Stress is the “health epidemic of the 21st Century” according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) as reported by Forbes back in 2015. As I reflect on 2018 and look forward to another year, I can’t help wondering what’s changed? My guess is that nothing has changed, and stress is still the epidemic it was back then. OK, so we may have become more accustomed to hearing about Stress in the media and might even be a little happier about admitting to its effects in our own lives but has anything really changed? Are we better at dealing with the effects of stress? Are our employers more understanding? Are we doing anything about it? Let’s face it, it’s one thing to know that there is so much more information out there about Stress and Wellbeing but it’s quite another thing to actually do anything about it. Stress and Wellbeing are likely to continue to be big news in 2019 and I hope that this coming year will be a year when we will all learn to take Stress seriously; seriously enough to do something about it in our own lives. If you are suffering from the effects of Stress right now and want to make a start in tackling it, give me a call and take the first step to a better year.
According to the Movember Foundation, globally, a man dies by suicide every minute. The foundation does great work in promoting men’s health; both physical and mental, raising awareness of the dangers of testicular and prostate cancer and poor mental health and asking why there are so many men taking their own lives. Don’t we keep saying that men don’t talk enough about emotions and what really matters? Why can’t men talk about how they feel? Without a doubt, the answer will be multifaceted. As a counsellor and psychotherapist there is one thing I know for sure and that is that talking is good. If you’re a man out there and you need help but have been struggling alone for too long, maybe it’s time to take a chance on talk. It could be a friend, colleague, father or brother or maybe you would feel better talking to someone completely disconnected with your life – that’s the time to seek out a good therapist. There’s nothing mysterious about therapy – it’s mostly just talking and it might be the best thing you ever did.
The MOVEMBER FOUNDATION can be found at https://uk.movember.com/?home
The SAMARITANS is also a great place to begin the conversation by calling 116 123
You can also call me at WELL LIFE COUNSELLING and see how I can help you.
World Mental Health Day doesn’t just happen somewhere else: it’s here in Lancaster too. On 10 October 2018 the University of Cumbria is opening its 2-day Festival of Mental Health on Campus in the city of Lancaster UK. It starts at 9am on Wednesday 10 October and closes at 8pm the following evening, packing in a full programme of events along the way.
You could be forgiven for glazing over at the ubiquitous mental health statistics in the media but there really is no way to sugar the pill – mental ill-health touches 1 in 4 of us every year. It’s often one of those things that creeps up on us due to stresses at work and within the family. Often, our past comes back to bite us when we least expect it. Maybe we know our mental ill-health all too well and have become defeated by it after years of struggle.
Whatever YOUR story, it’s never too late to do SOMETHING about it and when is there a better time to start than on World Mental Health Day? I’ll be there, getting involved and talking to people about what matters to them: engaging with our local community, listening to real stories of the trials and the triumphs of ordinary people who are making a difference to their own mental well-being.
Maybe today is the day YOU decide to do something new and start YOUR journey to better mental health and well-being – maybe I’ll see you there!
On 1 January 2018, Sky News published an article on new year resolutions entitled: New Year resolutions: How to make 2018 the year you achieve your goals.
It showed the top 10 new year resolutions we all tend to make. At the top of the list was Lose Weight (48%), followed closely by Exercise More (41%) and Save More Money (32%). At number 10 was Cut Down on Alcohol (9%). Alas, it goes on to say that in 2017, one in five of us failed to keep all our resolutions in the first week.
New Year is certainly a wonderful opportunity to reassess what we want in life and make commitments to better ourselves in the coming year but one resolution I never see on any top ten lists is Look After My Mental Well-being. I often wonder whey we miss this – maybe it’s a cultural thing or maybe we are driven in other directions, by social pressures or mainstream or social media, to be successful, have more and be more. This can all be very exhausting, and I wonder whether simply paying more attention to our own well-being is a better use of our energy.
In my work, I’m becoming more and more aware of the importance of looking after our mental well-being and doing so is linked inextricably to physical, social and emotional well-being too. I’m increasingly seeing that there are very specific things that we can do in our everyday lives to help enhance our mental resilience and motivation, so that when life throws us a “curve-ball” – something surprising, unexpected and possibly unpleasant, demanding or even traumatic, we may be better placed to deal with it. On the other hand, when life provides opportunities or new and interesting challenges, we may be better placed to engage with life and say “yes” to new things.
These things that help to motivate us and improve our resilience in life are not rocket science but common-sense lifestyle choices that tend to meet our fundamental human, psychological needs and I’m increasingly engaged in conversations with my clients about these things. If you are thinking about what you can do to improve the way you feel in 2018 and want to talk it over, why not give me a call. Maybe 2018 can be a year of Make and not Break.