When I meet my business colleagues, a common question we all ask each other is, “How are you, are you busy?” The answer we always hope we can give and hear is “Oh yes, so busy at the moment”. And of course that’s how we should be in business, no-one wants a quiet business. When I meet my friends and family, I often get the same answer and I used to tell them the same, ” I have so much work at the moment, or, its a busy time at work” and so on. It’s as though we’ve programmed ourselves to rush around, without any spare time, filling every moment with busy-ness and developing relationships with technology, rather than, enjoying the calmness of nature, the pleasure of watching life around us, appreciating our differences and simply just ‘being you’.
I hear so many people who are tired and frustrated, overwhelmed and discouraged with a long list of obligations, tight deadlines, things to do, not sleeping well and with deteriorating physical and mental health. Sadly, they keep living this wild, unhealthy life as they don’t feel they have the choice to do anything different.
Take a real break this summer
With summer holidays fast approaching, how much do you really switch off when you go away on holiday?
Depending on the nature of your work you may be able to switch off very easily and leave all your work behind which others can deal with whilst you’re away, and genuinely relax and recharge your batteries.
However, there are many who do struggle to switch off.
What do food cravings mean?
Our relationship with food is complicated at best, but it is one that is key to understanding both our emotions and mental states. It’s really quite enlightening to observe your eating habits and desires or to become more mindful and stop before you eat something.
Question why you want something, what it will give you and what need it will fulfil?
One study shows the significant role of emotions in food consumption. The results showed participants felt contented after eating a high fat, high energy food, whereas with a low carbohydrate meal, participants felt unfulfilled.
Intuitively, the body knows that certain foods will alter the brain chemicals or blood pressure.
If your emotional issues remain unaddressed, your food craving will remain constant. If your emotional issues change, so will your food cravings.
The impact of conflict can run deep and can change the state of our mental and physical health. Anger resides in the body, increasing heart rate and blood pressure as well as compromising the immune system’s ability to function effectively. Holding onto negative thoughts and feelings limit our ability to enjoy our day to day life. Thoughts of the original conflict ruminate and escalate and relationships are impacted causing more dis-satisfaction and inner pain.
Thankfully our ability to forgive works wonders for our well-being, reducing stress and anger, boosting the ability to feel more optimistic and satisfied with your life as a whole. Unfortunately, the tendency to dwell or let go of unpleasant conversation or personal criticism is difficult and the pain of the conflict dominates. Whether the hurt happened a moment or a decade ago, intentional or not, its normal to feel heavy-hearted and angry, yet the next step is crucial. If letting go feels a weakness, the mind thrashes between forgiving, forgetting, avoiding it completely or going over every detail, over and over again. If the culprit was you, shame and blame add another dimension creating more confusion and complexity.
Going to a job interview can be a very daunting experience, especially if you have had gaps off work or periods of sickness due to periods of poor mental health. You shouldn’t be asked about your health, particularly mental health, in fact employers are legally expected to avoid such questions. However, some questions still may feel targeted as though the interviewer ‘knows’ you have mental health difficulties.
Here are a few tips to manage the interview;
1. Gaps in employment or periods of sickness
Employers want you to be at work and therefore want to know more about your gaps, changes in employment and sickness. Think about how you can explain these and focus on the positive changes that arose out of these events.
2. You have got rights
You do not have to disclose any difficulties yo have with your mental health. In fact, no-one is legally required to mention any medical condition during a job interview. Its your choice if you wish to share any issues around your health. You may be requested to attend a medical appointment within an occupation health department or complete a health questionnaire, however this will only be required following an job offer.
How much to say and ask?
Its important to sell yourself at interview – although this isn’t an easy task, especially if you have anxiety attacks or low self confidence. It’s also natural to hide weaknesses, and yet if you don’t ask enough questions about the job role, or pretend you can do things you really can’t, you may end up in a job that might exacerbate your anxiety, depression or mood swings. So, know your strengths and weaknesses and share what you feel you need to, after all you’ll be highlighting to your interviewer what you have good self awareness.
Seek support if you feel discriminated against
If you think you have been discriminated against, take advice, ask for support and decide what you want to do about it. Discrimination causes stigma and stops us all from talking about mental health and helping each other.