52 minutes that will allow me to change my world……..

The latest episode of SBS Insight on ‘Burnout’ may just be the most influential 52 minutes of my life. Thank you to Mum and my friend who encouraged me to watch, the timing could not have been better.

For some time now, I have been going through ‘something’. I didn’t know how to name this ‘something’. A midlife crisis? breakdown? stress? depression? anxiety? Throughout this blog I have called it all of these things. Today I found the best word yet…. ‘Burnout’. That is exactly what it has been.

How incredibly refreshing to listen to the stories of others and to realise that I am not alone in what I have been experiencing. So much of that episode hits home with me. All this time I have been analysing my stress, the way it escalated and the way I have been struggling to handle it, feeling confused and misunderstood. I didn’t know there were others out there who were feeling exactly like me and not only that, people are researching it! ‘Burnout’ is a thing.

I feel like I finally understand. I understand why it happened and I understand what I need to do to make myself better. I can tell you it is pure relief that the feelings of anger, confusion and cynicism that boil inside me, have been felt by others. The way the smallest thing could set me off on a spiral of self doubt and criticism. The way sometimes I simply can not concentrate even on the smallest of tasks.

Striving for excellence and perfectionism day in and day out has been quite literally causing that little fire inside me to burnt itself out. It has affected relationships with feelings of disengagement and misunderstanding, consumed by my work and my need to make it perfect. I lost sight of who I am and why I started all this is the first place.

Now that I can fully understand it, I can see it is time to stop this cycle before I make myself sick. Time to make a change and move forward and into the next chapter of my life.

This particular journey has come to an end. It has been full of highs and lows. I may nearly have lost myself but I have also found some things I never knew. I am brave, strong and resilient. I am persistent and loyal. In actual fact I can do anything I set my mind to.

With my new life chapter, comes the end of this blog. Writing has served me well and thank you those who have read my ramblings and offered feedback and support. I hope in some way it has helped others to know they are not alone. Thank you to my friends and family that have supported me through this turbulent period.

I will be trying other avenues to continue with some writing as it really is something I enjoy doing. My future topics will however be much more upbeat and fun!! I am thinking travel and adventure….

But, for now I am off in search of my little flame so that I can stoke it and nurture it back into a roaring fire.

Signing out

SAA or LLS or ????………….













Be true to yourself

Those who are close to me, know I am in the middle of a big change. It is frightening and exciting all at once. For me this is a big deal. I am leaving behind something that has been a part of my life for 8 years, something I have grown from it’s infancy. Although I feel sad, I know it is time for a new beginning.

New beginnings are the perfect times to reflect and reminisce. To accept what has been, to process and move on to the next phase. It is also a good time for some self regulation and a time to ask some important questions of myself. In the last couple of days I have found myself thinking about what it is that actually drives me. Why do I do what I do?

Before I can move on to the next phase, I am keen to make sure I am heading in the right direction but more importantly, that I am being true to myself and following my own path.  I have noticed recently, sometimes my motivation to do certain things is not based on what I believe and value, but what others around me believe and value.

It is time to make sure my only motivation for doing things is because it is what I want to do and that I believe in what I am doing.

The last 2 weeks have been an emotional roller coaster and I am expecting the next few will be too. I need to go easy on myself and not have any big expectations on how this transition is going to go. Even more importantly I need to not have any expectations about those around me. I can not control their words and actions, I can only control the way I react to them.

It might go smoothly, it might not.

I might handle it well, I might not.

As we say at yoga…….. ‘there is no judgment, only observation of what is’







Watch me rise…

The time has come for me to be me.

I have spent far too long being the person I thought people expected me to be. Battling on because I thought I had to.

We have to listen to our inner voice, to follow our passions, beliefs and values. I start listening today.

Watch me rise…..

It is time to live ‘Life Less Stressed’ and I can’t wait!!



Why aren’t you swimming?

Thank you my friend for asking me the question today.

You would think that by the ripe age of 41, I would know by now how vitally important it is for my brain. Yet, I get caught up and I forget. Forget the pure pleasure as I dive into the cool, clear water. The almost instant relief as my mind and body return home.

Finally after weeks of being out of the water, and a mounting anxiety level, I found some time this afternoon (but only because my friend reminded me). My husband and I ducked over to the pool and both felt so much better afterwards.

I even remember in the depths of year 12 a teacher asking me the very same question. Unsatisfied with my mumbled response and excuses of being too busy, he set me swimming as that night’s Physics homework.

In all those years I haven’t changed. Still thinking I am too busy but still knowing it is the only way to a sane mind.

If I can offer any advice….. even in the most stressful of times, taking time out to remind yourself of who you are, really is the best medicine.



Thankfully today I am ok.

But…… yesterday was a whole other story.

I jotted down what it felt like…

Some days I honestly think I am going around the bend. There is so much going on, my brain feels likes it turns to mush. One thing blends into another and then another, then another until everything seems so big and out of control. Much like a snowball rolling down a hill, ever growing in size and gaining speed. At some stage it is going to hit something and the prospect is terrifying.

It feels like there is no time to stop and slow down, to look at the trees or sky or animals. Just got to keep plowing on, faster, faster, faster.

People tell you to breathe. To stop and slow down. Calm down. Don’t worry. Stop stressing. Some days you try. Others you just let it take hold because trying just feels too exhausting.

What I really could not do yesterday was talk about it. I was on a mission to do anything but, because I knew if I started talking I would break down. Instead I avoided people, I didn’t want to break down and I didn’t want to burden them. I had to wait it out and only then could I talk about it.

I read an interesting article tonight about the ‘R U OK?’ and various other mental health campaigns. For a ‘stressaholic’ like me, it hit the nail on the head. It talked about how in the depths of an episode of anxiety what a person really needs is connection before communication.

Yesterday, I didn’t need to talk about it, what I needed was a connection. I needed someone to show me they were there. To make me a cup of tea or give me a hug.

Today I needed to talk about it.

As I said at the start of this blog, I am ok. I have connected and I have talked about it. I have also accepted that I will have days like this. The best I can do is get through them when they happen, talk about them afterwards and hope they occur less frequently.

The only other thing I can do, is write about it and hope it sheds some light on how to help someone when you see them struggling, especially if they seemingly won’t talk about it. Maybe they can’t.

I find the teapot is a great start.


Time to take a break

Now, I know what you will be thinking when you read that title………… but she just had a break! And you would be right because I did just have a break, an amazing fun and adventurous holiday.

It was real. There were real relationships, real activities and real fun. It wasn’t virtual and it was not online.

Since I have been back and reflecting, it has made me realise how much time I spend online and in front of a screen. More often than not, I am actually not doing anything other than mindlessly scrolling.

But, there is one thing I do find myself doing on Facebook that is so bad and so detrimental to all that I have been working towards. I find myself comparing. You know……… to what ‘they’ are doing, or what ‘they’ are wearing or where ‘they’ are.

Worse still……. if I post something, I wait…… for likes.

I admit it and I am sure many of us are thinking the same things. It is all a natural human response though …….. right??!!

Well…. I am done with it.

I should not care what Joe Blogs from school is doing, because I haven’t seen him in 20 years! Nor should I want Joe to know what I am doing.

I admit there are some great benefits to these social media platforms. For those of us with family in different countries or on the other side of the world, it is invaluable for keeping up with what family members are doing and how their kids are growing. For businesses and blogs it is a fantastic tool for getting our product out there.

However, on a personal level I just need a break, a purge to help me put things back in perspective. So, on the 1st of August it comes off my phone for a month.

I am hoping writing it here will keep me accountable and stop the temptation to put it back on. My blogs will still pop up because they are automatically set to post on the Stressaholics page but I won’t be on there doing it.

Instead, I am going to try and share with you how I chose to spend those extra few minutes in my day. Unplugged, screenless and real.

Today instead of going on Facebook I………


‘There’s nowt so queer as folk’

My northern English friends would be proud of me using this saying and as I write it, I say it to myself with their distinctive and super strong accent!

It just seems fitting at the moment. People really are weird. Sometimes there is just no telling what they are thinking or why they behave the way they do. This includes myself by the way, I am weird too!

Unfortunately for me, I sometimes forget. I wonder and stew and analyse over why people behave the way they do. I wonder what I did wrong and I beat myself up. In my perfectionist brain, it must have all been my fault when someone reacts unexpectedly.

I forget it isn’t about fault, it is about differences. We don’t all want the same thing and more to the point, we don’t all expect the same thing.

I am so tired. I am tired of figuring out what people want from me. I am tired of trying to be what people want. All that has happened, is I have lost myself. I often feel I have no idea what I want! Honestly…….. I don’t know anymore.

Of course this is just a setback. I had been on the right track. I had been taking baby steps forward, working on myself and my needs. I just let it slip.

Now……….it is time to reset, remember what I value and what ignites some passion in me. Forget about the others because they don’t matter, or at least their opinions and ideals don’t matter to me, only to them.

I have 3 sleeps until a much needed holiday. One with friends, family, beach, sun, snorkels and whale sharks. Bring it on, because that description right there, is as close as it comes to me being ‘home’, to me being the true ‘me’.


LLS (with a dash of stressaholic)

Cup of tea anyone?

Anyone who has been reading my blog would know how much I look up to my cat, both in terms of her ability to relax and her utter disinterest in what anyone else thinks of her. Well now I have seen it all, she has outdone herself, she has learnt from us – sort of……

I come from a big tea drinking family. If we are tired we drink tea. Worried, drink tea. Stressed, drink tea. Sick, drink tea. The warm brown brew might not fix everything but it at least makes things seem more bearable.

This is what I came across a few days ago..

Yes she was drinking a ‘cup of tea’!!!! Or so it appeared. In reality, we had a rather dangerous leaking kettle and water had seeped down through this wooden bench and filled some bowls and cups sitting on the bottom shelf. But, it was from this fine bone china miniature tea cup that she chose to drink.

Either she has class or she is mimicking our behaviour! (Or……….. she was thirsty and saw a new opportunity!)

In seriousness, I do think we are always modelling behaviours and no matter whether you realise it or not, they do rub off on those around us. Whether it is adults modelling to children, humans modelling to animals or animals modelling to humans.

Where else would the cat have got this behaviour from?? Perched on a barstool at the breakfast bar!

Definitely a child waiting for their dinner…… she has that ‘hangry’ look in her eye!



Sometimes I wonder whether it is a good thing, or a bad thing when Facebook reminds you what you were up to this time last year, or even several years earlier. Sometimes you cringe, other times you immediately smile, others you just wish you were back there reliving it.

Facebook has reminded me this week that one year ago we were off on what turned out to be the most amazing and memorable family trip ever. I know we will definitely be hard pressed to top it.

This week was New York City, what an amazing and eye opening experience! From the people we met and saw, to the buildings and grand sculptures we visited. A truly unforgettable place. As I look back now, I realise I had NYC on the highest of pedestals, I had built it up in my mind over the years and the expectations were huge, yet it did not disappoint.

Over the next few weeks I am looking forward to the little reminders of the adventures we had. Reminders of the family time we shared and the things we learnt together. Reminders of how lucky we are to have have had our eyes opened to different cultures and ways of life.

Today, instead of wishing I was back there, my husband and Canadian daughter took a look at what we have on offer right here, on our doorstep. Isn’t it stunning?

No filters, just an iPhone! This is winter in paradise.

Living in the present, looking back fondly and dreaming of the next adventure!


Over thinking

I find myself paralysed at the moment. I have millions of thoughts coursing through my head. Lots of options and possibilities on the horizon, all positive. Yet, I am finding it really difficult to make a decision. It feels like I am letting mistakes of the past and the fear of making them again, stop me from moving forward.

This is not an uncommon pattern for the ‘Stressaholic’. It is part of the cycle and the special art form we have of creating problems that don’t exist or………as my mother would say ‘making mountains out of molehills’.

I seem to get into this mindset that life is really just a puzzle. If I think hard enough I can find the solution to any problem (life). Of course, in reality there really is no solution to the ‘problem’ only several different approaches that may or may not yield the desired results. Let’s face it, it is trial and error.

But…….still I bang on thinking about things backwards, forwards, sideways and upside down. Making sure to interview others along the way to see if they have any valuable input to my quandary.


This is a very accurate depiction of how my brain looks and feels right now. How on earth can anyone make a sane decision with all that craziness in their head?

The only way forward is to step back!

It is time to step away from the problem and take a look at the bigger picture. To spend some time just being and not thinking. To clear the mind and exist. I think tomorrow it is time for a return to yoga.