Goal Setting | The Gift Foundation Course

Goal Setting | The Gift Foundation Course

April has flown by, and we are almost into May!

This month, I’ve received messages from members who have expressed their enjoyment of my blogs. I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for sharing this with me and reading. Honestly, I never thought anyone would read my blog, so knowing that so many of you do truly warms my heart and boosts my self-belief even more. Thank you all!

I still get nervous when presenting workshops, and it’s frustrating because I feel like I should be more confident by now. On top of that, I haven’t been feeling well due to a cold, which makes it even harder to focus on my work. But I need to remind myself to be kind and compassionate towards myself, just like I talked about in my February blog. It’s important to acknowledge how far I’ve come and appreciate the progress I’ve made. In this blog, I want to explore the importance of setting goals.

Goal Setting

Initially, I was hesitant about setting goals, I felt trapped and believed that I would never succeed in accomplishing anything. However, I eventually came to understand that goals are the driving force that propels us forward and aids in our personal growth. By focusing on self-improvement, we are already making significant strides towards achievement.

During the introductory workshop, the well-being coaches explained Isorropia’s five keys, and amidst it all, the concept of meaning and purpose brought a mix of emotions. Initially, it felt daunting, as I felt as though I lacked both at the time. The coaches mentioned the two-day GIFT foundation course as a path toward setting goals, but my initial reaction was resistance. It felt daunting and overwhelming, my inner critic fought against the idea.

In those moments, the idea of seeking meaning, purpose, and setting goals seemed distant and unattainable. All I wanted was to navigate through the workshops, to simply survive. Even attending felt like a challenge, and my first goal was simply making it through the door and finding a seat. The pressure I placed on myself led to overwhelming emotions and I couldn’t complete the first day of the GIFT course. Walking away left me feeling like I had stumbled, like I had failed, further denting my self-esteem. It was in this negative space that I even resorted to writing a harsh letter to myself, emphasizing my perceived shortcomings.

However, a few days later, a well-being coach reached out, offering reassurance and booking me for more workshops, including a rescheduled GIFT course. This encouragement shifted my perspective, reminding me that setbacks weren’t the end of the road but merely detours on the path to growth. I made a conscious decision to persevere, using each workshop as a stepping stone toward my ultimate goal of completing the GIFT.

This marked a turning point for me—a conscious decision to not let setbacks define my journey and I committed to pushing forward. The GIFT became my ultimate goal, and each workshop became a stepping stone toward it. By applying the tools from the workshops, I began to work on myself outside of the sessions. I used my journal as a guide and worked towards my goals with compassion. I reminded myself that slipping up wasn’t a failure, just a sign that I needed more time. Every goal I set revolved around the workshops, keeping me focused until I finally achieved the gift. And when I finally entered that space, I knew I was truly prepared.

On my gift day I wrote myself something I wanted to share…

I’m feeling scared, but also excited. I have been here once before in the middle of August, and I didn’t get through day one. I felt ashamed and disappointed in myself. I felt as though I had failed at getting well, but I had a little determination in myself, so after a very difficult anxious call, I booked myself on as many workshops as I could every week I attended, and I started to feel less of a failure. I decided to start to listen and use the tools from the workshops, I did decide to do this at a slow comfortable rate, I set tiny goals, and something slowly started to happen. I started to lift my head a little higher. I found my voice in workshops and with that came my smile and laughter, I see now I didn’t fail I just wasn’t ready. I have a long way to go, 30 something years can’t be fixed in a few months, but something I’ve never lost that my moods emotions and trauma after trauma hasn’t taken away is my determination it may have been a very small ember just a few months ago but as I take my journey forward it has become more of a flame and right now I am comfortable excepting where I am and who I am. I am ready to keep moving forward to burn brighter and today I’m going to achieve one of my biggest goals attending the gift and I’m happy to be here. Karleigh x”
October 2022

This time, my experience with the Gift was truly transformative. I didn’t push myself too hard, but I still had a clear goal in mind. It really helped to shift my mindset and I even connected with the people in my group. The Gift was another step towards my overall well-being, and the follow-up session really helped me stay focused. I really enjoyed my GIFT course and was so proud I did it!

I realised that meaning and purpose doesn’t always have to be grand and overwhelming. It can be found in the simple moments. Finding meaning in our daily actions, routines, and activites can bring purpose and happiness, without necessarily needing to find the meaning of life itself. So, ask yourself, what is the meaning behind the things you do? As for me, the meaning of writing this blog is to let others know that they’re not alone, to offer hope, and to give back in my own way. Now, what is the meaning of your attendance at Isorropia?

It’s completely normal to feel scared when setting big goals for yourself. Admitting what you truly want can be intimidating, especially when the fear of failure creeps in. It’s important to shift your mindset towards the opportunities and possibilites.

How was your experience with the gift? I would love to hear all about it. 

The Gift Foundation Course

Most of you will already be aware that Isorropia offers a transformative two-day foundation course called “THE GIFT”. This course is designed to reconnect members with life’s possibilities in relationships, family, career & community. It encourages exploration of personal passions & aims to bring about permanent shifts towards your desired life. Members will consilidate the tools learnt in the workshops to develop powerful new thinking & behavioral patterns, enhancing success & balance in personal wellbeing.

You will receive your GIFT course dates during your first introduction workshop. It is not mandatory to complete the GIFT course, but I would highly recommend taking part if you are able. If you find the two day difficult, then we also offer theGIFT LITE”, which is a shorter 5 hours version. 

REMEMBER: Either version of “THE GIFT” is open to all members. If you wish to change your gift date, swap to the GIFT LITE, or retake the GIFT, please give us a call. 

The Gift Follow Up Sessions

Follow-up sessions are my favourite part of the program and play a crucial role in helping you stay on track with your goals. These sessions, led by wellbeing coaches, break down your goals into manageable steps and provide a more personalized approach compared to the workshops. They focus on the present moment and offer an opportunity to reconnect with your fellow GIFT participants.

These follow-up sessions take place over 4 weeks at the same time and day each week, with a final 1-1 review session on the 5th week with a wellbeing coach. During this review, you can decide how you want to proceed with isorropia – whether it’s graduating from the program, attending more workshops, or repeating the entire program. The choice is yours.

One of the great things about isorropia is that even after graduating, you can still participate in workshops, attend the GIFT sessions, or join social groups. You will continue to have access to our phone lines for ongoing support.

Journaling for Goals

Why not try these journal prompts for goal setting. Your goals can be as small as you want… have a shower, get a decent lunch, drink two glass of water.

    • What have I already accomplished today? (I got up, I got dressed, I went for a walk, I allowed myself to rest, I made a phone call) 
    • Did I learn anything today? (I do achieve things) 
    • What is the story I’m telling myself right now? 
    • Is there a new habit I would like to try. 
    • What is one goal I’d like to work towards?
    • What small steps can I take to work towards this? 
    • What if my small step doesn’t work out? What can I do to still work towards this?
    • What is the meaning In this goal? 
    • How will I feel after achieving this goal? 
    • What will happen if I don’t achieve this goal, and can I do it differently?  What did I learn? (Be compassioante towards yourself here; what would you say to a friend?)

My Goal

I’ve had a desire to climb a mountain for quite some time now. It’s a goal I’ve been aiming to accomplish, especially since my journey to wellness with isorropia has always felt like climbing a mountain. Earlier this month, my two eldest sons and I decided to hike across north Wales and hike to the peak of Snowdonia to raise funds for autism awareness. What I realized during this trip is that the journey towards a goal is more significant than the goal itself. Reflecting on where I was just a few years ago, unable to even step out of my own home, to now stepping out of my comfort zone and routine, is a huge achievement for me. Boarding a boat is something that scares me, so it was a goal to conquer that fear. While traveling we crossed bridges over water, which I don’t particularly like due to my fear of water. Being out of routine made me very uncomfortable but overcoming these fears and pushing myself out of my comfort zone are small victories that contribute to the overall achievement. It’s important to acknowledge how far we’ve come when setting goals, and for me, the greatest achievement was simply believing that I could do these things. We ended up walking 57miles, visited amazing sights and made the Snowdon climb.

Setting goals is important, but the biggest growth comes from believing in myself enough to achieve those goals. When I got the job at isorropia, I thought that was the ultimate achievement, but in reality, the goals I accomplished along the way were huge. Stepping out of my comfort zone and overcoming challenges like picking up the phone and talking to people were major milestones. when I look back at all the challenges I faced, I realise they contributed to my personal growth, rather than just getting the job. 

It’s all about changing our mindset and believing in ourselves. I’ve held myself back for too long, playing the victim to my own mental health diagnosis and believing I couldn’t do things, because I was unwell, anxious, or socially awkward. I created a story in my head that I didn’t deserve success or happiness because of the traumas I’ve been through. But the truth is, the only person holding me back was myself. Changing the narrative I constantly told myself marked the beginning of setting goals for myself. I reminded myself that I couldn’t keep repeating the stories of my past failures or insecurities because by doing so, I would continue to believe them. I realised that I needed to shift my perspective and take control of my story. Now, my story is one of growth and accomplishment at my own pace. I refuse to let anything hold me back because I deserve to live the life I want. Despite facing challenges, I have continued to grow. Just like Les Brown once said, “growth comes from overcoming tough times, not from the good days.” I have learned to embrace the difficult moments and use them as opportunities to evolve. I am constantly looking for new ways to approach obstacles and learn from them. It’s not about reaching the top of the mountain effortlessly, but about the journey of growth and resilience along the way. I’ve challenged myself to at least give it a shot, believing in myself to try. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll figure out what I can do differently. How can I learn and grow from this experience? In reality, I might grow more from not reaching my initial goal, as I’ll need to find alternative paths. It’s about dealing with the obstacles and emotions along the way, not just reaching the destination easily. It’s a process of working hard and gradually improving to achieve growth. Just like when I climbed that mountain, it wasn’t a simple journey to the top. There were struggles, setbacks, and moments of doubt. But those challenges are where the real growth happens, and the sense of achievement is even greater. If I had just breezed through it, I wouldn’t have learned as much or felt as accomplished as I do now. The real growth and achievement comes from the journey itself, the obstacles faced, and the determination to overcome them.

Remember, when you first reached out to Isorropia for help THAT was an achievement. When you completed your enrolment, that was another achievement. Attending the introduction and deciding to book your workshops were also achievements. By choosing to come to Isorropia, you made the decision to change your story. It doesn’t matter where you are in your journey or if you face struggles, tears, or overwhelming moments. Your past doesn’t have to compare to anyone else’s. What matters is that you showed up for yourself; you’re trying. That’s the most important part towards your growth!

Ask yourself! 

    • How far have I come? 
    • What have I done to show up for myself? 
    • Am I doing things I believed I couldn’t do 6 months ago? 
    • What is it that I’m telling myself I can’t achieve? Can I challenge this? Is there proof that this self-belief is false? 

Looking to boost your self-belief? Look no further than our confidence and self-esteem workshop! It’s the perfect opportunity to enhance your mindset and build a strong foundation of self-assurance. Members can easily secure a spot via your bookwhen link, or simply giving us a call. Additionally, we have another fantastic workshop that focuses on goals and maintaining focus. It’s called “The Fear of Getting Well” and “Well-being Planning”. These workshops complement each other perfectly, creating a harmonious balance in your personal growth journey.

A tool that really helps me put things in to perspective when I’m struggling to push to achieve is the cross roads to happiness tool. You can find this in the well-being planning workshop.

Meet the Team: Molly Dixon

One well-being coach that is the queen of goals and achieving is Molly, I often see molly push herself to achieve the things she wants in life and it’s a huge inspiration, as I have got to know molly I have found out she is an extremely fun, bubbly, energetic, talented, kind and honest person and really keeps our teams moral up she makes everyone laugh and can really brighten up the day just by being her most authentic self. Molly is an incredible wellbeing coach and I really enjoy being in workshops with her. 

Name/Nickname
Molipop / Molly
Job Role
Wellbeing Coach
What is your favourite workshop?
It’s a mix of effective communication, building healthy relationships and well-being planning (of course I can’t choose just one).
What keeps you well?
Knowing myself well enough to know what my need in a moment is.
What is your favourite quote?
When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up. – Les Brown.
About Molly
Hello all! A little background of things that bring me a lot of joy, first and foremost having the privilege of owning my horse who is called Maverick. He is a large part of my Ikigi and the biggest dream child me ever made. I tend to him twice a day, every day and I love the lifestyle it brings me. We love a good gallop over the downs across the island and jumping. Secretly a bit of a mermaid, I sea dip all year and have recently brought myself a Lumi recovery ice tub. I go to swim training once a week, became in love with running during covid and have always been a gym goer. Equally, I promise I do find a little downtime to relax and get lost in a good fantasy book, some simple pleasures for me look like camping, herbal teas, candles, sunsets/sunrises and going to bed in fresh sheets by 9 pm. I’m also a very curious mind and love learning anything new, especially around psychology and neuroscience. I need a lot of variation in my life, so the active lifestyle and mental stimulation work for me beautifully. It’s difficult to pinpoint my favourite part of my role here at Isorropia, however, I think it would have to be when I fall into a focus flow (which I call it) during a workshop or delivering the gift, when I’m able to respond to a question with either a question to allow an individual to peel back another layer of their own self-awareness or theory that spreads inspiring energy across the room.
A goal I achieved…
Everyone knows I am a sucker for a good goal/plan. I feel for me personally my biggest achievement within goal setting was gaining my degree, but not for the piece of paper. But actually, because it gave me such evidence against a negative belief system I created as a teenager believing I was stupid and couldn’t learn academically. Everything else around that I gained was a bonus, due to my neurodiversity I had to learn how I learn, with a very good reward system. Scheduling and holding myself very accountable. Due to my university course being 4 years, it was a goal that kept giving, allowing that belief system to evolve and grow.

This Month at Isorropia

Molly recently accomplished an incredible feat by participating in the ABP half marathon, finishing 13.10 miles in just 1 hour and 56 minutes. Not only did she surpass her personal record, but she also raised funds for the Isle of Wight and Hampshire air ambulance. Congratulations on this remarkable achievement, Molly!

New Workshops

You might have noticed on our community Facebook page that the Isorropia team has been diligently brainstorming new workshop ideas for our members. Natasha, our amazing team member, even created a Facebook poll for you to vote on your favourite workshop idea. Your input is incredibly valuable to us, and we truly appreciate the time you took to participate. We are eagerly awaiting the results and can’t wait to start organizing some exciting new workshops. Stay tuned for updates!

Team Wellbeing Day

From time to time, the Isorropia team gathers and dedicates an entire day to our well-being. This is crucial for us to pause, appreciate each other, and strengthen our bond as a team. It’s also an opportunity for us to have some fun! During this month’s well-being day, we engaged in team-building exercises, enjoyed music quizzes, and explored our personality types and core values. I absolutely cherish these days, although I must admit they can be challenging for me. As someone who gets easily drained by crowds and noise, I tend to withdraw and become quiet. In the past, I used to judge myself for this and wonder why I couldn’t be more enthusiastic like others. However, what I’ve come to realize is that it’s truly fascinating to find people who understand you. They don’t judge or question your behaviour; instead, they simply accept you for who you are. I believe this is a crucial aspect of finding your tribe, and I can confidently say that the team here at Isorropia is definitely my tribe.

As always, I hope this blog has been helpful to you, please let me know of any subjects you would like me to cover or if you would like to participate in the blog. 

 

Much love Karleigh.

Comfort Zones | Positive Journalling | Inspirational Women

Comfort Zones | Positive Journalling | Inspirational Women

I absolutely love this time of year – the days are getting longer, the weather is brighter, and the flowers are starting to bloom. Here at Isorropia, we have daffodils, snowdrops, and Hyacinth popping up, along with a few rabbits hopping about. March holds a mix of emotions for me. My eldest son was born in March and just turned 19 this year, the same age I was when I had him. Becoming a young mum was challenging. Being a mum is the most challenging job I’ve ever had, but it’s also my greatest accomplishment. March also marks the three-year anniversary of losing my Nan, a very special person in my life, so it’s a time when I know I need to be a bit gentler with myself.

What does March bring for you?

Comfort Zones

At Isorropia, we love exploring the comfort zone. Dwelling on the past for too long isn’t healthy. I used to get stuck in negative experiences, but now I briefly reflect on what I’ve learned and grown from. So, when I talk about my past, it’s with a fresh perspective. Let me share my journey with you.

I’ve faced numerous challenges, and withdrawing was always my go-to. In 2015, amid significant life changes and stress, I fell into deep depression which lead to self isolating at home and many unhealthy coping mechanisms. However, with time and support, I started caring for myself again, stepping outside, walking my dog, and even reopening a new business from home. Little did I know, I had created a new comfort zone, isolating me from social interactions.

For the next seven years, I limited my interactions to dog walks in my neighbourhood, I had no desire for friends. Social events triggered panic, leaving me feeling ashamed and perpetuating a destructive cycle. When COVID-19 forced isolation, I couldn’t understand why others were struggling with isolation; it had been my norm. However, at the beginning of 2022 aspects of my life were changing. My children growing up and becoming more independent. I had made my children my source of happiness and purpose, and when they started to have their own lives, I felt like I was losing my identity as a mother and my mental health started to deteriorate again, which led to a referral to Isorropia.

In my January post, I shared my first experience with Isorropia and the challenges I faced in overcoming my discomfort. Stepping out of my comfort zone felt overwhelming at times, but with encouragement, I persisted. Looking back, I realize that if I hadn’t pushed myself to do those uncomfortable things, I would still be isolating myself and struggling with my mental health. I came to understand that I was the one who had confined myself to my comfort zone, ultimately affecting my well-being, and it was up to me to make the decision to step out of that zone and strive for improvement. Now, I recognise discomfort as growth and navigate through it with self-compassion.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is essential for personal growth and development. In psychology, the comfort zone refers to the familiar activities and behaviours that help reduce stress. Back in 1908, psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson discovered the concept of optimal anxiety – the idea that in order to reach your full potential, you need to push yourself just enough to learn and grow without becoming overwhelmed. It’s all about taking small, consistent steps, setting achievable goals, and facing your fears and emotions head-on.

Breaking down small steps is key to keep progressing. Here’s what my first baby steps looked like:

Goal for this week

I will attend a workshop at Isorropia this week.

What do I want to achieve by making this goal?

Because I want to try and get better. 

Step towards this goal

  • Book the workshop 
  • Look at bus times
  • Pick what I will wear 

On the day…

  • Get a shower
  • Get dressed 
  • Walk to the bus 
  • Play games on the bus to help anxiety 
  • Walk to workshop
  • Get in the door 
  • Sit through the workshop 
  • Go home and rest. 

Initially, stepping out of my comfort zone led me straight into the fear zone, feeling overwhelmed and retreating to safety. It’s tough but necessary for growth. When I started working at Isorropia, I faced challenges like working in a busy office, interacting with others after isolating for so long, speaking in front of groups, and talking on the phone. It was a real struggle, but running back home wasn’t an option if I wanted personal growth and to pursue a job that brings me so much joy. I’ve embraced discomfort, tears, and insecurities with kindness, acknowledging my struggles and allowing myself to feel. Progress is gradual, but it’s all part of the journey.

So when you find yourself in the fear zone, stay prepared. Feeling scared and anxious is normal when challenging what feels safe. Take things at your pace and be kind to yourself. Each conquered fear is progress. It’s okay to retreat to your comfort zone briefly for a recharge. Just ensure you step back out, even with small actions. Having a comfort zone is completely normal and necessary for replenishing our energy and feeling secure. The key is to not let it hold you back from personal growth.

Comfort Zone Exercise

Create an uncomfortable list, of 10-20 things that make you feel uncomfortable. Pick one thing from that list to try every day. Don’t pressure yourself if something is very uncomfortable, take small steps and work on it over time.

I accomplished most of the things on my list that I made a while ago. Here are some of the uncomfortable items I wrote down in my journal:

  • Try a new food
  • Go to the shops on my own
  • Talk to a stranger 
  • Make a phone call 
  • Take my son out for the day 
  • Read out loud in a group 
  • Sign up for a course 
  • Wear new colour of clothing 
  • Wear a dress 
  • Go out for a coffee 
  • Go on the well-being walk.
  • Read a new genre of book.
  • Visit a new place
  • Make a list of my strengths
  • Listen to a meditation
  • Swap my coffee for a herbal tea
  • Write in my journal everyday
  • Write down some future goals
  • Catch the bus with the dogs
  • Attend the two day gift course.

Isorropia has some great workshops to help with goal setting and pushing comfort zones. Some of these are…

  • Wellbeing planning.
  • The fear of getting well.

Existing members can book these via your BookWhen link or call us on 01983 217791.

If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact us.

Comfort Zone Journal Prompts

  • What do you do in your comfort zone?
  • What things push you out of your comfort zone?
  • How do you feel when you push out of your comfort zone?
  • What would you gain if you stepped out of your comfort zone?
  • What small steps could you take to step out of your comfort zone?
  • If you could get to the growth zone without fear what would it look and feel like?

Positive Journaling

Journaling was a big leap out of my comfort zone, especially when it came to writing positive things about myself. Being honest with myself and expressing my feelings and thoughts through writing was initially uncomfortable. Although shifting from a negative mindset to embracing positivity was tough, it was incredibly rewarding.

Throughout my path to wellbeing, I completed two diplomas in journaling therapy and positive psychology. In both of these courses, I learned about the significance of positivity in our lives and the influence it can have when we journal. Many times, we tend to write about our negative emotions and experiences, which is a great way to heal and move towards wellness. However, it is equally important to document and celebrate our positive experiences, strengths, and moments of happiness.

Our brains are naturally wired to prioritise survival, constantly on the lookout for threats and negatives. However, by consciously focusing on the positives and reflecting on them, we can actually reprogram our brains. Research indicates that dedicating just four to five days to reflecting on the positives can lead to a greater awareness of the good things in our daily lives. Clinical studies have shown that practicing this for fourteen days can result in reduced burnout, improved work-life balance, and increased happiness. And the best part? It only takes 2-5 minutes a day to write these positives down!

The Power of Language

Reframing our language to embrace positivity can have a transformative impact on our lives. By choosing words that uplift and empower us, we shift our mindset towards optimism and possibility. Positive language not only influences our own thoughts and behaviors but also resonates with those around us, fostering a culture of encouragement and growth. It’s a small yet powerful change that can lead to profound shifts in our well-being and relationships.

Here are some examples of negative to positive rephrasing:

Negative vs Positive Language

Dont give up! | Keep going, you’re doing a great job.

I am not stressed. | I’ve been relaxed and calm in the past period.

Don’t be so rough! | Be gentle.

I’m not doing the best I can. | I can/I will do more.

The results I’ve accomplished are not bad. | I’ve accomplished some good/great results.

I’m not far from achieving my goal. | I’m very close to achieving my goal.

Sorry I’m late. | Thank you for waiting for me.

Sorry that I messed up. | Thank you for being patient when I made a mistake.

Sorry that I talk too much. | Thank you for listening to me.

Sorry that I asked for this favour. | Thank you for helping me out.

Sorry I’ve been distant. | Thank you for being understanding.

I have so much left to do. | There’s more to do, but I’m proud of my progress.

I hate feeling this way. | I am not my feelings, I am the one who feels them.

This is too complicated. | I’ll tackle this from a new angle.

I’m terrible at this. | I’m learning, it’s okay to be uncomfortable.

I made a huge mistake. | What can I learn from this?

Meet the Faces Behind Isorropia: Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is an integral part of our team at Isorropia and has been with us since the very beginning and has conquered many challenges, making her an extraordinary individual. When I first joined Isorropia as a member, Lisa had just started leading workshops, which she openly admitted was outside her comfort zone. Now, Lisa has been successfully running the ‘Reframe programme’. Throughout this journey, she has shown incredible dedication. What truly impresses me about Lisa is her ability to ask the right questions at the right time and her self-awareness in maintaining her own mental wellbeing. I aspire to be as great of a coach as Lisa one day. I asked Lisa about her favourite workshop and what it means to her. Here’s what she said:

What is your favourite workshop?

My Favourite workshop is the Inner Critic. Overcoming my inner critic was a process that involved cultivating my self-awareness, challenging my negative self-talk, and practicing self-compassion daily. I learnt to dance with my inner critic by becoming aware of its presence; noticing when it was there and the negative thoughts. I started to question these critical thoughts in my head and asked myself if there was any evidence to support them or if they are based on assumptions or distortions. I started to replace negative self-talk with more realistic and compassionate statements and challenges the harsh judgments with affirmations of my worth and abilities. I treat myself with kindness and understanding, especially when facing challenges or setbacks. I acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes, and that failure is a natural part of learning and growth. When I look at the word ‘FAIL’, I say to myself it’s just a…

F – first.  A – attempt.  I – in.  L – learning.

What keeps you well?

What keeps me well is spending time with my family and friends. I also love painting by numbers and listening to music.

What is your favourite quote?

Its ok not to be ok, just don’t unpack and stay there.

What's been happening at Isorropia?

Two months ago, we revealed our thrilling plans to secure Central Government funding, which would enable us to acquire and enhance the tranquil Medina Valley Centre into a Wellbeing Centre of Excellence. This is a significant opportunity that we are truly enthusiastic about! As part of this initiative, we hosted an open day on March 22nd, with a great turnout from the IOW community. It was heartwarming to witness so many individuals participating. Tom and Charlie delivered a presentation to local Isle of Wight residents, where they encouraged volunteers, bank staff, and myself to share our experiences with Isorropia. The impact of Isorropia on people’s lives was truly inspiring to hear. Unfortunately, Sharon an Isorropia member couldn’t attend the event, but she penned a beautiful testimony that was shared at the end of the presentation. It was a message that deserved to be heard by all. Thank you, Sharon!

"Isorropia has been life saving!..."

Isorropia has been life saving! For the first time ever my life is different because I feel safe, supported, understood and valued. From attending the workshops and the gift I now understand so much more about myself, reasons for feeling and being like I am and how to deal with my mental health. I had attended mental health things before throughout my life(I’m 55)and seen a psycologist, and I can honestly say Isorropia and the wellbeing coaches have helped me more than anything ever has. Those things lasted about 8 weeks and you have only just scratched the surface and you are then left often feeling worse. With Isorropia you know someone is always there and they encourage you to attend the workshops as often as you need to and everytime the same workshop can be different as you learn something different each time either from the different wellbeing coaches or the other people on the coarse. All the wellbeing coaches are so honest, open, helpful and understanding and by sharing their stories or to hear them say “I get it”or “I was like that” helps just so much and they have all been amazing and I can’t thank them enough. I felt truly understood like I never have been before. Also the warm hub groups with the  amazing things we have got to experience and the walk meet ups give you a place to feel safe and be with others that all have suffered some form of mental health and they ‘get it’ and there is no judgement and I have made some lovely friends. Isorropia is a truly amazing place with amazing people and I feel so lucky that I have been able to participate and go on this journey and have all the help I have and we have this wonderful place on the island that people like myself so desperately need. I would highly recomend Isorropia to anyone struggling with mental health. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou.

– Sharon

Training

Every Friday, at Isorropia, our team gathers for training. During some of these sessions, we often invite external organisations to come and share information about the services they offer on the island. This way, we can guide our members towards these amazing resources.

This month we met with the Southwest Advocacy Network.

Get your FREE self-advocacy toolkit here!

Swan advocacy provides free self advocacy courses, called ‘Be heard’. The dates for these courses on the Isle of Wight, plus further information, can be found here: https://swanadvocacy.org.uk/iow/

Self-Advocacy is being able to speak up for yourself and tell people what you want and need. People who can self-advocate can make their own complaints and be part of decision making.

SWAN believes that with the right tools and resources anyone can learn to be their own advocate.

International Women’s Day & Project 360

This month, we had the pleasure of celebrating International Women’s Day at our office here at Isorropia. We are fortunate to have a team of incredible women, each one of them amazing in their own unique way. On this day, our wellbeing coach Jamie made sure we were well taken care of with plenty of teas and coffees. Thank you, Jamie, for your thoughtfulness!

I would like to take a moment to recognise an inspirational woman at Isorropia, our wellbeing coach, Hannah. Recently, she stepped out of her comfort zone and took on the 360 project. Hannah has presented in assemblies in front of over a hundred children and spoken in meetings with numerous people. She has overcome her discomfort and done an incredible job. Currently, she is delivering workshops at the Six Form Campus and the Isle of Wight College, helping 16-25 year olds navigate the challenges of mental health and wellbeing. We are incredibly proud of Hannah and all that she has accomplished. Well done, Hannah!

New Team Members

Our team at Isorropia is once again expanding, and our incredible volunteers and bank members are playing a vital role in this growth. I hope that through this blog, you will have the opportunity to get to know our team better.

Ian has recently joined our bank team as a wellbeing coach, and we are thrilled to have him on board. We also have Kieth and Peter, our newest volunteer minibus drivers. Their dedication and commitment are truly commendable. Kitty, Robbie, and Jo-Ann have joined us as volunteer gift mentors, and we couldn’t be happier to have them as part of our team.

Congratulations to our newest team members! I had the chance to catch up with Ian, who expressed his excitement. Keith also shared how much he loves Isorropia and the meaningful connections he has made through participating in our activities.

 I hope that over the next few months, you will have the opportunity to get to know them all better. Well done, guys!

 

See you next month!

Karleigh x

Self-Love & Compassion

Self-Love & Compassion

Thank you so much for the amazing response to my January blog! I am truly grateful for all the encouragement and kind words from each and every one of you. Putting my blog out there was a bit nerve-wracking, but your support has made me feel accomplished. Writing allows me to be my authentic self, and I’m thrilled to share my honesty and passion for Isorropia with all of you.

February has flown by, the days are getting a little longer, and the sun is beginning to shine a little more. I have been building my confidence in delivering workshops to you amazing members and enjoying pancakes and valentines, especially pancakes. In the spirit of love, I want to talk about an incredibly important love – self-love, compassion, and kindness.

My Journey to Self-Love & Compassion

When I first started my journey at Isorropia, everything felt unfamiliar to me. For years, I had struggled with self-doubt and self-criticism, never truly accepting myself or allowing myself to feel deserving of kindness. I was my own worst enemy, constantly bombarding myself with negative thoughts and beliefs. A well-being coach once asked me to write something positive about myself, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The word “positive” felt foreign and insincere. It was a difficult task to express anything pleasant about myself.

After many tears and much hesitation, I finally gave it a try. I had always believed that I was a bad mother, so writing “I’m a good mother” felt dishonest. Instead, I settled for “I’m an okay mother.” I knew I needed to start somewhere, and I had to take it at my own pace.

I began by jotting down the kind words people said to me, even though I didn’t believe them at first. It felt right for me. Whenever a well-being coach complimented me during a workshop, I would write it down. I also started acknowledging the positive things I did, like speaking at a workshop or spending quality time with my children. Little did I know I was collecting evidence to counter my negative thoughts and beliefs. This practice gradually improved my self-esteem.

Self-love and compassion aren’t always about rainbows and butterflies. It’s not just about constantly telling yourself how amazing you are, although it’s important to be your own biggest supporter. Self-love is about being gentle with yourself, free from judgment, and understanding that your thoughts and feelings are valid. I no longer tell myself that I can’t have negative feelings. What I feel and think is not wrong; it’s valid.

Being gentle and honest with oneself can be challenging, but it’s crucial to remember that your feelings are valid and acceptable. It’s crucial that we begin to value ourselves and treat ourselves with respect. If we don’t respect ourselves, it becomes difficult for others to respect us as well. It’s important to have faith in our emotions and thoughts. We are allowed to feel and think the way we do. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong; it’s just a natural response. While our feelings and thoughts belong to us, they may not always be accurate. If evidence contradicts them, it’s essential to take steps to challenge and disprove them. Have confidence in your own judgments and actions.

The Thought Diary

One of the tools I love from Isorropia is the thought diary. I use it every day, and it has been really helpful. Whenever I have a negative thought, I write it down and reflect on it. Here’s an example of a thought I wrote in August 2022:

“I’m starting to feel more self-aware and okay, but I’m worried it won’t last; what if I become ill again?”

Identify the feeling: failure, shame, worry, fear, hopelessness

EVIDENCE FOR

EVIDENCE AGAINST

It hasn’t lasted before; I’ve failed in the past.

This time might be different because I’ve been working hard, and I have support from Isorropia. I’m making myself a priority now.

 

My response to the negative thoughts above:

Dear Karleigh, I know you’re going through a tough time, but remember that you’re making an effort to prevent falling back into old patterns. Nobody is flawless, so don’t be too hard on yourself. What truly counts are the actions you take. Take a moment to prioritize your well-being and continue working on yourself. Stay focused on finding comfort in the present moment.

In this instance, I’m not suggesting that I shouldn’t feel that way or that I will never be unwell again and need to be okay all the time. That would be unrealistic and wouldn’t allow me to truly understand my emotions. Instead, I acknowledge that it’s difficult because it truly is, and I’m only human. I look at the evidence against those negative thoughts and treat myself with kindness.

I realised that I needed to be kind to myself, so I created an inner coach, a friend in my head. This has played a crucial role in my journey towards self-compassion. Whenever I find myself self-sabotaging or doubting myself, I ask myself, “Would I say this to a friend?” and “What advice would I give to a friend who shared this thought with me?” We often say things to ourselves that we would never say to others, so why do we treat ourselves differently? I learned from our wonderful wellbeing coach, Naomi, that “it’s important to make our minds a positive and nurturing place.”

Self-love and compassion may not come naturally to many of us; it takes practice and persistence. However, it is a journey worth embarking on! When we take the time to pause, question, and challenge our automatic thought process, we lay the groundwork for greater happiness, resilience, and authentic connection with ourselves and others.

Ways to Practice Self-Love

  • Forgiveness – is the act of letting go of anger, resentment, and bitterness toward oneself or others. Letting go of these things allows us to become truly responsible for our feelings and behaviours.
  • Self-acceptance – is the act of accepting yourself exactly as you are, and acknowledging that your value goes beyond your personal attributes and actions.
  • Boundaries – are the guidelines you establish to safeguard your emotional and physical well-being. This draws a line between what you will and won’t accept, both from yourself and others.
  • Honesty – Being honest and open with oneself is a fundamental part of personal growth. It promotes self-esteem, compassion, and an unshakeable belief in oneself.

These are just a few ways I personally practice self-love. However, it’s important to remember that everyone is unique, so what works for me may not work for you. To gain a different perspective on this, I interviewed Neil S, a well-being coach at Isorropia. Neil has helped numerous individuals on their journeys towards wellness. I asked Neil what self-love and compassion means to him.

Meet the faces behind Isorropia: Neil S

Name/Nickname:

Neil Simmons. I was often called “Simmo” in my younger days, (which was not very original) to be honest!! But my affectionately known as Neil S amongst my colleagues.

Job Role:

I am a Co-ordinate/Wellbeing Coach with a multitude of roles and responsibilities which keeps me busy, but I really enjoy my role at Isorropia

Favourite Workshop:

I think the “Effective Communication” workshop is my favourite. There are many elements to how we can communicate and get our needs met. It’s not all about the words we use, there are so many different aspects help us communicate more effectively. It’s all about becoming aware of the hidden signals we might give off, which may not be received as we intended. I would highly recommend this workshop to anyone who struggles to communicate and finds that often our needs are not being met.

What keeps you well?

I love Football. I coach an Under 16s team and I also play twice a week. This is not only good for my health, but it keeps my brain very active when I have to think about Practice Drills, Team selections, coaching players and motivating them regularly. I play and I have to admit I’m not very good It’s probably time to hang my boots up, but my head still thinks I’m David Beckham.

Favourite Quote:

“Do all the things that bring you joy & contentment TODAY, because today will be yesterday’s tomorrow!”

What does self-love mean to you, and how do you practice self-love?

I love to go to live music venues and see some up-and-coming bands which is exciting. I also really enjoy going to watch the football at my beloved Fratton Park to watch Portsmouth play.

I like messing with technology and making things work if they are not working as they should (Nerdy pastime. I know!!) but I get a sense of achievement when things work as they should.

I also like walks on the seafront and through the forest, this cleanses the mind and keeps me fit and active.

Journaling for Wellbeing

I’m known for my love of journaling, and many people have shown interest in it. That’s why I’ve decided to provide a brief overview of the benefits of writing and a few prompts. I hope this information proves helpful. If writing with a pen makes your hand ache, try using the notes on your phone, laptop, or tablet instead, or just talk to a trusted person however you show yourself kindness, do what works for you.

A lot of people wonder how to start a journal? “I don’t know what to write”.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to journal.

When you start journaling, my best suggestion is to go with the flow. Don’t force it, or else it will become a chore. It doesn’t have to be beautiful; the words don’t have to be spelled perfectly, and no one but you will read it. Don’t judge yourself or set expectations. Instead, begin with a question, like asking yourself how your day went.

Simply putting your thoughts on paper is an act of kindness towards yourself. Journaling has been extensively studied, and one of the pioneers in this field is social psychologist James W. Peenebaker.

‘In his book, Opening Up, James W Pennebaker, PhD, documented his decades-long research into the healing effects of writing. Pennebaker proved what many people have found incidentally through keeping a journal or diary: If we can create a cohesive personal narrative of our lives and if we can link up our emotions with specific events, then we have the power to take control of how those emotions and events affect our lives.’ Read Article Here

Writing allows us to express our inner thoughts, feelings, and experiences, providing clarity and insight. On average, we have 50,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day, most of which are stored unconsciously. By dedicating just 10-15 minutes a day, journaling can help us manage and even overcome negative emotions.

10 Journaling Prompts for Self-Love

  • What are my best qualities?
  • When do I feel most at peace?
  • How can I take better care of myself?
  • If I couldn’t fail, what would I do?
  • Make a list of 10 things that make you smile.
  • If I could talk to my teenage self, what advice would I give?
  • What do I love about life?
  • When do I feel most confident? When do I feel less confident?
  • What skills do I have?
  • Write about a moment that you felt brave.

What's On at Isorropia Foundation?

The well-being hub has been incredibly successful, with a variety of ongoing programs and many more planned for the future. Many members have shared how these programs have helped them forge meaningful connections with others, providing them with a safe space where they feel understood, and the breathing exercises and calming activities have brought them a great sense of joy and relief.

Wellbeing Activity Warm Hub – MEMBERS ONLY – 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.

  • 10 – 11 Wellbeing Activity ‘Taster’ Drumming, sound bath, mindful movement
  • 11- 12 Tea/Coffee and a chat around the log burner

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:

  •  9.30 am – Pick up Morrisons.
  • 12.10 pm – Drop off Morrisons.

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.

Welcome to 2024 – Embracing New Opportunities

Welcome to 2024 – Embracing New Opportunities

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. 

Meet the Faces Behind Isorropia: Get to Know Our Team

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.

Name:  Karleigh

Job Role:  Wellbeing Coach, and now Blogger!

Favourite Workshop:  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.

Favourite Quote:  “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.

A Small Change Makes a Big Difference

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?

Becoming a Member at Isorropia Foundation

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. 

What is Self-Awareness?

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?

How to Develop Self-Awareness

  • Understand your emotions(emotional regulation workshop) 
  • Be open-minded. 
  • Reflect on your needs, and build your foundations of wellness (Basic human needs workshop) 
  • Know your triggers. (find ways of coping) (mastering anxiety, anger management and overcoming low mood workshops) 
  • Be curious about yourself! What energies you, what calms you, what pushes you over the edge? 
  • Know your strengths. (Confidence and self-esteem workshop) 
  • Know your weaknesses be mindful of what your weaknesses are, not judging them but working to improve them. 
  •  Let your guard down. Stop judging yourself, challenge the parts of yourself that you do like, and learn about your negative self-talk, and how you can manage that better. (Inner critic workshop) 
  • Question your values and opinions. ( a close reflection of who we are) values can change. 
  •  Always reflect on yourself or ask for feedback from a trusting person. (constructive criticism is not an act on you, it is a tool for personal development and growth)
  • Gain skills to better communicate your feelings and needs. (Effective Communication Workshop & Building Healthy Relationships Workshop)
  • Self-discipline, build healthy habits. (Wellbeing Planning Workshop) 
  • Understand what keeps you well and what helps to keep you motivated. (Fear of Getting Well)  

Daily Journal Prompts

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!

What's On at Isorropia Foundation?

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. 

  • 10 – 11 Wellbeing Activity ‘Taster’: Qi Gong, Yoga, Tai Chi, Sound bath, Mindful movement, dancing
  • 11- 12 Tea/Coffee and a chat around the log burner 

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: 

  • 30 am – Pick up Morrisons 
  • 10 pm – Drop off Morrisons 

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.

The Future of Isorropia Foundation: Share Your Thoughts!

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.

Karleigh x

Blue Personalities | Grief | Blue Water Spaces

Blue Personalities | Grief | Blue Water Spaces

Welcome back to Inside Isorropia. It’s been a glorious start to September thank goodness. I think we all feel so much happier when we are able to get outside and feel the warmth on our skin. It was somewhat unexpected, although I had mentioned in my previous post that an Indian summer would be nice. Did you know that strictly speaking, an Indian summer is actually only classed as such if it occurs after the first frost? So, it turns out, it was just a short spell of unseasonably warm weather!! Nevertheless, it went some way towards making up for August which, generally speaking, was on the disappointing side for many.

September marks the anniversary of our first visit to the Medina Valley Centre. It seems impossible to believe that a whole year has passed since then. There have been lots of changes along the way but things have fallen nicely into place in recent weeks, with our members now able to access all workshops on the Wellbeing Programme here at MVC, travelling on our very own Isorropia Foundation Minibus! This is making such a huge difference to our member experience and also for the workshop facilitators who now spend less time travelling. By far and away the biggest benefit to this way of working is that our members get to enjoy and experience the beautiful surroundings and the peaceful ambience of our riverside setting. We are getting lots of very positive feedback on both the bus service and the new workshop setting

Awareness Days

Welcome back to Inside Isorropia. It’s been a glorious start to September thank goodness. I think we all feel so much happier when we are able to get outside and feel the warmth on our skin. It was somewhat unexpected, although I had mentioned in my previous post that an Indian summer would be nice. Did you know that strictly speaking, an Indian summer is actually only classed as such if it occurs after the first frost? So, it turns out, it was just a short spell of unseasonably warm weather!! Nevertheless, it went some way towards making up for August which, generally speaking, was on the disappointing side for many.

September marks the anniversary of our first visit to the Medina Valley Centre. It seems impossible to believe that a whole year has passed since then. There have been lots of changes along the way but things have fallen nicely into place in recent weeks, with our members now able to access all workshops on the Wellbeing Programme here at MVC, travelling on our very own Isorropia Foundation Minibus! This is making such a huge difference to our member experience and also for the workshop facilitators who now spend less time travelling. By far and away the biggest benefit to this way of working is that our members get to enjoy and experience the beautiful surroundings and the peaceful ambience of our riverside setting. We are getting lots of very positive feedback on both the bus service and the new workshop setting

“Grief is something all of us go through at some point in our lives and something that isn’t talked about enough. Whether that’s the loss of a family member, friend, loved one or even a pet.”Grief is something all of us go through at some point in our lives and something that isn’t talked about enough. Whether that’s the loss of a family member, friend, loved one or even a pet.

Throughout my life I have experienced grief in many different forms, relationships ending, loss of friendships, family breakdowns, losing my pets and death.

Before I came to work at Isorropia I worked in end of life care for many years and death and grief was something I dealt with daily and seeing the impact it has on people’s loved ones.

For me personally, I lost my Grandpa, my best friend when I was 10 years old, He was 83. I remember someone once telling me grief is a cycle and you come out the other side. This is something I’ve come to realise isn’t necessarily true. For me that grief will always be with me but it’s how I’ve learnt to live with that grief is what is important.

Grief isn’t a linear process, it’s messy, it takes time and it’s hard. It leaves you feeling lost, lonely, isolated and angry. This is absolutely valid. For me I go through that grief cycle regularly. There are some days where the pain is as if Grandpa had died yesterday and there are other days that it’s just a little niggle in the back of my head. One important thing I have learnt through out my journey with grief is that grief, although it is one of the hardest things, is also a blessing. Grief for me, shows how much I loved Grandpa, how much he loved me, the incredible impact he had on my life and how truly lucky I am to have had him. For me, this has really helped me to move forward while living with grief and realise while it never leaves me, my life is a whole heap richer for Grandpa and my life can still progress in a wonderful way.

One final thing I’ve found helps is to talk about Grandpa. Whether that be with Mum, Grandma or even to people who never knew him. This makes me feel like he’s still with me and keeps his memory alive even longer. Talk about the memories, the good ones and the bad ones, talk about how you are feeling or the stage of the grief journey you’re on. Talking about it is so powerful.

Grandpa had cancer and was nursed by the truly phenomenal team at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice. Other family and friends have also been supported by their services. This is a place that I will always be eternally grateful for and in April next year I will be doing a wing walk to raise money for them to continue their work and in memory of my Grandpa.”

Hannah (Wellbeing Coach)

Grief never ends. It is a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.

Author Anonymous

Shared by Marie (Wellbeing Coach)

If you would like to chat with our team about how the Wellbeing Programme might be helpful to you if you are an Island resident and currently processing grief or going through a bereavement, then do call: (01983) 217791 or take a look at our Instagram and Facebook pages for more information.

We were all delighted to receive feedback from one of our Graduate members last year, who turned to Isorropia for support following her husband’s suicide. It was an honour and a pleasure to be able to make a difference for this lady at such a tragic time in her life. Thanks to her own commitment to the Wellbeing Programme and her own wellness, Louise was able to find a new sense of purpose in her life, and here she describes all the ways in which Isorropia helped her and how we have the potential to help you too:

Isorropia saved my life after I lost Pete. They taught me so much and through their support and guidance I was able to start to live again. This encompassed many things on the way. The constant support, encouragement, and educational tools they provided, helped me to learn to live my best life after what happened.

The team are amazing, each one with different lived experience, who are not only able to understand what you may be going through but are also able to provide you with coping mechanisms and strategies to support along the way.

Some of the most important things I learnt through my experience with Isorropia was:

  • I was not to blame for my husband’s suicide
  • To accept that there are things I have no control over
  • That I do have self-worth, and my life has meaning and purpose
  • I was not responsible for what Pete did, but I am responsible for living my life
Louise

Isorropia Graduate

If you or anyone you know has experienced loss by suicide, Louise has set up a closed group on Facebook which you can join by searching ‘Survivors of Suicide IOW’ on Facebook and requesting to join. You can also watch the Facebook Live that Louise did with Deputy Lead Natalie Streets by following this link: CLICK HERE.

Blue Personalities

As you may recall, in July I shared some information about the colour Yellow, what a Yellow personality means and what that might look like. This time I’m shining the light on Blue.

Blue:

Blues are deep thinkers, analytical in nature, very detail focused and formal in their thinking. They can come across as being aloof, but are deliberate in their approach and systematic, precise and pays attention to detail. Blues like things in their place, and are very organised with good time management skills. They are sticklers for time and are capable of coming to their own conclusions without having examples of others pushed at them. They take their time in their thinking and are much slower paced than the reds or yellows. Blues can come across as perfectionists due to their logical, systematic, precise and deliberate approach to problems or solutions. Blues like to have all the facts, and then logically put together an answer that is suitable. They don’t like vagueness, a lack of detail or an absence of facts or figures.

While taking their time and being thorough is important, sometimes we’re working to tight deadlines and a fast turn around is necessary. In these instances, explain to blues the time frame and the importance of finishing a project. Be sure to offer support and explain the importance of prioritising and delegating tasks. This way they won’t feel immense pressure and worry about burnout, but will understand that they need to pick up the pace – and will have help to do so, if necessary!

glurecruit.co.uk

Colours in the Isorropia Foundation Team

Blue was the colour that myself and Deputy Lead, Charlie Stevens, came out as being, having done the online personality test, along with our Tom and June in Admin, who are also Blue. This is what they had to say about how they identify with being a Blue personality:

Tom – “I’m Blue!

In fact, I’m so Blue that there are sapphires, birds over the White Cliffs of Dover, and the Danube that are less Blue than me! This has its pros and cons. I am great at detail, analysis, and planning.

But ask me to be spontaneous and experimental and … I’ll get back to you next week with something tried and tested. I relate to the Blue personality type with its idealism of wanting a better world. This comes from our instinctive empathic nature. We have so much heart for fairness, peace and integrity. We firmly believe in honesty, but that can make us a bit blunt and seem too direct at times.

We can be really determined and focused when we (finally!) decide on our course of action. The downside is that can lead to inflexibility and an inability to adapt. Ask a Blue to just “wing it on the night” and watch our brains melt before you in utter confusion. Since we’re driven largely by emotional factors – like doing what’s right, compassionate and just – we can slip into being overly sensitive. We don’t always show it on the surface, but we really feel things deeply. So, if the emotions get overwhelming, we aren’t at our best in terms of our performance. I guess what we Blues need most is to feel understood, valued, appreciated and accepted. Which, although that’s also true of most people generally, I just need to remember to be grateful that at Isorropia, I get those needs met every day.”

I was practical and focused and not a lot of creative vision but enjoy the fruition of others with this gift.”

Charlie S – “Blue, through and through!

Attention to detail, methodical and logical, processed, precise, calm, cautious and considered… some would describe as faffing, some might say slow!”

Lucy (Yours truly!) – “100% Blue on the test!

I also had a second colour that was a strong 70%. I would say there are a whole lot of blue traits running through me and my way of working; being so cautious and considered does tend to hamper my speed at times, but I have high standards around the finer details (which I see as a positive). Interestingly, I also feel very connected to the secondary colour in my results. Stay tuned to upcoming posts to find out what it is.”

Benefits of Blue in Nature

I’m sure you have all been making the most of the good weather and getting outside, hopefully in nature, but wherever you can really, to get the fresh air and goodness from being outdoors. I recently read about ‘Blue Mind Theory’ whilst scrolling through Instagram and wondered have you heard of it too? I follow a lovely account called Nature’s Wild Medicine (@natureswildmedicine) and one particular post grabbed my attention. It was this photo that initially caught my eye (see above) as with many of the posts on their page, but the caption was so interesting. According to the writer, the benefits of getting out near a body of water are huge, both for mental and physical health. This idea is based on Dr. Wallace Nicholas’s theory which suggests being on, around or in water can get you into a ‘Blue Mind’ state. This is described as being ‘mildly meditative, characterised by peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment’. Have you ever noticed that you feel better in any way if you are walking along the beach, sat by a lake, or taking a dip in the pool? I know for certain that this is one of the safest bets for me if I’m needing to get my mood back up or if I’m feeling a bit ‘out of sorts’. I never really knew why, but now I do! This kind of stress relief and relaxation is literally on our doorstep here on the Isle of Wight, and, unless you swim in a public pool, accessing this is completely free! Let me know in the comments where your favourite blue water place is and what you most like to do there. Charlie happily shared that his favourite place to be is Croatia, 2 metres below the Mediterranean! He goes on to say:

“Quite specific, but I love the tranquillity of diving into the sea and having absolutely nothing to disturb you. Serene, calm, just you and the ocean, bloomin’ love it!”

Charlie Stevens

Local Celebrations

I can strongly recommend making use of the Waterside Pool in Ryde. They have recently celebrated their 50th Anniversary and I was interested to read that it started out as an open-air lido with three separate pools. It made me think how lovely that would be on the long, hot, dry days of summer and took me back to memories of my childhood when we would go as a family to @hilsealido back when I lived on the mainland. It has been well-documented how hard it is for these facilities to stay open, and communities and councils have to work tirelessly to ensure that they survive (check out: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-65056493.amp for more information about the challenges faced across the Solent in Portsmouth) Hilsea Lido is set to reopen in 2025 to mark their 90th anniversary. And what a celebration that will be!

I’m actually very happy indeed that our pool @rydewatersidepool now has a brick building and the novelty of an opening roof. It means we can enjoy the facility year-round with the best of both worlds – an open roof when the sun is shining and the weather is warm and the option to still swim in the cooler months regardless of the weather. Surely, that is a very wonderful thing for our Island-dwellers; how lucky we are! You can read more about the pool and the anniversary by clicking HERE.

There is further good news for fans of outdoor swimming, in the form of exciting plans for a sea pool at Sandown, including a science centre and facilities to carry out daily water testing; a fantastic idea, given the ongoing concerns around sea pollution. Click HERE to find out more details and, Island residents, be sure to join in the consultation by completing this survey http://swimthewight.org.uk/seapool (deadline is the end of September)

This brings me to the end of September’s edition. I hope you have enjoyed reading along. If you would like to find out your colour personality, click HERE for the free online test that we used.

If you have any comments about any of the topics covered please feel free to share. If you would like to find out more about Isorropia Foundation, either for yourself or someone you know who could benefit from our Wellbeing Programme, then give our Wellbeing Coaches a call on 01983 217791. We currently have no waiting list, so the help you need is literally a phone call away.

Enjoy this weather everyone, and make the most of the warmth and the sunshine while we still can (I know I will be!) Until next time,

Lucy xx

Summer | Solutions | Success

Summer | Solutions | Success

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Inside Isorropia. It’s the school summer holidays, and as per the norm for Great Britain, it is decidedly damp, grey and drizzly outside. We are now halfway through August, and there has been no sign of the late summer heat we were led to believe was headed our way. Maybe we’ll have an Indian summer this year, and September will be glorious; that would be a lovely treat to look forward to. I’ve met some people in the last few weeks who have been really affected by the lack of sunshine and the lack of warmth.

Did you know that the phrase ‘Indian Summer’ may have (according to The Royal Meteorological Society)…

“…originated in the United States when native American Indians took advantage of favourable weather conditions in the autumn to hunt.”

(rmets.org)

“Sometimes the rain is followed by an interval of calm and warm which is called the Indian summer.”

John de Crevecoeur – 17th January 1778 (countryliving.com)

I’m sure I’m not the only one hoping for more warmth and brighter weather to come after this somewhat dreary August. We can but hope!

Being present in the here and now

It’s easy to overlook the joy we can get from the simple things, like sitting outside in our gardens, enjoying the flowers and watching nature at work, as well as the physical benefits (although I think there is good evidence available to support this idea; we all know by now that we need a healthy amount of sunshine, don’t we?!). How much is ‘healthy’ though, and what do we do if we can’t get enough?

When we are confined to being indoors and feeling uninspired to go out, we suffer twice over: once for the lack of sunshine and again for being deprived of the experiences we thrive on when the weather is more favourable. My advice is to grab those moments as and when you can, no matter how brief, because summer will come to an end anyway, so why not make the absolute best of it while we still can. A cup of tea outside when the sun is trying to break through might be just the lift you need, even if you end up back indoors soon after. Today I’m sharing some tips that I think could be just what you need if you’re struggling to stay positive on these damp days.

Simple Solutions for surviving a disappointing Summer

At least 20% of the population report feelings of sadness, fatigue, and low mood during seasons with fewer hours of daylight. This may show up as a shift in motivation and mentality, so if you are noticing the same, here are some things you can do:

🌻 Keep moving your body, don’t turn into a couch potato hibernating! Stay active. Moving our bodies releases endorphins and can help overcome temporary feelings of a low mood state.

🌻 Fresh air – get some!

🌻 Get as much sunshine as possible as well as ensuring you open up your home to allow plenty of natural light in

🌻 Food – nutrition is important. It’s so easy to eat all the warm, heavy, starchy food, but remember, all in moderation. High sugar and high fat does affect our moods!

🌻 Keep your social fitness in check – meeting friends outside of your home, perhaps visiting those you haven’t seen in a while, joining a group, volunteering

(Tips courtesy of @leannemaciel_ Instagram)

You wouldn’t be alone if you are already thinking about autumn approaching. The daylight hours have been gradually reducing since the longest day back in June, and with these grey, cooler days, it is certainly starting to feel less like summer and more autumnal; I’ve definitely noticed it in the mornings. I asked the Isorropia team to share tips on things they have found helpful in preparing for the change in seasons, and Deputy Lead Nat shared the practical steps she has taken and how it has made a huge difference to how she feels about the cooler months and her ability to stay balanced, despite environmental changes that are out of her control:

“One thing I’ve done recently to cope with the change of seasons is to buy a wetsuit/boots/gloves as I love sea swimming, and this removes the obstacle of finding the temperature too cold. I love sea swimming because it helps me be mindful of being in that natural environment, partly because it helps me slow down. 

As a massive summer fan, I also find it useful to think about why I like the other seasons, for example, woolly jumpers, sausage & mash, reading by the fire. This helps me be grateful.”

(Natalie Streets – Deputy Lead)

Other things you may want to consider are optimising exposure to daylight. This can be hard on greyer days, but positioning yourself by a window or in the room with the most light coming in are simple but effective ways to ensure you are doing the best you can with what you have. You may also want to take a look at SAD lamps (light therapy for people who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder) and explore whether this might be a worthwhile investment for yourself. This is something that I have used in the darkest days of winter, based on the recommendation of other SAD sufferers. I’d also recommend taking Nat’s advice and focus on the positive things in each and every day, regardless of the season. There is always something to be grateful for, and by placing our focus on the good stuff, the rest tends to diminish to a certain extent. Let us know in the comments if you have any helpful tips on managing mood and the changing seasons.

World Photography Day

Saturday August 19th saw World Photography Day celebrated globally, and most noticeably perhaps, on social media. This day is an opportunity to celebrate the art, craft, science and history of photography, and everyone is welcome to participate wherever they may be in the world. Photography enthusiasts were encouraged to share their shots on social media using the hashtag #WorldPhotographyDay. WorldPhotographyDay.com has also posted that they are currently accepting submissions for photos to be featured on their website in order that they can be appreciated around the world, irrespective of where they have been taken. How wonderful. I’m going to set some time aside later to take a look and maybe find myself some inspiration for my next trip out exploring.

simpleasthatblog.com

Photography is a hugely accessible hobby, with camera phones having such good photographic capabilities these days. I found a love of nature photography during the Covid pandemic, and it is something that has stayed with me ever since. I find walking anywhere takes me two or three times longer now because I’m constantly stopping to capture photos of this, that or whatever! It drives my family slightly mad. They are currently in talks to establish strategies for reaching destinations a little quicker!! I’m guessing leaving me at home is pretty high up there!! Here at Isorropia, the community groups are providing so many lovely opportunities to destress, be more present and immerse ourselves in nature, with or without a camera or phone. If this is something our members are interested in, then they can contact the team on 01983 217791 to find out what the current destinations are for Wellbeing Wanders, Mellow Mondays (Gift to Nature), and Trust in Nature and Nurture (with The National Trust) sessions.

Building Our Youth
16-25 Transitions Co-ordinator, Lisa, and Wellbeing Coach, Hannah.

Back in June, our 16-25 Transitions Co-ordinator, Lisa, and Wellbeing Coach, Hannah, attended HTP Apprenticeship College to spread awareness around mental health and wellbeing. They had a fantastic time connecting with the incredible young people, sharing with them a wealth of information to assist in navigating their own wellbeing journeys. This was a wonderful opportunity to get out into the Island community and reach a vitally important group within our Island population; they are the future, after all! We feel so passionate here at Isorropia about empowering young people, helping them get off to the best possible start in life, and encouraging a positive approach to developing & maintaining their own wellbeing is the perfect foundation for this.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

August is when exam results are announced for GCSE and A Level students. We send all our Island families good luck and congratulations to their young people who will no doubt have worked so hard and achieved so much. This is true, even if the results aren’t exactly as some may have hoped. The important message to share is that these results do not define a person: each and every individual taking exams and getting results is so much more than the scores they receive in these exams, and their lives are just beginning; opportunities will find them and exciting times are ahead, just you wait and see!

Updates
@finishingtouchestoo – Instagram

We are delighted to welcome Sue to our Admin team here at Isorropia. Sue joined us in time to attend our Team Wellbeing Day – Summer Edition. It was a fabulous day with structured Psycho-Educational training in the morning, followed by a BBQ in our lovely Medina Valley grounds, courtesy of the wonderful, culinary-talented, Wellbeing Coach Jamie. The afternoon session was organised by our Dynamic Duo ‘The Neils’ who injected the day with fun and a hint of healthy competition, with teams pitted against each other to crack a treasure hunt, play boules and, best of all, Team Rounders which appears to have been the best team building activity to date! Fab work guys, this is quite the standard you have set for future Wellbeing Days! And would you believe it?! The weather was on our side too; a warm, dry day with even a touch of sunshine sprinkled throughout the day. Just perfect!!

We have welcomed some home-grown talent to the Isorropia Team this month with several new Wellbeing Coaches now offering their valuable skills and experience on the Wellbeing Programme and beyond. Many of these have grown from members, to mentors, to volunteers and this is exactly what Isorropia Foundation is all about; we love to see our members growing in confidence, stepping out of their comfort zones and striving to help others whilst they continue to heal themselves! Huge congratulations and the warmest of welcomes to you all!

Celebrations

There have been some wonderful moments on the Black Rock Charter Fishing expeditions. Some of our members have had success with the fishing rods, and Isorropia has received some wonderful feedback as a result:

“I wanted to say what a fantastic time I had yesterday on the fishing trip. If there’s anyone who might be unsure about it, I’d say try it. I nearly didn’t go (inner critic) but it was an experience I can’t wait to repeat.”

Isorropia Member

“Just wanted to say what a fantastic day I had with you all. So great catching my first fish. And lovely having a natter and laugh with you all. Look forward to the next one.”

Isorropia Member

“The fishing trip yesterday was unreal. Apologies if I was quiet and seemed distant, I was just taking in the experience and relaxing out at sea, away from land and its troubles for 2 hours.”

Isorropia Member

“Another great day out fishing. Another great catch. Glad it’s a good mixed gender bunch, guys and girls. We had a good laugh.”

Isorropia Member

This community group is funded by an award from the Sport England Together Fund, administered by the Angling Trust and Isorropia members are supported throughout by the team at Black Rock Charters and our very own Vicky Shaw-Yates, Community & Volunteer Lead.

So, as this August post comes to a close, I hope you are blessed with plenty more of the warm stuff. I look forward to hearing how you marked World Photography Day and any celebrations or successes you have had; remember, it’s important to acknowledge the steps you take towards your goals, no matter how small they might be. We are right here, celebrating with you and cheering you all on, so you’re not on your own. #isorropiacommunity

Lucy xx