emotions

Self-Care & Creating Healthy Habits with Jaime McLaughlin. New Bounce Back Podcast Episode

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I wanted to pop on the blog and let you know that I have a new Bounce Back podcast episode out with self-care strategist (and expert in all things hair and beauty!) Jaime McLaughlin.

Jaime is the founder of The Mac House and let me tell you - she's the queen of all things bounce back. She's had quite a journey going from a single mother of 2 in her early 20's who found herself in a cycle of destructive relationships, to happily married, owning a successful business as a mum of 4 kids and doing what she loves.

Jaime gives some incredible advice on how to build resilience and we also talk beauty and style on a budget, motherhood (and how to find time for yourself even as a busy mum), creating healthy habits that set you up for the day, what self-care means from both an internal and external perspective and working through relationship struggles. 

Jaime is hugely talented in all things hair, makeup and beauty so this was a fun way for me to get some tips too ;)  You can listen in here.

I hope you enjoy and I'd love to know what your key takeaway from this episode was? Let me know in the comments!

Love,
Laura xx

How to Find Love when You're Losing Hope

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If you constantly feel like your time has passed, that you’ll never find anyone ‘better’ than your ex or that every relationship potential seems to only serve to reconfirm your fears about love, then this one is for you.

I also want to add a full disclaimer to this post - I am not in a relationship myself right now. I really believe it’s important for me to be transparent about this because I can assure you, as I write this, I fully empathise, understand and appreciate all the fears that you might be experiencing too. I’d like to say that I’m not in a relationship because I love and choose to be single. Well, I do like being single ha but would I like a relationship? For sure!

My personal reason isn’t that I’ve gone through romantic heartbreak recently, that I’ve been on a string of dates that didn’t work out or just can’t seem to seek out that ‘spark’ (which I have my own unique views on anyhow but that’s for another post!).

I’m a big believer in not dwelling on things but again, for transparency, the past 2/3 years have been the most challenging times I’m sure I’ll ever go through when it comes to my health and it hasn’t made for a particularly vibrant or active dating life! With that, so many fears have arisen. I’ve been hell-bent on improving my health and luckily now, I’m almost fully healed. And I really am enjoying dating more but my god, it’s reminded me what these dating waters are made of!

This post isn’t about me, but I wanted to add this in to let you know that I’m right in this one with you my friends :)

(This also isn’t a ‘how to date after bad health’ type of post but just wanted to give you some context!)

So how do you begin to believe that love is out there for you?

You Believe in You

Regardless of your reason - heartbreak, dates not working out, never getting past the third date, feeling like you can’t seem to meet your soulmate no matter how many dates you go on, a health crisis or a personal challenge, the first thing I want you to know, is that before you even begin to believe in love, you have to believe in you.

When we’re in this timeline or lack-focused mindset, it exposes us to firstly over-analyse. Ourselves, our fears, other people, the idea of love, the correct route to finding ‘the one’. It can drive us crazy.

Secondly, it also makes us question our past in a negative way. I know when I was out of a rough breakup and feeling shaky or despondent about the prospect of love, I’d often think ‘maybe if I’d have been a little more open to compromise‘maybe the relationship was better than I thought - every relationship has ups and downs’, ‘maybe what he did/said wasn’t that bad after all….’

There’s a big difference between owning your mistakes and where you might have overreacted and then discounting the bad things to boost the good to an unrealistic level because you’re scared of being alone forever.

The truth is, love will be very hard to come by whilst you still don’t believe in yourself, your choices and your ability to know right from wrong. You can get out there dating buzzing with outer confidence but the minute something triggers your inner insecurities, the following things can happen -:

- You meet someone you like and ignore those small signs that this person isn’t right for you. They don’t match your values, show signs of emotional unavailability, might cross boundaries, play hot and cold but yet you like them and so you over compromise and overlook the things that ring inner alarm bells to you.

- You find it hard to distinguish the good person from the right person who aligns with your core values.

- You become timeline and outcome focused.

- You continue the pattern of falling for the wrong people. When this happens, it’s no coincidence.

You have to start believing in yourself. How to do this? You get comfortable with your fears and insecurities and you become friends with them. You practice choosing and engaging in healthy relationships in all areas of your life - not just romantic. You learn to become confident in your decisions, choices, your values and what’s important to you. You make all of this a part of your daily life.

As James Altucher, one of my favourite writers and speakers says, you ‘Choose Yourself’. 

Believing in yourself is more than affirmations in the mirror and vision boards. Sure, that can help but it’s the actions that create the self-belief and this starts long before pasting pictures on a corkboard or signing up to another dating app. It’s not always easy and it might mean being single for longer, but I assure you, it’s worth it.

For me, although my health put me at a disadvantage when it came to being able to meet someone, I can’t just be a victim and put the entire blame on that and not take responsibility. I haven’t ever really put my health as a proper priority in the past (despite always claiming I was into ‘wellness’) and so, I’ve had to pay the price and learn how to. I’ve had to see and focus on my qualities that I could bring to a relationship outside of the external things we typically use to validate ourselves. All of those external validations I couldn’t really rely on so much, so I had to dig deeper.

I’ve also had to learn how to be way more compassionate, kind and understanding of others and not get too self-consumed. I now place so much more emphasis and attention on a person’s qualities and emotional awareness/intelligence as opposed to their job, looks, level of success etc.

It’s certainly not been a linear thing and it’s been hard. But what I’ve gained will serve me so well in my next relationship and I feel very grounded in my worth (and others’) as a result.

Become the Person you Want and Deserve to be in a Relationship with

It’s very easy to take a shopping list approach to meeting someone. I’m big on being clear on your core values when it comes to a partner and not settling, but we often forget that until we become that person, act like that person and live up to those values we seek out, we’re usually looking for something in someone to provide a practical or emotional security blanket.

So before you start writing off people because they’re not this or that (hey, we’ve all been guilty of it!), start to become that person for yourself. The more you do, the more you’ll start to gravitate towards and attract the same kind of people. Like attracts like. You’ll also be more confident in walking away if something isn’t right - yes, even if you’re crazy attracted to that person!

Don’t Focus too much on it! (Then you’ll see there’s no such thing as a Lack of Love.)

We all feel the pressure - especially as we get into our 30’s and beyond. It’s easy to say to not worry about it but I know that’s tough. Honestly though, the longer you spend fretting, the less you’re living your life, which will be what actually gets you meeting people and feeling happier and fulfilled.

Help others, find a passion, nurture your existing relationships, be healthy, have fun and work through those insecurities to get more comfortable with yourself. The more you do this, the less pressure you’ll start to feel and that is when love will begin to look much more abundant.

I hope this helps anyone who needs it. Remember, you’re not alone in the way you feel. We’re all in this together and I strongly believe it can be so reassuring to know that :)

Laura xx

 

 

 

Why did they do that to me? I Just want Answers!!

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When someone treats us in a way that creates so many unanswered questions, it can feel impossible to move on.

- I just don’t understand why he did those things?

- Why do I still miss her when she made me feel like that?

- Why do I keep going back to them even though they make me feel like sh**?

- What must have been going through his mind to think that was ok?

- I know there were things wrong but I still wonder if breaking up with her was the right thing?

These are all things I hear from people every day and I totally understand why we create all of this internal anxiety asking ourselves these questions. I know I did.

I spent so much time in a previous relationship asking myself why he would refuse to communicate and then disappear for days on end, why he’d play these crazy emotional mind games 100% knowing how it would make me feel, why I’d often feel like I was being ‘tested’. I also wondered why, when I knew he did all of these things, did I still want to cling to all of that and let go of everything else within my life in pursuit of making this relationship work.

I know a lot of people will resonate with this in their own way. I was on a call with a client last night who had done so much great work on herself since coming out of an emotionally abusive relationship but still questioned why during those vulnerable moments, she missed him.

Like I did, she wanted answers.

The thing is though, no matter how many self help books we devour, articles by psychologists and relationship experts we frantically highlight, and stories we read from other people who have gone through the same thing, the more time we spend analysing and trying to piece together the multitude of layers of someone’s behaviour to be able to conclude a solid reason as to why they did those things, it makes absolutely no difference.

You don’t need to find a reason. They did those things and that’s the only conclusion you need to be able to let your quest for answers go and move forwards.

We always seem to want to get inside the heads of other people but all that does is take the focus away from what’s really important and our most vital responsibility; us. Your ex (or whoever you were seeing that this applies to) did what they did and now your only job is to be ok with the fact that you feel emotionally bruised from it (because that’s inevitable), nurture yourself and take forwards what you learnt from that.

Of course, we’re going to spend time asking questions about why, if someone professed to love us so much, then why did their actions prove quite the contrary? But when we can acknowledge that the answers make absolutely no difference about the fact they did what they did, we can turn our focus inwards and instead, think about what we need to do when it comes to our own self care and emotional wellbeing to be able to build ourselves up after going through this experience.

I totally understand that this is a LOT easier than said than done! But the harsh fact is, if someone treated you in a way that compromised your self-esteem, values and what makes you you, regardless of why they did that, they did and therefore there isn’t a place for them within your lives moving forwards. That should be a non-negotiable. Even if there were moments of almighty amazingness, your job is to still walk away because that isn't enough. Even if they say they will change, your job is to still walk away. Their job is to SHOW you that there is substance behind their words by working out their own answers.

These situations can become incredibly complex as there is usually a lot of emotional game playing, manipulation and even abuse at play. But the answer to getting the answer you want on it all is quite simple - you need to focus on you. You need to take what you learnt from this experience and give yourself all the things you didn’t get from that person. You need to surround yourself with the people who can offer you the unconditional love and support you didn’t get from that person. You need to remind yourself of all the amazing things that make you uniquely you that that person tried to tear down, change or devalue. You need to think about the warning signs you first ignored for the sake of keeping the relationship going, call BS on the excuses you made and you need to implement new standards as of right now.

All of these things will gradually create that sense of finality or closure you need. You have the choice to create that for yourself and I think that’s a good thing to know.

I’m going to do a more in-depth post elaborating more on how exactly to bounce back from a situation such as this one. I hope this helps if you’re someone struggling to move on in pursuit of answers though. You've got this :)

Laura xx