How do you switch off?
Welcome to our February Newsletter.
How is your spring going? How do you switch off this spring to rest up? I am asking myself this question daily at the moment. I am spending it on taking more time off in preparation for the launch of my private counselling practice. Or, to be more precise, in preparation for adding counselling to my current business offer. Yes, after years of training, counselling is coming to Voxel Hub this spring. We are all so happy that we can offer a full menu of our services soon.
I go softly, though, to ensure I can support all our clients well and safely. I organise all my insights, take time off screens and reconnect with travel (gently and as responsibly as I can). Wherever I go, I think about the two systems so dominant in our lives: Nature and digital technologies. I reflect on disconnecting and reconnecting, too – because I believe both form a fluid process for good levels of digital wellbeing.
I spend my springtime exploring my personal approach to wellbeing – the need for high standards and the balance of being a “good enough practitioner” – what does it really mean? When do we fall into perfectionism and risk professional burnout or causing others harm? When do we fall below the professional standards altogether with the excuse of “doing the best we can”? Coincidentally, the BACP and other leading UK regulatory bodies have just approved the rollout of ScopEd – a stricter and more precise framework of standards for counselling and psychotherapy. How apt is the timing of my reflections?
This month I encourage you to reflect on your understanding of health and wellbeing as opposed to that dictated by the mainstream narratives. We have posted some prompts on the topic on our Instagram feed for easy reading for you.
At Voxel Hub, we welcome two new bloggers: Jess and Jo. I am incredibly humbled by their willingness to join me and form our new editorial team. You can see their posts in this newsletter and on our website now. Welcome!
I wish you all a soft spring!
My favourite topic this month
This month I am exploring burnout and perfectionism:
“How Perfectionism Makes us Ill” by the School of Life
“The Perfectionist Trap” by the School of Life
“The problem with Perfectionism” by the School of Life
“Burnout: A Guide to Identifying Burnout and Pathways to Recovery” by Gordon Parker, Gabriela Tavella, Kerrie Eyers
“The Way of Integrity: Finding the path to your true self” by Martha Beck
“Finding Inner Safety: The Key to Healing, Thriving, and Overcoming Burnout” by Dr Nerina Ramlakhan
“Burnout: Solve Your Stress Cycle” by Emily and Amelia Nagoski
If you have any recommendations on the topic, please let me know! Thank you!
Resources – Jo’s post on attention training
“Hi my name is Jo. I’ll be contributing to the Voxel Hub page with blog posts about various mental health topics, which will include useful steps you can take to support your wellbeing. My aim is to help positively impact people through writing and art.
There’s a key technique in the CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) treatment of social anxiety that, when practised by anyone, can help people start to feel more content and optimistic. This technique is called attention training.
To give you a rough overview of the CBT theory of social anxiety, when someone is feeling nervous in a social situation, they have a tendency to focus their attention on “How am I doing? How am I feeling?” This causes them to notice all the anxiety symptoms whirling around their body, like feeling hot and sweaty, shaky legs, knots in the stomach, or a tight chest. They also notice anxious thoughts like “I’m going to say something stupid” or “What if people don’t like me?” All this maintains a sense of anxiety in social situations.
Attention training, therefore, encourages people to deliberately switch their focus to the external world. For people struggling with social anxiety, this would be to start paying more attention to their surroundings and what people are talking about. This helps move attention away from the anxiety they are feeling inside themselves and the unhelpful thoughts swirling in their minds.”
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Voxel Hub March Newsletter