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Windmills of the Minds

Counselling & Wellbeing Services for adults, young people and children

'When the wind of change blows, some build walls, while others build windmills'

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My Blog


Support networks

Posted on June 30, 2016 at 6:08 AM Comments comments (0)
You may here a great deal from mental health and emotional well being services that support networks are vital in keeping well. The NHS definitely recommend that we need a good support circle to maintain our well being.

In my experiences of working with others professionally and my own personally, i hear and see that having people who are supportive around us helps us cope with the challenges and slumps in life.

People who feel they have people to talk to often will cope much better than if we don't. If we don't have many people who are supportive, we usually end up feeling lonely and isolated which impacts on our mental well being. 

Talking to others about feeling low, depressed or anxious still can be incredibly daunting for some people and in some work environments. From what i experience we still need to keep improving at talking, recognising and understanding how anyone can gradually feel unwell from stressful and emotional issues.

So lets keep making changes to supporting one another to let people know that it is ok to talk about their feelings without feeling inadequate or judged.

I welcome comments from people.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Windmills of the Minds


What does your New Year 2016 look like?

Posted on December 28, 2015 at 12:19 PM Comments comments (109)
With the new year approaching, I felt the welcome urge to write a new blog. I haven't wrote for a while, writing is one of my passions, sometimes I  loose connection with passions,  I am determined to make space for the writing more often.

Which leads me onto the fabulous New Year, what does this look like for you? First of all,  i think it is helpful before we do this to spend some valuable time reflecting on this year, take a look back and process what has been your happiest, saddest and most enjoyable moments. What went well, what did not go so well. What you could do differently this new year? 
What or who would you like to leave behind in this year? What would you like to take forward to the New year?
Is this getting you thinking, the cogs turning, the mind opening to new ventures?

I would recommend taking some time writing down your reflections of 2015. Take your time, there is no rush. 

Once you feel this is completed it is time to move on to 2016. Of course, I am mindful it is good to live in the present moment, however to live fully in the present in my experience,  it helps to plan and prepare ahead.

Have you got your thinking cap on ? Great, we can now move on.......

These are my own ideas for helping to focus, keep motivated, maintaining the feeling of fulfilment and live in the present moment. There are links at the end. So here goes....

1. Invest in a  large diary or a calendar. Coloured pens help, we want to be creative, innovative. Think outside the box, there is no box.

2. Close your eyes, imagine four corner stones in your life. Social needs, health needs, emotional needs, financial needs. You may want to write down specifically that you individually need from each of these areas. Everyone has varying needs, it is important that that you take time to think of your own needs. Check in that they are your own, and not someone elses. If you have a partner then you could look at a shared vision and your own.

3. Write in your diary your self care needs first. How often are you going to take those breaks? Holidays, where do you want to go? This is the best part. If you work, look after someone or volunteer,  it is necessary to ensure these are in place. Allowing yourself time to de- stress will give you the energy, love for life you need to be healthier and happier this year and impact on those around you. 
What about regular exercise, how often do you need to get sweaty, what can you do. Something new maybe? There are so many ways to keep fit, we can find something to suit our needs.

4. Who do you want to spend time with? Family, friends, colleagues... who inspires you. Need new friends? There are many groups that are available to join in the communities now, find somewhere that you would like to try, go and if it is not your thing, move on, you are not a tree. Social well-being is a must, isolation can cause feelings of loneliness and depression. Studies show that people are healthier and happier when they have supportive friends and people around them. Choose the right kind of people, many of us have experienced relationships that cause us to feel bad. If you are the one that is causing the bad feelings, find someone to help you, it is not to late to change. Caring about your own self is called self compassion, be your own best friend, love yourself then it is easier to be loved by others.

5. Emotionally we need to meet our needs, we can do this from the above, and from other passions in our lives. Animals, music, reading, blogging, singing, whatever gets you feeling those good vibrations. Find what ignites your fire in your soul. You may want to try out new well-being groups, or invest in your well -being by finding a counsellor or a life coach, Reiki, Hypnotherapy or some other kind of therapist, There re so many of us out there working in different ways that suit individual needs.  Learn something new, play the guitar, learn to dance, or cook a new recipe. Try some practising mindfulness everyday, practice being the operative word, like any skill learning to be mindful will take you time if you are new to the whole meditation world.

6. Financially we can start to continue good habits or turn over a new leaf, create new helpful habits that will benefit us in the long haul.  You can do this alone by reading on line or find some help.  Pay off your debts, start to save, change the relationship you have with money, learn to love money, let it be your best friend.  Value money, I have been inspired by Julie the Money Coach this year and Louise Hay, who both encourage ways to develop a better relationship with money. We all need enough money to live well in this world, if we don't have enough our security is affected which raising our stress levels to the red light. In your diary write in when you will look at your accounts weekly or monthly to keep track of spending. Find ways to save. Follow the links to find out more information on money. 

None of these ideas above are limited, you will have your own thoughts I'm sure, if you do that's  great, please share below. These suggestions are food for thought and not meant to be the answer to deep rooted problems or illnesses or claim to resolve any serious problems that you are experiencing. Seek or maintain medical or professional support if necessary.

Please find the links below for further help.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog. I would like to wish you a sparkling new year, be it healthier and happier for you in 2016.

From WIndmills of the Minds 

This is copyright to Sarah Thorpe Windmills of the Minds © 2016 28/12/2015 

Christmas .. What does this celebration time mean to you?

Posted on December 2, 2014 at 2:49 PM Comments comments (40)

‘Money cannot buy life’
                                     Bob Marley
Christmas can be an incredibly joyous time for some, or an incredibly difficult, sad or stressful time for others. It is good to consider what stresses we can not avoid and ones we place on ourselves that could be avoided. Such as spending too much money or over committing to please everyone. This can cause feelings of guilt, sometimes resentment.  We may feel guilty for having to let people down, or resentment for feeling pressured to be somewhere you don’t want to be. Making conscious choices helps to ease these feelings. However, these feelings are natural and inevitable at times. Rather than feel bad for feeling these emotions, not judging ourselves for having uncomfortable feelings and thoughts will create less stress for yourself and others.
Separated parents often experience stresses and strains at this time. How will my children feel? Who will have the children on Christmas day? Will we take it in turns or split the day? Who buys what?
For many families this will create anxiety, stress and sadness. Dealing with being alone on Christmas day without your children will create mixed emotions for many. We need to allow time to reflect and let ourselves feel these emotions. Suppressing them only makes them stronger.
Many elderly people will sit alone at Christmas, maybe not even have Christmas lunch or get out of bed.
People with alcohol abuse, addictions, will inevitably find this time of year challenging and tempting to fall back in to their old patterns. The families of addicts will also suffer at these time due to their anxiety, for e.g. worrying if there partner will not be there for family get together, will they spend money on drink or other addictions. ‘It is worth considering a plan of action to tackle these issues before they arise.
For people who have been bereaved, whether this was at Christmas time or not, this can be an extremely difficult time for them to cope. It feels like everyone is having a good time, happy and with the ones they love. They experience feelings of loneliness, depression and will immense sadness.
Anxiety sufferers will find that they start to feel increasingly anxious. The crowds in the shops, the noises, having to spend time with family and groups of people can be enough to trigger strong panic attacks.
For people with issues affecting healthy mental health, already feeling isolated and vulnerable, celebrations can be a trigger to feelings of sadness, fear and sometimes suicidal thoughts.
Students may be far away from their families and struggling financially if they cannot afford to go home. Especially overseas students who will be far away.
Some ideas and suggestions of surviving Christmas.
 A plan of action helps to prepare ahead. Setting budgets and sticking to them. Writing lists. Having realistic expectations of ourselves and others will reduce pressure. Doing something out of the ordinary. Getting some rest and relaxation time. Time out, a walk in the fresh air or relax in the bath. Plan to visit or invite people over. Not everyone likes Christmas or celebrates it and if don’t then that is ok.
Become a volunteer. At Christmas charity shops or other services need help. Also you could become a volunteer for ending loneliness.
Helpline over Christmas
Hopefully if you do celebrate Christmas, this can be a great time to reflect, spend time with others who we rarely see. Relax and pamper ourselves, give and receive. Watch Christmas movies, go for winter walks, and enjoy Christmas songs.
I wish well to everyone who reads this, whatever you do, and take care of yourself over the holidays.  
‘Money can’t buy me love’
Sarah Thorpe

© All rights reserved to Windmills of the Minds owned by Sarah Thorpe

Eat your heart out

Posted on May 5, 2014 at 4:01 PM Comments comments (537)
I have a series of blogs of one woman's journey of her emotional attachment with food. The woman would like to remain anonymous. For this purpose I will refer to her with a pseudonym, Anna. 

Chapter 1. Anna wrote.

I have a problem with food, do you?

It is not in the eating but refraining from doing so.

When food is used to "fix a hole'', that maybe is caused by the loss of a loved, it can turn evil.

I am not thinking of how unhealthy my relationship is when stufffing my face with food!

Counselling can help us get back on track.

There is the old cliche ''time heals''. Yet over time I have gained excessive weight. Obesity is now a fact of life for me.
It takes a toll on my heart, literally. Far more damaging to my well being than the loss of past love.

Food has become an addiction. Developing an unhealthy attitude makes food a real problem.

Maybe you can relate. Food becomes the ......treat, comforter, emotional crutch, healer, soother, motivator, compensation, companion?. Far more than the physical need to eat.

Food is now my enemy. No matter how much pleasure can be derived from eating, food does not feel like a friend now.

The more I eat the more I want food. My weight now limits what I can do physically, affecting the quality of life I would like to lead.

 One of the ways I can help myself is by seeking counselling. That and other means of control over the addiction. Changing bad habits into healthy actions will be shared each day this week. 

Space and Time for US

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 7:03 AM Comments comments (0)
How do we know when we are burning the candle at both ends?

Are there signs we can notice in ourselves? Or do we notice them in others easier?

For me it took some years to notice my signs. Now I tend to notice early on. Signs such as  the way my mind is racing and I am unable to switch off. I notice I may be more forgetful, late or start to feel generally run down. I may feel more tearful at times. I may spend less time with people close to me. 

Do any of these resound for you in the way you feel?

Noticing our signs can really help us to stop and take time out more regular. Taking time out every few months tends to backfire as often we find if we have been charging at 100mph and not putting the breaks on. When we have time off we are prone to feeling ill.

What we can do is set time aside for ourselves everyday, even if it is only fifteen minutes.  We all have different ways to relax, to wind down and to reflect.

As the pace of modern society appears to beat faster, it is even more of a reason to stop still.

If we do this regular we will soon form a helpful habit of putting US into our routine. 

Think about what you do to take time out or what you might like ? Listen to music, exercise, play with children, go for a walk, bake, pamper yourself, spend time with friends?
How does it benefit you and other people in your life?

For me it prevents me getting bogged down,  tunnel vision and feeling ill. It helps me to give time to other people and to maintain a good sense of well being. An open mind and a sense of humour. I work much better and feel less tired. 

Most importantly it helps me stay connected to myself.

Meditation can be a gate way reducing anxiety and depression, combined with other self care routines.

Please take time to listen to Mary Maddox Meditation Oasis -fantastic guided meditations. where you will find free downloads. 

So let us  be the ones to create the life we want to create. Put into it what we want to put in.
Clear out what we don't need. In  a way it can be seen as a personal clean out. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Your comments are appreciated.