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.
In my "day job," I work for the NHS in a hospital. I've worked in a variety of different hospitals over the past decade, with inpatients and outpatients, on wards and in clinics. They've all been unique - but also, depressingly similar in some very specific ways. This week, I wanted to write about some of those similarities, and the gift I've decided to give myself in 2019.
You only have to put the words "opioid crisis" into a search engine these days to find tales of terror, addiction and death. "NHS accused of fuelling rise in opioid addiction," "Can the UK curb the looming crisis," these headlines are frightening and would have you believe that every person who even looks at a fentanyl patch will be addicted to heroin before the week is out. Understandably, this has important implications for people who take opioids to manage chronic pain. There are lots of things we can do about this situation, but here are three of the things that I think are important, based on my work in chronic pain services as a clinical psychologist.
I spent New Year's Eve with some of my friends - we do roughly the same thing every year, which provides a bit of comfort and ritual to end the year on. Whichever city we're in (everyone lives somewhere different) it always involves a nice bar, some good food, then a long walk back to someone's home for dessert and singing along badly to Auld Lang Syne at midnight! It's calming and I love it.
There was a lot of conversation about resolutions and what people wanted to do differently this year, and much of it seemed to centre on spending their time in a different way. The conversation inspired me to think more deeply about how I spend my time - in this post, I'll give you some tips on how I'm (hopefully) going to procrastinate less and be more intentional in 2019!
Dr Sarah Blackshaw: Clinical Psychologist, blogger, tea drinker, interested in dinosaurs and shiny objects