Tag: mental health

Football (It’s coming home) to mindfulness

Football (It’s coming home) to mindfulness

  Football (It’s coming home) to mindfulness I was delighted to see pictures of the England football team practising relaxation, mindfulness and yoga techniques as part of their post-match cool-down.   It really has made it to the mainstream! More importantly, it gets the message out…

Music to my ears:  Stress busting tip 3

Music to my ears: Stress busting tip 3

  I’ve been spending this week considering the subject of stress in support of Mental Health Awareness Week 2018.  The central question asked being “Are we coping?” Singing for stress In my profession as a counsellor we are actively encouraged to monitor our stress levels…

All work and no play:  Stress busting tip no 2

All work and no play: Stress busting tip no 2

All work and no play

In support of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, I’ve been considering the ways in which we can manage stress, which is this year’s theme.  In the second of my mini-blogs I thought I was raise the concept of PLAY!  Yes you heard me right.

Now I know that as adults we find this a difficult concept.  We are too old, too tired, too busy to be “messing around”.  But might we be missing a trick here?  It’s fair to say that in recent year’s life feels like it’s got a bit serious and pressured.  This doesn’t help our stress levels as we struggle to meet competing demands on our time, take the kids to their after school clubs and Instagram our lunch.  As a counsellor I often use a tool called the “Wheel of Life” with clients.  It’s a Wheel (you guessed that) which splits life into segments which we then score out of 10 in terms of how happy we are we them.  Categories include things like, “work”, “relaxation”, “relationships” but there is also a category called “fun”.    Remember that?  No?  My clients invariably can’t either.  Whenever I say “So what do you do for fun?” it usually draws blank looks.  As adults in an ever increasingly serious world it feels like many of us (not all) have forgotten how to play.  And yet given the opportunity how many of us can resist skimming stones by the river, paddling in the sea or playing with our kid’s games.  Yet we seem to need an excuse to do this.  I have two abiding happy memories which stand out for me in terms of play.  One time I went down a huge mud slide screaming all the way down (then laughed even harder at my husband who being heavier than me travelled faster and almost hit the haystacks at the end) and also the time I went to a kite-flying event on Lytham Beach.  I got so excited I bought my own kite and flew it for ages, watching as it bobbed and weaved in the sky.  And during that time did I once think of work, stresses or things I had to do?  No.  I was totally lost in the experience, having a mindful moment, totally focussing on fun and flying my kite.

So I invite you to consider how you might just incorporate a little fun or play into your life.  It might be something as simple as buying a set of marbles and having a game.  Going roller-skating, climbing or maybe re-reading a favourite childhood book.  Adult colouring books are all the rage and are a great way to bring some mindfulness into your life.  In fact that reminds me, I got a new one for my birthday.  Just off to colour in a cat!

Cat colouring book with pens

Get up and go!  Stress busting tip No. 1

Get up and go! Stress busting tip No. 1

This blog has been produced as part of a mini-series on stress for Mental Health Awareness Week. Get up and Go Hello! Firstly, I may have set myself up for a fall here by deciding to be grander than I am!  Mini-series!  It just sounded…

Walking back to happiness

Walking back to happiness

Walking has very much been a theme of mine all year.  At the back end of 2016 I decided I wanted to broaden my practice in a more creative way and in one of those weird moments of synchronicity, a client sent me an article…

Make a start

Make a start

I’ve been meaning to start a counselling/well-being blog for ages but in fairness have just been putting it off! Procrastination you might say! I have found all manner of excuses. “I don’t know what to write about, I’ve nothing interesting to say, I have a new website and don’t know how to add a blog”. But, there comes a time when you have to face those fears and JUST DO IT! Whatever it is. Whether it be committing to going to the gym, clearing your clutter, going for a walk every day, or not using your phone as much. I guess we all have things we desperately want to change but very often don’t. Change is hard, as is commitment. Perhaps I knew if I started a blog I’d have to continue to do it. My inner critic was saying “ah but you won’t keep it up, you’ll be too tired. You’ll get bored of it, you usually do, don’t bother”. So I didn’t for a while and yet somehow it was always on my “to do”list.

I started to think how I would actually feel if I did write a blog. Happy, motivated and maybe a little bit proud of myself. From that I started to consider how I might make it happen. What resources did I need? (Lap top and word press instructions). I also needed to schedule some time to do it (a quiet Sunday afternoon when I had little else planned). But the most important thing I needed what to just sit down and START. What’s the worst that could happen? I didn’t manage it – ok that’s fine. I wouldn’t understand what I was doing? Then I’d need to seek advice from the website company. And so here I am, one quiet Sunday, having got my lap top, read through my wordpress guide (well I only read a bit because I don’t do instructions!!) and clicked on “new post”. The rest as they say…is history.