Do you feel you are constantly on the hook?It's a strange phrase - think - the opposite of 'off the hook'.Being caught on the hook makes you feel culpable, or guilty, as though you can never relax or let go.In recent years letting myself off the hook has been an idea I have become very attached to. I like the idea that I am freeing myself from...

Hi, my name is Elli and I'm a people pleaser.A recovering people pleaser.I want to make other people happy.Which always seemed like a good goal to have.But this well-intentioned aim got me into hot water. Back then. About ten years ago life was tiring.My girls were tiny and I was pregnant with my son.I had lots of friends and a brilliant husband who was very busy with work.I ran a small group in church which was made up of lots of fantastic women who were also in the same life stage as me.We were all tired all the time.We were always making...

Not all the causes of anxiety can be rectified quickly or easily. I have found through personal (and often painful) experience, there are certain mindsets and patterns of behaviour that take months, or even years, to unpick.That may not sound very encouraging, especially if you are battling anxiety right now, in this moment.But fear not, there are some things you can do to lessen your anxiety here and now in the middle of your busy day, or stressful season.These are some practices that have worked for me:Breathing Slow. I know I often write about the importance of slowing your...

When the alarm went off this morning I was already weary.I am at the worst point of my period and I feel distracted and exhausted. My body is suffering, I have not slept well, and my belly aches. My mind is unable to settle, jumping from one thing to another.I am feeling low; a combination of hormones, lack of adult conversation and the rain that has fallen steadily all week,My first response is to attend to the long list of jobs that lies ahead of me today. I have writing projects that need attention, laundry to do, and meals to...

Eight years ago I entered the cafe and waved to the woman I had arranged to meet. She was barely more than an acquaintance but I knew she had some experience of counselling people dealing with grief. I was hopeful she would be able to give me some wisdom about how to help my friend who was suffering.I grabbed my coffee and pushed aside the feeling of frustration that this was how I was going to be using my short amount of kid-free time. It had seemed like the right thing to do last week when I had made the arrangement.The...

A list for anyone overwhelmed and stressed.A list for those of us who worry too much about what we cannot control.A list for the over-thinkers and the do-gooders.(A list for me).1. Don't play it safe.Wear the bright red lippy, the yellow dress, the dungarees you think make you look like an overgrown toddler. Clothes are for fun.2. Don't compare.You are beautiful and your life is good. Count blessings, dance in the kitchen. Silence the voice of comparison, it will make your life smaller.3. Don't hide.Let somebody in. The mask will become harder to remove the longer your wear it. Allow...

Yesterday as I was chopping a pepper for tea, I cut my finger.A small but deep incision in the tip of the third finger on my left hand.I put a plaster over it but it wouldn't stop bleeding. I tried to continue with the food prep but was soon stopped by the throbbing and the blood seeping out either side of the bandage.Thankfully I had someone who could take over, and a friend nearby with the know-how to re-bandage my cut.Beth took off my hastily applied band-aid and searched through the three half-empty first-aid kits in the drawer. She took...

What do you say to someone suffering from anxiety?It can be hard to know.You don't want to put your foot in it, or say the wrong thing.You don't want to make matters worse.Let me reassure you - there is no perfect thing to say, mostly your friend just wants to know they are not alone.A couple of weeks ago I was anxious again. (I shared about it on facebook - here is the photo of me on that day.)After a long period when I have not had to deal with the symptoms and affects of my anxiety - the pounding heart,...

I was raised on testimonies of healing. I was taught about the miraculous, Jesus healing the blind man, that meeting in South America when someone was raised from the dead, the missions in Africa where people had seen limbs re-grow and hearing restored.I thought healing was the only answer to the question of illness, because illness was always a sign something was badly wrong in your soul or heart or the world, right?I spent a long time waiting for the happy ending when I would stand and say I was now better. That my mental health was inviolable.When I would proclaim the...