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Anxiety and the Impostor

Many people will experience levels of anxiety, some more so than others, and for some people the levels are so stressful they impair their ability to function well, both at work and at home. October 10th is World Mental Health day, with mental health at work being the key focus for 2017.

World Mental Health day

This September 2017 saw the start of my 18th year in business I have decided to formalise my fundraising efforts. Some of you reading this will be aware of my husband’s 2,500 mile walk around England in 2011-2012, with our springer spaniel Poppy, and his subsequent walk along the Welsh Coastal Path in 2013, both raising awareness of mental health and some valuable funds for two charities SANE and Anxiety UK. during my business year from September 2017-September 2018 I will be fundraising for Anxiety UK – a small national charity that provides much needed support for people who experience anxiety, be it phobias, work-related stress, or other causes.

The Impostor Syndrome

I am now also researching and giving talks on the Impostor Syndrome, which for some people also causes high levels of anxiety.   Called, “Behind the Mask” these talks uncover some of the causes and effects of the impostor syndrome and also provide some strategies to help people cope, or strategies to help people manage and support others, who experience impostor feelings.

Anxiety? Or is it imposter syndrome?

During the course of the next five years I will be working towards a PhD, focussing on the impostor feelings in the work place — so will have much more to share through these pages and also through my irregular newsletter (you can sign up on the right, or via the home page). If you would like to support me in my charity endeavours you can donate below, and do get in touch if you would like me to speak to your group, organisation or at your conference. kate@kateatkin.com or call me on 07779 646 976

Kate’s Fundraising Page for Anxiety UK:

Donate to Anxiety UK

 

 

Photo credit: Helena G Anderson

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.

Kate

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