gratitude, health, kindness, motivation, positivity

December Kindness – Day 3

Be There for Someone You Love

It’s day 3 of our December kindness calendar and, today I want to talk about reaching out to those you love who are struggling.

Often someone (or multiple someones) in our life can be in need of help, support and a bit of extra tlc.

But life is busy and our own day to day dramas get in the way of us being there for anyone else.

We find ourselves making excuses like ‘I don’t have time’; ‘I don’t know what to do to help’; or ’I don’t know what to say’ …and so we do nothing, we say nothing, we continue with our lives.

Meanwhile the person who is struggling doesn’t know what our absence means and it only adds to their current situation.

I’ve been on both sides of this…the person avoiding the person in need (before I knew how to be there) and the person being avoided.

Both are shit.

So today is about taking a moment to reach out to that person in your life in a way that is filled with love and kindness.

Here are some ideas that I use when I don’t know what to say or do…

➳ send a message that says ’I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. But I am here. What can I do?’ Trust me…it’s always better to say this than to say nothing.

➳ ask ‘how is your heart?’ This is different from asking ‘how are you?’ …to which the honest answer is usually ‘rubbish’ (or a swearier equivalent) …instead you are letting them know you really care about what’s going on for them.

➳ write them a card or note that says ‘I’m here when you are ready to talk’. There is no pressure for them to be ready now. You are just letting them know you are there when they need you. And trust me, they will take you up on it.

➳ Finally, it can be so easy to say ‘let me know if I can do anything’ but it can feel like an empty offer. Instead suggest something… would you like me to pick up some shopping for you? Walk your dog? Take the kids out? Sit with you? Often people in trauma don’t know what they need. Be the person who is actually there, doing something.

What else has helped you to know you are loved, seen and supported?

With love, gratitude and kindness today and always Fi xx

health, holistic health, ovarian cancer, positivity, yoga

Do You ‘Self-Destruct’?

Have you ever slipped into ‘self-destruction’ mode when what you really needed was ‘self-care’?

I certainly have…and more recently than you might think!

Lately I’ve found myself making all kinds of excuses for this – ‘I’ve lost a lot of weight I should eat high calorie processed food to regain it’ – ‘my body is tired, it’s ok to eat sugar’ – ‘I’m too exhausted to go out in nature today’ – and you should see my Amazon purchases after a hospital admission!…yes all books but no definitely not ones I needed!

All of these were excuses for not supporting my body, mind and spirit to properly recover. Instead I was giving myself a hard time, not acknowledging reality and, in fact, making my situation worse through self-judgment rather than much needed self-love.

Realisation, finally, hit me yesterday when I said to my nurse “I’m just too tired to do anything” – now, firstly, dramatic statements like this (in my experience) are usually just excuses and secondly, her reply was the wake up all I needed.

She reminded me what I’ve been through lately: 9 weeks of vomiting; 10 days in and out of hospital; two stone weight loss; an abdominal drain of malignant fluid; being told my cancer had spread (again); an IV of two broad spectrum antibiotics for a week; unable to eat for over a month; starting an immunotherapy trial…need I go on?

I realised that despite all of this happening, what I hadn’t done was give myself the necessary time to properly understand the effect this has had on my emotional and spiritual health.

Yes I’d started lots of self care practices – yoga, acupuncture, reiki, reflexology, Body Stress Release etc but I had done so with the frustrated mentality of ‘why isn’t it fixed yet?!’

What I’d needed to do instead was to treat the wounded parts of myself with care and compassion (like you would a small child – a friend recently suggested)

So yesterday I embraced what these parts needed (in particular after a long day in hospital getting dose two of my immunotherapy) – an afternoon cuddling my hubby in the sofa with Ozzy watching comedies…tick!

Then today I did the same. I didn’t get up at the crack of dawn like usual but instead had a lazy morning getting up only in time for my medication; then I sat about in my pjs eating a leisurely breakfast while watching Ted talks before me and Ozzy set out for a long walk in nature just the two of us – allowing me some valuable alone time in nature.

It feels so refreshing to be giving myself ‘permission’ to acknowledge that I am wounded rather than fighting this reality with frustration. In doing so, I am allowing myself the time it takes to truly heal and become whole again.

I wonder if you’ve acknowledged the wounds you’ve gained recently or in the past and if you’ve given yourself permission to take the time and space you need(ed) to heal?

Or perhaps you can relate to being in the ‘self-destruct’ mode through diet, exercise, indulgent or impulsive shopping, self judgement or anything else?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Love and light, Fi xxx

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What is Person Centred Care?

I’ve spent the vast majority of my working life talking about person centred health care. About putting ‘the patient’ first and adapting services to meet their needs. I thought that’s what it was all about. I thought that’s what pateint’s wanted.

I was wrong.

Having just spent two weeks in hospital I’ve realised that person centred care isn’t just about creating individually tailored care packages – although, of course, that’s important.

Person centred care is actually much simpler. It’s just about seeing the person behind the condition.


For me during my stay in hospital there were many examples of person centred care, each aiding my recovering in magical ways:-

  • It was the woman who cleaned my hospital room sitting with me every day, holding my hand and asking me about my home and my pets.
  • It was the same woman crying with me when I was in too much pain to get out of bed; telling me she couldn’t sleep for thinking about me; kneeling beside my bed, rubbing my arm and telling me she loves me and wants me to get better.
  • It was the auxiliary nurse who sat with me for over an hour in the middle of the night talking about her grandchildren and showing me pictures to keep me company because I coudn’t sleep.
  • It was every member of my care team who asked what my job was, what my hobbies were, if I had pets or children or basically anything about me and not my condition or diagnosis.
  • It was the other woman who cleaned my room seeing a pile of photos by my bed of my beautiful neice and nephews and putting them on the wall for me without being asked.
  • It was then every person who asked about the smiling children in the photos on display.
  • It was the Dr who talked to me about what had been happening in a shared favourite TV show while she took a heart trace which involved her seeing me naked, rather than making the situation unnecessarily awkward.
  • It was the nurse who told me she thought I was beautiful when she saw the framed wedding photo in my room, rather than just seeing the far from attractive ‘cancer patient’ lying in front of her.
  • It was the nurse who sat with me during her breaks, even when she was working on a different ward because she had supported me through an anxiety attack soon after my surgery and now knew me as a person.
  • It was the surgeon who released me from hospital for a couple of hours to visit the beach to help me feel less anxious.
  • It was every person who took the time to know me…

This is quality care.

This is what makes a difference.

This is what I’ll remember during my recovery and always.

I’ve learnt that when at your lowest, lower than you thought humanly possible, this is all that matters – the compassion of one human to another. The care, the time and the consideration to show love to another spirit.

How blessed I am to have seen this on my journey.

I can only hope that more people will realise that this is the care that gets people through hard recovery times. Yes, I’m not going to lie, of course the drugs help(!!) but it’s compassion and love that give you something to live for.

Love and light, Fi xxx