Thank you for joining me your host Liz Clifton and my wonderful take34u Self Care Series: Creating Calm Confidence Guest Dr Bridget Kirsop as we share self-care secrets, top tips and stories of our experiences.

It's an absolute pleasure to support you with your own selfcare journey as you take34u and enjoy our chat below:

Dr Bridget Kirsop & Liz Clifton Interview

Dr Bridget Kirsop
Former GP and NHS Director spent 30 years working with patients who were stressed and didn't know how to change things.

This led her to realise that people don't have the skills to get out of their situation. This means that they lose confidence, have poor work life balance. deteriorating relationships with themselves and others and difficulty in selling and getting customers. All of this leads to unhappiness and frustration.

Dr Bridget gives business owners life-long mindset skills resulting in them feeling confident, in control, balanced and able to enjoy personal and professional relationships as they flourish and create long sought after hapiness and fulfillment.

Dr Bridget Kirsop & Liz Clifton Interview Transcription:

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Okay. 

Liz Clifton: And welcome it is my absolute honor and pleasure to welcome the wonderful Dr. Bridget Kirsop. Thank you so much for being here. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: It's okay. It's I'm really excited to, just talk about the sort of things that we can talk about and really to just expand my thinking as well, because, well, I like self care. I think that perhaps I don't do enough of it so this. I'm going to think of this as part of my self-care. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: On my top. 

Liz Clifton: Yeah, just a tiny, I don't know. Looks like it almost. It could be a sticker or part of the print. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: So I'm not sure what that is. 

Liz Clifton: Exciting. It's normally toothpaste when it's me. Okay. So our first question, what does self-care mean for you? 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: I thought you were going to ask me that and self care to me, I think in, in my life means, you know, because my purpose is living, and enjoying every moment of every day. And I think in order to do that and to make a difference to other people, then I need to look after myself. And, I think that it's as simple as that just enjoying every minute of every day. And if I'm doing that, then I think I'm looking after myself because you know, all the neuro hormones and everything that they, all of ourselves will be functioning in exactly the right way. And I'm enjoying myself and finding joy whoever joy is. 

Liz Clifton: Amazing. So how do you check with yourself that you're doing the things you get to do to be in joy, to be enjoying every moment? 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Yeah. You try and get to check some really interesting questions here. And so I know when I'm not looking after myself, cause I've got, you know, I get negative chatter going on and feel a bit anxious and you know, a little bit overwhelmed at times. So I know when I'm not doing it. And then I know when I am doing self-care because I just feel really calm and peaceful. And I think it's probably just as simple as that really. Let's have a think. So I was thinking about this before I came on and I was thinking like, I quite like what called neurological levels, which is an NLP, Robert Dilts, technique. And he says that change happens at a variety of levels. And I quite like using those levels to see where I am with things. you know, we were talking about habits last week in Stretch and you are using those neurological levels to think about how we change. So from a purpose sort of level, and that is about me enjoying every moment of every day. And I think as long as everything is aligned to that, so my identity, my values and beliefs, my skills, my behavior, my environment, as long as that is all aligned, then I feel like that's self care. And when it's not aligned, it's, it's pretty rubbish, but I notice, cause I think, you know, when we do what we do, we do become pretty aware of how we're feeling and just notice and notice what causes it. 

Liz Clifton: Yeah. Hooray for awareness. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Yeah. This is a sort of, it's an interesting one. Isn't it Awareness I think, I always, say to people when you're starting out on this sort of journey of self self-development, you know, it can be quite uncomfortable at times because you do become quite aware and then sometimes there's not, not much you can do about it unless you get some help. But we didn't know what, we didn't know any of that before we started the journey. And maybe just maybe, I mean, It could be a good thing. Who knows just putting it over there. 

Liz Clifton: Yeah. It's a nice surprise. Isn't that as you go in there and you're down and then you realize, oh, and there's still a layer down underneath it. Yay. More to unpack! Yeah. So thinking back to self care, can you remember like your first experience of it? 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: My first experience of self care. No. Let me just think. I'm rewind in the movie of my memory, self care. I think you see that when we were little, really little, I mean, we, we did self care didn't we and we were just on the way and we just enjoyed ourselves and ran around and and then, you know, sort of somewhere around the age of seven ish, we, we got, we got to know what was going on in the world. And we adopted that, you know, everyone else's, values and beliefs and started to become aware and that's when the self care, perhaps got more difficult. I don't know. They hadn't thought about it before. But, I know when I know when I do intensive coaching with people, you know, you go back to a time where they felt free and happy and that's usually way back, you know, in, in these sorts of four to seven sort of era where there was no pressure and everything was free and they were loved. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: And that was it. It would be nice. So, and so if you want me to wind my thoughts forward going on from that self care, I might ask you the same question you've probably thought about it. I, I don't, I don't think I consciously did self care until probably fairly, quite recently, to be honest. Because having been a Doctor, GP, you know, Medical Director then becoming a Coach, you know, you look after other people and I think it's just something that you do and something that you get used to doing. And then I think, and this is going to sound, not particularly cool, but I think probably when I realized that I wasn't happy, when I had some coaching, when I was a Medical Director, I realized I wasn't happy and then did something about it. So that was probably self care. So, ended up sort of taking some decisions to leave marriages, to leave careers, to, you know, move on in that way. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: And that was probably quite a big bit of self-care. And I don't, I think I probably grew up in a family where you just did what, you know, you just did what you had to. And you know, it wasn't about us. It was about, you know, what you did and, you know, looking after other people and being a good girl that sort of thing. So I probably grew up in that, sort of scenario. And I think, you know, sometimes it takes quite a long time in our life to realize that we're, we are worth taking care of. So that was probably the first time I really, I consciously did it. How about you? 

Liz Clifton: Yeah, it's tricky. So, cause I was the eldest of five and I always was, I was the biggest sister, like the oldest. So I always was looking after everyone and I have a snapshot moment in my grandma's garden. So she had a flat in London and it had been about like seven, eight, and I just have this picture of the family just stood there and that was happy. And I carried that and for years and years that was happy. And that's actually how I kept thinking of my family. Even though, obviously everyone grew up in my mind that was still them. And then I see them and I go, cor, you've grown. 

Liz Clifton: And it was like, I continue kind of cycle. and then I guess, because my mum used to have a lot of like facials and things. So I was very small, probably about 10 and I used to get to go with her sometimes. So I'd have like a little facial or a little massage or get my nails done. And it was, I was being pampered and it, I guess also at that age it felt grown up. And then otherwise a nice bath where it was just me and I could shut the door and I'd lock it. So no one else could come in. And again, that's from being quite young, cause obviously they were all the other kids around and that was my me time. And I didn't have to look after, all the younger ones or anything and I wasn't cooking for anyone or doing homework. 

Liz Clifton: And that was just my proper chill time. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Lovely! 

Liz Clifton: But then I lost it in the middle. Same as you, you know, and then, you know, dead takes some huge decisions and it took me, you know, 15 years I guess, to get out of a relationship that I knew wasn't supporting me and my self care. So yeah, that took a long time and then it's been a big journey since then. So kind of over the last six years. And to now, you know, when I wake up, I take at least like a few minutes for myself straight away so that I can be good and calm and settled. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Nice. Nice. 

Liz Clifton: And then I get to go into my day and I support everyone's so much better because of taken that little bit of time. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Yes. I find that, you know, especially in the summer and I wish it wasn't just in the summer, but sometimes I'll go out in the garden there by the river, put my feet on the grass, perhaps have a cup of coffee and just think, and just be in the, in nature. And I think that's helped a lot during COVID and, you know, I think, I think being outside is actually pretty important to me. So I'm going to buy an awning, been meaning to buy an awning for while just so I can sit out in the, in the rain and the, in the fresh air. You know, like when you're in a tent and you can hear all the rain and it's just, I think it's very good for your mental health, I think. 

Liz Clifton: Oooh. I love that. So do you have a, like a commitment, like when you're buying it by? 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Well, I found the person that I'm going to buy it from, and now you've said that I shall add it into my planner for tomorrow cause, I'm getting good at planning now. And, that, that makes, that gives you a lot of freedom. I think planning is also a great way to self-care. So excuse me, a minute. 

Liz Clifton: Whoooo committed action. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Awning where should I stick it? 

Liz Clifton: Probably outside. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: I am excited about what it says here. And what will I do to feel happy today, put order for an awning. And we're going, where we're going, the motor, We've got a motor home we don't go out in much. We're going out at the weekend down to Larne. So that's got an awning on, it, on the actual motor home. So maybe I, maybe I could just sit under that anyway. 

Liz Clifton: Yeah. It's options. Yeah. I think being out in nature is so healing. I mean, it's where we come from. Isn't that So think it's that connection. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: I think so, just sort of that grounding and yeah. Connection to the earth. Just that ability to sit there and have the world sort of stop really, for a few minutes. Nice until the dogs come, until the dogs arrive and then it's all chaos again. 

Liz Clifton: Amazing. So we spoke a little bit about self-care. What do you do to celebrate your wins What big kind of ways of celebrating do you have? 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Celebrating my wins I think just about giving myself time. I think actually, you know, having time to do self-care is my celebration of wins because I'm quite busy, you know, running the business and the, you know, determination is my, probably my top value in my business. So self-care needs to go along with that. And, yeah, when, you know, just writing something down or thinking, wow, I did that. And then going and having some time to just sort of think about it, you know, and, you know, that was amazing. And how, how can I do that again to get that feeling and how can I just chill out now and be who I want to be. Instead of a super sort of busy business woman. Maybe I need to swap my values around Liz. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: We'll do that on Master Prac. I think, I have thought about that before, because you know, our values are intrinsically in a sort of hierarchy and, I was thinking, well, yeah, there are ways of changing them, at an unconscious level. But I thought if I put self-care first and then determination, I'm not sure what would happen. It might be an interesting one to try for a month or something. 

Liz Clifton: Yeah. I love it. Yeah. Yeah. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Sorry, keep going. Yeah. I'm working with them. Just changed. Got a new business coach. I don't know if you know a Vicki O or not? So, she's done my courses and she's a business coach and she's asked, it's quite interesting. that this should come up today. Cause she's asked me what you know, to put self-care first for the week and to tell her how that looks. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: And I'm actually sitting here thinking, well, yeah, cause talk to this person, I've got it all on my planner. I've got to sort out my finances. I've got to get more organized. I've got to run my mastermind and then who, but self care I've got lists of things that may be self-care. But how you actually put it into that list is something that's going to be, sort of unusual for me. I think it's almost like I sometimes wonder if I do self-care as a bit of a procrastination. So, you know, I've done all this work and it's all gone really well and I don't really want to do any more. So I'll just go outside and I'll sit down by the river and I'll feel really good. And is that actually self care or is it, is it stopping me moving on to the next thing I don't know. Just my thoughts coming out. Yeah. It does feel really good to be honest. 

Liz Clifton: Yeah. In a way I think that's you taking your self care when you feel you need it. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Yeah. Cause she's, she's asking me to, sort of put it in time boxes and make sure that I've got things booked in. I, I always remember talking, I was talking to a financial advisor and I was looking at my diary and I had spontaneous care, spontaneous fund written and she said, that's typical of a Coach. You have to plan spontaneous fun. But I think you might be right in as long as you've got a list of what you want to achieve every day. Sometimes it would feel right to do it in the certain timescale or, or before or after a certain thing. So I shall, have that discussion with her. Liz Clifton: Yeah. Let me know. Yeah. Yeah. Dr Bridget Kirsop: Do you schedule your self care in? 

Liz Clifton: Yeah, so I do have next step so that fast, but at a time when I wake up, I get to do every day because the days I don't do it, I am not so nice. And I notice I'm less patient, I'm more frustrated and I'm like, oh, well what's different about today? Well you didn't do your self care. So you didn't take that moment to, you know, do a meditation or literally just close my eyes and think, how am I today? What am I getting to be today? Just that little tiny thing it can be. But yeah, if I don't do that, it, it doesn't go as well. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Yeah. It's very interesting. Isn't it I mean, I know you've talked to a lot of other people about self-care. Is there a theme that comes to cross with, with this? 

Liz Clifton: Yeah. We're all different. So what self care looks for us is different for everybody and it's different in every moment. So it isn't like, this is self-care and this is in the box. And so you have your bubble bath in there, or you have your glass of wine for some people, or you have your meal out or you have like a social gathering for some people, or it's meditating or it's journaling. It's so varied. And it changes for us all all the time. And I think that's the biggest thing is connecting to you. And saying, right, what do I get to give myself right now? What will make me feel the most joy right now? And that's what you do because that's what you need. Yeah. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Yeah. It's interesting because, in my Mastermind group, someone's going to be talking about, the book called breaking the habit of being, being you. And I've just started listening to it. And, haven't gotten very far yet. It's almost like we think we are us and we know what's good for us and who we are, but do we? And that's my next little, journey into thought. Cause you know, we're all sort of, sort of quantum physicsy sort of mass of molecules. That are connected with everything. And that puts a whole different slant on self care, I think as well. 

Liz Clifton: Yeah. And I think it's how deeply you connect into yourself. So when you're thinking, this is what I get, this is what I need right now. Is it really you, or is it an outer layer? It's something that you think you should be wanting now? 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Yeah, think that you should. Or you could, or you ought to. It's what other people say that is self-care. But I think for me, anything that gives me that sort of, either peace or joy. I think is self care really. So it'd be different on different days. And as you say. 

Liz Clifton: That's really interesting. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and your experiences. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: No, it was fun going, gonna have to get me having a think. And I think we should definitely, have a discussion about this in Stretch. 

Liz Clifton: Yes. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: Yeah. Unpeel those onion rings. 

Liz Clifton: Yeah. Like, like Shrek, as you know. Oh, a donkey says we're like an onion. We get to go through them all. 

Liz Clifton: Amazing. Thank you. 

Dr Bridget Kirsop: That's ok lovely to talk to you. And I look forward to these all coming out.