Category Archives: Wellbeing

A Slight Change in Direction

Bit of a crazy few months. I’m back at the fabulous Wellcome Collection Reading Room, running sessions relating to wellbeing and yarn craft with gentle conversation. The first three were just wonderful, with lots of interesting people, including a group of business students who sat with me for over an hour, and learned to crochet.

Last month I was speaking at the Digital Transformation conference in Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland. What an amazing even that was! Fascinating, creative people all sharing thoughts and ideas. I talked about attention and focus, and how video gaming can be a way to engage with young people who feel they are on the edges of society. It sparked some great discussion.

I like people! I just do, and all my working life, I have worked in areas that help or support people in some way. I’ve been a teacher for a long time now, and I am definitely ready to move away from ‘education’! I’ve loved it. I really have. But a few things have guided me towards my new path over the last couple of years.

I’ve noticed more and more that the diets of the students I teach are quite often terrible. Really terrible. More and more of them are becoming seriously overweight, and some are under-nourished. I’m not blaming parents here, we are bombarded with so much conflicting information that the whole subject is crazy. I have wondered whether nutrition can have an effect on learning…. more on this later…

In my dressmaking role, my main work is alterations to bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses. Nearly all of the women I have seen just this year are on some sort of diet. It’s quite extraordinary.

And me, as I hit menopause I began to put on weight. I’ve always been slim and never had to worry about it. I’ve never been on a diet. But now here I was, not fitting into my jeans. And so began my journey. I have read dozens of books, journals, articles, blogs. I’ve listened to podcasts and watched scary stuff about obesity on TV. I decided I would retrain in Nutrition. Last week I gained my first qualification as a Nutritional Therapist, and I hope to complete my Clinical Weight-loss Practitioner course very soon.

Thank you to all of those who helped me with case studies and were prepared to be my guinea pigs! I’m so happy that between us we had such success!

I’ll be setting up in practice very soon – bringing nutrition into my wellbeing umbrella.

So that’s my slight change of direction. I’ll be taking on private clients next month, and bringing out my first little book on losing weight gently, mindfully and permanently.

Happy times, namaste

Cate x

Sometimes it’s time to stop for goodness sake

Oh dear. That feeling of being overwhelmed is coming on again. It’s a visitor that many of us have, and we all have various ways of coping. I knew it coming along last week. I was driving between appointments and listening to BBC Radio 4’s fabulous Woman’s Hour with Jenni Murray. As I listened without paying much attention, an Australian woman started to speak to me. Meshel Laurie, comedian, writer and Buddhist was talking about overload and busy-ness, and I began to cry. I really did. Oh my goodness.

I thought I’d conquered my feelings of being sad and depressed at times. I have found many good ways to help myself, but over the last few months, I seem to have forgotten them.

I’ve helped others, and I’ve forgotten myself.

We often do this, I think. I am so lucky, and I am grateful for all I have. And that makes me feel guilty for feeling sad. Been there?

So it’s time for me to slow down and do the things that make me feel good. Knitting, crochet and sewing. Visiting museums and libraries, walking in the country and being by the sea. And seeing a few friends. But not all at once.

My book Creative Wellbeing (I’m getting stressed about it!) isn’t finished yet. But that’s ok.

My lists are getting longer, so I’ve extended the time frame. Lists and plans make me feel better so that’s ok.

I’m not taking on any more commissions for a while. That’s ok.

When we are perceived as happy, optimistic, sunshine people, it is very difficult to admit to feeling sad.

I’m going to gather a few people together for a chat about wellbeing over tea and crochet. It might turn into something more structured like a course. But it might not. And that’s ok.

Be kind. To yourself too.