Check out this quote by writer Anne Lamott... Personally, I find it amusing and also surprisingly true!
There is more of a buzz around self-care lately and it's something I've been thinking about for quite a few months now. When I first heard about it, I thought that the phrase sounded rather self-centred and narcissistic. After all, surely we should be outward looking rather than inward looking?
Upon reflection, I changed my mind. When I look back on recent years and my previous job, I was pretty stressed for a long time. Feeling stressed for a significant amount of time completely de-sensitised me and it just became a way of life. The pressures of targets, expectations and responsibility all weighed down on me and I found it difficult to let go. I smiled less, laughed less and I'm not ashamed to say my family and friends noticed it as well.
Sometimes it's worth a complete change of direction, however not everybody can escape their circumstances. This is where self-care and resilience become so vitally important. Take steps to preserve your wellbeing; whether that's exercise, planning a break, taking a bath, fun with your family... It's ok to prioritise time for your own refreshment. In fact, it's necessary! From my experience, it's difficult to make a positive impact on the world or in other people's lives if you're not in a good or healthy place. If you look after yourself, you're likely to be more productive too... that's win-win!
Several of our experts regularly promote self-care and we've even got a lovely workshop full of practical techniques which will help you and your staff. If you are planning your next INSET day, or you've got some time where you can gather staff together - give us a shout! I promise you it will be worth it.
It's not often that we have the pleasure of meeting with our experts face-to-face. They are so busy in their day jobs, not to mention travelling around the UK presenting workshops and briefings for Olive Branch Consultancy. Esther and Mandy are two incredibly experienced psychotherapists with a huge amount to offer. They are able to deliver on several topics within the field of mental health and pastoral care, and many past participants have greatly enjoyed their training. But why is that? Check out the video to find out more.
'January Blues'... We have all heard the phrase before, but for many people January is a cold, stark reality and it goes without saying it's the most depressing month of the year (when you're in the UK anyway).
So - here we are, it's the middle of January! Now what?
It's very easy to feel down when you start focussing on all the things that are beyond your control or on the current hardships in your life. Whether that's money worries, relationship struggles, health issues or feelings of inadequacy. When you add in a cold, dark month and not a lot else, it's hardly a cocktail of joy! In a way it's similar with a person. Pick somebody close to you and start thinking of all the things you find annoying or disappointing - it doesn't take long for negative feelings to bed in. Yet in contrast, if you start focussing on positive memories, what you appreciate about them and other wondrous attributes then suddenly it's a bit of a game-changer.
Sadly for a large proportion of the population, feeling low is part of an illness and has nothing to do with the time of year. In fact, it's very likely that you know somebody who is suffering or perhaps you're in that position yourself. There are various ways to get help and if you think it might be you, please be encouraged to take the first step.... talk to somebody you really trust.
Wherever you are on the happy scale, the season may be bleak, but will you let your outlook be bleak? Some of the best advice out there is to exercise self-care. However much you might be drowning in workload or worries, purposefully take time out just to pause. Can you find a moment in the day to just be? What makes you happy? For me, it is to venture outdoors (even if for a short while) and find something beautiful. I find it always lifts my spirits, however small the moment. The photo above was taken on a bleak, grey day in mid-winter yet there was still beauty to be discovered.
What will you do in your moment of just 'being'?
We managed to grab 30 seconds with Anne Castle, our much loved presenter and also long-time friend. She has a unique way of speaking her mind and delivering the point in a positive and supportive way. Here she advises on the top benefits for investing in and valuing your team...
Recently we went to visit one of our lovely experts, Esther. Catching up face-to-face makes all the difference and is also the perfect platform for discussing recent updates and new ideas.
Here, Esther tells us a bit more about herself and her experience at a special training session she delivered. Check out the video to discover more, and let us know your thoughts!
I'm Jemima, founder of Olive Branch Consultancy and passionate about delivering excellence with sensitivity and care.