top of page

Our Blog

It’s Okay to be Okay

7 November 2022

One of the things that we hear a lot these days it’s that it’s okay NOT to be okay. This is COMPLETELY true! We don’t need to pretend that everything is smooth sailing. Authenticity is a beautiful part of healthy relationships. Being open and honest with people we trust to care about us in the midst of our painful feelings is one of life’s empowering experiences. When we are loved and treasured in our darkness, we end up feeling safe and secure

Being present with our feelings isn’t just about connecting with others. It’s also about connecting with ourselves. We don’t have to pretend to ourselves that things are okay, when they actually aren’t. We feel emotions so that we pay attention. They’re met to make us sit up and take notice. If we feel pain or distress in a situation, that’s our brain sending a notification that we shouldn’t put on mute! We need that information so that we can actually make healthier choices about what is helpful or unhelpful. 

The flip side of this statement is also true. It’s okay to be okay! Sharing the excitements and the comfortable moments with those we love give us positive memories and connections. They cement relationships into something that is meaningful and real as we “do life” with others. 

I often hear people talk about avoiding the feel good moments or discounting the positives because they feel like they need to prepare for the worst. When we also allow ourselves to enjoy the moments of pleasure and joy, we are getting a depth to our life experiences that allows us to connect in to ourselves just as we might connect to others. 

Emotions are just emotions, thoughts are just thoughts. Both will come and go throughout our day and it’s okay to ride the waves and to be real with ourselves and with our loved ones. One of my most favourite things in therapy is to see people becoming more and more confident to be honest and unfiltered. In part, this shows that they are closer to achieving their goals - it’s hard to progress if we’re not honest about where we are! - but more than that, it’s truly incredible to see people becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable! Humans are a resilient species and we find strength in the times where we feel most in touch with our real thoughts and feelings - regardless of whether we judge them to be “good” or “bad”. 

A Challenge of Social Distance – Touch Starvation 

17 July 2021

The pandemic has introduced so many new challenges. Like the constant need to adapt and change as we try to do so many things from home like work, study, socialise and exercise. We worry about family and friends who we can’t visit and we grieve lots of missed opportunities, events and milestones. Something that you may not have realised is that we are also at risk of not meeting one of our most basic needs and experiencing something called “touch starvation”.

Skin is our largest organ and when we have gentle physical touch our brain makes a hormone called oxytocin. It’s our emotional connection hormone and it helps us to make friends, feel loved, build our trust in those around us and generally provides relaxation. Along with things like food, sleep, and oxygen, oxytocin is one of our basic physical needs. It’s been linked to mood boosts, improved conflict, reduced pain and can strengthen your immune system.

At the moment high fives, handshakes, fist bumps, shoulder pats, and hugs between friends no longer feel safe. Without safe physical touch we feel lonely, it’s harder to trust others and feel connected and we show more signs of anxiety and depression. Our bodies are under physical stress and our brains start to make stress hormones: adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones act like the beginning of a domino line. The bloodstream fills with stress hormones and then shut down the immune system, digestive system and higher-level thought processing (that’s our memory, concentration and decision-making). Other systems become super charged - our muscular and respiratory systems start working harder. Our body is well designed and able to manage and metabolise these impacts but when it’s happening for weeks and months there’s a toll.

How do we help touch starvation? 

Think of what activates your physical senses – remember that gentle touch is the key. Below are 10 ideas - can you think of some more? 

1. Video chat with friends and family (it’s 80% as effective as in person!)

2. Give long hugs to the family who live with you

3. Sit close to your family as you watch a movie together

If you live alone or you need some self-soothing options then:

4. Move your whole body: skate, cycle, dance, yoga – DO something!

5. Spend time holding your pets

6. Take a really warm shower

7. Hold a hot cuppa

8. Wrap yourself up in a blanket like a burrito

9. Give yourself a foot massage

10. Use bilateral soothing, try: the butterfly hug


21 April 2021

"A change is as good as a holiday" or so we've all heard. Have you ever stopped to think about how much extra brain energy it takes to make a change though? Perhaps change is not as good as a holiday, perhaps it actually requires more of us because we can't just run on autopilot and we need to think through much smaller steps to complete tasks. 

I don't know about you, but when I think of a holiday, I think of rest and relaxation, connecting with the people that I care about and taking time that I don't usually have available. I don't think about hard work and trying to be mentally present in every aspect of something just to make it work. That is what it actually requires though.


Making changes to our lives, whether big or small, will require something extra from us. 

Are you wanting to make some changes to your life right now? The first step is to sit down and assess what isn't working now - IDENTIFY the problem so we can work out what needs to be done. 

Secondly, we need to brainstorm some SOLUTIONS that will improve the situation - this may mean tossing some ideas out because they're just not practical, but I always encourage people to think BIG at this point. It's good to talk these through with someone we trust - different perspectives can help us find solutions that we might not think of ourselves. 

Thirdly, we PLAN - this is where we choose the best of our solutions and break it into smaller chunks. Consider what other parts of life might need to change too - do we want to exercise more? Then what time of day will we do it? What equipment do we need to have ready? How often will we do it to start with and how often do we want to do it after a few weeks? 

Too often we jump straight to taking ACTION before really sitting with the first three steps. This makes it hard to really make a change because we tend to stumble around a little first or we get distracted by shiny things along the way - me I get distracted by the shiny things! I love shiny things! Seriously though, when you hit this stage you'll probably need to set reminders and have someone keeping you accountable, because the distractions will make it hard to stay on task and be consistent with your choice of action. 

The more consistently you practice your new way of doing something, the easier it will become because our brains turn patterns into automatic processes. Set a calendar event to CHECK IN with yourself in 3 months and see how you're going with that new goal. It might mean that you hit 3 months and decide that "Actually I need to reset again". Or perhaps you need to go back and look at the other solutions that you brainstormed to see if something will work better. 

Whether you accomplish a change that is automatic or not, I guarantee that you'll have learned some new information that will make the next attempt at change more successful. Keep on seeking change. Maybe then life can start to feel like there is rest and connection everyday and you won't have to wait for a holiday!

Daily Mental Health

7 March 2021

The phrase “mental health” has taken on negative connotations in recent years. It’s usually spoken in terms of issues, concerns or ill-health rather than what it actually says: mental HEALTH!

It is so important for us all to take regular moments to check in on our mental health. It’s part of the body that is responsible for so much! How often do we engine check out cars? Honestly, for most of us it probably isn’t often enough; and the same is true of our mind. We need a regular tune up. Check what is going in, check that the circuits and connections are clear and flowing freely. We get the most out of our brain when we are putting the best and highest quality fuels in.

So let’s get into the practice of checking in regularly. It doesn’t have to be time consuming or energy sapping. It’s actually the opposite of these two things. Small investments now will give you greater energy and positive output!

It’s good to ask the following questions at least once a day as well as when you notice an emotional wave:

1. How do I feel right now? Name that emotion! Give it space to let you know what your mind has noticed and is trying to tell you! (Each of our emotions serve a purpose. They have unique functions. Listen to them!

2. What is helping me? Work out your strengths and safety nets! Notice the people around you who are helping you and notice the thoughts and actions that are making life possible right now.

3. What is hurting me? Take a moment to work out where the pain is coming from so that you can decide if you need to change something or if you need to process a hurt. Pay particular attention to your own thoughts too. So often the unkindness is coming from the way that we speak to ourselves.

4. What do I need right now? Last but not least, find your safe place. Soothe the hurt and ask for help if you need to. Identify if it is time to heal or to push forward - this is easier if you’ve followed through on the earlier steps. 

The Basics of Health - Helen Booth

9th February 2021

What do you picture when you hear the word "health"? 

It can be hard to define what health means to us. Does it mean physical strength or fitness? Does it mean never getting sick? Does it mean eating nothing but green things and water? How can a business be healthy if it can't lift or eat vegetables? The word 'health' is used so often and yet we so rarely stop to think about what it is that healthy living really means. 

The World Health Organisation define health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Well-being means feeling comfortable, healthy or happy. 

How do we find this balance of well-being within our own lives when it's so broad and can mean so many different presentations? I like to describe the 5 basics of good health as: 

1. Water (average requirement is 2 Litres)

2. Nutrition (Click on the: Australian Guide to Healthy Eating)

3. Sleep (average requirement is 5-9 hours)

4. Movement (30 active minutes per day)

5. Connection (to yourself through 20 minutes of daily mindfulness practice and to others through daily positive interactions)

What these look like for you will be different because we don't all need the same amount of any of them. If you've been feeling unwell or stressed then it's very likely that your body isn't getting the basics. Start by aiming for the average amount humans need of each and then check in with your body each week to see how you're going. You may find that you need to build up to a goal slowly if it's overwhelming at first. 

The First Step - Helen Booth

18 January 2021

When I first heard about taking psychology outside, I thought “Is this for real!? Can I actually do that as a JOB??” It’s been 6 years since I asked that question and the answer is “of course!” I am not the only one who loves the outdoors and there is so much SCIENCE to support the need for us to connect with our environment.

My path over the last couple of years has been full of hills and valleys but I find myself looking back and really appreciating the current place that the path has taken me. I came to a fork in the road in the last few months and I'm rather excited about the direction that I chose to take. 

Starting a new year and a new venture has gotten me thinking closely about my personal values. It's helpful to really understand the 'why' before we embark on a journey. My ‘why’ comes from two things:

1. A passion for understanding people and truly desiring to see people in tune with the beautiful souls they are, and living out their authenticity with confidence.

2. A deep love for the natural beauty of the world. The part of the world that I live in has the green bush and the blue coast. We have lakes and creeks, jetties and beaches. I love it all!

I hope to use this blog as an avenue for exploring that science and also giving you a taste for what it’s like to really live life outdoors. One of the most common questions I’ve heard is “what if it rains?” Well, what if it does? It’s only water! Some of my most memorable sessions have occurred in the rain. There’s something private and cathartic about being in the rain. Plus there’s always a shelter or cafe nearby if it gets a little too exciting outside.

What is your ‘why’ for this year? What new adventures will you be taking? I hope that you take some time to sit and think through your reasons for doing what you do, so that you don’t just trip through the task list without a direction in mind. 

bottom of page