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New Stuff Coming Right Up!

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Hello, hello!

It’s been about 2 months since my last post stating I was taking a break due to health and other reasons.

I’m pleased to report that the time off has done its job, and I’m feeling refreshed and ready to go again!


Since then, I’ve achieved the following:

  • Finished contracted work that was helpful at the time but is now not necessary as running my businesses is taking precedence. (I can still do relief shifts, which I plan on continuing as and when, the fact that it’s my choice now feels so much better!)
    • This means that I will have more time for my self-care, my relationships and my work, which I love (it isn’t really work!)
  • I’m sorting out my health issues, which has meant paying privately to get some answers (for those not in the UK – the National Health Service, NHS is free at point of service – we pay through our taxes).
    • I’ve got some answers and I’ve got something in place, which I’m hoping will help in my day-to-day. Hoping it means the symptoms that have been affecting me (exhaustion, foggy brain…) will be less taxing and life-affecting.
  • Refurbished my website, which seemed crucial for me to be able to move forward, for some reason!
  • I have a plan for what I want to do with my next year in regards to writing (books and blogs), social media, and new services and products I want to offer.

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A lot of new things have come up since then, which I actually need to pick up (I’ll send a message out to the relevant parties when I finish writing this post!)

  • Events via www.onlinevents.co.uk
    • I am participating in a few webinar events, presenting topics I’m passionate about. I’ve enjoyed participating in online interviews with John and Saz Wilson.
    • Here is my practitioner page, where you can find 2 past interviews
        • 20 Self-Care Habits – I presented my book (published July 31st 2018), and gave some tips for self-care, alongside my lovely colleagues that also had sessions that day on the Self-Care Conference. I’m hoping to be a part of this year’s conference as well!
        •  Creating a supervision model that works for your practice – I spoke about how I run my supervision practice, and why I believe that my integrated model is relevant for practitioners (one supervision theory doesn’t encompass all, and the 5 that I’ve integrated compliment each other very nicely and add different aspects that I believe are important for a great supervisory relationship).

       

  • In the next few months, I’ll be participating in 3 more events, which can be viewed for free when they’re being recorded, either on the facebook page or in the Zoom meeting itself (this is sent to you when you book the event).

     

      • September 3rd 2019 – Supervision “Pain Points”: What To Expect From Your Supervisory Relationship
        • Part 2 of my supervision webinars There is so much to say about supervision that I asked John if I could come back and talk about what practitioners should expect from their supervisory relationship to make the most out of their time and have it be a great, positive impact on their practice, development, and client work, which is the first purpose of supervision and practising as counsellors and psychotherapists.
      • To be announced – 2019 Self-Care Conference

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  • Ayanay Events
    • Face to face and online webinars
    • Ayanay is a new membership body that aims to offer Elevated services for their members and other colleagues that might want to attend the CPD services. They also have a novel perspective on accreditation, which won’t break the bank and reinforces the knowledge you’ve already gained. The story behind it is very powerful as well!
    • As part of the webinars and supporting Ayanay with providing clear, transparent and congruent information, I recently interviewed the Founders of Ayanay in a set of 6 interviews, which tell you a lot about the company, their purpose and the future.
    • The Business of Therapy Weekend.
      • In September 7th and 8th, I’ll be presenting a masterclass on Social media and content creation, which is similar in content to the event with onlinevents but I’ll be adding worksheets and other things to take away.

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  • Peer supervision groups
    • I find it important to continue to have conversations with colleagues, either through formal supervision or other types of groups, and peer supervision is one of them.
    • I’m meeting with local therapists for general group support, but also online with therapists that work with neurodiversity directly.
    • This offers an opportunity to increasing our knowledge and increasing the way we impact the therapeutic world with knowledge and expertise regarding neurodiversity.

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  • Facebook groups
    • I run a couple of groups that I’ve set up from my interests, and a few others that have stemmed from collaborations with colleagues and organisations:
      • Counsellors working with neurodiversity – Set up as a resource and a meeting place for UK counsellors to share their knowledge, expertise, events, CPD courses and/or workshops. In the areas for example of Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD; although not exclusive to these aspects.
      • 20 Self-Care Habits – Self -Care group – this group came about as a result of my book and my desire to add even more value to my readers and those wanting to develop their self-care activities in a supportive environment with like-minded people.
      • Content creation group Grow your private practice through adding value on social media platforms and promoting your services in an ethical and professional manner (linked to the events and services described elsewhere in this post)
      • Ayanay Open – a group designed to peak your interest in the membership, and be a part of it while you decide to join, or just to be in the loop if you decide not to join at this point. Social media posts are shared here, which will benefit everyone that shares.

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  • New services coming soon!
    • I’ve set up my directory of services, which encompasses everything I do and want to do, now and in the future.
    • Do have a look via this link to read a brief description of what’s yet to come (work in progress!) and what I already offer at this point.
    • The Dream to Reality service is one that I want to work on first, alongside writing, because I believe I can meet you right where you are, even if there’s no fancy ready-made programme to support you. A sounding board session or a few sessions might be what you need to get you back on track and clear about the topics I can help you with.

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  • Books to looks forward to!
    • I am really looking forward to putting my head down and writing. I write because I enjoy it and benefit from doing research and putting my ideas into paper. But I also enjoy adding value to the people that I can reach via my books and other stuff that I do.
    • You already know about 20 Self-Care Habits and my blog posts. I am looking forward to offering books on the following topics
      • Self-Care (part 2) – Responsibility issues 
        • I’ll say more as I develop the ideas
      • A non-fiction novel based on a recurring dream I used to have (as a psychodynamically based therapist, dreams are very important and telling, and the value I got from working through the dream in therapy is something I believe will benefit everyone, not only myself)
      • Content Creation – a practical guide to social media marketing, based on what I’ve learned so far and what has worked for me
      • Supervision – A compilation of the information I’ve gathered and found useful for my own practice and for my supervisees and all the clients that this has impacted upon
      • Children’s books on mental health topics – if we have good mental health from the start, and are able to be self-aware and work through our emotions with clear understanding and support, we are less likely to struggle as much as adults. The topics will be around every day stuff (I work with clients working through everyday life issues, so this makes sense and is congruent with how I work)

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In regards to this blog, in the next few weeks I’m going to be writing about the following topics:

  • Continue the Counselling Autistic People series
  • Content Creation Blog series
  • Supervision blog series
  • ad hoc posts as things come up for me, the mental health world, or other current events I might want to discuss from a therapist’s perspective

I am really excited for the next half of 2019 and the whole of 2020! 

I am hopeful that things will be much better health wise and with more time to look after myself, to engage more in my meaningful and close relationships – both friends and colleagues -, as well as giving my businesses the time they deserve and that I want to give them, that it will be a great time from now onward.

I’m not saying it wasn’t good or great already, but sometimes life gets in the way, and I wouldn’t be being congruent with myself or the people around me if I avoided talking about it or addressing those issues so I can better look after myself.

I practice what I preach, which is something I’m pleased about.


Until next time…


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How to talk about mental health stigma #TimeToTalk2019

tea-twitter-01This week’s post was prompted by Time to Change, who take the lead in the fight to end mental health discrimination and stigma. So today, I want to join in the movement by writing this blog post, as well as sharing on Social Media to get even more attention placed on this important topic.

Heads Together, a charity set up by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, is also active in working on removing the stigma around mental health.

There are many other charities and organisations that also deal with this very important topic. Here are links to three of them.


Mind

Scattergood Foundation

MentalHealth.Org

#timetotalk   #TimeToTalkDay


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It takes guts to accept to ourselves when we are not feeling quite right with our mental health. It is even more difficult to accept it to our friends, family or even a therapist.

Drop in the added bonus of being looked at as [insert negative adjectives here] and also discriminated at work or your local community because your illness isn’t visible and you are probably exaggerating or making it up anyway, right?

 

    • Frees us to be authentic, honest and real with ourselves and others about how we are really feeling and what we are willing to do about it.
    • Challenges others to view mental health problems in a different light, and allowing more conversations to happen
    • From the two above stems the fact that relationships can improve and become more supportive as a result of these difficult conversations
    • Helps challenge the stereotypes that exist when someone mentions mental health problems
      • People with mental health problems are unpredictable
      • People with mental health problems are dangerous
      • People with mental health problems are incompetent
      • You are to blame for your mental health problems
      • There is no hope for recovery
      • (click here to read more) http://www.scattergoodfoundation.org
    • The chance of recovery increases significantly once the person is honest with themselves, and the support system is in place – more understanding family, friends, employers, and seeking professional help even if for a short time.

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  • Seeing someone talk about their mental health problems in an open and honest way will help normalise what ill mental health actually means
    • “if my friend has it, and I’ve known him/her all my life, then mental health can affect all of us.”
    • “actually I’ve felt my mental health dwindle in the past but have been afraid to have the conversations”
    • “I know him/her and wouldn’t say they’re unpredictable, dangerous, incompetent or that they brought it on themselves, or that there is no hope for recovery. My friend’s mental health problem challenges my view on mental health.”
  • tttd-2019screensavers07Mental ill health should be a topic of conversation as simple as physical ill health topics of conversation.
    • It is much easier to call in sick at work and say something like “I broke my leg and will need some time to recover” than “I feel so anxious today that I’m unable to get up from bed”.
    • It probably hurts just as bad – physically, psychologically and emotionally – to break your leg than to feel anxious or depressed.
      • The difference is one is quantifiable and visible, whilst the other isn’t.
      • It doesn’t mean that one exists and the other doesn’t or that one should be taken more seriously and with more compassion than the other.

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I feel blessed to live in this day and age where, even though mental health stigma and discrimination still exists, it is easier for it to be challenged and views changed about it. There are even laws and white papers created that protect people with mental health issues from being discriminated (See The Mental Health Act 1983 and The Equality Act 2010).

As a mental health practitioner, I value the conversation about mental health and overwhelming life situations that stop us on our tracks and/or hinder our everyday life. It is a privilege to listen to people’s stories and help them work through their difficult feelings, thoughts and behaviours that, so that eventually (sooner than later – it all depends on each person’s individual journey and process) they can get their lives back on track.

tttd-2019screensavers06Whether I see clients for 6 sessions, 3 months, a year, two years, three years or more, I trust that they have the strengths and resources within them and within their support group to help them get back on track. I trust in the therapeutic process and that together in the counselling room we can work through, process, understand, feel and think what needs to be worked through, processed, understood, felt and thought of so the person can move forward.


I believe in allowing our feelings to come out – I often use the phrase “out is better than in”, which is definitely applicable for getting your anger, sadness, upset, and any other feelings, out. Keeping them in might make us mentally ill but also physically ill or make it difficult for us to heal our emotional and psychological wounds.


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Something that I find is useful for certain things but not as a therapeutic tool, are mental health diagnoses. I don’t underestimate a diagnosis (such as depression or bipolar disorder), but I won’t treat my client as a depressed person or a bipolar person. I will treat the person as a whole, and talk about whatever they bring on a particular session. I find this is more helpful and has felt like a relief to some clients. Yes they keep their diagnosis and the medication they might be taking, but they are not treated like a part of themselves or like the only thing they are is that depressed or that bipolar side of them.


There are a few things that definitely won’t work and will do more harm than good when talking to someone that’s telling you about their difficulties with their mental health:

  • “go have a nap or a bath, you’ll feel better after”
  • “I’m sure it’s not that bad, you’re a bit dramatic”
  • “Aw, just get over it”
  • “you are just doing it for attention”
  • “you have mental health problems, therefore you are weak and broken”
  • “it could be worse”
  • “someone is worse off than you”
  • “I know exactly how you feel”
  • “go do something to distract you”
  • “stop being lazy”

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I want to end this post on a positive note. So, how can you support someone with mental health problems? It doesn’t have to be a massive thing. As you can see above, words can have a massive impact. Try these:

  • “you are not alone, I’m here for you”
  • “I’m listening”
  • “what can I do to help”
  • “have you tried talking to a counsellor”
  • “I understand if you want to be on your own, but I’ll be here when you’re ready to hang out”
  • “I believe you, I believe you are struggling”

I hope this post has been helpful and has challenged you in regards to mental health stigma and discrimination. Do share this post and the links I’ve left around the post, so others can have this conversation as well!


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Looking After Young Carers’ Mental Health (#youngcarersawarenessday #mentalhealth)

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Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog post!

 

Today I’d like to talk about Mental health in regards to young carers.

 

This is also the focus of this year’s young carers’ awareness day (read more here).


If you are a young carer, do read until the end, or skip to the end for some tips on how you can look after yourself while doing this great job for your loved one!


CarersWeek.Org mentions that the statistics point towards three in five of us becoming unpaid carers at some point in our lives. This could be short term or long term, depending on what the person we look after is struggling with.


I have worked as a paid support worker for the past 11 years, and from personal experience or watching my colleagues, I can say that it has impacted on our physical and mental health.

It is a very rewarding job, which is why I’ve been doing it for so long. But some of the consequences are similar to those of unpaid carers, but unpaid carers have so much more stacked up against them.


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Let me point out the similarities first:


  • Aches and pains – particularly back troubles, but sometimes we might get hurt due to challenging behaviours (bites, being hit, things thrown at us) or moving in a way that leads to sprained ankles and other things. Some of my colleagues have chronic physical ailments that might mean they have to be extra careful when they do their job, and in turn the job will affect how they do things, but as carers we sometimes forget that we are important too.

  • Headaches and/or Stomach problems- due to pressures about getting it right with someone’s mental health, ensuring the people we look after are getting out in the community, getting their medication right all the time, dealing with other professionals, and dealing with the bureaucracies and policies of the agency we work for.

  • Advocacy roles – sometimes we need to step up and speak up for those who can’t or who are not able to “shout the loudest” which is the only way to get the support they need. It takes a village, and sometimes we are that village!

  • Mental health can be affected due to the things mentioned above.

  • Sometimes we will be having our meal on the job and we have to stand up mid-way to get the people we support something, which will lead to indigestion or worse. We need to remember ourselves, but it’s hard when there’s an obvious need in front of us!


OK, so those are some similarities between paid and unpaid carers.

These might be exacerbated by their pre-existing living circumstances and the consequences of becoming an unpaid carer.

Don’t get me wrong, it is rewarding to care for someone, see them smile or be able to achieve something with your help. But the reality is, there is a real impact.


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Let’s add to the list of unpaid carers the following:


 

  • The lack of income from their carer role impacts on their lives and can lead to them living in poverty or at least their quality of life and wellbeing being compromised due to lack of time or ability to earn a full time living.

  • Benefits might be hard to get going due to different reasons, which migh also impact on this. (Note, I’m writing this in regards to unpaid/paid carers in the UK. In other countries, there is no such things as benefits, so the money issues are further emphasised in these places).

  • The fact that they are doing the job without much training, unpaid carers might just fall into the role of carers out of need and proximity to the person in need. They might have a parent or sibling that has a disability or suddenly falls ill, is growing old or develops debilitating mental health issues.

  • Not having training or support in this way might mean they are doing the best they can, but they might not know the best way to look after their loved one, and much less how to look after themselves.


I hope these lists of effects from caring roles – paid or unpaid – gives you a bit more insight into the amount of emotional, physical and psychological energy that goes into caring for those in need of support with their daily lives.


I now leave you with some tips into how to look after yourself and your mental health whilst having unpaid carer responsibilities:


 

  • Get the book today, and get these lovely printables to support your self-care throughout the year! (1)

    Find out what support and training is out there.

  • Find people in your life that will become your support network, whether it means just having a cup of tea to talk over things with a friend, or more professional support like respite or psychological therapies to take the edge off and to help you carry on doing your role well and safely.

    • This network can be just friends and family, or also professionals as in the list above.
  • Self-care planning is very important.

    • Join support groups like the one I run on facebook

    • Get a self-care book (there are many great resources out there!)

    • Get a planner for your self-care activities. These don’t have to take a long time or be expensive.

      • Read my blog posts on these here.

      • You can take ten minutes out of your day to go for a short walk and take in the fresh air, see pretty trees, animals, and other things that you enjoy looking at.

      • Play your favourite music while making lunch or supporting someone with their personal care. You can both enjoy that, I’m sure!

        Book Review Here

      • Remember that you are also important and that you also need looking after and time to do the things that you enjoy.

      • Find a hobby you forgot about and re-start that.

      • Make yourself your favourite drink.

      • Have a bath or go swimming.

      • Read a book.

      • Practice meditation and/or mindfulness.

      • Find other things that work for you that are not already on this list. Self-care is very personal and individual to each of us!


Join in the Events and activities for carers week by clicking here! 


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The Importance of Laughter (#bluemonday, #bellylaughday)

The Importance of Laughter (#bluemonday, #bellylaughday)Add heading (1).jpg


Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog post!

This week there are two awareness days that called my attention and that I think can work well quite nicely.

Blue Monday is meant to be the most depressing day in January – due to the weather,  the dark and short days, and depleted bank accounts awaiting for the next payday.


Read a fun fact about #bluemonday here.


Rather than focusing on how depressing this day can be, why not turn our frowns upside down and find funny stuff to read and watch on this gloomy January day.

This is where the second awareness day comes in: #bellylaughday!

I found the picture below and it made me smile and giggle. I thought I’d share it with you so you can laugh and giggle with me too!


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Are you feeling happier after seeing this picture?

I sure am!

 


The Importance of Laughter (#bluemonday, #bellylaughday)Add heading.png


Now, let’s look at some benefits that laughter can bring to our days, especially on gloomy, cold and dark days like today.


  • Brings people together – social connectedness.

  • lowers blood pressure, preventing stroke and heart attacks.

  • Reduces stress hormone production, therefore increasing your immune systems ability to perform.

  • It’s a great exercise to work on your abs – a mini-work out!

  • Keep pain at bay through the release of endorphins.

  • Increases your sense of wellbeing, and it makes you happy!

  • It is a way to remove the seriousness of life, even if for a moment!

  • Laughter is something we can remember sharing with friends and loved ones – it keeps their memory alive.

  • Laughter will improve your life, wellbeing and your relationships.

 


“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”

– Yiddish proverb


Get the book today, and get these lovely printables to support your self-care throughout the year! (1).jpg

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and have gone to look for some funny memes, images or videos to get your laugh today!

 

Share it with your friends, they might be looking for something to make them laugh too!

 

 


 

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Our relationship with food – emotional over/under eating (#obesityawarenessweek)

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Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog post.

This week is National Obesity Awareness Week (#obesityawarenessweek), and in this post I’d like to focus on a particular aspect of our relationship with food: emotional eating (or not eating).

Firstly, I’d like to point out that obesity is an issue and it should be tackled, discussed and treated with compassion and sensitivity.

Secondly, I’d like to point to another issue – undernutrition, being underweight. There is information out there on this topic, but it’s discussed much less.


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As mentioned above, I’ll be focusing on emotional over-eating or under-eating. There are so many more aspects of obesity and undernutrition to discuss!

Some people over-eat when they are stressed or upset. Others under-eat.

Over-eating leads to being overweight and a bunch of health issues – both physical and mental.

Undereating leads to being malnourished and underweight, which brings its own health issues.


The cycle of over/under eating is vicious. 

We eat/don’t eat to placate our stress and as a way of dealing with our emotions by distracting ourselves from feeling them as they arise.

Then we feel guilty for eating too much or making ourselves go hungry.

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So now we have the original avoided emotions plus guilt for over/under eating.


(If you’ve read any of my other posts, or psychology related literature out there, you know that if we repress or don’t process stuff when it’s happening, it will come back full force later on! So it’s best to deal with them as they happen, no matter how uncomfortable. This is where therapy can help.)


Being aware of what we do is one of the first steps to help us deal with our emotions in the best ways rather than in dysfunctional ways that will only make it worse.

It is through this awareness that you can start reviewing your eating habits, maybe reaching out to a nutritionist for help with how to move forward with your eating.

You can also reach out to a counsellor to help you work through the emotions linked to emotional eating and to work through those unresolved issues that were being covered up by unhealthy eating habits.


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The point of seeking help and changing your eating habits is this:

 

you might need to remove the link between eating and coping with emotional and life stuff. 

 

 


Go back to when food was something you did because your body needs energy to keep going through your day. Your body needs nourishment and eating is a way to get it.

Your emotional world doesn’t quite work the same. In order to nourish your psychological and emotional world, sometimes going through the hard stuff is necessary to clear up the clutter that can accumulate in your mind and start afresh, with a new grip on your emotions.

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By getting a new grip on your emotions I mean that, by working through these emotions and patterns of eating behaviour with both a therapist and a nutritionist, you’ll be able to manage whatever life throws at you in a much more productive light.

The challenges that life throws at you might seem like monsters now, but working with professionals and with your support network (family, friends, colleagues) will allow you to “shrink” that monster into something you can manage and deal with.

You will deal with it without needing to link it to food.


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I found a very useful article from helpguide.org.

I’ll summarise some of their main points, you can read the full post here.

(I highly recommend reading it in full!).

 

 


The difference between emotional and physical hunger

  • Emotional hunger comes on suddenly.

  • Emotional hunger craves specific comfort foods.

  • Emotional hunger often leads to mindless eating.

  • Emotional hunger isn’t satisfied once you’re full.

  • Emotional hunger isn’t located in the stomach.

  • Emotional hunger often leads to regret, guilt or shame.


What are your emotional eating triggers?

  • Stuffing emotions

  • boredom or feelings of emptiness

  • childhood habits

  • social influences

  • stress


In this article, the authors also give alternatives to emotional eating when you are depressed or lonely, anxious, exhausted or bored. They also talk about mindful eating and how to start eating more mindfully.

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Here are some more helpful articles for further reading:

What is obesity, BMI calculator, Tips for losing weight – Article by HealthAssured

A new awareness week to promote sustainable, healthy living starts today (9 January). – Article by the Royal College of Midwives

Obesity Awareness Resources – NHS Employers website

Children’s Health: The Opposite of Obesity: Undernutrition Overwhelms the World’s Children

Emotional Eating: how to recognise and stop emotional and stress eating


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The Importance of Sleep – #festivalofsleepday

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Hi, and welcome to the first post of 2019!

I hope your celebrations went well and that your 2019 is starting off very well.

I’m excited about all of the fantastic products and services I’m planning for you this year. You can find some of these already set up on my directory, where you can find everything I offer in one place! 


Last Thursday was #FestivalofSleepDay, and in honour of that most-loved activity, I bring you today’s blog post.

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy my naps and going to bed for a good nights’ sleep.

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It can be very frustrating on those nights when it gets a bit tricky to fall asleep, or we wake up in the middle of the night for no real reason – or due to worrying or thinking about things that are happening in our lives at present.

Something that I’ve found through personal experience and through reading articles on sleep, is that everyone is different and therefore everyone needs different amounts of sleep.

Some people function very well with 5-6 hours sleep every night. I need at least 8 hours!

Find your right number and aim for that.

Reassess as you get older or your needs and lifestyle change.


Let’s look at some of the ways sleep is important.

  1. Sleep helps our body re-energise after a busy day, so we can do it all again tomorrow!
  2. Sleep allows our brain to stay fit, and that means that we are alert and ready to process the stuff that comes our way throughout our day. (this prevents car accidens and mistakes at work!)
  3. If you are studying, sleeping will help you retain the information you learned in class and when you are studying for exams.
  4. Getting the amount of sleep we need keeps illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and others, at bay.

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How to ensure the best night’s sleep. 

  • Avoid caffeine a few hours before going to bed.
  • Have a hot bath or shower.
  • Dim the lights.
  • Keep your bedroom cool.
  • Wear socks to bed.
  • Practice relaxation techniques which include going from toes to head.
  • Change your bedding often. Clean bedding does make a difference!
  • Replace Caffeine with chamomile or other fruit teas.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Write your worries down in a notepad. Sometimes just getting things “out of our heads” might help, even if only for the night.

Get the book today, and get these lovely printables to support your self-care throughout the year!.jpgIn my Book, 20 Self-Care Habits, I write about the importance of sleep.

I also give you some ideas on how getting a good nights’ sleep will improve your quality of life, wellbeing, and your relationships.

I also offer you a reflection time broken down into three areas: think, feel, act.


Here is a little snippet out of the book:

“Have you ever been so tired that you want to cry? A lack of rest can cause you to be irrational or agitated and can affect your judgement and perception in negative ways.” (page 109-110)

I leave you with this quote, which is very poignant for the chapter on sleep, and for this post:

“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep. – E. Joseph Cossman


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(Credit to alyssa-sparacino for some of these tips – watch full video here)


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Human Rights Day – Monday 10th

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Today is #HumanRightsDay and I’d like to talk about some rights that I believe should be respected in the realm of our personal and professional relationships.

I found this quote in the United Nations Human Rights Day page, and thought I’d share it with you here:

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This quote talks about the exact thing I was thinking about before sitting down to write this post.

It’s in the small places, close to home, that we most need our humanity and our rights respected.


Here are five rights to consider upholding for yourself in your relationships, and possibly helping others enforce them in their own lives.


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1. The right to set boundaries 

If you’ve been following my posts, you will know boundaries are a big topic for me.

We sometimes have to learn to set them after a major incident with someone.

Other times we are better at setting them because we had a good example through our relationships growing up.

The main thing is that we learn to set them and stick to them. In my book, I talk about how to set clear boundaries and plan ahead when someone challenges us.

It’s important to stick to what we know is right for us, and what will help us have good realtionships with ourselves and others.


42. The right to personal space

We all have different ways of measuring a safe physical and emotional distance from others.

We also gauge this as each relationship develops. We might enjoy being closer to some people, but might want to put a bit more distance with others.

We need to respect this fact within ourselves so others will also respect it. If we set the example, we will communicate clearly what our boundaries are in regard to personal space, and we will be listened to.

If we’re not, then we can decide whether to set an ever bigger distance with some people.

If we are, then we know we can feel safe being close to some others.


53. The right to shelter and food

I walk past so many homeless people. I sometimes ask them if they want some food and get it for them.

Other times, I might not have enough time or money. But walking past them, I feel a sense of anger and feel that it’s so unfair that they are in that situation.

I’ve spoken to some homeless people and they are fantastic, profesionals and creatives that find themselves in a horrid situation due to relationship breakdowns, losing a job due to mental health issues, and more.

I find it appalling that this is happening in a First World Country. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it should happen in any country, but it is a reality.

These lovely people still have the right to shelter and food. There are things to do to remedy this (I won’t get into politics, you know where this was gonna go if I did!).

I do know that there are cafe’s and churches and other places that support and provide food and shelter to rough sleepers and homeless people, which is great as they are acknowledging these people’s basic needs.6

Nobody should be denied the right to a warm bed or a warm meal.


4. The right to healthy and safe relationships

We all have the right to healthy relationships where we feel loved, appreciated, respected, safe and understood.

We also have the choice to leave a relationship when it’s not healthy for us.

Sometimes this is made difficult as the person we’re trying to get away from is toxic, aggressive, and we might be scared to leave.

It might feel like you are trapped in a relationship, but there are lots of places that help you find refuge and support. You don’t have to suffer any longer!


75. The right to happiness and preserving our wellbeing

We all have the right to pursue happiness in any way we find works for us, as long as it doesn’t break any laws or impinge on the rights of those around us.

One aspect of this that is very important to me is doing what I love to do as my profession and job.

I’ve never stayed in a job that I didn’t enjoy anymore. I defy the idea of staying in the same job for the rest of your life even if you’re miserable.

We spend a lot of time at work so it makes sense to enjoy what we do. I love being self-employed and working in my businesses. I wouldn’t change them for the world!

Another way in which we can pursue happiness is by keeping those people in our lives that are good for us. Those that provide positive vibes and those that support us when we need it most (it works the other way around as well!).

Having hobbies and likes that make us smile is also a way to pursue happiness and keep us feeling well.

Finally, exercisng and eating healthy meals is also something that will help us keep healthy, well, and happy.


What other ways can you think of to keep your (and others’) human rights?


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human rights day

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