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Laura Trott - Olympic Champion

Laura Trott – Olympic Champion

The Olympics have been quite something again this year and team GB are doing their country proud. As I watch with astonishment at the achievements and see Laura Trott crying with joy at being the most successful female Olympian of all time, I am reminded how it is such a short time that women have even been able to participate.

Women did not compete in the Olympics until 1900 when we were allowed to participate in Lawn Tennis and golf. It was 1928 that we first competed in track and field events but then so many fainted after the 800 meters that we were not allowed to compete in this again until 1960.

Just sixteen years ago women first took part in weightlifting and it was only in London 2012 that women’s boxing took place.

London 2012 also saw for the first time women competitors from Qatar, Brunei and Saudi Arabia meaning that every national Olympic committee have now sent women.

For some, this will be shocking that actually equality still isn’t 100% there, some may still have the opinion that women should not be involved and others will just feel proud.

I sit in the feeling proud arena with hope that more women will feel empowered to go for gold.

Happy New Year everyone!

Now we’ve entered into 2016, how many of you have made new year resolutions? There is, of course, some value in the making, reviewing and following resolutions, but as I’m sure you’re aware it doesn’t have to be a new year focus. However, this message isn’t about whether or not to make a resolution, but more about whether you have included one vital factor in your resolutions.

Most resolutions tend to be of the “lose weight”, “get fit”, “earn a big bonus” or “get new clients” type – of course if you’d made those, yours will be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. BUT are you missing a factor which will impact on your long-term happiness and mental as well as physical well-being?

If you’ve followed the research on happiness you are probably already aware of this factor… social connections.

Have you specifically decided to take action in this area? What resolutions have you made to stay in touch with friends?  How will you enhance your one special personal relationship (if you have a significant other).  What can you do to create more fun time with work colleagues?

There’s a wealth of research on the importance of social connections and relationships, and the link between these and longevity, happiness, mental and physical well-being.  Here’s a link to just one study, a TED talk about a longitudinal study lasting 75 years (wow!), which shows how valuable relationships are.

Enjoy watching, it’s only 10 minutes long… and create fun, love and laughter, and quality connections in your relationships during 2016.


Ps if you’d like to meet up for a cuppa to create a personal connection, just let me know 🙂

Like many I have been shocked and saddened by news of Robin Williams’ suicide. Dead Poets Society is among my all time favourite films and Carpe Diem has long been my motto. While there are many laudable tributes to his work and many sites offering support to those suffering from depression, could I ask you to do one more thing?

Open up in the workplace about mental health.

Not just for those who are, or might be, in need themselves, but also for those who support people suffering from depression or another mental illness. It’s really tough to suffer from depression and it can also be really tough to understand it from the outside. However hard we try it isn’t possible – even those who have felt depressed still cannot truly understand what it’s like for someone else. Such is the nature of depression.

Being able to talk about it can be helpful. I’m not saying it will be in all circumstances, but with supportive workplaces at least one of the blocks or areas where stigma around mental health issues might be encountered could be removed. I know I’m dreaming a little, individual people will still hold their opinions, at work and outside. But could you, or your organisation promote mental health awareness a little more?

If you’d like to do so but don’t know where to start, contact Mind, SANE, Samaritans or another charity, or call me – Stuart and I have experience as both depression sufferer and supporter respectively as well as in promoting awareness.

If you’re reading this and in need of support right now follow this link to Mind’s website