Christmas Festivities

Navigating Christmas in the UK Amid Rising Costs: A Time for Reflection and Adaptation 🎄

The Changing Tide of Christmas Celebrations Amid Economic Challenges

As the festive lights of Christmas begin to twinkle across the UK, the joy of the season is tinged with the sobering reality of a challenging economic climate. The United Kingdom, like many parts of the world, is grappling with a significant rise in the cost of living. In October 2023, the inflation rate dipped to 4.6%, a decrease from the 6.7% recorded in the preceding month. 

However, this relief is slight, as the prices of essentials, particularly food, remain significantly higher than in previous years, with food prices in October 2023 being 10.1% higher than a year earlier.

Christmas Spending: A Glimpse Into the UK’s Festive Budget:

Despite these economic headwinds, Christmas spending in the UK shows a surprising trend. Britons are expected to spend an average of £602 each on Christmas gifts in 2023, marking a 40% increase from the average spend of £429 in 202​​0. This uptick in spending, against economic challenges, highlights the deep-seated value placed on the festive tradition of gift-giving. However, it also points to a potential strain on household finances, with nearly 23 million Brits (43%) planning to cover their Christmas expenses using credit cards.

Diverse Spending Patterns Across Generations and Regions:

This year’s spending patterns reveal interesting dynamics across generations and regions. Generation Z is leading the way in festive spending, planning to allocate an average of £828 each on Christmas gifts. In contrast, baby boomers are taking a more frugal approach, with an average spend of just £39. Geographically, the highest spenders are in Scotland, with an estimated average spend of £924 per person, followed closely by Londoners who plan to spend around £841 per person. 

Northern Ireland tops the charts regarding the percentage of people indulging in gift buying, with 91% of residents participating. It’s interesting to note the gender dynamics, with 89% of women planning to buy gifts, though their average spend is lower (£503) than men (£716​​).

Reflecting on Personal Circumstances and Celebrating Responsibly

As we observe these trends, we must reflect on our financial situations. Are we stretching our budgets too thin for the sake of tradition? How can we balance the joy of giving with financial prudence? This Christmas, perhaps more than ever, calls for a balance between maintaining festive cheer and being mindful of economic realities.

Mike’s Christmas Practical Tips

As someone who delivers a range of health and wellbeing talks, seminars, and workshops, the most popular topic in the New Year is always financial wellbeing. So, here are my top tips before we go for our festive break:

January Sales: While Black Friday has passed, the January sales offer excellent opportunities for savings. Keep an eye out for deals, especially on more significant purchases.

Help for Households: The UK government offers various supports through the ‘Help for Households’ campaign. Visit helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk to find out what support is available to help with bills, childcare, travel, and energy savings.

Turn2Us: If you struggle to pay bills and essential living costs, Turn2Us can assist with benefits, grants, and other aid forms. Visit their website at www.turn2us.org.uk for more information.

StepChange: For managing debts and coping with rising energy and food prices, StepChange offers free and impartial debt advice. Visit www.stepchange.org to learn more.

Energy Company Support: Many energy companies financially support households struggling to pay their bills. Check with your provider or explore options like the British Gas Energy Fund.

Single Occupier Tariff: Some water companies offer a Single Occupier tariff. If you live alone, check to see if you’re eligible for reduced rates.

Voucher Codes: Always look for a voucher code box when shopping online. Finding and applying a discount code can save money, and these savings add up over time.

Food Banks: If you’re facing food insecurity, seek local food banks. Your local authority website should have information on locations and access.

Council Tax Reduction: Contact your local authority to see if you are eligible for a reduction in your council tax.

Negotiating Bills: Don’t hesitate to haggle with providers like Sky, phone companies, and other subscription services. Calling them directly often yields better results than online negotiations.

Conclusion: Embracing the Essence of Christmas:

In conclusion, as we navigate the complexities of an economically challenging Christmas, let’s not lose sight of what makes this season exceptional – the warmth of togetherness, the joy of sharing, and the spirit of kindness. This year, let our celebrations reflect our love for others and our understanding and adaptation to the world around us. 

Please share your thoughts or drop me a message if you have any tips on how you plan to celebrate this Christmas while managing your budget, and let’s inspire each other with ideas and stories of a meaningful, cost-conscious festive season. 🌟✨

 

Mike Lawrence Health & Wellbeing

Surviving and Thriving A Year After My Pituitary Tumour Surgery

Surviving and Thriving A Year After My Pituitary Tumour Surgery

The Unexpected Turn

Mike Lawrence Health & Wellbeing

Imagine delivering a two-day Mental Health First Aid course, feeling a sense of accomplishment after a successful first

day, only to find yourself in an entirely different world by the next morning. Overnight, I was rushed to a hospital in London, three hours from my home, and was diagnosed with a pituitary tumour.

The Onslaught of Thoughts

The whirlwind of thoughts that followed was overwhelming. There I was, lying in a hospital bed, far from home, pondering over my clients and my self-employment finances during the challenging times of lockdown and COVID-19. The uncertainty was daunting – would I regain my sight? Could I drive again? These negative, debilitating thoughts seemed unending.

Finding Strength in Focus

But amidst this chaos, I found an unexpected strength within me. I decided to focus on one thing at a time. The first and foremost was my recovery. Hospitalisation was the initial phase, where I battled not just the physical ailment but also the mental toll it took. The next stage was transitioning home and starting rehabilitation, where the love and support of friends, family, and clients played a crucial role.

Reintegrating with Renewed Emphasis

And finally, the phase I am currently navigating is reintegrating into my work life, with a renewed emphasis on self-care. As I write this article from the serene setting of Sutton Hall Resort in North Yorkshire, I reflect on the journey I have been through.

Speaking Out: Raising Awareness

In January 2023, I spoke out about my experience in a press release titled “Surviving a Pituitary Tumour: Why Prioritising Our Mental Health is More Vital Than Ever”. My condition, pituitary apoplexy, results from bleeding within the pituitary gland. Fortunately, the tumour was non-cancerous, but the experience was a stark reminder of how easily we overlook the signs of struggling with mental health.

The Wider Crisis

This experience has made me acutely aware of the mental health crisis affecting not just patients but those in high-stress jobs as well. A report highlighting that 45% of UK police officers suffer from mental health issues is a testament to this grim reality. Moreover, the waiting times for mental health treatment in the NHS and the plight of patients in A&E departments underscore the urgency of addressing this crisis.

The Power of Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid Instructor Through my ordeal, I found solace and strength in the knowledge I had gained as a mental health first aid instructor. This training equipped me with skills and strategies that were instrumental in dealing with my traumatic event. It’s crucial to understand that mental health first aid isn’t about diagnosing or treating mental health issues. It’s about recognising signs of a mental health crisis in yourself or others and providing support until professional help is available.

A Call to Action

The journey has been challenging, but it has been enlightening. I urge everyone to pay close attention to their mental health and wellbeing. Practising self-care daily and learning about mental health first aid are vital steps we can all take. We must also advocate for better mental health resources and support in our communities and workplaces.

As we navigate these challenging times, let’s remember to care for ourselves and each other. Our mental health is as important as our physical health, and it’s high time we prioritise it. If my story can inspire even one person to seek help or support a loved one, then sharing it has been worth it.

Join the Conversation

Your mental health matters. Join our Mental Health First Aid course, engage in community discussions, or reach out for support. Together, we can create a world where mental wellbeing is not just a goal but a reality. Let’s make mental health first aid as common as physical first aid. Join me on this journey – for yourself, your loved ones, and our community.

Best mental health first aid training near Sheffield

Best Mental Health First Aid Training Near Sheffield

Best Mental Health First Aid Training Near Sheffield

Best mental health first aid training near Sheffield

 

 

 

 

 

Best mental health first aid training near Sheffield

Introduction

In today’s fast-paced world, marked by the challenges of a post-pandemic era and evolving work environments, prioritizing employee well-being is paramount. Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAiders®) are vital in providing the support needed to navigate these unprecedented times. Regarding MHFA training, one name stands out – Mike Lawrence.

Why Opt for Mike Lawrence’s MHFA Training?

1. Seasoned Expertise

Mike Lawrence is a distinguished instructor with a remarkable history of training individuals and organisations in mental health first aid. His extensive experience and unwavering commitment to excellence make him a trusted source of knowledge. Mike’s training sessions are renowned for their engaging and informative nature.

2. Exceptional Feedback

The testimonials speak volumes. Learners consistently laud Mike’s teaching style, highlighting his ability to simplify complex topics and ensure everyone grasps and retains the material.

3. A Comprehensive 2-Day Course

Our Mental Health First Aid Training spans two days, providing participants with the skills to identify signs of poor mental health and offer confident support. Beyond theory, this training empowers individuals to take meaningful action when it counts.

4. Certification and Community

Upon course completion, you’ll earn certification as an MHFAider®. This credential opens the door to a supportive community of like-minded individuals, ongoing resources, and 24/7 support through the MHFAider Support App® for three years.

5. Benefits for Both Workplace and Individuals

This course caters to businesses and individuals alike, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to recognize signs of poor mental health, initiate conversations, and connect individuals with appropriate support. Mike Lawrence tailors the training to suit the unique needs of each group.

Aizelwood's Mills Sheffield - Best Mental Health First Aid Training Course

Course Details

Dates: November 16th – 17th, 2023

Venue: Aizelwood’s Mill, Nursery Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S3 8GG, United Kingdom

Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Cost: £325. Click here to book

What You’ll Gain as an MHFAider®

As an MHFAider®, you’ll:

Identify signs of poor mental health and provide initial support.

Encourage individuals to access professional help and additional resources.

Cultivate active listening skills and empathy.

Foster mental health literacy, dismantling stigmas.

Comprehend the nuances of the MHFAider® role, including boundaries and confidentiality.

Prioritise self-care.

Master the use of the MHFAider Support App®.

Access dedicated support services and ongoing learning opportunities.

MHFA Certificate of Attendance

Structure and Takeaways

Our 2-day course unfolds across four adaptable sessions, progressively building learners’ confidence in supporting others. Safety and individualised support are our priorities, with a maximum of 16 participants per course. The course content emphasizes accessibility and inclusivity, with additional support available upon request.

Every participant receives:

  • A hard copy workbook.
  • A digital manual for future reference.
  • A wallet-sized reference card featuring the Mental Health First Aid action plan.
  • A digital MHFAider® certificate.
  • Three years of access to the MHFAider Support App®, replete with resources.
  • Ongoing learning opportunities, resources, and exclusive events.
  • Membership in the largest MHFAider® community in England.

MHFA Training 3 Years Support Included

Benefits Beyond Training

At MHFA England, we understand that effective MHFAiders® require ongoing support. We offer:

  • Training resources and continuous learning opportunities through the MHFAider Support App®.
  • Tools for organising roles and secure conversation journaling.
  • Resources for self-care, complete with an emotion tracker for well-being monitoring.
  • 24/7 text support for overwhelming moments or guidance during critical situations.
  • Regular online events that facilitate further learning and support.

Who Should Attend?

Our MHFA Training suits:

  • Business owners
  • HR managers
  • Stakeholders
  • Anyone responsible for people management

Booking with Confidence

We value flexibility:

  • Tickets and dates are transferable with written requests.
  • Payment must precede course attendance, enabling access to course resources.
  • Booking confirmation and payment details are sent via email.
  • Cancellation policy:
  • Courses can be cancelled and refunded within 48 hours of booking. No refunds are available beyond this 48-hour window.
  • Rescheduling is possible up to 7 days before the course commences, allowing for either online or face-to-face sessions.

Join the Mental Health First Aid Movement

MHFA 2-Day Training Course

Invest in your employees’ mental wellbeing. Choose Mike Lawrence’s MHFA Training, the premier mental health first aid training near Sheffield. With expert guidance, ongoing support, and a thriving community, you’ll be well-prepared to impact the lives of those around you positively.

Click here to reserve your place

Mangosteen Group Photo

My Personal Path to Wellbeing at Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort

The Rejuvenation Journey

Introduction

Life’s challenges had recently consumed me. A pituitary tumour diagnosis, months of recovery, and the mounting pressure of returning to work left me in dire need of a sanctuary. That sanctuary? The Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort in Phuket, Thailand.

A Unique Retreat: Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort Authentic Ayurveda in Thailand

Mangosteen is more than a resort; it’s a haven for those seeking genuine Ayurvedic healing, with professionals trained to an impeccable standard.

Choosing the AyurYoga Panchakarma 7-night Retreat

Why I Chose Panchakarma

After my health challenges, I sought a programme tailored to rejuvenate me, and Panchakarma seemed just right. The retreat’s offerings, from personalised treatments to nourishing Ayurvedic cuisine, promise holistic healing.

My Treatment Programme

Over seven days, I underwent various treatments, from Abhyanga massages to detoxifying procedures.

Personal Reflections: More Than Just Treatments

Each day brought a fresh wave of relaxation, energy, and rejuvenation. I felt my stresses melt away, replaced with newfound vigour. While I expected peace, the profound sense of refreshment was a delightful surprise.

Ayurvedic Doctor

During the final consultation, my Ayurvedic doctor remarked at the end of my programme, “You’ve lost 5kgs, but beyond that, your energy seems more balanced, more harmonious.” It wasn’t just about weight but the transformation inside and out.

Educational Insights into Ayurveda

With roots in ancient India, Ayurveda is more than a medical system; it’s a way of life. Centred on the ‘doshas’ or bodily humour, Ayurveda teaches balance. I was intrigued to learn more about the benefits of the oils and treatments; therefore, My Ayurvedic doctor introduced me to the “Textbook of Ayurveda: Volume 1 – Fundamental Principles of Ayurveda” by Dr Vasant Lad, a foundational text. Additionally, I was given the Ashwagandha supplement, known for its rejuvenating properties.

Beyond Treatment: Life in Phuket

From ethical elephant sanctuaries to rigorous Muay Thai training sessions and a speed boat trip over to PHI PHI Islands, Phuket offered both relaxation and adventure.

Testimonials from the Resort Owners

Hajo, one of the resort owners, told me, “Your journey, from where you started to where you’ve reached, truly resonates with Mangosteen’s ethos of holistic healing. We’re delighted to have been a part of it.”

Call to Action: Your Path to Healing

Consider your wellbeing. It’s time you treat yourself through a wellness retreat or simple moments of self-care in your daily routine.

Conclusion

My journey at Mangosteen was a lesson in the importance of self-care. Not only did I find physical rejuvenation, but I also discovered the strength within to tackle life’s challenges head-on.

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Beyond Awareness: Integrating Mental Health into Everyday Life

As we wrap up Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, it’s crucial that we reflect on the spotlight that has been shone brightly on anxiety. We’ve aimed to raise awareness, hoping people can better spot early warning signs and understand that everyone’s mental health journey is unique and often challenging. Yet, as we approach the end of this dedicated week, we are left with a vital question: has it been enough?

Awareness days, weeks, and months come and go throughout the year. They serve as important reminders of various health and societal issues. However, when it comes to mental health, it’s time to ponder: are these moments of spotlight creating a lasting change? Or are they just temporary blips in our collective consciousness?

A Brief History of Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness Month, celebrated in May in the U.S., dates back to 1949. The initiative was introduced by the Mental Health America organisation, founded by Clifford Whittingham Beers, a mental health advocate with firsthand experience of the challenges faced by individuals with mental health conditions.

Each year, a theme is selected to be highlighted throughout May. The UK and the US have chosen to focus on anxiety for this year’s Mental Health Awareness campaigns. The US campaign carries the theme “More Than Enough“, a strong message of hope, inclusion, and the need for comprehensive mental health support. It underscores the belief that all people, regardless of where they stand in their mental health journey, deserve support, resources, and a compassionate community.

On the other hand, the UK also places a spotlight on anxiety, aiming to educate the public about the signs of anxiety disorders and promote early intervention. Both countries strive to raise awareness about this prevalent mental health issue and advocate for better resources, support, and understanding for those affected.

A Global Perspective on Mental Health

Investment in mental health services has been a point of concern across the globe. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that countries spend, on average, only 2% of their health budgets on mental health. Despite the high mental health conditions worldwide, resources and funding for mental health issues are still scarce. The WHO has called for increased investment, particularly after the pandemic, which has exacerbated mental health conditions globally.

In the U.S., mental health has been recognised as a crucial aspect of overall health. However, funding remains an issue. A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicated that in 2020, only 43.3% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment.

Meanwhile, the UK government has pledged to provide ‘parity of esteem for mental health, meaning it should be given equal priority to physical health. However, recent data suggests that the reality is far from this commitment. In 2020, mental health trusts received only 13% of the total NHS budget, despite mental health issues making up 23% of the disease burden.

My Thoughts on the Future of Mental Health

While raising awareness is crucial, it’s time to make mental health a part of our everyday lives. It should be woven into our education system early, becoming part of the curriculum so children learn how vital wellbeing and self-care are.

Instead of selling the concept of mental health and leaving it to companies’ Employee Assistance Programmes or corporate social responsibility, mental health should be embedded into our societal fabric. It may be a stretch, but as reiterated in this year’s campaign message from the USA.

“All people, no matter where they are on their mental health journey, deserve support, resources, fulfilment and a community that cares.”

In conclusion, let’s not limit our concern and action for mental health to specific days or months. It’s a year-round commitment. American philosopher and psychologist William James said, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” Let’s choose thoughts of empathy, understanding, and continuous support for mental health.

Let’s make mental wellbeing a part of our daily lives, from the classrooms to the boardrooms, and encourage open conversations about mental health. Let’s invest in resources, education, and support systems. Because everyone, no matter where they are on their mental health journey, deserves support, resources, fulfilment, and a caring community.

We all have a part to play in this, and every small step we take can lead to significant changes. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

confidence

Five coping strategies to help you combat the cost of living crisis

One of the major reasons for this mental health crisis is the financial strain many people face. With the cost of living increasing and energy prices rising, many people are using their savings and taking out loans to make ends meet.

This financial insecurity can cause significant stress and anxiety and lead to depression, sleep problems, and other mental health issues. This puts a strain on people’s finances, with many having to use their savings to make ends meet. Furthermore, a record number of people are taking out loans to cover their expenses, which adds to their financial stress.

Despite the clear impact that these factors are having on people’s mental health, many still do not seek help. One of the main reasons for this is the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Many people feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit that they are struggling, and so they do not reach out for help. Another reason for the mental health crisis in the UK is the lack of support and resources available for struggling people.

Although many people are in need of help, the stigma surrounding mental health issues often prevents people from seeking the support they need. Many people feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about their mental health problems, and they may be reluctant to seek help because they are afraid of being judged or misunderstood.

To help combat this mental health crisis, it is important that people take steps to improve their own mental wellbeing.

Just like when we are hungry, we refuel, and when our car is low on fuel, we visit a petrol station, it’s important to seek help when our mental health is at risk.

If you are struggling with your mental health, there are things you can do to help. Here are five practical tips for improving your mental health and wellbeing in 2023:

  1. Reach out to friends and family. Talking to someone you trust can help you feel less alone and more supported.
  2. Practice self-care. This can include things like getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
  3. Seek professional help. Many different types of therapists and counsellors can help you work through your feelings and find ways to cope.
  4. Take a break from social media and the news. Constant exposure to negative information can be overwhelming and contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.
  5. Connect with others who understand. Joining a support group or online community can help you feel less isolated and more understood.

If you are struggling with your mental health and need support, contact Mike Lawrence at 01142 670 081 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk. Remember, you are not alone, and there is help available. Don’t be afraid to take the first step towards better mental health and wellbeing.

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Train as a Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider®) and receive 3 years of certification

This course is for those who would like to become an MHFAider®, whether in the workplace or as individuals, to gain the knowledge and skills to spot signs of people experiencing poor mental health and be confident to start a conversation and signpost a person to appropriate support.

In addition to the course, you will become part of the largest MHFAider® community in England, gaining access to resources, ongoing learning and 24/7 digital support through the MHFAider Support App® to give you the tools and knowledge you need to carry out the role effectively and confidently whether that be in your workplace a volunteer role or in the community.

How to book

Click here to reserve your place, or if you would like more information on individual and group bookings, feel free to get in touch at enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk or contact Mike at 0114 670 081.

Course outcomes

As an MHFAider®, you will be able to:

  • Recognise those experiencing poor mental health and provide them with first-level support and early intervention
  • Encourage a person to identify and access sources of professional help and other supports
  • Practise active listening and empathy
  • Have a conversation with improved mental health literacy around language and stigma
  • Discuss the MHFAider® role in depth, including boundaries and confidentiality
  • Practise self-care
  • Know how to use the MHFAider Support App®
  • Know how to access a dedicated text service provided by Shout and ongoing learning opportunities with MHFA England

Structure

  • The online 2-day course is structured across four flexible sessions covering 14 hours of content in total.​
  • Each session is a maximum of 3hrs 45mins.
  • Learning takes place through a mix of instructor-led training, group discussions individual and group activities.
  • Each session builds on the previous one, enabling the learner to gain confidence in supporting others using the MHFA action plan.
  • Numbers are limited to 16 per course so learners can be kept safe and supported whilst they learn.
  • Learning content will be as accessible and inclusive as possible (please contact if additional support is required).

Takeaways

  • Everyone who completes this course gets the following:
  • A hard copy workbook to support their learning throughout the course
  • A digital manual to refer to whenever they need it​ after completing the course
  • A wallet-sized reference card with the Mental Health First Aid action plan​
  • A digital MHFAider® certificate
  • Access to the MHFAider Support App® for three years
  • Access to ongoing learning opportunities, resources and exclusive events ​
  • The opportunity to be part of the largest MHFAider® community in England

How to book

Click here to reserve your place, or if you would like more information on individual and group bookings, feel free to get in touch at enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk or contact Mike at 0114 670 081.

New course and benefits

The workplace has changed for people and organisations. In the last few years, we’ve seen a global pandemic, economic downturns, cost of living pressures, adaptation to hybrid working the great resignation and a recruitment crisis. It has taken a toll on employees, and now – more than ever – they need mental health support in the workplace.

Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAiders®) are crucial to helping boost employee wellbeing as we adjust to a profoundly changed workplace environment. But while MHFAiders® work to support others, they need support too.

At MHFA England, providing support, building confidence and growing a community to drive change is crucial to us. It isn’t a footnote or a half-hearted line in the small print. We’ve spent 15 years generating conversation around workplace mental health, and we understand that being an effective MHFAider® requires learning and support beyond training.

That’s why we offer ongoing support to help MHFAiders® feel confident and empowered – long after they’ve completed their training course.

Additionally, MHFAiders® receive access to exclusive events to continue developing their support for your workplace beyond the training course.

  • The MHFAider Support App® provides training resources and ongoing learning opportunities so that MHFAiders® can improve their support skills on the job.
  • MHFAiders® can help organise their roles with reminders and secure conversation journaling to reflect on their work safely.
  • The MHFAider Support App® works to support the MHFAider® own mental health – the resources within can teach critical self-care skills with the emotion tracker function allowing them to chart their own wellbeing.
  • The app provides 24/7 text support for when MHFAiders® are feeling overwhelmed or need guidance for certain situations.
  • MHFAiders® have access to regular online events that provide further learning and support, allowing them to continue to perform their role confidently and effectively long after receiving their initial training.

Cancellation Policy

  • Payment must be made before attending the course, as this will convert you to a delegate and trigger the provision of your course resources.
  • Confirmation of payment and your booking will be confirmed by email. If you have not received this, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.
  • To cancel or reschedule, please be aware that only courses cancelled within 48 hours of booking can be refunded.
  • No refund is available on any booking cancellation before the course start date after the 48-hour cooling-off period.
  • A course booking can be rescheduled up to 7 days before the course start date. This can be rescheduled to either an online course or face-to-face.

How to book

Click here to reserve your place, or if you would like more information on individual and group bookings, feel free to get in touch at enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk or contact Mike at 0114 670 081.

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’.

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MHFA England Mental Health Adult First Aid 2-Day Online Training Course

Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) training provides a recognised qualification for employers and individuals who want to support the mental health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace. Mental Health First Aiders play a crucial role in helping the mental health and wellbeing within a business. It is understanding and awareness around mental health and develops the confidence to offer valuable support.

This two-day course trains you as a Mental Health First Aider, giving you:

  • An in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing
  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues
  • Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening

Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support – whether that’s self-help resources, through their employer, the NHS, or a mix


Dates:

  • Monday 7th March 9 am – 5 pm
  • Tuesday 8th March 9 am – 5 pm

​Cost

We value this course at £300 per person

Click here to reserve your place


Format

  • Two-day online course delivered across four manageable sessions
  • Learning takes place through a mix of presentations, group discussions and workshop activities
  • Each session is built around a Mental Health First Aid action plan
  • We limit numbers to 16 people per course so that the instructor can keep people safe and supported while they learn

Takeaways

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 own mental health

Session 1

  • Why Mental Health First Aid?
  • The Mental Health First Aid action plan
  • What is mental health?
  • Impact of mental health issues
  • Stigma and discrimination
  • What is depression?
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Risk factors for depression
  • Depression in the workplace

Session 2

  • Suicide figures
  • Alcohol, drugs and mental health
  • First aid for suicidal crisis
  • Non-judgemental listening skills
  • First aid for depression
  • Treatment and resources for depression
  • Self-care

Session 3

  • What is an anxiety disorder?
  • First aid for anxiety disorders
  • Crisis first aid after a traumatic event
  • Alcohol, drugs and anxiety disorders
  • Treatment and resources for anxiety disorders
  • Cognitive distortions and CBT
  • Personality disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-harm

Session 4

  • What is psychosis?
  • Risk factors for psychosis
  • Alcohol, drugs and psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Warning signs of developing psychosis
  • Crisis first aid for acute psychosis
  • Treatment and resources for psychosis
  • Recovery and building resources
  • Action planning for using MHFA

Booking

To book your place on the course click here and you will receive an email confirmation and details of the course. If you would like further information please don’t hesitate to call Mike Lawrence 0114 2670081 or by email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk.


“If you don’t take the first step, nothing changes.”

What Will You Miss This Christmas?

This Christmas will be slightly strange for many, as we try to navigate the restrictions that have been imposed because of the pandemic. 

Spare a thought for those whose families reside further afield, in different parts of the country—or, in some cases, in other countries.

I hear stories on a daily basis from clients who haven’t seen their loved ones this year, due to travel restrictions and different tier arrangements imposed in different parts of the country.

“I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas, with a note on them saying ‘Toys not included”. Bernard Manning.

I have many friends, relatives and family that live in London and the South East. Ordinarily, at this time of year, I would be booking train tickets, securing favourable rates in hotels, and I’d be packing my suitcase—excited to enjoy some yuletide cheer in the ‘big smoke’.

My diary would be filled with an abundance of ventures, which mainly involve fun, laughter and excitement.

A traditional trip to Winter Wonderland with my daughters, for example, in the heart of London—Hyde Park—where you can immerse yourself in all things festive, and where an array of attractions, activities and entertainment for all ages and visitors can be found.

This would be supplemented by a visit to the theatre; I usually book tickets up to a year in advance. We’ve seen various plays and musicals, such as Memphis, Mamma Mia, Chicago, Ghost, Wicked and the Lion King.

Then there’s ‘Dreamgirls’… 

The film, based on the 1981 Broadway play, tells the story of a small, black record label and its star singers. Their success crosses over to the pop charts, and it’s rumoured to be loosely based on The Supremes. The movie received eight Academy Award nominations and won three Golden Globe awards.

This is a family favourite and, potentially, number one in our list of top 10 movies. We made a pact that, if the movie was ever adapted for the West End, we’d get tickets.

So, you can imagine my reaction when I discovered that the play was coming to London. I secretly booked tickets for the Savoy Theatre.

Proud Father moment: walking towards the theatre, in the distance, the girls caught their first glimpse of what was to come that evening. They also had a surprise for me, and they demanded that I open a large, carefully-gift-wrapped box in the theatre stalls.

The smiles on our faces were priceless. Moments like that stay with you for the rest of your life.

Drinks reserved for the interval, souvenir programme purchased, we made our way to the front of the auditorium to be seated. The band started playing, the curtain was raised. It was showtime.

The performers came on stage, singing and dancing, against a backdrop of music and smoke.

‘Bring it on!’ I thought…

However, it didn’t really get going. It seemed rather flat, and certainly not as inspiring as the movie.

The stage adaptation didn’t quite live up to my expectations. In fact, it wasn’t worthy of being in ‘our top 10’. That said, Amber Riley, who played Effie in the lead role, saved the day, due to her incredible voice that ripped through the auditorium. The first act closed with the barnstorming ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’. Enter, stage right, Jennifer Hudson; click here to listen to her version.

I wondered how my girls felt. We nervously chatted about the film and gave our personal critiques of the performances, as we do. Then the gloves came off. The outcome was unanimous: we thought that the movie was so much better than the stage production.

I’m already seeking out deeds and activities for Christmas 2021 to add to my dream board and bucket list.

I do hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and that you make the most of what you have and the people around you.

Are you looking to make some changes in your personal or professional life in 2021? Maybe you lack confidence and you’re not sure how you can achieve this. Get in touch with me and book your free 40-minute discovery call.

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

 

BBC Radio Sheffield Simon’s Journey of Faith Interview

Simon’s Journey of Faith guest recently was Mike Lawrence. Mike, who works as a Health and Wellbeing Consultant, shared some of the moments in his life when his Christian faith has guided and supported him.
Listen back here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08srq60
Interview in two parts at 35 minutes and 46 minutes.

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

Winner of one of the 2020 Best 3 Therapists Awards for the second year in a row

Mike Lawrence Holistic Therapies is celebrating – again! They had been recognised for the second year in a row by the Best 3 Awards this week for making a significant difference to local people’s lives. Mike’s mission is to empower people to achieve their aspirations in the workplace and everyday life. The award recognises that mission being made a reality. Against several factors, Mike has been voted one of the Best 3 Therapists in the Sheffield region.

All the therapists faced a rigorous 50-point inspection, which includes local reviews, history, trading standards, ratings, satisfaction, trust, price and their general excellence. Mike Lawrence Holistic Therapies yet again showed real strength in every area.

In the last year, Mike has developed the company to incorporate Mike Lawrence Wellbeing & Workplace Management Consultancy, a global consulting organisation with a difference. They are helping thousands of people in the workplace to achieve personal and business goals, as well as supporting employers to deliver more informed wellbeing support and behaviours. A lot of this consists of education and tools for managers, which the team deliver in-house to medium to large businesses across the country.

Mike told us ‘It means a lot when you set out to help people make small but impactful changes and they come back and tell you how big their strides forward are.

You always hope to exceed expectations but to be recognised for consistently exceeding is such great news for us. It’s been a really interesting year with the development for the workplace wellbeing offer, and to be honest, it’s taken off at some speed! We’re now able to help more people lead happier and healthier lives across the region and beyond’.

To read the inspection process in detail please click on the following link https://threebestrated.co.uk/therapists-in-sheffield

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

mental health at work Sheffield Christmas

Mental Health At Work At Christmas Time

mental health at work Sheffield Christmas

Surviving Christmas Without It Weighing On Your Mental Health

The festive break is not too far away, and the countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun. If you’re like me, you may be thinking “How am I going to get everything done?” Christmas brings its challenges and that people can find the period quite stressful.

During a month where energy, money and ‘happy appearances’ are overstretched, unhealthy food and alcohol tend to be readily available. It’s understandable if your mental health can tend to fluctuate.

Things can be challenging if you have lost a loved one, or about to commence divorce proceedings, if you’re unhappy at work, or living on your own for the first Time.

Often disputes with your family or relatives can ignite when you’re compelled to spend more time with them.

Here’s how to survive the Christmas season this month without it weighing down on your Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Seek Help and Ask for Support

Arguably one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year can be the run-up to the festive break. You’re facing clearing the workload on your desk to achieve your bosses’ deadlines. Don’t be afraid to seek help and be realistic with what you are capable of producing.

Plan Ahead

Evaluate your workload, review everything you’ve got to do. Set a list of priorities and identify what really has to be done before the festive break and what can be deferred until you return. If you don’t have time to get everything done before you go on leave, speak to your manager to discuss solutions.

Time Management

For any new job requests that hit your in-tray, don’t feel obliged to take on these tasks. Manage other people’s expectations about when you can realistically complete the task. To your relief, they may not have sight of your workload nor aware of your current schedule, deadlines and priorities.

Take Time Out

Ensure that you take breaks away from your desk or workstation. Exercise and regular breaks throughout the day are essential for your mental health as well as physical health. A good guideline is to aim for 90 minutes of work cycles throughout the day (Ultradium Rhythm) followed by 20 minutes of rest.

Flexible Working

You may want to consider, asking for flexible working. National Christmas Jumper Day Friday 13th December, office parties, lots of fun and distractions. Schedule all office activities in your diary in advance so that you can carefully navigate your way through this period.

Don’t be a humbug or party pooper coming up with excuses why you can’t attend. Manage your working day, come in early or come in later and get your work done in quieter periods. Many employers are also allowing employees to work from home, find out if this available for you.

Christmas and New Year

If you’re working between Christmas and the New Year, have a list of Duty Managers or people that you can contact should you require any assistance. The office tends to be less busy, staffing levels lower, and some people enjoy working at this time of year due to fewer distractions therefore can more work done. You can also use this time to catch up on projects and that dreaded admin.

Christmas Cheer

Relax, unwind and enjoy. Make sure you treat yourself. Surround yourself with friends and family, try not to ponder and think about what’s going on at work, a more challenging prospect is not to talk about work.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT

Check your work emails unless it’s essential. If you have to check, restrict the number of times and consider turning off the notifications.

Health & Wellbeing

If you don’t have an exercise routine, try not to over-indulge on unhealthy food or drink. It’s vital to use your holiday to relax and unwind but trying to stay active should make returning to work less worrying.

Plan your Return

  • Create a list and prioritise important tasks, so you know what you will need to do on your return.
  • It’s advisable to leave a couple of days free of meetings and deadlines so you can hit the ground running on the first day back.
  • If you created a checklist of tasks carried forward to the New Year, make an immediate start to gain momentum.
  • Whether you’re returning to work the day after Boxing Day or have decided to take a longer break, don’t let your usual routine slip too much.

Hopefully, these tips will help you return to work fully refreshed and energised.

I wish you a lovely festive break!

If you’re considering raising awareness within your organisation on Mental Health or Health and Wellbeing, please get in touch and book your free 40-minute consultation.

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

wellbeing in workplace Sheffield neurodiversity

Neurodiversity – Wellbeing In The Workplace

wellbeing in workplace Sheffield neurodiversity

I was recently invited to co-host an HR Future Leaders Seminar in Leeds, organised by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and Elevation Recruitment Group, on Neurodiversity in the Workplace, which is becoming an increasingly popular topic within HR.

What Is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity refers to people with genetic differences such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, Tourettes and various forms of Autism such as Aspergers.

Neurodivergent people are not unwell; neither do they have a syndrome; it is a difference. But it is a difference that can leave people more susceptible to mental ill-health, which can be created or heightened by inadequate working environments.

It’s estimated that 1 in 7 people in the UK is neurodivergent, inferring their brain functions, learns and processes information differently than others.

Neurodiversity In The Workplace

A survey conducted by the CIPD in 2018 discovered that 10% of HR professionals in the UK acknowledged Neurodiversity in their organisation’s employee management systems. Alarmingly, 72% said Neurodiversity wasn’t included.

A growing number of prominent companies in the USA have reformed their HR processes to access neurodiverse talent; among them are SAP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft and Ford.

Managers at SAP say that it is already paying off in ways far beyond reputational enhancement. Including productivity gains, quality improvement boosts in innovative capabilities and significant increases in employee engagement.

Companies have a legal obligation to undertake ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the workplace and the employee’s role that will remove or minimise any disadvantage to them.

The Equality Act 2010  protects individuals against disability discrimination for issues often referred to as ‘hidden disabilities’.

The more common difficulties associated with neurodiverse conditions in the workplace can include, time management, planning and prioritising, organisation, getting distracted by background music, poor working memory (the ability to hold multiple things in your attention at one time). These very often cause stress, and it might be stress that brings them to your attention.

Concentration, excess stress, issues with timekeeping, maintaining a schedule and physical illness are all conditions covered under the term neurodiversity.

Some thrive in a working environment and build resilience towards the difficulties they face, whereas others may struggle to complete specific tasks because of their condition.

In these instances, disclosing these challenges to an employer can allow them to support an individual in the workplace.

  • 24% of the UK prison population has ADHD
  • 16% of people in the UK with Autism have a job
  • 1% of corporate managers have dyslexia compared to a population norm of 10%

How Can I Help?

  • Ask questions to find out how best to help and support your neurodiverse employees. Everyone with a neurodiverse condition is different, and they often have particular strengths
  • Assess the working environment
  • Implement a wellbeing policy
  • Train managers and team leaders how to recognise and spot signs and symptoms
  • Identify employees with neurological variances whom frequently suffer from mental health issues, including stress, anxiety and depression
  • Ensure that you contribute towards creating an accepting and nurturing working environment
  • Provide an environment which encourages employees to disclose any neurological condition
  • Awareness-raising sessions that can help manage your sickness absence rates and improve line management skills, both of which can, in turn, lead to increased productivity
  • Appoint a buddy or mentor
  • Review the employee life cycle and journey

SAP’s neurodiversity program forced managers to get to know their employees and become better managers. Managers also began thinking more deeply about leveraging the talents of all employees through greater sensitivity to individual needs.

We understand that the situations of stress-related absence are on the increase in the working environment.

When this occurs, try and discover if the employee has a neurodiverse condition. Be sympathetic; they may often not know themselves or be embarrassed to talk.

Access to work grants is a pot of government funding support based on your needs, for reasonable adjustments to be carried out. To assist with covering the cost of adequate support in the workplace or getting to and from work. Also, software to translate speech into text and vice versa, life coaching to develop coping strategies to help employees better manage their condition.

If you’re considering raising awareness in neurodiversity, mental health at work, or health and wellbeing in the workplace, please 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