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Whole People

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

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relationships

Are you waving or drowning?

Today is World Mental Health Awareness Day, a day to check in with ourselves – are we thriving, coping, surviving or feeling overwhelmed?

And if we’re ok, maybe to check in with those we care about.

There’s a (really short) poem I like: “Not Waving but Drowning” by Stevie Smith – inspired by something she read about a man who drowned and whose friends thought he was waving to them, not drowning.

She compares this to the way in which people in everyday life sometimes try to be ‘brave’ and/or pretend to be ok, when really they’re not.

Continue reading “Are you waving or drowning?”

Introverts – time to re-engage – or not?

For any introverts out there who might not have hated lockdown quite as much as their extravert friends and colleagues.

Perhaps you’ve enjoyed the reduced social interaction, invitations and demands and welcomed the opportunity for some (permitted/unchallenged) solitude.

Maybe lockdown has given you the time and space to find some calm within the storm, reconnect with yourself, draw breath, re-centre, adjust your pace of life.

In my experience, not everyone appreciates the difference between loneliness and solitude – and that solitude is something that a lot of us need from time to time and that we value.

So you might be feeling a little guilty or embarrassed – or fear being labelled by friends and family as rather unsociable, depressed or lazy if you’re not rushing to meet up again in person…

You’re not alone in this (even if you’d prefer be – ha ha!) and you might appreciate hearing from a couple of other people who feel similarly. Continue reading “Introverts – time to re-engage – or not?”

Coming out of lockdown – easy or confusing?

Lockdown, though necessary to contain the initial spread of Covid-19, was hard for a lot of people. In most parts of the UK now, (and in some other parts of the world, too), restrictions are starting to ease and we’re now entering a different phase, a slightly revised ‘normal’.

Whilst these changes are extremely welcome for some – particularly those whose income has been adversely affected and who are now able to resume work – for others, this brings a new level of anxiety in terms of deciding which activities feel safe to resume, and which don’t.

In many ways, full lockdown is easier and clearer to navigate in terms of understanding what we each can and can’t do. It removes most of the element of choice and individual decision-making. Now we’re starting to have to consider different possibilities and to interpret advice and rules which are, to many of us, less clear cut. Continue reading “Coming out of lockdown – easy or confusing?”

Hello! Will we ever shake hands again?

When we went into lockdown we all stopped doing this – some of us had stopped even before that.

It’s something we have tended to do here in the UK – in business and socially.

Maybe it’s a generational thing (I’m in my 60s) and perhaps it’s also more prevalent amongst men than women – although, in my experience, lots of women (in a work context, at least) used to shake hands, too.

A handshake seems like a small gesture, but maybe it represents quite a lot? Continue reading “Hello! Will we ever shake hands again?”

We’re NOT all in the same boat…

I heard a great quote yesterday – not sure who said it first but it was along these lines re the current pandemic:

“We’re NOT all in the same boat,

we’re all in the same storm,

but in different boats.

Some are relaxing in luxury yachts,

others are in rickety old rust buckets, letting in water, having to bail it out

and, of course, everything in between …”

The truth of this really struck me in terms of how differently we’re each experiencing this current situation. Continue reading “We’re NOT all in the same boat…”

Today is World Introvert Day

This is from an internet search I did yesterday:

It’s my experience that the (Western) world has been shaped mostly by extraverts and that, consequently, those of us who identify more with the traits of introversion, or are on the cusp between the two (ambiverts), can find it a tough place to navigate at times.

In her book ‘Quiet‘ (which I love), Susan Cain talks about the different levels of stimulation required, and able to be tolerated, by introverts and extraverts and the ‘extrovert ideal’. She quotes William White:

“Society is itself an education in the extrovert values,

and rarely has there been a society that has preached them so hard.

No man is an island, but how John Donne would writhe to hear how often, 

and for what reasons,

the thought is so tiresomely repeated.” Continue reading “Today is World Introvert Day”

Sticks and stones – and the power of words…

I’m thinking today about this old adage which used to be chanted by children in the playground:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones

but words will never hurt me.”

I know differently now, of course – unkind words can really hurt a person.

And, by the same token, that a kind word or two can be really healing, too. Continue reading “Sticks and stones – and the power of words…”

Black Friday Blues?

What did you do yesterday?black-friday-2901754_1920

Now known internationally as ‘Black Friday’.

Were you out at the shops searching for bargains?

Surfing the web?

Suck(er)ed into buying something you didn’t want or need by a carefully-targeted and tempting enticement from a previously-visited or a favourite website?

Are you experiencing ‘buyer’s remorse’ about any of your purchases?

Whilst the timing of this message is targeted towards those of us who celebrate, mark or ‘suffer’ Christmas as we know it today, it is part of the much wider movement that asks us to each reflect on our consumerism overall and its effect on not only the environment, but also on our own personal finances and happiness – and how what we do affects other people, too.

Whatever you did or didn’t do yesterday, we all have the choice today to do something different(ly) in the run up to Christmas this year, and from hereon in… Continue reading “Black Friday Blues?”

I’m so happy for you… (or am I?!)

Why is it sometimes so hard for us to feel genuinely happy for other people in our lives when they achieve success or something really lovely or lucky happens for them?

Do we smile, but through gritted teeth?

adult-attraction-background-1322157 (1).jpgHow do we feel when we look at this photo, for example?

Do we smile along with the person in it?

Or think she might be showing off?

Or wonder if she wants to ‘rub it in’ that she can afford the money and the time to be where she is, having fun, and we can’t?

In my experience, envy or jealousy doesn’t happen every time – but sometimes it does…

And what does it say about us if we feel a twinge?

Does that mean that we’re a bad person?

Or does it just mean that we’re human? Continue reading “I’m so happy for you… (or am I?!)”

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