covid-19, exercise, fitness, meditation, stress

Reduce Stress with Relaxing Awareness

In these traumatic times, we can greatly reduce our stress with our mind and body. We can do this with our breath, dynamic action, positive thinking, and relaxation. You may well think this is easy to say, but with the right exercises it is very possible, and such methods have changed my own life. You can free yourself and those you love from fear and stress, and perhaps, hopefully, experience some joy and happiness in these grim times.

In my last blog post, we covered the correct BREATHING for anxiety relief. This exercise, which can be used in conjunction with the first, covers AWARENESS.

IMPORTANT

It is vital to breathe through your nose during this exercise. This way of inhaling is important to our wellbeing; mentally, and physically. You will feel refreshed, and will not suffer the dryness associated with mouth breathing.

LOCATION

It is better for you to do this lying down on a bed, comfortable couch, or a recliner. You should not attempt this standing up. As you do this exercise, be aware of your breathing, but don’t force it. Just let it happen naturally.

AWARENESS

This exercise is performed preferably with your eyes closed or covered to avoid distractions. Once in a comfortable position and breathing correctly, let your mind pass to the skin and muscles of your forehead. Be aware of and become interested in any sensations in the skin. Maybe you have never been too conscious of the sensations on the surface of your skin before – how it works, quietly interacting with your brain, sending vital messages.

Allow your mind to ‘flow over’ to the muscles beneath the skin. What are the feelings? In this pleasant reverie – or ‘daydreaming’ state – let your mind drift to your neck. What are the sensations in the skin of your neck, and then in the muscles? Whether they are pleasant or unpleasant, accept them; don’t analyse and don’t judge. Just let go and allow it all to happen. Now, let your mind drift down to your shoulders. Again, feel the sensations in the surface of the skin, then the muscles. You should now be both relaxed and aware.

Let your mind gradually drift down to all the parts of your body, right down to your toes. In this pleasant ‘daydream’, you may slip into a state between consciousness and sleep. This is known as the Alpha state. If so, you will now be physically, mentally, and emotionally relaxed.

In this state, now visualize a pleasant place; one that is attractive to you. Rather than a place, you could visualize yourself achieving something important in your life, or even a treasured memory. At the same time, always be aware of positive thoughts and your breathing.


As you do this exercise, your anxiety and stress should diminish very quickly. Do practice this regularly, setting aside a quiet time, or when you are feeling anxious or fearful. It may take time to master this technique but the benefits are worth the effort.

I hope you find this awareness exercise useful. Over the coming weeks, I will post more professional advice on how to cope with the stress of this troubling time. If you want to find out more about me and my work, then visit the Katy Walters Website. Please keep yourself safe.
Love,
Katy

Katy Walter’s Website

corona, covid-19, exercise, health, stress

Breathe Away Your Fear and Anxiety During This Troubling Time

Understandably, there is much fear and anxiety suffered due to the terrible Coronavirus spreading across the globe. The threat is real and you should respect all safety precautions. However, the fear and anxiety can be controlled if not fully eradicated.

Here is an easy breathing exercise to help you through this time of fear and anxiety. First, it is okay to be anxious. I was, and still am at times, but I managed to deal with it using techniques from my many years as a psychotherapist.

Feelings of fear and anxiety can sometimes be lifesaving. They are nature’s way of alerting us to act physically and mentally to real and perceived threats. However, we can use techniques to overcome the fear, feel calm, and still act in a way appropriate to the threat – in this case the virus that is impacting our lives in so many ways.

You, your partner, family and friends can start using these techniques today. kids especially love it. Practice with them, and watch them reap the benefits.

THE LOCATION

Ideally, you should practice when lying down, but even by sitting in a comfortable place you can achieve beneficial results. Use the floor, bed, or couch. Once settled and relaxed, rest your hands lightly over your belly – or ‘six-pack’ for those with more lean and muscular physiques. Your hands will serve as a check as to whether you have taken the full breath correctly.

THE EXERCISE

Many people have got into the habit of breathing air into the upper chest then unconsciously tightening the chest muscles.  Wrong! Just like these exclamation marks, this heightens anxiety!

Instead, breathe deeply through your nostrils, not your mouth, and take the breath through your chest and as if down into your belly. On the full breath (see diagram below) you will feel your belly rise beneath your hands. Gently push your hands up. You will feel the sides of your bottom ribs expand. This will prove to  you have made the full correct breath.

Correct Breathing Diagram

Next, gently breathe out from the belly up. Don’t collapse your chest; just allow the breath to come up from your belly, up into the chest, along the throat, and out through your nostrils. Repeat, but never strain.

This form of breathing is calming and works wonders for your mind and body. You may have to practice a few times,  but you will benefit greatly once you’ve mastered it.

THE WARNING

Do this gently. Do not hold your breath or strain. People with respiratory problems or hypertension should be particularly careful. Also, do not try this whilst standing since the relaxation may lead to a fall.

This style of breathing will come naturally with a little practice and help lower and control your blood pressure. The rewards of correct breathing are remarkable, and can reduce anxiety, aid digestion and bowel movement, and sometimes improve memory function.


I hope you find this simple breathing exercise useful. Over the coming weeks, I will post more professional advice on how to cope with the stress of this troubling time. If you want to find out more about me and my work, then visit the Katy Walters Website. Please keep yourself safe.

Katy Walters Website

books, fiction, kindle, regency, romance

Lose Yourself As The Lady Loses A Shoe!

In these troubling times, for those who are isolating, lonely, low on funds, or are simply looking to escape into another world, I have decided to make my exciting Regency Romance, ‘The Lady Loses A Shoe‘, available for FREE on Amazon Kindle for 5 days.

With love and keep safe,
Katy

FREE: 23rd March until 27th March


Lady Rosamond Whitney agrees to attend the Little Season in support of her widowed friend Lady Harriett Templeton. However, she has no wish to find a husband for herself as her heart lies elsewhere.
After visiting the modiste they go to a local coffee house, unaware of the danger ahead.
Enter the Lord Sebastian, 6th Marquess of Delmoor, a renowned rakehell and hero of the Battle of Waterloo. On their way, to Bath, they stop for coffee at the local coffee house little realising they would be fighting a rapacious group of drunken dandiprats intent on dishonouring Lady Rosamond and Lady Harriett.


PLEASE NOTE: This novel is an abridged and edited version of Nurse to the Marquis.

I hope you are all keeping safe and supporting those in most need – my husband and I are currently isolating. Please enjoy my website. You will find information on my many books and even a gallery with photos and slideshows of my artwork. Love, Katy.

Katy Walter’s Website

books, comedy, fiction, Kindle, romance

They’re ‘Cute But Crazy’ … and finally let loose!

In these tragic, troubling times, whether your isolated, getting by, or on the front-lines, I invite you to while away some well-deserved hours reading, smiling, and laughing. The ‘Cute But Crazy – Wacky Wonderful Women’ romantic comedy boxed set is now available for download at Amazon.

Undeterred by misadventures and challenges, these strong-willed ladies take life and love by the ears, embracing the men they have chosen through good times and bad. Furious ex-wives – ghosts and angels with their own agendas – the challenges of PTSD and imaginary friends – even Cupid, chickens, and a bumper crop of marijuana won’t get in the way of true love for these wacky, wonderful women. You can call them cute. Just don’t call them crazy.


Enjoy EIGHT side-splitting tales of love and screw-ups from this international slate of USA Today and NY Times Bestselling Authors.


I hope you are all keeping safe and supporting those in most need – my husband and I are currently isolating. Please enjoy my website. You will find information on my many books and even a gallery with photos and slideshows of my artwork. Love, Katy.

Katy Walter’s Website

dog, dogs

The Canine Fostering Bridge

How do you cope with the loss of a loved canine pal? Should you just get another dog and carry on? Perhaps fostering provides a bridge to your next four legged family member.


When we lost Lily, our beloved ‘blond bombshell’ golden retriever, my husband and I were not sure about having another dog. Changed personal circumstances and our obvious grieving meant that for the first time we wondered whether we could cope with another canine companion. Our hearts said yes but we had serious doubts.

Lily as a puppy


A simple walk in the local park on a crisp Spring morning changed everything. I got to talking with a woman about her dog – a large happy retriever who immediately rolled on it’s back for the obligatory belly rubs. To my surprise, the lady told me that she was not the owner, and that she was fostering the dog whilst it’s real owner was in hospital for a few weeks.


Soon after the fortuitous encounter in the park, we fostered two adorable characters from ‘The Cinnamon Trust‘, an organisation that specialises in helping elderly, infirm, and terminally ill dog owners manage their canine companions. The process was easy but thorough, and the organisation were always on hand to answer any queries. Digger, an overweight Chihuahua, and Suzie, a Chorkie or Chihuahua Yorkie cross, were our new doggy friends.

Digger and Suzie inseparable as always
Katy Walters with Suzie and Digger


The two dogs were inseparable and were quite the team. Despite their small size compared to our previous dogs, the two really kept us on our toes. Domineering Digger ruled the roost and the two pals would fight like demons and then quickly make up with some loving licks.

As the months passed, we realised that we were ready for another dog of our own. When it came to bid a sad farewell to Digger and Suzie, as their infirm owner decided she could once again cope with her beloved pets’ return, we acted straight away.

If you are interested in fostering in the UK then please use this link:

The Cinnamon Trust


And, now we have Lucy, our lovable though extremely active Sprocker Spaniel. We are so pleased we tried fostering. If we had not, we may never have considered owning another dog. I recommend that anyone facing a similar dilemma as ourselves consider fostering as an option.

Lucy relaxing on the sofa

Please visit my website, where you will find information about all of my books plus a gallery of my paintings and photos. Love, Katy.

Katy’s Website

dog, reading, Uncategorized, Writing

Lily and the Viszlas

Remembering my canine pals. A warm, lighthearted look at dearly departed pets and their quirky habits. Whilst these memories often bring on a tear or two, I still smile at their fun-loving antics.

Before Lucy, my lovely though lively Sprocker Spaniel, my husband and I were blessed with a succession of other dogs – each with their own distinct personality. Here are some random snippets of our time with these wonderful family members.


Jim – Victor of Jimbolia – a male Hungarian Viszla

Jim – Victor of Jimbolia

Jim was our first encounter with the Viszla breed. As a side note, the breeder’s children nicknamed the pup Jimbud because of his little Buddha belly. Very independently minded with a rather crafty edge, Jim would, despite his many walks, find ways to sneak out of our house and take himself on an adventure around the town.

Taking nearby footpaths and alleyways, the wily dog kept a sharp eye out for our car as we searched for him. Sometimes we would catch a glimpse of an orange head peering around a far corner. As you would expect, he had always vanished by the time we got there.

At one time, Jim invaded the pitch at a local football match – an important fixture for the home team. Play was halted as the fearless Viszla chased both the ball and various players.

We were never surprised upon receiving a call from the local police station, where Jim became a well known felon visitor. Sheepishly we collected our errant family member, always promising to be more vigilant in future.

Most of the time, Jim would get bored and wait for us in his favourite park. He always stood, semi hidden, in some shrubs at the edge of the green, and silently submitted to being put back on the leash. As we drove back home he usually just fell asleep on the back seat.


Beth – Bethany of Bethesden – a female Hungarian Viszla

Beth – Bethany of Bethesden with Christian

After Jim sadly passed away, Beth, our second Viszla, presented us with a very different personality. Loving and motherly, Beth never took herself away on adventures, but instead kept an eye on our family. She was far more of a guard dog than Jim and would always growl through the letterbox when a stranger came to our front door.

Despite her protective motherly ways, Beth never gave up being a lapdog. We all, especially my husband, endured the pain of a large bony dog clambering up and awkwardly settling herself across our laps. She would lie there, cutting of the circulation in your legs, for as long as you could endure it.

Strangely, Beth also loved the same park as Jim, and spookily liked to play around the shrubs where Jim used to hide. After many joyful years, both Viszlas’ ashes were scattered here. My husband and I still sometimes visit the park and like to think that our beloved pets are still there, waiting for us.


Lily – the Blond Bombshell or the Disco Diva – a female Golden Retriever

Lily – the Blond Bombshell with Katy Walters

A cross between a force of nature and a ditzy Hollywood blond, Lily, the golden retriever really kept us on our toes – or our backs if we lost our balance. Extremely friendly and always happy, she would almost bowl you over as she excitedly raced over to greet you at the front door.

More than any of our previous dogs, Lily would meet and greet anyone who passed by as we walked along the promenade. Her happy go lucky nature was infectious and she demanded and always enjoyed a lot of attention. Perhaps her favourite place was the beach, where she would splash through the surf and launch herself into any large puddles she could find. In fact, she got so mucky that we often returned home to a battle in the shower.

Lily … our not so golden retriever

Lily spent many hours watching me write my latest greatest novels. I like to think she she was impressed by my ‘stream of consciousness’ writing style as I rapidly typed away, but it was probably the dog treats I kept in the drawer below.

Like her predecessors, Lily found her way into my stories. In the novel ‘The Wounded Therapist’ – part of the Doctors In Love 2 boxed set – Lily has a prominent role and even has a love interest of her own. Now that Lily has also gone, that particular book holds a special place in my heart.


So, now we have Lucy. Whilst I type away on my PC keyboard, she sits close by on the sofa. Sometimes she ignores me, but there are many times where I get the uncanny feeling that she is taking a real interest in my work. … and I’m sure the two of us have many surprising moments and adventures both real and written ahead of us.

Lucy – the feisty Sprocker Spaniel

I hope you liked these brief glimpses of my canine pals. However, I am often asked whether I might get a cat instead. Well, we’ve had cats before and, knowing their dark ways, I’m sure it would find a way to delete my precious files while I go to the loo.

Please visit my website, where you can find information on my many books and a few slideshow galleries of my artwork. Love, Katy

Katy’s Website

comedy, fiction, Kindle, reading, romance, Writing

The Music That Inspired my Fowl Romance

I almost never write without music in the background. Music enhances my emotions and it’s influence inevitably finds it’s way into my work. When writing my Rhonan Trilogy – a supernatural historical romance set mainly in early 19th century Scotland – I turned to a playlist of atmospheric Celtic inspired tunes and even a couple of Jeremy Soule tracks from the almighty Skyrim video game.

For my romantic comedy, ‘Listen to the Chicken’, soon to be released in the marvellous boxed set, ‘Cute but Crazy‘, I found that a different style of music was more appropriate. Using novel musicality, the rasping poultry tones sent me soaring to new heights of inspiration. I hope you may also find inspiration in this beautifully fowl rendition of Satie’s ‘Gymnopedie no. 1’.

TwoSetViolin performing chicken version of Satie’s Gymnopedie No.1

The ‘Cute but Crazy‘ boxed set, that includes ‘Listen to the Chicken‘ plus seven other hilarious romantic novels is released on 20th March 2020.

Pre-order ‘Cute but Crazy’


Please visit my website, where you will find information about all of my books plus a gallery of my paintings and photos. Love, Katy.

Katy’s Website

fiction books, Kindle, reading, regency, romance

Now, you can Return to Rhonan – where love spans the centuries.

You can Return to Rhonan for FREE! Immerse yourself in a spellbinding supernatural historical romance with elements of time travel! ‘Return to Rhonan‘ the first in the Rhonan trilogy, by USA Today bestselling author, Katy Walters. On Free Promotion from 6th March to 9th March.

Free from Amazon USFree from Amazon UK
On Free Promotion from 6th March to 9th March.

Return to Rhonan – a supernatural historical romance.

1810: The Scottish Highlands. Secret lovers Muriall Mondell and Lord Duncan of Rhonan fight for the lives of evicted tenants. Lord Maximillian, member of the infamous Hell Fire Club, preys on young women to take part in rituals. His intent is to conjure a demon – the prize Muriall’s soul.

Present day: New York. American psychotherapist Jessica McGregor’s dreams are haunted by the lovers of two hundred years ago. Jess travels to Scotland in search of them. Drawn by the ruined castle in the grounds, she books into the Rhonan Manor Hotel. Shocked, she recognizes the owner of the hotel, the brooding Lord Douglas of Rhonan, as the dream lover. Deep in the bowels of the ruined castle, a demon gathers strength.


Free from Amazon USFree from Amazon UK
On Free Promotion from 6th March to 9th March.

If you enjoy supernatural historical romances, or perhaps other genres, then please visit my book pages and select your next riveting reading experience! Click the link below!

Katy’s Books

dog, fiction books, kindle, romance, spaniel, Writing

Canine Collaborator

Slumping back in my chair, after spending an age editing the structure of an awkward sentence, I am almost ready to engage in writer vs monitor pugilism. Instead, I take a breath and reach over to stroke my dog’s head. Lucy, my attentive Sprocker Spaniel, looks up from her vantage point on the sofa – her sofa – and happily receives the attention.

“Little help?” I ask.

Lucy tilts her head in a quizzical manner, her shaggy ears flopping to the side. For a moment, we gaze at one another, staring deep into each other’s eyes, as if telepathically comparing notes. With a smile, I return to my keyboard and tentatively edit the sentence. Not quite there, but a good start.

“Thank you, Lucy”, I say, briskly stroking her head. She does not reply, not even a nod … because of course, she is a dog.


Do you have a canine collaborator, or some other pet that helps you with your writing?

Love,
Katy

Katy Walters Website

fiction books, historical romance, history, Kindle, Writing

Possessed at Rhonan – Free Promotion!

This Promotion has Now Ended

Please enjoy this FREE promotion of my work on Amazon Kindle.

Possessed at Rhonan – From the 2nd March until the 4th, you can download and read this riveting supernatural historical novel for FREE.


Possessed at Rhonan – A Supernatural Historical Romance

Jessica McGregor captures the heart of the brooding Lord Douglas Mavebury. They plan to make Rhonan Manor Hotel their home. Will their hopes be destroyed as their ancestors flee the Manor?
Deep in the bowels of the ruined castle, a demon stirs, intent on wreaking vengeance on all descendants of Dark Glen.
A Jesuit priest, Father Tobias Marescas warns the demon festers in the dungeon, planning revenge.


Please check out my other works at Katy’s Books!