The Only Way Is Up!

I don’t know if you remember the song ‘The Only Way is Up’ by Yazz from 1988, but those words have resonated with me and some of my family for various reasons. The words are quite poignant “We’ve been broken down to the lowest turn, being on the bottom line, sure ain’t fun”; other lyrics talk about holding on! It’s not that easy sometimes to hold on and sometimes we feel we just want to run away and move somewhere else, just doing something else or being somewhere else will somehow make it better – but does it? We need to focus on moving onwards and upwards and take active steps in replacing unhealthy coping strategies with healthy ones. Easier said than done – perhaps, but avoidance and procrastination doesn’t make things go away, it makes things fester and grow bigger! It allows the stress to build up, which is

Imagine Stress Being the Same as a Fall

As children, we have no fear. We fall over and think nothing of it, the hurt is brushed away like the dirt and grit from a graze on our knee. As we get older, we don’t ‘bounce’ the same. When we fall it shakes us and our confidence and hurts us when we land, often breaking bones, pulling muscles or tearing ligaments. But the fall isn’t the end, is it? It’s all the stuff afterwards that ‘hurts’ us, the pain and strain of managing the aches and pains, a continual reminder of the ‘hurt’ reminding us we fell and hurt ourselves. I recently had a fall and the aftermath as above. This made me think of the parallels of how we get stressed and how stress affects us in the same painful way a fall can. Stress can hurt us, just like a fall. It hurts us mentally, emotionally and

Are you in control of your life or is your life controlling you?

If I was to say to you that managing stress is about you taking control of your life, would you agree, or would you say you can’t do anything about it – that stress can happen to any of us, like catching the flu? We can all manage stress, we just have to identify where it comes from, what has caused it and why it’s affecting us in the way it does, and then look at how we can best manage it. Stress has many guises and is different for us all, it affects all of us in different ways and so doesn’t it figure that managing stress needs to be different for us too? One size doesn’t fit all! Let’s start by identifying typical sources of stress in our lives. We know that chronic stress can be caused by big changes in our lives, e.g. changing jobs, moving house,

Do you have the ‘S’ Word?

Stress!  What is it? What does it look like? How does it manifest itself? How do I know I have it? How can I manage it? We sometimes recognise others are stressed and then don’t recognise this in ourselves. Whether you feel stressed or not, prevention is just as important. Let me ask you this question. Do you make time for fun and relaxation every day? YES – NO If you answered no then here are some tips I would like to share with you which you might find useful. Set aside relaxation and leisure time – this can include time just to rest, either our body or our mind, or both. We often leave ‘us’ to the end, but this is about putting ‘us’ first. We need to nurture ourselves, recharge our batteries – this is a necessity and not a luxury, and sometimes we need to convince ourselves