Hello. I’m Sally Branch and my passion is bringing together all my skills, knowledge and experience to help you navigate the often choppy waters of midlife!
I love to help people feel better, to reach goals they thought were now out of reach, or had forgotten about; to make sense of all the ‘stuff’ that gets us tangled up at this time. I love it when people start to let go of the beliefs that keep them stuck and actually make the changes they’ve been thinking about for so long.
Because I’ve been there too. When I reached mid-life, it took me a while to come to terms with the fact that I had to do some things differently. I noticed that I was getting more tired, that I could no longer keep pushing myself, or eat erratically and unhealthily without suffering the consequences, that I was becoming more irritable at work and feeling more stressed…but I refused to accept for a long time that I could and probably should do something about it!
I was working in the NHS, ironically, as an occupational therapist, and I had a lot of knowledge about illness, but I really wanted to focus on health and well-being – what makes us feel good and helps us live a fufilling life. Then seven years ago, a health ‘wake up call’ was my prompt to start reviewing how well I care for myself, and how well the structure of my life was working for me. (Not very well!) I realised over time that I wanted to live in a different way, to reach out to others, and to share what I’d learned over my varied working and personal life with people going through similar changes.
So I took my skills and training from thirteen years of NHS work as an occupational therapist, my new approach as a coach and brought them together. Firstly it was to help myself review my life and my health. I’d long had a bit of a tendency towards low moods, with even episodes of depression earlier in my life, and I finally consistently applied what I knew to be helpful, and learned more. I can now truthfully describe myself as knowing how to be happy – and achieving that state much more often than not. I accepted that my body was telling me I needed to look after it better; and used my knowledge of good food (I used to work as a baker in a wholefood cafe) and exercise to put together a way of eating and moving that suits me and my life.
I shifted the structure of my life around to enable me to take on a new responsibility of caring for my elderly mother. I learned a really important lesson – that caring for myself made it so much easier to tackle the decisions and changes that are part of this time of life.
I know how hard it can seem to make sense of the changes that occur at mid-life. Pressures piled upon pressures can make even positive changes that improve our health and well-being seem impossible to fit in.
I also know it can be done, how it can be done, and how liberating it is when you finally do it. Suddenly there’s space and energy for living again! Time to explore the dreams you had before life got in the way…and to make the plans you need for them to become a reality. You can have that too.
Coaching is about change. Doing things differently, and doing them differently consistently.
Wellness results from a healthy lifestyle – sustained habits – as opposed to singular events (Peterson 2006)
You may have in mind some things you feel you ‘should’ be doing. (Usually these are to do with what you eat or what exercise you take, although true wellness is about a lot more than this). What you don’t know is how to actually get started doing them with all the other things you have going on, and keep doing them. That’s where I come in. I’m trained and experienced in using a whole range of different research based approaches and tools designed to help you make the changes you want and need to make. I won’t be doing it for you, but I will be alongside you all the way. Why not have a look at the making changes category in the blog to see how it can work?