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coaching, counselling and training in Worthing (UK) and online with Pat Spink

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mental health

“A few years ago I would have been admiring the view – now I’m on my phone…”

smartphonesThis was a quote from a member of the public broadcast on BBC Breakfast this morning in a report about our seemingly ever-increasing addiction to smartphones in the UK.

Another interviewee said that she thought smartphones had: “made my life better but children’s lives worse.”

According to the latest report from telecoms regulator Ofcom, and about which there’s a good article at bbc.co.uk:

  • 78% of all adults in the UK now own a smartphone
  • 40% of us look at them within five minutes of waking
  • the average Brit checks their phone every 12 minutes while awake and uses it for about 2½ hours each day
  • a third of us check them just before falling asleep

This last one isn’t a great habit if we want to sleep well, by the way – see my blog last month re our use of apps and the effects of blue light.

How we use our phones may also have changed – the report says the total volume of calls fell in 2017.

But maybe that’s not quite the whole story – what the report didn’t track were the calls made using apps such as Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger instead.

So where are we headed? Continue reading ““A few years ago I would have been admiring the view – now I’m on my phone…””

Appy Days & Restful Nights

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I’ve written previously about the negative effects of technology on our lives – but there is good in there, too.

This was highlighted by the ‘Tech4Good’ awards for which Anna Bawden was a judge and about which she wrote recently in theguardian.com.

Amongst these are apps helping people to:

  • communicate and navigate – taking account of particular impairments such as deafness, blindness and partial sight
  • call emergency services if in distress or danger and unable to speak – particularly useful in instances of breathing difficulties, allergies or domestic abuse
  • manage neurological and physical physiotherapy
  • identify and express feelings
  • support mental health recovery

Continue reading “Appy Days & Restful Nights”

Everybody Hurts

It’s that time of year again – my ‘guilty pleasure’ Britain’s Got Talent is back on ITV in the UK. winking-face_1f609

I caught up on the audition stages last week and was incredibly touched by Father Ray Kelly’s rendition of the R.E.M. classic (a 7 minute clip including his introduction to the panel before he sings):

Who’s in charge, you or your emotions?

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I recently came across an article By Cody Delistraty: You’ll Be Happier If You Let Yourself Feel Bad’.

It talks about a study, led by University of Toronto Assistant Psychology Professor Brett Ford, which explores the link between our acceptance of negativity and our well-being.  Continue reading “Who’s in charge, you or your emotions?”

How Do Men (and Boys) Grieve?

Last month’s BBC documentary ‘Rio Ferdinand: being Mum and Dad’ was very powerful, I thought. It’s currently on YouTube:

Continue reading “How Do Men (and Boys) Grieve?”

“Ma’am, you look like you’re having a bad day. Can I give you a hug?”

I was really touched by this story in the Mail Online yesterday.

It’s about a bus driver, Damone Hudson from Dayton, Ohio, who was driving over a bridge and saw a woman on the wrong side of the railings. He stopped his bus and got out to talk to her.

He stayed with her until the police arrived to take her to safety and, hopefully, to get some appropriate help. Continue reading ““Ma’am, you look like you’re having a bad day. Can I give you a hug?””

Compare and Despair

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TV and radio host Fearne Cotton talked openly this week about her own depression in a short (only 3½ minutes) BBC podcast

I was particularly struck by what she said about us “… doing that awful compare and despair sort of thing…” Continue reading “Compare and Despair”

#IAMWHOLE

You might expect that the title of this campaign would appeal to me – and it does. So does the purpose.

Launched for World Mental Health Day, #IAMWHOLE is fronted by Jordan Stephens, the hip hop star from Brighton –  one of the Rizzle Kicks duo – who lost someone to suicide and who’s had his own mental health issues, too. Continue reading “#IAMWHOLE”

Five Ways to Wellbeing

‘Five ways to wellbeing’ was developed by NEF and is currently being promoted by Mind, the UK mental health charity. Simply put, it’s a framework to help us look after our mental and emotional health:

  • Connect – with other people, a fundamental human need
  • Be active – physical activity helps our mental and emotional state, as well as our bodies
  • Take notice – of what’s going on around you, now
  • Keep learning – learning new things helps keep us engaged and active
  • Give – doing something to help someone else makes us feel good

Continue reading “Five Ways to Wellbeing”

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