If Christmas is in your life, then you will be very familiar with the idea of writing a letter to the big bearded guy. Can you believe it’s writing-to-Santa-time again – already?!
Typically, young kids’ letters are checklists of ‘wants’, along with parent-nudged-politeness like “Dear Santa, hope you are well and have had a good year”, or “I hope Mrs Claus is well” and, ideally, a “thanks so much for last year’s gift I LOVE it! )”
I’ve been meaning to talk about guilt for some time now.
Guilt is a feeling that is familiar to most of us – some more than others of course. And I find that it’s something that comes up in therapy a lot. We in Ireland just love our guilt – we are literally born with the stuff if we are Catholic, which most of us are.
Mental Health Week is drawing to a close and I’m a very happy bunny. There is a real sense of ‘normal’ taking hold in Ireland and this is incredibly heartening! We are beginning to understand that not always feeling OK is OK, that asking for support is OK. We are fostering a ‘knowing’ that we have worth and that change is possible.
“Genetics and epigenetics are important. Decisions – they are more important.” – HaleyBop
I’ve been pondering recently about the phrase “the apple never falls far from the tree”. We tend to have a lot in common with our parents of course – they are among the first to teach us how to be people! Assuming that the apple never falls far though isn’t always helpful. Sometimes it does fall far though – very far!
I have a bit of a fascination with the origins of words. As I grew up every new word I asked about was explained to me by my mother in terms of its origin – origin, from the Latin ‘Origo’, meaning beginning, source, rise. You get my drift…
The word ‘discipline’ originates from the Latin to teach, or instruct. When the Middle English folk came along it morphed somewhat into the punishment, ‘mortification’ scourge flavour we are more familiar with today.
Falling on deaf ears
And I find that the words discipline and punishment (from the French Punir meaning rough handling) are often used interchangeably. Which isn’t a great thing, because we now know that punishment isn’t necessarily a good way to discipline. SoI prefer the original meaning of discipline, it’s more effective as a means of changing or adjusting behaviour in the long term. FAR more effective.
So I wrote a piece on the (real life and practical) differences between discipline and punishment, with some ideas on how to do the former more effectively.
So the exams are finally over and you’re thinking “Yay! Stress over!”
And it is for some, but for others a new and unexpected stress has just kicked in. It’s a little trickier than pre-exam stress, because the people around you might assume you are now the embodiment of Zen and relaxation, because technically the exams are over.
I’m (not) fine!!
So you might feel a little less inclined to talk about it because at some level you believe you should be calm now.
But it’s OK, post-exam stress is absolutely normal, albeit unpleasant.
Let’s look at how to deal with it with some ‘Do and Don’t’ suggestions:
I was catching up on my Facebook messages earlier and this post sent to me by a friend really caught my eye. It’s a meme from one of those humour pages on Facebook. Judging by the comments it resonates with most people and they think it’s really funny! (It is too – I mean who hasn’t waited years for a plumber?!!)
I guess it’s my age, but I’ve noticed personally and professionally that caring for elderly parents is a common theme in life recently. Finding oneself in the unfamiliar role of caring for a parent has its rewards of course, but it can also be draining, isolating, saddening, even traumatic.
You’ve probably already heard about the new Calvin Klein advertising campaign. It’s worked, that’s for sure, in that Twitter and Facebook can’t get enough of complaining about it. And of course the pro-sexism and creepy factions can’t get enough of defending it and lashing out at people who recognise it for what it is – blatant sexist glamourisation of and dismissal of sexual harassment.
Last year, Leinster and Ireland prop Jack McGrath helped to launch the IRUPA’s Tackle Your Feelings campaign by revealing that he had suffered in silence for five and a half years following the tragic death of his brother in 2010.