Christmas Reflections from Healthskills

After this extraordinary year, Healthskills wish all our clients, programme participants and leaders everywhere a happy and safe Christmas, however you are able to celebrate, and our very best wishes at this festive time.

This year, I and my colleagues offer short personal reflections each from 2020, and a suggestion, idea or thought that may help with your challenges in 2021:

From Bob Baker:
2020 has been a tumultuous year. My learning has been a concern for mental well-being and that despite considering myself a “balanced” individual (whatever that means!), I have needed the support of family, friends, and my work partners from time to time over the past few months.  So – and this won’t come as a surprise – reach out, be prepared to be vulnerable and don’t always write off a down period as just another bad day. Being willing to own up to it, to do something about it if you can or to seek a listening ear or other help if you don’t feel able will help in these difficult, sometimes despondent times.

From Dawn Scott:
My reflections on this year… 2020 represents perfect vision and ironically that is what 2020 has given me.  Perfect vision to realise what the most important things are in my life.  Family, friends and people.  Just being with someone and having that connection where we can hug freely, laugh together, kiss and be loved.  The personal loss of the stuff that makes us human and the impact we have on others cannot be underestimated and I have hopes that 2021 will bring us all closer together in some way.  Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year to all of you.

From Mike Nelson:
In terms of having to completely re-shape my work, my life, and the balance between the two, I’ve learned that nothing is impossible; I had to be clear on my goals and purpose, set my heart as well as my mind to it and get on and make things happen.

Tip – Take the time to invest in yourself, fitness, diet, wellness, exercise all help to develop a more resilient approach to life, work, leadership and making sense out of the ongoing uncertainty.

From Mel Warner:
2020 represents the significance of generosity and gratitude. I have noticed how the act of generosity brings so much joy and happiness.  The gift of offering your time to help someone else, sharing your insights or skills, simply listening, running an errand for someone, reaching out, volunteering, or sponsoring a worthwhile cause. This year has raised my awareness of all the small and bigger acts that individuals do that helps our community and how grateful I am for this. Someone said that if we only search for our own happiness, we may never find it but if we seek to help others find their happiness, we find our own. For me, being generous follows the same principle. By being generous, we become more fulfilled. 2020 has shown me just how true this is. I wish you all a happy, healthy Christmas and New Year.

From Ian Munro:
My learning has been around how really effective coaching sessions (based on client feedback) can be achieved by video calls. This means increased capacity to work this way because of no travel time, and support more of our clients.  The action for me has been that the increased intensity of video coaching means “exercise” or “me” space needs to be scheduled into each working day otherwise it does not happen!

From Mark Greenfield:
I’ve learned that with significant changes to my professional working life as well as personally this year, that time taken to ‘be’ rather than ‘do’ is critical.  Not being naturally reflective, I’ve realised that always being busy and getting on with things is not necessarily conducive to working smarter or focusing on the right things. Carving out time to think about the really important, often values-based stuff has proved vital for my wellbeing and sense of perspective.  And it doesn’t have to be lengthy, sometimes ten minutes in a day is enough to restore some balance.

And finally …
We are donating to a local charity this year as always, instead of sending Christmas cards.  For 2020, Healthskills is delighted to support Young Minds, youngminds.org.uk, the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health.  In the UK, the number of young people presenting at A&E with urgent mental health needs has tripled in the last ten years, where a quarter of young women have a diagnosable mental health problem and where suicide is the single biggest killer of boys and young men.  And these figures do not yet factor in the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the tsunami of mental health struggles anticipated as a result.  Young Minds want to see a world where no young person feels alone with their mental health, and gets the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what.

Thank you as always for your continued support for Healthskills, and hope that we have been able to help you in some small way with the personal and professional challenges you have faced this year.   Here’s hoping that 2021 will bring health and happiness for you all.