Preparation for student life!

uni-sign

Where am I going?

Am I studying the right subject?

What are the halls like?

Who will my friends be?

Will I miss home?

Am I ready?

So many questions when preparing for Uni and equally as many for the parents!!

Having supported 3 young people on their journey to University last year I am aware of some of the feelings both before they head off and as they settle in.

There are a lot of expectations about how students behave and what a party lifestyle it will be. Students may feel overwhelmed, anxious and alone when the reality to what they have heard is often quite different in the short term and takes time to establish.

As parents the ‘fun’ times you remember are often the celebrations along the way, when friends have been made and towards the end of study. The feelings of bewilderment at negotiating a new way of life, in a new town or city, may be long forgotten.

Being a student is often a period of making great friendships and learning a lot about yourself. How to live in shared accommodation, to manage your time, perform academically in a new environment, access sports and societies and socially negotiate the drink, drugs and partying culture. There is good and bad but this doesn’t happen instantly.

Taking time to listen to your young person’s worries and concerns can help them negotiate this new phase of life. Being kind in your listening skills and available to them emotionally can be of great benefit.

So many young people head of to Uni nowadays and due to changes in how they have been parented, the materialistic focus in society, social media and the pressures on how you look, to name just a few, means there are added pressures on young people. Not all parent ‘helicopter’ their children but there is generally a much more responsive relationship with them, which amongst other factors such as high expectations and excess choices, may not foster young people to be as resilient as they were once expected to be.

This contradicts my previous paragraph in that it looks like parents create and need to continue to be supportive of their young people, but they do. Research has shown that the final period of growing into an independent adult extends as far as 25 years old. Long gone is the idea that you get to 18 years old and you are out there and independent – society does not make this easily possible for all kinds of reasons. Lack of affordable housing and lack of varied work opportunities for young people, to name a few.

In my work as a Hypnotherapist I have supported many students with anxiety over recent years and much of this has been around mixed expectations. Taking a step back from all the choices and beginning to understand it is a big transition but they will be okay, is the first step. They do have the skills to cope well, if they can just re engage with their resources. Hypnotherapy can help them to do just this.

Universities have been developing services to support students health and well being. Each campus should have access to someone to talk to as the initial place to seek support. This can make all the difference and is available on the website of relevant organisations.

Being connected with feelings and open with someone you can trust, such as a well being professional or your friends and family, is important to prevent escalation of low mood. Encouraging the young person to speak to their Gp is also important, if you are worried about mood issues, as this is the access to mental health services.

Often waiting lists for further support are long and this is where my work in my practice as a Hypnotherapist and with Anxiety Uk has been invaluable. Students have contacted me directly for a few sessions, with good affect, during this transition phase. For longer term anxiety and a small fee students can access support through this charity with resources online to read and download. There are several therapy options to access like Hypnotherapy at a reduced cost.

For students, and parents, it is feeling like there are some options to support young people as they head off on their new journey.

 

 

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Improving health by writing!

writing-1209121_960_720

We all have heard a problem shared is a problem halved…

but what if no friends are available and you need to express yourself?

Writing down your thoughts to express your concerns, worries and connect with your feelings may be an option.

Writing can give many therapeutic benefits:-

  • help to calm your mind by giving you a focus

  • document a journey

  • help to express feelings and release emotions

  • help to reduce worry

  • assist in processing difficult situations

  • create a sense of direction

  • help to formulate some goals

  • give a sense of achievement

  • improve sleep

 

Writing can take many forms:-

journaling

documenting, to help process your thoughts

a letter to yourself or others (best not to send, but can help to clarify your feelings)

blogging

free writing

a gratitude diary

list making

doodling

 

There is a body of evidence developing which indicates that if you write a list of specific tasks you need to do for the next day, as you go to bed, it helps reduce rumination (repetitive thoughts). This reduces the time you take to go to sleep.

Better sleep helps the processing of challenges in your life and improves well being.

 

Pick up a pen!

 

Oooh hello!!

march11 017

The snow has melted and the sun is shining. Getting out and about seems much more appealing.

As I was driving down a country lane and had to stop to let cars go past, I had an inquisitive face appear at my window.

Hello!! How can I help?

This horse was wanting to connect with me. After several days snow bound he was happy to see a human being. He stuck his head over the gate and right up to my window. What a beautiful sight!

That wanting to connect is often a main driver for people. As social animals we can struggle if we become isolated. Health issues, mood challenges and fears can limit us from from achieving our potential and feel positive in our lives.

I noticed in the snow an excitement from people as they trudged through the powder, feeling the different sensations in their boots, wrapped up but battling the cold. A great sense of being alive!! Smiles and and greetings were frequent. Was it the exhilaration of walking out in the snow and that connection to nature? Or was it the fear of being disconnected from others with the roads blocked, a pause in work days interrupting social interaction?

Battling through the snow is not dis similar to facing any life challenge.

Often people seek support with an issue because they feel isolated and unable to make progress through the connections they know. Making a change can be an exciting journey!

Seeing a therapist allows discussion with a person outside of their immediate social circle, enabling them to explore issues at their own pace and without fear of judgement.

So what are you waiting for?

 

Snow days impact!

March 18 043

Feeling held back and caught up by the snow?

Difficult when not everyone is able to get out and about, services are closed and you feel trapped indoors.

None of the usual hustle and bustle and maybe the lack of social contact is a big change.

My husband is stranded working away and he’s been away all week, so that’s not great.

Try to avoid it getting you down.

It is away from our usual routines and activities but it is luckily short lived.

Hopefully you’re cupboards are well stocked and you are warm. If this is a challenge gather warm clothes, blankets and move around where you can. Call on contacts to share resources where needed.

If you are able, get out even for short periods in the snow

it is beautiful out there!

but ensure you are wrapped up in layers, with the necessary boots, gloves, hat and scarf.

 

Embrace the beauty of the whiteness while it lasts…

March 18 012

This is unexpected time, embrace it!!

Once inside and warming up again use this time away from the usual work routine to reflect…

 

and take stock for a while…

 

What do you wish to achieve going forward?

Read around ideas and gather some information

How do want life to be in 3-6 months time?

 

What may be holding you back?

Any challenges to your health and well being you wish to change?

 

Often the first step is the hardest

but also recognising that something needs to change is the biggest step!!

 

Happy first steps…

March 18 033

Looking forward…

One year on I find myself further along the road of self discovery, with greater positivity and more focus. Onwards!!

It feels easier to be looking forward…

The targets to achieve have had to be found within myself, which has been tough!

Now that the worst of the dark days of winter are over, the weather is giving glimmers of brighter weather, moving forward is on the agenda.

I’m not alone in these feelings of finding it hard, am I?

Working for myself, has been a huge change in my way of life, and at times quite a lonely place. Never worse than in the dreary Uk winter!

No distractions of a team, but none of the pressures either, which has been liberating, but also difficult at times.

Some self reflection has been necessary to move forward.

I recognise this is part of my journey and time has given me space to look at:-

  • who I am emotionally

  • where my strengths lie

  • whom I like connecting to

  • what I find challenging

  • what I need to improve on

  • where I am in my life and what next

  • what opportunities are available to me

This will make me stronger in the long run and more able to focus on where I am heading.

I need to be able to set my targets to continue to be successful and build my practice!

I have tried to embrace these steps for happiness but not always found it easy putting them into practice.

july-2016-028

The first one is particularly relevant, with too much analysing becoming distracting, but may be necessary at my stage of working for myself?

Some exploring has had to be done to gain self acceptance, be able to love more and appreciate more. 

This process may be tough but is beneficial for your skills and experience when working with clients, to understand their blocks and challenges.

Personally I am now more connected with how fortunate I am to have this opportunity to work for myself and build a business.

I am able to feel proud of my achievements to date.

I am engaged with what I can offer others, in order to support clients to make changes.

The outcome is I am planning future services which will help and support people to improve their well being.      So all round benefits.

This is an ongoing journey but acceptance has enabled me to move forward from where I was in my life and feel more focused.

 

 

 

 

Improving health by writing!

writing-1209121_960_720

We all have heard a problem shared is a problem halved…

but what if no friends are available and you need to express yourself?

Writing down your thoughts to express your concerns, worries and connect with your feelings may be an option.

Writing can give many therapeutic benefits:-

  • help to calm your mind by giving you a focus

  • document a journey

  • help to express feelings and release emotions

  • help to reduce worry

  • assist in processing difficult situations

  • create a sense of direction

  • help to formulate some goals

  • give a sense of achievement

  • improve sleep

 

Writing can take many forms:-

journaling

documenting, to help process your thoughts

a letter to yourself or others (best not to send, but can help to clarify your feelings)

blogging

free writing

a gratitude diary

list making

doodling

 

There is a body of evidence developing which indicates that if you write a list of specific tasks you need to do for the next day, as you go to bed, it helps reduce rumination (repetitive thoughts). This reduces the time you take to go to sleep.

Better sleep helps the processing of challenges in your life and improves well being.

 

Pick up a pen!

 

Looking forward…

This post I wrote last year and I find myself further along the road of self discovery, with greater positivity and more focused. Onwards!!

It feels easier to be looking forward…

The targets to achieve have had to be found within myself, which has been tough!

Now that the worst of the dark days of winter are over, the weather is giving glimmers of brighter weather, moving forward is on the agenda.

I’m not alone in these feelings of finding it hard, am I?

Working for myself, has been a huge change in my way of life, and at times quite a lonely place. Never worse than in the dreary Uk winter!

No distractions of a team, but none of the pressures either, which has been liberating, but also difficult at times.

Some self reflection has been necessary to move forward.

I recognise this is part of my journey and time has given me space to look at:-

  • who I am emotionally

  • where my strengths lie

  • whom I like connecting to

  • what I find challenging

  • what I need to improve on

  • where I am in my life and what next

  • what opportunities are available to me

This will make me stronger in the long run and more able to focus on where I am heading.

I need to be able to set my targets to continue to be successful and build my practice!

I have tried to embrace these steps for happiness but not always found it easy putting them into practice.

july-2016-028

The first one is particularly relevant, with too much analysing becoming distracting, but may be necessary at my stage of working for myself?

Some exploring has had to be done to gain self acceptance, be able to love more and appreciate more. 

This process may be tough but is beneficial for your skills and experience when working with clients, to understand their blocks and challenges.

Personally I am now more connected with how fortunate I am to have this opportunity to work for myself and build a business.

I am able to feel proud of my achievements to date.

I am engaged with what I can offer others, in order to support clients to make changes.

The outcome is I am planning future services which will help and support people to improve their well being.      So all round benefits.

This is an ongoing journey but acceptance has enabled me to move forward from where I was in my life and feel more focused.

 

 

 

 

Motivation

stress-work-400x400

Working from home with no structure, few social interactions, and erratic focus can take heaps of motivation to make stuff happen.

Where does your motivation come from?

If like me you have been motivated to learn new things and expand your mind to new ways of working, but have always had a job which has driven you towards targets, then most of your motivation has been external.

To work successfully and productively by yourself takes internal discipline, planning and steady focus, to get your plans into action.

No work = no earnings

I found this straight forward in the early months but struggled with dips in motivation as time progressed. It takes your ongoing mental focus and commitment! OMG!!! Tricky at times.

How to get the project off the ground!!

Consider your existing network – who can you link in with to discuss ideas, insights, and make opportunities?

Broaden your links with the local community – business network, volunteer locally and make new connections. Can you offer services to others?

 Seek support – from professionals supporting businesses, discuss issues with ex colleagues, family and friends, people already in your new field. Be open to different ideas and ways of developing.

Identify some mentors – people you admire, who have some of the qualities you may need to develop. One person may display several attributes which may motivate you to expand different skills.

Be approachable  – discuss your business and what you can offer at every social contact. People are always interested in new services and how it could support their family and friends.

Be brave – use business cards, flyers, social media and discussion with all your contacts at each opportunity, to raise your profile.

All of this takes time and patience.

In the meantime booster your motivation by booking in regular meetings over a cuppa or snack with a variety of contacts. Meet at a cafe, someones home or do an activity eg. go for a walk. Exercise is a great booster of wellbeing too.

FOCUS, SOCIAL CONNECTION AND GROWTH LEADS TO MOTIVATION!

Plan to get out for a short period each day to give some structure to the week.

Word of mouth and recommendations will soon start business flourishing  if you’re offering a great service.

Keeping positive

Working for yourself, especially alone, has many challenges as well as freedoms. Keeping positive and a “can do” attitude is tough at times.

In the field of Hypnotherapy, coaching and NLP –

you are selling your abilities to enable others to make change!

This takes a lot of energy.

As someone going through great change myself I could do with my own Hypnotherapist and coach on a daily basis!!

A big part of my learning this week has been understanding why you are finding the marketing so time consuming and at times difficult to do. You are selling yourself!!

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so here I am…

I know I have many skills but it is recognising these, engaging my enthusiasm and marketing them. This is an ongoing and potentially demanding process. You have to examine your qualities, have faith in your abilities and convert these into useful tools for you, the client, to put to good use.

The therapist is the driving force and the asset!

Happy weekend! Monday is another week!!