health

Savour Being Alive

It's Monday and time to start a new week.

Now sometimes, we know, we wake up on a Monday thinking 'Oh no, not another week!'

Well I do anyway!

All the things I have to do, all the tasks I have to complete, the deadlines I need to keep to. All the people I might need to please ... you know what I'm talking about.

But I saw this thought from S.C. Lourie on social media recently and it really inspired me to think differently about Mondays.

So here it is!

Hope it inspires you too!

Happy Monday everyone!

 

Start of the week


Optimistic Monday

The other day I was having a conversation about long distance travel with some family members.

It's been a LONG time since many of us travelled anywhere, let along to the far flung corners of the globe. The past year, especially, with the coronavirus pandemic locking us into our own 'space', even the shortest flights and boat trips  and even car journeys have been somewhat restricted.

But we can dream!

Anyway, I was saying that one piece of advice I received about long distance journeys by air sounds a bit weird, but it actually works, especially when you're travelling to somewhere which is in a different time zone  - say three or four hours 'behind' or 'in front' of home.

And it's this. 

When you get on the aeroplane, immediately set your watch, or your phone, ahead or behind to the time in the place which will be your final destination. In other words, start THINKING yourself into the time zone where you will eventually end up.

As part of this, I usually start to think of my meals differently. So although the crew on your flight may say it's 'lunchtime', in your destination it may be 'dinner' or evening meal time. Actually, to be honest, on very long haul flights I don't tend to eat masses at every opportunity. I find my digestion works better while flying if I keep to small 'meals' and lots of water drinking!

If you are travelling a long distance all this won't stop you feeling tired, that' jet lag' that many of us have experienced, but I've found it cuts down the 'disorientation' which you can feel, for example, when you land somewhere and instead of it being the middle of night (as it is 'back home') it's almost lunchtime. 

Oh, and the other thing I do is to avoid going to bed until it is actually night time in my holiday destination. When I travelled to Australia a while back we landed in Sydney around lunchtime and it was mid-afternoon by the time we reached our holiday home in the suburbs of the city. We were all exhausted and some of the family did have a nap but my niece and I opted to go to the beach, and although we were exhausted, because actually back home it was the middle of the night, we managed to survive until early evening and I, for one, had a good night's sleep. Again, it was a bit of mind over matter and it was such fun, although a bit surreal to be on a sandy beach in the middle of summer when just a day before we'd left London in the middle of winter!

Why am I telling you all this?

Well it's because it's the start of the working week, whatever that may mean for you, and I'm determined today to apply the same principle.

Thinking positively, thinking myself into the week ahead, not worrying about the things that I have to do or the long list of 'must dos' and meetings I have scheduled. Thinking myself into the week with optimism, believing I can handle anything that gets thrown at me and that life is great.

I found this image and it says it all I think.  It works for a Monday, but actually it can apply to any day! 

So - have a great day, and have a great week!

Monday optimism
 


Fearless & Free

This week I received my second COVID-19 vaccination. Which is amazing!

I wanted to mention it especially today, because April 24th is the start of the World Health Organisation's World Immunization Week. In the next week we're being reminded of the need to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. And at this time of a global pandemic it may have a more powerful message than ever before.

Covid thanks 2Here in Jersey the Government is cracking on wonderfully with getting everyone vaccinated against the dreadful virus and as a result, our coronavirus positive figures have plummeted.

We're still not out of the woods because as we relax some restrictions, and open our  borders to holidaymakers, other visitors and residents who want to leave the island, those numbers may go up again. However, with the protection of the vaccination I'm hopeful it will mean fewer losses.

There's no doubt that the past year has been awful. Not just for the lack of opportunities, loss of employment and 'freedoms' but also the loss of lives, among them some of my friends.

I'm also aware that Jersey and other countries like ours - relatively rich - are among the privileged in the world. SO many places on our planet are struggling to roll out vaccination programmes and to control the rise of COVID-19, especially with the different variants which are emerging. Which means that millions and millions of people are still unprotected, and still in danger.

So today, this week, I just want to thank everyone who has made vaccination possible, the scientists and visionaries who have fast tracked the creation of vaccines when usually all this takes many years.

SkyI want to say thank you to the Government of Jersey and all those who work and volunteer at our amazingly efficient Vaccination Centre at Fort Regent, the complex which sits above our harbour in our capital town of St Helier. From atop the hill you can see for miles across the town and the ocean - it's a sign of the wonderful life that's in store for us all.

And I pray that soon there will be equal distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines across the world, so that not just the privileged and rich nations will benefit, but everyone. The whole world deserves the privilege of the vaccine, the protection which comes with it, and the ability to move into the future fearless and free.

During World Immunization Week, especially, that message is so important! 

After having our vaccinations we are advised to sit quietly for 15 minutes, just to check we don't have any adverse reactions to the 'jab' and as I sat there this week, these words came to my mind ...

I am among the Privileged

On so many levels

But especially today

 

There are so many not so Honoured

On so many levels

Including today

 

So on this day 

I take nothing for granted

And trust that MY good fortune will  extend to others

TODAY

 

 


Choose Day

It's Tuesday. I saw this and thought it was fun!

Today I choose to be happy, to smile at people and to be kind! 

I choose not to be negative.

I choose to be positive.

Have a great day!

ChooseDay


Laughing Out Loud

Have you ever had one of those moments when life feels so great that you just want to smile, and laugh out loud?

I had one of those moments last week when walking on St Catherine's Breakwater in Jersey. After a stressful few weeks it felt great to just be in the fresh air and walking. I could see the French coastline in the distance ... it was Glorious! 

I've always loved St Catherine's, not just because it's also my name, but because when you walk the breakwater, it feels like you're stepping into the ocean. The breakwater is about half a mile (700metres) long so a stroll to the end and back is about a mile and it's an easy walk. Even if it's busy you feel like you're getting away from it all and it always fills me with joy, whatever the weather.

The other day spring was in the air, the sea was calm in the bay, the sun was shining and there was a bit of of breeze on the coast. As I walked to the end of the breakwater, it felt a little more windy, but I was bundled up against the chill and it was exhilarating. When I reached the end of the breakwater, looking out to sea across to the French coast, I breathed in the clean air and my heart began to soar. I found myself laughing out loud.

Now, I don't often film myself, let alone when I doing something like smiling and laughing, but I did switch on the phone-camera the other day. It's nearly a month ago that I finished work with the BBC and started a New Adventure as a freelance writer/broadcaster/PR and communications expert, and lots of my friends and family members have been so kind to check on me from time to time, to see how I'm doing. So I sort of wanted to show them not just the beauty of St Catherine's, share some sounds of the ocean, which I find so relaxing, but also that I'm doing ok in my New Adventure!

There's a quote which sums up the benefits of laughter for me and which is attributed to the English poet, satirist and politician Lord Byron, who died on this day in 1824. I'm not going to talk much about him today ... I may do that another time ... just to say he was a bit of a character, to say the least. I remember studying his poetry at school as part of our exploration of the Romantic poets of the late 18th/early 19th century, and learning about some of his physical and romantic antics! 

And from what I discovered he was a bit of a 'lad' and certainly enjoyed life.

So I can imagine him saying something like this ...

Byron laughter
There's loads of science which indicates that smiling and laughing is good not just for our physical but also our mental health. So today I hope YOU find something which makes you Laugh Out Loud!

And if you want to smile with me ... here's my moment at St Catherine's ...

Have a great day everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


To Do List

It's a busy old week ... so much to do, so little time to do it all in.

So today I'm just giving myself a bit of advice to help me get through.

If you're having a stressful week too, I hope this helps! 

 

2017-06-20 17.55.10


I Wish You .....

At the start of the working week ... I wish you all this and more...

I wish

*thanks to Robert A Ward for these amazing thoughts!


Be Happy!

Are you feeling happy today? Be happy

I hope so ... because today is ... the International Day of Happiness !

This is not just something that some whacky person thought up on the spur of the moment to make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's part of a growing recognition at the highest level that happiness is very important to the human condition and to the progress of our cultures and societies and even our economies.

It is the United Nations International Day of Happiness. Back in July 2011 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which recognised happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples”. In other words, to progress as a global community it's not enough to have economic success. We should also be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing.

WOW!

All 193 members of the UN adopted the resolution calling for happiness to be given greater priority, and International Day of Happiness has been celebrated around the world since 2013. Every year a World Happiness Report is published on March 20th, which is always a great opportunity to see where YOUR country lies in the 'list' of happy countries, or not so happy nations, as the case may be.

But it's not just about governments. Happiness is down to each one of us. In ourselves and in our communities.

Every year on the International Day of Happiness, we're invited to take some positive steps to help create happiness. But perhaps THIS year it's even more important than before.

After the year we've had with the coronavirus pandemic, it's easy to feel rather depressed isn't it? Many of us have struggled with our mental health, what with all the lockdowns and personal and economic/business challenges we've experienced. Some of us have struggled to stay happy, and I think for some of us, our concept of happiness might have changed. 

Maybe in the past we thought we were happy when we were travelling, going to parties, buying stuff, being recognised, having career success, promotion and status. Perhaps these days we're happy just with a walk in the countryside or on the beach. Seeing members of our family with whom we've have little contact for months. Just knowing we are staying safe and our loved ones are well. For me, these concepts and feelings have replaced much of the 'doing and having' happiness of the past.

And today, as we think about the International Day of Happiness, we've got lots of help to refocus our minds.

This year the group Action for Happiness, which is a non-profit movement of people from 160 countries supported by a partnership of like-minded organisations, is reminding us to Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be Kind.

  • Keeping calm will always take the pressure off. We're reminded that there are so many things outside of our control, but if we remember to focus on what really matters to us, the stresses may reduce. 
  • Making wise choices will help. We'll improve our own well-being and that of others around us if we choose positivity and positive thinking and actions, rather than negative ones.
  • Yesterday we were thinking about being kind to each other. Action for Happiness also encourage us to keep in touch with others and reach out to help people in need. To 'stay connected'
 
So ... question is ... what makes us happy? How can we stay happy and encourage and promote happiness?

Here are some more ideas from the International Day of Happiness website which has 10 great points to help us develop happiness, especially in these coronavirus times...

  • Let's stick together (to beat covid)
  • Follow World Health Organisation (WHO) advice
  • Attend a Happiness Day event (virtually)
  • Stay Social (online)
  • Be Kind, share and say 'Thank you'
  • Stay active and be mindful
  • Be optimistic, positive and resilient 
  • Stay informed about facts and news
  • Enjoy nature
  • Adopt 'HAPPYTALISM' .. which is all about thinking of ways we can change systems to ensure we never again have such an awful pandemic. It's about looking at new economic models and, as the United Nations resolution encourages to do, to think of the well-being of people as much as we think about economic success

Don't you love that ... HAPPYTALISM rather than CAPITALISM?

On this International Day we have a whole 24 hours to think about happiness but hopefully, if we're just starting out on this journey, what we learn today will transform tomorrow and tomorrow's tomorrow.

And .. for those of you who know me well, you might have guessed already that I have song for you ... and it IS an obvious one. Love this song!

Happy International Day of Happiness !

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

be kind.png

We’re all in this together, even when we’re forced apart. Let’s stay connected and reach out to help others who may be in need.

 
 

Pandemic - a year on

It's March 11th ... and it's EXACTLY a year since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Not just an epidemic but a pandemic! 

Not just a rapid spreading of a disease within a population, but an epidemic which is spreading across many countries, across the world. And quickly!

We'd been hearing about coronavirus since the end 0f 2019. Cases in China, cases emerging in other locations and countries. Mid-February, cases and deaths growing in numbers in Northern Italy.

On March 11th 2020 the WHO cited over 118,000 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus  in over 110 countries and territories around the world. They predicted ongoing and sustained risk of global spread.

At the time, the World Health Organisation's Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this:

“This is not just a public health crisis, it is a crisis that will touch every sector. So every sector and every individual must be involved in the fights.”

It was official. The world was in a pandemic. We are still in that pandemic.

I'm not going to go over everything that's happened since. I just feel I need to mark the spot really. 

Millions of people have died across the world .. as I'm writing this those numbers are over two and a half million. Globally, over 116 million have contracted the virus. And the numbers still rise - you can follow the daily global figures via the WHO numbers dashboard.

And these are not just faceless 'numbers'. Some of us have lost dear family and friends.

To contain the spread of the virus, most of us have adhered to strict living restrictions and 'lockdown' ... a word we hardly knew this time last year.  We've worn masks, sanitised, kept our distance, not gathered in groups, missed out on meeting even our close family members. Members of our medical professions and those who are responsible for keeping our community going day-to-day have done so sometimes to the detriment of their own health. 

Manufacturing , hospitality, service industries, shops, offices, transport systems, travel - just some of the sectors badly affected. Some will never recover.  Many have lost their jobs, many of us have worked from home for nigh on a year now. Life has changed out of all proportion.

Covid signsBut now, thanks to the brilliant efforts of the world's scientists, we have vaccines. And although, unfortunately they are not being rolled out equally across the world, distribution has begun. 

We know that vaccines won't 'eradicate' the coronavirus - experts say it is here to stay. The jabs don't 'cure' people from COVID-19 but the vaccine does, it appears, limit the effects. We are already beginning to see a slow down of deaths from the disease, although it is very very slow.

And being vaccinated doesn't mean we will be completely free to do whatever we want, go wherever we want.  In fact some say the 'new normal' will require ongoing restrictions to our behaviour, especially as the virus mutates and takes different forms.

Here in Jersey in the Channel Islands we are coming up to the anniversary of the first COVID-19 positive test. We've lost nearly 70 dear people. And our community and commerce has been badly affected.

But there is optimism in the air.

Covid vax cathyThe Government of Jersey is rolling out an excellent vaccination programme and I am privileged to have already received my first dose. Not because I'm 'vulnerable' but because I really am that old!

So today ... I remember those who are lost and those who are grieving. I remember those who are affected in so many ways, including physically, emotionally and financially. I thank those who have kept us safe, those who have nursed us, served us throughout this past year, distributed food parcels, ensured our island has kept it's head above water.

And today, I give thanks for the vaccine, and hope and trust that everyone across the world will soon have access to it, regardless of their economic or social status and the country in which they happen to reside. Only when the whole world is able to be vaccinated will the world begin to be a safer place.

 

 


Believe in Your Dreams

Have you got a dream? Or dreams?

Something you'd like to achieve in life? 

Maybe it's a new business or career? Perhaps it's related to your health and wellbeing, and maybe even your weight?

Perhaps it's a bit more 'spiritual' than that? You'd love to have some 'inner peace', not so much stress and anguish? Maybe you'd like to get to a point where you don't constantly compare yourself to others, and just learn to be happy with yourself and with where YOU are headed, in your time?

During the past year, and the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, we've experienced not just lockdown but also, some of us, loss of loved ones and loss of employment, or loss of self confidence because we've been mostly at home, working from home and not interacting with society or work colleagues.

That might have stifled our dreams. We might have got into a mindset where we can't think beyond this moment, we can't project ourselves even into a short term future. Or we might feel frustrated that some of the things we had hoped for in this past year haven't happened, and many of the dreams we have for the future feel unattainable.

I'm one of the fortunate people in life. I come from a really inspiring family. My parents were inspiring but quiet pioneers in their field, as Christian leaders. And I have three brothers, all of who are brilliant.  They have supported me down the years and continue to do so even though I know I can be a bit random in my decision making. 

Today my quote comes from very close to home, from my brother Tim, who is a motivational person par excellence.

During the pandemic, especially, he's been such inspirational model for me. When he couldn't work face-to-face with his clients as a personal trainer he reinvented his work life and is now not only helping people with their physical fitness but also their mindset and emotional wellbeing. He helps people lose weight and feel better about themselves but in the process also helps with the whole body and mind experience.

SO - a blatant unashamed plug here ... if you want to find out more ... I know Tim would love to hear from you. Why not go to Tim's Facebook page -  Tim Le Feuvre | Facebook  to see if he can help? 

Or ... just be inspired by this quote ... 

Tim believe in your dreams