This week we feel blessed to speak to and (virtually) sit down with Lili Sinclair-Williams, therapist and founder of LSW Mind Cards. In this post we find out more about her story and her advice on practicing self-care during these unusual times.
The chances are that you don't have big plans today! So grab yourself a cuppa and keep reading...
You have an impressive role as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and NLP Master Practitioner, how did you get started in your career? And did you always know that’s what you wanted to be?
I started my working life in the Film and TV industry, which was a very different world to the one I am now in! After nearly a decade working in that industry and following a number of major life events, I realised I just wasn’t happy working crazy, stressful hours and I wanted to do something more fulfilling. So many of my peers and colleagues were suffering from burnout, anxiety and stress and I knew then that I wanted to help people find fulfilment in the way that I had. It was the best decision I’d ever made.
As someone who has had experience working in very different industries, what would your advice be to other considering a career change?
I think it is important not to make any snap decisions and to really think about what it is that you want to do. Maybe create a diagram of what you visualise your life to look like in a year’s time, going into detail. What will your finances look like, what hours will you be working, where will you be living? Although as much as I would encourage caution, making the leap was the best decision I have made for my career and if you find yourself stuck in rut, remember there are other options out there. For years I thought I had no option but to stay in my cycle of anxiety and exhaustion. Once I escaped it, a whole new perspective opened up to me.
What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned in your role?
The most important thing I have learned in my role is that we cannot control what happens to us in life, but we can control how we respond to it. We have no say in whether a person insults us or a rain storm delays our commute or a colleague steals our ideas. What we do have control over is how we choose to respond and deal with those issues. We are the ones who choose whether to respond positively or negatively and that one, single choice can be the difference between a happy life or a difficult one.
When you need advice in your personal life, who is the person that you typically turn to?
These days that would be my husband. He is a very level headed and calm person with a solution for just about anything. I am very lucky to have such a stable and balanced person in my life.
Can you tell us a bit about your Mind Cards?
When working with clients, I find one of the most effective ways to create positive change in their lives is for them to create small, regular, positive habits that they build on daily. I wanted to make these tools and techniques available on a much wider scale for people who don’t necessarily want therapy but are looking for tips and tricks on creating a more fulfilled and happier life. By combining techniques such as random acts of kindness, gratitude exercises and journaling prompts, the cards encourage a new perspective that will spread into different areas of your life and help you build a more positive mindset.
Right now is understandably an anxious and uncertain time for everyone. Is there anything you would recommend for people who are trying to cope?
I think the most important thing to do is to go easy on yourself. These are times like we have never experienced before and so there is no right or wrong way to be coping. If you need to lie in, lie in. If you need to read a book to escape a bit, read a book. If you need to do some colouring in, go for it. If you need to eat a whole packet of biscuits, eat, eat, eat. We will all be coping in the best way we can and the best thing we can do is listen to what our minds and bodies are telling us they need. Do not force yourself to do anything that causes unnecessary stress, be kind to yourself and to others and go easy on yourself.
We are excited to work with you on our new BOOST box launching in May. From a psychological perspective can you explain to our readers why keeping your mood and energy levels high is so important?
I am so pleased to have LSW Mind Cards included in such a great box. It is important at this time to not let yourself slump into a negative space, especially when so many of us may not be surrounded by family and friends in a way that we normally would be. We can of course never be in complete control of our mood or energy levels, but identifying what is causing a slump in a mood is important. I often encourage my clients to have a ‘Happy List’ ready for these times. This simply involves writing a list (either on your phone or in a notebook) of all the things that make you happy. This could be taking a bath, having a cup of tea, going for a walk, playing with a pet – it is important that they are things that are particular to you, no-one’s list will be exactly the same. When you feel yourself needing a boost, go through the list and find something you could do which you know will pick you back up. It really works.
Each of our BOOST boxes includes a set of beautifully designed Mind Cards from LSW, available to pre-order now here. You can also find out more from Lili by following the LSW Instagram page @lswmindcards.