2020, a year that will never be forgotten due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, has been a challenging year for everyone. It was certainly not the year that any of us expected and it is for this very reason – that it was so unexpected - that many of us have struggled.
When there are discrepancies between our expectations and reality, all sorts of distress signals go off in our brains. It doesn’t matter if it’s an annual holiday ritual or a more mundane daily habit like how you clean your teeth; if you can’t do it the way you normally do it, you’re biologically engineered to get upset. We really are creatures of habit.
"Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.
Some things are up to us and some things are not up to us.
Our opinions are up to us, and our impulses, desires, aversions—in short, whatever is our own doing. Our bodies are not up to us, nor are our possessions, our reputations, or our public offices, or, that is, whatever is not our own doing.”
~ Epictetus ~
(Greek Stoic philosopher - 55 – 135 AD)
The Wellbeing Wheel is based on Systems Theory and is a useful tool to help us think about life in a circular way rather than a linear way.
The Wellbeing Wheel breaks our lives into eight different aspects, elements or categories and helps us to see that all the parts of our lives are linked to each other. When we plot our wellbeing on the wheel we can see at a glance which aspects we are paying attention to and which aspects we are not paying attention to, or neglecting in our lives.
Whether people celebrate Christmas in the true Christian sense or not, the end of year holiday season is traditionally a time when families and friends get together. The emphasis is very much on reunions – people travel from far and wide, spare rooms are made up and more people are squashed around the dining room table.
Hollywood plays its part, portraying Christmas as the harmonious coming together of friends and family, the giving and receiving of wonderful gifts and the sharing of fabulous meals around the table. But the reality of Christmas for so many people is not like the movies at all. Christmas is fraught with tension, stress and depression for many.
Studies show that between 10% and 40% of women will be afflicted by postpartum depression. If one takes the lowest figure of 10%, there are at least 50 000 new cases of postpartum depression per year in South Africa alone. The real tragedy is that for many of these women, it is never even picked up, because despite the considerable number of cases, the condition generally remains undiagnosed and untreated.
Postpartum depression does not only affect the mother – it can affect the entire family – so it is time we all understood more about the illness to play our part in recognising and defeating this highly treatable and avoidable condition.
We live in a world of uncertainty. We are constantly trying to overcome this by making sense of things. The problem is that however good our sense-making is, it can never match the complexity of the world. As a result, the meaning that we create is always tinged with doubt. Some uncertainty always remains. Said another way, the assumptions we make and the things we do in the world all attract an element of risk.
The concept of ‘living in the now’ or ‘being in the present’ has its roots in Eastern philosophies, but has gained popularity in mainstream western thinking in recent years because of the writings of people such as Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-zinn and many others.
The increasing popularity of the concept – also referred to as ‘mindfulness’ – has quickly promoted its status from an esoteric concept to an abundantly used ‘power-phrase’ in the area of ‘self-help’. Many people are still confused by the concept and don’t fully understand it. So what does ‘living in the now’ actually mean and why and how should introduce it into our lives?
Many people think of anger as a purely ‘negative’ emotion – an emotion that we should not actually allow ourselves to feel. But anger is, in fact, just an emotion - one of a whole range of emotions that we must allow ourselves to feel if we want to experience a rich mental and emotional life.
Article as it appeared in Weigh-Less magazine. By Holly Barnes
In South Africa, almost one in 10 teen deaths is a result of suicide, an alarming statistic that you need to be aware of. We share the hidden myths, regrettable causes and eventual consequences of teen suicide – the darkness that surrounds many teenagers daily.
It seems that there really is more than a little truth in the old adage 'laughter is the best medicine'. Scientific studies around the world are continuing to prove that, apart from making us feel good, laughing actually does us good as well – and can actually significantly increase our life span. Pre-school children laugh or smile between 300 and 400 times a day. By the age of 35, this drops to about 18 times. Why have we lost our sense of humour, and what can we do to put more laughter into our lives?