A young beautiful black-haired girl dressed in a white T-shirt and white shorts lying on her side in a room on a wooden parquet in a square painted with a white paint, bending her legs in a lap and pressing them against her chest and hugging them with a hands. Top view - How To Protect Yourself When Self-Isolating With A Controlling Partner - Sandra Harewood Counselling

How To Protect Yourself When Self-Isolating With A Controlling Partner

A young beautiful black-haired girl dressed in a white T-shirt and white shorts lying on her side in a room on a wooden parquet in a square painted with a white paint, bending her legs in a lap and pressing them against her chest and hugging them with a hands. Top view - How To Protect Yourself When Self-Isolating With A Controlling Partner - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

Home isn’t always a safe place.

And even if you do feel okay, maybe home it isn’t always a calm, peaceful place.

You’re only there because you’re worried about the impact leaving will have on the children.

Or maybe you’re there because the sums just don’t add up and for financial reasons you can’t leave.

Perhaps you’ve been frightened to leave because your partner’s mental health seems fragile.

Whatever the reason, as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic deepens and Government takes more decisive action to enforce social distancing and social isolation, you’re beginning to notice your anxiety about what this means living with this person.

You might not know whether they are narcissistically wounded.  But their behaviour feels controlling and emotionally immature.

Now you’re feeling trapped and powerless while self-isolating with a controlling partner.

Trying To Control Uncertainty

These are uncertain times; nobody knows what will happen next.

What is certain is that life has changed dramatically in the last 10 days.  Whoever would have imagined one month ago that here in the U.K. we would see scenes where people are scrambling and fighting over essential food items and toilet paper with our most vulnerable in society looking at empty shelves.

And if you’re in a relationship with a narcissistic wounded partner, you are also vulnerable.

You’re vulnerable because you know all too well that their behaviour, particularly during times of stress, is just as unpredictable as Coronavirus (COVID-19).

You’re vulnerable because the collective fear and anxiety that we are all experiencing now, on a global scale, will potentially impact your partner in a, particularly acute way.

Narcissistic behaviours are driven by the need to be in control of the self.  People with high narcissistic traits do this by attempting to control their environment and others.  Controlling behaviour is their way of self-regulating and creating certainty.  To manage their fears, stress, anxiety, and vulnerability, they control others.  Therefore they will attempt to control you.

So at this time of collective anxiety regarding Coronavirus, their behaviour may be more challenging for you.  The deeper the fear, the deeper the need for coercion and control.

Self-isolating with a controlling partner is not straightforward.

A Familiar Sense of Isolation

We are following the route of other European countries with more stringent isolation rules.  These lockdown measures mean unprecedented restrictions on our freedom.  Other countries have suspended public transport and force people to carry a document certifying why they are outside.

The reality is while in lockdown or self-isolation, you are likely to be spending concentrated periods with the person who is causing distress and trauma in your life.

Seemingly out of nowhere, it certainly caught me by surprise; we are feeling cut off from the world.

This feeling might have been creeping up on you long before Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Social isolation is a standard coercive tool used by controlling people and is a form of emotional abuse.  Not only are you distanced from your friends and family, but your partner might also isolate you as a means of punishment by stonewalling or withholding.

Self-Isolating With A Controlling Partner – Cut Off From Lifelines

But even if you haven’t noticed any of that, the things you did outside of the home had meaning.

Going to work might have meant an opportunity for a  sensible, calm conversation with a colleague as opposed to the familiar monologue or inevitable circular argument.  A visit to the gym might have meant a distraction from all the confusion and muddle at home.   Going to a Slimmers World club might have given you a sense of common purpose and community.  Meeting another mum at the school gate might have let you know you had shared struggles and joys.

Being away from home may just simply allow you to breathe.

Now the person you have been trying to create distance from you’re stuck with.

I get it.

So what can you do to protect yourself and keep sane when self-isolating with a controlling partner.

Step up your self-care practices.  Self-care is crucial during this time.

7 Essential Self-Care Practices When Self-Isolating – (COVID-19)

Most of these practices are about boosting your immune system and maintaining proper cognitive function so that you are better able to discern unhealthy behaviour patterns and maintain an emotional distance.  They will also help you to manage your stress and anxiety.

1. Follow NHS Guidelines

The first step is to follow the NHS guidelines to minimise the risk of you becoming ill with Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Wash your hands regularly, catch coughs and sneezes in tissue and dispose of it.  Follow the social distancing and social isolation guidelines.

2. Eat Well & Keep Hydrated

These are stressful times.  Stress can have a dramatic effect on our digestive system and can lead to an imbalance of gut bacteria which, in turn, triggers inflammatory symptoms.

Processed food and refined sugar wear the immune system down.   Alcohol suppresses the immune system, which can predispose you to getting sick.  Conversely, diets high in antioxidants and low in sugar boost the immune system and fight off viruses.  So it makes sense to cut back on coffee, sugar, and alcohol.

Optimise your digestion by upping your intake of vegetables.  Drink plenty of water as well as avoiding processed food as much as possible.  Take advantage of the opportunity to cook healthy food.

3. Sleep Well

Sleep improves the immune system.

Lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on your mental health.  Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions.  You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day.

As much as possible, keep a to a nighttime routine as this is especially important when you lose your routine.  You need to maintain consistency where you can, to help your body clocks stay set. Most adults need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep every night.  By working out what time you need to wake up, you can set a regular bedtime schedule.

Before bed, wind down without any screens in dim light, and set the alarm for the morning to ensure that you’re waking up at the same time each day of the week.  If you’re having trouble sleeping, get up and do something quiet and relaxing instead of tossing and turning.  Laying in bed only serves to make you more anxious in bed and can worsen insomnia.

4. Exercise

It’s essential to keep the body moving.  You can go for a walk or run while following the social isolation and social distancing rules.  Your activity could be gardening or following an online yoga or fitness class.

5. Keep In Connection With Others

When you’re self-isolating with a controlling partner keep in connection with others.  Our brains are wired for connection, and so this will make social isolation inherently tricky.  Keep in contact with work colleagues, friends and family.  If possible, start a WhatsApp group with your neighbours.  If you have a class list for your children, perhaps you can set up an online group for that.

Think of who you can keep in touch with independent of your partner.

6. Use The Time To Educate Yourself

Take the time to educate yourself about what is happening in your relationship.   Knowledge is the first step in being empowered.

Read books on what healthy relationships look like.  Check out books on the behaviours you notice in your relationship. An excellent place to start is Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft.  There are many books on narcissistic behaviours, including many posts here.

Download the book so that you can read it privately on an app like Kindle or listen to an audio version.

7. Limit Your News Exposure

While it’s essential to stay informed, it is also important not to become fixated with the news.  Most news media is designed to target the emotional part of the brain.  When you see or hear alarming headlines, this will trigger a mild flight or fight response.

So while it is essential to keep informed and up to date, it is also stressful for the body.  Inevitably in a time like it’s tempting to watch the news continuously to keep up to date with the latest developments.

What you are inadvertently doing is increasing the amount of cortisol in the body which impairs your cognitive function.  This, in turn, will make it more difficult for you to remain grounded and centred in the face of your partner’s behaviour and establish an emotional distance.

Practice setting boundaries for yourself.  Set limits on when you will watch the news and for how long.  Perhaps only between 9.00 am-5.00 pm and only from a reputable news source.  When you are better able to set boundaries for yourself, you ‘ll get better with setting them with your partner.

Your Safety Comes First

If you do feel unsafe, self-isolating with a controlling partner reach out for support.

If you are worried about self-isolating because of your relationship dynamic,  please call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or contact the Helpline via Refuge’s contact form at www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk. To ensure your safety, you can let us know how to contact you and what time to contact you.  You can also contact Women’s Aid who have advice on self-isolating.

In an emergency, always be ready to call 999 if you are in danger.

Over To You

Are you self-isolating with a controlling partner?  If you want a safe space to talk, figure out your feelings, get in touch, and book your first counselling appointment.   I offer video sessions online via a secure platform.  Coronavirus (COVID-19) doesn’t need to end your therapy sessions.

Or call me today on 07535 864836.

Leave a comment below; I’d love to hear from you.

P.S. PASS IT ON

Enjoyed this post? Then use the icons below to tweet it, share it on Facebook, and send it to specific friends via email.

© Sandra Harewood 2020

About Sandra

Soul Centred couples counsellor Sandra Harewood specialises in working with couples and women with childhood wounding that impacts their adult relationships. Sandra provides a soulful space for her clients to explore and discover creative solutions to their difficulties and create a great relationship.

 

Stressed Woman With Her Hands Covering Her Face - What Your Physical Symptoms Can Teach You About Hidden Stress

What Your Physical Symptoms Can Teach You About Hidden Stress

 

Stressed Woman With Her Hands Covering Her Face - What Your Physical Symptoms Can Teach You About Hidden Stress

 

Over the next few weeks, I’m creating a series of posts describing how controlling and unhealthy relationships with partners who are narcissistically wounded and or emotionally immature can impact your health and your relationship with your body in challenging ways.

Today I’m focusing on stress and your physical health – the mind-body connection.

Practicing Pilates – Back In 2021

While I aim to live in the present and express gratitude for each day, I’m glad we’ve got to the end of January!  This time of year, I can find challenging.  And I am not alone.  We are leaving behind one of the most stressful times of the year.

Where to start?

National Divorce Day is in January.  According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, divorce is the second most stressful life event closely followed by separation from a partner.  Then there’s the overspill of Christmas finances, tax returns, family tensions, disappointments, guilt about the New Year’s resolutions that have already been kicked to the curb and worry about weight, body, and health.

And this time of year can also be notoriously difficult when you are in a relationship with a controlling, narcissistic, or emotionally immature partner.  Inevitably there is some drama.

So have you left the stress behind?

According to Dr Gabor Mate, MD, and others in the field of trauma, perhaps not.

Mind-Body Health

We often forget that our mind and body are connected; we are one body.  What affects the brain affects the body.  Emotional health is a significant cause of physical illness Dr Mate has suggested, playing a pivotal role in anything from breast cancer to autoimmune conditions and many other chronic diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and arthritis. 

Dr Mate’s work is controversial, but I think it’s fascinating.  He is NOT suggesting that we replace clinical medical interventions with psychotherapy.  What he is inviting is some curiosity about the impact of long term stress on our bodies and the association with illness.

There’s a lot we already know about this.

Fibromyalgia also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.  The condition is often triggered by a stressful event, including physical stress or emotional stress.  There is a scientific link between eczema and stress.

Emotional Stressors

One of the biggest things that make us stressed is the fear of abandonment or the absence of love.  We are relational beings born to be in connection with one another.

Other significant stressors are emotional uncertainty and the feeling of the loss of control.

These are some of the underlying the day to day realities of living in controlling relationships.  You feel stressed when you experience the silent treatment, threats to end the relationship or periods of sudden disappearance.  You feel stressed when you feel manipulated or obliged to attend to your partner’s needs, above all else.

The Reality of Stress

The stress response is triggered when there is an actual or perceived conscious or unconscious threat.  So you might not even realise that something is stressing you out.

Stress affects every part of your body from the brain, kidneys and muscles to the smallest blood vessels.  We need a healthy stress response mechanism to maintain balance in the body. Without that balance, the body cannot function when it’s under threat.

When we are stressed, the heart pumps faster, blood is diverted to serve only essential organs, the brain concentrates on the threat forgetting about anything else it doesn’t need to, and stored energy supplies are activated.

The body doesn’t try to do everything all at once.  That’s why when you are stressed, you may notice that you’re forgetful and cannot focus, or perhaps you’re losing weight because you’ve forgotten to eat or using a lot of energy.

The Body Says No!

Cortisol and adrenaline are a necessary part of the stress response and the body’s attempt to remain balanced.

But when we have too much of these hormones, it’s not good for the body.

High levels of cortisol inhibit the body’s capacity to heal wounds by suppressing the immune response.  Perhaps that bug that won’t shift turns into flu, and you have to stop.

Elevated levels of adrenaline raise blood pressure.  High blood pressure is linked to heart disease, kidney disease, and strokes.  Inevitably, if you experience any of these things, you will have to slow down or stop.

The body is designed to deal with acute stress. But it’s also meant to return to normal once what we’re stressed about has been resolved.  The problem is chronic stress.  When there is either an actual ongoing threat or perceived threat, the hormones keep flowing.  So if your partner keeps threatening to leave you and never does or if they have been physically abusive and you’re understandably conscious, they might do it again – that’s an undercurrent of stress in your life.

The likelihood is that it will be punctuated with periods of acute stress, i.e. arguments, conflict and drama.

Potentially without realising it, your stress response is triggered daily.

To Stressed To Feel

It’s perfectly understandable if you don’t realise you have been triggered.  It is not uncommon in such relationships for you to lose touch with your feelings.  You don’t know what you feel.  If you’re experiencing gaslighting, the likelihood is that you have become conditioned to override your feelings.  When you lose touch with your feelings, you lose touch with what is going on in your body, i.e. your body language.  Then you might not even recognise that you are stressed.

Stress becomes the new normal.

As a result, you don’t recognise the physical symptoms of stress.  When you don’t realise it, you can’t do anything about it.  There’s a sense of helplessness around the pressure which you cannot escape.

This sense of helplessness may also have its roots in your childhood.

The Stressed Inner Child

Often how you respond to stress as an adult mirrors what happened to you as a child.  This learnt response would be a mix of how you responded to stressful situations and how your parents responded to you.  So for example, if your parents had high expectations of you and you, in turn, wanted to please them and were conscious of what it would mean to disappoint this creates stress.

This is the internal stress caused by having to adjust your sense of self to fit in with or protect someone else.

When a parent is not able to hold a dream for their child without letting them know that they would honour the child’s ambition for themselves, which might be different, this is stressful.

In the same way, if your parent could not let you know that it was alright to make mistakes and show empathy and comfort you when you did, or that failures lead to growth you as a child would have had to find ways to deal with the resulting stress.

Maybe you learnt how to people please and put the needs of others first. Perhaps you struggle with saying no.  These are potential ways of coping with acute stress but lead to unrecognised chronic stress.

The Body Remembers Stress

The problem is, strategies such as people-pleasing deal with the situation in the present moment to suppress the stress.   But if that’s the default way of relating, then the body speaks up and lets you know it remembers that it’s holding all that stress.

Then you get backache. You haven’t noticed that your breathing is shallow.  You’re not aware that your posture’s changed.  When you’re stressed, your breathing patterns change your shoulders hunch up and cause strain and tension in the back.   Severe back pain makes you stop.

You don’t acknowledge your stress, and suddenly you experience a migraine.  A severe migraine makes you stop.

Stress is something that most people will experience at one point or another.  Besides stress, there will be other potential contributors to your physical health including your family history, hormone levels, diet, fatigue, environmental factors and even certain medications.

But the next time you have a physical symptom, as well as checking it out with your GP or medical clinician, notice what’s going on in your relationship.  How stressed are you?

If your body could speak, what might it be telling you?

Why are you at dis-ease?

Over To You

How is your physical health?  What score would you give it out of 10?   If you want a safe space to talk, figure out your feelings, understand your symptoms of stress, get in touch, and book your first counselling appointment.

Or call me today on 07535 864836.

Leave a comment below; I’d love to hear from you.

P.S. PASS IT ON

Enjoyed this post? Then use the icons below to tweet it, share it on Facebook, and send it to specific friends via email.

© Sandra Harewood 2020

About Sandra

Soul Centred couples counsellor Sandra Harewood specialises in working with couples and women with childhood wounding that impacts their adult relationships. Sandra provides a soulful space for her clients to explore and discover creative solutions to their difficulties and create a great relationship. 

Get my FREE guide The 7 Feelings You Have When You’re In Narcissistic Relationship + be on my list and be the first to receive my latest news, blogs & workshops for health, wellbeing, and healing from narcissistic abuse.

 

 

Woman Looking Through A Lens - Why Telling Your Story Means You Take Charge Of Your Life = Sandra Harewood Counselling

Why Telling Your Story Means You Take Charge Of Your Life

 

Woman Looking Through A Lens - Why Telling Your Story Means You Take Charge Of Your Life = Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

What’s your favourite story?

Christmas has long gone, but I have to confess that I think that I’d watched five different versions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol over the Christmas holidays!  There is something hopeful in the story, that somehow Scrooge this self-indulgent, controlling, some might say narcissistic man changes.  We see a softer, more compassionate, and generous man appreciating the value of family and relationship.

And we can wonder, when not in the land of fairytales and myth does change happen so quickly?

Does change last?

Scrooge’s change is born out of abject terror, fear of death, and what awaits him in the darkness of the afterlife.  So his transformation isn’t quite what it seems; there’s an edge to this character’s spiritual awakening.  Scrooge’s selfishness isn’t perhaps too far away.  His story seems so simple, but it’s not; it’s complicated.

Story Telling

So what does Scrooge have to do with you and your life?

Well, A Christmas Carol, is a story.

You have a story.  Your story matters.  And when you begin to tell the story of your life, change can finally start to happen.

If you don’t see that your story matters, chances are no one else will either.  So even if it isn’t always easy, it’s important for you to find the strength to share the truth.  Because the world deserves to hear it. Michelle Obama

I would add, you deserve to hear it.

Telling Your Story

If you’re thinking of starting counselling in 2020, one of the first questions I am usually asked is, “What do I do in counselling?”  My response is; tell your story.

Counselling is a space for storytelling.

Long before Freud, Jung, or Assagioli, many cultures had an oral tradition of telling stories. Generations passed down the stories of the ancestors, memories, trauma, joy, connection, change, and their experience of rites of passage, grief and loss.  This is precisely what happens in counselling; you tell your story because, however, painful your story is a gift.

Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes perhaps one of the worlds greatest poets and storyteller says:

Though fairy tales end after ten pages, our lives do not.  We are multi-volume sets.  In our lives, even though one episode amounts to a crash and burn, there is always another episode awaiting us and then another.  There are always more opportunities to get it right, to fashion our lives in the ways we deserve to have them.

Instant Stories

And we are living in a new storytelling culture, which interprets experience through the narratives of novels, films, songs, podcasts, and let’s not forget social media.  You can add Instagram Stories to share all the moments of your day.  Your life story can unfold in multiple photos and videos in a slideshow format, just like a 1920’s movie reel.

You might think you’re already telling your story by sharing on social media, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

It is good to remember that storytelling’s original genre existed long before Facebook or Instagram. Storytelling starts with a voice, a sound. We talked about stories long before they were written down.

Social media gives a perfect temporary illusion; it’s like the persona.  Storytelling involves engaging with our shadow, our shame, and our vulnerability

Your Story Has Depth

A Christmas Carol is an archetypal story.  It tells the story of what happens when someone listens to what the soul and psyche are saying.  The story is told through dreams and other signals.  And being curious about other stories can help to make meaning of your own.

I use myths and stories a lot in my counselling sessions because they help clients understand their own. What might Echo in her relationship with Narcissus have to share about your tendency to mute your voice?   Or perhaps Persephone’s mistreatment and abuse by Hades tell you about your relationship. When we listen to stories with curiosity and care, we often find hidden meaning for our day to day struggles.

Your soul is always inviting you to become familiar with and listen to your story.

When you approach a traffic light, you know green means go, red means stop, and amber means take care.  Your story gives you similar guidance and information.  Just as you need traffic lights and signals in your outer world when you know your story, it guides you to your inner world.  Sometimes the message is loud, at other times subtle and muted, but it is always there.

Relationships, Food, Sex, And Other Chapters

Some dreams we can’t forget, and others fade away as soon as our feet hit the ground.  It’s great when we can remember them they are rich with information.  But we have other signals in our life.

These might be:

  1. A series of difficult unfulfilling relationships
  2. A deadening long term relationship
  3. An affair
  4. Unhealthy relationships with alcohol or drugs
  5. A low libido
  6. A challenging relationship with food
  7. A complicated relationship with a parent, sibling or child
  8. Anxiety
  9. Depression
  10. Anger
  11. Judging or being judged
  12. Regular conflict
  13. Stress-related illnesses
  14. People pleasing
  15. Imposter syndrome

Take Charge of Your Life And Tell Your Story

I believe it’s challenging to make a lasting change in your life unless you understand your story.

Your story is part of you.

When you don’t understand it, deny it or are cut off from it, it’s as if you’re the author stuck in the middle of the book with writers’ block writing the same chapter over and over again.  You’ll find it challenging to break habits; you’ll keep having the same experience but perhaps in a different context or develop unhealthy addictive habits.

Most of all, shame will be the unconscious editor of your life.  Shame will be accompanied by your wounded inner child tearing out or scribbling over the pages it doesn’t like.

Telling Your Story Changes Things

Things change when you tell your story.  It takes a little longer than three days, but change comes, and it can last.  Here are six reasons why this happens.

  1. You give yourself a voice, maybe for the first time, and that’s powerful.
  2. You are seen and heard.  Research tells us that’s important.
  3. You validate your hurt.
  4. You start the healing process.
  5. You grieve, whatever you need to, including what was missing, and the parts of the story you wished had been different.
  6. You get to imagine a new end filled with understanding and possibility. When you can do that, you can take steps to walk along a different path.

I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories… water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Yes, therapy is about learning tools to make life better.  Mindfulness, reparenting the inner child, grounding and many more tools will fill your toolbox.  But primarily it’s about telling your story.

You own the rights to your story.  Should you choose to share, I look forward to hearing it.

Over To You

How well do you know your story?  What the most recent chapter about, and how does it make you feel?   If you want a safe space to talk, figure out your feelings, understand your story and how it shapes your relationships, get in touch, and book your first counselling appointment.

Or call me today on 07535 864836.

Leave a comment below; I’d love to hear from you.

P.S. PASS IT ON

Enjoyed this post? Then use the icons below to tweet it, share it on Facebook, and send it to specific friends via email.

© Sandra Harewood 2020

About Sandra

Soul Centred couples counsellor Sandra Harewood specialises in working with couples and women with childhood wounding that impacts their adult relationships. Sandra provides a soulful space for her clients to explore and discover creative solutions to their difficulties and create a great relationship. 

Get my FREE guide The 7 Feelings You Have When You’re In Narcissistic Relationship + be on my list and be the first to receive my latest news, blogs & workshops for health, wellbeing, and healing from narcissistic abuse.

 

Girl Standing In Front of Brick Wall With Graffiti - The B* Word - Boundaries. Why It's Hard To Stop Saying Yes When You Feel No 1 - Sandra Harewood Counselling

The B* Word – Boundaries. Why It’s Hard To Stop Saying Yes When You Feel No

Girl Standing In Front of Brick Wall With Graffiti - The B* Word - Boundaries. Why It's Hard To Stop Saying Yes When You Feel No 1 - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

Ever found yourself giving in and putting the needs of someone else first or second guessing yourself?  Can you relate?  Then you know why setting personal boundaries are so hard. Read more

Red Arm Chair In Middle of the Road - Does Therapy Work? Yes It Does, And Here's The Evidence - Sandra Harewood Counselling

Does Therapy Work? Yes It Does, And Here’s The Evidence

Red Arm Chair In Middle of the Road - Does Therapy Work? Yes It Does, And Here's The Evidence - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

Does therapy work?  Absolutely. Yes, it does!

But you would expect me to say that, wouldn’t you!  What therapist would say otherwise? Read more

Autumn Leaf With Word Thanks On Top - Make Gratitude Your New Year's Resolution for 2019

31 Journal Prompts For When Gratitude Is Hard

Autumn Leaf With Word Thanks On Top - Make Gratitude Your New Year's Resolution for 2019

Gratitude doesn’t change the scenery. It merely washes clean the glass you look through so you can clearly see the colours. Richelle E. Goodrich

2019 didn’t start the way I planned.  It was certainly difficult to see any colour other than grey.

Gratitude doesn’t seem to fit with pain, suffering and fear. Read more

A woman wearing red gloves holding a gift wrapped in brown paper - 5 Great Gifts To Give Yourself This Christmas - Sandra Harewood Counselling

5 Great Gifts To Give Yourself This Christmas

A woman wearing red gloves holding a gift wrapped in brown paper - 5 Great Gifts To Give Yourself This Christmas - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

It’s always nice to receive a gift, especially when it’s a surprise.

A well-chosen gift can let you know that you have been genuinely heard and profoundly understood. A passing remark picked up on, or a glance in a shop window noticed. Perhaps the giver has been generous with their time and energy letting you know how much you are cared for.

Read more

How To Make Sense of Your Anxiety Symptoms: Trust Your Body

How To Make Sense of Your Anxiety Symptoms: Trust Your Body

How To Make Sense of Your Anxiety Symptoms: Trust Your Body

 

In my previous blog post, I wrote about How To Tell If Your Relationship Is Causing You Anxiety. Now let’s address your anxiety symptoms.

Anxiety is common. In 2013 there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK. So if you’re experiencing anxiety symptoms, you are not alone. Read more

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How To Tell If Your Relationship Is Causing Your Anxiety

Black Woman Holding Her Head In Her Hands -What A Blue Fish Tells You About Your Anxiety - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

If the story of your relationship (maybe it feels more like a drama) is punctuated with problematic narcissistic behaviours sadly, anxiety will likely also play a part. Read more

Butterfly on a woman's finger - Scared of Being Vulnerable? Here's the Truth-Sandra-Harewood-Counselling

Scared of Being Vulnerable? Here’s the Truth

Butterfly on a woman's finger - Scared of Being Vulnerable? Here's the Truth-Sandra-Harewood-Counselling

 

Right now, as I struggle to find what I want to be the ‘right’ words for this blog post, I’m feeling pretty vulnerable.  That’s because, there’s a part of me that knows if I don’t find the right words, and write the perfect post, I will hear familiar voices in my head.

“Is that correct grammar?  I’m not sure. Yeah, it is, it’s fine. Uhm, maybe I should find a copywriter.  But, what will they think?”

“Okay Sandra, don’t publish it.  Don’t let anyone see it.  Don’t let anyone see you!”

This is my encounter with vulnerability; feeling shy, hesitant and exposed. Read more