Sick Days are there for the Taking – The Problem of Presenteeism.

We’ve all been there at one time or another, struggling into work when we basically feel like s**t.  We sit at our desk taking whatever medication we can, whilst feeling miserable and wishing we were at home in bed.

Drained - Photo by Victoria Palacios on Unsplash

If you look at your contract of employment, you may find a section which refers to sickness, in particular to sick days.

Sick days are quite simple really, when you feel unwell, you can take time off to get well and still get paid!  Read more

Time to Science the S**t out of this.

Science was never my strong point at school, and I wouldn’t say that it has been something I have been interested in since I left school; so, if you’d told me that I would be enjoying learning about some of the science behind Anxiety, Depression and Addiction, I would have laughed and shrugged it off as nonsense.

“So in the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option.  I’m going to have to science the s**t out of this.”The Martian

When I had my first panic attack I honestly believed that something had snapped in my brain (I told you I wasn’t much of a scientist); all I remember was feeling scared and broken.  During the early stages of my illness I had no idea what was going on, all I knew was that the stresses at work were causing it.

My learning started when I attended CBT through the NHS.  My therapist gave me some booklets that contained some really useful information on the basics of what was going on in my head and body, but this information only covered the tip of the iceberg. Read more

Hiding Under a Hat.

One of my greatest fears when I was in the deepest depths of anxiety and panic was leaving the flat and walking up my local High Street; there were a number of challenges that I faced when doing this, which were:

  • I struggled to be around a large number of people.
  • Busy surroundings and noise made me disorientated.
  • I was afraid of bumping into someone I knew.

The third point may sound strange to some of you, and it has probably been one of the hardest things to get my head around, let alone try and explain to other people, especially my friends.  It wasn’t because I didn’t like them anymore; it was a case that I wanted to hide away, almost become anonymous. Read more

The Importance of Balance in Life.

What happens when we lose our balance?  We fall over.

This is the same when we lose balance in our lives however; the physical act of falling over is replaced with illness.

Balance - by Emily Sea on Unsplash

If you stand on one leg you feel your body wobble and you immediately try to correct the wobble; if you fall over, you make a quick movement to stop yourself falling flat on your face, such as moving your legs, or putting your hands out; your body will do this automatically so you don’t have to think about it. Read more

Finding a Space to Breathe.

In previous blogs we have explored how stress and anxiety affects our breathing, throwing our bodies out of balance, and leading to the physical symptoms which can cause panic.

While we have covered some simple breathing techniques; my ASCA therapist, Donna, suggested that I find a space where I could focus on my breathing and at the same time use my other senses to help relax my mind and body.

As we chatted we agreed that the gardens in Chiswick House were an ideal location for me.  I described the walk I usually take with Leo, and Donna told me to do two things; firstly to focus on breathing from my stomach as I was walking around, and while doing this to take in the sights, sounds and smells around me.  Read more