These are uncertain times for us. Anxiety caused by the corona virus is rising daily. The lack of control and power is making some of us feel extremely vulnerable. Emotions are running high. We are worried about ourselves and our loved ones. We all know people who are particularly vulnerable and risk. Our physical health is at risk. But so is our mental health. But we can learn how to minimise the anxiety of the corona virus pandemic.
Do you feel stuck? Are you doubting yourself? Why this is happening? The answer could be really simple: you might be stuck in certain, limiting ways of perceiving yourself and the world around you. Inflexible thinking is exhausting. It causes stress and anxiety. It results in black and white thinking where options are either very limited or simply not available. When we are stuck in in this mode of thinking, we are blocking ourselves from our real potential. Inflexible thinking can lead to anxiety, stress and depression.
A healthy mind goes alongside a healthy body. It may be an age old little saying, but the evidence that exercise can boost our mental health is growing all the time.
There is a brilliant article in The Guardian that explores the link between exercise and mental health problems like anxiety and depression. One of the first questions I ask a client (along with “how is your sleep?) is: “Do you exercise?”
My official title is Psychotherapist. But I also call myself a counsellor and a coach. And a question I hear regularly is: “Do I need a psychotherapist, a counsellor or a coach?” For some the idea of “psychotherapy” is frightening. It suggests mental illness. Or that there are mental health issues that need to be resolved and that it will be a lengthy, emotionally painful process. In my opinion, it does not need to be either. I see many clients who are living with depression or the impact of terrible traumas. But the style of psychotherapy I use aims to resolve these as quickly and as with as little emotional pain as possible.
But there are many others who give me a ring and come along to see me who are living healthy and, mostly, fulfilling lives. Why have they asked to see me?
If you are a loved one is struggling to understand or recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I can highly recommend you read this book.
Rosalind Townsend is a psychotherapist with a wealth of experience in helping those who have had to deal with trauma. We used to think that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was something that only those in the military would have to deal with and it was first called “Shell Shock”. Now, the definition is much more realistic and anyone who has experienced a major traumatic event such as rape, a terrorist attack, being mugged or living in an abusive relationship can fit the criteria
That day that everyone dreads is fast approaching: A level and GSCE results day. Sadly, the anticipation ruins the holiday for many young people and their families. The stress of needing certain grades can play on their minds all summer. Luckily for many, they will open the envelope and wonder why they allowed themselves to get so wound up. They will survive results day with a smile and a celebration.
But there will be those who sadly will not get the grades they were so desperately hoping for.
In Part 2, I looked at factors that can cause stress in the workplace. Now, I am going to focus on some stress busting techniques in the workplace. I have written about stress and work life balance before. But here are some reminders and some new tips that are aimed at keeping the stress levels as low as possible.
In Part 1, I explained our basic emotional needs and our innate resources. I am now going to focus on major causes of workplace stress.
Firstly, it needs to be said that a bit of stress is good for us. Helpful stress is what stretches us; makes us strive and learn new things and feel exhilarated. Stretch normally happens when our needs are being met and our innate resources are being used and developed in a healthy way. It motivates us to perform at our best. But when that stress becomes overwhelming or constant and we never get the time to “rest and digest”, it becomes unhealthy and it can result in exhaustion or burnout. And the result of that is often mental and / or physical ill health.
In this first part of this series on Workplace Stress, I am going to explore the foundations of what we need in order to be emotionally and mentally healthy within the workplace. Over the next few blogs, I am going to show you how to recognise and prevent stress in the workplace.
Young people like you all over the country are busy revising for their upcoming GCSE and A Level exams. Anxiety and stress levels for you and your parents are rising. In order to make the most of these exams, it is important to keep an eye on your mental health and wellbeing. The next in the exam season series is going to focus on keeping the anxiety and stress levels as low as possible.
Recently, an article appeared in The Daily Mail in which it was claimed that because of the pressure of achieving top grades at GCSE or A Level, there are parents who are cancelling or postponing family holidays in the buildup to exam season.
As a teacher and counsellor, I think this is a really bad idea. What would be much better is to continue with the planned holiday but to help the child use the break in a constructive way as time away from home is good for the entire family. But the basic rule is: Establish a routine.