Prevention is better than cure. It’s a mantra we all know well.
In health care it conjures up behaviours like healthy eating, staying active and limiting alcohol intake, and includes participation in screening and vaccination programmes. With the right information and support, people can take very practical steps to improve their physical wellbeing.
As World Mental Health Day (10 October) approaches, it’s worth remembering the same is true for our mental health. With the younger members of the Royal Family focusing their energies on mental health and more and more celebrities sharing their personal experiences, the taboo surrounding the subject is falling away.
But what do we mean by mental wellbeing. A bone is either broken or not, but this black and white approach does not work when it comes to mental health. There is a continuum along which most of us move depending on our circumstances and the stage we are at in life. At our best we are spontaneous, creative. We can make the most of our potential and cope with the day-to-day ups and downs of life. Comfortable with who we are, we’re able to build and actively participate in intimate, nurturing relationships with partners, family and friends. We may be knocked by big life events but bounce back relatively quickly, particularly with the right support network in place. At our worst, depression or anxiety, for example, may make it utterly impossible for us to engage with people around us. And when something challenges us, we get weighed down, unable able to recover.
But just as losing weight and cutting back on processed foods can reduce the risk of Diabetes, so there are practical steps we can take to protect our mental wellbeing and increase our resilience. They range from things as seemingly simple and obvious as making sure we get enough regenerative sleep every night to creating a very personal Emotional Tool Box*.
On Saturday 3 November, I am running a workshop with Hayley Tait – Your Wellbeing Matters: it’s time to restore the balance – in Knowle, Solihull. Hayley and I combine psychotherapeutic training with careers in healthcare and corporate communications respectively. We designed the workshop specifically for women who, faced with many demands and responsibilities in life, feel worn down. During the workshop, you will have the support and space you need to participate as fully as you feel able.
Remember, prevention is better than cure. Click on the link here and book your place on the workshop now.
*Elinor Greenberg, 2016
I read an article recently in which a collection of female business people had been brought together to talk about the barriers women face in developing their career.
The issues are complex. They cover everything from ‘clubs’, golf days, and networks that, without really thinking about, it pick people like themselves, to overt sexism.
They are influenced by deeply ingrained cultural factors, which we don’t even notice most of the time and, if we do, we certainly don’t want to rock the boat by talking about them.
These include the very strongly held belief that men are good at hard logical things and women are better at softer emotional issues. If there’s truth in this, it’s down to cultural training – there is plenty of evidence that the differences amongst men and amongst women are far greater than the difference between men and women!
So instead of gathering women together to talk about ‘women’s stuff’ wouldn’t it have been brilliant if this group of female leaders had been asked for their opinions and insights on the productivity puzzle, the role of AI in our future, or creative ways to tackle the skills shortage.
A group of talented, informed women being brought together to debate a hard issue … that really would produce some great copy!