A Few Thoughts For #Carersweek

Taking Care Of Someone Else Means Taking Care Of Yourself First – Picture credit Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

It has been another tough year.

The Coronavirus is still knocking people for six.  

Relatives and friends looking after loved ones are feeling invisible and under-valued.

For instance, research shows more than 7 out 10 UK carers haven’t practiced self-care and had a break in 12 months (a link to the report is below).

Which mean thousands of people are exhausted. Which means tired relatives struggling to focus on caring for a loved one. Which leaves the cared for person with less than the full support they need.

Vaccination is making a difference. Society may look different before too long.

Hopefully, by June 2022, better support will be offered to carers and carers will be more visible and valued. If so, the cared for will feel the benefit.

‘Breaks or breakdown’, Carers Week 2021 report – Carers UK

Picture credit Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2021

Lockdown: how has it felt to you?

Did staring at the same four walls each day get you down?

If the answer is ‘sometimes’. join the club.

I’ve found staying indoors to avoid infection hard sometimes.

Safety has meant less

  • fresh air
  • sunshine
  • social contact

There are health benefits resulting from connecting with nature. That can mean raising a plant indoors or taking a walk outdoors. Follow the link if you want to know more:

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

So, from this week on I am going to spend a bit more time taking care of my health, with help from Nature itself.

How about you?    

Picture Credit Pok Rie at Pexels.com

The Power of #Gratitude

So Many People Have Helped Us Get This Far During The Pandemic

(Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash )

Thank You.

Two very powerful words to express gratitude.

Do me a service (large or small) and expect a ‘thank you’.

After the year we have all survived, gratitude seems like the least we can express.

Over the past year I have thanked:

  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Physiotherapists
  • Transport workers 
  • Funeral staff
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Neighbours
  • Police 

and so many others.

From what I can see ‘thank you’ goes a long way to showing we are all in this together. 

So, who will you thank today? 

Let’s Talk #InternationalMensDay

Today is International Men’s Day.

The theme for 2020 is, Better Health For Men And Boys.

From my experience of life’s ups and downs (including depression in the early 2000s), I figure we can do better when it comes to mental health.

I haven’t known many people to take their own lives, but all those I’ve been aware of to die in this way were men.

In 2019 men accounted for 3 out of 4 UK suicides.

Men can bottle things up until the burden they are carrying seems too much to handle. That is when things can get grim.

Talking about the feelings we are carrying around helps.

Talking to a trusted family member, supportive friend, or skilled therapist.

Talking until the burden starts to get smaller.

Let’s talk more this year, so more men can enjoy better mental health and take the chance of inspiring the next generation to do the same.

(Picture credit Linkedin Sales Navigator at Unsplash)

What Can We Do To Be Happier In #2021 ?

2021 is getting closer – Picture credit Zac Durant at Unsplash.com

2021 is roughly four months away. The next eight months have to be a happier than the last eight, don’t they?

I mean, how many happiness points out of 10 would you give 2020 so far?

7 out of 10? 6? 5?

Here’s a tip if your 2020 happiness score is 4 out of 10, or less.

Make the most of the people around you. After all:

Family.

Friends.

Neighbours.

Co-workers.

Are all good people to ask for support. It is legitimate to lean on others from time to time, just like they lean on you.

In my experience taking a deep breath and asking for help is the first step back towards happiness. Whoever you talk to will be able to help you reconnect with the qualities that make you smile, feel pride, enjoy your day.

Here’s a quote from Mahatma Gandhi which I like:

Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.

Hopefully 2021 will be full of those moments.

Meanwhile, who do you turn to when you need to get back into harmony? Leave a comment, or Tweet @RogerD_Said

How To #Thrive In Tough Times

Searching for the light – Photo by Dewang Gupta on Unsplash

There are 153 days left in 2020. I suspect I won’t be the only one glad to see the back of a year which has featured widespread: 

  • Health dilemmas 
  • Job insecurity 
  • Prejudice against minorities 

Fortunately, there have been desperately difficult times before (and sadly there will be more in the days ahead).

Nonetheless there is wisdom we can tap into to inspire ourselves and those around us. Wisdom which reminds us that the future is brighter than the present.

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus, to see the light

Aristotle

In other words: it is the toughest times which test us most. Those are the times during which we need to look hard, to find the life lessons to keep us moving forward. 

What is the phrase you use to motivate yourself, or the people around you when the going gets tough? Share your thoughts in a comment, or by tweeting @RogerD_Said

#BlackLivesMatter – They Always Have

Photo From Shane Aldendorff from Pexels.com

Black Lives mattered in the 1960s when the sign my parents came up against when apartment hunting in London said ‘No Coloured. No Irish. No Dogs’.

They mattered in the 1970s when a member of the public could say they wanted to speak to a White member of staff, rather than my Dad (and have that ‘reasonable’ request honoured by management) .

They mattered in the 1980s when on a degree course someone could refer to a third party as a Black C*nt (and then add, ‘no offence mate’ when he saw I had heard what he said).

They mattered when George Floyd said to police officers, ‘I can’t breathe’ and called out for his mother.

These are different sized examples, some big some smaller in scale. They take place at different times, but all contain the same message: being from an ethnic minority means being less than equal, in some people’s eyes.

So here we are in 2020, still needing to take substantial steps to level society up. All because those steps were not taken 60, 50 or 40 years ago.

Here are some steps we can take to embed improvements in this generation:

  • Accept the principle that Black Lives Matter does not mean other lives don’t.
  • Agree there is enough equality to go around and that the inter section between ethnicity and any other personal characteristic matters too.
  • Act today to take personal responsibility for making one change in the world around us, which makes things better for everyone tomorrow.

What goal will you set yourself to make a difference? How will your actions show you are a leader when it comes to making change happen? You can comment below or Tweet @RogerD_Said if you prefer.

3 Steps To Getting Stuff Done

Wow.

We have made it to the end of January.

Blue Monday is behind us.

Eleven months lie ahead.

And that is a lot of space for completing goals.

To be fair I’ve accomplished one of my main 2020 goals already (there are plenty left on my list).

This was one I had put off, as there is some pain linked with it, which made it harder to deal with.

Anyway, my method to get even the painful stuff done is simple;

  • Clearly define what needs doing
  • Set a specific time aside to do it and
  • Line up a reward for afterwards

What works for you? You can share your secret to success on Twitter @RogerD_Said

What Should We Do To Enjoy A #Happy New Year?

Inspiring image of a climber
Where Will Your Next Step Take You? – Photo Credit smswigart via Morguefile.com

We all want a happy new year.

Don’t we?

At the start of the year advertisers make the most of that fact. They tell us that:

  • If we join the gym we can be healthier.
  • Moving home will make us that much happier.
  • Our lives will be even better if we start a new job.

But investing in those changes means accepting there are happiness gaps in our life (affecting our Health, Comfort or Career) and that these gaps need to be tackled.

Gap filling tools include, self help books; trusted advice; even blog posts.

Speaking for myself I am going to make more time this year to keep score. By that I mean taking time to assess my life to work out where the happiness gaps are. If an area scores 5 out of 10, or less, then I have to move it up a notch. I will set a goal, agree some actions, relate the actions to dates and get started. I’ll write about the results here.

I hope this post helps nudge you to sit down with a cuppa and score the important parts of your life out of 10, to work out what you can change.

Feel free to comment on your goals here, or share your thoughts in a tweet @RogerD_Said

Here’s to a great 2020.

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!