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  1. I love real life ambulance programmes. And ones about hospitals. It's my guilty pleasure. Ambulance, Inside The Ambulance, 999 Rescue Squad, 24 Hours in A&E, 999 What's Your Emergency... I could go on... I watch them all. Well I tape them all (ok, I know you don't 'tape' things these days but I'm showing my age and you know what I mean) and if I get some time to relax in the evening once the girls are in bed a sit a binge watch until way past my bedtime.


    I love them for a number of reasons – I have the utmost respect, gratitude and admiration for all our NHS staff and our emergency services and these programmes are a great insight into the amazing work they do but they are also a great reminder for me to count my blessings and keep sight of what is really important in life – family and friends.

    What really strikes me every time I watch something like this is the urgent and professional response to often catastrophic circumstances. In one such case, an emergency call is received about a man involved in a terrible car accident who has suffered life threatening injuries. Within minutes help is scrambled – emergency response vehicles, ambulances and a helicopter. Altogether, 10 highly trained paramedics and doctors arrive to help save this man's life, performing surgery and giving a life saving blood transfusion on the side of the road.

    None of them knew this man, but saving his life was the priority for them all. His life was of such value that all these people did all they could to keep him alive. They didn't check he was a good husband before they gave him pain relief, they didn't need to know if he had a good job or if he was struggling with debt before they protected his airway and they never paused to check if he had been daft enough to drink before driving before they rushed him to hospital. Whoever he was, whatever his strengths or his failures were, none of that matters in the moment – his life is worth so much. No matter what the circumstances, every person is deserving of help and every life is worth saving.

    So, my many hours of watching such programmes has led me to share 5 lessons we should all remember:


    1) Your life is priceless

    Just like the man above, if you found yourself in an accident, complete strangers would rush to your aid – saving your life, and indeed your quality of life, would be the only thing that mattered to them. Whatever it took, however many people or resources it required, they would do everything possible to keep you going. It is really important that we remember this – especially on days when we feel we might have let someone down, or cocked up at work or when we just feel a bit useless. We are as priceless and irreplaceable when we do things wrong or when we feel a bit of a failure as we are when we feel on top of the world.


    2) Don't put off living your life

    Another stark insight you learn from watching hospitally programmes is how quick things can change – how quickly unplanned events can cause tragic outcomes. We need to remember that tomorrow is never promised – stop waiting for 'the right time' or 'until tomorrow' – make the decision to make each day count.



    3) Ask for help

    Let's face it, us grown ups can be a bit rubbish at asking for help. The emergency services are there for us all in times of need, but we need to remember it doesn't always have to be an emergency for us to ask for help from other sources. We would never dream of trying to patch up a broken leg ourselves whilst putting a brave face on it, yet we somehow think we have to cope with everything else that life throws at us without any help. Maybe it is sharing problems with a friend over a brew, seeking financial advice when you find your bills mounting up, confiding in someone if you're struggling or even just asking the tall person in the supermarket to reach you a packet of biscuits off the top shelf. People are often more than willing to help if only we get to the point of asking. Life is a complicated journey – sometimes we need help, and sometimes we can be the helper. If we all ask for help when we need it, we can all be stronger together.



    4) Value yourself

    I know I keep harping on about it but I am going to say it again – if your life was in danger, complete strangers would rush to save it. They know how precious you are to your friends and family and they know how much you are loved. So make sure you value your own worth as much as these complete strangers would! Do something you love, treat yourself to something nice, celebrate how wonderful you are. If a complete stranger recognises your value, isn't it about time you did...


    5) Take things as they come

    A paramedic clocks on to a 12 hour shift with absolutely no idea of what's ahead of them. They have to take each job as it comes and deal with that job to the best of their ability before moving onto the next. They can't dwell on the job they have just done, worrying about whether they could have done something differently and they can't pre-empt any future jobs, going over things that might happen over and over because they have no idea what these future jobs will be. They have to be in the moment, just dealing with things as they happen- and this is a good lesson for us all (especially for my fellow overthinkers!) We all need to take each day as it comes, doing our best at the time and then moving on – not reliving the past or inventing a possible future.

    one step at a time


    And on that note, I am off to take the next episode of Helicopter ER in my stride...

    Helen x



  2. *warning: this post does include the 'sh word'. Quite a lot. So please do not read on if this would offend you*

    It's that time of year when everyone is making resolutions to drink less, eat more healthy food, go to the gym and so on and so on. All good and worthy resolutions and all which show that New Year is a time when we all feel fired up to make a fresh start, to up our game and to be 'better' in everything that we do.

    sporty legs

    But, in 2019, I am taking a different route towards resolutions and it involves making just one decision - the decision to let one question help me make the year as sucessful as I possibly can - and that question is 'what would Shit Hot Helen do?'

    I hit a bit of a slump in the latter half of 2018. My eating and drinking habits got progressively unhealthy and I piled on weight, I was getting frustrated that life kept getting in the way of my work and I had a general feeling of apathy that I just couldn't shake. 

    But then, I got fed-up of being fed-up.

    This wasn't the me that I wanted to be – I wanted to be shit hot Helen, not sad, lazy Helen.


    I once went to a talk by the son of the first victim of the Yorkshire Ripper. He is now a motivational speaker who travels the world, and this talk I listened to was one of the best I have ever heard. It had a real impact on me and several messages within it hit home – one being about how we should all do the very best we can, no matter what it is that we're doing. He spoke about how we can all step up our game – like turning up a thermostat, we can all dial ourselves up a notch or 2 to be an even better version of ourselves. And this is what I needed to do. I needed to turn up my thermostat.

    And this is what I vow to do in 2019. And I am doing it by asking myself the constant question 'what would Shit Hot Helen do?' Now, Shit Hot Helen is the version of myself that I aspire to be – she is successful in her business, is losing weight and getting healthy and she cares about herself and how she looks. Quite frankly, she's on it! And the exciting truth about Shit Hot Helen is that I have everything within me already to be her – if I want to be and am willing to put in the work.

    So now, if I feel a bit tired and don't feel like doing that extra work that I know would make a big difference I ask 'What would Shit Hot Helen do?' (she'd dig deep and do the work!)

    When I feel a bit fed-up and feel like reaching for the wine and chocolate, I ask 'what would Shit Hot Helen do?' (She would have the willpower to avoid the wine and the chocolate and would make herself prepare a healthy snack or maybe go for a walk and get some fresh air)

    When I'm tempted to just throw my scruffy jeans on to nip to the shops I ask 'what would Shit Hot Helen do?' (she would make the effort to choose a nice outfit and leave the house feeling much better about herself)

    And so it continues. And the more I take the course of action that Shit Hot Helen would take, the more I can become her – a better model of myself. And by doing this I will begin to make better decisions in all aspects of my life - in health, in work and in relationships. It is one resolution that serves all areas of life. And one which sets me up to succeed and not to fail by giving me the space for habits to change and behaviour to shift. I may not always take the course of action that SHH would, but the more I ask the question the more my thermostat has the chance to turn in the right direction. 


    We all have within us the potential to be that shit hot version of ourselves – and if we start behaving like they do, then we can all turn up that thermostat and become them.

    So for me, the route to a successful 2019 isn't in making resolutions that may not last, it's about asking one question that reminds me that everything I need for success is already there, it just needs the energy and the determination to use it. 

    So, start asking yourself the same question about your own shit hot self and we can all strive together to reach our fullest potential in 2019.

    Let's turn those thermostats up!

    Helen x

  3. As you will know by now if you follow me on social media or if you've spent any time on my website, my mission is to motivate and inspire people to be who they are and love who they are. All my current work is on this theme - based on quotes or messages that remind us to be joyful, be brave and to embrace the mistakes we will make along the way.

    But change can be big and scary, and getting our of your comfort zone to embrace new things is so much easier with the support of friends - and that is the inspiration for this painting. It is the belief and encouragement from my friends which has got me this far - and which has kept me going when I was a defeated heap on the floor.

    So, this is my homage to them. A thank you from the bottom of my heart for their love and friendship - and a reminder that I am here for them too, always.

    And it is a reminder for us all to make sure we surround ourselves with friends who build us up (not knock us down!), who we can trust and lean on when we need to (and who can do the same with us) and when we find them we need to treasure them and be grateful for them because they are worth their weight in gold.

    Let us celebrate our friends.

    'Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them, but you know they're always there'