Relate Northamptonshire is looking for volunteers

 

 

Did you know that volunteering is good for your wellbeing?

  • Volunteers live longer and are healthier
  • Volunteering establishes strong relationships
  • Volunteering is good for society
  • Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose

Volunteering can give you the opportunity to:

  • try something new
  • gain experience
  • develop skills
  • improve your career prospects
  • build confidence
  • meet new people.
  • help you achieve personal goals

You only need to give a few hours a month to make a real difference to your local community.

Giving your time is incredibly important to us – without our team of volunteers, we would be unable to run our fantastic services.

Our volunteers currently support us with  reception cover, administrative tasks and a whole range of opportunities from painting to supporting us in our fundraising endeavours.

We will provide you with full training in order to support you in your volunteering role.

Please give Hayley, our Operations Manager a call on 01604 634400 to learn more about how you can support us.

 

Blame can be toxic

When you’re on the receiving end of blame it can be exhausting, exasperating and painful.

It can make you feel tiny: like nothing you do is good enough or ever will be. It can break down your sense of trust in your partner and replace it with a growing sense of resentment and anger.

And, if it persists for a long time, constant blame in a relationship can be a symptom of emotional abuse.

Why do we blame each other? (more…)

That’s not cheating – or is it?

‘Micro-cheating’ – said to be a new buzzword – is all about little things you might think aren’t that naughty, but could turn out to be.

Is there such a thing – ‘cheating but only a bit’?

Yes, says Dr Martin Graff, professor of psychology at the University of South Wales, who wrote about this modern dating dilemma in an article for a psychology journal. (more…)

Forgiveness: it’s the hardest thing to do

Forgiving your partner if they’ve done something to upset you can be one of the hardest things to do in a relationship.

When you’re feeling disappointed, angry or betrayed, the idea of forgiving someone can feel a little bit like giving in – as if, by letting go of your resentment, you’re allowing them to ‘get away with it’.

It can be more tempting to hang on to negative emotions – acting distant and frosty as a way of punishing the person who has upset you. (more…)

How to argue less

Arguments are common in all kinds of relationships. Some degree of conflict can even be healthy, as it means both people are expressing themselves, rather than keeping everything inside and letting emotions fester.

But if you’re arguing all the time, or simple disagreements end up in a hostile silence or screaming match, it can really start to take its toll – or even leave you wondering whether you’re all that compatible.

Learning ways to handle disagreements constructively is crucial in any relationship. (more…)

Coping with the ‘snowball of stress’

Stress can have a distorting effect on our relationships. It can make us feel low and not wanting to talk to people. We tend to shut ourselves away and keep our emotions on the inside.

It can make us argumentative and prone to lashing out – ready to lose our temper in an instant. Or, it can cause us to oscillate between different moods at different times.

It’s hard to ‘plan’ for the effects of stress. Often, we don’t anticipate being stressed – stressful experiences often take us by surprise, and can come out of nowhere. A sudden increase in workload. An unwelcome call from your mum. An unexpected bill. One moment you’re feeling calm and happy; the next, hot, panicky and irritated. (more…)

Cycling Mount Snowdon in Support of Relate Northamptonshire

Well Done to Gordon & Adam – they reached the summit on Sunday 28th April in 2 hrs 45 min and descended in just over an hour.  Great achievement despite Storm Hannah delaying your ascent!  Many thanks from all at Relate Northamptonshire for your support!  There’s still time to support them, just visit  https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/gordonandadam 

 

Gordon & Adam are cycling up (and back down) Mount Snowdon to raise much needed funds to enable us to provide free counselling support to people working in the construction industry who are struggling with their mental health.

If you’d like to support them, please visit their fundraising page:

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/gordonandadam

Gordon & Adam work for Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd (Buckingham) and they are supporting their endeavors to raise funds for Relate Northamptonshire.  Here’s what they said:

“We are pleased that Adam and Gordon have been inspired to raise awareness and money for charity.  Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd (Buckingham) actively promotes the 5 ways to wellbeing. The company believes that focusing on this approach aids improved wellbeing and recognition of the importance of maintaining physical and mental health at work.  We signed the Time to Change Charter in January and are actively implementing our action plan.  We have appointed Mental Health Champions through the organisation and are developing the role by providing ongoing training and support.  As a matter of policy, we provide mental health awareness training to all of our staff.

Buckingham is an owner-managed, multi-disciplinary, principal and main contractor.  Operating from our Head Office near Silverstone, plus regional offices in London, Theale, Birmingham, Manchester, Warrington, and Doncaster, we bring more than 60 years of experience to our Public and Private Sector Clients throughout the UK and Ireland.  Buckingham provides a range of stand-alone, or fully integrated services, in Building, Civil Engineering, Demolition, Land Remediation, Land Restoration, Sports & Leisure, and Rail.

We have been developing our approach to occupational health and wellbeing since 2016.  Signing the Time to Change Pledge demonstrates Buckingham’s Board commitment to reducing stigma associated with mental ill health and helps raise awareness through our business and our supply chain.

Mental health is a key focus in our health and wellbeing strategy where we aim to increase awareness and reduce stigma, reduce workplace risk factors and promote positive coping strategies.”

Loneliness affects younger people – much more than older people

Loneliness affects people at all stages of life. But young people, in their late teens and early 20s, are significantly more likely to be affected than older age groups, says a study.

Findings show one in 20 adults in England feel lonely often or all of the time – and social media may be exacerbating the problem, particularly among younger generations.

The figures were released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which was tasked with compiling data as part of a Government drive to tackle loneliness.

Five per cent of those aged 16 and over in England report feeling lonely often or all of the time, while 16% feel lonely sometimes, and 24% occasionally. (more…)

Be kind to yourself

We all have a relationship with ourselves, just as we have relationships with the other people around us.

We all tend to think of ourselves in a certain way, and might have patterns of behaviour when ‘interacting’ with ourselves.

When someone says they ‘don’t like’ themselves, what they’re often describing is having a poor relationship with themselves – that they’ve come to think of themselves in negative terms, or regard themselves as not having much worth.

However, just like our relationships with other people, it’s important to be able to look after our relationship with ourself and make sure that we’re able to deal with negative thoughts and emotions so they don’t build up over time.

What influences our relationship with ourself?

One way is by adopting a pattern of thinking similar to what we use in our relationships with others – a role we tend to cast ourselves in that can become ingrained over time.

When we’re young, we tend to learn patterns of behaviour from the people looking after us. For instance, a child who didn’t receive much support from their parents when they were little – who was never comforted when they hurt themselves, or ignored when they were upset – might learn to regard themselves as undeserving of support.

Our experiences later in life can also define these patterns. For instance, someone who always found themselves in the role of ‘peacekeeper’ in a relationship might take that forward into other relationships later on. Or someone who was cheated on might struggle to trust future partners.

Our relationship with ourselves can also be affected by how satisfied we feel with our place in the world. If we feel things aren’t going well – perhaps if we feel we haven’t enjoyed the professional success we’ve always wanted, or don’t feel respected by our friends or colleagues – we may end up blaming ourselves, deciding that there must be something wrong with us for things to be this way.

Social influences can also have a powerful part to play. Again, we ‘compare ourselves to what might be’. The media sometimes depicts an idea of the ‘perfect’ life – successful, fun, packed full of adventure – and it can be very discouraging if you feel that your own life falls short.

How does having a negative relationship with yourself affect you?

One common consequence is the development of a highly negative dialogue with yourself.

You may begin to think of yourself in negative terms, or take on an aggressive or critical tone when thinking.

We often use words to describe ourselves (‘I’m such an idiot’) that we would never use to describe other people. And when you think poorly of yourself, this can be even worse – you may find yourself habitually using this language in a way that is damaging to your self-esteem.

Over time, having a negative perception of yourself can cause you to become distant from your emotions. You may want to avoid interacting with the ‘self’ that you feel is such a let-down. You may start to feel less, to try less; to feel more and more pessimistic about your future.

This is similar to a couple not getting on who avoid talking to each other – warm feelings are replaced by resentment and negative thoughts.

How do I start liking myself?

How you communicate with yourself is key to how you think about yourself.

You might start by simply trying to listen to the voice in your head and noticing times when it’s phrasing things negatively. Many people find it useful to keep a diary of what they’ve been thinking each day. Once you become more aware of what your mind is doing, you may be more able to address these patterns.

Once you’ve started doing this, try replacing the negative language with more positive. Instead of thinking: ‘I’m an idiot’, try thinking: ‘I’m not perfect, but nobody is’. Instead of thinking: ‘I’m a failure’, try: ‘I’m doing my best’. This is easier said than done, of course – but if you stick at it, you may find it becomes a positive habit over time.

Also crucial is that you learn to forgive yourself for the imperfections that make you human. Nobody is perfect. The vast majority of people feel that they aren’t reaching their absolute full potential. We all make mistakes – including big ones. We often hear the phrase ‘treat other people as you would treat yourself’ – well, it also works the other way around. Try to be kind to yourself in the way that you would be kind to others.

Again, this is a positive habit and it may take time to form, but once you get into the swing of it, you may find it gives you the freedom to reject the preconceptions of perfection – to just be you. Be gentle on yourself.

Our final tip would be to focus on your relationships with other people.

The better you feel about other people around you, the better you’re likely to feel about yourself.

If you feel supported, loved and able to talk with other people, you’re far more likely to feel optimistic about the future.

Positive relationships are key to self-worth: they’re like a safety net against isolation. Having a support network around you often means you’ve got a better chance of talking about anything bothering you or causing you to feel less happy.

If you would like to talk with one of our counsellors about what you feel about yourself, do contact our friendly appointments team on 01604 634400.

Virtual reality app puts you in the shoes of someone living with dementia

If you’re caring for someone with dementia in your relationship – or you just want to understand more about what it’s like to live with dementia – an innovative virtual reality app is about to be launched.

A Walk Through Dementia will be premiered at a three-day public installation at Lonson’s St Pancras International Station from June 2.

The free app, available from the Google Play Store, has been developed by Alzheimer’s Research UK and virtual reality specialists VISYON. It uses a widely-available Google Cardboard headset to put you in the shoes of someone with dementia. The experience will also be viewable headset-free on the app, or online at: www.awalkthroughdementia.org. (more…)