Hello, welcome back to ‘Inside Isorropia’ – Isorropia Foundation’s blog. January marks the start of a new year filled with opportunities. also, a fresh look for the blog. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Karleigh, and I work at Isorropia as a well-being coach. I was honoured to be asked to take over Lucy’s incredible blog.
The first thing that gave me hope and trust when I came to Isorropia as a member, is that all of the team share their personal stories. We are all human, we go through ups and downs in life. We believe that sharing how we overcome tough times is crucial for relating with others and encouraging them to do the same, while also breaking down unhelpful stigmas. Therefore, every month, I will be doing my best to interview a team member to provide you with more insight into our personalities, so you can get to know more about our team here at Isorropia. It’s part of our core values here at Isorropia, to be transparent, and share. So, it only seems reasonable to begin with me.
|Wellbeing Coach, and now Blogger!
|I love the Inner critic workshop, but I also really enjoy facilitating the gift follow-up sessions.
|What keeps you well?
|Journaling, walking, writing, music, my family, and my two dogs.
|What accomplishment are you proud of this month?
|As a new employee starting training and working for the first time in ten years, I’ve encountered many difficulties. Having to adjust to a new environment has also brought up several barriers that I am learning to overcome. However, I believe my greatest achievement to date is that, when I feel vulnerable or uncomfortable, I have not turned to my old coping mechanisms; instead, I have sat with my discomfort and discussed it with my colleagues, allowing myself to acknowledge my feelings and realising that this is all a process that I’m proudly working through.
|“Happiness is not a prize that we are awarded when the conditions of our lives become miraculously perfect. Happiness is a practice.” (Megan c Hayes PhD)
I am a very proud mother of three boys and two dogs. I love to walk because it keeps me well. I also have a slight obsession with board games. I love to write, read, journal, and dance not that I am all that good at it. I find comfort in my garden. This year, one of my goals is to hike a mountain.
One change I’ve made in my life recently is walking to work rather than taking the bus. I love to walk because I know it keeps me well by giving me time to think and process my thoughts better. I noticed I wasn’t doing this as much when I was catching the buses, so I decided to leave my house a little earlier, which is a challenge but has now become my routine. I catch the earlier bus from my house and when I get to Newport, I walk to work along the cycle track, and it’s been such a positive change in my day-to-day life, helping me to sift through my thoughts and feelings and prepare myself for the day. The cycle route along the river is beautiful; every morning I hear birdsong, swans taking flight on the river, dogs on their walks, and even squirrels playing in the trees, which brightens my day.
Have you made any positive changes to your daily routine?
Two years ago, I attended my first Isorropia introduction workshop. I had suffered for many years from poor mental health; I felt unstable, as if my emotions were in control of me; I lacked self-worth and confidence; and I was unable to break free from a negative mood. My coping mechanism was to shut myself off from the outside world, but no matter how bad things were, there was always a tiny part of me that hoped for better. The hardest part was stepping into my first introduction workshop and heading straight back out the door again, where I hid in the bathrooms because I felt so anxious it was too much, I was ready to go home.
While I felt like everyone was staring at me, judging me, and thinking how weird I was, I heard a small voice from behind the toilet door saying, “I’m not being weird, I just want to make sure you’re okay.” It was Becky, the well-being coach facilitating the workshop. This woman who was in my eyes a mental health professional thought she was being weird. It eased me, she related to me and I’d not experienced that before from an organisation, I walked back into that workshop went through many boxes of tissues and for the first time showed up for myself, after crying myself through numerous workshops, being uncomfortable and fighting my fears, it finally started to feel a little easier.
I decided to use the notebook I bought as a tool book for myself, writing down all the things the wellbeing coaches said to me that resonated. I even used some of the tools from the workshops. I attended the GIFT foundation course and the follow-ups, and I really started to discover who I was. I made every workshop my purpose, my goal was just to attend, and I just kept attending again and again. I felt well for the first time in my life.
I eventually found my purpose to help others when I was invited to volunteer with Isorropia. Then Later in the year, I applied to be a bank well-being coach, which was a huge step, when my mental health had prevented me from working for more than ten years. When a full-time position as a wellbeing coach came up, I went for it. Maintaining my wellbeing is a constant and believing in myself enough has been a challenge but I have ridden the wave of ups and downs and I was hired in early December. Two years ago I believed I wasn’t even capable of leaving my home, I have learnt to be proud of my achievements and as a wellbeing coach, I enjoy getting to know members and demonstrating to you all that it is possible to achieve wellness. Even though my journey hasn’t been easy, it has been made possible with Isorropia’s support.
My adventure with Isorropia has taught me many invaluable skills, which I hope to share with you over the coming months. I believe that self-awareness was the first thing that changed for me.
METACOGNITION – a thinking that gives you the ability to be aware of how you think.
Self-awareness is understanding your own feelings, thoughts, actions and desires. (healthy self-monitoring)
The key thing is: Who are you?
A way I have learnt to practice self-awareness is by journalling and asking myself questions such as:
What drained me today or made me feel low?
This is a great way to look at things in your life that are not serving you so you can start managing them better, or simply writing them down can help you accept them and notice the things that drain you. For example, not eating lunch. You may start to see a pattern over time that you can then make small changes to.
What excited me today, or made me feel more positive?
Example: I went for a walk, listened to music, attended a workshop, or got out of bed this morning. One positive a day is enough. Even if you don’t feel it’s an accomplishment still write it down, finding your small daily positives will give you a sense of pride, can help to bring you out of a negative mindset, and start to change your perspective over time if practised consistently.
What am I grateful for today?
Writing down what we are grateful for helps to release all those happy endorphins that make us feel good, and being grateful for the smallest or funniest things can make you appreciate life a little more. I am grateful that I get to share my experiences with you.
Every workshop at Isorropia can help you to gain more self-awareness, there are some brilliant tools that really help you recognise your emotions, what you are doing in your low self or what that inner critic is telling you,
Top up on workshops by booking them online via your BookWhen link or give us a ring on 01983 217791 and we can easily book them for you over the phone. We always love to hear from our members!
Wellbeing Activity Warm Hub (Members Only)
Congratulations to Vicky, our community and volunteer lead, who has done an excellent job of providing our members with the warm hub. So far, these events have been very popular and enjoyed by our members.
Wellbeing Activity Warm Hub – Funded by SNG formerly Sovereign Housing Association, Sovereign Housing’s Mental Health Day Small Grants
These sessions will run EVERY TUESDAY from 10 – 12 in the main lounge at Medina Valley Centre.
Colder months can lead to people being caught in a cycle of social isolation, reduced mobility, increased pain, anxiety, negative mindset and depression. Breaking this cycle requires a meaningful purpose for getting out of the house and a reduction of barriers to doing this.
These FREE sessions run from January to the end of March and aim to supply a ‘Taster’ session of wellbeing activities that you might like to continue within your own community to maintain your physical and mental wellbeing independently.
The shuttle bus is available:
Please CLICK HERE to reserve your space on BookWhen or call 01983 217791.
PLEASE NOTE: ‘Wellbeing Activity Warm Hub’ is exclusively for Isorropia members. All members who have graduated the structured Wellbeing Programme (post-Gift Graduates) are welcome to attend. Pre-Gift members need to be actively engaging in regular workshops in order to participate in Isorropia’s social activities.
Isorropia Foundation has a fantastic chance to transform the stunning Medina Valley site into a dedicated Wellbeing Centre for our community! To secure central government funding, we need YOUR support.
Your feedback is critical to demonstrating our community’s support for this incredible project. Let us make this Wellbeing Centre a reality! Your voice matters. Help shape the future of the Medina Valley Centre by filling out this short questionnaire: CLICK HERE.
That brings us to the end of the first blog of 2024; I hope I did it justice and you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! I’d love to hear your thoughts about the topics covered. If you have any suggestions for future blog topics, let us know in the comments. If you’re interested in accessing Isorropia Foundation’s Programme and community activities, please get in touch with us on 01983 217791 to enquire about becoming a member.