Uncertain Future

Are You Willing To Forgo Anything For Your Holiday?

Uncertain FutureMany of us who’ve not been away due to the COVID pandemic are desperate to get away for some summer sun. Surveys and reports in the media suggest a surge in holiday bookings as demand returns to pre-pandemic levels despite household finances facing a squeeze from surging inflation. Tour operator TUI reports that summer bookings are up by 19%.

Holidays can help with anxiety and stress-related problems by giving us time to relax, have downtime and allow us to use the time to find solutions to problems.

Holidays enable us to catch up on much-needed sleep and rest. Whilst we are sleeping, our brains consolidate information and memories from the day, which improves our mental functioning, problem-solving, memory and creativity.

Holidays boost relationships with friends and family. You get to spend quality time with partners and children, strengthening social bonds. Time with your kids also increases their self-esteem and sense of security and enriches family values.

However, for some, the urge to escape and get away, hoping that the life you left behind will improve on their return, can come at a cost.

Brits Spent up to a Quarter of their Annual Disposable Income on Holidays each Year

Nationwide Building Society’s published spending report revealed that Brits spent up to a quarter of their annual disposable income on holidays each year. Many seem to have no desire to restrain this spending. On average we spend £855 per person each time we go away, then there’s 23% who spend £1,000 or more each holiday, and a family of four could end up paying £3,240 per trip and up to £6,840 in total.

Figures are taken from the online website Moneyfacts reports that the UK’s annual median disposable household income is £31,400. The cost of holiday spending can take up to three months’ worth of income, or a quarter of the expenditure. Disturbingly, not everybody has this money to hand.

As a result, 22% reported that they had to borrow the money to go on holiday, including using a credit card, taking out a loan or borrowing money from friends or family members. Contrastingly, 43% managed to pay for their holiday using savings, while 35% used cash from their bank account, and 11% were lucky enough to have family members to finance their holiday break.

88% of those who had to borrow money said that this was the only way that they could afford to go away. With the average Brit then taking three months to pay off this holiday – and 11% even taking more than six months.

Yet over half (51%) of respondents said they weren’t willing to forgo anything for their holiday.

That’s not all 61% overspend by £250 and 11% overspend by £500 or more.

Then there’s an additional 20% who don’t set a budget, who might still regret spending more than their bank accounts can bear. Undoubtedly, money is one of the most significant holiday regrets, with 25% feeling they had spent too much money. 21% said they didn’t have enough money to enjoy themselves, and 20% thought their holiday was too expensive.

Loss Aversion Theory

One of the drivers behind our behaviours and decision making could be linked to the loss aversion theory. Loss aversion is a concept that people hate losses more than they enjoy gains.

A cognitive bias that describes why, for people, the pain of losing is psychologically twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining. The loss felt from money or any other valuable thing can feel worse than gaining that same thing. Studies demonstrate that it impacts our judgement, preference, and decision-making process.

Wellbeing activities don’t have to cost you the earth. Many of us know the benefit of regular exercise, walking, meditation or participation in numerous leisure pursuits, pastimes and hobbies.

Imagine the delight of planning a holiday not because you need to catch up on much-needed sleep. You’re suffering from anxiety or spending time with the family because you haven’t seen them due to work demands.

The outcome of your time away is much more rewarding when you regularly invest time and money and prioritise your mental health and wellbeing.

If you’re currently suffering from emotional overwhelm due to the rise in the cost of living or are worried about an uncertain future, or you need help to improve your confidence and are not sure where to go.

Send an email to enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk, and I’ll send you a free guide on what to incorporate into your daily routine. Or contact me at 01142 670 081 for a complimentary 40-minute wellbeing review, and I’ll share with you tips that can transform your health and wellbeing when you implement them. Remember, ‘If you do not make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness’.


How to Become a Mental Health First Aider

Mental Health First Aider

According to the Centre for Mental Health, two-thirds of surveyed people will require help for existing mental health challenges that have been made worse by the pandemic.

Approximately 8.5 million adults will require support for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders and additional mental health problems in the future. Equivalent to 20% of the adult population 

Since the introduction of the 1981 Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations, physical First Aid assistance in the workplace was a requirement. 

Recent research suggests that approximately half of the population will experience a mental health issue in our current job. Therefore, it’s easy to see why the employers, the public, and mental health campaigners are now lobbying for mental health first aid to be given equal legislative status in the work environment.

MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) is the mental health equivalent of physical first aid for those who may not be so familiar. The concept originated in Australia, and in this country, MHFA England is the leading licensed provider of MHFA training. Mental Health First Aiders can spot the signs of mental ill-health and help provide early assistance for someone developing a mental health issue.

It’s important to state that those trained in MHFA aren’t necessarily counsellors or therapists; instead, they act as the first point of contact and offer initial support through non-judgemental listening and guidance.

MHFA England has been working to establish MHFA skills in communities, including schools, universities, the armed forces, and businesses.

More companies are slowly waking up to increasing mental health support in the workplace, with many already using MHFA England training as part of their strategies.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Employers have a ‘duty of care, which means they must do all they reasonably can to support their employees’ health, safety and wellbeing.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a developing and underlying mental health crisis in the country—every year, one in four adults experiencing mental illness.

Though talking about mental health has become much more common, and there’s more discussed in the media, including Simone Biles, the American gymnast, and Naomi Osaka, there can still be a real stigma in the workplace.

As a result, many employees don’t come forward until they’re unable to cope. Do you have any processes in place to recognise the early warning signs and react if a problem arises?

Employer Benefits

Training employees in Mental Health First Aid within your organisation inspires people to talk more openly about mental health problems, encouraging early detection, enabling recovery, decreasing stigma and creating a positive working culture and environment.

Therefore, the benefit of having an MHFA England qualified Mental Health First Aider in the workplace provides a vital contact for any employee experiencing a mental health issue.

This communication could vary from initial conversation to signposting somebody to get appropriate help in a crisis.


Everyone who completes the course gets:

  • A certificate of attendance to say you are a Mental Health First Aider
  • A manual to refer to whenever you need it
  • A quick reference card for the Mental Health First Aid action plan
  • A workbook including a helpful toolkit to support your mental health


If you would like further information or would like to have a chat about booking onto a course, please don’t hesitate to call me on 0114 2670 081 or email enquries@mikelawrence.co.uk.

Could the Current COVID-19 Pandemic Make Your Seasonal Affected Disorder Worse?

Helpful tips for managing Seasonal Affected Disorder—SAD for short, or winter blues—during these uncertain and challenging times.

I hate to say it, but we’re already weeks away from the end of summer.

This year is significantly different for some people; as well as having to manage their Seasonal Affective Disorder, they’re also having to cope with the relentless demands placed on their daily lives due to lockdown—plus, the stress and anxiety of perpetual uncertainty.

I’ve already noticed mood shifts in some of my clients, friends and colleagues.

It’s going to be challenging for people who experience SAD as winter approaches—incredibly difficult, because restrictions imposed by the government will most likely highlight some of the conditions that promote SAD, such as spending less time outdoors.

SAD is a recognised medical condition. You may therefore wish to consult your GP if you believe you might be suffering from the symptoms of SAD and you’re unable to, or trying but struggling to, cope.

SAD is thought to impact two million people in the UK and 10-20% of sufferers do not have any associated symptoms. It’s a concern that afflicts more women than men, and those aged between 40 and 55.

There’s a direct link between SAD and the reduction in daylight hours, due to the lack of sunlight affecting sufferers’ hormone levels and internal body clocks. Symptoms include a lack of energy, increased tiredness, poor motivation, low moods, despair, sleep problems, depression, anxiety and feelings of gloom for no apparent reason—and a craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods, which can lead to weight gain.

With our frenetic lifestyles, we often miss vital signals from the sun, and our body clocks suffer as a result. Without decent light in the morning, our bodies don’t produce the hormones we require to wake and feel alive.

When there is less light in the morning, we can also feel less productive.

Staying up for hours after dark can cause mood and sleep problems. Sleep, our overall activity, and how we feel, are all regulated by our body clocks.

When your body doesn’t get the appropriate light signals, you might feel moody, sluggish, and tired. To counteract this, your body needs to produce active, energetic hormones, so that the negative, withdrawal ones are subdued. Positive hormones help to reset your mood, sleep, and energy cycles, so that you sleep better at night and feel fabulous during the day.

The great news is that a Health and Wellbeing Consultant can help you combat symptoms and implement changes in your lifestyle, with quick results.

A Health and Wellbeing Consultant can help you in the following areas: they can keep you motivated, and support you if you’re suffering from stress, depression or anxiety. They can help you understand why you’re feeling tired all the time (TATT), show you how to manage your mood swings, and offer encouragement if you’re feeling despondent due to the impact of the pandemic.

People have experienced AMAZING transformations during the winter blues when engaging the services of a competent practitioner.

I’ve created an easy, effective, powerful system that anyone suffering from a lack of confidence, motivation or resilience could immediately apply and benefit from when they work with me. I help people rediscover their identity, so that they feel physically robust and better equipped mentally; ultimately, they feel in better control of their lives.

What one thing will you do this winter to take charge of your winter blues?

If you’re feeling SAD and curious about how you will benefit from working with a Health and Wellbeing Consultant, get in touch with me and book your free 40-minute consultation.

Telephone 07967 052585 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk

improve your wellbeing in lockdown

5 Areas of Your Life to Improve Your Wellbeing

improve your wellbeing in lockdownImagine, we bring in the dawn of a new decade in January 2020, you make your New Years’ resolution, set goals such as lose weight, stop smoking, save money, find new love, or seek a new career.

Then we start planning holidays, celebrating special occasions with friends, or book concert tickets (which I did in London) and I’m sure many of you may resonate with that.

Then COVID-19 comes along social isolation and lockdown. 

For many, this is a worrying and challenging time—the most challenging for many of our lifetime.

I contacted a friend recently who works in an NHS hospital in London. She didn’t take my call but later replied by text, telling me that she was scared, frightened, fearful of her life. I tried to arrange a call, but she declined but thanked me. The pain, heartache and suffering that she’s experienced.

She’s not alone, humans, like all species, have a self-defence mechanism to help us survive. The body’s Fight, Flight or Freeze response is designed to prepare the brain and body in case of pending danger, but the threat doesn’t always happen.

In our head, FFF alarms cause our brain to focus on negative memories, probably so it can scan them and avoid danger and negative outcomes. And it can only do this if we have previously been faced with a threat or a challenging situation and learnt how to deal with it.

Anxiety, depression and high levels of stress all harm the brain’s ability to cancel or slow down the mind’s false fight flight or freeze activations.

Making them appear more often; knowing the symptoms of false activations makes it easier to recognise and reduce their effects because what we need to do is bring the body back to equilibrium.

When you change your mind about stress or challenging situations, you can change your body’s physical response to stress.

Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal implores us to see stress as a positive, advises us to view stress as a positive and introduces an unacknowledged tool for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

Positive thinking increases the chance of positive outcomes. Vice versa! “Think you can think you can’t – either way, you will be right” Henry Ford. Positive thinking increases the chance of positive outcomes.

5 Tips You Can Use Today in Your Personal Wellbeing Strategy:

  1. Personal Insight – Evaluate your behaviour, characteristics or mood change. Or ask some who knows you well that you trust to be your accountability partner.
  2. Personal Coping Mechanisms– Review your current level of fitness, use this present opportunity to go for daily walks, don’t be tempted to overindulge with more food in the house. Create a daily routine for work and pleasure
  3. Supportive Environments– Can’t just pay lip service or tick a box. Otherwise you could create an imbalance. It’s the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for employees to work in. Working from home can create additional pressure; however, stress is inevitable, whether working from home or the office, so speak to your manager if you require support to adjust.
  4. Communicate and Talk– Up your talk time, bring in support as and when required. It’s not a sign of weakness if you need help. If someone says to you, I’m fine, or I’m OK, don’t take that as gospel. Enquire a little more. Ask what they’ve been doing and take a genuine interest.
  5. Create a Pivot Mindset– A pivot mindset emphasises natural changes within our current job and from one position to the next while staying open to a range of opportunities. One constant in life is that things will change, and they’ll change often, and they’ll change in ways we don’t necessarily like. So why not get better at changing? At dealing with change. Why not adopt the pivoting mindset? Because when we do, these changes will be less stressful, less upsetting and it removes the uncertainty. It’s about building a portfolio of lifelong skills, connections, and expertise, and adapting to new tools and tactics.

How you respond to remote working is completely dependent on your individual needs and triggers—if you feel overwhelmed trying to balance family life and work, worried about the future, or your wellbeing deteriorating due to an underlying condition.— and are unsure what to do, consider talking to you HR advisor or line manager for help. Or you can reach out to me and arrange a free 30-minute chat on Zoom about your possibilities.

Telephone 0114 327 2683 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk

workplace wellbeing mental health Covid

Working from Home Can Negatively Impact Your Mental Health & Wellbeing Unless You Act!!

workplace wellbeing mental health CovidDue to the current Coronavirus pandemic, many UK employees are now working from home for the foreseeable future. This will be the first experience for a huge amount of companies and employees.

Working from home has its advantages but being away from the office and social interaction of an office can take its toll.

Research by the Office of National Statistics highlights that 30% of UK employees worked from home during 2019.

Also, a United Nations report 2017 found that 41% of remote workers reported high-stress levels, compared to just 25% of office workers.

Remote working becomes the new norm for many; its imperative businesses change and put the appropriate mental health and wellbeing policies in place to ensure their employees feel part of the organisation and don’t become detached.

For some businesses forced to make the transition, they will have found themselves ill-equipped to deal with this change. They don’t have a wellbeing policy, managers don’t have regular meetings with their team, the environment is toxic, or there is a culture where there’s a lack of trust.

Employers are now having to pivot while learning new skills on how to manage a virtual workforce some with little or no experience.

I know of some employees who are currently furloughed and tempted to take advantage of this break from the norm where they felt stressed from work and suffer from mental health issues which they haven’t previously reported to their boss.

If you struggle with anxiety or depression, working from home has the potential to aggravate feelings of isolation and prolong inactivity.

6 Actions Managers Can Adopt to Improve the Wellbeing of Their Team – Home Working

  1. Enrol on an online management training course – I have managed remote teams, and from experience, it’s an entirely different skill. Organisations are having to rely on managers to rally the troops and keep everyone motivated. But this is in the backdrop of seven in 10 employers failing to train first-time managers, and the problem is widespread. With the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills estimating the cost of poor management and leadership to the UK economy at £19bn a year through lower productivity.


  1. Review your management style – In a remote working setting, there could be a tendency for managers to be task-orientated and too little on fostering relationships with their remote team. This kind of transactional management can be the route taken by managers who are task-orientated and want to get the tasks done but fail to acknowledge the importance of their team. Such a management approach can worsen the feeling that comes with remote working and can contribute to the stress of working from home.


  1. Introduce daily briefings – In a desperate attempt to become agile, and connect with employees now, who are working remotely. Some companies have introduced breakfast scrum meetings, whereby teams check in daily via video call to rally the troops, provide an update of company news and to check in on everyone’s wellbeing. It’s more important than ever that employers keep in touch daily with their team through telephone and video conferencing.


  1. Schedule daily 1-2-1’s – Seeing a friendly face on a video conferencing platform from work can go a long way to improving an employee’s wellbeing and confidence.


  1. Undertake an employee audit – reach out to your team, ask them how you can help, do they require any assistance or support. Make them aware of any employee benefits that they might be entitled to.


  1. Offer remote wellbeing for employees and family – This could be from an existing provider or an external source. I currently help businesses and charities with remote 1-2-1 coaching for their teams, guided meditation and a range of interactive activities which releases emotional, physical and mental stress and improves resilience.

How your team respond to remote working is entirely dependent on your ability to spot the individual triggers and understand their coping strategies.

If you would like some assistance or discuss how I can help you to develop your wellbeing or someone in your world that you know who requires support, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Telephone 0114 327 2683 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk

workplace wellbeing Sheffield Christmas stress

Will Christmas be ‘YOUR’ Tipping Point!!

workplace wellbeing Sheffield Christmas stressIt’s Christmas! Time off work. Presents to buy. Drinking and eating more than you would regularly and visiting friends, family, loved ones. The season of goodwill, cheer and demanding work priorities go on the back burner in favour Christmas merriments.

Moreover, in our busy lives, that’s exactly what we need. What’s not to like?

Recently I delivered a couple of workshops for Westfield Health on Mental Health Awareness and Dealing with High-Pressure Situations in a company located in South Yorkshire.

When asked what’s the top source of pressure in your life at the moment is and if there’s one thing, that if changed, would significantly improve your quality of life.

The number one challenge was financial worries.

Research from Barclays determined that 46% of workers were worrying. Also, one in five were losing sleep, due to concerns about money.

Further research exposed that 42% of those asking for help with debt is on medication to help them cope with the emotional consequences.

Barclays also witnessed inadequate monetary wellbeing among workers decreased productivity by 4%. The overall cost to businesses in the UK is estimated to be £120 billion per annum.

Many employees feel embarrassed speaking about monetary concerns in the work environment. Especially if they’re suffering financial hardship, therefore employers can tend to view them as merely a private matter.

Nonetheless, there are indications that change is afoot.

Recent studies reveal that employees want to see companies do more around financial education. One survey indicated that 87% want their company to help with financial literacy.

Anglian Water and Barclays both have financial health and wellbeing programs. They both enhance levels of financial literacy and provide support when employees’ finances are out of alignment. Financial literacy is critical components in the organisations’ overall health and wellbeing strategy and an integral part of the employees’ benefits package.

Today, the reality in the UK is a considerable percentage of the population is living on the brink. One payday away from financial catastrophe.

Four in ten adults have no more than £500 in savings, while the Office of National Statistics (ONS), highlight 16.5 million people have no savings.

Many don’t have a safety net or reserves. Therefore, an unanticipated turn of events, like a severe illness or redundancy, could tip a considerable number of households into financial armageddon.

So precarious are people’s finances that the Bank of England calculate even a 2% increase in interest rates could be enough to tip some over the edge.

A typical household in the UK spends over £2,500 each month. Still, in the run-up to Christmas, our spending habits change dramatically to over £800 extra in December.

What is Your Tipping Point? defined by Merriam-Webster, as “The point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.”

At what point do you take personal responsibility and do something about it, primarily if it’s affecting your performance and wellbeing at work.

The tipping point for a business must be to engage their workforce and implement a health and wellbeing program that includes financial literacy.

Design a work culture that encourages health through all phases of their lives. Considering most people spend most of their life at work, it’s no wonder that they want to believe that the business cares about their happiness.

Emphasis on employee health and wellbeing contributes significantly to an employee’s entire interaction within the company.

Promoting health and wellbeing is no longer seen as a ‘tick box’ exercise or an initiative that produces ‘quick wins.’

Instead, wellbeing promotion assures that your team enjoy and want to work.

Long term, this has a drastic effect on the business’s performance.

Often health improves many areas of the business. Areas that not only improve productivity but make money.

If you’re considering implementing or adopting a health and wellbeing programme in 2020, please feel free to get in touch and book your free 40-minute consultation.

Telephone Sheffield 0114 327 2683 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk

workplace wellbeing Sheffield mental health at work

Workplace Wellbeing – Mental Health At Work

workplace wellbeing Sheffield mental health at workHow many times during a week have you found yourself saying, “I’m fine” to a colleague or friend when in fact you don’t really mean it?

I asked this question earlier this week to a group of employees during a 1-day Mental Health At Work Awareness training session that I was hosting near Sheffield.

The majority of delegates replied that it was common to say, “I’m fine” or “I’m OK”. It appears to be the default unconscious position, so as not to open the conversation further and bring attention to themselves.

A study of adults commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation found that on average adults will say “I’m fine” 14 times a week, though just 19% actually mean it.

While most of us may be happy openly discussing feelings, many of us are not being honest and sticking to a mental script.

This invents an illusion of support. Outwardly we’re habitually checking in with each other, but underneath that, many of us feel incapable of saying how we’re feeling.

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health challenge in a year.

In England, 1 in 6 people reports encountering a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

Worries about things like money, jobs, relationships, the recession and Brexit concern can make it harder for people to cope.

We all possess some form of mental health, and when it’s okay, we have a sense of purpose, motivation, drive and resilience.

Overall ability to cope with whatever challenges and hurdles that life and work throw up.

We all undergo tough times, we become apprehensive, agitated, angry and experience so many different feelings and emotions.

These feelings usually pass, but occasionally they develop into stress, depression or anxiety.

For some, this can be more challenging, and long-term conditions such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, paranoia and dissociation disorders, these can affect our ability to perform and engage at work at a consistently high level.

Health and Wellbeing is an issue that the NHS is struggling to cope with.

The Independent reported that people who are seeking help with mental health concerns are waiting in excess of eight weeks to see a GP again after their original appointment.

That’s why employees must recognise that good mental health and proper managerial training, processes and structures are pivotal, and there is growing evidence that organisations that implement health and wellbeing procedures are more productive.

In fact, implementing and addressing health and wellbeing concerns at work increases productivity by as much as 12%.

Thursday 10th October was World Mental Health Day. An opportunity for all of us to raise awareness of mental health issues and advocate against social stigma.

I read a book last year, ahead of speaking at the 4th International Conference on Depression, Anxiety and Stress Management, called Dying for a Paycheck written by Jeffrey Pfeffer.

The author makes clear that the environment we work in is just as important as the one where we live. There is a great quote below taken from the book, which sums up nicely for me the importance of workplace wellbeing.

Your supervisor is more important to your health than your family doctor –

Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller.

If you think you’re suffering from stress, anxiety, depression or any form of mental health and you are finding it difficult to cope in your workplace, the first step is to talk to a colleague that you trust, your manager or an HR advisor.

Workplace wellbeing is at the top of many companies’ agendas as the impact of work-related stress, illness and mental health issues are better understood.

There are actions that we can all do individually to reduce our exposure to increased mental health within the workplace such as, have a proper lunch break and avoid eating your lunch at your desk, identify your ‘stressors’; are you continually working late in the office or taking work home to complete? How much exercise are you currently doing? What do you do outside of work leisure and social pursuits? And spend more time with family and friends.

I typically help SME’s whose employees are suffering from stress, anxiety and depression and are struggling to cope. If you’re considering raising awareness with your employees or you’d like to learn more about how you can reignite your life and regain your competitive advantage, please feel free to get in touch and book your FREE 40-minute consultation.

Telephone 0114 327 2683 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk

burnout stress mental health at work Sheffield

Mental Health At Work – What You Must Do If You Are Constantly Tired & Suffering from Burnout from Work

burnout stress mental health at work SheffieldThe phrase ‘burnout’ describes the collection of signs and symptoms, both psychological and physical, experienced by people due to their profession.

It is defined as the condition where professionals lose all matters and emotional feelings for their work colleagues and treat them in a dehumanised and detached way.

People often feel a sense of indifference, a lack of desire for personal achievement or depersonalisation.

The World Health Organization defines burnout as an “occupational phenomenon.”

It is described as “A syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

Stress is related to burnout but is not the same as burnout. Stress occurs when the individual’s ability to cope and deal with demands is exceeded. In controlled amounts, stress allows an individual to improve his/her performance, while burnout is a natural response to continued excessive stress without time or space for recovery.

In the era of this 24/7 connected world, it’s progressively becoming challenging to switch off from the office altogether.

In a recent study from Westfield Health, 17% of the people surveyed said they spent their annual leave worrying about work and 36% thought their employers expect them to be on standby.

What are the tell-tale signs of Burn Out?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Has your partner, work colleague or friend advised you to slow down?
  2. Can you remember the last time you did some physical exercise and are you making enough time to eat a balanced diet?
  3. Do you ever feel guilty that you are not spending sufficient time with your family, or even yourself?
  4. Have you found yourself becoming increasingly emotional, such as crying, getting angry, shouting, or feeling tense for no apparent reason?
  5. Do you become angry or resentful about your work, colleagues, or clients?

If any of your answers are ‘yes’ to the questions, it might be time to change or seek assistance.

If you think you’re suffering from workplace burnout, the first step is to talk to your supervisor, line manager or workplace HR advisor.

While burnout isn’t classified as a mental health disorder, it can lead to more severe issues such as a breakdown in family life, stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome and dependency on alcohol and drugs.

Employers have to promote staff health and well-being and ensure staff aren’t overstressed, work more than their contracted hours or reply to emails while on holiday, and heading towards burnout.

There are measures that we can all do to reduce our own risk of burnout such as, creating boundaries for your work, building your levels of resilience by learning to switch off, managing your workload and time so that you’re not working excessively from home all the time, taking breaks away from your desk during the day, participate in leisure and social pursuits, and spend with family and friends.

No matter what your profession, don’t allow your job to become the only way you define yourself.

Also, if your work is overwhelming you and making you dislike going into work, consider your options don’t allow your self-worth to deteriorate, take action and seek help immediately. You may even surprise yourself.

I typically help senior managers and business owners who are suffering from burnout. If you’re considering engaging in the services of a consultant or you’d like to learn more about how you can reignite your life and regain your competitive advantage, please feel free to get in touch and book your free 40-minute consultation.

To find out more, see my pages on stress management and corporate wellness.

Telephone Sheffield 0114 327 2683 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk

Elaine Godley - elastic FM, holistic therapist Sheffield

Elaine Godley Elastic FM Interview with Mike Lawrence

I was invited on to the show to talk about my holistic therapy journey and how I made the transition from the corporate business world into the health and wellbeing industry.
Elaine Godley - elastic FM, holistic therapist Sheffield
By Elaine Godley
I have beaten cancer four times and cured myself of serious kidney disease. A qualified Nutritionist, Psychologist, former Athlete and Business Consultant, I have an all-round appreciation from first -hand experience of what makes individuals and businesses tick, how to manage teams to achieve great results with less stress for everyone, and how to achieve and maintain your own Perfect Health. I volunteer on a cancer charity helpline and mentor people through their cancer journey, and host a radio-show Tuesdays 4-6 on Elastic FM.
Jon Covey Podcast - Life coach Sheffield


Jon Covey Podcast - Life coach Sheffield

Stress Management Expert, Consultant & Integrative Therapist Mike Lawrence shares his life journey.

Mike has spent a large number of years helping others thrive, be that in the workplace or their life. Today’s episode, Mike shares his journey, his stint at Butlins as a Redcoat and how he now helps to remove stress from your life.

Click on the link below to listen


stress management help Sheffield

5 Reasons Why Modern Life Causes Stress – And What To Do About It?

stress management help Sheffield

If you’re aware that you’re living with high levels of stress, you could be putting your entire health and well-being at risk. Stress causes turmoil on your emotional balance, as well as your physical health. It reduces your ability to think with clarity, function effectively, and enjoy life.

In fact, the simple understanding that you’re in control of your life is the basis of managing stress. Stress management is all about taking control: of your thoughts, lifestyle, emotions, and how you deal with difficulties. Irrespective of how stressful your life seems, there are actions you can take to relieve the pressure and regain control.

So, what are some common causes of stressors in modern life, and what’s the solution? Read on to find out more.

Constantly Being Connected

Studies have highlighted that receiving text messages and mobile notifications trigger the release of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter associated with reward-seeking behaviours and addiction. Similar to drug or alcohol addiction, push notifications can make us feel good when we’re receiving them and go into negative feelings of withdrawal when we aren’t.

Research showed that 2,000 employees in the UK reported found notifications caused toxic levels of stress, mainly when email notifications were unread. This issue was most widespread among media, marketing, and PR professionals, 60% of whom used push notifications as part of their day-to-day job.

A simple solution to remedy, switch off all desktop push sounds, notifications, and icons that will distract you during working hours, so you only receive notifications when you choose to look at them.

Working Long Hours

Study after study links stress to all manner of health problems, including depression, high blood pressure, infertility, indigestion, migraine, allergies, diabetes, ulcers, skin disorders.

Allowing work to dominate your life also means you’re probably not getting sufficient exercise if any. Regular exercise keeps your body healthy and helps you to manage stress.

If you’re working excessive hours, there’s also a good chance that you’re ignoring your diet. Grabbing something from the mobile canteen, and downing copious cups of coffee to keep you going and then microwaving a ready meal at night because you haven’t the time or energy to make anything better, it’s a fast track to poor health.

Then there are the health-related problems related to the way you work. You need to take proper breaks throughout the day to give your body a chance to recuperate from spending long periods in fixed positions; otherwise, this can cause long-term physical problems including RSI, back injuries and eye strain.

Actions you may want to consider improving your work-life balance, flexible working, can you get all your work done during working hours so that you’re not working from home, how much time of your day is spent in attending needless office meetings. If you are suffering from stress, don’t be afraid to speak with a work colleague, your line manager or someone within your HR department.

Brexit Anxiety

One in three Brits feels that Brexit has had a negative impact on their mental health, according to a survey of over 5,700 people by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

The ongoing saga of Brexit is taking a toll on the UK’s economy and influence on the global stage. Also, it’s having a damaging impact at a personal level. Around four in 10 people reported feeling powerless (43%), angry (39%) or worried (38%) due to Brexit according to a report released in March by the Mental Health Foundation. If extrapolated to the entire population, that would mean around 22 million people’s wellbeing had been affected by the uncertain political landscape.

Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about the circle of concern vs the circle of influence.

Circle of Concern incorporates a wide range of concerns we have, such as our wellbeing, our children, problems in the workplace, interest rate rises, or the threat of war.

A Circle of Influence embraces the concerns that we can do something about. They are concerns that we have some influence and control over.

You cannot control or know what is going to happen, but you can understand that if whatever does happen impacts you, directly or indirectly, that you will adapt and cope. Until that time, actively stop buying into the fear and hype if it’s hurting you more than it’s helping.

Social Isolation – Loneliness

If you’ve ever felt lonely, you’re not the only one. A study from the British Red Cross, reported over nine million adults in the U.K. to feel the same way, that’s approximately 1/5 of the population! Loneliness is increasingly being considered a danger to human health, similar to smoking and obesity.

When separated from other people, we find yourself in a psychological state of stress, sometimes referred to as “fight or flight.”

Being around other humans provides security and safety that restrains this stress state and reduces the perception of loneliness. When alone, or feeling alone, humans unconsciously sense that they must be more aware of threats; therefore, the body prepares to deal with them in a stress response. Stress triggers a surge of hormones that coordinate physiological changes inside the body.

While the solution to the social isolation is multifaceted, encouraging people to build meaningful, mutually beneficial connections is the way forward.

Need Stress Relief? Try The 4 A’s

 Expand your stress management awareness understanding all four approaches for coping with stress: avoid, alter, accept and adapt.

When your levels of stress surpass your ability to cope, you need to restore the balance by decreasing the stressors or improving your ability to cope or both.

Consider using one of the four A’s: avoid, alter, accept or adapt.

Avoid – Did you know, you can simply avoid a lot of stress, plan ahead, take control of your surroundings, avoid people who upset you and learn to say no.

Alter – Communicate your feelings openly, manage your time better, at work bunch together similar tasks.

Accept – Occasionally we may have no choice but to accept things the way they are. Therefore try to: Phone or schedule a coffee break with an understanding colleague, Practice positive self-talk. It’s easy to lose impartiality when you’re stressed. One negative thought can lead to many more, and soon you’ve created a mental avalanche, learn from your mistakes.

Adapt to Practice thought-stopping – Stop negative thoughts immediately, try looking at your situation from a new viewpoint, adopt a mantra such as, “I can beat this,” and mentally repeat it in challenging situations. Look at the bigger picture. Ask yourself, “Will problem matter in a year?” The answer is often no. Realising, this makes a stressful situation seem less upsetting.

For more information on stress management, take a look at this page.  If you’d like to discuss this more then why not book a free initial consultation to see how I can help you with managing your stress?

stress help Sheffield stress management

Stress Management & Help With Coping With Stress

stress help Sheffield stress management

  • Feeling stressed?
  • Irritable, agitated and easily angered?
  • Fed up with life?
  • Beat yourself up over trivial things?
  • Low self-esteem or self-worth?
  • Low morale?
  • Create mountains out of  molehills?
  • Lack of appetite?
  • Becoming forgetful or unable to concentrate?

Do you recognise any of the above? What may surprise you is how much we are directly responsible for our own levels of stress at home and work.

Stress occurs when the pressure exceeds our ability to cope. So, it’s not just external pressure such as reaching deadlines, that triggers stress, but whether you believe that you can cope with a situation that you perceive as important or threatening.

Research has shown that there is a physiological difference between pressure and stress. People experiencing stress have higher levels of the various stress hormones in their bloodstream than people who feel merely challenged.

Coping with Stress

There are many ways to cope with stress, but it is best to match your coping strategy with your stress response.

Physiological Coping Strategies for Stress

One way to reduce stress if you respond to stress physiologically is to use breathing techniques with muscle relaxation. When using breathing techniques, you want to inhale and exhale deeply. While inhaling, you can tighten the muscles that are typically tense when you are stressed.

When exhaling, relax those same muscles. Be sure to recognise the difference between the tense muscle and the relaxed muscles. Usually, it is best to do a consistent count for each inhale and exhale such as a count of two or three. This will help slow down your heart rate and breathing rate. It will also help relax your muscles and your mind as you are increasing the amount of oxygen to both.

Behavioural Coping Strategies for Stress

There are both positive and negative coping strategies that people use. Some people may drink or smoke because of stress but these are obviously negative coping strategies. Some positive coping strategies are writing goals to tackle the problem, writing “to do” lists, exercising, or doing the things that increase eustress (good stress).

Writing goals and lists help to organise thoughts and actions so that you know how to fix the problem or possibly remove the stressor if possible. Exercise increases endorphins in our body or gives us the “runner’s high” while also releasing the tension in our body and feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, and frustration.

Cognitive Coping Strategies for Stress

Along with using some of the previously stated coping strategies, you may want to use positive self-talk or give yourself reaffirming statements. It is very easy for people to tell themselves, “I stink!” and believe it when problems happen.

Instead, recognise the times that you use the negative statements that decrease your confidence and use a cue word such as “relax” or “stop” to remind yourself to stop saying these statements. Then use positive, reaffirming statements of aspects at which you are good to replace those negative thoughts. If you are struggling with your defence during a game, you may want to say that you are good at the offence while also reminding yourself about the good aspects of your defensive game.

Everyone experiences stress throughout his or her life. What you do with those stressors is what is important. Thus, you should recognise your sources of stress, realise how you respond to stress, and then use a coping strategy that matches the way that you respond to problems.

Work-related Stress

If you believe that there are high levels of stress at work that are not been dealt with, I’ve listed a number of interventions that you may want to consider.

  • Investigate whether your organisation has a stress policy
  • Consider how your organisation’s culture contributes to the levels of stress
  • Check to see if other colleagues agree with you
  • Speak to your supervisor, line manager or someone within the HR department
  • Undertake a stress audit, engage with a professional consultancy or suitably qualified colleagues from within the organisation

Stress Management Action Plan

Psychological Stress Management Actions

Stop making mountains out of molehills, keep events in perspective in that if you don’t complete or fail in a task it’s not the end of the world

Behavioural Stress Management Actions

Make an effort to engage with colleagues at work and your social circle outside of work.

Assertiveness Stress Management Actions

Don’t take on more than you can handle at work, learn to say ‘no.’

Time Management Actions

Don’t take your work home, use your time more effectively whilst in the workplace. If you are a manager learn to delegate less important tasks and develop a system that allows you to prioritise your work

Exercise for Stress Management

Incorporate into your weekly routine take up and activity that you may have done in the past that you no longer do or join a gym.

Relaxation for Stress Management

Set aside time after work to relax, so rather than going home and getting engrossed watching TV, spend 10 minutes going through some relaxation techniques to help you to switch off, therefore leaving work stresses at work where they belong – at work

I would love to help you on this journey.

As always, I hope this helps. Feel free to share this with your family, friends and colleagues.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

William James

Best Alternative Medicine & Holistic Health Service Sheffield

Best Alternative Medicine & Holistic Health Service


Best Alternative Medicine & Holistic Health Service Sheffield

Customer Service Excellence Award 2019 – South Yorkshire

Following extensive preparations, research and deliberation, I am absolutely delighted to confirm Mike Lawrence Holistic Therapies as one of our chosen winners’ for the 2019 Alternative Medicine & Holistic Health Awards hosted by GHP-News!

These awards were designed to recognise those who go above and beyond for their patients and customers, striving to offer relief and reassurance in places where more traditional medicine cannot.

Having looked into the work of Mike Lawrence Holistic Therapies, in particular, the client/customer relationship, company growth, dedication to innovation, we feel as though we have been able to do just that!

Bark certificate of excellence life coach Sheffield

Bark Certificate of Excellence – 2019 Winner

Bark certificate of excellence life coach SheffieldMike Lawrence is delighted to have won a Bark Certificate of Excellence Award 2019.

Every day thousands of people visit Bark online to hire professionals to help them suffering from stress, feeling depressed, suffering from chronic pain or struggling to cope with some aspect of their life, therefore, seeking a life coach.

The Certificate of Excellence Awards acknowledge the best professionals on Bark who stand out from the crowd and offer an outstanding service to their clients.

Mike Lawrence Holistic Therapies is privileged to have been recognised as one of the best in the category for Holistic Therapy.


life coach in Sheffield Mike' outstanding service

Life Coach In Sheffield Mike’s Outstanding Service

The Star - Sheffield life coach

life coach in Sheffield Mike' outstanding service

Following years of full-time employment in sales and marketing, Mike Lawrence bought a self-help book and his life changed forever.

He read Think and Grow Rich’ and joining expert Alan David Kershaw’s academy where he was inspired to set up a life coaching and holistic hypnotherapy practice.

Mike, based at Redlands Business Centre on Tapton House Road, was presented with a certificate of recognition for outstanding services at a conference on anxiety management in Germany for conducting a workshop on alleviating stress.

Life coach Sheffield, stress management Sheffield

Five Strategies to Live in The Present, Connect with People, And Enjoy the Life You’re Actually Living

Life coach Sheffield, stress help SheffieldHave you ever felt like a whole month just completely passed you by and you hardly remember even being there or where it’s gone? Or maybe you’ve been wanting to achieve something for a long time but you always seem to procrastinate and never get it done. If this sounds familiar, then you, my friend, need to harness the power of the present moment.

Here’s 5 tips to help you do that:

1.     Eliminate distractions which affect your health and wellbeing

Manage your life health and wellbeing, diet and exercise to boost your energy. Turn off the news on TV. Set up a bedtime routine, which will improve your sleep, and create a fitness routine. These 5 actions will give you a clearer mind and energy to do go about your daily life. They will make you appreciate relaxation, your health and wellness. Achieving your goals in the long-term perspective is what you want but burning out quickly can increase your levels of stress and this is what you get without sufficient sleep, lack of a healthy diet and insufficient exercise.

2.     Don’t let fear pull you into the future

Obsessive thinking about the future is a sure way to lose track of the present.

There is a one kind of feeling inside each of us that stops us from achieving our goals and dreams – a feeling that can suppress you and stop you from being who you want to be.

The word I am talking about is FEAR. What is fear? FEAR stands for


Why are we afraid to reach for the dreams? Are they too unreal? Or maybe we are not in a position to achieve them?

Some of my friends and colleagues are going through a difficult time in their lives. Their discomfort is not about paying bills although money could be tight.

Fortunately, they can take care of the essentials. What has them worried is the loss of direction and what the outcome of Brexit could mean to them.

When life was going well, everything seemed to be in order. Now that the security rug due to redundancies, shorter working hours and low annual pay increases, the rug has been pulled out from under them, they feel vulnerable and can’t seem to find their bearings.

It is okay to question your life’s purpose. It’s okay to say, “I’m not sure where the future will take me, but I will learn new skills if need be, plan and secure my future.” You aren’t in crisis. You don’t have to physically move to experience your next stage of life. In fact, take time out, meditate, create a dream board and reflect. Take advantage of the pause.

Most of us look too hard to find a unique, profound, and tangible reason for our existence. Instead, seek to discover everything that makes you feel alive and connected in the here and now.

Choosing to find a sense of direction over a destination can make your life easier. You can quit feeling disappointed with your life or afraid for your future.

When you release the need to know how your life will turn out, you live for a feeling instead of a goal. You appreciate what sparks

3.     Try the Savouring Strategy

Take notice of something particularly positive – something that makes you feel good. It might be the sound of your favourite recording artist, the majesty of a tree in your garden, or the chirping of birds as they fly around in a park. Absorb yourself in the details. Notice any positive feelings present within you – such as peacefulness, energylovevitality, gratitude, hopeinterest, or other feelings. Tune in closely to one of these feelings. Feel it fully as you enjoy the nature scene. Stick with that positive emotion. Appreciate how good it feels.  Extend it by breathing with it. It might feel as if your breath is enhancing your feeling, deepening it. If the feeling fades, turn to another positive feeling or to another pleasurable part of the nature scene.

Not all moments are savour worthy — but the ones that are should be savoured immediately.

4.     Use breathing as a catalyst for the present moment

The breath is the simplest and most powerful way to stay present in every moment because the breath is always present!  We can’t breathe into the future or the past. There is always only one breath and it’s happening right now

By focusing your attention on your breath every day, you help your mind to slow down and catch up with the present. You’ll start to notice your surroundings and time seems to slow down. At that moment, the world is your oyster and you have full capacity to take action and design the life you really want.

5.     Enjoy the ride

We often get so caught up with achieving something or becoming someone that we forget to enjoy the journey. And truthfully, the journey is the reason why you!

When you finally make it to your goal, if you do, you come to find out that you now want something else, and the journey continues to unfold. You never really reach a final point where you’ve done it all and you feel complete. There are just endless present moments to enjoy, unfolding infinitely.

So, take the time to pause throughout your day, take a deep breath, let go of the past, set your sights on a possible goal, then take your time walking every single step of the journey that lies ahead of you.

Mike Lawrence is a life coach in Sheffield, offering holistic therapies that include how to treat stress via stress management techniques.

stress relief Sheffield treat stress sleep deprivation

If You Aren’t Sleeping Enough, You Could be Putting Your Health at Risk

stress relief Sheffield treat stress sleep deprivation

Stress in Cardiff and Sheffield

Cardiff is the UK city most likely to suffer from insomnia (37%), followed by Sheffield (36%), Glasgow (35%) and Newcastle (35%). It’s also no coincidence that both Cardiff and Sheffield are two of the most stressed cities in the UK according to research from Axa PPP Healthcare

Throughout history, most people slept about 10 hours a night—and then in 1879, Thomas Edison invented the electric light.

Suddenly, activity was no longer limited to the day’s span of natural light, and our sleeping habits started to change.

The average Briton gets just six hours and 19 minutes sleep a night, people who sleep fewer than six hours a night are more likely to die early, researchers found in a study claim ‘unequivocal evidence’ of a link between sleep deprivation and premature death.

Busy lives, hectic work schedules and stress are the primary reasons for not getting a full eight hours rest.

According to sleep expert and author James B. Maas, PhD, sleep is not a luxury but a necessity. There are many studies that have examined the health benefits of sleep.

Getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night is beneficial. Any more or less can increase your risk for serious conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and even death. Getting enough quality sleep is also key to a healthy lifestyle.

A poll conducted by Aviva of 2,000 UK adults found the nation get their recommended eight hours just two nights a week, with 38 per cent stating they never achieve that amount.

As a result, at least 50 percent of the adult population is chronically sleep deprived. And this devastating trend is mirrored throughout the industrialised world.

  • Two thirds (67%) of UK adults suffer from disrupted sleep and a quarter (23%) manage no more than five hours a night.
  • Half (48%) of UK adults admit they don’t get the right amount of sleep, with women more likely to agree (54%) than men (41%).
  • Cardiff (37%) and Sheffield (36%) worst affected by insomnia.
  • Improving sleep is biggest health ambition for a quarter (26%) of UK adults but half (51%) don’t take any measures to help them sleep.
  • More than one in ten take sleeping tablets (13%) or drink alcohol (13%) to aid sleep.

Recent studies of the neurological, chemical and electrical activity of the sleeping brain show that even minimal sleep loss can have profound detrimental effects on mood, cognition, performance, productivity, communication skills, accident rates, and general health, including the gastrointestinal system, cardiovascular functioning and our immune systems.

Professor Francesco Cappuccio, leader of the Sleep, Health and Society Programme at the University of Warwick and Consultant Physician at the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, said: “Whilst short sleep may represent a cause of ill-health, long sleep is believed to represent more an indicator of ill-health.

“Modern society has seen a gradual reduction in the average amount of sleep people take, and this pattern is more common among full-time workers, suggesting that it may be due to societal pressures for longer working hours and more shift-work. On the other hand, the deterioration of our health status is often accompanied by an extension of our sleeping time.

“Consistently sleeping six to eight hours per night may be optimal for health. The duration of sleep should be regarded as an additional behavioural risk factor, or risk marker, influenced by the environment and possibly amenable to change through both education and counselling as well as through measures of public health aimed at favourable modifications of the physical and working environments.”

As many as 16 million UK adults are suffering from sleepless nights as a third (31%) say they have insomnia, initial findings from Aviva’s Wellbeing Report reveal. Almost half (48%) agree they don’t get the right amount of sleep.

There are lots of methods available to help aid sleep, such as avoiding electronic devices close to bedtime, controlling light and noise levels and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine. Alcohol can also lead to disrupted sleep and a ‘night cap’ to aid sleep can actually have the opposite effect.

Integrative therapy can help, Mike Lawrence will create a session designed to address your problem, reduces pain, anxiety and increases relaxation, which can help restore your sleep pattern.

However, more serious sleep disorders such as insomnia may be rooted in other issues, such as stress and mental health concerns, and would benefit from medical attention. Your local GP can advise on the most suitable course of treatment. The most important thing is to take persistent trouble sleeping seriously and not to suffer in silence.

Mike Lawrence is a life coach in Sheffield and holistic therapist specialising in stress relief and stress management. If you need help with stress issues or are having difficulty sleeping, contact Mike for an initial consultation.

seasonal affective disorder stress management Sheffield help

Seasonal Affective Disorder

seasonal affective disorder stress management Sheffield helpMany of us begin our day in the winter with a commute to work under the cover of darkness, before sitting inside under artificial lighting only to head back to the refuge of our home again in the dark. These shorter days, accompanied by a gloomier weather forecast, can lead you to become somewhat less cheerful than you are during the spring or summer. But this is much more than just the ‘winter blues’.

Recognised as a depressive illness linked to a lack of sunlight and shorter periods of daylight. Norman E. Rosenthal a South African author, psychiatrist and scientist in the 1980s first described winter depression or seasonal affective disorder and pioneered the use of light therapy for its treatment.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short, or the Winter Blues, is officially recognised by Doctors and Psychiatrists as a medical condition that is thought to affect 2 million people in the UK and Ireland and over 12 Million people across Northern Europe although from 10 to 20% of patients do not have any kind of symptoms related to it. It is a problem that affects more women than men, especially those who are between 40 and 55 years.

In the UK and Ireland we are more susceptible to SAD as we are situated in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere. As a result, we experience large changes in light levels between the summer and winter. We also experience periods of dark, gloomy weather which can reduce the amount of light we receive and therefore have a profound effect on our body clocks.

A combination of a change in seasonal light, our hectic lifestyles and the periods of darker days and poorer weather, can result in dramatic effects on our circadian

rhythms. As a direct consequence of these environmental and lifestyle factors more people than ever before are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder

The human body uses light cues, such as those provided by the sun, to time certain functions. Properly timed rhythms regulate mood, sleep, wake, appetite, digestion and energy. These daily internal cycles called ‘Circadian Rhythms’ sometimes fall out of time, meaning an unregulated body clock, resulting in the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Now with our hectic lifestyles, we often miss critical signals from the sun, and our body clocks suffer. Without proper morning light, our body clocks don’t produce the hormones we need to wake up and feel active. When we miss daytime light, we slump and become less productive. At night, we usually stay up hours after dark, causing sleep and mood problems. In fact, how we sleep, how active we are, and how we feel are all regulated by our body clock.

When your body clock doesn’t get the right light signals, you can feel tired, moody, and sluggish. But when our body clock does get the right type of light, your body produces active, energetic hormones and suppresses the negative, withdrawal ones. These hormones will help reset your sleep, mood, and energy cycles, so you sleep better at night and feel great during the day.

Examples of SAD Symptoms include:

  • Lethargy, lacking in energy, unable to carry out a normal routine
  • Sleep problems, finding it hard to stay awake during the day, but having disturbed nights
  • Loss of libido not interested in physical contact
  • Anxiety, inability to cope
  • Social problems, irritability, not wanting to see people
  • Depression, feelings of gloom and despondency for no apparent reason
  • Craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods, leading to weight gain
  • It is always important to consult your doctor if you believe you have SAD as it may be another condition.

It is always important to consult your doctor if you believe you have SAD as it may be another condition.

So Now we know, what can we do?

Light Therapy

As SAD symptoms are mainly triggered by light, it makes sense to use light to help alleviate them. The easiest way to do this is with light therapy which usually comes in the form of a light box. Light therapy works by using a powerful light to deliver light right to the back of the eye. This then lowers your Melatonin levels and increases your Serotonin production which will lessen the symptoms of SAD.

Talking Therapies

Talking treatments, such as hypnosis or life coaching can be very useful to help you manage the symptoms of SAD and recognise other factors that may be adding to your feelings of depression.

Integrative Therapy

While phototherapy and talking therapies can be very beneficial to combating the symptoms of SAD, also consider receiving an integrative therapy treatment. Relaxation is improved when endorphins, serotonin and dopamine levels increase. Within a session, the autonomic nervous system is stimulated. The autonomic nervous system stimulates the release of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine which often act as neurotransmitters. Endorphins, serotonin and dopamine can give a person a feeling of happiness, relief of anxiety, and a sense of well-being. An integrative therapeutic session encourages the release of the positive hormones to help decrease anxiety and prevent depression to encourage an increase in relaxation, motivation and provide a sense of wellbeing.

How Massage Can Help You Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression which can include symptoms of anxiety, sleep disturbances, general body pain and lack of energy. These symptoms make normal functioning difficult, bringing on stress. Stress and depression bring about an increase in cortisol, which further exacerbates the problems. Massage therapy has been shown to have a positive impact on most of these symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety.

Massage therapy has been shown to improve sleep quality in cancer patients, in children and in those suffering from both fibromyalgia and those with depression. Clinical trials have also proven that massage therapy can significantly reduce depression and anxiety for those suffering from a range of conditions, including Seasonal Affective Disorder. Massage therapy has been shown to reduce cortisol, to lower heart rate and improve blood pressure.

Conversely, massage has been proven to increase energy by way of increased circulation. In addition, massage therapy offers clients with SAD the benefit of human touch at a time when it is most needed. Overall, massage therapy has been proven in a variety of studies to have a positive impact on both the individual symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, general pain and lethargy) and have a positive impact on clients diagnosed with SAD specifically.

Everyone suffers a bit of moodiness and mild malaise during the winter months, but when those symptoms begin to impact the quality and quantity of our activities of daily life, getting out of bed at all can become a monumental task. When sadness and lethargy begin to take over, it can be difficult to dig out of the depression that can result. Getting regular exercise, daily exposure to sunlight and massage therapy are three things that can be done to reduce symptoms of depression, improve mood and energy, and counteract this seasonal condition.