The Mind Management

As part of my reflective reading moving towards my psychology exam I have been reading ‘The Mind Management’ by Prof Steve Peters. Purchased for my daughter last Christmas this brilliant book has been on my own reading list for some time.

Known also as ‘The Chimp Paradox’ this book makes psychology accessible for everyone. Not only does it prove an interesting and quick read for professionals it sits well with those receiving life coaching. The idea of keeping ‘one’s chimp’ in check in order to be more confident and move forward is simplistic and both logical too.

I highly recommend this book for those looking for ways to increase confidence and are interested in self-development. I have  already been using the author’s teachings with clients with excellent results…and it does increase happiness levels as well as confidence.

Winding down after exams…with Keats

I am mindful that my blog has been neglected I have had reason to rant…but I confess I too have been winding down after exam invigilating, supporting students through the exam period and being a mature student. Though I still have an exam to do!! However, I have not been lazing around and have enjoyed a few cultural experiences alongside the usual challenges of my counselling and freelance work.

Last weekend I attended an event organised by the Redbourn Museum where we were fortunate to be visited by Professor Nicholas Roe from St Andrews University a historian and writer specialising in Keats one of the greats.  We were treated to a great talk and I managed to purchase and have signed his latest book on John Keats. This followed an interesting evening of poetry and wine in the museum gardens where various poetry lovers read from their favourite books; I chose Rupert Brookes, a few Haiku gems and one or too old favourites.

I had forgotten just how much poetry had featured in my own life and reflected on happy memories of reading from my mother’s poetry books as a small child. Writing poetry, indeed any writing is always therapeutic and it can be fun don’t forget even if you just write it for your own private reasons. However, don’t be shy try and get it published you may surprise yourself.

Normal daily blogging will resume now and for those students awaiting exam results try not to get too stressed enjoy your break you have earned it and I wish you all well with your results and chosen career paths. I will be writing about how choices change in the forthcoming weeks…and sometimes unexpectedly for the better.

 

Conflict of interest

How refreshing it was to watch the two part BBC programme ‘The Doctor who gave up drugs’ it certainly was thought provoking and revealed such blatent clash of interest between the medical profession, drug companies and producers of non-cow’s milk! Dr Chris Van Tulleken showed just how our children can be helped with alternatives to drugs for such issues as AHD and teenager depression including mindfulness.

Friends know that I am anti-drugs so it comes as no surprise I would agree with his findings. However, it does disappoint and alarm me that GP’s seemingly dish out anti-depressants to children and the bereaved when counselling and emotional support is the safer bet. I know some parents will scream and say unless you are living with a child with these challenges you have no idea..but I would rather not put a child’s life and well-being at risk. The second part showed how some teens were suicidal after their dosage of certain anti-depressants being increased and that is not just coincidental.

It was extremely worrying to see Dr Tulleken’s visual presentations in terms of the sheer volume of drugs our children are taking as well as the horrendous amount of Calpol we are administering to babies and young children.

Today I am not ranting just concerned but maybe more so that the documentary revealed how drug companies and babymilk manufacturers fund Doctors’ educational conferences where their products are certainly marketed well…if that isn’t a conflict of interest then my name isn’t Manning!

Complaining

We are pretty bad at complaining in this country and if something or somebody upsets us too often we talk about it but don’t find time to complain. Of course there are ways of complaining, staying calm but getting one’s point across…and after all if we don’t give the company or individual an opportunity to apologise and/or put things right they will never learn or value their customers.

Equally we are just as bad at writing to show thanks and appreciation too. If we are impressed about service then say so we all need praising how ever old we are.

 

 

The Enchanted Tea Rooms

It is never easy starting a new business and I wish the ladies running the new tea rooms in my village good luck. The Enchanted Tea Rooms is just what we needed in our sleepy village (Redbourn) a place to meet friends other than a franchise coffee shop. The decor  is fab it’s like walking into a cross between Laura Ashley and your Nan’s sitting room.

Not only can you get a cream tea but they serve all sorts of healthy prepared on the spot lunches and snacks. Your afternoon tea can be booked in advance for parties with the offer of Prosecco or Champagne…what’s not to like?

I hope the villagers make the effort to support this new addition to our High Street and make it a success for the ladies and keep it open for years to come.

This week a business colleague and I chose to leave our cars, take a walk and have our catch up meeting there and we were not disappointed, service was friendly and the food was good.

Dementia Action Week

During my privileged experience of working with dementia clients and their families I always maintain that getting to know the unit is vital. Making my sessions personal and enjoyable for the person facing the challenge of dementia has been my daily aim this will include working with all the senses to act as triggers for positive and happy memories. Music is one way of communicating universally with people of all ages and with all challenges including children with severe learning difficuties as well as those with alzheimers.

Last night when attending a local talk I discussed how I feel very strongly that nobody should be forced to attend a day centre if that is not for them and/or to take up painting or any other activity – if they didn’t like it before then don’t assume they will now! Encouragement yes by all means. I have heard how people have become agitated when placed in unfamiliar surroundings and one of the best and easiest ways to dilute anxiety is to avoid it.

Carers wellbeing is just as important as those suffering with dementia and too often pride prevents them from asking for help from those that believe they are coping better than they are. They need a break away from the 24/7 life with dementia which may have become their way of life and often making them a prisoner in their own home.

Sometimes carers lead a withdrawn life as they feel embarrassed by their partners behaviour or others have made them feel uncomfortable – we need far more understanding generally towards those families living with dementia.

I often write about dementia being similar to a bereavement and talking to children faced with parents with dementia this is so often the best way to describe how they feel as they lose the person they love.

If you are looking for a new charity to support then consider the dementia charities -Alzheimers Society and/or Dementia UK they need your help to fund care, research and support.

Being kind

Being kind and grateful feature frequently on my blog and I often say how kindness is not a weakness. Today I will quote a few words from ‘Alfie’ by the great Burt Bacharach to ponder:-

‘What’s it all about, Alfie
Is it just for the moment we live
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind
And if only fools are kind, Alfie…’

On speaking about kindness and being grateful with various pastoral colleagues it often seems that to some modern day people it’s uncool to be either…but I am an old-fashioned girl and believe we only get out what we put in and demonstrating kindness in all that we do, considering others… then we are happier ourselves. At the end of the day be grateful for any small achievement, success or happy moment and I promise you will wake up the next day feeling more positive and ready to face the day ahead.

Speaking to a recently bereaved gentleman yesterday; I reminded him to think about the good times and funny moments he had shared with his wife and after our unscheduled encounter he said he felt better and that made me feel grateful for my training too.

To the icecream man who gave me a free icecream this week after a hot afternoon invigilating- thanks for that tiny act of kindness Mr Whippy. You made an old girl very happy.

 

 

Business housekeeping

Anyone that works freelance knows that finding time for business housekeeping can be difficult. So busy looking for new ventures, one’s accounts and websites get neglected. I put my hand up that even having spent many years working in business development and marketing it is far easier to promote others than one’s self.

I love writing other people’s CV and mine today is looking rather sad and was not a true reflection of what I have actually been doing the past few years. I am an old fashioned girl and still believe it’s the covering letter that gets you noticed. Many colleagues have been groaning to me recently about the online approach to job seeking where just uploading a CV may leave some of us at a disadvantage.  I am told a faceless agent is sifting through hundreds and it’s a secret what they are looking for and weeks go past without any contact. I am sure we are not alone in feeling this way.

To be honest most of my best projects have come from personal recommendation and in between…yes that’s right I get on with the business housekeeping. Yesterday the dreaded accounts and today I’m tweaking the websites… the months disappear and like me the websites are in need of a revamp and a serious update!!

To those followers who have already commented on my kissing blog posted earlier –  a huge thank you for confirming I am not always talking to myself though I am mindful some days I am!

Student wellbeing -The RVC

Our Prime Minister spoke this morning in support of awareness and assistance in terms of mental wellbeing within education. The move to train teachers to spot signs of mental health may be seen as a step in the right direction -however what we actually need is more funding within schools to employ more trained counsellors/pastoral staff to deal with the growing stress factors that face today’s students.

I sadly often hear how schools fail children in respect of not adhering to the anti-bullying processes they are meant to follow and/or taking individual cases as seriously as they should – much to the distress and frustration of both students and parents.

However, I must take this opportunity to congratulate The Royal Veterinary College who do take the wellbeing of their students seriously. This starts from day one aiding students considerately in preparation of their interview for a place. During a recent visit to the RVC’s Hawkshead Campus it was also good to see their new sports centre named as ‘The Sport and Wellbeing Centre’ which is free to all students.  I think this speaks volumes of how valued their students are and how the RVC recognise both education and preventing student stress need focus and investment.

Here’s hoping some of the stress can be reduced if our government address and implement some of the financial improvements being muted for students persuing a university education.

Marketing mistakes

So I stand accused, and rightly so, by one follower of joining the marketing mob and promoting my kissing book around valentine’s day! My response and in my defence I think my accountant would be shouting if I hadn’t mentioned my project at this crucial opportunity -and he scares me most!

Jokingaside, my book is educational as well as amusing and therefore apt at any time of the year so I will be mentioning it more regularly. As with most writers we are the world’s worst at self-marketing – I am no exception to this weakness inspite spending many years in marketing. It is always harder to market one’s self.

As self employed individuals we spread ourself so very thin at times, especially when very few can afford to pay ‘the experts’ to do it on our behalf.

Happy monday and for those that need to… get marketing – note to self be more proactive!