2020 has been quite a year, to say the least! All the more reason why my guest’s latest book, “Create Your Own Calm” is creating quite a stir. Author Becky Goddard-Hill has written this book that is simply bursting at the seams with simple, practical ideas and fun activities to stave off boredom and, more importantly, to manage feelings of stress, anger and anxiety. Although it is aimed at children aged 7 – 12, adults would still benefit from Becky’s words of wisdom. I caught up with Becky to find out more… Hi Becky!
Hi! I am Becky Goddard-Hill, a children’s therapist and a wellbeing author. I blog at Emotionally Healthy Kids and Simple Parenting and my podcast Emotionally Healthy Kids can be found on ITunes. I have 2 teenage kids and I live in Nottingham. My background is in Social Work. My latest book, Create Your Own Calm is published by Harper Collins and came out in September 2020.
As a former social worker & child development trainer, what inspired you to write “Create Your Own Calm” and the other books you have written?
I strongly believe emotional health and wellbeing to be as important to life as physical health and intellectual pursuits. If not more important. But how often do we actually focus on teaching them the kinds of skills they need to manage their mental health? Rarely. I wanted to give kids a tool kit of coping skills to help them be robust and resilient and I wanted to introduce these in fun and light hearted ways and that’s the focus and purpose of my books. They each contain loads of activities that teach kids great emotional health skills whilst having fun.
I admire the fact that you run 6 blogs, all highly ranked within the UK, predominantly focused on family life, emotional well-being & being active/creative. How do you find writing books compared to writing blogposts?
Because my books are activity books I find each activity a big like a blog post to write. I love, love, love that my books are illustrated though and interactive.
What do you like most about blogging?
My blogging community is awesome and my various blogs are diverse and interesting. I have to do quite a lot of social media to promote my blog – I don’t love that quite so much.
“Create Your Own Calm” is aimed at children aged 7 – 12, and yet looking through the book, I think the tips and activities to create calmness in these stressful times could also help adults. Learning the science behind emotions was especially good. Do you have a “favourite” tip to help when you are particularly stressed?
Yes. My favourite tip is to do something mindful, eg colour a mandala, bake bread, gardening. When you are focused you cannot worry about the past or the future and your brain clears making problems much easier to solve.
The activities suggested in the book are really fun & quite innovative – such as growing a pizza garden & cloud watching (my favourite). What inspired the thoughtful activities? Any favourites? Any activities that you tried that didn’t quite work out?
Oh, I tried to make a lava lamp to show how people are like oil and water – that they could coexist even though they could be very different. I ended up with about 20 lava lamp attempts all sitting round my house, none of which had worked! My favourite activity in my teen book, Be Happy Be You, is that they have to befriend an apple for the day, name it, really get to know it and spend time with it. It’s to show them that whilst you might just think all apples are the same they aren’t at all, they are all individuals and deserving of your time in getting to know them. Appreciating diversity and inclusion are so important to instil.
I noticed a lot of reviews for the book (and I am in agreement) commented that the language you used got the point across to young people without talking down to them or being patronising. That is a great skill to have. Is it a lot harder to write a book/ article aimed at a young person?
I don’t think so. My language is never formal when I write and I have teens myself. The publisher has a reader to check the language is just right too.
Your career background has been in the field of social work/child development; was that the career you aspired to have as a youngster or did your career aspirations lay elsewhere?
I want to save the world! I don’t know how to, but that was my grand plan. I’ve since realised that might be a tad ambitious but I do still desperately want to help people and make a difference.
Being an author of 7 books already, are you a bookworm yourself? If so, what genre(s) do you usually read?
I am a huge sucker for a gorgeous romance and I love David Nicholls.
Looking towards the future – have you got other books in the pipeline?
Yes, Create Your Own Kindness will be published in Feb 2021. It teaches kids to be kind to themselves, other people and, in fact, to the whole world!
As you are based in England, is “Create Your Own Calm” available overseas?
Yes, on Amazon – pretty much everywhere.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Ah, I’m a very comfy dresser. At the moment, it’s oversized cosy jumpers and jeans/joggers with my trusty silver Superga. I also love a pair of dunagrees.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I like FatFace and Hush.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I am desperate for a cosy coat and some new tall boots as mine are battered!
Boots or Shoes?
Neither. I have about 15 pairs of converse and rather a lot of other lace up pumps too. They are my go to.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about You & “Create Your Own Calm”
Create Your Own Calm is published by Harper Collins and is available on Amazon and in all good book shops
I have also co-written a happiness boosting book for teens Be Happy Be You which was published earlier this year
You can find me on Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/beckygoddardhill
Thank you so much for the chat, Becky. I love the idea of befriending an apple! Highly original!
The author & book photographs were published with kind permission of Becky Goddard-Hill. Other photographs are by Linda Hobden & Adam Hobden.