your own, says Suzy Walker, Psychologies Editor-in-Chief


Digital communities can be wonderful, but research has shown that people are happier when they are with others – even if they are introverts. With all the unrest and division in the world at the moment,

“I adore being an ambassador. I’ve made so many amazing new friends here – some I’ve met, others I’ve talked to on the phone. I love this group and it feels like such a safe place to talk freely” HAULWEN

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we want to encourage you to create a safe, respectful and kind space where you can gently support each other to build the lives you really want. This year, we are looking to evolve our Life Leap Club and would like to urge you all to start your own face-to-face Life Leap Clubs to experiment with how you can put happiness – yours and other people’s – at the heart of your philosophy. It’s about being the change we want to see in the world.


So, what’s the goal? To help create a genuinely happier society by providing a place for people to connect once a month to talk about how we can survive and thrive in the world – no matter what. It’s about listening, caring and having a laugh! How does it work? Every month, invite your friends, family or people you would like to get to know, and form your own Life Leap Club to discuss our monthly Dossier content and coaching questions. Commit to making small changes that will help you and others feel happier. Decide who you would like to invite to your club – maybe it’s a buddy you can talk to, or perhaps you want to run it like a book club, where you gather together a group of friends to discuss the theme of the month. You may even want to create a group where you get to know new people and congregate one weekend morning each month in a cafe. Arrange a suitable date and time. The magazine



e’ve been running the Life Leap Club – our VIP coaching club with podcasts, workbooks and interviews with the best self-development experts in the world, free to all subscribers – for a year now, and I feel really privileged to be part of such a kind, supportive and uplifting community. It all started with our 47 ambassadors – I would like to say a huge thank you to them for leading from the front, for welcoming our newcomers and for creating such an incredibly brilliant tribe.

“I love being an ambassador. This forum has allowed me so many interesting discussions. I’m very grateful to Psychologies and really want to continue” NICOLA

comes out every four weeks, towards the end of the month, so organise a time soon after that. Next, read our themed Dossier – covering everything from decluttering and taking back control to finding your purpose and making a fresh start, then download our workbooks and life-coaching wheels from our online Life Leap Club, and commit to making some tweaks to your life that will take you in the direction you want to travel in 2019. Getting support and encouragement from your group will only help you. If you subscribe to Psychologies, you will also receive access to the Life Leap Club digital community, workbooks, podcasts and free coaching. All you need to do is turn to page 74 for our fantastic subscription offer this month.

Big little leaps

Fear, failure and small steps to growth EACH MONTH, we will give you a series of questions to discuss with your new tribe of people in your Life Leap Club. Pose the questions, then listen to the answers, without interrupting. Create the space to really hear what other people are saying…

1 2


did it make you feel?

you learn from this?

Describe your comfort zone. How

does it make you feel?

When was the last time you made a leap out of your comfort zone? How


What feels like a leap too far?

How do you know when you’ve reached the limit of your leap?

When did you make a life leap and fail miserably?

What did you learn?


When did you make a life leap and succeed? What did


How can you make five brave baby steps in the next month? What are they and what support do you need?

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Dossier 68 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9

“I replaced pain and cruelty with happiness and achievement” The day Christine Clayfield, author of No Fourth River, decided to be brave was the turning point in her life INTERVIEW RIN HAMBURGH PHOTOGRAPH LEANNE BRACEY



rom the age of five, I was constantly surrounded by fear – fear of being laughed at, fear of being put down, even fear of talking to people. It started when I was sent to boarding school. I used to wet the bed and, the first night it happened, I knocked on the nuns’ door to ask for help. Instead, they made me do the ‘walk of shame’, carrying a bundle of wet sheets through all the dormitories as they announced, ‘Make way for the bed-wetter,’ and encouraged the children to laugh and shout horrible things. That happened regularly. I grew into a rebellious teenager and spent a lot of time in bars drinking to forget the despair and dread. That’s where I met my first husband, who turned out to be a violent man. It was only when he beat me into a coma that things changed. I knew I couldn’t go back – if I did, I would die. So, I decided: ‘That’s it! No one is ever going to hurt me again and no one is ever going to laugh at me again.’ In that moment, I started to peel away the layers of misery, pain and cruelty and replace them with

happiness, success and achievement. The first thing I did was start to read books about achievement; about how to think highly of yourself. I got into sport and found myself succeeding. I won a long-distance swimming competition and realised, ‘I am not a useless person like the nuns, my dad and my husband told me.’ I decided to take the principles I used in sport – my determination to keep going – and apply them to everything in my life. That’s when I discovered I was a really good business person. Since then, I’ve had many different businesses and have always made them successful. I think, in order to be brave, you need to be able to use the things that have happened in your past and change them into good things for your future. Whatever your past has been, don’t blame it for who you are today. Try and find something positive in it. I think that’s the only possible way to get over those things, be brave and turn everything around. ‘No Fourth River’ by Christine Clayfield (Rasc Publishing, £10.94);

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 69



What are you really afraid of? Is fear holding you back? Take our test to find out what’s keeping you stuck in your comfort zone, and what needs to change for courage to flourish

A friend suggests you both quit your jobs to go travelling. What worry is most likely to hold you back? ♥ Not having enough time to plan it ◆ ◊ Telling family, friends or your boss l Feeling unconfident about

meeting new people ■ Whether you will regret giving up your job


You secretly admire people who:

■ Can instantly make decisions ♥ Just get on with things ◆ ◊ Never worry about what other people think l Have unlimited self-confidence


When you have an important decision to make, you tend to: ♥ Overthink every possibility

◊◆ Anything that might cause disapproval from someone else ♥ Anything that you don’t feel you can do well enough


You feel bravest when: ♥ You’re doing something

you know you’re good at

◆ ◊ You’re helping someone else l You know you have support

■ You have no choice and have to


You would find it easier to make big changes if you:

■ Could just decide what to do first ♥ Could trust it will all work out OK ◆ ◊ Wouldn’t upset anyone l Had more confidence in yourself


When you ruminate about the past, you fret about:

♥ Times you messed something up ◆ ◊ Upsetting people or letting

l Battle with self-doubt

them down

◆ ◊ Ask everyone for their opinion

l Being awkward or looking stupid

■ Exist in a state of high anxiety

■ Whether you’ve really made the right decisions


Which of these daily events triggers stress or anxiety for you?

■ Anything that involves a choice l Things that could draw attention to you

70 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9


You’re asked to make a speech at a friend’s party. Afterwards, you’re most likely to think about whether:

l People could tell you were nervous

■ You should have agreed to do it in the first place ♥ The guests thought it was good enough ◆ Your friend was happy with it


You’re most likely to do something outside of your comfort zone if: ♥ It’s important for your career ◆ ◊ You’d be letting people down by not doing it l No one knew you were doing it

■ You knew it was the right thing


Having more confidence would have the most impact on your: ◊ Personal relationships ◆ l Social life

■ Peace of mind

♥ Personal growth Circle the answers that most closely apply to you, then add up the symbols. Read the section (or sections – sometimes there is more than one) you circled most, to find out what’s stopping you from chasing your goals.




F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 71


Your inertia stems from your fear of… IF YOU SCORED MAINLY ♥


It’s not easy to admit when fear of failure is holding you back and you can come up with legitimate reasons why it’s not the right time to put your plans and dreams into action. But, if you keep stalling, chances are you’re afraid of failure. Is there an undermining voice in your head saying you can’t cope with challenges, or you’ll make a mess of them? Procrastination can also keep you stuck, but it’s not due to laziness. You’re more likely to be sabotaged by over-preparing, or a feeling that everything has to be perfect first. There is logic to fear of failure; we evolved with ‘better safe than sorry’ brains to keep us safe in our caves. But, if we always play it safe, we miss out on the chance to prove to ourselves that we won’t fail, or that we can cope if we do. Deep down, you know that making mistakes is part of how you grow. Break down your plans into baby steps; treat each as an experiment rather than fixating on getting it right; an information-gathering process to be approached with a curious mind.


Social exposure

Worrying what others think is a powerful barrier, keeping us in our comfort zone and undermining our bravery. Do you ever feel so hijacked by selfconsciousness that it’s hard to make decisions? Social anxiety can go hand in hand with being self-critical and, when your mental focus is on your faults, it’s easy to think other people’s is too, and they are just waiting for you to mess up. Yes, some people are judgemental but not all – many have a compassionate approach and look for the best in others. Some may be too focused on their own issues to critique your social skills. You’re torn between needing the security of routine, and craving the excitement of something new. If you were bullied at school, staying in the shadows feels safe, but part of you knows that you have more to do. Working in a team, or with a supportive friend, can help break down the barriers that you create in your mind between yourself and the rest of the world. It may also help to turn your focus outwards and think about who else can benefit from changes you want to make.

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When you’re conscientious, it’s second nature to put others’ needs before your own. You don’t hesitate to help people get their plans off the ground but that leaves little time for your projects. Do you really want to do everything you say yes to? The price we pay for ignoring our needs is often resentment or low mood. You may have grown up with expectations of being ‘good’; following the rules. Compassion and supportiveness are great qualities but always focusing on others can come at the cost of your own satisfaction. Is there a voice inside you that wonders if there’s more to life? Time to listen! If you’ve grown up with a ‘don’t make a fuss’ message, it’s hard to change. Chances are you’ve also internalised a critical voice, keeping you in line and making sure you don’t expect too much. You know it’s time to prioritise yourself; to dream, experiment and potentially mess up in the process. You’ve put a lot of energy into making sure you’re approved of – imagine what you could achieve if you directed it towards your dreams, plans or passions?



Even tiny decisions tie you in a knot of overthinking as you consider all that may go wrong. No wonder you feel paralysed. You envy people who make quick decisions and seem not to care about the consequences. For you, even the thought of a bad decision creates fear. ‘Decidophobics’ can organise life to minimise decision-making; having a signature ‘look’ so they wear the same clothes, eat the same food, or stay in a job or relationship they’ve outgrown. You ruminate over past choices, particularly ‘wrong’ ones, which undermines your confidence until you believe you’re no good at decision-making. But you do make decisions, one of which is to stay in your comfort zone! Ask a supportive friend to help you mind-map your choices. Or try visualisation – imagining in detail that you have made a good decision can boost your confidence. It may help to create deadlines by which decisions must be made, even if you’re still unsure. Sometimes, there is no right decision, you just need to take action and enjoy the adventure.

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 73

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Wellwoman supports

#360me p78 The Plan l p85 The Open Mind The price we pay for ignoring our needs l p87 Feel Beautiful Skin restorers l p88 The Journey Ali Roff learns to let go l p90 Wholistic woman Henrietta Norton on PMS l p94 Real Wellness The path to veganism l p97 Balance Plan Women’s saviour shatavari l p99 Real Nutrition The wholesome potato EDITED BY EMINÉ RUSHTON

care of your body. It’s the “Take only place you have to live ”



F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P S YC H O L O G I E S M A G A Z I N E 77

The plan #360me

Every month, the #360me team will be sharing our baby-steps approach to leading a healthier, happier life – expert-endorsed and real-life approved

Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true any more

CAN I BOOST WORK WELLNESS? Each month, we raise a topic for the consideration of medical doctor Hazel Wallace, who gives us her balanced, research-backed and definitive explanation


I have a highpressure job and work 50 hours a week, most of them sedentary. How can I safeguard my health? When we’re time poor, our health is often last on our list of priorities – but there are ways of keeping healthy at work:

● Use your commute

for fitness by walking all or part of the journey. ● ‘Lunch share’ with a colleague, taking turns to make nourishing meals for each other. ● Get a good night’s sleep. Screens negatively affect your sleep cycle. Switch off all devices an

hour before bedtime. ● Practise square, or box, breathing to counter stress: breathe in for a count of four, hold for four, out for four and hold for four. Repeat. Hazel Wallace @thefoodmedic ‘The Food Medic For Life: Easy Recipes To Help You Live Well Every Day’ by Hazel Wallace (Yellow Kite, £20)

BATHE IT BETTER ‘I’ve long championed the benefits of natural salt baths; our bodies soak up minerals through our skin (transdermal absorption) – a wonderful way to replenish those minerals that are most commonly depleted, such as magnesium and potassium. These sleep-supporting salts, with 84 trace minerals, are laced with lavender, jasmine and rosewood, alongside hydrating safflower and jojoba oil – for soft skin and a restored body.’ Eminé

SHARE YOUR #360ME JOURNEY FOLLOW US #360me @eminerushton @psychologiesmagazine,

78 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9


Multi Mineral Bath Salts, £38 each,



the plan

Gently transformative ideas for a happier mind and body

#360 LOVES...

OUT OF THE DARKNESS ‘Don’t allow the long wintry nights to lower your activity levels. Wrap up warm, put on your boots, get outside and swap your evening lull for a brisk, energising walk. Exercise not only boosts your mood, it also strengthens your heart, lungs and bones, and lowers blood pressure – plus a moonlit stomp will make your nights feel more expansive.’ Hollie Grant, Fitness Editor @thepilatesPT

10 million The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence suggests that around 10 million people in the UK could be at risk of vitamin D deficiency – that’s one in five adults and one in six children. If you’re concerned about your levels, natural health supplements brand Better You offers a home-testing kit and service for £32.95. betteryou. com/vitamin-d-testing-service


SHAKE IT OFF “If you want to change how you feel, move! When your thinking gets sticky, shift your mood with a walk around the block to blow out the cobwebs, or do some ‘chicken wing’ shoulder rolls (the silly name helps me remember this one). Place your fingertips on your shoulders and, as you breathe in, sweep your elbows forward and up and, as you exhale, out and down. This opens your chest and allows deeper, more restorative breaths” Suzy Reading, Mind Editor @suzyreading

Three body-wise books to broaden your knowledge DEMYSTIFYING THE FEMALE BRAIN by Sarah McKay (Orion Spring, £14.99) The neuroscientist looks at the workings of the female brain, with relation to our hormones in particular. Fascinating. QUENCH by Gina Bria and Dana Cohen (Hachette, £20) One of the most interesting health books around – and it’s not as elementary as eight glasses of water a day. The authors study the hydration success of desert cultures, and how to get the water you need through food.

FEED YOUR SOUL by Carly Pollack (New World Library, £12.99) ‘If we are brave and vulnerable enough to look more deeply at what needs to be healed, we will have success eliminating negative behaviour at its root,’ she writes. A clever, engaging and truthful read.

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spirit Lift your spirit with these great finds and useful insights

TALKING POINT “Mindfulness teacher Amy Malloy sought a way to help people who need the support of therapy, but who cannot afford it. She designed a top that encourages the wearer to slow down and breathe (when placing their hands over its stars) – and the sale of every 10 sweaters directly funds a private therapy session for someone in need (via an accredited clinic)” Eminé

‘Breathe’ raglan top, £45,

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TRAIN YOUR BRAIN Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and Japan’s University of Tsukuba found a link between exercise and memory function. The study* found that even very light workouts for short periods of time, including yoga and tai chi, can increase the connectivity between parts of the brain responsible for memory formation and storage.

CONSCIOUS CONSUMERISM The Divine Matrix by Gregg Braden (Hay House, £12.99)

CAN YOU IMAGINE… ‘Gregg Braden’s enlightening book, with the subtitle Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, And Belief explains the ‘missing link’ between our imagination and our reality, and how we can access it through our words and belief systems. I would heartily recommend it to anyone wanting to feel empowered to create a healthy, happy and fulfilling life.’ Larah Davies, Spirit Editor @ibizaretreats

‘You know an online store is getting it right when you pop in for “research purposes” and resurface with a clutch of purchases! is a haven for fairly traded, sustainably made goods, with a lovely offering of organic, vegan and eco-conscious items. From crafts and beauty products to fashion and homeware, it’s a fab, conscience-clear collection.’ @eminerushton Upcycled Elephant Branded goods, from £15,


the plan

mind This month’s food for thought... Tell us how you get on by using #360me


IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND “No time for self-care? Work with your breath – you’re doing it anyway! Try this practice with your hands: as you breathe in, open your hands, stretching out your fingers and palms. As you breathe out, make a gentle fist. Repeat six times, feeling how the movement of your hands is echoed by your ribcage. Opening the hands creates a sense of expansion, and closing them engages the diaphragm, cultivating a more complete exhalation. Notice that when you breathe better, you feel better” Suzy Reading, Mind Editor @suzyreading

PODCASTS WE LOVE Captivating listening to heal the spirit and energise the mind ● POTENTIAL PSYCHOLOGY

by Ellen Jackson ‘I find this podcast series inspirational and full of practical wisdom to help us achieve our goals and fulfil our potential.’ Suzy Reading;

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world DESMOND TUTU

A study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health found that people who commute through natural environments on a regular basis report better mental health. The survey of 3,600 participants from four European cities found that respondents who travelled past natural surroundings every day had a 2.74 point higher score for wellbeing, on average, than those who commuted through nature less often. The happiness effect was even stronger among ‘active commuters’, that is, walkers and cyclists. **


“When you feel anxious or upset by the state of the world, this quote is a reminder that each of us, with even our tiniest actions, can change the status quo” Kat Farrants, Yoga Editor @MFML_

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gut Nurture your gut health for an overall feeling of wellbeing

A GUT NIGHT’S SLEEP “Did you know that our gut microbiome is sensitive to a lack of decent shut-eye? Research shows that the composition of our gut bacteria can be jolted from just one night of tossing and turning because they work on a circadian rhythm, too. Limiting sensory overload before you retire and creating bedtime rituals will do wonders for your mind and your gut health. I recommend ‘The Circadian Code’ by Satchin Panda (Ebury Publishing, £12.99) for revolutionary insight into circadian rhythms and their effect on our bodily processes” Eve Kalinik, Nutrition Editor @evekalinik

Omega 3 Diets rich in fish oil could slow the spread of breast cancer cells.* An experiment suggested that omega-3 fatty acids, typically found in fish oil, could halt the formation of further tumours in patients. Experts think this is because omega-3 fatty acids can support the body’s immune and anti-inflammatory systems.

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Pistachio, Raspberry & Coconut and Coconut & Vanilla bars, £1.99 each,

NUTS FOR CHOC ‘We’re introducing plant-based options into our children’s diet, which feels like a natural shift the more we learn about the heaviness of our collective farming footprint. These bars, with the delightful addition of Pistachio flavour, are organic and blend raw cacao with creamed coconut and coconut sugar. Yum!’ Eminé

CARRY A CUPPA ‘I always drink hot water – from an Ayurvedic perspective, it’s kinder to the digestive system as its temperature is closer to that of your gut. I carry a flask with me when travelling and favour stainless steel ones as they remove the plastic footprint, keep water hot for up to 12 hours and are easy to clean. Try Zojirushi, S’well or Thermos. Catherine Turner, Wellbeing Editor @catherineyogi

CARROT AND POPPY SEED WAFFLES Kids will love this healthy and tasty alternative to bland shop-bought waffles, says Lucinda Miller in ‘The Good Stuff’ (Short Books, £20). Fussy eaters won’t spot the carrot and the poppy seeds boost calcium, iron and zinc levels.

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan), gas mark 4 and lightly grease the waffle maker with a little coconut or olive oil, using a piece of kitchen paper. 2 Measure the oats into a food processor and blitz for about 1 minute, or until they reach a flour-like consistency. 3 Transfer the oats to a large bowl and stir in the coconut, or muscovado,

sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt, before adding the grated carrot, along with the milk and yogurt. 4 Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition until all the ingredients are combined. 5 Turn your waffle maker to the highest setting and pour a ladleful of the mixture into the lower plate. Be

careful not to overfill it or the mixture will pour out of the sides. Close the lid and let the waffle cook until it is golden brown on both sides – about 2 minutes. 6 Remove from the waffle maker and place on a baking tray. At this stage, the waffle will be quite soft, so pop it into the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up. Repeat until you have 5-6 waffles.


MAKES 5-6 WAFFLES l 200g porridge oats l1  tbsp coconut sugar or light muscovado sugar l 1 tsp baking powder l 1 tbsp black or white poppy seeds l Pinch of fine sea salt l1  medium carrot, peeled and grated l 200ml whole milk l 120ml plain Greek yogurt l 3 free-range eggs l Coconut or olive oil, for greasing the waffle maker

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 83


the plan

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Echinacea drops and tablets


Traditional herbal remedy for symptomatic relief of colds, influenza type infections and similar upper respiratory tract conditions. Always read the leaflet.


the open mind

This month, Eminé Rushton reflects on a crucial life lesson, the danger of DIY, and the mufflers that drown out your own urgent pleas

You do it to yourself


he cracked step four years ago was the start of it. That day, I awoke tired – the children were tiny and needing so much – and I had a golden afternoon of rest ahead, my mother stepping in to allow me to catch up on my sleep. I dropped them off and drove home – the sun shining and my bed beckoning. As I crossed the threshold of our home, I caught sight of the deep crack beneath my feet, a corner of the flagstone having fallen away.


First things last

Without thinking, I turned around, walked back to the car and drove to a DIY store. Four hours later, I had all the tools, had mixed my own cement, filled in the crack (and four others while I was at it) and repaired the foundation. Perfect. As I stood up to take a photo of my handiwork, I realised that I was trembling. I’d forgotten to eat; had foregone my shot at a deliriously long nap, too, as my children were already on their way home. That soak… that sleep… that delicious, slow-cooked meal – those promises to self, that had buoyed me up during that tireless week – broken, because I had focused, instead, on the crack in the step. Suddenly, everything started to hurt. My head, my throat, my back. I couldn’t stop shaking. What I learned then is that when we break the promises we make to our bodies, they will not be silenced. When we swear that we’ll sleep as soon as we finish the urgent project; that we’ll rest the moment

we finish the fixing; that we’ll lie down once the children settle – and when we repeatedly renege on those avowals – our body takes matters into its own hands. This is when we overstretch to the point of breaking; overwork and overthink to the point of breaking down. Ironically, for many of us, it is only when we have no choice – when our minds are overruled by our bodies, and we fall ill – that we learn to listen. For me, when that crack ended in a hospital stay which sent me to bed for two unmoving weeks while my body worked to clear two different infections, the lesson is ever present. I did it to myself – a whole twisted spin on DIY. I wish I could say that it was the last time, too. Sadly though, it took another two ridiculous DIY projects, and their subsequent bouts of deep depletion, for the message to finally get through – a poem learned by heart, only through continual recital. The cracks will never be fully filled, nor the foundation rock solid. An earthquake or storm, a fierce frost or tectonic shift, and we tumble. Focus, then, on your own inner core – the feeding of that light, that fire and that strength. Sod the stain, the crack, the dust, the pile – not all broken things can be put back together again.

Wellbeing Director-at-Large

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 85



Vitamin C Repair Serum, £32, Balance Me

feel beautiful


Oils seem to be the answer… When my skin is tight, a balmy oil-based mask works wonders; when overly oily and imbalanced, a light jojoba slows my skin’s own production, and brings calm. This rare formula diminishes redness, sensitivity and proneness to blemishes, and is easily absorbed and so soothing. ● Rose & Marula Facial Essence, £34, The Rose Tree



This 98 per cent natural formula contains a potent anti-inflammatory extract from the boerhavia root which, when combined with stabilised natural vitamin C, delivers far more noticeable brightening results (and is also wonderfully effective on dark spots). Alongside its hydration benefits, it’s become a staple! ●


Love your skin


Brighten, comfort and restore your winter-worn skin with Eminé Rushton’s selection of saviours;


This ultra-fine highlighting mousse, which blurs imperfections and accentuates features, is a gorgeous, sheeny and creamy formula, infused with calendula oil and hyaluronic acid. It leaves a subtle glow, suppleness and comfort in its champagne-toned wake. ●



Aromatherapy Associates founder Geraldine Howard was a pioneer and, since her passing in 2016, has been sorely missed. Comfort is taken in the rituals that carry her legacy forward – this bathing oil, that lulls to sleep, and a new rollerball for Liberty, with camomile, bergamot, frankincense and palmarosa, to awaken and invite clarity of mind. ● aroma

Liberty Clear Mind Rollerball, £18, Aromatherapy Associates

Skin Perfecting Highlighter, £19, The Organic Pharmacy


Deep Relax Bath and Shower Oil, £48, Aromatherapy Associates

Super25 Botanical Serum, £75, Bodhi & Birch

The Super25 Botanical Serum is so named because the oil-based blend contains 25 seed, nut and fruit oils, including organic baobab, green coffee, hemp and prickly pear. The deeply and restoratively nourishing oil is just the ticket when winter does its worst, and skin begs for comfort. Restoring elasticity, suppleness and glow, it’s B&B’s new hero, with ample reason. ●

we believe that how we feel “ At ‘Psychologies’, is more important than how we look

FOLLOW US #360me @eminerushton @psychologiesmagazine

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E 87

Falling away Ali Roff looks back on a year of letting go and takes stock of what has been cultivated in that new space


ver the past year, in this column and my own life, I’ve challenged every place in which the word ‘should’ comes up, and so many of you have joined me; messaging me on Instagram or via email to say how much you resonate with the pressures you feel to follow a path that’s set out for us by society, the media and the generations before us. From careers and relationships, to our mental health, together we’ve stared our ‘shoulds’ dead in the eye and observed how the pressure to conform to an idea of how things should be actually holds us back from the things we want or need to create in our lives.

The ties that bind

It has been a real journey for me – I’ve let things go that I realised I was holding onto for the sake of others – or worse, for the sake of what others might

Have you freed your spirit? ● It’s been a rollercoaster

taking stock of the past year, and realising just how much I have freed myself from. If you’ve been following this column, even for only part of the journey, ask yourself:

● What

have you released yourself from? ● What has that new freedom invited into your life? ● What have you created? You might be surprised by what you discover.

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think of me – and one huge example of this has been the letting go of a friendship that for years I had felt I should hold onto, but knew in my heart was no longer alive and had sadly grown toxic. I’ve also invited things into my life that in the past would not have been on my carefully followed agenda – taking a month out to fly across the world and train to be a yoga teacher, for example (my rigidly academic ‘shoulds’ didn’t like that one too much). But this experience taught me so much about myself and my life and, without it, I wouldn’t have launched my retreat company The Remedy Retreats – something that I’d only ever dreamed of. And sure, it’s not what most people do with their weekends, but it’s where I’m meant to be right now. Buddhism teaches that the root of suffering is attachment – our desire for certain things, or for our situation to be a certain way. So, what are you attached to? Material things that you believe will make you happy? All of us have a few. Delicious food?

Don’t be satisfied with stories; how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth RUMI


the journey

Your need for a loving relationship – or to be loved? What about the idea you have of yourself, and of who you are? As we move through the teachings of Buddhism, the place from which mindfulness was born, we learn of the ‘eight-fold path’. Essentially, it’s the path to enlightenment – a word which can come across as a little ethereal or evangelical. But ‘enlighten’ simply means to ‘put light’ on something. In Buddhism and mindfulness, we can see this as focusing and using our awareness. So, with that in mind, the first step on this eight-fold path is to cultivate ‘the right view’ or samma ditthi, which is to observe the transient nature of worldy ideas and possessions and of ourselves. We are fluid, flowing beings; ever changing, even when we don’t notice, even if those changes are only subtle.


Knowing me, being me

Towards the end of my year, as I’ve allowed the more tangible ‘shoulds’ to fall away, I’ve eventually found the space and confidence to allow the ideas I have about myself to drop off, too. The greatest freedom I have found has been to allow myself to be more me – not who I think I should be, or even how others see me, but the real me, the one who follows her path, is true to her values and needs, and who stays faithful to what she knows is right for her, even if it’s not the pretty little (all-too-often unattainable) picture that society has prescribed. Follow Ali Roff @AliandConnieRoff and download her free five-day ‘Self-Love’ course at Read about Ali’s journey on Instagram @aliroff. To find out more about Ali, The Remedy Retreats and brunches, and her upcoming projects, visit

Tip of the month

EXUDE GOOD VIBRATIONS If January is the gloomiest month, all the more reason to spread some love! Try this loving-kindness mindfulness practice to cultivate compassion: On your way to work, or ambling around the supermarket, breathe into and connect with your heart space. As you walk past people, send love or kindness to them; maybe a silent well-wish, like ‘I wish you happiness’. A mood boost is only a few well-wishes away. MINDFUL READING Oneness With All Life

by Eckhart Tolle (Penguin, £8.99) Ever heard the phrase ‘you are not your thoughts’ or ‘you are not your brain’ and thought, ‘Eh? Who am I then?’ Eckhart Tolle has a new book, Oneness With All Life; a collection of bite-sized, inspiring teachings from his bestseller A New Earth. The readings are perfect for pondering over before bed, and I love this excerpt which explains the idea so eloquently. ‘What a liberation to realise that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that. The awareness that is prior to thought…’

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wholistic woman

Understanding premenstrual syndrome Each month, bestselling author and speaker Henrietta Norton discusses an area of women’s health and offers her perspective and advice. Here, she looks at PMS symptoms and natural remedies to help women through their monthly cycle

No symptoms are the same

For most women, PMS is a subjective experience, producing symptoms that are unpleasant but manageable. For some, it is a debilitating condition that renders them virtually paralysed by their symptoms. Nutritional textbooks divide PMS into four subtypes: l PMS-A (anxiety) is the most common type. Symptoms include anxiety, irritability and nervous tension. Raised oestrogen and low progesterone are associated with this type.  l PMS-C (cravings) is characterised by an increase in appetite, craving for simple carbohydrates and fluctuations in blood sugar. Indulgence in simple sugars results in fatigue, headaches, palpitations, dizziness or fainting. This type of PMS is attributed to imbalances in fatty acids as well as blood sugar imbalances and, more specifically, low magnesium. l PMS-D (depression) is the least common but most serious

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manifestation of PMS. Symptoms include depression, tearfulness, confusion, insomnia and withdrawal. Low levels of oestrogen, high progesterone and DHEA are implicated in this subtype, as well as imbalances in the neurotransmitter serotonin. l PMS-H (hyperhydration) is associated with symptoms of water retention, abdominal bloating, breast tenderness and weight gain. High levels of stress, excess oestrogen, magnesium deficiency, and low production of dopamine can be associated with this subgroup.


Magnesium performs a number of critical functions in the body, including supporting the nervous system, especially during times of stress. Suboptimal levels of magnesium have been noted in women suffering from PMS. In one double-blind, randomised study,* women deficient in magnesium and suffering from PMS were given magnesium for the last half of their menstrual cycle. After the second month, the treatment group reported a significant improvement (using The PMS Distress Questionnaire), specifically on questions related to mood.

Omega-6 fatty acids

Essential fatty acids such as borage oil, evening primrose oil and flax oil help reduce inflammatory prostaglandins and increase prostaglandins that >>>



early two out of five women between the ages of 14 and 50 experience some symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and 10 per cent of these women have symptoms severe enough to disrupt their usual activities. PMS is a cluster of physical and emotional symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle. Reproductive hormones and neurotransmitters are thought to play a central role in the development of PMS, which is commonly experienced in the five to 10 days prior to menstruation.

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relieve menstrual cramping, breast pain, water gain and increased clotting. They can also help stimulate small amounts of oestrogen, which ameliorates PMS complaints.


Acidophilus cultures that are dairy-free and certified live can promote healthy flora in the bowel. Many women with chronic yeast infections, a history of antibiotic use, a high intake of refined foods, high stress, chronic corticosteroid use or birth control pill use may have a bowel flora imbalance (dysbiosis). A programme to enhance bowel flora can benefit in these conditions. Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium bifidus metabolise phytoestrogens found in plants and pulses into isoflavones, making acidophilus supplementation a worthwhile support when addressing PMS.


Symptoms of PMS may be relieved by using essential oil therapy in a bath or diffuser. Try the following oils in a bath or in a diffuser, as needs indicate: ● Clarysage (Salvia sclarea): five drops. ● Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata): four drops. ● Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia): three drops. Temporary relief from the symptoms associated with water retention may be experienced by using juniper oil (Juniperus communis) in a hot bath and soaking for at least 20 minutes. No more than eight to 10 drops should be necessary. Remember, essential oils should not be used during pregnancy or lactation, unless under the supervision of a trained aromatherapist or healthcare practitioner.*

Menstruation, just as pregnancy, is not a medical ‘condition’, but rather a natural cycle within a woman’s life

Vitamin E

In a randomised, double-blind study,* doses of 400 IU daily have reportedly produced significant improvement in certain affective and physical symptoms in some women with PMS. Vitamin E in nature includes eight compounds, which includes four tocopherols: alpha, beta, gamma and delta. The natural form of vitamin E, d-alpha tocopherol, has been reported to have greater bioavailability than synthetic forms of the vitamin.

A method to the madness

Menstruation, just as pregnancy, is not a medical ‘condition’, but rather a natural cycle within a woman’s life. Perhaps within our menstrual cycle lies the architecture of our emotional, physical and spiritual health, and each month we have the opportunity to connect with how we are really feeling. ‘To see the cycle as the enemy can set you up for more suffering, but working with and within its rhythmic imperatives can be your foundational path to healing,’ say Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Wurlitzer, authors of the book Wild Power: Discover The Magic Of Your Menstrual Cycle And Awaken The Feminine Path To Power (Hay House, £12.99).

Dong quai

Dong quai is thought to be one of the most important remedies in Chinese medicine. It has been used for centuries for a variety of female complaints and is considered a tonic for women who are tired, recovering

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Our expert, Henrietta Norton, is a registered nutritional therapist, a women’s wellbeing writer and expert, and co-founder of food-grown supplements brand Wild Nutrition.; @wildnutritionltd


Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, has reported benefits for reducing PMS symptoms. Studies have shown improvements in PMS symptoms (including cramping, fibrocystic breasts and excessive bleeding) by 70 to 88 per cent. The pre-metabolised form of vitamin B6 has been shown to be the most effective and this form can be found in food and natural food-grown supplements.


Vitamin B6

from illness or have low vitality. Dong quai is rich in phytoestrogens, helping to balance out both insufficient and excess levels of oestrogen associated with PMS symptoms. Epidemiological studies have shown that dong quai has been used for generations in females, who report better results and fewer adverse effects than with prescription oestrogen replacement products.


wholistic woman

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real wellness

Veganism and me

The principles of veganism had always appealed to Ellen Tout, but she didn’t think she could forego the cheese board. Having made the switch, she reflects on how a plant-based diet has changed her body and mind


ust over one per cent of the British population is vegan, and 11 per cent of us have tried veganism at some point.* But, despite being vegetarian for 15 years, I never thought I could give up chocolate or cheese. A vegan lifestyle seemed unattainable – something for people with plenty of spare income and time to strain nut milk every morning. This changed two years ago, when my mum decided to go plant-based. After I tasted the amazing meals she created, I researched veganism online and realised that I no longer wanted to contribute to the dairy industry.

“Who knew Italy had such delicious vegan pizzas; or that Prague had a veggie cafe on most street corners?”

Initially, I didn’t tell anyone and only ate vegan food at home. I soon realised I needed to improve my cooking skills – I could no longer rely on cheese to add flavour to my meals or a chocolate hit when I felt stressed. Inspired by my mum and the many vegan recipe blogs I read, I reconnected with my love of food. I had started to see cooking as a chore but now, arriving home from work, I was excited to experiment with new flavours and fresh ingredients. Mealtimes became a creative pleasure. I began to experience a change in my sense of taste, as I started to appreciate different flavours and properly relish my food. A couple of years later, I feel stronger and fitter and know I owe it to plant-based eating. I decided to become vegan for ethical reasons, but I didn’t foresee how it would open my eyes to the health benefits of living this way. I have much

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The creative cook

more energy now and feel truly nourished by my food choices. I’ve heard some vegans refer to their diet as ‘high vibrational’, meaning feel-good food because of our connection with it and respect for its origins. I can definitely relate to that feeling. Think of it as a circle, with humans, animals and plants all connected to each other. Being vegan, you naturally look more closely at food labels and household products. I now try to make a conscious choice about what I buy. This encourages you to consider and question your choices – to really care about what you’re putting into your body and its impact on the world around you. For me, this means I’ve gradually come to buy less processed food and I try to eat more locally and naturally. Having to plan my meals is a kind of mindfulness – considering the benefits of certain foods, the balance of nutrition on my plate and finding imaginative ways to make my meals delicious and nutritious. People imagine that vegans eat a restricted diet, but I now enjoy a much greater variety of foods. This awareness has also fed into a deeper connection with the environment. The Vegan Society found that one of the most effective things an individual can do to lower their carbon footprint is to avoid all animal products. I believe that once you change the way you view food, a more mindful respect for nature instinctively follows. At the heart of veganism is compassion and kindness, and this extends beyond farmed animals to all sentient beings. I see veganism

as much more than a diet – it’s a way of life, so I try to do what I can to make environmentally friendly choices.

Our place in the world

One challenge has been people’s perception of veganism. Perhaps because it’s not the norm (although demand for meat-free food increased by 987 per cent in 2017* which shows a trend in this direction), people often question my choices and, particularly on social media, those on both sides of the debate can become antagonistic. I try to respond honestly and openly, based on my experience. Eating meat and dairy is so ingrained in our society, I think people often prefer to put it to the back of their minds, like I did for years. When I first began my vegan journey, I joined lots of groups on Facebook. These have become brilliant sources of information and connection with like-minded people.

The vegan community is lively, forward-thinking and ever growing. I’ve met lots of inspirational people and attended some refreshing events. My girlfriend and I first connected over our shared passion for veganism, and her promise to cook vegan food for me! Being vegan has also helped open up a new sense of adventure in me. I love researching and planning which vegan cafes and shops I can visit on my travels. Who knew Italy had such delicious vegan pizzas? Or that Prague had a veggie cafe on most street corners? When I first tried veganism, I wasn’t sure if it would stick, but it’s now an important part of my identity and I cannot imagine ever going back. I honestly believe plant-based living is the future. Veganuary is just one example of how it brings us together, and of the many people experimenting with this way of life.;

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Is stress tying you in knots? Today's lifestyles are demanding, and one of the things they demand most is the mineral magnesium, which allows the nervous system to function properly and the muscles to relax. Magnesium is available in healthy foods such as wholegrains, dried fruit, green leafy vegetables and nuts, however there are times when your diet can lack the goodness needed and be deficient in magnesium. If you are feeling irritable and snappy, with knots in your shoulders and tension stiffening your neck, bump up your magnesium and lose those knots. Floradix Magnesium contains highly absorbable magnesium in a delicious herbal formula which could make the difference to your nerves - unlock the knots and survive the stress. Available from selected Holland & Barrett stores, independent health food shops and selected pharmacies nationwide.

Herbal help for women The woman’s herb, shatavari, used for centuries to regulate female hormones in Ayurveda, has become a daily fail-safe for Eminé Rushton


and moistening herb that provides the required nourishment and strength to support conception, fertility and a healthy reproductive system. It contains shatavarin and sarsasapogenin – the two key constituents in shatavari – which act as precursors to sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone and are thought to be responsible for shatavari’s hormonebalancing activity,’ says Pole. Taken in powder form, ideally mixed into warm milk or vegan mylk, or blended with ghee or honey, it takes between two to three menstrual cycles to restore hormonal balance, and should be taken every day. There are no known side effects either (although your sexual partner might beg to differ). Amen to that.; @thebalanceplan


ark moods and tiredness, lack of libido, moving from even-keeled to irascible overnight… As women, our moods often reflect our times of the month – but there are ways to soften the lows and smooth out the highs. Shatavari – the word means 1,000 (shat) roots (vari) in Sanskrit – possesses a telling double meaning: vari can also mean husband, and the libido-increasing properties of this adaptogenic herb (which ups the body’s production of prolactin) wink to the mythically insatiable sexual appetite of the woman who is lauded as ‘she of 1,000 husbands’. ‘Shatavari is a tonic to the female reproductive system and specifically the uterus,’ says master herbalist and Pukka co-founder Sebastian Pole. ‘It is a naturally nourishing, cooling

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the balance plan

FIGHT COLDS AND FLU WITH THREE TIMES THE POWER HRI Coldcare is the first herbal medicine to combine Echinacea plus Vitamin C and Zinc to relieve the symptoms of cold and flu. Winter doesn’t have to mean battling with colds and flu. Take new HRI Coldcare - the only product formulation to combine Echinacea plus 100% RDA of Vitamin C and Zinc in one dose. Coldcare is a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of colds and flu. Based on traditional use only. Always read the label.

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real nutrition


Mashed, baked, julienned… what’s not to love about the vitamin-rich potato? Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik chips in


rom the floury Maris Piper to the velvety Vivaldi, to the perfectly proportioned Jersey Royal and the honourable King Edward, the potato may be deemed humble alongside its fellow veg but, as some of its more noble names indicate, it should be royally celebrated. You might be surprised to know that potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, with one medium-sized spud providing around 70 per cent of the recommended daily intake. This helps to support energy, immunity and skin health. And they boast a decent amount of B vitamins and magnesium, too – the nutrients we need for energy, among many other physiological processes. Being one of the richest sources of potassium also makes them a good source of this vital mineral that has myriad functions in the body. When it comes to gut health, potatoes provide fibre that is important for our gut microbes, as they flourish on a fibrous feast, and it is a healthy and thriving microbiome that we need to support. Try to enjoy your spuds with skins on, as there is a greater fibre content, which gives you more bang for your buck when it comes to the microbiome. Interestingly, when potatoes are cooked



Maris Pipers are ideal for mash, but you may want to try Jersey Royals for boiling. See the Great British Chefs website for more. l greatbritishchefs. com/features/ potato-variety-guide


The Malle W Trousseau Box, £50.16, is ideal for the discerning spud cook. It features a brush and stainless-steel peeler and masher. l

and fully cooled – think potato salad – the starch molecules transform into something called resistant starch, which behaves a bit like fibre, in that it resists digestion and finds its way to the microbiome, giving an additional potent ‘feeding’ effect. There is a plethora of marvellous ways to cook, eat and enjoy your spuds. Personally, I can think of precious little else more delicious than a baked jacket potato with a generous hunk of butter and a sprinkling of sea salt. A roast dinner, particularly at this time of the year, is not complete without the glorious roast spuds that you could argue often steal the show! Just remember, as you tuck into your spud, that it is actually far from lowly and we should feature the potato proudly and respectfully on our plates.; @evekalinik


Give my ‘Punchy potato salad’ a whirl, which is great for some of the leftover spuds from Christmas dinner. Find the recipe in my book Be Good To Your Gut (Little, Brown, £20). l

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The Retreat

new beginning comes from “Every some other beginning’s end SENECA


p102 The Words Now’s the time to snuggle up with a good book ● p104 Travel Special One man’s meaningful trek around the British coastline ● p108 48 Hours Finding hope in the dazzling Northern Lights ● p110 Well Travelled The best yoga breaks for 2019 ● p116 Living Warming and textural ● p122 Feasting A seasonal spread

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The Words

January blues don’t have to be ‘a thing’ with our selection of books, a snuggly pair of socks, and a little self-care in the form of a Sunday morning or two reading in bed

The sun himself is weak when he first rises, and gathers strength and courage as the day gets on CHARLES DICKENS, THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP

Book of the month


GET KIDS READING By Bridget Collins (HarperCollins, £12.99) Emmett Farmer’s ordinary rural life is upended when he is summoned to be the apprentice of witchy bookbinder Seredith, whose special gift is to bind heartbreak and hurt into the pages of books. ‘Imagine you could erase your grief; forget your pain; hide any secret. Forever. Whatever people can’t bear to remember… we take the memories and put them where they can’t do any more harm,’ explains his mentor. So it comes as a complete shock when Emmett discovers a book with his name on it, full of the secrets of his past. A gorgeous, magical story in which love, light and freedom battle against dark desire and repressive control. This is an unforgettable, captivating novel: a boundary-defying love story and literary event. Unmissable.

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Language: Swedish We didn’t quite manage lagom in December – a little too much eating, socialising and spending, but now it’s January, we’re hoping to practise lagom again; the perfect balance between too much and too little, so life is ‘just right’.

Parrot Street Book Club provides a positive postal experience every month with a book lover’s package for your child. The pack contains a carefully selected book with book club-style questions to ponder together, games, craft ideas and a gift. Young readers can access an online reading group that matches their age and ability – perfect for helping young bookworms cement their love of words. Join the club. Three months, from £39.95, parrotstreet. com



the retreat

NEW YEAR, NEW NOVELS Sate your story lover’s hunger with these three juicy literary treats


Paper therapy


“Journalling puts you in touch with your body’s wisdom. When listened to, the body guides you to your deepest feelings. ‘The Body Keeps The Score’, as psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk tells us. Before making a big decision, check in with your body and note the sensations or feelings you connect with. Let your body write its words” Jackee Holder

is an author, coach and facilitator. @jackeeholder; jackee ‘The Body Keeps The Score’ by Bessel van der Kolk (Penguin, £7.99)

Vitra O-Tidy office accessory, £26,

The Last


The Gunners

By Hanna Jameson (Penguin, £12.99)

By Rebecca Kauffman (Serpent’s Tail, £12.99)

The premise of this dystopian psychological thriller is unnerving. Most of the world has been destroyed in a nuclear war, but 20 survivors, with a history of suicide and murder, are holed up in Swiss hotel, and there’s a killer on the loose. Jon sets about solving the mystery behind the death of a young girl, while delving into the mindsets of his fellow guests, as paranoia and panic compete with kindness and human connection.

The Gunners gang were the best of childhood friends until life got in the way. The rift began with Sally cutting off all contact, leaving her peers bewildered and upset. Fifteen years later, after Sally’s suicide, The Gunners reunite as they attempt to come to terms with her loss, and find reasons for her unhappiness as secrets are revealed and loyalties tested. Insightful and endearing, this is a lovely look at friendship and human fragility.


Once Upon A River

By Diane Setterfield (Transworld Publishers, £12.99)

Diane Setterfield’s third novel is utterly beguiling, with a cast of emotionally wounded characters. The story begins with a badly beaten man carrying the body of a dead child into the snug of a Thames-side pub. The girl comes back to life – and so begins a glorious tale of science and the supernatural, love and loss, which has as many twists and turns as its riverside setting.

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Walk a mile…

Chris Young began a trek around the British coastline as a metaphor for the experience of people with mental health problems. He’s about to set off again and is asking for help – and a bit of company


ollowing a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, a severe and enduring mental health problem, I decided to walk around the coast of the UK to highlight the plight of people with mental health problems – people who often feel on the periphery of society. Having been ‘disabled’ out of my job as a senior social worker, becoming homeless and then undertaking two years of fabulous group psychotherapy, I was inspired by the philosophy of Satish Kumar, a Jain monk who went on a peace march in the 1960s. He took no money with him. If he had, as his guru explained, he wouldn’t have had

The Wales Coast Path winds its way along the rugged Llyn Peninsula in magnificent North Wales

the motivation to speak to people at the end of the day. I thought that if Kumar could walk from India into Pakistan expecting and receiving great hospitality when the two countries were at war, then I should expect no less from the residents of the UK. I began my journey in April 2011.

Beautiful people

Spoiler alert! The British people are as wonderful as our shoreline – so far, they’ve supported me over 4,500 miles: from Edinburgh, anticlockwise round the coast to Porthmadog in North Wales, where I’m soon to return to finish my journey. >>>


the retreat

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the retreat

‘Or,’ I said hopefully, ‘sometimes people welcome me into their homes…’ Kenny said I couldn’t stay in his house – it was too small for me and all my flotsam and jetsam – but I could camp in his garden, and he’d make me something for tea. As ever, I had to pinch myself at the hospitality of people as I put up my tent in record-breaking time. I devoured my fish fingers and chips and we chatted like old friends well into the night. I went to bed satisfied that Kenny, and the people of the UK in general, were rather a fine bunch. At 7am, there was a thud on my tent: ‘I’ve made you some breakfast – just some tea and toast – I have to get off to work now. It was great to meet you!’ said Kenny and, with his hit-and-run generosity, he was off.

“It’s so easy to get lost in a land before time, where mountains rise dramatically from the sea”

‘Er… yes… I am going to help you!’

I was walking there, eight miles from the village of Crimond, when Kenny, a local, pulled up in his car next to me. ‘I’m going to give you a lift,’ he said with great confidence. Tempting though it was, I replied, ‘Thank you, but I’m walking around the edge of the UK,’ or something similar. Three hours later, I strode – no, waddled – into Crimond, where I found Kenny waiting to greet me on the postage stamp-sized village green, ‘So, what do you do now?’ he asked. His enthusiasm and humour made me smile. I explained that, sometimes, if I had the funds, I’d stay in a B&B; sometimes I’d exploit the generous right-to-roam laws in Scotland, which meant I could put up my tent wherever I liked, as long as it wasn’t too close to a residential dwelling…

BE PART OF MY STORY DO YOU WANT TO ASSIST Chris Young in his pursuit of beauty and humanity in Britain? He’s issued an appeal for help, and company, on his travels. ‘As before, I’ll be walking

Past caring? I don’t think so

As I sat rejoicing in the kindness of strangers, I was struck by something – I wasn’t actually in Kenny’s garden, I’d erected my tent in a communal drying area mere feet away from his neighbour’s door! As the possibilities of what might happen next raced through my head, I began stuffing my things away, only to be met by the steely gaze of said neighbour, a woman in her early 60s. I thought she looked pissed off. I mean, what would you do if you found me camping in your garden? ‘I’ve run you a bath,’ she said. ‘I just wondered if you wanted any bubbles in it?’ As I was leaving, she told me how she’d recently supported a friend who’d sadly died, and how tough it had been. ‘I’ve finished caring for folk now,’ she said, without a hint of irony. ‘You’ve just run a bath for a complete stranger you found in your garden!’ I exclaimed, as I gave her a great big hug. Walk A Mile: Finding Love And Compassion In Brexit Britain is the title of my next book. The mainstream media tells us the majority of Britons feel that empathy is on the wane, and hate crimes on the increase. Don’t let hate win – help me and be part of the next chapter of this lovely story.

‘Walk A Mile: Tales of A Wandering Loon’ by Chris Young (Trigger, £11.99) is out now

Weave your way into Chris’s chronicles of kindness

without money,’ he says. ‘I’ll rely on you to get me from Porthmadog to Edinburgh. Let’s show the world – once again – that, no matter your background, you are fabulous!’ Find Chris on:

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● Twitter: @walkamileuk ● Facebook: facebook.

com/groups/ walkamileinmyshoes ● Email: hello@ ● Phone: 0753 503 5909


The great news is that we’re spoilt in the UK with 11,500 miles of coastline – most of which is stunning – and, no matter where we are on our lovely island, we are never more than 70 miles from the sea. It’s impossible for me to pick any favourites, but there are a few highlights. In England, from Liverpool, where you’ll find some of the friendliest people in the world, take the ‘ferry cross the Mersey’ to the Wirral, and the 12.2 miles of the Wirral Way where, on a clear day, you look over the yellow sandbanks of the Dee River to the Welsh mountains of Snowdonia. Wales was the first country to provide a dedicated footpath following its perimeter, and the Wales Coast Path has breathtaking view after breathtaking view – it’s so easy to get lost in a land before time, where the mountains rise dramatically from the sea. But I must not forget Scotland. The Moray Firth is a gorgeous piece of coastline, a vast expanse of water gouged into the land that leads to Inverness, capital of the Scottish Highlands, with the dark forests and golden beaches of the Black Isle to the north and the promise of dolphins, whales and sea eagles in and around its grey waters.

Walk on the Wild Side

Trek Kenya

14-22 February 2020

Take a walk on the wild side on this roarsome adventure, trekking through Kenya’s Rift Valley. Prepare to be immersed in an entirely dierent world and spot an extraordinary range of African wildlife.

For more information and to register online: Tel: 01590 646410 email:



the retreat



he midwinter’s day I arrived in Tromsø, I learned of an old friend’s death. Still, from the restaurant at the top of Fjellheisen cable car, I looked down on the city, twinkling with lights, and my spirits begin to lift. The next morning, I rose in the dark and the sun never rose at all. But, even when it remains below the horizon, there are a few hours of eerie twilight which, when the residual light reflects off snow, creates incredible sunsets, bathing everything in blue light.

A blue and green night

This ‘blue hour’ is reflected in paintings I saw at the Northern Norway Art Museum, before walking to the Polar Museum, a repository for ‘expeditionalia’. Across the bridge to Tromsøya island is the icebergshaped Arctic Cathedral, which doubles as a venue for Northern Lights concerts. The aurora borealis are the big draw and, on my second evening, I head to the wilderness centre at Kvaløya where, on a hillside above the city and fjord, a gap in the clouds allows the briefest glimpse of the magical, green, pulsating lights. My bed is a sleeping bag on reindeer skins in a Sami goahti, a wooden tepee-shaped structure. There’s not enough snow for the planned dog-sledding in the morning, so I join a husky hike. A dog strapped to a belt pulls me around the snowy tundra and back for a lunch of reindeer stew and chocolate cake. It’s still dark as we head back to Tromsø, but Nordic people do dark well; every house emits candle and firelight, and the city is festooned with fairy lights. As I head home, I ponder the hopefulness of being in a place where, even when the sun does not rise, there is so much light; varied and, at times, astonishing.

Lizzie travelled as a guest of Northern Norway and Much Better Adventures. Their ‘Aurora’ camping and dog-sledding/hiking trip costs from £262 pp per night. Norwegian Air operates direct flights from the UK to Tromsø. For more information, visit;;;

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Nordic adventure

Let there be light

Lizzie Enfield travels into the darkness of northern Norway and sees a sky full of hope

well travelled

The best yoga retreats for 2019 The most effective yoga sessions and retreats take a 360-degree approach to our wellbeing, to realign and reignite our bodies, minds and spirits. Look for talented teachers, exceptional locations, nutritious, balanced meals cooked with love and clever schedules that strike the right balance between rest and play. You’ll release pent-up stress, ease out your tightness, energise your cells and be better able to cope with life. Psychologies Retreat Editor and Queen of Retreats founder Caroline Sylger Jones suggests where to go in the coming year‌ >>>

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ABOVE FROM LEFT Strike out across the moors with like-minded souls on the Women’s Wellness Weekend Retreat in Derbyshire; connect with nature as you hike the 14-kilometre Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland, next from 8 to 10 March; Como Shambhala brings a relaxing escape from frantic city life and has hour-long sessions for the time poor




Rebecca Wilson Women’s Wellness Weekend Retreat, Derbyshire

Jane Robertson at COMO Metropolitan London

Rebecca brings a lot to the wellness table. With a wealth of life experience, she imbues lessons with strength, courage and resilience – and there is always a shaft of wisest light beneath her ebullient smile. She has studied with respected teachers, including Uma DinsmoreTuli, and regularly leads retreats and circles in the UK and beyond. Wilson’s focus is on helping women make peace with their bodies, power and purpose. She considers the womb the crux of it all and, through movement, mantra, song, yoga nidra and powerful visualisation rituals, there is a visceral, glorious feeling of things lifting, shifting and healing. For many, it is deeply cathartic; for others, gentle and nourishing. The hormone-balancing menu of plant-based foods is generous and delicious, and there are affordable opt-in tailored treatments available, such as a mizan womb massage by Natasha Canfer of Iris Fertility. Rooms are shared and friendships forged quickly and deeply.

For urban comfort, book a special yoga session with Jane Robertson at Como Shambhala’s fragrant holistic zone in this contemporary London oasis. British Wheel of Yoga-trained, Jane’s a wonderfully down-to-earth teacher with heaps of experience, who will tailor her class beautifully to suit your energy needs, from a strong vinyasa flow to something far more yin. She has a great sense of humour, so you’re likely to have a giggle between asanas. Pre-book a private 60- or 90-minute session with Jane, or see her as part of COMO’s lovely ‘Mind, Body & Soul’ experience during an overnight stay, which includes breakfast, a free copy of COMO’s cookbook, The Pleasures Of Eating Well (Clearview, £40), and two treatments.

“ She has a great sense of humour, so you’re likely to have a giggle between asanas”

From £320 for a weekend retreat. For upcoming retreats, visit;

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From £115 for a 60-minute session;

Also try:

l Irish fling Cliffs of Moher is a delightful clifftop boutique

retreat a mile from the beach on the wild Atlantic coast. It runs wellness and yoga breaks all year round. ‘Connect to Nature Yoga’ and ‘Hiking’ weekends are a lovely mix of activities and the next one runs from 8 to 10 March.

From £348 pp in a quad room;

well travelled

ABOVE FROM LEFT Learn from Suraj Dubey at the grand Rosa Alpina Hotel and take guided walks in the staggeringly beautiful Dolomites; there’s a kind of magic at Vale de Moses in Portugal, where yoga, nature and good old-fashioned conviviality converge; rebalance body and mind, and throw in a health-giving brunch, at Ibiza’s Aiyanna and Amante



Majestic nature at Vale de Moses, Portugal

Far from the hustle and bustle of normal life, in the foothills of the Portuguese mountains, Vale de Moses hosts group retreats for all levels of yogi. Ancient wisdom whispers over rose-covered stone walls, and it’s clear that family is the heart of this place, where Vonetta and Andrew Winter have created a loving space for guests to rest and laugh. Morning walks invite silence and full immersion in the magnificent backdrop. Twice-daily yoga takes place in a floor-to-ceiling glass shala, with incredible views, where Vonetta leads classes with grace, compassion and a smile. Sleep in shared monastic cottages and wake to the sound of nearby streams – or opt for the ‘Soulpad’ bell tent to soak up the sweet darkness of enchanted forest life. Vegetarian and vegan meals are served in a rustic dining room, and menus range from curries to Japanese fusion. Guests can opt for caffeine and even a beer or two. Book holistic therapies or Thai massage workshops, enjoy Andrew’s musical talents in the library, and enliven yourself with freshwater-lake swimming. Visit a nearby village and bond with fellow guests and locals, as wine, food and companionship are shared. There’s a mystical energy here that can only be heard, felt and seen with the heart. Weeklong retreats run all year, from £713 pp, including meals, classes and activities;

Ayurvedic wellness with Suraj Dubey, Italy

Join renowned Ayurvedic expert Suraj Dubey at the luxurious Rosa Alpina Hotel to gain a true understanding of how to nourish your body and thrive. Suraj’s ‘Holistic Wellness Retreats’, running in summer, include Ayurvedic consultations and treatments to heal your imbalances, glorious guided walks in the Dolomites and nutritious meals, created by Michelin-starred chef Norbert Niederkofler. Beginners will welcome Suraj’s patient nature in daily sunrise yoga sessions, while restful moonlit yoga nidra classes offer fantastic tips for sound sleep. Simplicity is key – this gentle man will encourage you to practise just four poses a day if you’re pressed for time back home. Based in the chic village of San Cassiano, this retreat is perfect for solo females and couples. Retreats run from June to October. From £2,852 pp for five nights, including yoga, treatments, half board and transfers;

Also try:

l The spirit of Ibiza Hip sister restaurants located on tranquil bays, Aiyanna and Amante offer gentle flow yoga classes, which create space for true mind-body balance. Rise from your savasana for a dip in crystalline waters and brunch of quinoa croissants and gluten-free cakes. You might as well stay until waiters sashay across the terrace with evening cocktails!

Weekday 9am classes run from May to October; £27 pp for the yoga and brunch special;;


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well travelled

ABOVE FROM LEFT Stretch into your wise inner voice with jivamukti yoga, breath work, gong baths and opera-singing workshops at Chaya Yoga Retreats; visit Rwanda with Souljourn and help girls in need of food, housing and education; see elephants in the forest and whales in the sea at Sri Lanka’s Talalla Retreat


WISDOM AND PEACE ON THE BEACH Chaya Yoga Retreats, Goa The magic starts as soon as you step inside the gates of Kaju Varo, a lush, tree-filled cocoon a short stroll from Ashvem beach, where Chaya founder Lucy Hill runs several yoga holidays a year. Two Goan houses have been transformed into modern accommodation, built around a courtyard and pool (one of the owners is a Scandinavian interior designer and it shows). Opt for a gorgeous duplex suite for space or the treehouse for rustic charm. It’s the perfect setting for the ‘Finding Your Voice’ retreat, a week of twice-daily yoga in the shady poolside shala, plus workshops and activities – from group singing with opera star Andrea Finke and breath-work sessions with Nicola Price, to gong baths and asana to live music. The aim is to help you tune into your authentic inner voice – and learn to speak your truth. Jivamukti teacher Durga Devi leads powerful classes that include chanting, and the effect is both grounding and energising. Between classes, there’s plenty of time for the beach, to explore Goa’s night markets and local villages or to indulge in top-notch treatments, from deep-tissue massages to Ayurvedic consultations. Organic, plant-based feasts include delicious brunches

with everything from homemade nut milks, to overnight oats, exotic fruits and Indian omelettes. Evening meals range from nutritious curries to multicoloured salads, with delectable raw desserts. Lucy puts her heart and soul into creating something special for guests – her breaks all have a different theme, but the core ingredients remain the same. There’s a genuine sense of community, a space for healing and transformation, yet the vibe is fun and relaxed. No wonder so many return. Catch her in Ibiza this summer, too.

“ The aim is to help you tune into your authentic inner voice – and learn to speak your truth”

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The next Goa retreat runs 9 to 16 February. From £1,111 for seven nights, including meals, classes and activities. For more on Goa and Ibiza retreats, see

Also try:

l Sri Lankan serenity Yoga Explorers offers a perfect

combination of holiday and transformational yoga retreat on ‘the most beautiful beach in Sri Lanka’. Based at wellbeing hotel Talalla Retreat, it includes twice-daily yoga with the vibrant Jonelle Lewis and the chance to learn to surf, see elephants in the wild and go whale-watching. There’s a freshwater lap pool and Ayurvedic spa, too. Runs 2 to 9 April, from £835 pp;

ABOVE FROM LEFT The temple complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia is one of the largest religious monuments in the world. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu; Reclaim Your Self – with a seat for another – high above the trees and a stone’s throw from the glimmering ocean in Costa Rica

TREAT YOURSELF AS YOU GIVE BACK Souljourn, locations worldwide Souljourn combines yoga, philanthropy and travel to host heartwarming retreats around the world. Inspired by ‘seva’, the Sanskrit word and yogic principle of selfless service, the aim is to empower young women, while raising awareness and funds for girls’ education in developing countries. Souljourn offers fully immersive 10-day retreats in locations from Nicaragua and India to Tibet and Peru. A donation is built into the price and given to a sister organisation, and you’ll witness the positive impact of your contribution by spending time with the girls who will benefit. Each retreat combines cultural exploration with yoga and adventure. A trip to Rwanda explores diverse landscapes, markets and safaris, plus awe-inspiring hikes and gorilla treks, with mid-range accommodation in eco-friendly resorts in Kigali, and tented lodges in national parks, where guests drift off to sleep to a concerto of jungle sounds.   A trip to Cambodia means volunteering at the Ponheary Ly Foundation (PLF) Girls’ Dormitory, which shelters and feeds female students. Stay at PLF’s guesthouse in Siem Reap and explore gorgeous scenery, visit legendary temple

Angkor Wat and the floating village, sample Khmer cuisine, enjoy a local show and take in a night food tour. Open-level yoga classes punctuate every day and are led by experienced teachers and Souljourn founder Jordan Ashley. Group sizes vary from six to 10 and, although the focus is on female empowerment, men are welcome. Meals vary depending on location and may include meat and fish. Caffeine and alcohol are not restricted. Souljourn allows you to discover aspects of yoga which go beyond the mat – compassion, dedication and self-care.


“Explore diverse landscapes, markets and safaris… aweinspiring hikes and gorilla treks”

Next retreat runs 25 June to 5 July in Rwanda. From £2,800 pp for 10 nights, including meals, accommodation, activities, transfers and £235 donation;

Also try:

l Above the tree canopy in Costa Rica Reclaim Your Self hosts a seven-night yoga retreat in an extraordinary, five-star, fully staffed villa, perched above the trees and minutes from the beach in Costa Rica. The retreat includes twice-daily yoga classes with the exceptional Jean Hall, plant-based meals and cooking workshops with Bettina’s Kitchen. There’s an infinity pool, rooftop Jacuzzi, sun deck and two juice bars, too.

Runs 9 to 16 November, from £1,995 pp;

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Calm and cosy

Batten down the hatches and hunker down… Add a few textural touches to truly enjoy the comfort and peace of winter at home PHOTOGRAPHS JAMES CARRIERE EDITED BY DANIELLE WOODWARD

LEFT A warm wooden floor, stools and a chair provide a contrast to the shiny white marble kitchen and prevent it from looking clinical. A rug adds a cosy touch

THIS PAGE Shelves are a 3D mood board, allowing you to display collections of beloved objects. Relax and unwind in a comfy chair in front of your ‘shelfie’

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hildhood friends Christiana Coop and Aimee Lagos, founders of interiors blog and shop Hygge & West, inspire you to create a home with an emphasis on cosiness and comfort, mixing the Danish concept of hygge with US homestyle charm. Their book, Hygge & West Home, includes plenty of ideas from homeowners – of city apartments, suburban family homes and even a log cabin – so let your imagination run free and emulate their snuggly style. ‘Tried-and-true things – a cup of tea, a warm wool blanket, a dog on my lap and quiet are what make rainy days perfect,’ says featured householder Alex Beauchamp. ‘Making the most of a gloomy day is how hygge came to be.’ ‘Hygge & West Home: Design For A Cozy Life’ by Christiana Coop and Aimee Lagos (Chronicle Books, £26)

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LEFT Although the wood-burning stove adds warmth, tactile fabrics, such as fleece or sheepskin, draped over a chair, transform this corner into a cosy nook in which to nestle

THIS PAGE The hard lines of this four-poster bed are softened by a pretty bedspread; the bird theme echoed in a lampshade. Rattan and wood tables complement the natural sisal carpet


the retreat

La Voliere two-tier pendant lamp, £610,

Large glazed stoneware urn, £195,

Cheeky monkey bookends, £34, bookends

Kotori Blush cushion,, £19.99,

Pale blue ceramic handled jar jar, £35,; enamel trio, £28, bud vase trio

1960s Scandinavian armchair, £880 for two, theoldcinema.

Muuto workshop coffee table, £495,; industrial wooden stool, £145,

Heart of a home Geometry Burst print, £4.50,

Kruth Design Eule framed print, from £14.95,

American designer Nate Berkus said, ‘Your home should be the story of who you are and a collection of what you love.’ To create hygge, ‘Be present enough in your daily life to recognise moments that feel cosy, charming and special,’ say the authors of Hygge & West. ‘‘Creating hygge is just about recognising it.’ Bear this in mind when decorating, and buy only items you love; you will naturally produce a happy hygge feeling.

Faux olive tree, from a selection,

Iceland Mariposa sheepskin chair, £1,060,


Tweedmill wool blanket, £49.95, blanket Carter wingback faux leather armchair, £389 (plus footstool), Large log holder, £115,

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We have three copies of Hygge & West Home: Design For A Cozy Life by Christiana Coop and Aimee Lagos (Chronicle Books, £26) to give away. To enter, visit win-copy-hygge-westhome-design-cozy-life Carron Dante wood-burning stove, £799,


How to keep your relationship on track once the honeymoon is over


Is ‘living the dream’ too much? l

Take the pressure off and practise acceptance


Stop feeling bitter! And start enjoying the

Next month ‘Why I’m eternally grateful to my ex’ l

Lessons in thankfulness on Valentine’s Day




life you have right now

Four ways to get a better night’s sleep

‘Table for one please’ l

How to woo you

Let’s talk about sex – breaking l

the silence on loss of libido

Don’t miss the MARCH issue – on sale 22 January


the retreat

Seasonal suppers Cooking with the seasons is the secret to creating dream dinner-party menus and it’s the inspiration for a new book, Clodagh’s Suppers



hef Clodagh McKenna says she is never happier than when she sees her loved ones ‘sitting around the table with smiles on their faces as they enjoy delicious home-cooked food in a beautiful setting’. Cooking with the seasons is vital to

Clodagh, whose new book, Clodagh’s Suppers, has menus to match the seasons and make the most of fresh produce: the first section focuses on creating a well-balanced, delicious menu; the second is packed with recipes to take you through the culinary year, as well as simple

cocktails and even edible gifts to send your guests home with a souvenir of their evening.

CHOCOLATE BEEF CHILLI WITH JALAPENO AND CHEESE SCONES The chocolate in this is utterly delicious and the chilli adds a silky texture. I always double the recipe when I am making it and freeze half of it! SERVES 6


2 bay leaves


50g salted butter


1 tbsp tomato ketchup


300g minced beef


50g dark chocolate, grated

1 small white onion or shallot,



400g can red kidney beans,

finely chopped 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger,


rinsed and drained

peeled and grated

FOR THE SCONES l 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting


3 garlic cloves, crushed


1 tbsp baking powder


1 tsp ground cumin


Pinch of fine sea salt


1 tsp ground cinnamon


50g salted butter, chilled and cubed


3 small dried chillies, chopped


125g Dubliner cheese, grated


100g smoked bacon lardons


100g fully cured, ready-to-eat



chorizo, diced l

150ml red wine


400g can cherry tomatoes


300ml water


1 tbsp brown sugar 2 tsp finely chopped fresh


or dried oregano

2 jalapeno chillies, finely chopped 125-150ml milk or buttermilk

1 Place a flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat and add half the butter. Once melted, add the minced beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned. Transfer to a plate. 2 Add the remaining butter to the

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casserole dish, stir in the onion or shallot, ginger and garlic and cook for two minutes, then stir in the cumin, cinnamon and dried chillies and cook for a further minute. Add the bacon lardons and chorizo and cook, stirring, for about three minutes until lovely and crispy. 3 Return the beef to the pan and stir well. Pour in the red wine and cook for two minutes more. Then add the tomatoes, measured water, sugar, oregano, bay leaves and ketchup. Season with salt and pepper, stir well, then cover the pan with a lid and simmer over a low heat for two hours. 4 While the chilli is cooking, make the jalapeno and cheese scones. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6, and dust a baking tray with flour. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in half the grated cheese, followed by half the jalapenos, then gradually mix in enough milk with a fork to make a soft dough. 5 Roll out the dough on a floured work surface into a round, 1cm deep. Cut into six wedges, place on the floured baking tray and sprinkle the remaining cheese and jalapenos on top. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the scones to a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes. 6 Remove the lid of the casserole and stir in the chocolate and kidney beans, then simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Serve with the jalapeno and cheese scones. >>>


the retreat

CELERIAC SOUP WITH HAZELNUT AND SAGE PESTO This is my favourite soup to make during the winter months. The flavour of the celeriac has nutty undertones, and the consistency of the soup is so creamy. The pesto adds a delicious crunchy texture and earthy flavour. You can make it a few days ahead, and it freezes really well, so double the recipe when you are making it! SERVES 6 l

50g butter


1 celeriac, peeled and chopped


1 celery stick, chopped


1 onion, chopped


75g blanched hazelnuts


1 ltr hot vegetable stock


100ml creme fraiche


Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


75g blanched hazelnuts


2 tbsp finely chopped sage


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Place a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the celeriac, celery, onion and whole hazelnuts, and season with salt and pepper. Stir well, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with foil or your butter wrapper and pop the lid back on. Leave the vegetables to sweat for 15 minutes. 2 Next, make the hazelnut and sage pesto. Place a frying pan over a high heat, add the hazelnuts and shake the pan frequently to toast the nuts evenly, for three minutes – this will release all the oils and the flavour. Add the chopped sage to the extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. 3 Tip the toasted hazelnuts onto one half of a clean tea towel, then fold over the other

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Reader offer

half of the tea towel to cover and bash the nuts with a rolling pin until crushed. Add the crushed nuts to the olive oil and sage, mix together well and set aside. 4 Add the hot stock to the vegetables that have sweated down and bring to the boil, then leave to cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor, or use a hand blender, and blend to a smooth consistency. Return the soup to the saucepan, if necessary. Stir in the creme fraiche, season and place over a medium heat to warm through. Serve the soup in warmed bowls with the hazelnut and sage pesto drizzled on top.

Psychologies readers can buy a copy of Clodagh’s Suppers for the special price of £14 (RRP £20). To order, please call 01235 759555 quoting code 9952100013. Offer subject to availability.

LEMON VERBENA POSSETS I’d forgotten about possets until recently, when I was at my favourite Italian restaurant in London, Trullo. They had lemon posset on the dessert menu, which we ordered, served with buttery shortbread for scooping into the posset. We almost cried it was so good. This is the closest I’ve come to capturing their perfect posset. I’ve added lemon verbena, as it gives such a lemony depth. SERVES 4 2 lemons


125g caster sugar


6 lemon verbena leaves


425ml double cream


1 Grate the zest of the lemons into a saucepan, then squeeze out and add the juice, followed by the sugar and lemon verbena leaves. Place the pan

over a low heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the cream and cook for three minutes. 2 Divide the mixture between four small glasses or ramekins. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge for two hours until set. Remove the possets from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.

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the retreat


Pick pattern. Insect Mandala 13-piece set, £295, thecurious

Dip it! Sharing bowls and serving board, £31.95, hurn Riot of colour. Parrot tea towel, £13; and oven gloves, £22, both Cute factor! Orla Kiely dachshund serving board, £45,

Melt cheese or chocolate. Fondue set, £79.99, kitchen

Top table. Centrepiece Centrepiece, £25.95, annabel

Warming extras. Sriracha mayo, £2.49,; Robinsons winter fruit cordial, £2.50,; Marigold gravy granules, £1.69,



Add character. Excelsa salt and pepper set, from a selection,

Come on in

We all need something to look forward to when the festive season is over and the decorations come down, so why not leave your twinkling fairy lights in place, add a candle or two to cast a soft glow and create a centrepiece for your table from some evergreens? You’ll have a winter retreat perfect for gathering together during the chilly, dark January evenings. Enjoy planning a menu of delicious treats to serve to your loved ones, experiment with new flavours and gather a group of people around the table to welcome them into your home and into your heart. Connection is everything.

These books are full of ideas for entertaining at home




1 The Art Of The Party: Drinks & Nibbles For Easy Entertaining by Kay Plunkett-Hogge (Mitchell Beazley, £12.99) 2 The Tin & Traybake Cookbook: 100 Delicious Sweet & Savoury Recipes by Sam Gates (Robinson, £16.99) 3 Simple & Classic by Jane Hornby (Phaidon, £29.95; out in February) 4 Platters And Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads For Every Occasion by Shelly Westerhausen (Chronicle Books, £18.99)

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Blogger spotlight

Camilla, who blogs at, shares well-loved recipes that are straightforward to make. When you’re feeding a crowd, you need inspiration, so how about ‘Camilla’s chicken fiesta’, followed by ‘Cheat’s Danish apple cake’? Camilla is also known for making jams and preserves and has lots of creative recipes to try, like pumpkin and ginger, easy blueberry (with just three ingredients), and ‘Quick banoffee curd’.


Nibbles? VonShef serving boards, £19.99,

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2019 - Two events to change your life and improve children’s emotional well-being! 15"! June “The Social Mind – Evolution and Development”. Staverton Estate, Daventry. Prof.Louis Cozolino presents

ground breaking research on the evolution of the human mind into a social organ and how individual minds adjust, communicate and regulate one another.

20"! July Fast track route to train as a Registered Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills and as a registered Certified Play Therapist.

15 days at our beautiful La Mouline centre in the Tarn area of France, 14"! year. Heated swimming pool. Air conditioned class rooms. Stay at friendly gites, with English speaking hosts. Make new friends! (from 29 countries in 2018).

Book your sessions today and never allow low self-confidence to hold you back again! (Sessions in Lancashire or Skype sessions available) Gift Vouchers available

Can’t make France? Rather study at weekends? 13 convenient venues all over the UK: PG Certificate and Diploma courses - five three day weekends. .

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BECOME A RELAXATION TEACHER OR JUST LEARN TO RELAX YOURSELF THE ART OF FINDING STILLNESS AND CALM Relaxation and Daily Awareness Workshop A unique one day certificated teachers workshop with Buddhist monk VEN LAMA SHRI SADHU DHARMAVIRA (teaching since 1969) This unique workshop contains all the relaxation techniques needed to experience the wellbeing that comes through a life that is stress and anxiety free. This course was created for those who wish to teach others to be stress free. But, anyone who would like to attend for their own personal wellbeing, is very welcome. Booking now for workshops in London. To ensure quality teaching, workshops are limited to a maximum of 8 participants To receive full details about the workshop and its benefits, please telephone: 01723 862 496 (calls taken between 8am - 6pm, 7 days a week)




A specially curated uplifting selection of products and services to improve your month




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Fine Fashion – Made in England. David Nieper’s collection of elegant womenswear is lovingly made in their Derbyshire studios from the finest fabrics and yarns. Each style is created with the greatest of care for comfort, qualityandstyle.Jacket£195,style4495. Call 01773 83 6000 for a catalogue. Please use code PY18. ●

Thoughtful gifts in an eye-catching letterbox-friendly blue box sent to almost anywhere in the world. Prices start from just £10. The perfect way to support a friend across the miles when you can’t be there. Popular boxes include: Be Kind to Yourself, Friendship, Relaxation, Sorry for your Loss,Tea & Sympathy. ●




Every bit of plastic ever made still exists somewhere.

ecoYoga Ltd has been manufacturing their yoga mats in the UK since 2003. Since only natural materials make sense for a yoga practice the ecoYoga mats are made from 100% natural rubber and jute. Plant-based materials, super grippy and beautiful. Available in 5 colours, including their unique colourfree, and ranging from super cushioned 6mm to travel thin 1mm. ●

One of the best known providers of yoga holidays with over twenty five years of experience. If you’re looking for a peaceful, supportive and welcoming space for your yoga holiday, simply come, relax and enjoy your stay, while we take good care of you in your home from home. ●

All our packaging and postage is 100% plastic free. ●





Ommie and the Magical Garden is a yoga storytelling book for children aged 3-8, created so they can experience the positive benefits of yoga in a fun, innovative and accessible way.As well as teaching new yoga poses, Ommie helps children understand that happiness can come from within by simply enjoying and looking after the world around them. ●

Start your summer with a relaxing and recharging yoga retreat at an exclusive, modern villa close to the most pristine beaches south of Dubrovnik. Indulge in vinyasa and yin yoga classes, meditation, sea kayaking, swimming, cooking workshops and sightseeing. You will learn to focus on the present moment and you are going to enjoy every second of it. ●

Sustainability never felt so good,The Cheeky Panda’s luxury bamboo tissue experience is like no other. Crafted from Mother Nature’s tender touch, cheeky products are ultra sustainable and packed full of skin loving properties. Enriching people and the environment, naturally hypoallergenic bamboo has been transformed into a luxury tissue range. ●




Britain’s first Luxury, vegan and sustainable men’s accessories brand. Expertly crafted, the synthetic leather is made using more than 50% Bio plant material from corn and the lining is woven from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Sustainable fashion has never looked so good. Personalisation available. ●

The human foot has evolved with separated toes to achieve optimum balance & flexibility. TOETOE® encourage better foot function, improved circulation, and temperature control.Wearing them is comfortable like going barefoot and with the following; better balance, improved circulation, maintain toe & foot shape, hygienic feet, eliminate blisters, optimum temperature, more movement ●

“I have only good things to say about the Bodrum yoga holiday.The accommodation was lovely and right by the sea, the food was authentic, healthy and delicious, and the teaching was superb. The atmosphere was one of friendship and learning. I highly recommend YogaTurkey to beginners and advanced students alike.” Tania, London. l

Happiness Book Club

Happier conversations

Vanessa King of Action for Happiness, author of 10 Keys To Happier Living, recommends Conversations Worth Having by Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres



onversations have the potential to open up possibilities for change, but how many of those we usually have are critical or destructive? This book is about remedying this; to have a meaningful and positive benefit for others, and it can strengthen and build our relationships in the process. The questions we ask are key. The authors share principles that serve as a checklist to help reflect on past interactions and to craft future ones. For example, holding our own views lightly and staying open, asking questions that genuinely explore the other person’s perspective, such as, ‘Can you help me understand how you see it?’; anticipating the best from others and looking for shared opportunity, rather than fearing the worst, ‘What’s worked well in the past?’ or ‘What might be possible if we…?’; and asking bold, generative questions that expand and inspire, such as, ‘What are we most hoping for?’ The book offers tools and suggestions for applying this approach to work situations, where questions can often be focused on closing down issues, rather than igniting possibility. It also gives ideas for trying it with our friends, family, children and even with ourselves! One of these is ‘flipping’, which guides us to name a problem, challenge or complaint, for example, what we don’t want, then flip it to the opposite – asking what we, or others, want and what the desired outcome and impact would be if that were true. This helps to create a platform for a conversation to move forward from the issue and identify constructive solutions. It seems our questions have power and we can get better at how we ask them.

Next month, we’re reading ‘Mindset – The New Psychology Of Success’ by Carol S Dweck

130 P SYC H O LO G I E S M AG A Z I N E F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9

Conversations Worth Having by Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, £15.99)

Questions to discuss ● What past conversations have had a meaningful and positive impact on your life? ● What constructive questions did someone ask you that changed how you thought about something, someone or yourself? ● What issues are you dealing with that you’d like to have a different, more energising, conversation about?


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Psychologies jan 2019  

Psychologies jan 2019  

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