It's nearing the end of March - we're three months into 2019! It seems like a long time since I wrote blog posts on both my own resolutions, and why people probably wouldn't stick with theirs. This week, I'm taking it back to remind you of why resolutions are hard and what you can do if you've gone off track - this might be a well-timed reminder for some of you!
Did you know that up to 8.3 million households in the UK are unable to pay off their debts or household bills? Scary stuff. In this blog post, I'm talking about psychological techniques that can help you to take control of your finances once and for all.
I absolutely love music. From a young age, music was a way for me to express my emotions, to change my mood, and to generally connect with the world and the people around me. When I’m not seeing patients, you’ll probably find me at work with headphones in, and as soon as I get home I’ve usually got a playlist on. For a bit of fun I thought I’d have a look at some lyrics from a psychological perspective, and for the first one of these I’ve chosen one of my favourite bands – the 1975.
Over the holiday season this year I spent some time with one of my best friends. We've known each other for 25 years, and he is one of the kindest, happiest, most compassionate people I know (I often joke that I would like to be more like him when I grow up!)
Something I didn't know until recently is that he's been trying to do more RAKs - Random Acts of Kindness. Part of the way he does this means he doesn't brag about it, so he wouldn't tell me exactly what he's been doing, but I managed to get some things out of him over coffee. He's done things like donate food to the local food bank, buy items for a children's hospice, and pay for a drink for the person behind him in the coffee shop. It got me thinking about RAKs in general, and how many of them require energy and money that so many people just don't have. This blog post is going to think about kindness in general, and also has some ideas for low-impact activities that make a difference.
For my post this week, I thought I would talk a bit about something that I get asked at least once a day. Clients, especially in my NHS job, always want to know exactly what it is that I do, and what it means to be a clinical psychologist. If I'm honest, I often struggle to answer them - it's hard to distill down exactly what I do into a snappy sound-bite, because psychology is quite complicated. But just for you, I'm going to try to explain what it is that clinical psychologists do, to give you more of an idea of what you might get from seeing a psychologist. This is by no means an exhaustive post, but it's a start.
As a clinical psychologist, I love working with people with chronic physical health conditions. It's interesting, frustrating, difficult, rewarding work - for both me and my clients! This week, I've been thinking about the things people say to me the most often, and how I usually respond.
We've all bought a new bag, or a new car, or a new shiny item that we thought would make us happy. So why does that "new object" shine never last? This week, I'm going to talk about hedonic adaptation, why it might be undermining your achievements, and what you can do about it.
Last week we had a think about some of the differences between acute and chronic stress, and how the nervous system works. This week, we're going to look at some general ways of managing stress.
I like to think of myself as a bit of a runner - I did a 5k, a 10k and a half-marathon last year and, even though I'm slower than my AOL internet connection in 1998, it is something I enjoy. I also like to think that I know a bit about anxiety: I've helped lots of people who struggle with it and I've struggled with it myself for many years. For both of those reasons, when I found out there was a book coming out by Bella Mackie focusing on both running and mental health, I really wanted to read it. Having managed to get my paws on it over the weekend, this is a review of what I thought.
We all experience stress from time to time; it’s a normal part of being human. But if you’re struggling to switch off at the end of the day, or anticipate there being a lot of stress in your life moving forwards, this two-part series might help you to cope with it differently. This post is about the differences between acute and chronic stress, and the next post will be about ways to manage stress.
Dr Sarah Blackshaw: Clinical Psychologist, blogger, tea drinker, interested in dinosaurs and shiny objects