My Conscious Space – Sophie Parker, founder of The Inner

Sophie Parker is a PR Director who after experiencing the positive benefits of hypnobirthing long after the birth of her daughter, decided to retrain as a cognitive hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and coach.  She lives in Ealing with her two year old daughter Alexa and her husband Jeremy. Here’s what she had to say about her home, work and what she does for self-care.
Who are you?
I’m Sophie Parker and I’m a multi-hyphenate.  I’m a PR-cognitive hypnotherapist-NLP practioner-coach and mum.
What’s your home life like?
Oh gosh, it’s tricky to describe as everyday is different, but if pushed I’d say it’s organised chaos peppered with lots of beautiful moments of love, laughter and fun.  
How does your home make you feel?
I’m a real homebody.   For me home is where I can truly decompress and just relax.  Even when I’m travelling I’ll create a little home from home for myself.
What’s your business and how did you come up with the idea?
I’m the founder of The Inner, a mind health and wellbeing practice.  I use cognitive hypnotherapy to help people overcome negative thoughts and behaviours, so they can live their best life.  I came up with the idea after experiencing the positive benefits of hypnobirthing.  I noticed I was still using some of the techniques to manage stress after I’d given birth to deal with busy life as a working mother, and without sounding too evangelical I found a calling to help others connect with their unconscious mind – the part that drives negative thoughts and behaviours.
What’s the best and worst part about working for yourself?
I love the autonomy and the fact I don’t have to consult anyone but myself to make things happen.  The worst is I have to balance my practice with my day job as a PR and being a parent, so I have little free time to myself.  It’s not all bad because on the flip side I love what I do and my life and feel privilege to have the opportunity to work for myself, and being busy means I am more mindful about how I spend my time.
What is one of your most recent wins?
A client messaging me to tell me she feels like her life is turning a corner after she’d seen me – and was even before we’d done any therapy.  It makes all the late nights and missing bedtime with my daughter to see clients worthwhile.
And one of your most recent challenges?
Studying while running the practice.  I love learning and even after I qualified as a cognitive hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner – I recognised that in order to be the best at what I do I could never stop learning, but it’s tricky finding the time to do all the reading and find the headspace to put into practice what I’ve learnt.

How do you balance your work-life, home-life and everything else?

For me it starts with understanding what is important to you, so you can prioritise and what you’re happy to compromise and your boundaries.  Mine is I never want to work at at the weekends, as that’s family time and also because I need a break.  Secondly it’s about having a great support network.  I couldn’t do what I’m doing without the love and support of my husband.

What kind of activities do you do to recharge and what’s the effect for you?

I love to walk and always go for a walk in my lunch break and for fresh air even if I’ve bought my lunch in – just wandering through the streets of London, exploring places I haven’t seen or spotted before whether it’s a little shop, place to eat or a gallery.  I also try and go to yoga at least once a week.  Yoga gives me a moment to myself, free of distractions.  I’ve also recently discovered Inner Axis Yoga which is an incredibly mindful and breath-led yoga practice that left me feel energised and lighter after 75 minutes.  I slept so soundly after it, I’ll definitely be back.  I think it’s going to be my end of the week practice to help set me up for the week ahead.

What do you think is the importance of creating opportunity for me-time?

Me time in my life is about creating space to catch my breath and be present, so I don’t burnout.

What are the triggers you recognise as a signal that you need to take some time for yourself?

My moods are the biggest give-away – I get incredibly short and snappy with my husband (sorry Jeremy!) when I haven’t had time to recharge and reset.

Share the love: are there any self-care activities you’ve heard of that you’ve loved the sound of, but haven’t yet tried yourself?

I’d like to give a digital detox ago.  Unfortunately because most of my referrals for the practice are through social media I’m always-on but I’d like to be more disciplined, so I think I’m going to start to stop mindlessly scrolling through Instagram at every free opportunity.  Oh and journalling – I understand the benefits as a therapist and  have one so I’d love to find time to write in it more regularly.

If you could deliver one piece of advice to an overwhelmed mum, what would it be?

Recognise that parenthood is hard.  You don’t have to do everything in one go.  Break things down into manageable chunks, and if you’re still feeling overwhelmed think about what may be triggering the feeling – ask your self what’s happening when you’re feeling this way, have you felt this way before and see if you can find the source so you can hatch a plan to overcome it?  And if that doesn’t work ask for help – you don’t have to do it alone.

Follow Sophie on Instagram @theinnerpractise

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