Star mum interview! E4’s Celebs Go Dating relationship expert Anna Williamson on how to find or fix love & family bonds

With Spring in the air and pandemic restrictions lifted, people are ready to date again. I recently met E4’s Celebs Go Dating relationship expert, bestselling author, television, radio and podcast presenter Anna Williamson, to ask for her advice on relationships and general dating guidance.

She’s launched her new book, Where Is The Love? featuring tips for boosting confidence, building self-esteem, identifying and setting boundaries, tackling arguments, BABY-proofing your relationship and all those tricky topics in between. If you cannot find the latest London Mums magazine in supermarkets, you can read it online here or download it as a pdf from here.

Q: Home is ….

AW: Where the heart is. I know that sounds really cheesy and cliched, but I really believe in that. Anyone can move into a house, but a home is about the people that make it full of love and a safe and warm place to be. My home is my safe space, my sanctuary, and the minute I walk through my front door I instantly feel grounded and content. I am a country girl at heart and I’m very lucky and proud to live in my little cottage, which is all higgledy-piggledy and very old, its 17th century, but it has the most beautiful warm soul. If walls could talk! 

Q: What do you recommend to 40+ single mothers when it comes to going back to dating after many years of being just mums?  

AW: The first thing is to work on yourself and really give yourself some TLC. I know myself being a mum that for some of the time it can feel like you lose yourself a bit, being a parent is just so full on and all consuming, you can’t switch off, so if you wanted to get back into the world of dating it’s very much something just for you. And it should be. So ask yourself what you want from the dating world, who you are looking for who has similar values and beliefs to you, and boost your self-esteem by knowing what a great catch you are.

 

What is love for you? 

AW: Love is a feeling, but love is also a verb, a doing word. We can all trot out the phrase I love you, but it’s in our actions that determines how much love we are showing. Romantic love is about intimacy, passion, and commitment…. If you focus on those three things, you will absolutely give yourself the best chance of enjoying love in its truest form. 

Q: You are a fantastic role model for women going through pregnancy. People don’t often realise how tough it is to be a parent. What was your biggest surprises and challenges in becoming a new parent?  

AW: Thank you that’s very kind, being a parent is honestly the best thing I have ever done. It is certainly the most overwhelming and challenging role I have ever taken on, but it’s by far the most rewarding and forever changing. The biggest surprise for me becoming a mum was how all-consuming it is, that might sound really stupid and obvious, but up until becoming a mother I was quite an independent soul, and the moment I became a mum I realised it was no longer solely about me anymore, and that definitely took me quite some time to get used to and adapt to. I’m delighted to say I’m there! I think we are always figuring out how to be a parent, and nobody ever nails it, I just make sure I do the best I can and as long as I give my children love, boundaries, and time, I feel I’m doing okay.

 

Q: What’s your favourite part of London to go with the family and why?

AW: I adore London! I’m a country girl but equally I have a huge love for London as it is where I was born and where both sides of my family come from, I’m a North Londoner by heart.  Until fairly recently I owned a little bachelorette pad in Angel and I absolutely adore that part of London. Islington is very much a second home for me, I love mooching around and grabbing a bite to eat. I also love walking along the Southbank by the Thames, I think that is a view that will never get old.

 

Q: What are the biggest Post pandemic challenges for parents and what can we all do to support our own mental health and our children / teenagers?   

AW: Everybody has had it rough over the last couple of years during this pandemic, but I would go as far to say that parents have probably had it the roughest, looking out after our own mental health is one thing, but supporting our children has been an even bigger challenge. We have all been working with the unknown and it’s been a scary uncertain time.  It’s important coming through the pandemic to give some time to adjust to life changing yet again, hopefully going back to some sort of normality, but also respecting and understanding that that takes time and natural anxieties that have been present for months now can still be lingering. Keep reassuring each other, reassure your children that you are there for them, and operate an open door policy that they can come to you and talk to you about anything any time.

 

Q: Please tell me an anecdote about filming Celeb Go Dating…

AW: My co-host Paul C Brunson is one of the biggest pranksters ever. Only last week he snuck into my dressing room and let off the most repulsive fart spray which essentially cleared out a whole floor of our agency! It absolutely stunk and took a good day to fumigate.

Q: You have a new book baby ….

AW: Where Is The Love? The Honest Guide to Dating and Relationships is my fourth book baby, and I am incredibly proud of it. It is an honest upfront anecdotal self-help guide for everybody who is perhaps navigating the dating scene, or in a relationship and needing a little bit of help and understanding on how to make it better.  We rarely know what goes on behind closed doors in relationships, and that’s fair because they are intensely private, however being a dating and relationship coach, I know that many of us experience the same issues and challenges and there are actually a lot of things we can do to have a much healthier and happier relationship before we even remotely think about throwing in the towel. So, from learning how to argue effectively, to putting a spotlight back on your relationship if you have kids, to getting that passion back, I really have got an answer for it all.

Q: What else have you got coming up this year?  

AW: It’s going to be a busy year and I can’t wait. My book has launched, Celebs Go Dating was great, and I’m about to go on tour with my podcast partner Luisa Zissman, for LuAnna the tour 2022. I also have my brand-new relationship coaching platform, The Relationship Place launching soon which is designed to provide practical help in video form for anybody wanting a bit of individual and couples coaching. And hopefully I’ll get a couple of nice holidays thrown in in between.

Where Is The Love? The Honest Guide To Dating And Relationships (Green Tree, £12.99) is out now.

 

Recently I joined Anna Williamson, The Mind Medic (Dr Sarah Vohra) and Pukka Herbs Herbal Educational Specialists in a virtual conference titled ‘Time to take 2’ discussing personal experiences of stress and anxiety, sharing tips on how to overcome those times, and learning more about the many benefits of Pukka Herbs’ calming range of teas. Anna shared her wellness journey after suffering from burnout and emotional breakdown at 25.  The Time to take 2 campaign encouraged to start a simple self-care programme. 

Time to take 2: 21-days of self kindness

We often take time to be kind to those around us but it’s just as important to be kind to ourselves. Give back to yourself by taking a 2-minute break each day to pause and reflect. Research says it takes on average 21-days for a new habit to form. So, we’re inviting you to take 2 minutes every day for 21 days to start a new positive habit. 

6 benefits of taking a 2 minute break everyday

1. The ability to tap into how you’re really feeling in the moment.

2. Time to reconnect with your breath.

3. A moment to reflect on your day.

4. Space to be grateful and practice gratitude

5. Time to connect with nature.

6. Time to move your body and stretch.

Tips for practising self-kindness

  • Set a daily reminder on your device.

  • Track your progress and record how you feel each day with our free 21-day calendar.

  • Make a warming cup of herbal tea. Chamomile is widely used for soothing stress and nervous tension, it can be found in many of our blends, including Relax and Chamomile, Vanilla & Manuka Honey.

  • Find a quiet space or take a moment to spend time outdoors in nature if you can.

  • Record how you feel on a scale from 1-10 before and after each 2 minute break.

  • Try some herbs for everyday support and happiness. Taking daily supplements can help us to manage life’s challenges, try our new and improved Inner Peace and Wholistic Ashwagandha capsules.

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