I started writing this blog after the UK referendum back in June, where the result was very close - just over half the people who voted, chose the option to leave the EU. The initial response to the result was shock by much of the country, followed by anger towards the people who voted differently from themselves. What saddened me then is that our country seemed to have become so divided over the lead up to the referendum. There was so much anger on both sides against those who had a different opinion. Now 4 months later, that anger is still present. We've had major division within one of our main political parties over its leadership and now a high court case questioning the legalities of invoking Article 50 which starts the process of leaving the EU.
by Ros Kitson
For those who don't know, I got married recently. And a wedding traditionally is followed by a honeymoon. We went to Bali. Bali is an amazing place. The culture and the country are very different from the UK so much so, that I could write a book on it. However, right now, I want to talk about the traffic. I consider myself a good driver. I'm a confident driver and I'm pretty experienced, having been driving since I was 17. But I would honestly not rush to drive in Bali, because I'm not sure I'd cope very well. This is because the attitudes of drivers are very different over there. Over here, we have strict rules of the road. We follow them to the letter and we frown on those who don't. If we do break them (for example undertaking a middle lane hogger on the motorway) we sneak through slightly guiltily. If we see rule breakers, we glare, curse or even beep our horns.
Emotional illness is a complex subject. The first being that it is often quite difficult to define. When does moodiness become more of a condition? Is it always so? Emotional illness is just as real as physical illness and there is the same degree of variation in the severity. In the same way as a cold is very different from cancer, so there are different levels in our emotional health too. But for some reason it is perfectly socially acceptable to have the flu or a migraine but often not to be paralysed by low emotions. Yet this can happen just as easily. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations which we can't deal with immediately. They can shock our systems, and make us angry or upset. We actually need time to process them so it's not realistic to expect them to become resolved overnight. In some cases we can do this alongside other activities, but sometimes they can floor us to such an extent that we need to take time out from our day to day lives to work them through.
I've wanted to write about this for a while now as it's a subject that is dear to my heart - and as I run a holistic therapy business, my bank balance. Culture is defined as a state of manners, behaviour and intellectual development at a particular time of place. So how do we behave when we're ill? How do we go about returning our bodies and minds to optimal health? Do we even actively do this? This is traditionally the season of colds and bugs. Now I know from my days of working in an office, that there was definitely a culture of not having time off as people had "too much work to do". I was never in favour of this strategy as it seemed to me that if you have time off, you can heal better and return to optimal productivity quicker. But, alas, it was difficult for me to go against the culture, so I struggled on too. We also have a culture of going to the doctor only when we can't fix our health issue ourself and when it's got so bad that we feel we won't be accused of wasting time. This is backed up by advertising campaigns directing people to a pharmacy or a phone service for "minor complaints". This is obviously a necessary strategy by an underfunded organisation, but it still creates a culture. Now along come holistic therapists. We can help prevent disease by treating blocks in a person's system before they manifest into nasty symptoms. So ideally I'd like to see clients earlier rather later. However the majority come to me when they've been suffering, for longer than they needed. We also have a culture of free healthcare, which I'm very grateful for. I'd never advocate getting rid of the NHS, but at the present time myself and similar practitioners aren't funded by the NHS, so we have no alternative than to charge our clients directly for our services. This seems to be quite a large block. I often hear people say they can't afford sessions. Whereas this may be true for some people, after all therapy isn't cheap, I believe many people are just choosing to spend their money on different things. So my question to you is what is the most important thing you could be spending your money on? My personal answer to that would be health and wellbeing. In this section, I'd include food (of the healthy variety, of course), a warm roof over our head, and healthcare support. For those who are familiar with Maslov's Heirarchy of Needs, this relates to the lower levels of the pyramid. If our base is rocky, the higher levels aren't going to be firm and reliable either. So how would it be to go on a great holiday, but spend it worrying about going back to a stressful job. How would it be to buy new clothes, but to feel ill when you wear them. How would it be to subscribe to a TV service, while wishing you had the energy to be out actually living your life. Now I'm not criticizing anyone for spending their money on these things. Everyone makes choices about what they do and where they spend money is one of such choices. However, if you have any unwanted symptoms, I would invite you to challenge our culture of healthcare and invest in your health sooner rather than later so you can lead a more enjoyable and fulfilling life.