It’s #Timetotalk

Men talking – Picture credit Pexels.com

The hardest part about living with a mental health challenge?

Others can’t see it.

Broken limb?

We wear a plaster cast.

Feeling broken down?

We need to start talking.

Being vulnerable.

Opening up about the hurt.

Inviting someone to support us.

In person, or online.

In confidence.

In our own interests (and for the sake of our loved ones).

It is always a good time to talk.

#Workplacenightmares (And Some Wellbeing Strategies)

Workplaces Should Be Nightmare Free – (Image by Pixabay at Pexels.Com)

We can’t always be liked or respected by colleagues. Bad atmospheres can give us sleepless nights. Do you have a workplace nightmare story, that one that still makes you cringe years later?  

Here’s mine.

The 1990s Were Different

Back to the 1990s there was no anti-discrimination legislation in the workplace covering people perceived to be LGBTQ+ (whether we actually belonged to one of those communities, or maybe were an equality ally).

From what I remember, being seen as not one-of-the-lads (or necessarily straight) had consequences:

  • Being subject to discriminatory rumours

(Strategy. If there’s a whispering campaign against you, find out who started it and ask them to stop, because no one wants to be harassed).

  • Facing unwelcome questions – “Hey, mind if I ask you…”?

(Strategy. You have no obligation to share your truth, if you don’t want to. Maybe there is a staff representative group or union you can be supported by).

  • Being excluded from some parts of office-based social life

(Strategy. Realistically it is time to find new friends, since no one wants to socialise with a judgemental set of people).

Some People Are Privileged

It is a privilege to be in the majority. The status of majority-member is a powerful one. You get to chose how well you treat others.

Back in the 1990s privilege meant excluding anyone who couldn’t say they were a zero on the Kinsey scale (a lot of us can’t).

The lads leading that strategy in the 1990s will be in men in their fifties now. These days law and good management practice limit the space for the kind of open discrimination. I hope they have learnt the right lessons over those twenty years.

I also hope the strategies above help improve the atmosphere where you work (you can always reply to this post to suggest your recipe to wake up from your workplace nightmare).

Helping Ourselves On #WorldMentalHealthDay

Solving Problems Is Easier When We Act Together. (Picture credit Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels )

Today, of all days, it is worth saying that life without good mental health is hard.

From my experience, in the developed world, it can still feel dark, stressful, and overwhelming to struggle on alone.

In developed and developing nations stigma about mental health conditions can affect outcomes. In some countries and cultures mental health taboos can leave those issues to silently fester in the dark. People affected can hide their illness. It can feel their secret shame to bear alone.

Left untreated their illness can become more significant than it needed to be. That is bad news for their loved ones, their colleagues and everyone else affected.

So, to change those outcomes, wherever we live, tackling mental health issues needs to involve:

  • Recognising something is making our life more complicated than it needs be
  • Reaching out to professionals who are able to help
  • Staying in touch with good listeners amongst our family network and friendship circle
  • Being kind to ourselves

What has worked for you, or people you know?

Always worth remembering, wherever in the World we find ourselves, and whatever else is important in our lives, struggling alone is not a solution.

We are stronger together.

#Business As #Usual ?

Now We Can Work Together Much More Should We? – Photo From Fauxels From Pexels

Step 4 in the Covid-19 recovery process means fewer restrictions. 

Step 4 doesn’t mean everything is back to business as usual, workwise.

In fact, it could take a while for ‘usual’ to emerge.

Blended Working: Pros and Cons

How does a blended approach of 50:50 working from home and an office sound?

The Pros are obvious:

  • Less hours commuting
  • More creative contact with diverse colleagues

The Cons are less obvious:

  • Quiet pressure to work just a bit more (early morning / in the evening / on the weekend)
  • More exposure to any toxicity in the workplace and the potential to get into disruptive relationships

What We Choose Affects Our Happiness

Our choices will affect our happiness.

A well-thought through choice will help build job satisfaction.

A casual one could cause damage.

So, it is worth taking time to figure out what we want from the work we do.

That reflection will help us form new work goals which help us deliver better results.

Why not have your say. What will you do differently, when you go back to work?

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

3 Steps to Beating The Autumnal Blues

Experience less stress by getting out into the world - Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric from Pexels

Experience less stress by getting out into the world – Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric from Pexels

The clocks have gone back, so the end of the year must be close by. Do you ever feel like staying indoors and hibernating until the spring? I have felt like that, so it is understandable if you answered ‘Yes’.
It is better though to set a goal to do something to safeguard your health and then take action to tackle that goal.
Why?
Because, despite the cold, wet and gloom of the autumn there are health benefits to getting out and about. Doing this means we get to experience:
  • Fresh air, instead of the recycled climate stirred up by air conditioning
  • Fresh scenery and the chance to top up our vitamin D reserves
  • Fresh perspectives and space for mindfulness, not the time suck of incoming messages that keep us nailed to our desks
Mixing things up keeps things from getting stale. That’s good news for you, your team and your customers. I hope the ideas above help you over the coming weeks. Feel free to share your secrets to beating the autumnal blues!

Your #Goals – These Small Steps Help Achieve Giant #Results

Reaching A Goal Means Connecting To Others – Picture Credit Pexels.com

When it comes to the great achievement of the Moon landing ‘One small step’ and ‘One giant leap’ are perfect metaphors.

 

The giant leap involved a huge amount of teamwork, leading from President Kennedy’s ambitious idea in 1962 to a an awesome achievement celebrated by President Nixon in 1969.

 

To realise the major goal of a manned Moon landing it was necessary to break down that ambition into small bite sized chunks, assigning tasks to physicists, mathematicians, engineers, pilots and a network of other specialists, Once the stages were set the milestones completed and the risks managed the results became inevitable.

 

And so the example of the moon landing is useful for all of us when we think about the goals we wish to achieve.

 

For instance if the ambition after this summer is to get a new job by year’s end, there are several steps to take. 

 

  • First take stock of qualifications and experience. 

 

  • Then identify gaps in either area. 

 

  • Next work out how to plug those gaps. 

 

  • Having done that hard work we can make a decision about the sorts of jobs that we want and the employers we would like to wok for.

 

  • With that knowledge about what we want, what we offer and who we would like to offer it to ,we can make a strategic series of applications or at least establish a presence on the social media front aimed at connecting with the potential employers and people who would be interested in making use of our talents.

 

Doing this very important work, in bite sized chunks, makes accountability possible. Doing all the work means we can to stand up, breathe deep and reach for the stars.

 

What is your favourite way to achieve the biggest goals you face? Feel free to share this content, if you have found this post useful. You can Like or Comment too if you want. 

Your Top 5 Recommended #Stress Busters

How Do You Manage Your Stress? Picture from Pexels.com

If you have survived another busy week (mine involved plenty of running around for other people) I’ve got to ask, how do you let go of the stress, relax and become a nice person to be around once again?

Being mindful of your own stress level and varying the pace of life makes the intense times easier to bear. I am more productive and a better team player when I feel in control of my life.

In fact I remember a few years ago asking a group of carers (busy people responsible for loved ones’ well being) what they did to unwind and I still think their approach makes sense. They recommended

 

  • Nature – spending time outside, feeling the sun on my face shifts my mood.
  • Music – listening to a favourite artist reminds me of good times.
  • Laughing –  enjoying a good comedy programme puts tough times into the background.
  • Exercise – getting to the gym, playing sport, taking the stairs releases feel good chemicals into our system.
  • Friends – catching up with people we care about activates our support system, which reminds us we are not alone.

I have followed 2 of these strategies consistently and they help. Which ones do you follow or do you have other suggestions to share?

3 Actions To Take To Make Our #Goals More Effective

4 People With Good Ideas

Goal Setting Ideas For The Year Ahead – Picture From Pexels.com

Christmas is nearly here. So a big Thank You is due to all those who work through the busy holiday period, making it less stressful for those of us coordinating parties, presents and people.  

Everyone has ideas about how to be productive during busy times. I think there are 3 key principles we should hold on to, especially when we are surrounded by people wanting our attention, our commitment, or our energy. We should:   

  • Aim to take care of our own needs first, so we can be better at helping others. 
  • Be patient with people who resist change, or who are only thinking about themselves. 
  • Choose our battles, so that when we say ‘No’ that answer is heard and respected.  

I think these ABC actions help, whether our goal is to thrive during the festive season or make change happen in the year ahead.  

Feel free to Like and feedback if you try these principles out and they work for you (or share this post with someone who needs it).  

Have a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. 

 

What 3 Lessons Can We Learn From Comicbook Heroes ?

A Picture of Stan Lee From The BBC

What Did You Learn From Stan Lee ?

I discovered the Marvel universe as a kid, when a mate loaned me a copy of an Avengers comic book. I loved it. I went on to enjoy the art bringing the adventures of dozens of Marvel heroes to life. Decades later I’m grateful to the inspiring vision of the late Stan Lee for all that joy. He said his goal for Marvel comics was that

“…someday an intelligent adult would not be embarrassed to walk down the street with a comic magazine”.

Mission accomplished. Marvel’s creative output would not be seen as ‘for kids’ but would successfully have something to say to the rest of us too. He achieved that goal and more. Many of us have owned trading cards, magazines and now films that are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What Are My 3 Take Aways From Marvel’s Storytelling? 

Teams rely on diverse talents to create exciting outcomes (what would Stan Lee’s characters be without Jack Kirby’s pencils…or the X Men without the Professor’s detachment and Logan’s passion)?

Strength isn’t about muscles ,it is about depth of character (take a look at Iron Man issues 120 to 128 in which Tony Stark deals with his alcohol dependency) Being aware of our own strengths and development needs gives us an edge

Leaders set the tone for the people around them , creating a healthy environment where  colleagues can try different approaches, fail and learn from mistakes (think about how much room to operate Phil Coulson gives the agents of SHIELD)?

What have you learned about life by discovering the Marvel universe? Feel free to have your say by leaving a comment.

Excelsior!

3 Steps To Greater #Success This Autumn

Smile

Would you like to get your smile back? picture credit Pexels.com

Autumn is the season for making changes, starting new projects and pursuing new goals. Students, startups and job seekers know that can be hard work.

I know how overwhelming change can seem with so many moving parts to think about. So, I’m going to suggest 3 steps to overcome the overwhelm problem and get your smile back:

Accept Your Feelings

If your new project feels nightmare-ish work out how to break down your big goal into more manageable chunks. When we aren’t struggling life feels better. Start completing those smaller steps and you will feel more in control of your situation.

Build Your Network

Take time to connect to people who you can help and who can help you. Reduce the number of people in your world who drain your energy and frustrate your focus.

Celebrate Your Progress

I know it is obvious, but sometimes we don’t notice we are improving and downplay positive feedback. We should be hungry to receive constructive feedback and able to feel good about the significant improvements we start to make once we get going.

What’s Your Next Move?

Obviously, these are tasters of bigger themes and it isn’t easy to put these 3 steps into practice. It is worth it though. Give it a go and feel free to comment on how things work out. Like and Share too so others can benefit too.

Have a great month.