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.

Merry #Christmas And A Happier New Year

At the end of 2020 I got my wires crossed when answering a friend’s text. She had asked how I was feeling, and she felt my answer didn’t say enough (I wondered if, maybe she was going through something herself).

Anyway, I let her know I was doing okay and would catch up with her after Christmas. I reckoned there would be a break in the lockdown in 2021 and we could meet for a drink or something.  

That didn’t happen.

I don’t know whether my friend was feeling unwell in December 2020 when she texted, but she died with Covid mid-January 2021.

I felt numb when I got the news. Then I cried, because her death was so unfair, given her age.

This Christmas I’m thinking about her family and everyone else who has lost someone in 2021 (due to Covid or not).

I hope they are doing okay this Christmas.

I hope they will find the right words to celebrate their loved one’s life, even though they are absent from the table.

I hope they / we all have a happier new year.

( Photo by Any Lane from Pexels )

#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).

Making Change Happen – Personal #Goals In 2021

What Needs To Change? (Picture credit SHVETS Productions via Pexels.com)

So, what has September felt like to you? 

Post-pandemic is it business as usual, once again?  

Or, is it more like something from a science fiction film, complete with rapid testing and face coverings? 

Happiness involves choice.

Making change happen starts with moving towards a goal.

Everyone choosing to follow a different path after lockdown has had to plan their way forward. Maybe that is something you want to do? If so there’s plenty of information in the posts here to get you started.

Check out the download section too, if you want some ideas on where to focus your attention.

The first step is to ask yourself, what do I want to change by the end of next month?

Then figure out what your next step looks like. 

Then take it.

Leave a reply and let everyone know how you get on!

#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

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

What Do You Want From #2021 (And Who Stands In Your Way) ?

(Feel free to like and share if you enjoy this post)

This is the time of year when we make changes. Getting healthier; making savings grow; changing our job: these all feature on people’s To Do lists.   

Maybe you made a 2021 Resolution yourself (if so, how is it going)?

The hardest part of making change happen is taking a first step, having stood still for a while (weeks / months / even years).

The biggest obstacle to getting started can be other people, especially when they are important or influential figures in our lives. There are ways around people who want to block our growth.

Take a look at my video on the subject via Youtube if you need to think about working around the people getting in your way. What strategies do you use to keep moving forward? Don’t forget to comment, like, share and subscribe if you enjoy what you see.

All the best – Roger

Creativity Connection Nourishment

World Mental Health Day means we #DoOneThing on 10 October – Look After Ourselves

2020 has been a tough year. 

Twelve months ago, who knew we would have to deal with Furloughs, Social distancing, Funeral planning ? 

The Covid-19 era will end. But during this roller-coaster ride we owe it to ourselves to do one thing; look after ourselves. 

Luckily, looking after ourselves is the theme for World Mental Health Day. So on Saturday 10 October it makes sense to make time to look after number one. Doing this makes us better prepared to support other people.

How have you managed to keep it together in 2020? As I take stock this October my life isn’t perfect, but I have stayed mostly upbeat since March by:

  • Eating well.
  • Connecting to others.
  • Being creative. 

Obviously, there is more to looking after ourselves than that, but this is a start.

What are the actions you take to manage your wellbeing? Feel free to leave a comment and continue the conversation.

(Image credit Lean Leta at Pexels.com)

How To Make Welsh Rarebit: And Forget #Coronavirus For A While

Creating Something – Like A Simple Meal – Can Improve Our Mood

So, how are you doing today?

No. Really. How are you doing?

Anxious? Concerned? Unsettled?

No harm in having any of these feelings (at different times since the Covid-19 pandemic started I have felt one or two of these states).

The trick is to find a way to comfort yourself, so you are more like yourself and better able to help other people. Any small step will do.

Exercise.

Music.

Food.

Whatever works.

We won’t be locked-down forever, so living it up, in a small way is worth it. I hope the recipe gets you thinking about what you can do to get moving in a more positive direction.

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!