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Breaking the Silence on Mental Health

Breaking the Silence on Mental Health

Breaking the Silence on Mental HealthAs we navigate through March, the narratives around our economy and personal wellbeing are becoming increasingly intertwined. Recent discussions have highlighted that we’ve entered a recession, a fact that many of us had sensed long before it was officially acknowledged. The evidence lies in the everyday – our shopping bags offer fewer items for more money, fuel pumps take longer to fill our tanks without reaching full, and the cost of leisure activities, from a night at the theatre to a simple gym session, all seem to be on an upward trajectory.

This financial strain inevitably impacts our mental health, a topic that, thanks to social media, is gaining attention. Posts about mental health resonate with many, attracting likes and comments, but it begs the question: Are we taking meaningful action beyond the digital gestures of support?

The Shift in Conversations

At my local Nuffield gym, I’ve observed a significant conversation shift. Where once the latest football scores of Chesterfield dominated the talk, discussions about mental health and wellbeing are now becoming a hot topic. However, these conversations often surface only when individuals are in crisis, highlighting a worrying trend towards reactive rather than proactive mental health support.

Taking Action for Mental Health

It’s crucial not only to talk about mental health but to take concrete steps towards improving it. Here are six resources for support:

  1. Hub of Hope: A comprehensive database for local mental health support.
  2. Samaritans: Immediate support for anyone in emotional distress.
  3. Rethink Mental Health: Resources and advocacy for those affected by mental illness.
  4. Mind: Information and support for mental health issues.
  5. Text Shout: A 24/7 text service for people in crisis.
  6. Mental Health Foundation: Promotes understanding and support for mental health

The Power of Mental Health First Aid

Mental health first aid training is a life-saving skill, equipping individuals with the knowledge to support those experiencing a mental health crisis. This training is vital, teaching us to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. It’s about creating a society where mental health is treated with the same urgency as physical health.

Why Mental Health First Aid Matters

For employers, investing in mental health first aid training is not just about compliance; it’s about creating a culture of empathy and understanding. This training fosters a supportive atmosphere in today’s hybrid and office working environments, ensuring employees feel seen, heard, and supported.

Let’s Be the Change

In emphasising the significance of mental health, notable figures have lent their voices to raise awareness. Among them, Prince William has poignantly remarked, “Mental health is just as important as physical health,” underlining the essential nature of addressing mental wellbeing with the same urgency and importance as physical health. This statement from a global figure not only highlights the universality of mental health issues but also encourages a more open and supportive dialogue around the topic.

I invite you to join me in breaking down the barriers surrounding mental health. By training in mental health first aid, you’re not just helping others but fostering a more compassionate society.

Mental health matters as much as physical health. It’s time to prioritise both and make a difference. Please get in touch with us directly for details on upcoming mental health first aid courses throughout 2024, for group bookings send me an email. Let’s break the silence and support each other in every way possible.

Mike Lawrence: Health & Wellbeing Enthusiast and Mental Health Advocate

Hi, I’m Mike Lawrence, and I’m dedicated to enhancing mental health and wellbeing. After overcoming significant health challenges, including brain surgery, I’ve committed to a journey of self-improvement and helping others. My adventures range from thrilling skydives for charity to transformative travels in Thailand. I share insights from my experiences and key learnings from impactful audiobooks. Join me in exploring holistic health and wellbeing, and let’s embrace life’s adventures together!

Feel free to connect with me through email at hello@mikelawrence.co.uk or Linkedin. For more detailed insights and stories from Mike, click here to read the latest blogs.

Mike Lawrence Health & Wellbeing Management Consultant

 

Poor Mental Health Gen Z

Navigating Wellbeing From Baby Boomers to Gen Z

Navigating Wellbeing: From Baby Boomers to Gen Z

Navigating Wellbeing: From Baby Boomers to Gen Z A recent article from The Guardian has highlighted a concerning trend: individuals in their 20s are now more likely to be out of work due to ill health than those in their early 40s. This statistic is alarming and prompts us to question why this is happening. Is it due to increased workplace stress, lifestyle factors, or the lingering effects of the pandemic?

The Changing Conversation Around Wellbeing

From my experience, the conversation around wellbeing is shifting, especially among the younger generation. Unlike baby boomers, who often refrained from discussing their wellbeing due to stigma and a different frame of reference, younger individuals are more open to talking about their mental and physical health. This openness is a positive step forward, but it also reveals deeper issues.

Why the Concern?

Several factors contribute to the rising concern for the wellbeing of younger professionals:

  • Rising Cost of Living and Debt: The financial pressures of today’s economy, including high costs of living and student debt, weigh heavily on younger generations. This financial strain can lead to significant stress and anxiety, impacting their overall wellbeing.
  • Housing Market Challenges: The dream of homeownership is becoming increasingly out of reach for many young people, adding another layer of stress and uncertainty about their future.
  • Job Security and Career Changes: The concept of a job for life is now outdated. The World Health Organisation suggests that young individuals may need to change jobs up to 15 times during their careers. This lack of job security and the need for constant adaptation can be stressful and challenging.

5 Tips to Improve Navigating Wellbeing From Baby Boomers to Gen Z

  1. Open Communication: Encourage open discussions about mental health in the workplace and at home.
  2. Financial Planning: Seek advice and education on managing finances and debt to reduce financial stress.
  3. Lifestyle Balance: Prioritise work-life balance with flexible working hours and remote work options.
  4. Continuous Learning: Embrace the idea of lifelong learning to adapt to career changes positively.
  5. Support Networks: Build a strong support network of friends, family, and professionals for guidance and support.

My Thoughts

The shift in conversations around wellbeing is a vital change, reflecting a broader societal shift towards recognising and addressing mental health issues. However, it’s clear that the challenges facing younger generations are multifaceted, involving economic, social, and personal factors. As attitudes slowly change, it’s crucial that both employers and society as a whole take steps to support the wellbeing of younger professionals, acknowledging the unique pressures they face.

Conclusion

The trend highlighted by The Guardian is a wake-up call for all of us to pay closer attention to the health and wellbeing of the younger workforce. By understanding the “why” behind these issues, we can create healthier work environments that support young professionals and contribute to a more resilient and thriving society.

Your insights on this issue are invaluable. What do you think contributes to the health challenges younger professionals face? And how can we, as a society, support their wellbeing? Join the conversation and share your views.

Mike Lawrence: Health & Wellbeing Enthusiast and Mental Health Advocate

Hi, I’m Mike Lawrence, and I’m dedicated to enhancing mental health and wellbeing. After overcoming significant health challenges, including brain surgery, I’ve committed to a journey of self-improvement and helping others. My adventures range from thrilling skydives for charity to transformative travels in Thailand. I share insights from my experiences and key learnings from impactful audiobooks. Join me in exploring holistic health and wellbeing, and let’s embrace life’s adventures together!

Feel free to connect with me through email at hello@mikelawrence.co.uk or Linkedin. For more detailed insights and stories from Mike, click here to read the latest blogs.

Mike Lawrence Health & Wellbeing Management Consultant

 

Resting at home 4 day week

The Four-Day Workweek A Future of Work and Wellbeing

The Four-Day Workweek: A Future of Work and Wellbeing

In the relentless pursuit of balancing work and life, the concept of a four-day workweek has transitioned from a distant dream to a tangible reality for many. A year after the world’s most extensive trial of a four-day workweek concluded in the UK, the results have sparked interest and led to a significant shift in how work is perceived and conducted. With over 60 UK organisations taking the bold step to reduce work hours to 80% for the same pay—under the promise of maintaining productivity—the outcomes have been overwhelmingly positive.

This shift, led by the think tank Autonomy in collaboration with 4 Day Week Global and academic partners, has shown remarkable improvements in employees’ physical and mental health, work-life balance, and overall life satisfaction. Moreover, businesses have seen boosts in performance, reduced staff turnover, and enhanced recruitment and staff wellbeing.

A Leap Towards Enhanced Wellbeing and Productivity

The trial’s success stories come from various sectors, including marketing, advertising, professional services, and even traditionally rigid fields like construction and healthcare. This diversity illustrates a condensed workweek’s universal applicability and potential benefits across various industries. Notably, most participating organisations have chosen to continue the four-day workweek, with over half making the change permanent. Such a pioneering move challenges the traditional five-day work model, suggesting that a shorter workweek is not merely a fleeting trend but a sustainable, beneficial practice for both employees and employers.

A Comparative Look: USA vs Scandinavia

The idea of a reduced workweek first gained traction in Scandinavia, known for its progressive work-life balance policies, before making its way to the USA. Scandinavian countries have long been at the forefront of implementing work-life balance initiatives, including flexible working hours and extensive parental leave policies. The success of these initiatives has paved the way for the four-day workweek trials, which have been met with positive feedback regarding employee satisfaction and productivity.

In contrast, the adoption rate in the USA has been more gradual, with companies experimenting with the concept on a case-by-case basis. Despite this, American companies’ growing interest is driven by the promising results from the UK and Scandinavia. The comparison underscores a global shift towards reevaluating work norms to enhance wellbeing and productivity.

Mental Health and Work-Life Balance

One of the most compelling arguments for the four-day workweek is its impact on mental health. The additional day off gives employees more time to rest, pursue hobbies, and spend time with loved ones, contributing to lower stress levels and higher job satisfaction. This shift benefits employees’ mental health and translates into higher productivity levels, as well-rested and happier employees are more likely to perform better.

Your Voice Matters

As this conversation about the future of work and wellbeing evolves, your insights and opinions are invaluable. Whether you’re in favour of the four-day workweek, sceptical about its feasibility, or simply curious about its implications, your perspective is crucial. Could your organisation benefit from a similar shift? Are there challenges that might outweigh the benefits, or is the potential for enhanced wellbeing and productivity too significant to ignore?

The four-day workweek represents more than just an extra day off; it signifies a reimagining of work, productivity, and wellbeing. As we look towards a future where work-life balance is not just a goal but a reality, it’s time to engage in this critical discussion. What do you think? Would you welcome a four-day workweek in your company? Let’s explore the possibilities together and consider how such a change could improve our lives.

Liam Kenealy, Employment Solicitor at Lupton Fawcett, invited me to a round table discussion on this topic. He says, ‘There are some practical barriers to such a model, but I think the biggest one is mindset of employers. We have worked 5-day weeks for so long, many employers simply cannot see how a 4-day week could work. I get there will be some industries out there where it would not work, but with some thought, these should be few and far between.’

With employee wellbeing and work-life balance becoming more important, I can see 4-day weeks becoming the norm.”

This conversation is not just theoretical; it’s a call to action for organisations and individuals alike to reconsider the structure of our workweeks to improve our health, productivity, and overall life satisfaction. As we navigate this evolving landscape, your voice is crucial. Share your thoughts, experiences, and whether you’d embrace a four-day workweek in your own life. The future of work is in our hands, and together, we can shape it to foster a healthier, more productive, and more balanced world.

Mike Lawrence: Health & Wellbeing Enthusiast and Mental Health Advocate

Hi, I’m Mike Lawrence, and I’m dedicated to enhancing mental health and wellbeing. After overcoming significant health challenges, including brain surgery, I’ve committed to a journey of self-improvement and helping others. My adventures range from thrilling skydives for charity to transformative travels in Thailand. I share insights from my experiences and key learnings from impactful audiobooks. Join me in exploring holistic health and wellbeing, and let’s embrace life’s adventures together!

Feel free to connect with me through email at hello@mikelawrence.co.uk or Linkedin. For more detailed insights and stories from Mike, click here to read the latest blogs.

Mike Lawrence Health & Wellbeing Management Consultant

 

Self Love

Uncover The Importance of Self-Esteem and Emotional Health for a Balanced Life Amidst Global Challenges

Uncover The Importance of Self-Esteem and Emotional Health for a Balanced Life Amidst Global Challenges – Get Actionable Tips Now.

In the tapestry of modern life, where the threads of global events weave patterns of complexity and constant change, the importance of nurturing our inner world becomes ever more evident. With February marking the observance of both Boost Your Self-Esteem Month and Emotional Health Week, there is a poignant reminder that amidst the global noise, the quiet cultivation of self-appreciation and emotional wellbeing is beneficial and essential.

Why Focus on Self-Esteem and Emotional Health Matters

Self-esteem is the mirror through which we view ourselves, often reflecting back the complex interplay of our thoughts and experiences. It is our sense of personal worth and the foundation upon which we build our interactions with the world. Oprah Winfrey’s sentiment encapsulates this beautifully, emphasising the power of defining the world on our own terms, thus resisting the external pressures to conform to judgments that are not our own.

The benefits of fostering healthy self-esteem are profound. It is a barricade against the tumultuous tides of life, providing resilience against mental health challenges, enhancing our relationships, and empowering us to pursue our aspirations with conviction. During Emotional Health Week, we are reminded of the synergy between emotional resilience and self-esteem, where one reinforces the other, creating a harmonious balance within our psychological ecosystem.

Self-Esteem in the Digital Age

Our digital age, awash with images of curated perfection, can often erode the shores of our self-worth. The relentless comparison facilitated by social media platforms can lead to a relentless pursuit of an unattainable ideal, sowing seeds of doubt and self-criticism. The call to action is to invest time in ourselves, find those everyday affirmations that bolster our sense of self, and remember that what we see online is often not the full spectrum of reality.

The advice is clear: take a break from social media, embrace activities that nourish the soul, and surround yourself with positivity.

A Holistic Approach to Boosting Self-Esteem

Beyond digital detoxes, self-care is paramount. Simple lifestyle changes like a healthy diet, regular exercise, and engaging hobbies contribute significantly to our sense of self-worth. In the process of self-discovery and understanding, we learn to replace negative criticisms with positive affirmations, a practice that requires patience and persistence.

The Pyramid of Self-Esteem

At the base of self-esteem lies

  1. self-worth
  2. self-efficacy,
  3. and self-agency.

These three pillars form the bedrock of our self-perception, influencing our interactions and ability to cope with life’s challenges. We must learn to appreciate our successes, recognise our strengths, and set achievable goals to bolster these. By doing so, we construct a self-image that is robust, resilient, and reflective of our true potential.

Cultivating Emotional Health

Emotional Health Week encourages us to prioritise our emotional wellbeing by recognising the signs of emotional distress and addressing them proactively. By acknowledging our feelings, setting healthy boundaries, and seeking support when needed, we can navigate the complexities of our emotional landscapes with greater ease and confidence.

Navigating the Global Stage

Why does this all matter, especially when the world’s stage is crowded with pressing issues? It matters because the strength of our global community is a reflection of the individual wellbeing of its members. When we are grounded in healthy self-esteem and emotional wellbeing, we contribute to a more resilient, compassionate, and understanding world. We become better equipped to face global challenges with a sense of hope and collective purpose.

In essence, the journey towards enhanced self-esteem and emotional health is an ongoing process that requires mindfulness and a concerted effort to engage with ourselves and the world in a positive, affirming manner.

As we embark on this journey, let us remember that each small step taken is a stride towards a healthier, more balanced self and, in turn, a more harmonious world.

Mike Lawrence: Health & Wellbeing Enthusiast and Mental Health Advocate

Hi, I’m Mike Lawrence, and I’m dedicated to enhancing mental health and wellbeing. After overcoming significant health challenges, including brain surgery, I’ve committed to a journey of self-improvement and helping others. My adventures range from thrilling skydives for charity to transformative travels in Thailand. I share insights from my experiences and key learnings from impactful audiobooks. Join me in exploring holistic health and wellbeing, and let’s embrace life’s adventures together!

Feel free to connect with me through email at hello@mikelawrence.co.uk or Linkedin. For more detailed insights and stories from Mike, click here to read the latest blogs.

Mike Lawrence Health & Wellbeing Management Consultant

 

never lost hope, hope, sand-2636197.jpg

Thriving Amid Uncertainty Cultivating Mental Wellness and Resilience

Thriving Amid Uncertainty Cultivating Mental Wellness and Resilience”

Confidence How To have It And Keep ItIn an age where uncertainty seems to be the only certainty, the shadow of the post-COVID era looms large, weaving a complex tapestry of emotional, psychological, and societal challenges. This pervasive uncertainty has become a central theme in our lives, sparking discussions in various settings—from Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses to intimate conversations with colleagues and clients. The lingering sense of fear and the collective dip in vibrational energies call for a nuanced understanding and robust strategies to navigate these uncharted waters. Drawing inspiration from Stephen Covey’s seminal work, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” this blog aims to explore the intersection of uncertainty and mental health, offering insights and strategies to foster mental wellness and resilience.

The Era of Uncertainty: A Mental Health Perspective

Since lockdowns and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an undercurrent of fear and uncertainty has unmistakably altered our collective mental health landscape. This shift has manifested in various forms—be it in MHFA courses, therapy sessions, or casual workplace discussions—highlighting a universal struggle with the unknown. In his book, Stephen Covey’s distinction between the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence provides a powerful framework for addressing these challenges. By focusing on aspects within our control, we can mitigate the impact of uncertainty on our mental health.

The Psychological Toll of Uncertainty

Uncertainty can be a fertile ground for anxiety, stress, and a pervasive sense of helplessness. This psychological toll is compounded in the post-COVID world, where the future seems more unpredictable than ever. The key to navigating this landscape lies in understanding the mechanisms of uncertainty that trigger our stress responses and finding strategies to counteract these effects.

Strategies for Building Mental Wellness and Resilience

  1. Empowerment Through Influence: Embrace Covey’s Circle of Influence by taking actionable steps towards what you can control. This approach reduces feelings of helplessness and fosters a sense of empowerment.
  2. Cultivating Acceptance: “Acceptance does not mean resignation,” as Michael J. Fox aptly puts it. It’s about recognising the reality of a situation and finding ways to move forward.
  3. Mindfulness and Present Moment Awareness: Grounding techniques and mindfulness practices can help diminish the anxieties tied to uncertainty, encouraging a focus on the present moment.
  4. Building Connections: As Brené Brown emphasises, connection is the essence of human experience. Sharing our vulnerabilities and fears can create a sense of belonging and support.
  5. Positive Actions for Resilience: Engaging in activities that promote physical and mental health is crucial. Exercise, nutrition, and adequate rest are foundational to resilience.
  6. Embracing Change and Growth: Viktor E. Frankl’s insight, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves,” reminds us of the growth potential inherent in facing uncertainty.

Navigating Financial Uncertainty: A Tip for Tight Budgets

In times of financial strain, it’s essential to remember that many effective self-care practices are low-cost or free. Exploring nature, practising meditation, or simply engaging in heartfelt conversations with loved ones can be profoundly healing. The key is to find joy and comfort in the simple things that nourish your soul.

Conclusion: A Call to Action for Mental Wellness

The journey through uncertainty is not one we walk alone. By leaning into the strategies discussed and drawing inspiration from the wisdom of thought leaders like Covey, we can navigate the complexities of our current landscape with grace and resilience. Let’s commit to taking proactive steps towards mental wellness, embracing the uncertainties of life as opportunities for growth and transformation.

As we continue to adapt and thrive amid the uncertainties of the post-COVID era, remember that our mental wellness and resilience are not just personal achievements but collective victories. Together, we can forge a path of healing, growth, and profound well-being.

Mike Lawrence: Health & Wellbeing Enthusiast and Mental Health Advocate

Hi, I’m Mike Lawrence, and I’m dedicated to enhancing mental health and wellbeing. After overcoming significant health challenges, including brain surgery, I’ve committed to a journey of self-improvement and helping others. My adventures range from thrilling skydives for charity to transformative travels in Thailand. I share insights from my experiences and key learnings from impactful audiobooks. Join me in exploring holistic health and wellbeing, and let’s embrace life’s adventures together!

Feel free to connect with me through email at hello@mikelawrence.co.uk or Linkedin. For more detailed insights and stories from Mike, click here to read the latest blogs.

Mike Lawrence Health & Wellbeing Management Consultant

 

Thailand Phi Phi Islands

Transform Your Wellbeing Five Essential Self-Care Strategies for a Balanced Life

Transform Your Wellbeing Five Essential Self-Care Strategies for a Balanced Life

The Power of Retreats: A Journey to Self-Discovery

I recently delved into an enlightening article in The Guardian about mental health and sports performance. This brought to mind my personal experiences with retreats, which have been pivotal in my mental wellness and personal growth journey. Following a LinkedIn post about these retreats, the resonating feedback inspired me to share more.

Embracing the World: My Retreat Experiences

Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness ResortMy retreat experiences around the world have been nothing short of transformative, each offering its unique blend of relaxation, self-discovery, and connection with nature. Let me take you on a journey through these retreats and share how they’ve reshaped my perspective on self-care and mental well-being.

Swiss Alps: Meditation Walks and Storytelling

In the Swiss Alps, the retreat was a harmonious blend of meditation walks and mindfulness amidst breathtaking mountain views. I vividly recall the serenity of walking through the alpine landscapes, each step a journey towards inner peace. The mindfulness sessions were particularly memorable and filled with rich storytelling. Although the stories were narrated in German, I was fortunate to have the English versions shared over dinner. These stories, set against the backdrop of the majestic Alps, added depth to my meditation, making each session an enlightening experience.

Sri Lanka: Ayurveda, Yoga, and Nature

Sri Lanka Retreat Sri Lanka offered an immersive experience in Ayurveda, yoga, and connecting with nature. The retreat centred around holistic wellness, with treatments and oils meticulously tailored for rejuvenation. Gong baths provided a unique auditory meditation experience, resonating with the natural surroundings. A standout memory was spotting turtles on the nearby beach, a reminder of the serenity and beauty of nature. However, the most challenging yet rewarding part was the all-day purge or detox. While not the highlight in terms of comfort, it was a crucial component of the cleansing process, contributing significantly to the overall wellness experience.

Thailand: A Focus on Ayurveda and Oils

Mangosteen Aryuveda & Wellness ResortMy time in Thailand was a shorter version of the Sri Lankan experience, with a strong focus on Ayurveda treatments, especially the use of therapeutic oils. The retreat emphasised the importance of holistic healing, combining ancient practices with the tranquillity of the surroundings. The oils used in the treatments were vital for physical wellness and mental and emotional rejuvenation.

Looking Ahead: The Next Adventure

I’m already in the planning stages for my next retreat later this year. Each journey has been a step forward in my understanding of mental wellness and self-care. These retreats have taught me the importance of taking time for oneself, embracing new cultures, and the profound impact of integrating different wellness practices into my life. Stay tuned for more updates on my upcoming adventure and the unique experiences it will undoubtedly bring!

These retreats have been more than escapes from everyday life; they’ve been pivotal in my journey towards a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me. From the meditation walks in the Swiss Alps to the Ayurvedic practices in Sri Lanka and Thailand, each experience has contributed to my personal growth and wellness journey. I look forward to sharing more insights and stories from my next retreat, continuing this journey of exploration and self-discovery.

Integrating Self-Care into Daily Life

But true self-care extends beyond these retreats. Integrating regular spa days, weekend getaways with friends, and family outings into my routine has been essential. These moments play a crucial role in refreshing and rejuvenating my spirit.

Five Tips for Regular Mental Health and Well-being

  1. Embrace Short Getaways: Discover the rejuvenating power of mini-breaks.
  2. Connect With Nature: Unveil the therapeutic effects of the great outdoors.
  3. Incorporate Mindfulness: Learn how daily mindfulness can centre your thoughts.
  4. Find Joy in Everyday Activities: Explore the therapeutic impact of hobbies.
  5. Maintain Social Connections: Understand the mood-boosting benefits of socializing.

Conclusion: The Continuous Journey of Self-Care

I’ve learned through my retreats and regular self-care practices that well-being is a multifaceted journey. I encourage you to find what works for you: a retreat, a weekend break, or daily mindfulness. The goal is to create a sustainable practice of self-care that supports your overall wellbeing.

Final Thoughts

Remember, self-care is a personal journey that profoundly impacts our quality of life. Let’s prioritize our mental health with the same urgency as our physical health, enriching the very essence of our lives.

Mike Lawrence: Health & Wellbeing Enthusiast and Mental Health Advocate

Hi, I’m Mike Lawrence, and I’m dedicated to enhancing mental health and wellbeing. After overcoming significant health challenges, including brain surgery, I’ve committed to a journey of self-improvement and helping others. My adventures range from thrilling skydives for charity to transformative travels in Thailand. I share insights from my experiences and key learnings from impactful audiobooks. Join me in exploring holistic health and wellbeing, and let’s embrace life’s adventures together!

Feel free to connect with me through email at hello@mikelawrence.co.uk or Linkedin. For more detailed insights and stories from Mike, click here to read the latest blogs.

Mike Lawrence Health & Wellbeing Management Consultant

People celebrating completing their Mental health first aid training session

Discover the Impact Join Our Upcoming MHFA Courses 🌟

Discover the Impact: Join Our Upcoming MHFA Courses 🌟

MHFA England Instructor MemberNavigating the complexities of mental health is a journey that transforms not just the individual but also the communities around them. Our recent Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course attendees have embarked on this transformative journey, and their experiences are a beacon of inspiration for all of us. By diving deep into their stories, we uncover the profound impact that understanding, empathy, and support can have on mental well-being. Let’s explore how our courses have empowered attendees and how you can join this movement towards a more supportive world.

A Journey of Empathy and Support 🙏

Reflecting on their experience, one attendee remarked, “A fantastic learning opportunity.” They highlighted the challenge of discussing mental health openly and appreciated the supportive environment our instructor, Mike facilitated.

This feedback underscores the essence of our courses: creating a space where difficult conversations can happen with grace and understanding. Through these conversations, we can break down barriers and stigma and foster a community of support.

Empowerment Through Education 💡🤗

Another participant shared their journey towards empowerment, saying, “A really great course that has given me a good understanding of mental illness and how to support people.”

This empowerment is the cornerstone of our goal: equipping individuals with the knowledge and confidence to support mental well-being. Through our courses, attendees transform into advocates for mental health, ready to make a difference in their communities.

Excellence in Instruction: The Role of Our Instructors 👏

The impact of an instructor like Mike cannot be overstated. Described as “very professional, compassionate & understanding,” Mike exemplifies the qualities that make MHFA instructors stand out. His dedication not only enriches the learning experience but also inspires attendees to carry forward the lessons learned with confidence and compassion.

Join the Movement: Upcoming MHFA Courses 🚀

Are you ready to be part of this transformative experience? Whether you’re looking to refresh your knowledge or embark on a new journey of understanding, we have upcoming courses tailored to your needs:

  • MHFA Refresher Course: Scheduled for the 20th of February from 9 AM to 1 PM, this course is designed for those who have previously completed an MHFA course within the last three years. It’s a fantastic opportunity to update your skills and recommit to supporting mental health.
  • Next MHFA 2-Day Course: Starting on the 4th of March, this online course runs from 9 AM to 5 PM and is open to anyone looking to deepen their understanding of mental health and how to offer support.

Your Path to Making a Difference Starts Here

Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your understanding of mental health and strengthen your ability to support others. Click here to find more information and to reserve your place in our upcoming courses. Whether you’re a returning attendee looking to refresh your knowledge or new to the MHFA community, these courses are a stepping stone towards becoming an effective ally in mental health support.

Be the Change: Book Your Place Now

Embarking on an MHFA course is more than just an educational commitment; it’s a step towards creating a more understanding and supportive world. By joining our courses, you’re not just gaining knowledge; you’re becoming part of a movement dedicated to breaking down the barriers surrounding mental health.

Click here to explore our upcoming courses and secure your spot. Whether you’re revisiting your MHFA training or starting fresh, now is the time to take action. Let’s work together to spread awareness, reduce stigma, and create a supportive community for everyone.

Mike Lawrence: Health & Wellbeing Enthusiast and Mental Health Advocate

Hi, I’m Mike Lawrence, and I’m dedicated to enhancing mental health and wellbeing. After overcoming significant health challenges, including brain surgery, I’ve committed to a journey of self-improvement and helping others. My adventures range from thrilling skydives for charity to transformative travels in Thailand. I share insights from my experiences and key learnings from impactful audiobooks. Join me in exploring holistic health and wellbeing, and let’s embrace life’s adventures together!

Feel free to connect with me through email at hello@mikelawrence.co.uk or Linkedin. For more detailed insights and stories from Mike, click here to read the latest blogs.

Mike Lawrence Health & Wellbeing Management Consultant

 

Mens Mental Health - Self Care Exercise

Supporting Men’s Mental Health Navigating the Challenges of Today

Supporting Men’s Mental Health: Navigating the Challenges of Today

In recent years, there has been a significant and welcome shift in men seeking support for their mental health, reflecting data trends in the UK. Historically, men were less likely to seek help compared to women, often only reaching out when in crisis. This delay in seeking support is concerning, as it can lead to severe consequences, affecting their lives, families, and communities.

Data Insights: MeMen’seluctance to Seek Help

Data from the UK Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) reveals that men are indeed less likely to visit doctors for routine check-ups or discuss mental health concerns. A study conducted by the Mental Health Foundation highlights that men are more prone to use negative coping strategies, such as alcohol and recreational drugs, to manage stress and emotional challenges. 40% of men polled said it would take thoughts of suicide or self-harm to compel them to seek professional help.

Economic Pressures and Mental Health

Male Stress Cost of Living One critical factor contributing to men’s mental health struggles is the current economic landscape in the UK. The rising cost of living and job insecurity have created a significant gap between personal income and expenditure. Men, who may have traditionally been seen as primary breadwinners, are feeling the strain as their earning potential erodes.

 

Let’s delve deeper into the data. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the cost of living in the UK has been steadily rising, with inflation rates reaching multi-year highs. This living cost surge directly impacts individuals and families, particularly those with limited financial resources. This financial strain can be particularly distressing for men who have long been responsible for providing for their households.

Consequences of Not Getting Support

  • Men are less likely than women to visit a pharmacy when they are sick
    On average, men see their GP 4 times a year compared to the 6 six times a year that women go.
  • Men visit a pharmacy an average of 4 times a year in contrast to the 18 that women go.
  • 9 in 10 men only like to trouble their doctor or pharmacist if they have a severe problem.

The Reasons why Men put of Visiting their GP

  • Fear
  • Too busy
  • Lack of discussion
  • Sign of weakness

Real-Life Client Struggles

Consider John (I have replaced his real name), a man in his 50s who faced mounting stress at work due to job insecurity. This stress led to a drinking problem as a coping mechanism, affecting his marriage and overall mental health. JoJohn’story is a poignant reflection of the experiences of many men grappling with the pressures of modern life.

Positive Shift: Men Embracing Mental Health First Aid

online mental heath training course being ran on zoomThe positive shift in men seeking support extends to mental health first aid training courses. These courses aim to equip individuals with the skills to help others in distress. For the first time, I have witnessed more men than women in attendance, reflecting changing attitudes towards mental health within society.

The Priory’s findings share my experience that men were more likely than women to seek help. Dr Bijlani says, “Traditionally, men have been less likely to seek support for mental health issues. This is probably for several reasons, including stigma and the traditional ‘strong male’ stereotype still prevalent in our society – the idea that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness.” Because of the toll the pandemic has taken across genders, Dr Bijlani says she is “not actually surprised to learn that more men are now coming forward for the first time”.

Navigating the Challenges: 5 Key Steps

As we approach the intense holiday season, it’s crucial for everyone, especially men, to prioritise their mental health. Here are five essential steps to consider:

  1. Take Time Out for Recovery: Use the holiday period to take breaks, go for walks, and carve out moments of relaxation. It’s essential to dedicate some time solely to self-care.
  2. Talk to Someone You Trust: Sharing your thoughts and feelings with a trusted friend, family member, or professional can provide much-needed support and perspective.
  3. Identify Stressors: Recognise the sources of your stress and work on strategies to address them. Don’t let it accumulate to a breaking point.
  4. Seek Immediate Help in Crisis: If you’re feeling suicidal, engaging in self-harm, or struggling with depression, don’t hesitate to seek professional help immediately. Reach out to helplines or crisis intervention services.
  5. Plan for Positive Change: As we approach the new year, create a plan for positive changes in 2024. Identify the areas in your life that need improvement, seek help, and commit to making those changes. Consider appointing an accountability partner to support your journey.

Embracing Self-Care: Daily Rituals

Men Self CareSelf-care is an integral part of maintaining good mental health. Create a list of self-care activities that resonate with you. Start with one and build from there. Activities can range from meditation and gratitude exercises to short walks, gym sessions, breathing exercises, or simply spending time with friends and loved ones.

In Conclusion: The Power of Conversation

In conclusion, the increasing number of men seeking support for their mental health, supported by UK data trends, is a positive shift that should be celebrated. It’s essential to recognise that seeking help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a step towards better mental wellbeing. As we approach the New Year, let’s reaffirm our commitment to mental health and encourage open conversations about our challenges. Remember, you are not alone on this journey. In the words of R. H. Sin, “You are “stronger than you think and more loved than you believe.”

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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.

believe in yourself

Rediscover Your Confidence The Antidote To Good Mental Health

JOIN THE WAITLIST FOR 

REDISCOVER YOUR CONFIDENCE THE ANTIDOTE FOR GOOD MENTAL HEALTH

Mike Lawrence health wellbeing consultant SheffieldIf you’re feeling stressed, worried about the future, or the covid experience has affected your confidence business and your family. And looking to start taking back the control COVID took from you. So that you feel more motivated, confident, and back in control of your life again. The rediscover your confidence the antidote to good mental health course is just what you need.

Give yourself credit for what you’ve already achieved and how far you’ve come. You are the type of person who is always looking at improving your mental health and wellbeing, listening to motivational YouTube videos to find solutions to your challenges, subscribing to Headspace or Calm to help you with lack of sleep, stress, depression and anxiety. Or, the alternative – taking a range of prescription drugs for many years to manage your wellbeing, but you don’t seem to be getting any better? And no one seems to get to the root cause of your problems because it keeps recurring? If that sounds like you, then you’re in the right place.

By the end of this program,
you will have…

  • Good Mental Health
    You will feel more motivated, confident, and back in control of your life again so that you’re able to achieve and do the activities that you’ve always wanted to do.
  • Visible Behavioral Transformation
    Clients like you typically see results within 3 to 6 months of taking the course when they follow and implement all the steps.
  • A Step by Step Framework to Support You
    Provide you with a step by step framework and roadmap so that you can navigate back to where you belong. The reason why most people quit is that they don’t have any accountability. What gets measured gets done, following the framework and tools that I provide, will help you to stay on track and achieve your goals.
  • Discover the Hidden and Deep-Rooted Problems that play Havoc with your Mental Wellbeing
    Understanding the root cause of your problem, the issues that have been holding you back for many years and now you have a plan at last to overcome them.
  • Healthy Coping Strategies for Managing Your Mental Health
    Develop healthy coping strategies which will enable you to manage current and future bumps in the road and recognise the signs and symptoms before they surface.

Course Overview

In this five-week course, you will go from feeling stressed, anxious or depressed to feeling more confident and back in control. The covid experience has affected your confidence, business, and your family. You may feel like you’ve forgotten who you are, or you are simply trying to find a new direction in life. Well – if you want to start taking back the control COVID took from you, you’re in luck! In the rediscover your confidence the antidote to good mental health course, you’ll learn essential tools and tips to help you fulfil your true potential.

What People Are Saying

Haworth Ward-Drummond“At the age of fifty-two, you imagine you’ve got most things about life and relationships sorted out. But sometimes.. stuff happens that knocks your heart, soul and spirit about. When this happened to me, I am eternally grateful that it felt right to trust Mike to be able to share what was going on. His extensive experience, balanced blend of coaching and counselling, sensitive listening and varied techniques truly helped me process my feelings and in turn, regain my natural happiness. Thanks Mike.”

 

Be First to Know When The Doors to Rediscover Your Confidence The Antidote To Good Mental Health Opens!

Get ready for a treat! You’ll receive email alerts for special bonus offers and be notified as soon as the doors open so you get in ahead of the crowd.

Join The Wait List

 

Meditation as a Tool to Improve your Self-Confidence

Meditation and mindfulness are all the rage these days. Though they have been around for several thousands of years, they have enjoyed a new level of popularity. Even the scientific world is getting involved. A quick search on YouTube will demonstrate just how interested the world is in these topics.

While meditation accomplishes many things, we’re interested in self-confidence. 

Meditation focuses the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity to train attention and awareness and achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm, and stable state.

“When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes – I already have everything that I really need.” – Dalai Lama

Follow these tips to incorporate a daily meditation practice into your life:

  1. Create a daily schedule you can keep. It’s much better to meditate each day for a few minutes than to meditate for more extended periods of time a couple of times a week. Be realistic. Ideally, you can set aside at least 20 minutes a day.
  • Avoid the mistake of failing to schedule your meditation time. If you wait until you have time, you’ll never do it.
  1. Find a comfortable spot. You don’t need much. Any quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed will work just fine. A firm chair or a seated position on the floor will work. Lying down can even work, provided you can stay awake!
  2. Start small. It’s more challenging to sit with yourself for 20 minutes than you think, and five to ten minutes is a good start.
  3. Meditation is a relationship with yourself. So, be nice to yourself, and it’s about self-acceptance and compassion for yourself.
  4. Focus on your breathing. Feel the air moving in and out of your body. Feel the sensation of the air moving past the edges of your nostrils.
  5. Continue until your mind wanders. You probably won’t even catch yourself the first several times your mind drifts away. All of a sudden, you’ll realise that you’ve been thinking about people at work, meetings, deadlines, or your plans for the weekend.
  6. When your mind wanders, let those thoughts go. Think of thoughts as clouds blowing by. You don’t have to pay attention to them or be affected by them. Just allow them to pass through your attention and return your attention to your breath.
  7. Your mind will wander a lot at first, and you might not even be able to last 30 seconds before your mind is off to another place. That’s ok, and keep going. You’ll get much better with practice.

Meditation will show you that your mind creates thoughts. These thoughts lead to feelings and beliefs.

You’ll also learn that you don’t have to be affected by them. Being upset by your thoughts is a little like punching yourself in the face and unclenching that fist by allowing your thoughts to pass on through.

Most people spend so much time “thinking” and being influenced by their thoughts; they have a weak grasp of reality. The world is going on around you, not inside your head. You’ll have a more honest perspective of yourself, the world, and those around you if you can quiet your mind.

You’ll quickly learn to avoid being bothered by your thoughts. They’ll move along on their own, provided you don’t engage with them.

This is crucial to contentment. When your peripheral thoughts are not energising you, you’ll experience real peace. When something negative happens, the event isn’t the real issue. It’s all the thoughts that run through your head.

Learn to deal effectively with your thoughts, and you can quickly push past any self-doubts that keep you from accepting yourself and finding contentment.

“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.” – Lao Tzu

Next Steps

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 to feel physically robust and better equipped mentally; ultimately, they feel in better control of their lives.

Don’t hesitate to contact me directly for more information about how this can work for you. Email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk  or call 07967 052585.

workplace health wellbeing company Sheffield

If You’re Not Growing, You’re Dying

I hope this will inspire and Kickstart your personal growth to improve your mental health, wellbeing and confidence. 

Our bodies are refreshing, replacing and regenerating themselves in many ways, all the time. Did you know that the external layer of skin, the epidermis (apart from the thicker dermis beneath), renews itself every 35 days? You receive a new liver every six weeks. Your stomach lining replaces itself every four days, and the stomach cells replaced every 5 minutes. Our whole skeletal structures are regenerated every three months. Your whole brain replaces itself every two months. And the whole of the human body is replaced every 5-7 years. 

You only have two possibilities: growth or death. You don’t get to stay the same – because everything changes. Relationships, businesses, the human body never stays the same. They’re either going forward: growing, or they’re dying.

Ralph Waldo Emerson — ‘The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.’

Our mind, body and spirit are continually adjusting to everything we’re experiencing. Every time we reach a new level of skill in something, that automatically becomes the new norm. Conversely, when we stop studying, exercising or caring, given enough time, we drop behind.

Consider businesses that have failed to evolve due to plummeting profits during the pandemic. 

Relationships don’t always stay the same. Both individuals continually need to on the relationship, or it fades and maybe even stops.

Tony Robbins says that if you’re not growing, you’re dying. No wonder he’s addicted to growth, obsessively focused on learning, understanding, and mastering new things, from finance strategies to playing polo. But growth doesn’t require massive changes 24/7 — for many of us, and it’s woven into our daily routine.

Staying the same isn’t staying the same. It’s regressing. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. Below are five tips to consider when it comes to growing that will also boost your confidence: 

  1. Lifelong Learning – Studies have discovered that learning throughout our lives can improve self-confidence and increase optimism, life-satisfaction, and belief in our abilities. It can even help those with mental health difficulties, such as anxiety and depression.
  2. You’re The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With
    Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend of the time. When it comes to relationships, we are considerably influenced — whether we like it or not — by people close to us. It affects our way of thinking, decisions and self-confidence.
  3. Forgive Past Failings and Learn from Them – Failure is an integral part of life. Not only is the road to success paved with failure, but it’s how you learn best. Learn how to tame your inner critic and start trusting and believing in yourself.
  4. Increase Your Self-Love – I remember ten years ago and sat in a room with a dozen or more therapists when the instructor asked everyone how much they loved themselves out of ten. I think from memory, I said at the time, maybe four. I’ve not been asked that question before, nor have I asked myself that question. Many of us look to our partners, family and friends for love. Will Smith believes he’s not responsible for his wife’s happiness. So, if you were to ask me today, how much do I love myself now? I’d say eight or nine. It’s a work in progress from decades of conditioning, dispelling old beliefs, norms and values. Life is a journey.
  5. Find A Reason to Smile Every Day – Whenever you feel unmotivated, low in confidence or low in morale, find something to smile or laugh about (ex: watch a comedy, listen to music that moves you, connect with a friend who you know will lift your spirits). Suppose you find yourself giving into negative thoughts, painful memories, or overwhelmed with emotions. Empower yourself and commit to 10 minutes of humour, which breaks your state and puts you in a positive frame of mind. Honestly, it works!

Next Steps

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.

Please contact me directly for more information about how this can work for you. Email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk or call 07967 052585.

Christmas Card

Preserving your Mental Health over the festive period

Preserving your Mental Health over the festive period

The festive break is almost upon us and the countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun. If you’re like me, you may be thinking, “How will I get everything done?” Christmas brings its challenges—particularly this year, with the ever-changing rules around social distancing and who you can have in your bubble. It’s certainly a period of time that many people can find 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 that your mental health may fluctuate.

The pandemic has been one of the biggest challenges many of us have faced in our lifetimes. People have lost loved ones to the virus and other conditions during 2020. The ongoing threat to our lives has seen some people make huge changes, such as beginning divorce proceedings or moving house. Hundreds of thousands of people have been made redundant this year, and the pressure felt by those who run non-essential businesses—as well as employees within the hospitality, travel and tourism sectors—has been significant.

No doubt we’re all looking forward to Christmas this year, given what 2020 has thrown at us. Even though the pandemic has made us truly appreciate our families, disputes can often occur when we spend more time with them.

The following tips will help you manage the Christmas period so that it doesn’t weigh 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, as you race to clear the workload on your desk and meet your boss’s deadlines. Don’t be afraid to seek help and be realistic with what you’re 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

If new job requests hit your in-tray, don’t feel obliged to take on the work. Manage other people’s expectations when it comes to realistically completing the tasks. They may not have sight of your workload nor be aware of your current schedule, deadlines or priorities.

Take Time Out

Ensure that you take breaks away from your desk or workstation. Exercise and take regular breaks throughout the day are essential for your mental health as well as your physical health. The Pomodoro Technique is a popular time management method to assist you in getting through tasks in short bursts while taking regular breaks that would ordinarily distract you, therefore enabling you to complete them.

Flexible Working

You may want to consider asking for flexible working. Many employers that were previously not keen on allowing such practices have now cottoned on to the benefits that come from their employees working from home, once they were forced to adopt this way of working during lockdown periods.

Manage your working day better by coming in early or staying later, if this is viable, and get your work done during quieter periods.

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 and staffing levels lower over the festive period; some people enjoy working at this time of year, due to fewer distractions that allow them to get 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. Enjoy seeing the people in your bubble and try not to think about work.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT

…check your work emails unless it’s absolutely essential. If you have to do this, restrict the number of times you do so and consider turning off the respective notifications.

Health and Wellbeing

If you don’t have an exercise routine in place, try not to overindulge 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 of a worry.

 

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 from meetings and deadlines so you can hit the ground running on your first day back
  • If you created a checklist of tasks to complete in the New Year, make an immediate start to gain momentum
  • Whether you’re returning to work the day after Boxing Day, or you’re taking a longer break, don’t allow your usual routine to slip too much

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

I hope you have a lovely festive break!

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

Telephone 0114 670 081 or email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk

 

2021

2020 Year In Review: Three Celebrated Achievements

Emotions can run high at this time of the year, as Christmas approaches and with the end of the year not too far away.

Are you counting down the days to 2021? A new year with new possibilities, new hope and renewed optimism—where the challenges of 2020 can be put behind us.

Do you wonder what the New Year will have in store for you? Will this be the year that you finally follow your dreams and aspirations and achieve your goals in life? I sure hope so!

Will 2021 bring back some normality and all the things we’ve missed in our daily lives?

Whether making New Year resolutions is your thing or not, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what’s worked for you during 2020, to celebrate your achievements and make plans for the year ahead.

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.” ~ Ellen Goodman

Three of my Celebrated Achievements of 2020

Losing Six Kilos in Weight 

Pandemic weight gain refers to a social acceptance of weight gain during the pandemic.

Life in lockdown has disrupted all our lives, and a substantial number of people gained a lot of weight during this period. Working from home increases the need to panic buy and leads to feelings of guilt about what we’ve eaten—or the exercise we haven’t done.

In a study earlier this year, by King’s College London and Ipsos MORI, 48% of respondents said they’d gained weight during lockdown. The same percentage reported feeling more anxious or depressed than usual, and 29% admitted to drinking more alcohol.

I used lockdown to manage my time more effectively. I created a daily routine and structure, which enabled me to spend more time exercising and preparing healthy meals. This resulted in me losing six kilos, which is the most svelte I’ve been in over ten years. This fantastic feeling gave me the impetus to make changes in all areas of my life, which I’ve maintained throughout the year.

Amazon Best Selling Author; Confidence: How To Have It And Keep It

Hunkering down on January 1st, 2020, New Year’s Day, setting out my vision for the coming year, I have to admit that being the co-author of a book wasn’t on the list.

However, I was encouraged by my mentors, Chris and Karene Lambert-Gorwyn, to get involved with this project, which brought together experts who imparted advice usually reserved for high-paying clients.

In the book, I reflect on times in my life where I felt low in confidence and how I managed to overcome those mental, emotional and physical challenges. I draw on this experience to guide individuals towards building their own confidence, to make successful and life-changing decisions in both their personal and professional lives.

Did You Know Reading Books Can Increase Your Lifespan?

A report published in the journal ‘Social Science & Medicine’ proves just that, when comparing adults who don’t read books with those who read up to 3½ hours each week.

Those who read were 17 % less likely to die over the 12-year follow-up. In further contrast, those who read for more than 3½ hours every week were 23% less likely to die; overall, they lived almost two years longer.

Walking and exercising helped me to lose weight during the pandemic. I live in Chesterfield, famous for the Crooked Spire; before lockdown, I wasn’t aware of the glorious scenery in my area. I largely viewed the environment from the comfort of my car.

On foot, I can take in the views and lush green spaces. I discovered walking paths, routes along the Chesterfield Canal, not forgetting access to the Peak District, which is a given.

I was already a big fan of Audible, with its large selection of audio books. I went into Audible ecstasy and combined my walks with listening to audio books. Let me share with you three of my top audio books that I discovered during lockdown.

The Saint, the Surfer and the CEO, by Robin Sharma

An extraordinary story about ‘Living Your Heart’s Desires’! A practical and powerful process to recreate your life and reconnect with your best self. I highly recommend this book.

Three Feet from Gold Turn Your Obstacles Into Opportunities, by Sharon L. Lechter

This remarkable book shares key success principles of Napoleon Hill’s bestselling book ‘Think and Grow Rich’.

We so often give up on our dreams and goals when we’re close to achieving them. Again, a great book, and I had the pleasure of participating in a live Q&A Sharon hosted as part of the BNI University Business Booster training.

Man’s Search For Meaning, by Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl describes how he and others in Auschwitz coped (or didn’t) with the experience.

He observed that it was the men who cared about others, and that those who gave away their last piece of bread survived longer. He offered evidence that everything can be taken from us apart from the ability to choose our beliefs in any circumstance.

Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp’s degenerating influence—compared to those who turned the experience into an inner triumph.

If you’re feeling disappointed about your year, if you’re uncertain about your future and you’re curious to know how you will benefit from working with me, get in touch to book your free 40-minute consultation.

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

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

 

Behaviours that will Boost Self Confidence During COVID-19

Fear and uncertainty are the most common reasons why people feel stressed, anxious and helpless. With the coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to our daily routines and lives as a whole, people in the UK and worldwide are facing a severe mental health and wellbeing crisis.

With a growing number of lives lost, accelerated changes to our lifestyles, mandatory physical and social distancing, and the wearing of protective face coverings, people are feeling frustrated, worried, anxious, overwhelmed, detached and less confident.

Insecurity has been around for ages, but never more so than today—the global pandemic has only heightened such feelings. Human beings crave security; we’re more confident as a species when we know what to do. It is becoming increasingly difficult for many people to cope with the current uncertainty.

If you’re feeling anxious and less confident due to the impact of the pandemic, know that you are not alone. There are positive actions you can take; join the increasing number of people who have decided to improve their self-confidence.

To help you come out of this crisis stronger, the five behaviours below will, if you implement them now, boost your self-confidence and enable you to rediscover your identity. You will feel more motivated, confident, and in control of your life as a result.

Accept the Situation AND Tackle the Things You Can Control

Though scientists worldwide are working around the clock to develop a vaccine, we don’t actually know how long we will have to adhere to varying levels of restrictions.

Come to terms with the uncertainty in the world. Rather than worrying about circumstances you can’t control, focus on the things you can control. This mindset will help you rebuild your confidence.

Practice Mindfulness

Rather than worrying about how things will unfold in 2021, focus on living in the present. While there may not be much to look forward to, practising mindfulness will help you achieve a calm and peaceful mind.

We can, of course, still plan for the future, set goals, and work towards achieving our personal and business objectives—the pandemic doesn’t have to infringe on our imagination, visualisation skills or our ability to take positive steps towards the outcomes we desire.

Ask questions of yourself and try to understand your feelings. Once you know the reasons behind the negative thoughts in your mind, practising mindfulness can help you transform them into positive thoughts.

There are countless ways to practice mindfulness, e.g. yoga, guided meditation, healthy eating, exercising, talking therapies, etc. Another reliable method is seeking the help of a wellbeing expert.

A wellbeing practitioner can provide support to those suffering from a lack of confidence and lost identity, and who, as a result, have lost their direction in life for more than a year.

Surround Yourself with People You Trust 

Let go of the people in your life who drain your energy. Identify instead those people who uplift, motivate and love you—spend quality time with them.

There’s a saying that goes, ‘If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.’ If you don’t want fleas, don’t lie down with dogs. In other words, if you don’t want negativity in your life, don’t hang around negative people.

‘You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ ~ Jim Rohn

Spending time with family and friends and expressing your problems can provide support, relief, and increase your confidence.

Social and physical distancing is mandatory, but that doesn’t mean you must completely disconnect from the world. Use the communication channels available to us to your advantage; reach out and forge healthy relationships.

Learn to Thrive in The Face of Uncertainty

Don’t let fears and worries have the upper hand in your life. Accept the uncertainty that comes with specific situations. And like Bertrand Russell said, ‘The trouble with the world is that the stupid are so confident while the intelligent are full of doubt.’

What You Can Do Right Now 

Identify Your Trigger Points: a pessimistic outlook on life leads to self-generated uncertainty. And while external factors can play a part by adding to the same, you must learn what initially fuels your negativity.

By identifying your triggers, you can find ways to deal with them, so that you can avoid feeling helpless. Identify conditions that make you feel stressed and anxious, and study how your body and emotions react.

It’s essential to experience all kinds of feelings and emotions. Acceptance is the first step towards building confidence. When you come to terms with your emotions and trigger points, with practice, you will learn to let go.

Next Steps

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.

Please contact me directly for more information about how this can work for you. Email enquiries@mikelawrence.co.uk or call 07967 052585.