Self-Care for Living and Working

Isolated, empty, exhausted, sad, anxious, prone to emotional outbursts, apathy, and constantly thinking … Is this how your staff are feeling?

If the answer is yes to a number of these, then your staff might be experiencing compassion fatigue or burnout.

Yet sadly ‘self-care’ can be often said, rarely understood and never practiced.

We provide a one-day workshop, and seven weekly drop-in sessions, to introduce private, public and third sector organisation staff to techniques and attitudes to enable skilful reflection, self-care planning and connection. Participants will be encouraged to identify personal strengths and ways of being that promote soothing, nourishing and self-mastery as an alternative to depleting working and living choices.

The seven 1-hour drop-in sessions will provide a space for participants to share experiences of the challenges and achievements of working and implementing their self-care plans. At the end of the course participants should have established a support network for regular connections.

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Staff Health and Well Being During the easing of Covid Restrictions

Many employers are looking for ways to support the health and well-being of staff. Understandably stress and anxiety are particularly high amongst staff in the public, private and third sector due to working and living under Government restrictions to address Covid-19. Often working from home means long days seated in front of a computer screen, managing homeschooling and little respite from family or the four walls of the living space.

 

Over the last eight months, I have been delivering a series of weekly mindfulness drop-in session via Zoom for staff in schools and St. Andrews University, but also at Home-Start, Scotland and NHS and Social Care, Fife. Over the last three years I have also been providing mindfulness training to Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

 

The drop-in sessions have been between 45 – 60 minutes long. The aim of these sessions is to provide staff with an opportunity to experience a break from the pressures of work and the stress of living. Specifically, Be Mindful Fife integrates energy movement with body and breath meditation practices. This is to encourage participants to shift the focus of their attention away from cognitive processing, and towards an awareness of being present in the body with kindness.

 

Each of the practices are delivered with no exception that the participants have prior knowledge or understanding of mindfulness training, but also to meet the needs of those that do. In doing so, the intended outcomes are for participants to leave sessions mentally and physically refreshed. Secondly, participants are equipped with techniques and strategies for self-managing their health and well-being.

 

Evaluations of participants experience have been exceptionally positive. See a sample of comment below. So much so that contracts have been renewed to support the health and well being of staff. Employers have also purchased the eight weeks Mindfulness Based Living Course to support staff (this is a recognised mindfulness course by British Association of Mindfulness Based Approaches. For queries regarding the quality of my teaching or the impact of these drop-in sessions, reference and contact details can be supplied on request. A single taster session can be supplied for a small fee to determine whether this is right for your staff.

 

Bloc of Eight Sessions

This cost includes eight 45-minute sessions over eight consecutive weeks integrating energy, movement and body and breath meditation practices. My professional Zoom licence allows me to hold sessions for up to 100 participants.  At the end of the eight weeks, a short report on the number of participants that attended each session and the comments collected will be submitted by Be Mindful Fife. All comments are collected via the chat box on Zoom, but an independent evaluation form can be used if preferred.

These sessions have enabled me to find a different sense of being. They are simultaneously relaxing and energising

That was great – peace, calm and I could hear the silence.

Felt looser in my shoulders, more awake posture, calm and peaceful, thank you.

The sessions are lovely. So accessible and simple. It is a lovely guided practice - much easier and more enjoyable than doing it on my own. The timetabled sessions make me take time out of my busy day to actually do it.

Bill’s voice is gentle and encouraging too. Very relaxing and beneficial for body, mind and mood.

The timetabled sessions make me take time out of my busy day to actually do it.

Fife’s Mindful Paramedics

"In the 30 years that I've been working for the NHS/GP Practices, this was by far the best course I have ever attended".

Jakie Barclay, St Andrews Community Hospital

"Initially I came along with a work perspective, but I have learned that this journey has been deeply personal impacting and enriching my life"

MBLC Participant 2019

"I am more calm and have less self-destructive thoughts"

MBLC Participant 2019

"I am more aware of my negative habits and have learned to deal with them in a better way - making me more relaxed and happier person to be around"

MBLC Participant 2019

"I have learned to take time to listen to people, ensuring life isn't too busy and I take time to appreciate the little things more".

MBLC Participant 2019

"I learned that I allocate no time to myself. I have constantly got a reason for only working. The course has given me a purpose - to reclaim my life"

MBLC Participant 2019

"I have learned that practicing mindfulness can be nourishing"

MBLC Participant 2019

One-To-One Coaching

The sheer volume of information and complexity in todays workplace can undermine our ability to articulate clearly what needs to be said and confidently lead.

Whether it is a job interview, a new/existing project or just feeling stuck – 1-to-1 coaching can help to bring the clarity you need.

These 1-2-1 meetings can be conducted via Zoom if necessary. Please contact us for more details.

One-To-One Mindfulness Teaching: Feedback

What was the most important thing you learned?

“That I need not be slave to my emotions. That I am capable of controlling my feelings through a heightened understanding of them”

“Bill has been a mentor and a friend who had enabled me to take charge of my life and my feelings and I can’t thank him enough”. (Young man Aged 22, 2020)

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“This course has made life calmer and clearer … Less stressed out/not angry/but kinder/less emotional all the time I can appreciate things and enjoy each moment I am in” (Young Person 2017)

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” I would highly recommend one-2-one sessions with Bill … At school it has made me feel more relaxed, less stressed, with my family it has made me feel less worried,” (Young Person August 2017)

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The 1-2-1 was “eye opening and nourishing … the course exceeded my expectations”. “Bill taught me more than I thought I was ever capable of achieving […] I have learnt to believe in myself more and not to put myself down like I have so much in the past […] I have been more open with my family and friends and found it easier to speak to them about my feelings and thoughts”.  “I would highly recommend this course”  (Young Woman October 2017)

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“I learned that it is ok to feel the way that I am feeling, I don’t need to try and analyse it or find a reason as to why I am feeling that way. I can just acknowledge the feeling and move on. The feeling does not define me or make me who I am … Bill was compassionate, empathetic, warm, open all the things required to put me at ease in order to fully open up and participate in the course in order to make it beneficial to me”

“I honestly can’t thank you enough for the help and support that you have provided during the mindfulness course. I was a little pessimistic at the beginning to be honest. However, I can honestly say that out of everything that I have tried over the years this course has been the first thing that I have genuinely felt has made a difference and can physically feel a benefit from. I will continue to use the exercises and techniques learnt and I hope to continue to feel the benefit of it” (Young Woman December 2017)

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One-To-One Interview Coaching: Feedback

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“Bill was able to extract information from me on the skills and qualities that I had but struggled to articulate well. He helped me to highlight the most important information for the interview and how to enhance the way in which presented it. Most importantly Bill helped me realise how much I wanted the job and increased my confidence in being successful in the job as well as the interview process … highly recommend(NHS Staff July 2017)

“I found the sessions helpful and I used all the strategies and preparation during my interview which enabled me to feel confident and prepared in my interview. I was the successful candidate and received a job promotion. I have since been told my interview was the best seen by the interviewer in over 20 years”. (NHS Staff 2017)

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“I found Bill, easy to speak with. He was supportive and reassuring in a discreet way, actively listening to what was being said and responding sensitively … highly recommend

“The interview coaching was interesting, challenging, inspiring, enjoyable, successful, relevant, stimulating, well organised, coherent and reassuring” (Assistant Head Teacher 2017).

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In the 30 years that I've been working for the NHS/GP Practices, this was by far the best course I have ever attended (Nov 2019)

Mindfulness in Nature

Learning how to develop mindful awareness enables us to engage more fully with whatever we bring into our awareness. Working in/with nature whilst practicing mindfulness is incredibly rewarding, revitalizing and life affirming. Learning about how life grows through paying attention to what is nourishing and depleting and acting to enable life to flourish are themes important to our own health and well-being. We deliver eight week courses combining mindfulness teaching with hands on (in soil) classes teaching participants about soil, seeds, planting and working outdoors.

We can create bespoke courses for both young people and adults – Please contact us to find out more.

“Nature gives rise to all of life on the planet, including our own, and connecting with the natural world is an integral part of our happiness and well-being.” (Claire Thompson, Mindfulness and the Natural World).

“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life […] It is impossible to contemplate the life of the soil for very long without seeing it as analogous to the life of the spirit”. Wendell Berry (1977: 86)

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul”. John Muir (1909)

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks” John Muir (1908)

“The Earth is not just the environment we live in. We are the Earth and we are always carrying her within us […] We are a living, breathing manifestation of this beautiful and generous planet. Knowing this, we can begin to transform our relationship to the Earth” [and with ourselves]. Thich Nhat Hanh (2013: 8)

“Paths are the habits of the landscape. They are acts of consensual making. It’s hard to create a footpath on your own. Paths connect. This is their first duty and their chief reason for being. They relate places in a literal sense, and by extension they relate people” Robert MacFarlane (2013: 17)