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Archive for category: Life’s Challenges

Dealing with Grief

We’ve all been dealing with loss from an early age, despite our failing memory. Believe it or not, grief starts with simple things, such as the death of a goldfish or a pet hamster. The naive euphemisms we’ve heard from our parents helped to an extent, but eventually “going to heaven” became “passing away”.

We grew into the realisation that, eventually, the moments and people we love will leave us.

Although grief is a natural reaction to loss, dealing with grief is never easy — regardless of how many times someone has grieved or how much a certain loss is expected. The feelings we derive from such losses are also natural, but painful nonetheless.

Is there a way to make the grieving period less painful? Yes, there is. The first step is to recognise that what you’re dealing with will subside, and that you must go through every stage in order to feel better, however difficult it may be.

Let’s start by unraveling those feelings.

What is Grief?

According to HelpGuide, grief can be defined as “the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away.”

The term “emotional suffering” applies better to grief than “deep sorrow” or “sadness”, as grief can manifest itself in a multitude of feelings ranging from disbelief to rage and, of course, profound sadness.

Besides, the pain of grief isn’t only emotional, but physical. The physical symptoms of grief are similar to those of stress, which include chest tightness, headaches, insomnia, stomach upset, and even an increase in inflammation and high blood pressure. Surely, due to the immense heartache grief brings, symptoms will likely be more intense than those of everyday stress.

In short, grief is the physical and emotional burden you endure when missing someone, or something.

What are the Stages Of Grief?

Back in 1969, Swiss-American psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross invented the Kübler-Ross model, which explores the 5 stages of grief. These are:

Denial

When the news of a loss first hits someone, it’s hard to come to terms with the truth. It comes like a sucker-punch, and it may feel unreal at first — so unreal that people would rather deny what happened than accept it.

Anger

At the same time, any loss feels unfair. People may feel anger for a number of reasons. It could be that they feel someone has parted too soon, or they may feel angry that their expected outcome didn’t happen. They may where they went wrong, and start blaming themselves or others for the unfortunate occurrence.

Bargaining

The bargaining stage often refers to a person’s faith. The feelings of sadness and anger may give way to an illusion of control, which could mean exchanging one’s ardent faith for a chance of bringing their loved one back to life. While it may sound unreasonable to those outside of the situation, this feeling works as an escape from a painful reality.

Depression

When a loss finally dawns on someone, so will a deep sorrow. This is the moment when constant crying and mournful feelings arise. During this period, it’s normal to feel that everything is colourless, and that life will never make sense again. Yet, like every stage, this too will pass.

Acceptance

Accepting a loss doesn’t mean overcoming it — all it means is that the grieving person has processed, recognised, and surrendered to what happened. At this point, they’re aware that they will have to go through this process, and may realise they need to reach out for help.

Note that these stages aren’t necessarily linear. Grief is an intricate and individual course, meaning that, while one person may begin by accepting someone’s death, another may begin at a different stage. It’s normal to feel angry, then accepting, and then relapse into sadness and anger all over again.

By no means should anyone think they’re abnormal if their grieving process naturally skips one of the stages, or if it happens in a completely different order.

A common question surrounding the stages of grief is: How long does it take to go through each stage?”

Again, that depends on each person and their proximity with who or what they’ve lost. The worst thing anyone can do is compare their grief to someone else’s, as the process will never be the same for two people. The best thing to do is to focus on healing.

Does Grief Only Apply to the Loss of a Loved One?

Not at all. People may grieve different life events, such as the end of a relationship (be it a friendship or a marriage) or even a painful memory. Of all things anyone can grieve, here are some examples:

  • The loss of a loved one.
  • The loss of a job.
  • The loss of a pet.
  • The loss of a previous version of oneself.
  • The loss of a previous lifestyle (such as the pre-COVID lifestyle).

Grief comes in all shapes and forms, and no type of grief should be seen as more or less important than others.

How to Cope With Grief

What actions have helped you cope with a breakup in the past? Think about it for a moment.

For Joe, it was blocking their ex on social media and crying over romantic comedies. For Jane, it was looking at her ex’s pictures and remembering their good moments together.

It took Joe three months to get over his ex, while it took Jane a year to get over hers. Both still remember their relationship, the memory still stings, but they’ve both moved on and are healing a little more every day.

While you may think the former or the latter are absurd coping mechanisms, they’ve helped different people through their unique forms of grieving. And that’s okay. The previous example should illustrate the fact that grief is different for everyone.

Yes, there may be an “average timespan” for the grieving process, but anyone is better off respecting their own time. According to a WebMD survey, people are expected to feel okay long before they’re ready, which could derail the healing process.

Hard as it may be to read this, sometimes grief can last a lifetime. Yet, like all people who have gone through the same agonising experience, you will learn to live again.

What to Do if Grief Becomes Overwhelming?

 

No one deserves to power through grief alone. If feelings become overwhelming, the right course of action would be to get in touch with a grief counsellor, or a bereavement counsellor.

Contrary to other types of therapists, grief counsellors focus on helping patients deeply understand their grieving process, while supporting them through the pain and pressure that follow a loss.

If counselling isn’t a possibility, reaching out to close friends, particularly those who have been through something similar, can be helpful. For those who prefer keeping their matters private, online grief forums are an excellent option. There, you can share your story with a supportive community of real users, who are also grieving, and comfort one another.

On a final note, never keep feelings of grief to yourself. Talking to someone about how you’re feeling will reinforce the fact that you’re not alone, and that there are people willing to mourn with you until you can pick yourself back up.

Wellbeing At Work- 3 Tips To Conquer The Slump

Feeling stuck, and hopeless? Feeling like every day is the same? That you aren’t going anywhere no matter how much you do in a day’s work?

You are not alone.

Even the most motivated of people are faced by a wave of demotivation at times. It is common to get into a slump. Consequently, we feel the impact of it in our life and in the way we handle change.

But do not lose hope! The Mental Health Coach is here to provide you with guidance on how to manage stress and recover from burnouts, starting with three simple tips to maintain your wellbeing at work and conquer your day. We also run a Workplace Mental Health Training program, that has specifically been designed to boost your work life through a consistent focus on your mental wellbeing.

The Mental Health Coach Wellbeing at Work

Start Small, and Build Up Gradually

If you are having a hard time getting started, chances are you are thinking too big – overwhelming yourself with a vision of the future and to-do lists can often be counter-productive.

Say you want to pick up a new skill, then start with 30 minutes of practice every day. If you want to make progress on a project, start by focusing on the small wins. You want to exercise and become healthier? then start with a 30-minute walk daily! Taking baby steps to make sure you are not overwhelmed with stress and anxiety is the key. Then, building upon these small goals to give yourself and gain momentum as you begin to move towards your bigger goals.

All of the above while focusing on your mental health is what will help you get further than before Start your journey of maintaining mental well-being at work and home with us. Our Bespoke Mental Health Coaching or Personal Mental Health Coaching are tailored just for this.

Focus on the Essentials

The most common cause of burnout is overloading yourself with an unrealistic number of tasks. This often leads to overwhelming emotions and a loss of motivation. It is a common pitfall to take on too much, overestimate your productivity, and then lose energy and focus. In this case, it is recommended to strip down your responsibilities.  Focus on the most essential ones and prioritise them.

Following this approach with your work and prioritising your responsibilities allows you to devote your energy and motivation to the most important tasks and manage time better. Starting your workday with the most pressing priorities and finishing them will allow for a sense of accomplishment.

This will then go on to fuel you throughout the day. It will also contribute towards your positive mental wellbeing at work.

TMHC Focusing on Essentials

Find Happiness in the Process

“It is crucial to acknowledge that life has its ebbs and flows”.

Focusing on being resilient in the light of the above phrase is the stepping-stone towards enjoying what one does. This applies to either or both of one’s personal and professional life. It is important to constantly monitor your thoughts.

Acknowledging negative thoughts, understanding their cause, and trying to replace them with positive affirmations is fundamentally life changing. Additionally, learning how to manage your emotions and regulate stress through meditation, counselling, and proper care of your physical health are some methods to reinvigorate and maintain motivation.

To improve your wellbeing at work and avoid slumps, it is important to understand – yourself. More so, it is important to understand your motivations, callings, and problems. What makes you tick? What brings you joy? Or drives you crazy? The Personalised Mental Health Coaching – Bespoke and Workplace can help you with gaining self-awareness and maintain mental wellbeing at work and home.

TMHC Achieving mental wellbeing

Mental health slumps are common – and it’s important to acknowledge that rather than just dismissing the feeling you experience.

We at The Mental Health Coach understand that. We are here to help you get out of the rut and create motivation to tackle daily challenges. Hopefully, our three tips can be starting points for you in finding your motivation to tackle your workday! For better management of your mental wellbeing at work, join The Mental Health Coach’s Mental Health Workplace Training today. We also offer a range of Mental Health First Aid courses for different audiences as well as relationship mental health coachingchange management mental health coaching, and leadership mental health coachingContact us today to know more about our courses.

What are the differences between counselling, coaching and psychology?

Counselling and Coaching and Psychology, Oh my!

When it comes to getting assistance with getting your mental health or your mental wellbeing back in the green, there are many choices available. But with so many options available to us, it can be very confusing to work out what’s going to be best for you. At the end of the day that’s a very personal choice, and as a result it can be overwhelming to work out where to start.

In your adventures to find an option for assistance to connect to, you might have come across psychologists, counsellors, and coaches in your search. But, beyond the name, when it comes to making a choice between counselling, coaching, or psychology – where does the difference lie?

It’s a fair question that baffles a lot of people who are new to accessing mental health services, and one that deserves to be answered so you can make your choice with certainty that you’re connecting with the right option for you.

All three share a lot in common; and at the same time, are all quite different. Gosh, even some practitioners like those here at The Mental Health Coach that have skills that span all three methods of working. Talk about wearing different hats!

Let’s dive into differentiating between counselling, coaching, and psychology in some detail.

Psychologists

When it comes to the human psyche and behaviour – clinical psychologists reign supreme. Or rather, doctors. They’re extensively trained to assess a person’s mental condition using clinical interviews and a series of tests, which encompass:

  • Lengthy questionnaires
  • Clinical interviews
    • Instrumental tests (for measuring mechanical abilities)
  • IQ (Intelligence Quotient) tests
  • Accurate personality tests

Of course, the need for a certain test will depend on the patient’s situation. Not all of them must undergo an IQ test, for example. On the other hand, tests such as a clinical assessment are common practice, even a requirement, with every patient, regardless of their issue to understand in how best to help you.

In and of itself, psychology can be defined as a scientific study of the human brain, the thought patterns and behaviours resulting from particular mental health problem or mental illness. In simple terms, a psychologist’s study of the mind is applied to their clinical practise as a way of helping their patients cope with mental health problems.

Importantly, and this is one that a lot of the general public were never aware about – Psychologists can’t write medication prescriptions! This is the role of a psychiatrist, which, unfortunately, we won’t be discussing in this post specifically.

These professionals are indicated in the treatment of issues like:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Major depressive disorder or high-functioning depression
  • Personality disorders (antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Emotional disorders
  • Psychopathologies

Here we are discussing the comparison of clinical psychologists with their coaching and counselling counterparts. Still, psychologists may (and often do) specialise in subfields that greatly differ from clinical practice, such as experimental psychologists (who gather laboratory data on human and animal behaviours), forensic psychologists (who apply their studies to legal issues), among many other subfields.

 

Counsellors

Counsellors operate under different titles – including “clinician” and “therapist.” They work in the area we often informally refer to as “talk therapy” because, in essence, that’s what it is.

These professionals do more than just “talk”, though. They perfectly blend their stellar communication abilities to a vast study background. In a conjoint effort, both counsellor and client (or clients) will pinpoint solutions to ongoing problems, as well as discover potential background problems that may radiate into the present.

Depending on their practise, they may not be able to provide specific diagnoses for mental problems. Still, if no specific diagnosis is required and a patient only requires knowledgeable and personalised guidance, a counsellor is the perfect fit.

As with every professional, choosing the right counsellor will depend on the issue you’re facing, as well as the people you want to involve in the practice.

Counselling can be done individually, in groups, family, and couples, depending on particular needs. The main types of counselling include:

  • Marriage counselling
  • Family counselling
  • Mental health counselling
  • Rehabilitation/Abuse counselling
  • Career counselling

If any of the above are a source of distress in your daily life, counselling would be worthwhile.

Coaches

The thought of a coach is often followed by words such as “motivation” and “mindset”, and rightfully so! Coaches are professionals focused on wellbeing and objectives, helping their clients’ lives become more purposeful and fulfilling with their insightful advice.

If you’re working with a coach, they’ll help you find strengths you most likely didn’t know you had within yourself. Together, you’ll discover unique advantages and use them in an action-oriented plan. In short, coaching smoothens the path towards future aspirations, relinquishing the limiting beliefs that stifle a client’s ability to move forward.

Without any training beyond coaching, coaches aren’t qualified to treat mental illnesses specifically – however they can absolutely assist in navigating life with a mental health problem. But this isn’t an issue for people who just need strong, well-calculated assistance in the right direction. Although they don’t need formal or academic training to call themselves professionals, they just might be the type of expert you need to turn your life around.

The coaches at The Mental Health Coach are all highly qualified in coaching, holding International Coaching Federation recognised qualifications as well as counselling qualifications – talk about dual-wielding!

Coaches can specialise in many different areas, some of which include life coaching, business coaching, career coaching, couple coaching, and more. There are over 30 coaching modalities, some of them more sought-after than others.

The type of coach you choose will heavily depend on the area where you’re seeking improvement from a mental health issue. Coaches are able to help people deal with several issues, including:

  • Self-esteem issues
  • Problems at work
  • Trouble setting and pursuing goals.
  • Trouble abandoning bad habits.
  • Persistent creative blocks
  • Lack of motivation

 

Coaches, too, can discuss aspects of their client’s daily lives–they just won’t dwell on the past as much as counsellors and psychologists would be required to do. But of course, that doesn’t mean coaches will never explore a client’s past. They must do so, even if briefly, to help clients move forward.

 

Training

 

The coaches at The Mental Health Coach are all highly qualified in coaching and other modalities and have undergone coaching certification programs.

Finding the Perfect Professional

The above descriptions you’ve just read are all an accurate portrayal of each type of professional. Ultimately, the choice of choosing between one of the three is yours. And the best approach to making this choice is assessing each of the professionals individually. If you can schedule an interview prior to the initial appointment, do so!

Actually, did you know you can have a complimentary one with us at The Mental Health Coach to see if we might be a good fit for you?

Well! Take the opportunity to ask a few questions – after all, the better you get to know them, the better you’ll be able to tell if they will be worth your time. Whether that be for the next few weeks, or months, or years…

Here’s a cheat-sheet of questions you can use to determine if they’re the help you need:

  • What kind of training and expertise do you have to help me with problem X (the issue you’re dealing with)?
  • Are you licensed (in this state)? (For psychologists and counsellors only).
  • How has your framework previously helped people with problems similar to mine?
  1. What are your areas of expertise?
  • For how many years have you been seeing clients/patients?

Above all, regardless of who you choose to work with, you’ll need to have a good rapport with them. In other words, you’ll need to feel comfortable working with them.

Once again, here at The Mental Health Coach we offer a complimentary conversation with our experts to help you work out what might be the best option for you. So, give us a call, send us an email or book a session with us online and let’s talk about how we might be able to help you. It’s completely free – and completely confidential!

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