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Stay Active

How Staying Active Can Benefit Your Work

1024 576 Rachel Le Feuvre, Reset Button


Finding the time to keep fit while doing a busy, sedentary job is something that many find tricky, if not impossible, to do. However, exercise is easier to build into your routine than you may think.

It is all about getting into the habit of doing something every day whether walking/cycling to and from work, jogging or going for a brisk walk around the block during your lunch break, skipping, walking up stairs instead of taking the lift, playing a game of tennis after work ……… it doesn’t matter what you do but try and do something!

Exercise has many proven benefits. Here are ten particularly relevant to the workplace:

1. Improved memory & concentration levels – numerous studies have found that regular exercise helps improve both memory and concentration.

2. Better Sleep Quality – exercise has been proven to help you go to sleep faster, sleep better and wake up feeling properly refreshed.

3. Improved Self-Esteem – helps improve our sense of well-being, personal value and self-esteem.

4. Boost in Energy – regular exercise will help increase your energy level – very helpful when it comes juggling between work, home and everything else a busy life throws at us! Experts have found that low intensity exercise (for example a leisurely walk) will result in a drop in fatigue as well as increasing energy levels by 20%.

5. Stress Reduction – exercising helps to dissipate hormones and other chemicals that build up during stressful periods.

6. Prevention of Cognitive Decline – regular exercise, especially between the age of 25 to 45, helps boost the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent the degeneration of the hippocampus (memory and learning).

7. Greater Brain Power – studies have shown that cardiovasculor exercise can create new brain cells and improve the overall performance of the brain. A tough workout will increase levels of BDNF (a brain derived protein) believed to help with decision making, higher thinking and learning.


8. Decrease Anxiety & Depression – it is well known that exercise releases endorphins that create feelings of happiness. In fact, in many cases exercise can be as effective at dealing with depression as anti-depressant pills. And, for anyone prone to anxiety it will help them to calm down.

9. Increase in Creativity – a good workout will boost creativity for up to two hours afterwards!

10. Less Long Term Health Issues & Diseases – exercise has been proven to lessen the chances of having long term health issues and diseases. In fact, studies have found it will even help to lengthen your life by as much as 4 years when you do five hours of exercise per week.

Hopefully these ten benefits will encourage you to keep active and enjoy a productive, happy and long life. If you would like more information, advice or help in putting together an exercise plan please get in contact with the fitness experts at The Reset Button via

Why not try our Mindfulness Mini-Course : ‘Calm Your Mind’ available FREE on itunes: Calm Your Mind


The Only Constant Is Change

1024 683 Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach


Change is something that happens to us all at various stages in our lives. In the workplace, we change jobs, move teams, take on new work, learn new technology, go through mergers and acquisitions, it’s unavoidable.

Change is something that happens to us all at various stages in our lives. In the workplace, we change jobs, move teams, take on new work, learn new technology, go through mergers and acquisitions, it’s unavoidable.


Essentially there are six main stages to the change response curve:

1. Shock and Denial
When you first hear about the change you experience shock, denial, confusion, fear, numbness and blame. You will hear people say things like “I can’t believe this is happening”. They may appear cold, unemotional and not react when they first hear the news.

2. Anger/Resistance
This often follows on after the initial shock, either after a few days or quite quickly. There is a feeling of frustration, anxiety, irritation, embarrassment and shame. Wanting to take it out on someone else or blame someone for the situation you’re in – “They can’t do this to me.” Some people can get stuck in this stage for long periods of time.

3. Dialogue/Bargaining
As you come to terms with the new situation in which you now find yourself, you’re able to talk about what’s happening in a more rational and calm way. This is often the healing part of the process happens when you can discuss the impact and how you’re feeling. At this stage it helps to seek professional advice and support. People who have been through change and emotional upheaval find it helps to share their experience.

4. Depression
The bottom of the curve is when you feel a sense of overwhelm and helplessness. You may have no energy or motivation to do anything. You’re unable to function and many people will withdraw into themselves – both physically and mentally and may also switch off emotionally.

5. Acceptance
When you’re ready to move on you are more likely to accept what has happened. You’re able start to exploring new options and put plans in place for the future. It becomes easier to think more positively and this in itself has a beneficial effect in helping you move forward.

6. Return to normality
While complete ‘normality’ may not be possible, in some cases of loss or serious illness, once you have accepted the situation or found a solution it’s possible to move on. A new normal is achieved. You move forward to a more secure, meaningful and possibly better existence.


It’s possible to move forward and back through the various stages of the change curve as you adapt and deal with the impact of the change before being able to move forward permanently. You may pass through certain stages more quickly than others or get stuck on a particular stage (particularly stages 2-4).

People can get stuck at a particular stage because they don’t know how to move on. This can hold them back for months and even years – especially for changes such as a personal loss through death or divorce.

You can decide to be positive and take action when dealing with change. You’ll be able to cope better, take control and be less stressed. Reacting negatively is more likely to result in actively avoiding what’s happening, feeling out of control and more stressed.

Emotions are a natural part of the change process. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support either from your partner, friends, colleagues or a professional, if you’re having trouble dealing with a significant change in your life.

Just because other people are not reacting in the same way or feeling the same things, doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong. What’s significant or stressful for you may not be significant to others.

The quicker and more positively you can cope with change and learn to deal with your emotions, the quicker you will be able to move on.



Dealing with Depression

954 1024 Susan Carr


“I feel depressed”

“I’m low”

“I’m down in the dumps”

“I’ve got the blues”

We may all describe feeling this way from time to time when dealing with life’s ups and downs but if you are feeling the same way for weeks on end or these symptoms come and go on a regular basis then you may be clinically depressed.


What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder, which varies from person to person, however some of the common symptoms are listed below:

• Feeling low, restless or agitated
• Feeling prone to tearfulness
• Feel numb, empty and hopeless
• Feeling isolated and unable to relate to other people
• Feeling irritable or impatient
• Finding little or no pleasure in life
• Feeling helpless
• Feeling indecisive
• Feeling anxious or worried
• Experiencing a sense of unreality

• Forgetfulness
• Difficulty concentrating
• Guilt and shame
• Lack of self-confidence and/ or self-esteem
• Negative thinking patterns
• Suicidal thoughts

• Cessation of hobbies
• Avoiding social events
• Self-harm
• Low motivation
• Increased use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs

Physical symptoms
• Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
• Tiredness and lacking in energy
• Loss of appetite or over-eating
• Aches and pains

If you have experienced five or more of the above symptoms every day for two weeks then you may be depressed although for a formal diagnosis you should seek advice from you GP.

What causes depression?

There are a number of different causes of depression, although it is not always easy to pinpoint what has triggered an episode of depression and often people will say “I don’t know why I am feeling this way”. Some common causes are trauma, stress, loss, childhood experiences, biological conditions, side effects of medication, drug or alcohol use, genetics and chemical changes in the brain.

Ways to deal with depression

Just as there can be different causes for depression, there are also a number of different ways of dealing with depression. As noted above, it is quite common when feeling depressed to lose interest in hobbies and other activities that you enjoy and so a good starting point can be to try doing some of these again. Exercise, in particular, can be helpful in lifting mood and increasing activity levels.

Similarly, it is common to withdraw and so re-connecting with others can also help to improve your mood – even if it is not possible to meet in person, a phone call or text can help you to keep in touch with others.

Whilst self-care can go some way to helping with depression (eating healthily, getting a good night’s sleep, reducing alcohol and drug use) there are times when you may need additional support. Your GP may prescribe medication and there is now a wide range of anti-depressants available. There is also the option of talking therapy as an alternative or in addition to medication. Again there are a number of therapies available such as counselling, CBT, art therapy, and psychodynamic therapy to name but a few. Self-help groups may also be helpful in sharing how you feel and listening to the experiences of others.

The main thing is to recognise that you have a problem and that it is OK to ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness and trying to struggle on your own could make your depression worse.

If you or someone you know is affected by depression or you have any questions about depression then please contact me. If you are feeling suicidal then you can contact Samaritans (116 123) or attend your local Accident & Emergency department.


Working With Stress

1024 682 Vita Burton-Davey, Working to be better each day


Law is one of the toughest professions with one of the highest rates of stress of any sector. Amanda Noble-Simmons acknowledged the need to do something about stress for legal professionals; with a 2012 Law Society survey finding that ‘95% of respondents reported negative stress in their working lives.’ Lifestyles4Lawyers was set up in 2012 in order to help legal professionals achieve a better work-life balance and promote good wellbeing in law firms.

The Law Society Gazette recently discussed what wellbeing and stress being brought out into the open and going mainstream means for pragmatic lawyers who don’t really encompass the whole ‘Hippy Trail’ thing and even those who do.

Lawyers have huge responsibilities and the pressures of large caseloads and the importance of the work they undertake, mean it’s hard to prioritise their own health and wellbeing. But the age old question ‘Who takes care of the carer?’ springs to mind!


Legal professionals need to act for themselves. If lawyers and law firms do not recognise and act to improve their own wellbeing and that of their staff, to reduce stress; ever more excellent lawyers will leave, or be forced to leave the profession.

Joining Lifestyles4Lawyers is free and stress free! We provide articles about wellbeing, nutrition,fitness and tips for getting out of the office and incorporating time for reflection into your working week. Our Spotlight On Lawyers articles share what lawyers are doing outside the office to improve their work-life balance and our On The Job articles share tips for getting the most out of work.


Even lawyers need a hug and Lifestyles4Lawyers recognises that! There is also more help and support available through the Law Society helplines. Opening up discussions around stress and the physical and mental health problems suffered in silence by a high percentage of legal professionals and other professionals working under huge pressure, means that the pathways to help become visible and the door to action is thrown wide.