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mental health


Being Selfishly Healthy. Part Three.

800 448 Paula Ruane, Ruane BioEnergetics "rapidly reducing the effects of stress"


Are you part of the sandwich generation – ailing parents and children of your own to support?
Turn the clock back 100 years and it would be difficult, today it is extremely tough.

The average UK woman spends around 27 minutes per day on herself and that includes showering, bathing etc – it’s not enough folks!

If you owned a racehorse you wouldn’t expect it to run, let alone win, on the regime most of us live with. Diet, Exercise and Sleep – the three basics and essential requirements of healthy and high performance. This part deals with Sleep.

Sleep – this is more tricky. When we are living with chronic stress (and who isn’t), we produce masses of hormones, in particular cortisol, to help with the fight/flight response. Cortisol lingers a long time in the body so very often it isn’t the falling asleep that is the problem but the staying asleep.

Interestingly it isn’t necessarily the time asleep either that is so important as the type of sleep. We need “deep sleep” which is at just after the start of the cycle but more evidence is showing that the big thing here is to have REM – rapid eye movement – which is when we dream and usually towards the end of the night. Dreaming sorts out and files away information, messages, responses and all the other events that happened during that day. Our conscious mind only takes in a fraction while we are awake and alert. While you are reading this, there will be background noises, movement and ongoing events that you are filtering out and yet are registering nevertheless.

Good sleep produces the opposite of fight/flight – it produces rest/digest. It restores, re-energises, renews and revitilises you. It promotes healthy growth and clear mind. Look at babies for a lesson – feed, sleep, grow and blossom.

We sleep in cycles and it is broken cycles that tend to cause problems. Take a look at a new mum’s, it is the broken sleep rather than the lack of sleep that causes exhaustion.
The main culprit in poor sleep is a troubled mind. If you are worrying over deadlines, work load, aging parents, financial concerns et al, you are triggering the fight/flight response and to oversimplify it, your heart is beating too quickly to allow you to settle into a relaxed state to sleep.

You can email me for the “sleep hygene” list to help ensure that you do everything you can to prepare yourself to break the cycle of poor sleep and start to balance the natural circadian rhythms which are essential for mental, emotional and physical health.



Being Selfishly Healthy. Part Two.

750 452 Paula Ruane, Ruane BioEnergetics "rapidly reducing the effects of stress"


Are you part of the sandwich generation – ailing parents and children of your own to support? Turn the clock back 100 years and it would be difficult, today it is extremely tough.

Does your diet support you while you support everyone else?
Learn what labels mean. For example, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is not the same as eating fresh fruit and vegetables. It is an isolated, DNA- laboratory, petro-chemical copy of the naturally occurring vitamin C. When you eat, for example, Kiwi fruit, there are other micro-nutrients which help the body assimilate and metabolise it for maximum benefit.

In today’s day and age we have the invaluable help of search engines to run our own research and make better informed choices.

You will see, for example, that many conventional and old school commentators say that there is no difference in taste between organic and mass produced, chemically sprayed food. In my experience that has not been true but that is not the reason to eat organically.

Organic food contains 29% more anti-oxidants than mass produced, sprayed, genetically fiddled with food and anti-oxidants are your foot soldiers which run around killing off the free radicals (the terrorists!)

Eat more raw greens – “greens” contain chlorophyll and chlorophyll was coined as “living sunshine” by Ann Wigmore who founded the Hippocrates health institute in 1908 after studying traditional methods from Sweden and Lithuania and cured herself (and her cat) of cancer with raw foods and in particular wheat grass juice. The key to this is to source and eat unadulterated greens free of chemicals.

Cut out spreads that contain hydrated fats – email for fact sheet on how they are produced on There is no living organism that I know of that attacks these spreads, no bacteria, insect, bird or animal. That is telling you something.

And you can do this. Small changes, start by eating 20% more organic greens a day. You don’t need to be Einstein; order an organic food box from somewhere reputable like Abel and Cole and have it delivered to your doorstep.

If you want more help on this, contact me via site

Combine this with reduction of refined sugar and processed foods as soon as possible. Don’t snack on crisps, chocolate bars, biscuits, cakes and other almost irresistible little temptations . Instead, have small tomatoes, a few nuts and dried fruit, berries, green apples, kiwi and other green fruits. It is more expensive but worth it and perhaps just needs a bit of prioritising. Do you often have a take-away cappuccino or latte? Think about giving that up and treating your body to fresh insecticide/pesticide free veg instead. Just small changes, 123 and ABC. Try it and see how you feel after a few weeks, not tomorrow or the next day, we are going at your body’s pace not the pharmaceutical Industry’s artificial chemically altering pace.



Being Selfishly Healthy. Part One.

750 452 Paula Ruane, Ruane BioEnergetics "rapidly reducing the effects of stress"


Are you part of the sandwich generation – ailing parents and children of your own to support?
Turn the clock back 100 years and it would be difficult, today it is extremely tough.

We have created a fast, automated society where things run with a flick of the switch – cleaning the house with robot vacuums, washing up done by invisible hands in a big white box and communication at the touch of a button. But we just don’t fit in to that pace and speed of life as it is today. Old age, slowing down of mental processes, associated illness and disease sets its’ own timing in our parents generation and you will have to fit in with this rather than it fitting in with you which is where the stress, strain and pressure starts.

Before you know it, you are in hospital in the next bed to granny!
First and foremost, if you are the chief carer, you must put yourself first. You are the captain of the ship and if you go down, the ship goes down. Three things to help you are diet, exercise and sleep. If you get this right, you are helping yourself more than you can possibly imagine.
Start with basics, look at your diet. Studies have shown that on average identical twins die 10 years apart. One of the biggest factors that we can control is our diet and what we put down our throats.
The second blog will contain more information on diet and small changes you can make to bring big results. But that requires some thought, planning and awareness and possibly more of a financial commitment. The very first thing you can do, right this minute is to deal with the issue of exercise.
Don’t use the lift at work or if you work in a very tall building, reduce the amount of floors you use the lift for. Walk to the 3rd or 4th floor and then take the lift and build it up. If you are really out of practice and/or overweight, start with one floor for one week and then move, if you feel ready, to tackling 2.
Park further away from the entrance of the car-park at the station if you commute, the entrance of the supermarket. Buy a pedometer and aim to increase the amount of footsteps you take to 10,000 a day. Just start with an increase of 10%. Set the pedometer for one day and see what you normally do and then increase it by 10%. Only you know and can see what you are up to. Start walking up a few of the escalator steps instead of standing all the way. Always check with doctor if concerned or unsure about a new exercise regime.
Find out what the Yogic Sun Salutation is. This will take 5 minutes and stretch every major set of muscles, help with flexibility, joints, circulation and set you up for the day. Not enough time? Get up 5 minutes earlier – go to bed 5 minutes earlier. You are in control and remember, you are a grown-up so you can do what you like.
If you want more help on how to destress or want to check out your stress situation, just take a look at my site,


standing crowd

The Insider’s Guide to Finding the Right Counsellor

1024 683 Susan Carr


Given that mental health is not something that is commonly discussed in the legal world it is unlikely that you will hear recommendations about good counsellors from colleagues. So how do you go about finding a counsellor?

It may sound obvious but the first thing is to check whether the counsellor is qualified because anyone can call themselves a counsellor (or therapist /psychotherapist) as the profession is unregulated. However there are a number of voluntary registers which have now been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (see for more details).

As well as checking the professional qualifications of a counsellor (and whether they are on a voluntary register) it is also useful to find out the type of counselling that they offer as there is a huge range of therapies available. It would not be possible to list them all here but some of the most common are:-

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which as the name suggests focuses on thoughts and behaviours and how these can be changed.

Integrative Counselling in which the therapist may use various approaches to try to tailor the therapy for each client.

Mindfulness which encourages awareness of the present moment to improve mental wellbeing.

Person/Client Centred Therapy in which the client is viewed as being an expert on themselves and with the right conditions can achieve their potential.

Psychoanalysis/Psychodynamic Therapy which is based on the work of Sigmund Freud and explores how current behaviour may be influenced by unconscious processes and past experience.

Given that research has shown that one of the most important factors in counselling is the relationship between the counsellor and the client, it may be an idea to check out a few counsellors in the same way that you would get quotes from contractors if you were having work done around the house. Most counsellors would be happy to meet or chat by phone so that you can get an idea of whether you will be able to work together and whether they have experience of dealing with your particular issue. Some useful questions may be:

* What are your qualifications?

* Are you a member of any professional body?

* How long have you been practising?

* What kind of therapy do you offer?

* What are your fees?

* How many sessions can I have?

* How often are the sessions?

Counselling can be accessed in a number of different ways (through GPs, Employee Assistance Programmes, charities and voluntary organisations as well as private therapists) and what to expect will vary between organisations. So for example although it may be free to have counselling through your GP, a workplace counselling scheme or a charity, often the number of sessions you are allowed may be limited and you may not have a choice about either the counsellor you see or the type of therapy that you receive.

The cost of seeing a private counsellor will vary from area to area but can be between £30 to £60 per session although sometimes there may be concessions available for those on low incomes. If you feel that you would like a counsellor that has specific knowledge of working in law then Lawcare keeps a database of counsellors who have a connection with the legal profession (

If you would like any further information about choosing a counsellor or the different types of counselling then please get in touch.


The Importance of Taking Regular Breaks

1024 680 Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach


Make time to take a complete break from work. You owe it to yourself, your health and mental wellbeing.

You work hard during the week and probably spend the weekend rushing around completing all those jobs that need doing. You go back to work on a Monday just as tired and stressed as you were on the Friday.

When you work for yourself you may feel you can’t afford to take the time away and that the office will fall apart without out you. When you work for someone else you may only get four weeks paid holiday a year and you need to work around your colleagues and family commitments too.

While most people are happy to book up their main holiday over the Summer – two weeks away with the family or friends, you should also plan in shorter breaks. A long weekend or a week every few months.

Would you rather have three or four holidays a year? They don’t have to be three or four ‘long’ holidays. A break away from your normal routine can do you as much good as a week away.

There are enough Bank Holidays throughout the year to give you the opportunity of a shorter working week to get away. It doesn’t have to be a foreign trip to an exotic location or need to involve a lot of expense. There are plenty of unexplored places on your doorstep or only a short drive away. Rather than spend your weekend catching up, trips to the DIY store or garden centre, become a tourist in your own town.

A change of scenery and doing something different (even if that means a spot of guilt-free nothing – relaxing, reading, enjoying a great view) can be just the break you need from the day-to-day busyness and stress of work.

One holiday a year is never enough. You arrive, take a few days to unwind and are just starting to relax when it’s time to come back again.

Do you often find you are ill when you go on holiday? If you’ve been under stress and you’re working too hard this is a good indicator. Once you start to relax on holiday, your body which has been dealing with the stress or suppressing any thoughts of being ill, decides it’s had enough. Not helped by coughs, colds and bugs passed by other travellers.

Taking regular breaks and giving yourself time to relax is important to your mental and physical wellbeing and will help to reduce your stress.

If you’d like to know how you can organise your life better still be able to take three or holidays a year, email or call me and let me help you improve your work/life balance.