Tag Archive | talent

The HSP in me

It’s that time of year. The nights are drawing in; no more sitting outside in a comfortable warmth as it gets dark. The mornings are distinctly chillier and I am more inclined to snuggle back under the duvet than to leap out of bed raring to go. Energy levels are sapping just as work schedules are increasing massively over the winter period.

Of course I have a 16-week break to look forward to between February and June, but it seems a long time to wait just now.

So how do I make sure that I maintain equilibrium in the meantime? I know that I need to rest, stay healthy and as stress-free as possible. But how?


Targets, financial deadlines, Christmas, all words guaranteed to set my soul a-flutter at the mere mention. I am normally very good at managing my stressors but when I’m busy or distracted it’s easy to forget my coping strategies so here are a couple of reminders to myself;

Plan ahead

This is really important and saves me from a lot of unnecessary stress. Last week for instance I had to travel to London for a training day. I knew that the train would be busy, the Underground even more so. I am used to working from home in a quiet environment much of which I can control directly so being in a lecture room with a group of colleagues can be daunting. As can shopping for lunch at a busy time at the midday break.

I booked my ticket in advance and reserved my seat. An early train to get me into London before the main rush-hour. I took my lunch with me.

I also booked the next day off as holiday. I knew that I would be tired after a long day traveling combined with the training so I made sure that I had a restful day before returning to work. Luckily the weather was sunny and bright and I spent the day in the garden and in the garage making hedgehog houses. Perfect recuperation.

Routine maintenance

Maintaining a routine is not easy for me as my sleep patterns vary so much, as do my energy levels. I have learned instead to “go with the flow” and not worry too much if I don’t quite follow my plans to the letter.

Good routines include, at least an hour or two before bedtime, shutting down all electronic equipment. As an information and social media junkie this is difficult for me and I probably pay the price in that my sleep can be disturbed by vivid dreams and I often wake after just 4 hours rest. Instead, I should read (a proper book, with real paper pages and not on Kindle) and in the morning, I should make time to start the day in a calm way by practising something like yoga or writing my journal.

I definitely need to work on this one. I think I’ll start tomorrow.

Hopefully I shall survive my “busy” season with sanity intact having followed my own advice but roll on February.






Olympic fever-Inspire a generation

I can’t believe that it has been almost a month since I last visited my Blog but that’s the Olympics for you. I was quite blown away and distracted by this amazing spectacle and I had to eat my words that GB could not put on such a fabulous show. From the moving and inspiring 10 week Torch Relay, the eccentricities of the Opening Ceremony to the cheesy music of the Closing concert, Seb Coe was spot-on when he said, “Britain did it right” and we should be very proud as a nation of the achievement. Let’s hope that we can capitalise on all that good work and leave a lasting legacy to a new generation, not just athletic and sporting stars, but every young person who cares to take up the challenge. I am now looking forward to the Paralympics which start on Friday and which promise to be every bit as exciting and awesome as the main Games.

Everyone has their favourite moments of the London 2012 Olympics, and I have many, but what stood out for me was the thought and preparation which went into the Games so that it really became something special. What we did better than any country before us was to focus on the performance, dedication, hard work, discipline and sportsmanship necessary to participate in the Games instead of the commercialism. This may come back to haunt us as there may not be enough coppers in the kitty to maintain our vision and efforts for future Games but for two weeks at least, we were shown what could be achieved. It gave us hope and with luck inspired everyone to dream a little.

“A dream becomes reality when you put a date to it”

Yesterday I took the liberty of putting a date to a young man’s dream. Rio 2016.

My next-door-neighbour is a very talented young athlete with huge potential to achieve big things if he works hard, gets the right training and guidance and goes to bed every night believing that he is good enough. I think he is. His coaches think he is and I hope that he believes in himself.

I hope I haven’t put too much pressure on such young shoulders by calling him “Phillips” ( Phillips Idowu-UK Champion triple-jumper) or booking my flights to Rio in 4 years time but only time will tell!

Go Ike!

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Tomorrow, December 3rd,  is International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Is depression a disability? I think so, and so do many others who find themselves unable to function normally on a day-to-day basis. This was the conclusion of research carried out by the Depression Alliance and RADAR in support of a report entitled Depression, Disability and Employment sponsored by the Priory Group and launched at the Houses of Parliament back in October.

The Priory Group is now calling on the Government to class depression as a disability to improve people’s opportunities for employment and other forms of social participation.

In other words, depression should be treated as a disability in the same way as physical disabilities, and reasonable adjustments in the workplace made accordingly for those suffering from this illness.

Professor Chris Thompson, chief medical officer at the Priory Group said:   “This important research clearly shows most people living with depression think it is disabling.   Yet the stark truth is that our systems and services do not seem to have caught up with this recognition.”

Liz Sayce, chief Executive of RADAR and author of the report said:  “People with depression face as many barriers as people with physical impairments. We need the mental health equivalent of the ramp and the mobility scooter – simply fair chances and support to live a full life including the chance to work and contribute. Often depression runs like a thread through lives affected by other challenges – from physical ill health to racial discrimination. Supporting people with depression helps people to turn their lives around.”

So, what will I be doing tomorrow?

I for one will be celebrating the achievements and unique talents of all my friends and colleagues that I know who have a disability be it mental or physical. In doing so, I hope to raise awareness of the unmerited stigma, discrimination and ignorance which shrouds this topic and show people that we may be disabled, but, with a little support, we are still very able.

Have a Good Day!

You may also like;

Ian Francis-photographer


Colleen Henderson-Heywood-Take One Minute

Priory Group, DA & RADAR take on Westminster

UN Enable-Mental Health & Development