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The key to life is Balance

Working in a fast-paced, digital and stressful environment can take its toll on your mind body and soul. This is a platform to share experiences from working in the media landscape and tips I apply to keeping balanced.

I am not a professional but I do follow these practices myself. Take what you need and merely see it as advice. If you are struggling with something that is deeper please do seek professional help. These are merely guidelines.
Live life balanced


Identifying Anxiety And Working With It | Balance


It is very typical to feel anxious and stressed somewhere, especially if your daily rhythms justify it. However, when it exceeds the limits and interferes with your quality of life, it can be a sign that it is an anxiety disorder. With environmental stresses at an all-time high, separation from loved ones, isolation due to COVID restrictions, now more than ever anxiety levels are starting to increase.

I have spoken before about my anxiety and ways I have tackled it in the past in Why Do I Feel Anxious, however, I feel now is a time to revisit and share.

Anxiety disorders include phobias, panic, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and generalised anxiety disorder. I am no doctor therefore if you feel that your anxiety is limiting your day to day life please do seek medical help. The following is just my views on how to deal with slightly elevated anxiety levels.

How do you recognise anxiety?

These disorders can occur in either children or adults and are accompanied by symptoms such as:

  1. Intense anxiety and stress
  2. Inability to concentrate
  3. Feeling tired
  4. Sleep Disorders
  5. (Sometimes) muscle aches
  6. Dizziness
  7. Motion sickness
  8. Tachycardia
  9. Headache
  10. Difficulty making decisions

How to deal with stress on your own

You can do some things yourself to help yourself overcome the anxiety disorder, also, and under the supervision of a specialist.

Regular physical exercise and engaging in sports and group activities is always great for the soul. Endorphins from exercise can boost happiness while the energy which may be causing some anxiety can be used.

Increasing the hours, you sleep and slowing down on going out (alcohol etc) can also help lower anxiety (especially if your anxiety increases on a hangover).

Before seeking medication, you could investigate the use of CBD and how it can assist. It has proven benefits that include calming the heart rate. A frequently elevated heart rate is the most common symptom of anxiety and can be unpleasant. If you are unsure how much CBD is good to incorporate into your life, then you could look at a CBD dosage calculator to help.

However, I find surrounding yourself with your loved ones, getting a good night sleep, staying off the stimulants and daily walks a cure for most symptoms.

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Why do I have this anxiety? 

Some people may remember the first time their anxiety appeared. You may also be able to recognise the first time you felt anxious – who you are, with whom, what exactly you felt, etc. Often, however, it is difficult to say precisely when your anxiety first appeared. It is usually even more challenging to say why he appeared. Even if one can identify the causes, it is difficult to explain why the stress continues to appear. What causes the symptoms to persist?

What maintains stress is indeed a series of vicious circles that are related to the way a person thinks. A great deal of anxiety and a lot of negative emotions make the person always think about the problems they are facing, the stress itself (i.e. the symptoms that appear), as well as their self-confidence, the world around them and their life in general. This article from verywellmind touches on a few points to help deal with emotions and stress as they arise.

You are not alone

As I said I am no Doctor and when I refer to anxiety I am not referring to the condition just the state of feeling anxious. If you are seriously struggling or it goes on for more than a week – please make sure you speak to someone.


Applying The Right Psychology To Fitness Success | Balance

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Keeping fit is something that we should all do. But how often have you made a change in your lifestyle such as started a new diet, or implemented a new fitness routine, only to abandon it after a week? 

Making a new change can be stressful but it doesn’t need to be…

Make Lifestyle Changes Gradually

There is a reason that we often abandon these major lifestyle changes and this is generally because we are doing too much at once.

Our habits will have taken us our entire lives to develop, and we’re not just going to be able to break them with a click of a finger. If you are used to eating a certain type of diet, then completely changing this overnight will come as a huge culture shock to your body and it will leave you feeling pretty lousy.

Similarly, if you expect to be able to increase your level of activity from low to high immediately, your body and brain are going to be resistant to the change. 

Don’t expect to make major changes suddenly. Implement the psychology of marginal gains and make the changes that you want in a more gradual fashion. 

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Get The Right Kit

We all worry about how we appear to others. And having the right kit is important for if you are taking up a new physical activity. Whether you need Fujin Tracksuit Bottoms or some new running shoes, buy something that is suitable for the job that you need it to do, but that you are also happy with the appearance of. 

While you may be dealing with superficial ways of developing your confidence around physical activity, if you feel confident in the way you are dressed, the internal self-confidence will gradually follow. 

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Set Realistic Goals

If you are just starting out on a fitness journey, don’t expect to lose four stone and be able to run a marathon in six months. Sure, you will hear stories of people who can do that, and it is not impossible. But comparing yourself to these people is setting yourself up with some very unreal expectations.

If you do not succeed in meeting these lofty goals or don’t seem to be making the level of progress you would have hoped to, you are going to be more inclined to feel demotivated and give up. 

Make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Start small and work up. Remember, a marathon is a slow process and you should not try and sprint it.

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Mix It Up A Bit 

Variety is the spice of life. If you are running the same course or using the same pieces of gym equipment every day, stop. Mix it up a bit. Think of alternative exercises to bring into your routine. Go for a cycle or a swim. Take in a change of scenery, or listen to a playlist or podcast while you work out. The fresher you can keep your experience, the more likely you will be to continually engage with it. 

If you like this article, you may also like Is Your Social Life Making You Sick?

This post was written with collaboration with FATJOE 


The Stress-free Approach to Finance Goals | Balance

finance goals, stress free, cyntra, cyntra in the city, cyncity, cyntra charlesworth, airlie beach, whitsundaysFinance Goals

With January 2020 now in full swing, many of us will have started New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s dry January, losing weight or learning a new skill, a lot of us will have started (or stopped) a new habit this year.

One of the most common goals we make for ourselves is to do with our finances. Money can be one of the biggest causes of stress in our lives on a day-to-day basis. Moving house might be considered the most stressful thing we can do, but that’s all wrapped up in mortgages, borrowing, lending and the bottom line of our bank accounts.

It’s all too easy to make vague resolutions… ‘This year, I’ll be better with money,’ something we’re all guilty of.

Well, below you’ll find some 5 easy tips on how you can find yourself in a better financial position without getting stressed. Continue Reading…


4 Tips for Enhancing Your Health through Balance | Balance

balance environment


is one of those things that we all know is really important – and that almost all of us struggle with for much of the time.

Have you ever found yourself being rushed off your feet at work? or struggling to make time for family or friends due to certain other commitments that have completely dominated your waking hours?

You already know that it feels pretty awful and “wrong” to have all of your life’s energies going solely in one direction – at least, if that direction isn’t something that you would happily and consciously surrender everything else in your life for.

Ancient religions, cultures, and traditions from around the world emphasise the importance of balance and harmony for health, well-being, and even the stability of the individual and the society they inhabit.

Aristotle wrote about the “Golden Mean,” and argued that every “virtue” was found in between two “vices” on the extremes. Courage, for example, was the virtue between cowardice on the one hand, and recklessness on the other hand.

These days, many of us are chronically stressed, anxious, depressed, and ill. There are various medications and medical treatments that can help with some of the recurring conditions that people experience, and it’s good to live in a time when services like an NHS repeat prescription app are on offer.

All the same, the first and best solution for these kinds of problems is often finding more balance in life.

Here are a few tips for enhancing your health through balance:

Continue Reading…


The Podcasts I’m Listening To | Balance

Since moving to the other side of the world, Podcasts have truly been my saviour! Informative, quirky, funny or educational – we are truly spoilt with what is to offer out there.

Podcasts have allowed me the opportunity to switch off from my environment but also lean in on topics, subjects and conversations that I’m interested in. From a mindfulness perspective, it can really help me take control on certain moments in the day by giving me the freedom to engage in what I am most interested in. Continue Reading…


April is Stress Awareness Month | Balance

Stress has always been a part of human nature. It is the sensory cue that told our ancestors whether to fight a bear or run from a bear (fight or flight). However, in 2019, where there are no bears in a natural habitat, our response to stress is still just as strong. We are more stressed out than ever before with stress being one of the main causes of illness both physical and mental.

April is Stress Awareness Month, and I have had the chance to catch up with Karen Newby from Alchemy Super Blends to share her thoughts and advice on why stress is so harmful to the body and what we can be doing to support ourselves.

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What do you think is the main trigger for stress for you?

The life juggles! Balancing work, children, seeing dear friends and our general 24/7 lifestyle. Work now follows me everywhere via my phone – luckily, I love my job, it doesn’t really feel like I’m working, so that is an advantage, however as a business owner it does take its toll when I’m still working on my laptop at 9pm at night or thinking about work when I’m with my children…the guilt then manifests!

Stressed out? Head to Alchemy Super Blends Stress Reducing Retreat this May.

For 10% discount use code: RETREAT10

Do you think we put too much stress on ourselves?

I think technology has a lot to answer for. Technology has made us so connected but we also live in an age where we’ve never felt so alone. Don’t get me wrong I think it is hugely positive in so many ways – especially if you have your own business – but screen time can take up so much of your time if nothing else! Time that could be spent in more productive ways. The blue light is classified by the WHO as a carcinogen! It can increase our stress hormone release via the retina of our eye which is why it’s so hard to sleep if you’ve been in front of your screen late at night…

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3) What 3 tips do you follow to reduce your stress?

I always say to my patients in my clinic that I can’t do much about their external stress, but I can help the body deal with it better. This is what my Retreat in May focuses on – how to become more resilient to stress. I like to remember that stress can be a positive force if you can adapt to it.

  • Caffeine: If you drink caffeine, have it with food. This lessens the metabolic effect dramatically. Caffeine increases the ‘fight or flight’ response so keep it to a minimum or choose a time of day when you really need it and have with food.
  • Cook: Doesn’t have to take ages (lots of quick recipes on my Karen Newby Nutrition Facebook page). I’m a big believer that food = love. Taking time to nourish ourselves with more plants and more food in season helps to nourish our guts reduce our sugar cravings and to help us develop a deep-rooted sense of happiness that comes from a healthy gut. Reason is that serotonin (the ‘happiness’ brain chemical) is mostly made in the gut. Cooking for friends and family also equates to community and boosting our limbic system which all helps to calm our nervous system.
  • Sleep: Easier said than done for many. Get rid of your phone in your bedroom. Buy an alarm clock instead. Even having a phone in your room even on airplane mode still makes us THINK about work! Magnesium – nature’s tranquilizer – from green leafy veg for supper or as Epsom Bath salts in your evening bath.

What one change would you recommend people take to help minimize their daily stress?

Take time for a proper breakfast! Eating more at this time of day, more protein and good fats, greatly effects our blood sugar balancing. If you just have tea and toast (which so many of us do!) then this causes a spike of blood sugar followed by a crash – it is at these crashes that we can start to feel more anxious and irritable and less able to deal with tricky clients or work presentations! It also helps to minimise the need for so much caffeine which can affect our sleep. Lack of sleep is also a stressor…

Stress Awareness

Stress is everywhere – it exciting, it keeps us on our toes, however, when you are imbalanced and you start to get stressed out it is a big issue.

Use this month to reflect on what the main stresses are in your life.
What can you do to reduce them?
What can you do to support yourself? What can you do to present your best you to the situation?

Head over to Alchemy Super Blends to find your right elixir to support you and the stresses you face and be sure to check out the Stress Reducing May Retreat – use RETREAT10 for a cheeky 10% discount!

Want more tips on stress awareness and managing stress? Try Walking Meditation and other articles here


Do You Know How to Hygge | Lifestyle

How To Hygge Signe Johanssen

 How to Hygge!

Do you know How to Hygge? – pronounced “huugha” is the be new buzz word or hashtag of 2017. Coming from the Danish word which translates to ‘cosiness’ books have been popping up in January 2017 lists about the concept.

I first came across the idea when I picked up Signe Johansen book How to Hygge: The Secrets of Nordic Living where Signe walks us through her interpretation as a Scandinavian living in London.

Being a city girl and constantly having to balance work + play – the idea of introducing a little cosy in my life sounded right up my street!

I thought I would share with you the aspects of Hygge which resonated with me.

hygge, how to hygge, Scandinavian living, scandi, happy, cosy, easy living, happy life, candles, walking, outdoor, fika, sleep, slumber, london, city, Breakfast Hygge French Argan Oil

Be kind to yourself

One of the first things that struck about the idea of ‘how to hygge’ is the positive angle it takes on living your life. The emphasis on living rather than restricting – i.e. the food and chill – differentiated the idea from other books that quite often tell you to start doing this and stop doing that.

Instead of joining the latest diet fad, or stressing your body in the gym or being too rigid – it explores doing what feels good for you in that moment. Being in tune with your body is very important and I think we could all use this in our lives.

The Great Outdoors How To Hygge

Get Outdoors

This may not sound so easy when you live in a city but there are a few ways you can trickle a little of the Great Outdoors in your day to day life! How to Hygge in the city can be done by taking a few little steps – here are my suggestions.

Walk to work View Outdoors Hygge Tree How to Hygge

Headphones in – Sunnies on – and get in those paces. Less stress on the tube or stuck in a traffic jam and as I always say ‘saving £££ and losing lbs’

Stroll with friends 

Meet friends on the weekend and go for Brunch and a stroll. Get your post brekkie coffee to go and head to your nearest park or flower market and peruse while you chat

Use your lunch break 

Get up from your desk and just get outside. The fresh air and getting your blood circulation will give you a burst of energy rather than just sitting all day.


Make time to chill

This is one of my resounding goals for the year -albeit – I haven’t yet mastered it. Making time to relax is very important in keeping your life balanced and for all around wellbeing. If you are not sure how to start put chill time into practise – here are my top tips.

Set diary invites for you time

Put time in your diary 2-3 times a week (seems like a lot but will pay off) that is dedicated to YOU time or just relaxing. This could be reading a book, learning a new skill, catching up on your favourite box set or just doing whatever makes you feel happy. If you don’t pay yourself with time firsView Outdoors Hygge Tree How to Hygge Abigail Charleswortht – no-one else is going to do it for you.

It is ok to say NO

Linked to the point above. If you feel guilt of saying NO it is time you start to put it in to practise. Your time and energy is precious and if you spread yourself top thin then you can help no-one. Learn to say no to certain situations in order to give your all in other situations

Be kind to yourself

It’s ok to CHILL!


Buy some candles



Say Yes to Coffee and Butter

This point I liked. We are all guilty to saying No to certain tasty treats but as long as its not all the time it is great to say Yes!

Sure, we cannot live on butter and coffee alone but don’t beat yourself up over enjoying a little sweet treat here and there.

 View Outdoors Hygge Tree How to Hygge, How to Hygge

Want to know how you can also Hygge?

Pick up one of these books and see how you can apply this Scandi principle of cosiness to your day-to-day life.




How To Stop Being a Procrastinator? | Lifestyle

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procrastinate /prə(ʊ)ˈkrastɪneɪt/

delay or postpone action; put off doing something.

Procrastinating, to procrastinate, to effectively delay yourself from reaching your goals through the fine art of laziness. We are all guilty of it. We set a goal and say to yourself ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ or ‘I’ll start on Monday’ or ‘when I get paid’.

These are all genuine reasons but over time are they preventing you from actually reaching the things in life you want?

I have procrastinated over a ton of things in my life but with the New Year settling in I have taken action to really look at the things that I want. I set out how I want to achieve them and these are the tactics I have found which have truly helped me to reach my goals over the last year.

Check them out;

1: Micro Goals

Setting micro, bite size and achievable goals are often better than setting over arching goals such as Lose Weight, Make More Money or Travel More. Instead, small micro steps such as; walk 10,000 steps a day, only by 3 store bought coffees per week or save 10% of my wage toward my next holiday.

Small micro-goals make smaller but significant steps closer to the over arching goal which at the time may seem un attainable and thus makes you procrastinate toward doing the daily tasks to get you there.

There are loads of useful resources out there to help you set goals. Stores like Kikki-k Goals/ Dream books or ASOS Best Me For Life Journal.

2: Reasons Why

I touch on this in my article on how to deal with a change in lifestyle and I think it is just as relevant here. Knowing your reasons why is always fundamental when making any changes. Your ‘why’ is your motivation, it is your catalyst for change.

By keeping the WHY in mind it will help you get off your butt and start making that change.

3: Think About the End Goal

Think about the end goal – think about that feeling. What does it look like? What does it feel like? Does it make you feel good?

Use that feeling as your motivation to make change.

Feeling confident and sexy in a bikini on the beach? Think about that when changing your eating habits! Waking up on beach/ top of a mountain/ incredible new country? Think about that when you’re spending your wages.

If you think forward and reflect backwards you can start to give you the motivation to stop procrastinating and get the wheels in motion.

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4: Just Do It

At the end of the day being a procrastinator comes down to you. You wanna get something done – just do it.

Good things come to those who do something about it. Things, unless you’re super lucky, don’t just happen, you make it happen.

You can write every list in the world, promise yourself you will start tomorrow, make all the pledges to take action but if you don’t just do it – you’re still procrastinating.

If you like this article, you may also like Is Your Social Life Making You Sick?


How To Deal With A Change To Your Lifestyle

Cyntra, Cyntra in the city, patterns, art work  Change. It is terrifying and not for the light hearted but quite often it is necessary. Life can throw many curve balls at us which require us to change. Sometime, change is done to us or we come to a cross road in our life when you wish to make a change to your lifestyle.

Be it a new fitness regime, change to your diet, end of a relationship, new job or moving to a new city or country; all of these can have big affects on your well being.

“Be the change you wish to see in the World” – Gandhi

Change brings opportunities and challenges us. It led me to think about the changes I have made in my life and how I went around dealing, working through and coping with those changes. It inspired me to share with you my top ways with dealing with change.

How To Deal With A Change To Your Lifestyle

Establish A Routine

When big changes are happening your life things can get overwhelming. Establishing a routine has been frequently recommended to those who are going through transitional times. It helps to ground you but also build good habits which provide a solid base for positive change.

  • Routine
  • Bedtimes
  • Pre prepping
  • Connection with people

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Tolstoy

Expect The Lows But Enjoy The Highs

  • It won’t always be easy
  • It is ok to feel low
  • Change is daunting, unknowing, grey area and worrying
  • Things will get better
  • When things feel great – savour the moment

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Einstein

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Reflect On Your Reason Why

  • Why did you make the change?
  • What were your reasons?

These will be a really good indication of when you are questioning yourself why you made the decision in the first place. It is sometimes easy to lose sight of your reason ‘why’ when you are going through a tough time. It is often easier to go back to comfort than to face the difficulties of a transition. This is often the reason why people never progress or achieve when making a change.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi

Focus And Re-Focus Your Goals

Where are you in your journey – where do you want to go? What were your original goals? Are they still relevant now?

When you make a change to your lifestyle, whether it be a new fitness regime, diet, job or move city – just because you set original goals doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible and evolve them as you evolve.

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” – Mary Shelley

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Always Be Kind To Yourself

Change is tough and change is for the brave. Many people go through life dreaming about the changes they would like to do with their lives but never turning those dreams in to reality. It is not always easy, nice, fun or enjoyable when making big changes to your lifestyle. With this in mind, be kind to yourself.

If things aren’t always going your way, don’t be too harsh. Things will go wrong, it may be tough, it may get rough and sometimes you may feel like you’ve made a bad decision. Whatever happens though, you have tried. There is a lot to be said for trying as unless you try something you will never know if it is right for you.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu

Making a change to your lifestyle may result in an outcome you are not happy with. Never see failure as a trait of who you are, it just the result of something that has been tried or tested to find out what works better. It is not who you are.

If you like this article, you may also like Natural Ways To Keeping Stress Free!