January 2011 New Year news

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Call me: 07753957371

January 2011 may be a good time to think about getting rid of old unwanted habits and beliefs and making some positive lifestyle changes and choices. I cover many issues within my practice, with compassion and empathy, and I also offer a free initial telephone consultation. My services at park Lane in Macclesfield will be extending, and I continue to offer evening and weekend appointments at my Chinley practice, Sett valley medical practice, and The Regency Hospital in Macclesfield.

Also, look out for my workshops this year. Dates and venues will be posted on my face book page, on my website, and in my monthly newsletters.

National OCD Week is 7-13 February

If you are affected by this condition or would like further information look out for my ‘Ask Annette’ section in February’s newsletter. Also, for further information now you can visit the website of Anxiety UK at www.anxietyuk.org.uk and the specialist organization and charity that I support OCD action at www.ocdaction.org.uk.

Tinnitus awareness week 4-10 February

If you are affected by this condition or would like some further information. You can visit my website and see my November 2010 news information. Also you can visit the website of the British Tinnitus association at www.tinnitus.org.uk.

Professor Paul Gilbert– Professor of clinical psychology at the University of Derby has been made an OBE in the New Year Honours list for services to healthcare. (See p12 of The Buxton Advertiser I have recommended, and continue to recommend his excellent book “The compassionate mind”.

Sleeping well course

Do you suffer from long sleepless nights? Find that you can get off to sleep but wake through the night and have difficulty getting back to sleep? Do you feel exhausted when you get up in the morning and feel like you have not slept at all?

Then this course of 4 monthly workshops is for you.

Dates: January 26, February 23, March 23, April 20

Time: 6.30pm-7.30pm

Venue: Sett valley Medical Practice, New Mills

By attending this workshop you will:

  • Learn how to get back into a natural rhythm of quality sleep to replenish and rejuvenate
  • Pick up tips for sleeping better, getting off to sleep and staying asleep
  • And learn a deep relaxation technique that will change your sleep patterns for the better.

Booking is essential as places are limited to 8 per course.

The cost is just £40 per person payable in full before the first session to reserve your place.

You can also book per session:  £10 payable in full before the session, non refundable for cancellations within 24 hours

The course will begin January 26 2011.

If you would like further information you can send me an email or give me a call.

For easy booking and further information:

Telephone 01663 743483 select option 6’ and ask to speak to Corrine Dale.

In this, the first issue for 2011, I will be focusing on tips to help you look forward to the year ahead a step at a time, with balance and harmony in mind!

As this New Year begins, it is time once again to think about positive change, improvements, resolutions, and achieving goals, aims and dreams!

A key phrase to keep in mind this year is – a step at a time and the key words to focus your endeavours on are Balance and harmony.

Let me begin by personally sharing with you.  Ideally, I would like to do an hour of yoga and an hour of mindfulness meditation every day and walk… before breakfast- unrealistic! As someone with fibromyalgia I know only too well the pitfalls of trying to do too much. I now listen to my body more, give myself permission to rest and I aim to pace myself. I do feel better for it. I am less stressed and have more energy and this supports me through the more hectic times of a very busy life. But, I have learned the hard way, so I share these tips with you to make your 2011 a little more pain free, and a lot more pleasurable!

So, along with the usual aims we all have, and the changes you may like to focus on as the New Year begins, I would like to offer some tips to enhance the quality of your ‘step by step’ achievements and some new resolutions for permanent success and happiness:

  • Balance – going full steam ahead with a radical diet puts excess pressure on you at the very start of the year. It is far better to consider eating healthily (see my weight management programme details on my website for further information). Over -exercising for hours at a time is not sustainable and can lead to feelings of defeat and guilt- both unnecessary! Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that even a brisk 20 minute walk each day counts. Doing a small but regular amount each day as part of your balanced day, you will soon notice the benefits, increased energy levels, and a boost to your immune system as you move through the last few months of winter and into spring.
  • Let go of old unwanted habits- one at a time!

Follow the “read more” link to read the full article, followed by ‘Ask Annette’ and the rest of this month’s exciting newsletter!

Sun soaking- I shared this in my December newsletter but feel it deserves a mention again!

William Bloom has given me kind permission to share one of his tips with you. This will be particularly useful in the final winter months. He says “It does not matter what else is going on in my life, if the sun is out, I make sure that I go and sit in the sunlight for fifteen minutes every day, my face directly towards it. I wrap up warmly, plonk myself in a garden chair and absorb the rays. I learned this years ago from a young Norwegian friend who told me that this was the way that he survived the long Scandinavian winters. I do it first thing in the morning or during work-breaks.

When I write ‘absorb the rays’ that is exactly what I do. Using my imagination and visualisation, I work with my body’s subtle sensations so that I imagine and feel that my flesh, muscles and bones are absorbing the sunlight. I breathe it in. In particular, I feel it coming into my eyes and travelling down the optic nerve and into my brain. I absorb the sunlight into my brain cells and then visualise it going down my spinal cord and into the rest of my nervous system.

This is not simple sun-bathing. It is sun-soaking.

Even when it is hidden by cloud or during the night, the sun is always there. This is a bit like a pantomime when the audience shouts, ‘It’s behind you!’ Whether you can see the sun or not, we are always part of the solar system and the great golden disc, the solar deity, is ever present.”

For more information about William’s work and newsletters visit: www.williambloom.com.

  • Harmony- this comes about from acknowledging moderation and moving towards your goals a step at a time, so that you are not overwhelmed.
  •  Compassion- work towards being kind to yourself and those around you, and in all your relationships. Practice compassion- the physical and emotional benefits are well known.
  • Mindfulness- Acknowledging the beauty of nature every day- “The mental quality of non-judgmental attention that can see things directly as they appear in the present moment” when you are walking- this is a good time to practice mindful awareness- being in touch with and being fully aware, in the present moment, of all you can see, hear, and feel on your walk. Mindfulness enables you to switch off from the busy and demanding days and all the joys and challenges they bring- giving you time to acknowledge the space and peace around you. There is much evidence to show that mindfulness helps lift mood and increases overall well being.
  • Visualise- yourself in the future after achieving your goals, and visualise a beautiful place to go to each day for space, peace and calm. Take a deep breath, hold to the count of 4, breath slowly out as you imagine that place and say to yourself the word “calm”.
  • Remember- the present moment is the only reality, so take time to notice it and enjoy it. I heard a useful saying recently that may help to calm anxieties and worries as you look ahead- “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday”.

A step at a time- each plan or goal you have can be broken down into bite size chunks- perhaps a month at a time. I offer monthly tips in my newsletter to help you through each month of the year ahead.

Each Wednesday at Blythe House hospice Dave Oldham runs a mindfulness meditation group- if you are local to Chapel en le frith, this class is well worth attending and all proceeds go to the hospice. For further information, contact the hospice on 01298 815388. Otherwise if you live farther afield then I would suggest looking out for mindfulness meditation classes and learning the practice- it is simple, safe , and most importantly- effective.

‘Ask Annette’

A lot of you have asked about ‘weight management issues as we come into the New Year. I recently (January 5 2011)gave an interview on radio Derby on the Aleena Naylor show and thought I might share some ideas here. For general tips you can visit my website and check out my May 2010 newsletter topic.

I was interviewed by Ian Sky on Radio Derby, who took a refreshing perspective and look at an age old problem. The discussion was around how our partners support us when we want to lose weight, and about the ‘gentle nudges and playful comments’ than can impact much more deeply than we realise.

In a recent survey (reported in the Daily Mail on 301210) it was reported that “42% of men would be less attracted to their girlfriend if she gained half a stone” but happily, “only 5% of men said they’d leave the relationship”

We are not two dimensional beings- mere visual objects- we are a complex mix of emotions, body, mind, feelings, and capable of so much that is more than our physical body alone- the vessel that carries our very being, and yes the very special vessel that is important to be nurtured, cared for, and well maintained to enable us to have a quality life, living it to the full!

Regarding weight management- I believe it is a matter of balance and the following was included in my May 2010 newsletter

Why diets don’t work

When we diet we restrict the body of a variety of nutrients, and because of the time consuming planning and strictness of many diets, we often lose our motivation, life gets in the way, and when we finish the diet we more often than not put back on the weight we lost and more besides as the body goes into starvation mode and stores excess ready for the next diet/famine! Eating is vital for our survival so when we restrict our intake by dieting – we are going against our own body’s survival instincts.

Why do we put excess weight on?

There are many reasons why we gain weight- it is not just about eating excessively- it may be about comfort, or protection, or even tiredness- and stress- So lifestyle balance is the key. Our body’s metabolism naturally slows down as we get older- so we do not burn off excessive calories as quickly as we did when we were younger- as we head towards the menopause and beyond – this is the body’s way of protecting its self as our bone density lessens. But we can strengthen our bone density and get rid of excess weight with regular exercise- a well-loved subject that I will come to a little bit later!

At this point I would also like to mention waste and what causes our bodies inability to get rid of excess waste efficiently.

Weight gain is not just about the conversion of food to fat and it’s storage in the body, it is also about an excessive build up of waste products and toxins in the body from a sedentary lifestyle, daily stress and an in-balance of nutrients- e.g. if we eat a lot of pastry/bread, and not a lot of vegetables. This can cause slow or lack of elimination of waste products and insufficient lymphatic drainage. Toxicity causes an inflammatory response – enlargement of the body structure and soft tissues – increasing body weight, and excess food being stored as fat, so waste removal is a priority and getting oxygen and water into our cells.

Why do we want to lose weight?

Weight loss is a very personal thing but the most important reason for losing excess weight is good health- reducing the risks of heart disease, cancer, joint problems, and diabetes to name just a few. It is not just about how we look – it also about how we feel, so don’t be a slave to the scales- this takes you back into diet mode of thinking-creating unnecessary stress and guilt and fear, and disappointment- go by how your clothes feel and fit and your improving energy levels!

It should not be about being more attractive, feeling better about ourselves because we look better.

It is a question of balance – yes it is important to maintain a healthy weight but this should not be confused with “how we look is who we are” and to be judged- most importantly, it is about what we do with the lives that we have and the vessel- our body that supports that life. Think about all that we do for each other, our intellect, humour, love, compassion, sharing, companionship- we are not robots or Stepford wives – and it is important that from an early age we lower the unrealistic expectations we have about ourselves. The body’s we have at 40 will not be the same shape and weight as the bodies we had in our teens, nor should they. Our body develops and adapts to the life we lead as we age, to support the ongoing changes.

Relaxation classes and workshops

 Monday morning classes continue to prove popular and run from 10-11.00am in the community centre with a warm and friendly group.

The relaxation class is a really good way of boosting your energy reserves, and is a great way of boosting your immune system. It is a useful practice to do every day but this can sometimes be difficult so the classes help to give you some time each week for this beneficial practice. It is also a chance to share tips / ask questions about any concerns you may have around areas such as sleep and stress management.

Please note: The class has finished for the winter and will begin in the first week of March 2011

CDs

My CDs are available to buy at my classes or from my practice by arrangement.  Alternatively I can send them to you by post but there will be a £2.00 P&P delivery cost- for first class recorded delivery and safe packing. Each CD is £10.00

There are five CDs titles in all:

Sleeping Well; Weight Management; Relaxation: Tranquil beach; Relaxation: Tranquil forest

Relaxation: Tranquil garden

Also, I can now offer a new CD – Positive self esteem.

Recommended reading

I have two offerings of interest this month.

Five wishes– a light read with some interesting and useful ideas to help you “find the power within you to change your life” I have completed the exercise in the book and thoroughly enjoyed this lovely Christmas present. By Gay Hendricks– author, psychologist, and founder of the ‘Hendricks institute’. ISBN: 978-0-141-03561-1

The cognitive behavioural workbook for anxiety- a step by step programme. By William J Knaus, ED.D. ISBN: 10:1-57224-572-7

As I was waiting for a client to arrive for a session this week, I glanced across at my shelves and noticed a book, I had forgotten I had, so I took it down and dipped into it again and would recommend this for anyone suffering from anxiety.

In this book you will “learn to recognize your anxiety triggers, develop skills to stop anxious thoughts before they get out of control, and stop needless fears from coming back”.

Please note my tips and shared information are not a replacement for medical advice. They are intended for personal growth and development and to enable you to think about new ways of addressing and overcoming emotional challenges. Always speak to your doctor before making any changes if you are under medical care, this includes medication regimes.