Mother’s Day – A Different Meaning

Mother’s Day – A Different Meaning

Mother's Day is celebrated all over the world - one special day set aside to celebrate motherhood. For those lucky enough, mothers are the one constant in our lives who will never give up on us. The one fighting our corner and providing the secure place we go to when things are not going our way. What will you and your family be doing this Sunday to mark Mother’s Day? Traditionally children will present mum with a lovely bunch of daffodils or chocolates and spend time making Mother’s Day cards. There may be a lovely family gathering for Sunday lunch with everyone chipping in to give mum a well-earned rest. At this time of year, there are numerous posts on Social Media reminding us how special mums are. There is nothing wrong with this version and it seems a lovely way to spend the day spoiling mum. Remembering on Mother's Day For some though, Mother’s Day will be something different especially for those whose mothers...
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Domestic abuse: Women and girls never need to suffer alone

Domestic abuse: Women and girls never need to suffer alone

Domestic abuse affects a lot of women. As a friend, I have been aware that some of my friends have endured domestic abuse. As teenaged girls and as women. In relationships and when they were single and ‘fair game’. As a colleague, I’ve seen the bruises, heard the whispered phone calls. Seen the fear and anxiety in their eyes. As an acquaintance, I’ve seen the tears of women who have suffered unspeakable episodes of violence. Beaten. Spat on. Told they are worthless. Trapped. The things is, I never said anything. We smiled, chit-chatted about our work, the weather, activities. But I just didn’t have the tools to ask. To listen. Staying silent in the awkwardness of talking When I was a teenager and young woman, I didn’t know how to have difficult conversations with other girls. They hinted about their experiences of abuse and violence at home; of witnessing their mothers being hit. We just didn’t have the language to talk about it properly. I...
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New Year, New You… Does January mean a new start for you?

New Year, New You… Does January mean a new start for you?

The New Year is here and January has truly set in. You can’t get away from the barrage of information about new diets, new fitness regimes, new you. At the same time, everyone’s talking about ‘Dry January’ and believing that detoxing for a month will help right the wrongs of the year before. The news tells us that marriages end in January; and divorce lawyers are really busy. While by mid-January-to-February everyone’s given up on turning vegan, going to the gym and has started drinking again. So, January is actually pretty dire! It gets dark by 4pm, it’s a long 5-week month until pay day and the New You isn’t materialising. The Reality of January Personally, I struggle with January’s ‘New Year – New You’ message. I just don’t buy it. Yes, of course there are things you could change in your life to make it better. You can eat more healthily, do more exercise, drink less, sleep better… But do they REALLY make you...
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Is Emotional Resilience about ‘bouncing back’?

Is Emotional Resilience about ‘bouncing back’?

Emotional resilience is generally understood to be your ability to adapt to ‘bad’ things that happen like trauma, stress and crisis. You are emotionally resilient if you can ‘roll with the punches’ and keep going without lasting difficulties. You’re thought to be less resilient if you have a harder time dealing with stress; and major or minor life changes. Develop Resilience So, it looks like we’d all like to be as resilient as possible and there are some good resources and steps that instruct on how you might become more resilient. Most commonly, the advice is to make some lifestyle changes; look after your physical health; be kind to yourself and use your support network. All leading to improved well-being and self-esteem. Research has identified some key characteristics of resilience. ‘Resilient Individuals Use Positive Emotions to Bounce Back From Negative Emotional Experiences’ … for the scientific among us! (Me!) Both people with high- and low-resilience were equally frustrated in response to the most important problem they...
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A new way of looking at mental health

A new way of looking at mental health

Mental health and wellness continue to emerge as a new way of looking at things. A new way of looking after yourself. There’s the ‘mind, body and soul’ movement, but mostly ‘mind’ isn't taken to mean talking therapy or counselling. It is more seen as stilling the mind, meditating and mindfulness. Talk to someone While I’m all for meditation and contemplation, I also strongly believe that talking to someone – a professional – also goes a long way to rebalancing and invigorating your mental health. I’m not saying you can’t talk to friends and family and feel better. It’s just that, for some of us, friends and family may not be as objective, non-judgemental and helpful as we might want. For others, there just aren’t any trusted friends and family to talk to. Even if there are, there’s always value in seeking help from someone who is trained in talking therapy. There are a range of therapy ‘types’ that you hear about with weird...
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