So, another UK tax return filing deadline has come and gone and after two weeks of “tidying up” I now have 114 days of freedom before I return to work. Last year I took to writing a journal , but I am fast running out of space to keep all my different memory books, scrapbooks and travel journals so this year I plan to keep tab on my adventures using my blog. I will still write up a journal for my travels in Iran but everything else lends itself perfectly to online journaling.
I have no special plans, other than a holiday in Iran, but have lots of things that I would like to do in my time off. If I achieve some or all of them I will be well pleased. If I don’t, they can wait.
What’s on my “list?” Just a few ideas……..
- Visit Richard IIIs burial place and museum in Leicester Cathedral.
- Go and spend some time with my big sister and enjoy some “girlie time.”
- I must go and have a cuddle with my newly-born great-nephew Sebastian. He looks gorgeous and I am so pleased for my niece and her husband that they now have the start of what will be a beautiful family.
- Lots of doggie walks with Jasper will get me out of the house and into the fresh air-as long as it’s not raining to hard!
- I have an order list for patchwork quilts a mile long so I must spend some time sewing and sewing some more.
- I’d like to decorate our landing and stairwell but it’s a big job. I need to prepare myself for this challenge!
Whatever I end up doing, I am determined to relax and recover from the stresses of the previous 8 months. I did have a spell of acute anxiety last Autumn which caused me some problems so I would like to avoid that if at all possible. Jasper is the chill-out king so I will be adopting some of his tactics. I’m not sure whether I will adopt the same pose, but after a few glasses of wine who knows?
Here’s to sharing my 114 days of freedom!
Your office-This way. Keep walking.
Yesterday was my first day back at work after 3 weeks away. I survived intact and was quietly chuffed with myself that I managed to get through the day unscathed with not a tear shed.
Today was Day 2 and not nearly as straight forward.
I think that I was a little tired after yesterdays efforts and it really hit me as we approached Birmingham station. I started to shake and felt quite nauseous and light-headed. I really didn’t want to go to work and convinced myself that as soon as we got to the station I would hop on the next train straight back home.
I walked up to the concourse, stood a while composing myself and eventually won the argument with my “other” half and decided that I would make it to the office if I could just manage to put one foot in front of the other. Autopilot switched on. Don’t think, just walk up the hill towards the cathedral and keep going.
I arrived at the office very shaky this time and was holding it together until one of my colleagues asked me if I was ok. That was the trigger which sent me scuttling into the ladies toilet not wanting to make a fool of myself by sobbing in front of everyone. Our office is quite new and I sat there for so long that the lights went off and I was sitting in the dark. Next came the cleaner knocking on the door and so I quickly gave up on the ladies and made a dash for Costa upstairs.
I sat in the canteen area with a cup of tea and then realised that no one knew where I was. I had disappeared rather rapidly, leaving my coat and handbag on my desk. Luckily, a colleague came past and I was able to ask him to tell my team where I was in case they were missing me.
With the help of a calm and very supportive Manager, it took just over an hour for me to calm down and return to my desk.
Better late than never.
Tomorrow, I’m working from home.
“It’s well-known that unemployment can lead to mental health problems but doctors say those still in a job are suffering too” (The Scotsman, 24 August 2012)
I wish I could say that this headline comes as a surprise, but of course it doesn’t. I have seen too much evidence to support this claim over the past two years and unless and until the economy picks up, we can expect a lot more.
To summarise the austerity Insight Research Group GP opinion survey conducted recently it concludes that;
- Just because you have a job, don’t expect to escape mental health issues brought about by worrying about job security and related financial concerns.
- The recession is seriously damaging our mental health.
- Those in employment are displaying much greater levels of stress, depression, panic attacks and anxiety.
- Increased workloads and working longer hours leads to higher levels of mental illness in the working population.
- Drink and drug dependency has increased and the amount of time spent exercising has decreased.
Employers need to be aware of these potential issues and put support structures in place to mitigate the impact on their staff and the business. Sadly, this is not happening enough although there are some very enlightened employers who are trying hard.
Catherine Quinn writing in today’s Scotsman finishes by saying, “We can only hope that the recent rise in mental illness balances out when the economy is back in rude health, and perhaps when the next recession rolls around, we’ll be forward thinking enough to realise that just like any health complaint, a mental disorder is often a temporary stall in an otherwise successful career”