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Are you OK?

I realised this weekend that I was not ok.

Perhaps I am "supposed" to be. As the Founder of this Midlife Movement I do my best every day to be measured in my responses and careful what I post. And I am, as a rule, ok most of the time.

But I am only human and the current situation, I think you will agree, is testing for us all, to say the least!

As I always do in a crisis, I "look for the helpers" as Mr Rogers would have said. And I am finding them, and posting about them and aim to do my best to help calm the anxiety and fear that is surrounding us as much as I am able.

So how do I know that I am NOT OK?

It started with feelings of irritation at small, silly things. Not being able to get the lid off a jar, losing work because I forgot to press save - that sort of thing. Then yesterday I lost my temper - very rare as I have a very slow burn - at some misinformation doing the rounds on social media. (Not at the well meaning people sharing it, but at the irresponsibility of the...

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"It was the best of times...

hope pandemic support Mar 16, 2020

...it was the worst of times..."

When Charles Dickens wrote the opening lines of "A Tale of Two Cities" he was speaking of very different times, but how apt that expression seems right now! (Scroll down to see the full opening paragraph and see whether you think it resonates with current events).

You might be nodding at that statement, or you might be raising an eyebrow and thinking - the best of times? Has she lost her mind? I don't blame you. People are ill, people are losing their livelihoods, people are losing the folks they love prematurely - please don't think I'm making light of that. If you've been reading these blogs for a while or receiving my weekly emails, you'll know I am not a fan of relentless positivity. I have been on the rollercoaster of disbelief, confusion and fear too, but in this crisis as in all others, I do try to heed the legendary Mr Rogers and "look for the helpers".

We have all seen the constant news stories of people...

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7 Ways to Support Someone who is Depressed

If someone you care about is in the throes of a bout of depression it can be really difficult to know how to support them. I've been clinically depressed and I've supported people who are depressed, so I have experience of this horrible condition from both sides as both carer and cared for.

I've been talking to fellow sufferers and, drawing on their experience and my own, here are my tips on how to support someone who is depressed:

  1. LISTEN Don't try to "fix" them. It's tempting to try to come up with solutions - "why don't you..." "Look at it like this..." but actually, it can be really unhelpful. The best thing is to listen - really, really listen. You can reflect back what they have said to you so that they know you have heard them, but don't go overboard! The very act of being willing to listen can be a huge help.
  2. ASK THEM WHAT THEY NEED They might not know, but the fact that you are willing to ask can be comforting. If they do know, then act on it. They know what...
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