Flexappeal – breaking the habit of a generation

A recent Stylist article about our deep-rooted work ethic in the UK got me thinking about ‘flexappeal’ and how our day jobs are dictating our lives.

80’s babies are probably the last in a dying breed of those whose parents worked ‘a job for life’, leaving school and getting a job which would support them until retirement, if they gave it their undivided attention. They worked hard and they told us kids to do the same, if we wanted to have more than they did growing up.

Since my pack lunch days I’ve been instilled with the belief that if you work hard, you reap the rewards. So I worked myself silly at school and Uni trying to be the best I could whilst battling dyslexia and a deep-bedded hatred for anything involving numbers.

The reward of all that was landing my first job in PR, and all the joys which come with being an inexperienced tadpole in that kind of shark tank. See earlier posts on that very subject…

Eight years and six agencies later, I’m earning OK and thankful for it, but still none the wiser on what truly makes me happy or rewarded in life. Is that normal?

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What is ‘Mindfulness’ and why should you care?

Firstly…a simple definition:

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally.” Jon Kabat-Zinn, famous teacher of mindfulness meditation at the University of Massachusetts

Mindfulness wasn’t something I’d ever considered I needed to know about until I was diagnosed with UC last year. My doctor suggested that a lot of the problems I was experiencing within my body, were likely to have been induced by stress and anxiety.

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What does it take to climb the ladder?

It might just be the profession I chose, but after leaving Uni I often felt like the only one who didn’t ‘get it’, didn’t understand how to get where I wanted to be, or impress those I thought (at the time) needed impressing.

At Uni having a difference of opinion was a good thing, sticking your hand up and asking why? Or simply being vocal with your thoughts – it took me a long time to realise that’s not always the case in an office.

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#Talk2Me – I’m scared to ‘unfriend’

“I’d REALLY like to unfriend someone I went to school with on Facebook, because they generally made me feel like crap as a teenager, but I can’t bring myself to pull the trigger. It’s like they’ve still got a hold on me, even after all this time. I want to move on with my life, and get rid of the negative people in it, I just don’t know what the repercussions might be.”

Most of us are guilty of accepting friend requests simply because we don’t want to rock the boat, it’s often easier to say yes, than it is to say no. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it…

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UC and ME – flare fear #3

For anyone who has UC, Chrons or any kind of auto immune disease, the relief of reaching ‘remission’ is soon dampened with the sheer terror of having another ‘flare’ or relapse.

For me (6 months into first remission), it still feels like there is a huge elephant in the room – watching me with his beady little eyes.

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What’s Hypno actually like?

If you happen to have seen my earlier post on panic attacks, you’ll know that I mentioned trying Hypnotherapy as a way to get to the root of them and try to break out of the cycle.

I only had a few sessions but found it really helpful for me, so thought it might be useful to share my top tips and how that experience worked for me, as I often get asked what it was like.

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UC and ME – who to believe? #2

It’s been about six months since my initial UC diagnosis, and I wanted to share the story so far and update on the battle with who/what to believe.

One of the most infuriating things about UC is that nobody knows what causes it, or how to cure it (at least not yet). It is commonly believed to be an underlying genetic thing (in the medical community) – so if you’re meant to get it you probably will at some stage or another. I don’t know how much I believe this, and often wonder what life would be like if I hadn’t gotten food poisoning just over a year ago and awakened the beast.

harryPgiffy

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#Talk2Me – I can’t stop pulling out my eyelashes!

“For the last few months I’ve started this habit of pulling out my eyelashes, I didn’t even notice I was doing it until I noticed the hairs making a mess on my desk at work. Help!”

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What does a panic attack feel like?

There are quite a few definitions online which attempt to explain what a panic attack is, but the one I couldn’t resist quoting was this…

“The worst most uncomfortable thing which could happen to someone (death comes a close second).” Urban Dictionary 

Amusing as it may seem to someone who hasn’t experienced one, it’s actually not far off the state you fall into when a panic attack strikes, and when it does it’s anything but funny.

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Emotional Eating – is it all bad?

Food for me, is an extremely emotional and sensory-driven thing, how can it not be? All those familiar aromas, flavours, herbs and spices all reminding you of a specific moment in your life – good or bad.

A few years ago a friend of mine went through a pretty messy break up, and admitted that he was very much an emotional eater, who couldn’t stop himself from gorging when he got really upset or low. Fair enough I thought, we’ve all been there in some way or another – or at least I have?!

If you fall off the ’emotional wagon’ as it were, friends will often say ‘take the weekend, eat whatever you like, stuff your chops with pizza and then start fresh on Monday morning’ – but what if emotional eating didn’t have to be a binge experience? What if it didn’t have to be something to shy away from? My belief is that it can become a process for good, to soothe a battered soul. And I will explain why I think this.

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