Mental Health & Wellbeing

As part of looking after our mental health there are some things, we can do to safeguard our mental wellbeing.  We all know how to keep our physical wellbeing in shape and we can see the results of going to the gym and eating healthy but when it comes to our mental wellbeing the results are not always so obvious and we don’t like talking about mental health so peoples perceptions can vary. 

I have been reading up on the latest research from NEF and they have stated that the following 5 ways are the best ways in which we can look after ourselves and keep our mental wellbeing in good shape.  Surprisingly it is easy and are things we can all do with a little thought and sometimes planning.

See what you think:

CONNECT

With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and

neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of

these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them.

Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

BE ACTIVE

Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance.

Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical

activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

TAKE NOTICE

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the

changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work,

eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and

what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you

appreciate what matters to you.

KEEP LEARNING

Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course.

Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an

instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy

achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as

being fun.

GIVE

Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile.

Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in.

Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be

incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

So there it is, if 5 looks to daunting take it one at a time, small changes can have a really big impact.

Anxiety

This month we are going to be looking at mental health.  Coming out of lock down, a relax of restrictions and going back into the office is seriously affecting some peoples’ mental health.  The main condition that people are reporting to suffer from is anxiety.  Anxiety is a condition that most of us will suffer from time to time.   Every now and then when there is a particularly stressful situation for example getting your exam results is a perfectly natural response that your body has to the events that are occurring.  The problems begin when this anxiety is a persistent state of being and it can have a very real impact on the person’s life.  The feelings can become more noticeable and difficult to live with.  The disorder can make you think things are a lot worse than they are and can lead to you feeling worried, panicked, and fearful most of the time.  This is when it starts to affect the persons day to day life.

It is important that people understand anxiety and recognise the signs and symptoms not only within ourselves but also within those around use.

The things we might notice in ourselves would be:

  • Feelings of dread or panic
  • Feeling on edge
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Wanting to escape from the situation you are in
  • Things you may see in others:
  • Sweating
  • Heavy and fast breathing
  • Hot flushes or blushing
  • Dry mouth (wanting to drink more than normal)
  • Shaking
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Stomach aches and sickness.

Don’t forget you may not get all of these but even 1 or 2 of them being persistently there is when it is time for you to speak to your GP.  It is important that those suffering with anxiety disorder know they are not alone and that there is support out there for them. 

There are many different anxiety disorders out there and the one discussed here is a general anxiety disorder.  Your GP will be able to discuss your own personal symptoms and recommended the best course of action for you.   No mental health condition is the same for everyone so remember to keep an open mind and listen to what people are saying.  Encourage them to get help and reminded them they are not alone.

Construction Blog

Hi everyone, 

So, this is the first blog for our site, this blog is designed to save you money!  

If you work in the construction industry or are looking to start working within this sector you will need to be in possession of a Green labourers CSCS card.  To get one of these you need to have a Health and Safety level 1 in construction certificate and pass the touch screen test.  

All of this can be daunting, time consuming and expensive so we thought it would be great if we could give you some tips on how the process can work for you.  The first hurdle for people is normally the Health and safety in construction course.  It is available from several suppliers and having looked into a number of these the most expensive I found was £150 and the cheapest was £75.  Many people fall into the trap of thinking that because the course costs less it isn’t the correct one.  Rest assured if the course is titled Health and safety in a construction environment or words to that effect it is the correct course.  

I charge £75 and have had many people chose a more expensive provider because they think it isn’t the right course.  If you want to make sure it is correct all you need to do is see who is accrediting the course.  There are loads of awarding bodies (people that accredit the course) out there and it really doesn’t matter which one your certificate comes from.  They are all accepted, and all provide the same qualification.  

When it comes to the touch screen test you have to visit an approved centre, book an appointment etc.  The prices of this are pretty standard throughout so you don’t need to worry about searching around.    There are loads of practice tests available online, some are free others you have to pay for.  There is also a book that you can buy that has all the questions in it but having spoken with a number of candidates that have tried both methods it seems that people prefer to pay the £8 registration to get as many practice tests as you want.  They are great because they give you feedback straight away.

When I sit with candidates to help them with these the most common mistakes, they make is not reading the question properly and not reading all of the answers before making their choice.  The questions themselves aren’t there to catch you out they highlight the key words that you need to pay attention to, for example, which of these IS NOT a form of mechanical aid.  

You also have to make sure that you read all 4 answers before selecting, many of the answers are very similar and will only have a couple of words different so be careful.  To give you and example,  

Where should flammable products be stored?

In a secure bung, near the entrance

In a secure bung, in fresh air

In a secure bung, away from ignition sources

In a secure bung, that is locked away

I’ve seen loads of people read “in a secure Bung” on the first answer and tick that without reading the additional answers.  The more you practice before the test the less likely you are to need a retest and will save yourself the fees that go with it.

Anyway, I hope this has helped you with your journey, and good luck with your exams.