I thought I would share one of my Mindfulness Meditations. Close your eyes and ask someone to read this out to you for maximum benefit. Imagine you are a bright and beautiful caterpillar. You are full and resting on a leaf. You have eaten, explored, and ready for a rest. Now, take in a deep breath, and imagine yourself becoming more still. You feel calm and settled. Notice the gentle wind passing your body making you relax and feel sleepy. Your chrysalis is beginning to form and wraps around your body and you notice the sensation of being close to … Continue reading Transformation
What Is a Weighted Blanket? Occupational therapists have been prescribing weighted blankets to help manage sensory-related symptoms for decades – especially for children and adults on the Autism spectrum. A weighted blanket is a specially made therapeutic blanket with some additional weight, generally weighing between 5 to 30 pounds. They come in different weights to accommodate the user’s size. The idea behind weighted blankets is to make them a little heavy so they can apply a firm pressure on the user’s body. Depending on the manufacturer, these blankets are filled with different weighted materials, including barley, glass beads or even some kind … Continue reading Weighted Blankets
Fed up with screen freezing or poor Internet connections? No closure at the end of a session? Missing the personal interaction? Eye contact is just not the same on Zoom or Facetime. Consider a socially distanced meet-up with me, and feel free to wear a mask too. Walk-and-talk therapy has also proven to be a stress reliever for people who don’t consider their home a safe space for online therapy — whether they can’t find enough privacy to feel comfortable opening up, or their family or partner disapproves of therapy, or someone they live with is the reason they’re seeking … Continue reading Online Therapy too stressful?
Recently the US Government started to offer Covid vaccinations to children aged 12 +, and hopefully the UK and other Nation’s Goverments around the world will follow suit. While there are many differences of opinion on whether vaccinations should be given to young children, I wanted to outline some recent research highlighting the increased risk of death for people with Developmental or Intellectual disabilities. As this affects both my children; one with Autism, and the other having an Intellectual Disability, I am very keen to protect them from the virus, even more so since reading the following information. Individuals with … Continue reading Autism and Increased risk of Covid
If only life came packed, With manuals we could read, A list of clear instructions and All parts guaranteed. But oh, life’s not so simple, No useful hints or tools, We have to muddle through it Without the help of rules. Yet one thing that we do have Are others by our side, To help support and cheer us, In whom we may confide. For as we share our knowledge, So ignorance takes flight, By working close together We’ll surely get it right. Continue reading A Life Journey
On the days we all experience at one time or another, when one hundred and one things have to be attended to immediately, if not sooner, try keeping the following words in mind: “The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once.” Written by Samuel Smiles, a doctor, writer and social reformer. He was born in Haddington (my hometown), Scotland in 1812. His book, Self-Help, was published in 1859 and was a best seller book, selling a 1/4 million copies, to the British public. In the book, he proposes knowledge as one of the … Continue reading The first Self Help book
Going to the hairdressers can be a very distressing experience for autistic children due to sensory issues such as a sensitivity to noise and touch. In this article Jim the Trim, a hairdresser from Wales whose barbershop was awarded the National Autistic Society’s Autism-Friendly Award, gives us his Top 5 Tips on how hairdressers can make autistic children more comfortable during a haircut. Top 5 Tips Take your time to get to know the person and for them to get to know you. You may have to be very gradual and just allow the person to come in and watch … Continue reading Cutting Autistic child’s hair
I offer Psychotherapy sessions for survivors of heart attacks/cardio events, which are available at my other website: Adjustment Therapy, however the Covid pandemic impacted on my ability to provide any sort of face to face therapy, even with masks, so this was not an option. It has not been safe for me to go out since March 2020 because of the risk of getting the Covid virus and only now, with the vaccine being available to me by May this year, I plan to offer Therapy sessions for people of all ages, who have been affected by a recent Cardio … Continue reading Post-Cardio recovery
8 Signs of a toxic friendship 1. Putting You Down Constantly You should feel like your friend’s equal, giving and receiving positive feedback that makes you both feel good. However, a toxic friend may find ways to make you feel like you’re less than they are. For example, they might draw attention to your insecurities and reinforce them as true. Or, they might discourage you from trying to achieve your dreams (telling you that they’re not realistic for someone like you). 2. Blame Everyone makes mistakes in relationships. Good friends can apologize for their part in such arguments or other … Continue reading Signs of a toxic friendship
What are good friendship qualities? It comes down to 5 crucial qualities in my opinion, yet there may be more. Anyone wish to comment? Nourish. The friendship nourishes both individuals. Each feels supported and cared for and both look forward to each other’s company. Trust. Each knows they can count on each other to be honest and accepting, even when one or both change. Commitment. Both are prepared to put time and effort into the relationship even when physically apart. Balance. The give and take of a relationship balances out over time, as each provide support when required. Relationship. This … Continue reading Good friendship qualities
Today is World Obesity Day (4th March 2021) Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation of body fat on the basis of height and weight applying to adult men and women. Your Body Mass Index score indicates whether you are underweight or overweight. Based on the score that you get, you may be advised to bulk up or lose weight. It is done to ensure that you maintain a bodyweight that may be healthy, and you may be advised to change your lifestyle to attain a healthier BMI. The BMI scale was developed in 1832 by a Belgian mathematician named … Continue reading Adolphe Quetete and BMI?
Do you make choices of your own free will, or are you being nudged along by an unseen force to comply? The Government, Retail and Medical professions, amongst many other industries employ strategies to shape your behaviour. Nudge theory is the science behind subtly leading people to the ‘right’ decision. It works on the principle that small actions can have a substantial impact on the way people behave. For organisations wanting to drive positive behaviour change, it’s a handy concept to know about. Nudge theory is also concerned with the design of choices, which influences the decisions we make. Nudge theory … Continue reading Are you being nudged?
All around the world, people remain uncertain about the future. I don’t know what the outcome will be, however I have continued to use some strategies to keep myself going. I want to share them with you, in the hope that you may get some benefit from this particular method. A) Do something every day to reduce anxiety; whether it is a relaxation technique, exercising or getting in touch with some friends. This all amounts to finding some calm in your daily existence. B) Stay informed. Decide to allocate yourself 30 minutes each day to check the Local news and … Continue reading Uncertainty
Most parents are familiar with a child’s temper tantrum and the disruptive, angry outbursts where the child demands attention, including getting their own way. In contrast, when a child or adult on the Autistic Spectrum has a Meltdown, they are reacting to emotional overload, and their brain struggles to make sense of a situation or behaviour. Ultimately, a Meltdown is a loss of control brought about by changes to the routine or expected behaviours, resulting in the senses being over stimulated all at once. Explosion of emotions! The Meltdown responses displayed by the Autistic person may include verbal expressions, of … Continue reading Autism and Meltdowns
Originally posted on View from Over the Hill:
Since Dr. Graham Bryce and I started the B C Balance & Dizziness Disorders Society (BADD) 15 years ago, I’ve talked with hundreds and hundreds of members dealing with vestibular disorders. When our first Board met around my kitchen table, we discussed a name for our fledgling support group. I noted that “Balance and Dizziness Disorders” which was chosen, would probably have the acronym BADD, which might not look good. The response? “Well, it IS bad.” So “BADD” we became. Balance and Dizziness Disorders ARE bad Through the years, members complain that… Continue reading Balance and Dizziness (vestibular) Disorders
“Life is available only in the present moment.” “No one has ever lived in the past or the future, only the now.” “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” “While you are walking, smile and be in the here and now, and you will transform that place into paradise.” “Yesterday is already gone. Tomorrow is not yet here. Today is the only day available to us; it is the most important day of our lives.” (Courtesy Thich Nhat Hanh) Continue reading Hope
I predominantly offer Psychotherapy sessions for parents/carers of children who are on the Autistic spectrum or who have Special Needs. We walk and talk in Nature, rather than sit inside a room, and this form of therapy is found to be more relaxing, while enjoying the natural environment. There are not many people who can afford to pay out in excess of £50 for an hour of Counselling or Psychotherapy, as these sessions are never just once a week; they go on for weeks, months and sometimes longer. This is an expensive outlay for most people. As a parent of … Continue reading Giving something back.
Every winter, about 100 people in the US die while shovelling snow. Why? A study looking at data from 1990 to 2006 by researchers at the US Nationwide Children’s Hospital recorded 1,647 fatalities from cardiac-related injuries associated with shovelling snow. In Canada, these deaths make the news every winter. Cardiologist Barry Franklin, an expert in the hazardous effects of snow removal, believes the number of deaths could be double that. “I believe we lose hundreds of people each year because of this activity,” says Franklin, director of preventative cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation at William Beaumont Hospital, Michigan. His team found … Continue reading Beware of Shovelling Snow
I was reading an article in a newspaper the other day, about a GP Doctor, who was enjoying his usual cup of coffee and cereal with his wife, one morning somewhere in the UK. His wife noticed that some cereal was dribbling down his mouth, and it was uncharacteristic of her husband not to clean it up immediately. She also suggested that his speech was a little slurred, but she was brushed off as being ‘silly’. He struggled a little bit with the keyboard on the computer, but again, he thought this could be anything. The Doctor went about his … Continue reading Listening to your partner
Body image is something that many people are concerned about and which has a negative effect on their Mental Health. Feelings of being low or depressed contribute to anxieties around their appearance, especially when out in the public domain. Finding clothes that change our outward appearance helps, yet it is inside that the greatest challenges are, which thousands of people have to face each day of their lives. Below are some suggestions which may help in coping with Body image: Practice Mindfulness – this involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help … Continue reading Body Image
Fear is one of the most powerful emotions; it has a very strong effect on your mind and body. Fear can create strong signals of response when we’re in emergencies; it can also take effect when you’re faced with non-dangerous events, like exams, public speaking, a new job, a date, or even a party. It’s a natural response to a threat that can be either perceived or real. Fear and anxiety can last for a short time and then pass, but they can also last much longer and you can get stuck with them. In some cases they can take … Continue reading Coping with Fear
It is easy to become complacent in life and just do enough to get by. Have you taken things for granted? Can you be quite content to let others do the running? We all get like this at one time or another, and it is easy to sit back and watch. I was on the phone to a friend the other day asking how they were, and they said that they were lacking motivation to get up and do anything; preferring to watch some box-sets on Netflix for a few days, eating the remains of the Christmas chocolates and other … Continue reading Finding Meaning – Every Day
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein. I love this quote by Albert Einstein. What do you think when you read it? Sometimes I wish the governments of the world would the above quote and change the way they approach their problems; it would certainly be refreshing for us all! We can easily get caught up in a cycle of negativity while trying to overcome problems, and before long they seem bigger than before, as the same way of thinking brings about the same results. If you have a problem, … Continue reading Change the way you approach a problem.
In need of a quick shut-eye? Don’t ignore your body and take some time to re-energize throughout the day. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep last night, or just feel lethargic and cannot be bothered. There are many positive reasons for finding some time during the day to have some ‘me-time’ by closing your eyes for a quick nap. Naps boost alertness and improve motor performance, which is why you should feel energized after taking one. The length of your nap determines the benefits. 10 minutes to 30 minutes, may make you feel groggy on waking, but your body will … Continue reading Have a Nap
Change Therapy – Ways to cope with anxiety during and after COVID-19 7 – Mindfulness Meditation Thinking back to what we have managed to do in such a short space of time, I would like to talk you through a short mindfulness meditation to help you sleep/rest, as your body adjusts to the changes in your new routine of waking at dawn. Going to bed at a time earlier than you are used to can be a challenge, however you will start to feel the benefits soon, and of top of this, your anxiety level will reduce too. If you … Continue reading Coping with Anxiety – Mindfulness Meditation
6 – Watching the food intake I know, it is so easy to eat half that packet of biscuits while consuming 4 coffees all before lunchtime! You didn’t do this while at work prior to the pandemic did you? What has changed? Too much time on our hands? From the previous article, on Shaking your Body Alive, I invited you to adjust your sleeping times, and start to waken at 6am. You body takes time to change to your new regime, and will still urge you to eat when it says so; it has been pre-programmed to require energy … Continue reading Coping with Anxiety – Watching the Food Intake
Change Therapy – Ways to cope with anxiety during and after COVID-19 5 – Shake your body alive Instead of sleeping in your bed until noon (or later) it is time to alter the body clock! Leave the phone on silent and stay away from the TV remote as long as possible from the time you waken. Set your alarm for 6am. Have a wash, taking extra care of your appearance – imagine you are going on a hot date! Take some time, whether in the shower or in front of the mirror, to tell yourself what you want … Continue reading Coping with Anxiety – Shake your Body Alive!!
Change Therapy – Ways to cope with anxiety during and after COVID-19 4 – Moving up a gear with Fitness Thank you for continuing to follow this short helping strategy for anyone who needs a little help in changing their way of life. Anxious or just a feeling of never ending sameness, can put you into a negative cycle and promote unhealthy habits. I hope these instructions can assist positive change to your routine. Stand in an area where you feel safe, for instance if you have balance issues, stand beside a wall. Now I want you to march … Continue reading Coping with Anxiety – Moving up a gear with Fitness
Change Therapy – Ways to cope with anxiety during and after COVID-19 3 – Improve fitness Being advised to stay inside your home during this pandemic has its challenges, which may also have increased the level of anxieties experienced. It is a worrying time regarding the health of the people in the world, but you have to try and concentrate on YOU for now. If you were to remain seated watching TV or sleeping most of the day away, adding in the extra comfort eating while being entertained, it is reasonable to presume that your weight will increase too. It … Continue reading Coping with Anxiety – Improve Fitness
Change Therapy – Ways to cope with anxiety during and after COVID-19 2 – Re-enter the Community Continuing on from the last suggestion of Engaging in a Useful Activity, it is helpful to try to take things slowly at first. If you decided to do a bit of spring cleaning or learn a new hobby like painting or playing a musical instrument, please take baby-steps and go at an easy pace. There is however a need to re-engage with society, even though it is not exactly as you may remember it. If you suffer from anxiety, you can find yourself … Continue reading Coping with Anxiety – Re-enter the Community