10 new things to try in October to benefit your wellbeing

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From connecting with nature to a film about a rock ‘n’ roll legend, and a podcast that’ll inspire you to make a change, try something new with our enriching suggestions

1. Page-turners

10 new things to try in October to benefit your wellbeing

You Need To Hear This: 365 Days Of Silly, Honest Advice You Need Right Now by Chronicle

It’s the pocket-sized agony aunt you never knew you needed, and this trusty book comes with 365 pieces of advice, affirmations, and jokes for your everyday conundrums. It’ll help to keep you grounded when anxiety strikes, or just provide you with a chuckle when you need it the most.

(Chronicle Books, £12.99)

2. Out and about

Make a pine cone bird feeder

There can be less food on the ground for birds to feed on during autumn, but, fortunately, September is the month that pine cones start to fall. Use this opportunity to connect with nature and make a pine cone bird feeder for your feathered friends. Head outdoors and select your pine cone, then simply spread peanut butter over the scales and dip or roll it in bird seed.

(Visit countryhillcottage.com for more inspiration)

10 new things to try in October to benefit your wellbeing

3. Act of kindness

Regift your Happiful magazine

Are you guilty of throwing away your magazines once you’ve finished reading them? If so, try passing on the kindness by dropping off a magazine to your nearest and dearest, or offer to donate it to a local salon or doctor’s surgery so they can make use of it in the waiting rooms. That way, your magazine can be enjoyed by others over and over again – and remember Happiful is recyclable!

4. Lend us your ears

‘The Climate Question’

How can oceans help us capture carbon? How does climate change affect our mental health? These are just a few of the questions discussed by BBC specialists in this informative podcast about climate change. If you’re worried about the planet, and have questions that you want answered, give this a listen.

(Available on all platforms)

5. Plugged-In

Tales of Eleanor

If you’re looking to break free from a heavy news cycle, meet the hedgehog who’s injecting Instagram with doses of positivity, one paw at a time. The wholesome, hand-drawn illustrations explore the daily struggles of a hedgehog, each with their own reminder to slow down and take a moment.

What is orthosomnia (and is it ruining your sleep)?

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Between smart watches tracking our sleeping patterns, apps to help us calm down before bed, alarms set via our home assistants, and dozens more modern tricks and tips we may be trying to help achieve that ‘better’ nights sleep, could we actually be causing ourselves more stress?

What is orthosomnia (and is it ruining your sleep)?

Technology has become an intrinsic part of our lives. Most of us would be hard-pressed to remember the last time we were more than a few feet away from our smartphone or smartwatch. We’ve got tech that can help predict depression, tech to help address alcohol dependency, endless apps to help us get organised, ease our stress and get a better night’s sleep. Tech even helps us stay on track and keep our motivation levels high when we’re struggling at work. Yet, could some forms of tech be causing us more stress than good?

Missing out on our much-needed rest and relaxation doesn’t just make us feel tired - our lack of sleep can be bad for our health. Along with feeling grumpy and not working to our full potential, not catching enough z’s leaves one in three of us feeling more stressed, on edge and less focused. According to the NHS, regular poor sleep puts us at risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and a shorter life expectancy.

Typically, we need eight hours of good-quality sleep to function properly. If you find yourself waking up tired or longing to catch a quick catnap, chances are, you aren’t getting enough sleep.

While it’s hard to deny the benefits of a good night’s sleep, do we really need the endless stream of sleep tech gadgets the market is trying to sell to us? Or could our obsession with sleep trackers be leading to a rise in insomnia and orthosomnia?

What is orthosomnia (and is it ruining your sleep)?

What is orthosomnia?

You may have heard of orthorexia - a rise in ‘clean eating’ that has led to a condition bearing all the hallmarks of a new type of eating disorder which sees individuals obsessed with the ‘purity’ of what they are eating. Orthosomnia is a new term being used to describe an unhealthy obsession doctors have started seeing, where people focus on getting a ‘healthy’ amount of sleep.

As Dr Abbot explains to Health, “We realised we had a number of patients coming in with a phenomenon that didn’t necessarily meet the classical description of insomnia, but that was still keeping them up at night. They seemed to have symptoms related to concerns about what their sleep-tracker devices were telling them, and whether they were getting good quality sleep or not. They were actually destroying their sleep by becoming so dependent upon these devices.”

In some cases, we are becoming mo

Dopamine dressing: discover the trend that is encouraging us to live life in colour

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It’s the technicoloured trend of 2022, but is there more to colourful fashion than meets the eye?

Dopamine dressing: discover the trend that is encouraging us to live life in colour

On the third Thursday of every month, the Old Spitalfields Market in Shoreditch, London, is infused with colour, pattern, and joy. And we’re not just talking about the treasures that can be found on the flea market stalls. Cue the regular gathering of vibrant spirits and creative souls – people who love, and live in, full, bold, bright, wonderful colours.

The Colour Walk, as it is today, has been led for the past five years by upcycling fashion designer Florent Bidois, and was inspired by the life and work of artist Sue Kreitzman, who could, be reliably found in her technicoloured glory each Thursday at the flea market.

“Sue is the constant inspiration behind the Colour Walk. To me, she is the face and I am the arms,” Florent explains. “In December 2016, I organised my first Colour Walk as we know it: a monthly gathering of creative people who love to dress up and love colour. “I have committed to organising it every month ever since, apart from a 16-month hiatus due to Covid. It’s about supporting the market, expressing ourselves, and just having fun.”

Dopamine dressing: discover the trend that is encouraging us to live life in colour

Here you will find a feast for the eyes, a multicoloured spread of prints, patterns, frills, and flare. Thrifted, crafted, savoured, and celebrated – below the kaleidoscopic surface, the Colour Walk is a safe space to express yourself as you truly are, and Florent shares that he’s often told about deep feelings of ‘belonging’ experienced by attendees. Here ‘Colour Walkers’ find their tribe, a supportive group of people who gather together to experiment with style and with colour.

While the Colour Walk is a concentrated culmination of self-expression, these days, more and more of us are beginning to add a bit of buzz into our everyday wardrobes – and if you’ve walked into any highstreet clothing store recently, you might have noticed the prevalence of a certain trend. Dubbed ‘dopamine dressing’, bright, bold colours, statement prints, colour blocking, and neon are all the rage in 2022, and retailers are chomping at the bit to deliver on our desire to infuse some joy into our lives. After all, following the hard times we’ve been through recently, it only makes sense.

But the idea of boosting our mood with colour and with fashion isn’t anything new. In 2012, a study from the University of Hertfordshire found that when participants wore clothes of symbolic value to them, their confidence increased. And, all the way back down the timeline, the emperor Charlemagne – born around AD740, near Liège in modern-day Belgium – wore red shoes at his coronation, as a symbol of his authority.

Colour has a huge impact on how we respond to the world around us (think marketing campaigns, and what the colours used are trying to get us to feel about their product), but they also do the same with how we relate to ourselves, and on what we tell others about the people we are. Momtaz Begum-Hossain is a colour theorist, author of Hello Rainbow: Finding Happiness in Colour, and also an attendee of the Colour Walk – who was, in her own words,

Michelle Elman: “Boundaries ultimately make your life easier”

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From the meaning of boundary setting to the benefits of good communication, Life Coach and author Michelle Elman shares her expertise on establishing healthy boundaries and living an easier life as a result

Michelle Elman: “Boundaries ultimately make your life easier”

“Boundaries are how we teach people to treat us. It’s what is and isn’t acceptable,” Life Coach and author Michelle Elman explains. “It’s the line between who we are and who the world wants us to be.”

Michelle’s definition of what boundaries are is a great and much-needed reminder. You may think that you have good boundaries but when you dig deep into the subject, as she has done for her book The Joy of Being Selfish and the upcoming The Selfish Romantic, you soon realise that everyone’s boundaries require clear communication from the outset as well as regular appraisal and maintenance.

If appraising and asserting your boundaries sounds like a lot of hard - and possibly uncomfortable - work, then take a listen to Michelle’s episode of I am. I have. The beauty and benefits of healthy boundaries will become clear within just 30 minutes.

One of the greatest upsides, Michelle asserts, has to be the resulting positive relationship with yourself, something she has first-hand experience of. “When you have boundaries, not only do you have more time and energy to look after yourself, but I actually think you have a stronger sense of identity,” she shares.

“It creates so much space in your brain and ultimately I think it makes your life easier,” she continues beaming. “That’s what boundaries are there for.”

6 ways life coaching for mums and parents can help

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Becoming a parent can bring so much joy, but there can be challenges with this new chapter. Here, we explore how coaching can support you

6 ways life coaching for mums and parents can help

Any time we move into a new stage of life, there is a mixture of emotions that come with it. Even the most positive and joyful transitions like getting married, moving home or starting a family can be stressful. In fact, these are often cited as the most stressful moments in life.

If you have recently become a parent or are a parent-to-be, you may understand this only too well. For some, the transition can trigger mental health concerns including postnatal depression and even postnatal psychosis.

Speaking about the challenges of parenthood can feel taboo, however. With societal pressure to be grateful for what you have and for parenthood to be nothing but rewarding at all times. But, the truth is, many struggle. And even if your mental health isn’t severely affected, chances are you’re navigating a whole lot of change.

This is where, for some, coaching can provide a lifeline. Life coaching for mums and parents looks to help you identify the challenges you’re facing and find a way to move forward.

“Juggling motherhood whilst maintaining a sense of self and purpose can be a challenging prospect.” Transformative life coach Catherine Crawley explains in her article, Life coaching for mums and mums-to-be.

“Many women in today's society are often 'something for everyone', leaving them feeling frazzled, stressed, and often with a depleted sense of who they truly are in life. I am passionate about helping women come back to their real selves, taking responsibility for their self-care and needs in life without losing what the true essence of being a mum means to them.”

Here we take a closer look at some of the ways coaching can help parents.

1. Help you reconnect with your identity (and embrace new ones)

For many, the early days of parenthood are purely about the new arrival. Ensuring your baby is safe, healthy and cared for is top priority and anything else becomes background noise. While this is to be expected, over time that background noise comes back into focus and some parents experience a sense of lost identity.

Your lifestyle is likely very different from what it was before, and you may miss activities you did pre-baby. You may feel as though you have morphed into ‘mum’ or ‘dad’, and that this is all you are now.

Coaching can help you reconnect with your core values and beliefs, exploring what may have changed since becoming a parent, and what’s stayed the same. Your life won’t look the same as it did before, but a coach can help you remember who you are and embrace the changes as they come.

2. Help to overcome overwhelm and parental burnout

Speaking to parents about how they feel after becoming parents, a commonly used phrase is ‘overwhelmed’, and this isn’t unsurprising. Life turns upside down when you start a family, introducing a pile of responsibilities and life admin that can feel incomprehensible at times.

In time, this can lead to parental burnou