Monday Morning Mantra: Dr Jessamy Hibberd, psychologist

An interview with Dr Jessamy Hibberd – clinical psychologist and mum-of-three – about the start of her working week, early mornings and how she divides career/family time. Plus she shares her inspiring Monday Morning Mantra…

Dr Jessamy Hibberd lives in Brighton with her husband and their three young children. She works between home and a practice in London.

Monday Morning Mantra:
I’m not sure I have a Monday morning mantra, but it has made me think about my mantra for life and it’s probably “try it and see”.

If I have an idea or want to try something I do it. My reasoning is that I’d rather look back and know I’d tried, than wonder what if. Some work out, some I try for a while and then decide it’s not for me and some don’t work out. But whatever the outcome, you always learn something and it moves you forward in some way.

What do you tend to be doing first thing on a Monday?
First thing, I’m generally woken up by one of the kids, usually my three-year-old who sneaks into bed at about 6.30am. She’s now realised that one star left on the GroClock means it’s nearly morning! Everyone piles into bed for a cuddle before we start the day. On the (very) rare occasion the kids sleep in we’re woken by the radio alarm. I’ve moved my phone out of the bedroom and it’s a much nicer way to start the day.

What’s the first thing you do after getting out of bed?
I get the baby from her cot while my husband gets drinks for everyone to have in our bed. Then it’s shower followed by the general chaos of getting everyone dressed, fed and ready for the day.

How do you feel?
I’m a morning person and so it’s normally my best time of day. I keep thinking we need to get straight up, but I don’t want to lose that time together. It’s a highlight of my day (when the kids are all being nice to each other!) and I want to make the most of it while it lasts.

Tell us about your work…?
I’m a clinical psychologist and work one-to-one with adults experiencing common mental health problems like anxiety, depression or low self-esteem. I feel very fortunate to have the job I do – I get to work with some amazing people and it’s incredibly rewarding seeing them work through a difficult period in their life and come out the other side.

I’ve also co-authored a series of six self-help books (This Book Will Make You…) to help people understand themselves better and to gain more from their life. When I was training I realised that the ideas I was learning about were really useful, not just if you were experiencing mental illness, but to feel your best more of the time. They were simple to do and easy to put into practice, but it was only because I was training as a psychologist that I knew about them. I’ve been on a mission to make psychology more accessible ever since. Amazingly, the books are now sold in 15 countries.

My latest venture is a blog which I started this year and an Instagram account. I’m also working on an app, which will be out next year.

Where do you spend your working hours?
On Monday and Tuesday afternoon I have a clinic in London, I work at home in the morning before travelling up on the train. On Wednesdays I do school drop off and then come home; I get into my comfiest clothes and spend the day working on projects. I love having the mix of clinical work and time to work on ideas.

What one thing would improve your Monday-Friday?
A transporter machine so I could be immediately home after I finish work and go on holiday whenever we fancied without facing long haul plus kids!

What gets you through the week?
I keep my work and family time split. I use every part of my three days for work, but then get to switch off and switch to family time Thursday – Sunday. I think that’s why my week works well. Sleep, exercise, caffeine and gratitude also help!

If you could wake up anywhere next Monday, where would it be?
Back in Portugal for our annual family holiday, this year was our fourth year. The five of us, my mum and dad and my sister and all her family. A good ratio of adults to children, free babysitting and most importantly: everyone together in the sunshine by the sea.

Visit Dr Jessamy Hibberd’s website.

Main image by Sussex photographer Emma Gutteridge