One of the most important things we can do when it comes to self-care, is having time alone and our own space to do whatever we want - even if that's absolutely nothing.
It doesn't always need to be about the spa trips, or hair and nail treatments (which are lovely too), but sometimes it's more beneficial to have a much more regular plan built into your week, that really does help you rest, re-energise and feel like you again.
For me it's every Sunday...
It's when my kids are with their dad and I have the whole day to myself.
And I'll be busy that day doing whatever comes to me at the time, whether it's spending the afternoon shopping, going for dinner with friends, or just being able to be at home with no one needing me or calling me for anything. If I want to sit on the sofa all day, I can. And as a single mum of two, there is no bigger luxury - I'll take that any day over a one hour massage.
However, because other people also know that I have the whole day to myself, they innocently think you're 'free' that day. Because you don't have anything 'to do' right?
Doing absolutely nothing is doing something! And when I first started using my Sundays in this way, I had to turn down so many invites from my mum for example, to lunch or afternoon tea etc, almost on a weekly basis, just so that I could protect my time alone.
It may sound harsh, but it's not.
I see my mum and family at other times throughout the week, and I make time for my friends when it works well for all of us.
But if I give away my Sunday too, when all I may want to do is stay home and do pretty much nothing; then I never end up having that sacred space to myself, to just wind down and stop for a moment. To stop going from chore to chore, from conversation to conversation, from question to question, from errand to errand. It's non-stop Monday-Saturday for me, so if I continue running about on a Sunday too, just so that others don't get offended by me turning down their invite, then I'm not practicing any kind of self-care whatsoever. I'm putting everyone else before me 7 days a week.
And that doesn't work for me...especially as an introvert.
Now some of you may not even have a whole day or even part of a day to have for yourselves, but even if you can carve out just a couple of hours a week, the concept remains the same.
Those 2 hours, or however long it is, need to be regular and most importantly protected. They can't be easily cancelled or moved to next week just because something else has come up - it's needs to be a priority in your weekly schedule.
Something that you can look forward to and afterwards really feel like it helped you to relax and feel human again.
Have a look at your weekly calendar and routine, and see if there is a window of time that you can close off for yourself, whether it be in the evenings, daytime, or over the weekend. And close it off to yourself each and every week if you can. Because sometimes it's the little things that are done regularly, that are most beneficial to our emotional well-being over the long term.
And people will soon get used to the fact that that time, is your time, and they'll bother you less, because you've put that boundary in place for yourself.
Self-care can appear selfish to others in these circumstances, and maybe it is, but if you don't look out for number #1, then who will?
If you find it hard to put yourself first, and feel too overwhelmed to have any sort of time for self-care in your life, then it really helps to stop and take a breather and start looking at things from a different perspective.
One where you're not being so hard on yourself, and actually finding the time look after yourself more - physically and emotionally.
The first step I took in self-care was getting regular monthly coaching, which changed so much for me that I'd be here all day if I started writing about it. But until you take a step yourself towards positive change, then you can pretty much expect things to stay the same.
But if you are interested in positive change, then here's exactly where to go:
Something that we all fall into after divorce, is searching for a new relationship prematurely.
We're so used to living with someone, and having a partner around all the time, that it can feel really weird and uncomfortable when we're alone.
Especially if we start looking at other couples, either in our circle of friends and family, in movies, on Instagram etc etc. Wherever we turn there's bound to a happy couple somewhere seemingly shoving their happiness down our throats. So naturally we feel like we really need to get on with finding someone new...
Because being lonely sucks right? I mean, who wants to sit there all alone, watching Netflix with no one else to talk to once the kids have gone to bed?
I'll tell you who...
But let me be very clear on what I mean by this..
Now don't get me wrong, would I like to have a great guy in my life who I could chill out with in the evenings and enjoy their company? Yes.
And when I think about having that, I do feel a little lonely I guess, and that's OK. And it soon passes when my thinking changes to something else, which it always does.
But are there also many times, where my situation hasn't changed at all, and I don't feel lonely in the slightest. In fact far from it - you'll often catch me dancing around the house as if I didn't have a care in the world. Because I see the beauty and blessings in being by myself, compared to being with the wrong person. And when I'm dancing around the house doing my laundry, I'm quietly thanking God for the peace in my life, because I could just as easily be sharing my home with someone who isn't right for me and having to deal with all the challenges that come with that.
Most importantly, I'm in a healthy relationship with myself.
And what that means for me is that because I've fixed the relationship with myself first, I find it a lot easier to feel content with life, whilst I wait for that special person to you know, fall out of the sky or randomly bump into me at the supermarket, lol.
But the point I'm trying to make here is the importance of being in the right relationship - with yourself.
If you're in the right relationship with yourself, you'll seldom feel lonely, and when you do, you'll be OK with it. It won't weigh heavily on you at all.
But if you're in the wrong relationship with yourself, and you feel like something is missing in your life in order for you to feel happy, then you're always going to be looking for someone else to come along and fill that void for you, in the form of a relationship. Hence you feeling lonely a lot of the time, because that void can never be filled by another person.
You could be in a relationship and still feel lonely.
A lot of women carry this fear of being alone with them throughout their divorce process and beyond.
And it can make something that's already challenging, even more difficult to navigate. But during this process, there's only one person you need to be in a relationship with, and by relationship I mean supporting, loving, caring and being there for someone - and that's yourself.
And once you're happy by yourself - you're in the best possible place to welcome a new relationship into your life and share that happy with someone else.
In the meantime, I'm happy ogling the eye candy on my Instagram feed, until Mr Right makes an appearance 😉
And if you'd also love to get to a place where you're happy and content within yourself first, then my ‘Effortless Relationships’ live, online coaching programme is definitely where you need to be.
As well as regular monthly coaching, you’ll also get access to my 5-Part online Effortless Relationships digital training programme - and for a little taster you can get the first module completely free, by going here:
Something I come across again and again with my clients, is just how powerful our storytelling powers are. You do it too by the way...
That's right, all those times you sit there and play out a movie in your mind of how you think things are going to play out tomorrow/next week/next year etc...even years into the future.
We may as well grab a bag of popcorn and snuggle up on the sofa whilst we watch this movie play out in our minds - because it's really detailed and you don't want to miss anything...
I mean, you go over exactly what the situation will be, what the other person may do or say in said situation, what you'll then say in return - or even worse - what will you say in return?!
And then you're thinking about all the consequences of that situation and how it will affect not only your life, but everyone else's.
And before you know it, you're really stressed out trying to deal with this situation!
But if you were to have an out of body type experience and float up above your head and look down at yourself, you'd see that you're sat on the sofa, eating popcorn, and not much else. Everything around you is calm, and pretty normal. And most importantly, you're absolutely fine.
And this is your actual reality.
It's inside your head where all the drama is happening.
That's where the made-up, imaginary movies are going full force and taking you down all kinds of different routes and throwing even more problematic situations at you to deal with. And very quickly you start to experience all of the feelings that go along with this thinking - fear, anxiety, frustration, annoyance - you name it!
But none of it is real. None of it is actually happening.
And lets pretend for argument's sake that something you're concerned about did end up happening in the future.
Do you not trust that in that moment, you'll find a way to deal with it and know how to work through it, just as you've done countless times in your life already?
We can grow so used to creating these imaginary movies in our minds of how we think things will play out in the future, that this is where we end up living most of the time. In the made-up reality in our minds, created solely by the thinking we're having in that moment, and nothing else.
You wanna know what's real? You reading this right now.
Nothing else that you're worried about in the future has happened yet - and may not ever happen either. So why not give yourself a break, and switch off from the future (and the past for the matter); and come back to the present moment. And deal with whatever is going on for you right now in this moment instead. And then do the same tomorrow, and the day after that.
It's a pretty good formula for a stress-free life.
And it's exactly the type of thing you'll become more aware of and better able to deal with, in my live monthly coaching programme ‘Effortless Relationships’.
Not only do we focus on marriage and relationships, but we also go deep into how to manage your own emotions, so that you end up becoming a stronger, less anxious, more confident and happier person all around - that's genuinely content with life.
But that's probably not gonna happen if you continue to spend most of your time living (and stressing) in that made up movie world in your mind...
This live coaching programme also includes access to my 5-Part online Effortless Relationships training programme -and I’ve made the first module available for free. Here’s where to get it:
One of my earliest memories as a child is being in a sweet shop waiting to pay, and seeing the man before me pull out several pound coins to pay for his selection of chocolate.
Only having a small amount of pocket money myself, I stood there in amazement at how much he was able to buy with all of those gold coins.
It was like my own little Charlie and the Chocolate Factory moment.
I couldn't wait to grow up and have lots of money like this man, so that I too could buy myself as much chocolate as I wanted.
I'd be really happy then.
What actually happened though, is that although I grew up and my pocket contained these same gold coins I'd once dreamed about, my focus was now on other things. I would be happy when...
We can innocently spend most of our lives living by this 'I'll be happy when...' type thinking.
We believe that something outside of us needs to happen in order for us to be happy and feel like we've made it in life.
And when the things on our list don't happen, or don't unfold as we wanted them to, we can easily start to think and believe that we've failed in life and in our mission to be happy. Instead of feeling happy, we end up feeling lost.
However we're only ever lost in an illusion.
And it's one that we've made up entirely ourselves. And because we've made it up ourselves, it's super easy to let go of it and experience real, lasting happiness that doesn't require anything outside of us to happen, in order to show up in our lives.
If you want to let go of this unhelpful and never ending stream of 'I'll be happy when...' type thinking, then you're going to love my ‘Effortless Relationships’ live coaching programme.
You'll discover how to see through this illusion in all areas of your life so that you can start to live life from your highest self (which coincidentally is also your happiest self).
This live monthly coaching programme also includes access to my 5-part online ‘Effortless Relationships’ video training - but you can get the first module for free by going here:
One of my favourite tracks is 'Bag Lady' by Erykah Badu, where she sings of a woman so loaded with bags, that she runs into a whole host of problems in her life.
Bag Lady is breaking her back carrying so much stuff around. It gets in her way to the point where she can't move at the speed she needs to, and when men see her approaching with all those bags - they run a mile.
And the man that doesn't initially run, soon gets completely overwhelmed and overcrowded by all the bags she carries with her. So he'll probably end up running too.
'Pack light'sings Erykah.
Pack light by letting go of your past relationship pain, fears and insecurities, even if you feel it's hard.
You may feel that someone has hurt you so badly in the past that you can't possibly let it go.
But just like Bag Lady, you jeopardise ruining future relationships by overcrowding your mind and your relationship, with so much emotional baggage.
The truth is, it's actually really simple to let go of your past - as simple as letting bags just drop to the floor.
It doesn't involve special mind tricks, or having to 'deal with' your past. It's just a simple, but transformational way of understanding how your mind really works.
And when you get this understanding, you're able to quickly bounce back from break-ups and heartbreak, so that you don't carry any needy energy, drama or emotional baggage around with you in your current relationship - or when you meet new people.
Don't break your back, or your relationship.
Let go of your emotional baggage for good and move forward towards a happier, easier and most definitely lighter marriage.
And if this sounds too hard to do, then you should go right here: www.ptissem.com/free
Or check the link in my bio to go straight to Baggage Drop.
One of my all-time favourite TV shows is The Affair.
Apart from the great acting, it has a unique way of playing out its story-line. The events in the show unfold by viewing it through the perspectives of both the main characters, Noah and Alison. Each episode has a Part 1 and a Part 2, and each part gives you their unique perspective on the same events.
It can be both intriguing and very entertaining to see how differently the story is shown from each person's perspective.
The same event is altered to reflect how differently they recall past events and interestingly, how they see themselves and each other.
Whilst watching the most recent episode I got to thinking about how realistic this actually was.
How could they both have sometimes quite different versions of the same event?
But then I realised that this actually happens to us all of the time, without us even realising what's going on. And it's down to a simple truth about how we actually experience life day to day.
We all go through life living in our 'own world'.
We throw this statement around a lot without realising just how much truth it holds.
Every day, we get up and experience the same things other people do, but we’ll have an entirely different experience of it, because we live that experience through our own thoughts. The very nature of thought itself, means no two people can have the same thoughts, or think the exact same way. It's why we can often watch the same movie as other people, but leave the cinema with an entirely different experience of it. Our thoughts create our experience, so when we're in a particular situation, or we're watching a movie, or having a conversation with someone, we're experiencing it all through our own thinking.
And because of this, no two people can have the exact same experience of something.
So with this in mind, the focus can switch from wondering why two people aren't thinking the same thing, and perhaps even thinking that there is something wrong with one of them because of that; to understanding that everyone will always be living in their own separate reality and it's 100% OK if someone doesn't think the same way we do.
When we stop wondering why someone isn't thinking the same way as us, we end up dropping all of the unhelpful thinking and reactions that we may have previously had - such as frustration, upset, annoyance and anger.
We accept that they cannot think the same way we do, even if we believe it would be better if they did.
The natural consequence of this in our relationships, is that we become better listeners, better communicators and better at just being there and being present with whatever is happening in the moment, rather than wasting our time and energy wondering why our partner doesn't think or feel the same way we do.
We see through the illusion and accept each other's perspectives, rather than being annoyed and frustrated by them.
If you’d like to experience this shift in your marriage and learn the secret to dropping so many of the often unnecessary and unhelpful expectations that we have of our partner and ourselves; then this is exactly what we delve into in my ‘Effortless Relationships’ coaching programme.
As well as live group coaching calls, you also get access to my 5-part online ‘Effortless Relationships’ digital training. And because you’re reading this right now, you can go here and watch the first module completely free:
When my ex husband finally accepted that we wouldn't be getting back together, he quietly agreed that he would give me my Islamic divorce.
All I needed to do was round up a couple of witnesses he said, go to his home and it would all be taken care of.
Whilst I busied myself with taking care of the UK civil divorce, I felt reassured that the Islamic divorce was just a logistical matter that would get taken care of, once I managed to find a suitable time for everyone to get together.
So you can imagine my surprise when I brought the conversation up again with my ex, only for him to tell me that actually, he'd changed his mind and no longer wanted to grant me the divorce.
He didn't want any of the 'blame' he argued.
So, knowing my rights as a Muslim woman, I told him that was fine, and that I'd take the longer route of applying for the 'Khula' divorce myself.
To which he basically laughed in my face and said 'you can't do that'.
He genuinely believed that a Muslim woman could only get divorced Islamically, if the man divorced her. And if he didn't, then she'd be classed as his forever.
His ignorance left me shaking my head.
In fact, in wasn't until the Islamic divorce was almost final that he seemed to really get it, and understand that yes, in Islam the woman does have the right to end her marriage - and there's nothing you can do to prevent it.
It made me wonder how many other men carry this erroneous belief around with them - and more importantly - threaten their wives with it as a way of keeping them in the marriage and making them lose all hope of ever being Islamically divorced.
I loved getting my Islamic divorce through the post - it was the ultimate way of showing him that he could no longer control me and that I had rights that were there to protect me.
And you have those same rights too.
If you need more information on the Khula divorce process for Muslim women, then message me and I'll get back to you personally.
And if you want regular, live coaching support on all the other challenges that come with navigating an unhealthy or unhappy marriage - then you'll want to check out my ‘Effortless Relationships’ programme.
It includes live monthly coaching and support, plus access to my Effortless Relationships 5-part online digital training programme.
And you can get started by watching the first module for free, simply by going here:
One of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to navigating their way through an unhappy marriage, is managing expectations.
This goes for people who are trying to to fix their marriage - and those that want to leave and end it for good.
Both can fall into the trap of expecting things to quickly improve for the better - and for life to be easier and void of any more difficult times.
And I'm sorry to burst the bubble, but life just isn't like that.
And the sooner we accept this, the better we'll be able to manage not just our expectations, but also the journey we choose to pursue with all the bumps in the road that come with it.
Think about it - since when was something easy worth pursuing?
It's always the things that we have to work hard for in life that pay off the most - just look at what we have to go through to get a good education/career or raise a family.
So in the same breath we shouldn't expect married life to be in a walk in the park - especially when we're trying to improve an unhealthy one - or make a fresh, clean break.
For those that want to stay in their marriage and make positive changes to improve the relationship, they may not realise that it's the small but consistent steps that are taken over time that create lasting change in a marriage.
Expecting these changes to occur overnight can lead to disappointment and frustration, as it can appear as though nothing is actually changing - even though they are - they're just changing slowly.
After all, this a relationship between two human beings, and it needs feeding, nurturing and the patience to watch it grow over time.
Likewise for those women who really just want to move on and start fresh, and finally end their unhealthy marriage - managing expectations is crucial. And acceptance of the fact that it's not going to be a walk in the park is a huge part of this. Leaving a marriage is never going to be easy - but accepting this and taking small, but consistent actions towards the end goal, makes the process easier to manage and way less overwhelming.
As the saying goes...softlee softlee catchy monkey i.e. don't rush, and be patient with the process.
You will get there insha'Allah, and removing these expectations gives us the breathing space to see things through at a much more natural pace.
And that's exactly what we do in my ‘Effortless Relationships’ coaching programme, which includes live monthly coaching and support, plus access to my Effortless Relationships 5-part online digital training programme.
And you can get started by watching the first module for free, simply by going here:
I recently watched the series ‘Dead To Me’ on Netflix, which follows the life of two women (Jen & Judy) who are mourning the loss of their partners - Jen to a car accident and Judy to a relationship that just got way too unhealthy.
But far from being sad and depressing, the series was funny and light hearted, and very enjoyable to watch.
However, there was one serious thing that kept occurring throughout the series that was so subtle, that perhaps only those who’ve been in an unhealthy relationship would have spotted.
Judy keeps getting tempted back into her relationship with her ex. He’s very attractive, wealthy, and comes across as a lovely guy.
But ever so subtly, he might grab her a bit too aggressively, or try to manipulate her with his words. And after being with him for so long, Judy is able to recognise this is happening and call him out on it there and then.
To which he’ll immediately (and I mean immediately) respond with ‘I’m sorry’.
And she’ll always reply ‘that’s ok’.
And then they move on.
But it continues happening...almost as though him saying sorry is not really saying sorry at all - it’s just become something that’s said in order for the relationship to move on.
He’s not really sorry at all...
And Judy, by saying ‘it’s ok’, is clearly struggling with seeing that he doesn’t actually mean it.
Judy does eventually see him for what he is - and without ruining the story for those that haven’t yet watched it - he definitely suffers for it lol.
But this whole ‘sorry, not sorry’ thing definitely keeps people in relationships for longer than they need to be. The guy knows that this is all that’s needed to gain forgiveness and for the woman to have fresh hope that their mistreatment will end this time.
Until sometimes years later they realise that in actual fact, nothing has changed at all.
Words mean absolutely nothing, if they’re not backed up with the accompanying action.
So if time has passed and you feel that things just aren’t improving in your own marriage, then maybe it’s time to step back and take stock of things, with a clearer mind and with the ability to weigh up everything that’s going on in your marriage.
And that’s exactly what we’ll do in a private
1-1 Relationship Breakthrough session.
These 1 hour sessions are held over the phone and are the perfect opportunity for you to look at your marriage from a new perspective.
And for the next two weeks, you can grab one for free (there are only 5 available) by going here: