This February, I want to introduce you to sex educator Emily Nagoski, whose straight-talking book ‘Come as you Are’ offers an exploration of women’s sexuality that might just help you to have better sex!
As a thirty-something woman, I have had some feelings of shame around sex and sexuality which have taken years to begin to shake off. Having grown up in a religious family, my personal Christian faith was incredibly important to me during my adolescence; although I questioned the biblical basis and the reasons for saving sex for marriage, and I explored whether I thought this message appropriately translated into 21st Century Western culture, my Christian perspective meant I entered adulthood with some rigid beliefs about sex. Added to that, I live in a society steeped in patriarchal history, which still often places men’s wants and needs above women, and presents often-impossible ideals about women and their bodies. Meanwhile my media influences had been full of Disney’s princesses and happily-ever-after rom-coms, TV drama storylines of adultery and (later) predictable film sex scenes in which a man and a woman have passionate sex which results in them orgasming at the exact same time.
DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE FIVE LANGUAGES OF LOVE- JAMIE LEE CUTAJAR
We can all agree that different people have different ways of showing someone how much they care about them. Some are all about expressing how they feel, whilst others show their sentiments through actions. Gary Chapman observed this for years in his work as a marriage counsellor; coining the term “Love Languages”. He then grouped them into five predominant categories which we will be looking into throughout this blog. This idea — that we all show and would like to receive love differently — is central to the concept of the five love languages, and without adequate understanding of these codes, couples often end up feeling unloved or frustrated in their relationships.
Whilst we are usually aware of expressing affection to our significant other/s, we don’t really take the time to evaluate whether we’re communicating it the way our partner wants to - or knows how to - receive it. Like most things, love can also get lost in translation and this happens due to the different love languages that each individual speaks. The love languages are different ways of communicating and receiving love. These are Chapman’s five styles. Which language is your predominant mode of communicating your love? Does it complement your partners? In which love language do you wish to be spoken to?
This is not another nauseating blog about what challenging and uncertain times we are living. This is an injection of hope – so read on! The beauty and wonder of humanity is that we - not only survive adversity- but, with the right mind-set, resources, and tools - can thrive through adversity. Yes thrive! So, let’s focus on how we can thrive through and after Covid-19 too. By no means do I wish to minimise the pain, the suffering, the trauma. It is real and we will all need to grieve and heal in our own way and in our own time. There is real suffering in the world today – all around us. I’m meeting people who are heartbroken from losing jobs or loved ones. There are people who have lost their homes or livelihood. Teenagers are anxious because they have lost their quality of life and social venting spurges. Relationships are struggling. Families are struggling. The elderly are lonely and worried. Professionals who work with people are working in constant anxiety and fear. Children are missing out on the beauty of touch, contact, play. We miss our people and our hugs. Businesses are struggling. People are tired and confused. Life is certainly not as it used to be – nothing is... and YET, if you are reading this blog it means that you have survived the first year of this pandemic and will probably live to tell the tale. It also means that you are motivated to live, love yourself and find out ways in which you can go on. It means you are a person who says YES to life. This dear reader, is HUMAN RESILIENCE at it’s best, and this is what I wish to focus on today.
FOOD TO IMPROVE MOOD - CHRISTINE BUSUTTIL, NUTRITIONAL THERAPIST
In recent years it has become more and more apparent that what you eat doesn’t only affect your waistline. A number of studies have shown the multi-facilitated affect nutrition has on many aspects of an individual’s life and health. Nutrition has been shown to not only play an important role in blood glucose control and cardiovascular health but changing your diet can also help tamp down depression and boost mood.
SELF-COMPASSION ISNT SELFISH - DR REBEKAH CHADWICK,
Self-care. Self-compassion. Self-love. With the boom of ‘self-care’ and wellness products marketed to us nowadays, most of us have come across the idea of self-compassion.
I’ve noticed that lots of us struggle to be self-compassionate, and sometimes people find the idea itself challenging. At its heart, self-compassion really just means treating ourselves with compassion, care, kindness and respect. (Practically, this can take many different forms – more on that later.) Dr Kristin Neff (widely recognised as a leading expert in self-compassion) summarises this by saying “with self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.” Most of us have little difficulty showing compassion to others who we care about, so why do we often find it so hard to show it towards ourselves?
SORROW (ON THE THRESHOLD OF ETERNITY) - VINCENT VAN GOGH
DEPRESSION UNRAVELLED – CHER ENGERER What it is, what it feels like & how to manage it
Depression: the black dog, the dark fog, the aimless road. Depression is essentially a disorder of mood. It is not merely a fleeting moment of sadness, but a persistent state of low, flat, heavy and melancholic mood. It is the relentlessness of it which makes it a disorder, because in essence, it is natural for human beings to feel sad from time to time, moment to moment.
Depression however sticks and can be a struggle to lift. This mood imbalance can be caused by anything which pains or plagues a person – externally (in their environment), internally (pervasive negative thoughts), or a combination of both.
LIFE AFTER COVID-19, IN IN SHORT, THE TIME TO REINVENT OURSELVES, GUIDANCE FROM A MEDIATOR, COACH - KRISZTINA OLIVA
Various excellent professionals are currently focusing on how best to support us in dealing with the challenges that COVID-19 has brought with it. One just needs to log in or join any social media platform to see how easily one can find articles about how to deal with fear, anxiety, finding a job and so on.
Anxiety is real in children too. Here is a short article written by one of our young clients at only 9 years of age, who wanted to share her experience with other young people to show them that they are not alone, and to help adults recognise how anxiety may be experienced by their children.