Beat the Sunday Blues

It’s Sunday evening and much of the developed world is giving a collective groan. The weekend is fast receding, Monday is fast approaching, and the blues set in.  What can you do to stop Monday morning sabotaging your weekend:

Sunday

  1. Prepare on Friday

Instead of racing out of work at first opportunity of Friday, spend the last 5 minutes of the day planning for the following week; write a to do list, clean your desk, set everything up ready roll on Monday morning.  Realise that you might be feeling a little fragile and that Monday morning You needs a helping hand.

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How Walking Benefits Mental Health

Walking riverIn CBT we often use behavioural activation to start people on path to feeling better and reclaiming their lives.  The aim is for people to restart activities that mean something to them and will bring about positive feelings.  Unfortunately, mental illness can last for so long that we forget the things that are important to us or things can change or the activities that used to make us happy are no longer possible.  This is where walking can be a great starting point.   

Why walking?

Although it might not spring to mind as everyone’s first choice of a fun activity, walking has been proven time and time again to improve mood and reduce the effects of mental illness.

The best thing about walking it is that it’s free and can be done by most people.  Many people who are unable to walk can still reap the same benefits from spending time in the outdoors.  It can also be a group or solo activity, allowing for the social benefits or much needed quiet time.

Walking can give a great sense of achievement.  From just getting out of the house to do it, to building up the time and distance.  It is easy to incorporate, weather you live in a large city or rural village there are always places to walk.  By jumping off the bus a stop earlier or parking the car a distance from your destination and walking, it doesn’t take much planning.  Just being in the outdoors can bring about feelings of pleasure, tranquillity, and well-being.

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The Long Term Effects of Stress – How CBT can help.

Most of us have experienced stress and anxiety to some degree during our lives.  But many people are living with excessive worry day in day out.  The constant “what if…” running through their brain everyday; “what if I miss my deadline”, “what if I’m late”, “what if they don’t like me”.  Constantly looking forward, trying to plan for every eventuality.  We all know that it feels pretty horrible to be in this state but many don’t realise that chronic stress can have a serious impact on long-term physical as well as psychological health, due to sustained time spent in  ‘fight or flight’ mode.

Mind and body are inextricably linked and the interaction between them can produce physical changes. Our brain notices a stressor, which triggers a physical reaction, this reaction can lead to further emotional reactions, which affect our mental and physical wellbeing. Some problems such as headaches and muscle tension are often directly caused by the bodily responses that accompany stress.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) works with the links between body, mind and behaviour to reduce both the long and short term effects of stress and anxiety.

Here are some of the effects that chronic stress can have on our bodies if left untreated:

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