I am Anna. I’m a Psychotherapist mum of two boys, with another on the way. I run The Nice Girls Course and do lots of online therapy and coaching. I story my way through life over at @mamas_scrapbook, and have a real passion to see people equipped in fighting anxiety and depression. I like to bring hope to situations that feel hopeless.
I love finding the fun in the mundane, talking to people and swimming. I live in leafy Surrey which is good commuter distance into London for my Husband. We lived in London for 7 years, but it wasn’t for me – I grew up with cows and no shops, so where we live now is a brilliant happy medium.
Has cancer ever cast a shadow over your life and nicked your smile?
We lost my younger sister Emily, to a brain tumour. She fought a long battle but died just before her seventh Birthday. I was ten. I have since lost two grandparents to cancer too.
What is the biggest obstacle that gets in the way of you smiling more?
“You literally cannot pour from an empty cup”
Expecting too much of myself and not being kind enough to myself gets in the way. It’s my default mode so I have to keep on top of it otherwise before I realise, I’m back in a place of purely meeting the needs of others and ignoring my own entirely. It’s a messy place for me to be. I’m getting good at asking for and accepting support and allowing myself to be vulnerable with others. It’s been a journey and is always going to have to be something I monitor, especially when life gets stressful. You literally cannot pour from an empty cup.
What has been your Highest High and your Lowest Low?
“In those moments I just feel so terrified and want someone to promise me that it will all be okay”
My highest highs are in the moments I’m present and feel so alive. Whether on a woodland walk with my kids or watching a sunset. My lowest lows are when I feel entirely vulnerable to things completely out of my control – mainly around family illness. In those moments I just feel so terrified and want someone to promise me that it will all be okay, but they can’t.
What helps you get out of the dark and find your smile?
“A good cry and a long chat with an old friend help too“
Yoga for sure. Although with bad morning sickness I’ve had to have a break and I can’t wait to re-engage. I workout three times a week – as much for those boosting endorphins than the physical effects. A good cry and a long chat with an old friend help too. My favourite kind of woodland is the pine needle carpeted ground with tall, reaching trees – we love to walk and the boys are teaching me to slow down and be okay with the dawdling. Things like that really help connect me back to myself. change the way you feel.
Do you find social media to be a source of positivity or pressure?
” I get about 3-500 messages per day, all of which I reply to“
It’s a mixed bag. Having a big account is an absolute honour and I love engaging with my followers and doing mental health lives etc. I never imagined Instagram could be a place to bring therapy too, but it’s given me so much enjoyment. However, social media is a hungry, ever-changing beast and I get about 3-500 messages per day, all of which I reply to. So the pressure for me is finding and maintaining the boundaries. As for the pressure to compare etc, I tend to follow accounts that encourage and inspire me, so I generally find it a lovely place to be.
Who never fails to get you smiling and why?
My growing boys and their funny little ways. They pull me back to the present which is really where the living is to be done. It’s bloody hard work but I’ve never found something so challenging yet rewarding.
What made you smile today?
I had a coaching session on the phone with a client and then saw another client in my living room on my big blue sofa. It gives me a deep sense of honour and achievement to work with people in such an intimate way. I’m so proud of all my clients for the hard work they do and the things they work through and overcome.
A movie that gets you cheesing?
I’m loving Peter Rabbit! My older son is obsessed and I love all the grown-up jokes they lace through many of these kids films that get us laughing too.
A song that cheers you up?
Hakuna Matata from the Lionking is on repeat in our car at the moment. It reminds me of younger carefree days and it’s so joyful. Whilst life contains really hard times, it reminds me that investing energy in worrying really doesn’t help. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other through the rough times and be really grateful for the good.
Find out more about Anna, her coaching sessions and courses for anxiety and depression @mamasscrapbook.com