For so many of our global society, we are experiencing something quite unique. An unseen and invisible disease on a scale almost inconceivable. Many will quite naturally experience emotional and psychological turbulence at the disruption of established patterns and routines which so readily provides us with a (false) sense of control and order.
We are all participants in what will likely become referred to as an extraordinary chapter of history. [Read more…]
Over the years, many parents have approached me asking for advice, or asking me to meet with their young one as they are concerned about their mental health. So, this is a very welcome piece from Shamir Patel who is a registered pharmacist with extensive experience in running independent high street pharmacies across the north west of England. Shamir also established Chemist 4 U way back in 2001, which is now one of the largest digital pharmacies in the UK.
Mental health is a prevalent problem in society. We recently carried out a study into antidepressants, from which we found that as many as 28% of the population identify as having a mental health condition. That’s huge.
The State of Mental Health in the UK
The disorders suffered by respondents included body dysmorphia, SAD, bipolar and many more besides, but the two main conditions identified were depression and anxiety. 68% of UK based respondents, with mental health conditions, suffered from depression and a further 59% also said they had anxiety. While all this was entirely shocking and arguably devastating to see, perhaps the most surprising element of our study was what was uncovered when researching into the ages of those struggling with their mental health. [Read more…]
Our children being ‘picky eaters’ can be one of the most frustrating parts of the parenting experience. I have personal experience of this and guest author, Caroline Kastner, offers some helpful tips to manage this behaviour.
How to Pack a School Lunch Box that Kids Will Eat & How to Deal with a Child’s Refusal to Eat
Millions of children right across the world attend school each day. However, did you know that a large percentage of children don’t actually eat their lunch while they’re at school? It’s true! When a child doesn’t eat their lunch it can be extremely frustrating for the parent. You may have tried a lot of different things in order to get your children to eat their lunch, but it still doesn’t work. If you’re in this predicament, then here are some top tips that you can use to pack a school lunch that children will eat and how to deal with a child’s refusal to eat if nothing else works. [Read more…]
Studying, wherever or whatever the educational environment, is nothing new yet the pressures today have arguably never been so intense. So how CAN WE reduce the associated stress, anxiety, depression and other turbulent symptoms before they become embedded and define our lives?
We cannot rely on others for our happiness, we have a choice to own some accountability!
Meditation is one important way we can reduce and remove stress, replacing it with a dose of inner peace. However, it can be a challenge to meditate without a guide. Guided meditations literally walk you through and help you find a calm and peaceful state, one step at a time. I’ve created something here for you to complement this post.
Take just 13 minutes to find some peace and become more grounded. This will enable you to get the day off to the best start, to re-set yourself during the day, or of particular benefit, last thing at night to aid with sleep. (Best listened to via earphones, click the player below.)
Top 10 Tips to Reduce Stress
1. Get more Productive & Focused – Studying and trying to focus for longer periods without a break increases the time taken to absorb information. Get away from the study area and practise a few minutes (or more) of being mindful. Use a breathing exercise and some centering thoughts before an exam – to focus just on one question at a time, not the outcome!
2. Grab Regular Breaks – Taking breaks each hour will increase your performance and allow the brain to absorb and ‘sort’ information already received. Set a timer to nudge you!
3. Get Playful – Manage fatigue by scheduling ‘play-time’ as well as rest or other down-time. Seven hours’ restful sleep is sufficient for many of us, despite the belief we might need Twelve!
4. Stay Hydrated – Avoid de-hydration if you want a clearer mind and to reduce the incidence of headache (dehydration being a common cause of headaches).
5. Alcohol – Another major contributory factor to dehydration is alcohol. Clearly downtime is often going to include alcohol consumption so do make sure you replace the elevated loss of vital fluids and electrolytes after the party! Do expect less optimal performance for that exam the morning after alcohol!
6. Eye strain – Look after your eyes, this is another limiting factor for some of us. I suffer dreadfully if I don’t take breaks to rest my eyes. Do make sure you’re on top of your eye health exams.
7. Exercise – Whether it’s simply 30 minutes per day, exercise such as walking, taking in the environment, swimming, going to the gym or other low / high aerobic impact activity, all will reduce the effects of anxiety and depression and provide a natural, healthy high.
8. Socialise – It can become too easy to become ‘hermit’ like and ‘veg out’ then study and ‘veg out’ again, losing touch with others. Try to stay connected. We unconsciously learn to gain understanding when others are feeling and thinking how we are – facing challenges and doubts.
9. Eat Healthily – Our fast-food friends make it all too easy to grab some junk food – and now and again, why not indulge? But our moods and foods are very much intertwined so, if you want optimal performance, look after your physical house with foods that make you feel good, and think well.
10. Perspectives – Much of our anxiety is around perceptions and cognitions. If we can come to our breath and body by way of a regular daily practise, we can retain a more realistic sense of our reality in this moment. Spending study and down-time ruminating over the potential for success or ‘failure’ (expectations not being met), serves only to distract you from what you are supposed to be doing!
I hope this goes some way to providing a measure of what can be possible while we attempt to reach our goals, and to live more optimally. For more advice via Skype or in-person, do call or write to me.
I’ll be creating more guided meditations in due course. If you enjoyed listening to today’s podcast, why not sign up to receive each one FREE, together with my fortnightly posts?
When parents divorce, as has seemingly become ‘the norm’ in today’s society, we all know our children will feel the fallout too. As I write this article, it is from a number of angles; as a former child of parents who divorced, as a parent who divorced, and as a therapist helping members of families whose domestic unit has been, or is, ‘deconstructing’. [Read more…]
Reviewing some of the demographics for couples and individuals who presented for relationship advice, and for their individual emotional and mental health conditions; research shows that in the UK, in 2012 there were a recorded two million single parents, up four hundred thousand from 1996. [Read more…]
Congratulations! How proud are you? Your wonderful offspring are about to start college or uni; or recommence term and you could not be more pleased. All those years of cajoling them to do their homework and gain great grades have finally paid off!
So, that’s ‘you’ as parents sorted then! How are the kids – the students feeling?[Read more…]
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