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.
You may have seen on our social media in recent weeks that we have been spreading awareness of Grief and Suicide Prevention. This was to coincide with the awareness days that are marked nationally and globally. Grief is a topic that is covered in our Foundation Course – The Gift. It also crops up within our workshop sessions from time to time, depending on the topic and what members are bringing with them on the day, in terms of current situations & circumstances, personal history, thoughts, feelings and emotions. Our Wellbeing Coaches are trained to be able to manage the workshops and whatever may come up during those sessions. Sadly, grief is a topic that will affect all of us at some point, and many of our members and the Isorropia team will have some personal experience of this already. Our team of coaches all have lived experience of mental health and often speak from those experiences when delivering a workshop or supporting a member on the Duty line. They do a wonderful job of listening, validating and empowering people, whatever they are going through. I was touched to read a piece of writing from our Wellbeing Coach Hannah, as we marked National Grief Awareness Day back at the end of August, as well as a lovely poem from Wellbeing Coach, Marie. It is my pleasure to share these with you here:
“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
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.
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.
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.”
June – “I was a blue!
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
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,
Hello! How did you find June’s heat waves? I hope it was manageable and you found ways to keep cool and minimise any discomfort. More heat is supposedly headed our way, but not until August, apparently! It’s good to be prepared, though, as this can certainly relieve some of the anxiety we may feel when health alerts are put out.
Did you know that, annually, the last week of June is World Wellbeing Week? Hopefully, you caught our social media posts covering this, and you can find out later in this piece some of the ways our team have been looking after their own wellbeing over the past few weeks. If you need a reminder of some of the tools and techniques to maximise your wellbeing and get back into balance, just give us a call on the Duty Line (01983 217791) and chat with one of our lovely coaches.
Back in September, we had a Team Wellbeing Day at Medina Valley. It was the first ‘proper’ amount of time we’d spent there, as we weren’t due to make the official move until late October. It was a lovely opportunity to get together as a team and become familiar with our soon-to-be new home. Additionally, we had the opportunity to become more familiar with each other in a new, and fairly intriguing way. One of the activities was based around the concept of personality and, more specifically, colour personality. This is a method that organisations can use, to learn more about the people who work for them and is especially useful in recruiting new team members, providing valuable insight into what skills a team currently has in abundance, and any gaps that may need to be filled.
This is a concept that we all found so interesting, and it often comes up in conversation in and around the office, even now, all these months later. As an organisation, we are careful not to label our members, focusing on the individual, rather than any diagnosis they may have. So this idea, to me, is an interesting one; we certainly don’t want to be minimising the diverse and wonderful array of skills and experience of our team members to a simple label. And yet, it is undeniable that we each found ourselves relating incredibly well to the attributes assigned to us under a particular colour category. So, what is it that is so captivating about the idea of being categorised by colour? Why are we willing to state that ‘I’m a blue!’ or ‘I’m yellow’? My guess is that although some people find labelling of any kind restrictive, others can feel empowered by it and better understood; that certainly seems to be the case here.
It should be a given that we all have strengths, yet for many, during periods of unwellness, self-esteem can be so low that it has been impossible to name or own any strengths or talents. Through our Wellbeing Programme, our members gain insight into who they really are and what valuable contributions they can make, gradually increasing their self-worth, confidence and self-esteem, enabling them to move forwards more positively. Additionally, any member completing The Gift Foundation Course will receive a ‘Transcript of Wonderfulness‘, which details all the many positive attributes they have, as noted by their Gift peers and the course facilitators.
The beauty of looking at colour personalities, for us as a team, lies in the way it allows for easy acknowledgement that there are certain people better suited to specific tasks, whilst, at the same time, highlighting all the things we ourselves are good at. This is not something to feel bad or guilty about; it is something to embrace. We are a team together, and we lift and encourage each other to shine in the areas that each of us naturally thrive. By developing awareness of our team members’ colour personalities, we are also able to notice when someone is consciously pushing themselves in areas that are not naturally easy for them. With better self-awareness, we might admit more readily that we are struggling with a task and reach out within the team for ideas and support to successfully complete it.
Every personality has different traits and can, more or less, fit into either Red, Blue, Yellow or Green. It is also possible to fall into several, or all, of the colours, with one colour being more dominant.
It’s important to find a balance of all the colours within any team, to ensure people bring different strengths.
Over the next few blog posts, I will share more information about each of the colour personality types and how they show up in our team. Being as we are now in July and summer is well and truly here, it seems only right that we highlight yellow for July 😊 It is such a sun-shiny colour!
Yellows are the life and soul of the party; they are sociable, expressive, very imaginative and enthusiastic with it. Yellows are very informal, very optimistic and animated. Their imaginations can sometimes run away with them as they are very fast-paced thinkers. Yellows are very relationship focused and are visionaries with obvious high energy. They don’t like their opinions being suppressed, too much detail or when your interactions are impersonal.
Because yellows are such high energy, sometimes it can be difficult to gauge whether or not they’ve taken in what you’ve said. You need to strike the right balance between confirming they understand what you’ve said and being patronising. Yellows are the type to engage in non-work-related conversations, and this can sometimes be a great way of striking up a good relationship with them.https://www.glurecruit.co.uk/
Colours in The Isorropia Foundation Team
Nat – “I am a split between yellow and _______”
Lisa F – “In the personality test, I came out with _______ and yellow, ______ being the strongest”
Naomi – “I was yellow and _______ I am pretty outgoing and spontaneous, which fits in with the yellow personality type.”
(To fill in the gaps, you’ll need to check back in to see future blog posts featuring the remaining colour personalities; Members – maybe you already have an idea what colours Nat and Lisa might be?!)
If you’re interested in finding out which colour personality you have, there are lots of free tests available online. We used this one: Color Personality Test.
What is it?
As part of my research for this post, I took a little look at how colour can be used to support our wellness. For those of you unfamiliar with the idea of using colour in therapy, here are a couple of definitions to outline what it is:
“Colour therapy and healing (also known as Chromotherapy or Light Therapy) is a type of holistic healing that uses the visible spectrum of light and colour to affect a person’s mood and physical or mental health.”www.arttherapyblog.com
Coming from an Isorropia perspective, I felt more aligned with this second definition (see below) which places a focus on Balance, which is, of course, the essence of Isorropia Foundation (for those who may not know, our name Isorropia derives from the Greek word for Balance)
“Colour therapy is used to balance the chakras of the body and enhance our body’s own healing process.”www.colourtherapyhealing.com
Using Colour to Boost Wellbeing
I found an interesting article by Sarah Orme on the Calm Moment website, which looked at Colour Therapy in more depth, including how…
“We naturally associate colours with emotions: when we’re sad, we feel blue, when we’re angry, we see red, and we even feel green with envy. It’s perhaps unsurprising to learn that colours also be used to influence our moods through colour therapy. After all, we’re used to using colour to express our feelings.”
“Studies have shown that colours can have an impact on our mood and how we perceive the world. Colour therapy can even be used to relieve anxiety and boost your confidence.”Sarah Orme – www.calmmoment.com
Sarah went on to interview Karen Haller, a colour psychologist who finds that positive behaviours can be brought about by the balancing of colours within an environment.
“Colours can influence how someone thinks, feels and behaves, so we can use colour to boost wellbeing and morale”Karen Haller
If you’re interested to learn more about what Karen does and see with your own eyes her expert use of colour, do take a look at her Instagram account (with an impressive 11.4K followers), where you can also find out more about her book, ‘The Little Book of Colour’.
“Yellow exudes happiness and freedom. This beaming colour is related to sunshine and rays of light, projecting a feeling of enlightenment onto others and ourselves. Golden shades of yellow often possess particular healing properties, including a boost in our metabolism and mentality.”Michaela Zee, V magazine
Things you can do at home
You might want to think about bringing elements of yellow into your home: –
- Gardening: Plant yellow flowers, any variety, in pots or beds. Seed packets are fun and affordable to experiment with if you’re new to gardening. There are so many colours and varieties to choose from.
- Art: Choose or, better still, create your own pieces of art to display on your walls using shades of yellow. I found art extremely helpful to me when recovering from debilitating depression and anxiety; colour is so uplifting, and creating art is such a positive distraction from any worries.
- Clothing: Alyson Charles (Canadian athlete and author) describes the colour yellow as being “…obviously a very joyful colour. It connects to our personal will and our personal willpower.” Alyson suggests that we can exude a different energetic imprint on ourselves and our environment by choosing our clothes by colour.
- Flowers: This is a really simple way to add colour to our homes. Although fresh flowers can be expensive, you’ll see that the recommendation below is actually a really cost-effective option as they are one of the cheaper flowers to buy and also last longer than most. Perfect!
Benefits of Colour Therapy
Colour therapy can be used for all ages, including children and is even believed to be effective for animals. Colour therapists believe the use of colour to be helpful in strengthening the body, with certain colours relating to different parts of the body. Yellow is specific to the skin, digestive system, nervous system and metabolism. Colour therapists use colour in different ways, including by placing coloured silks on the body and encouraging visualisation of colour in meditation and breathing exercises.
Colouring in is another great option to try at home if you want to bring more colour into your life. It is believed that when colouring in, there is a release of Dopamine, the happy hormone (calmmoment.com) This is also true for many other ways of adding colour into our lives, including those mentioned above (themadameblue.com)
The benefits of Dopamine include pain relief, improved sleep and improved management of mental health (calmmoment.com) If you choose to do colouring with shades and hues that lift your mood, then this will make your efforts even more fruitful.
Breathing in the Rainbow – An exercise to try at home
Why not have a go at this lovely breathing exercise courtesy of the Colour Therapy Healing website? Follow the link and try it out; designed to “encourage a balance of all seven main chakra colours for our wellbeing.”
Do let me know how you get on; I have a feeling you’re going to love it!
Colour and You
How do you feel about adding brighter colours to your environment, or even your wardrobe? Have you tried it as an approach to boost your mood? If so, do you feel like it made a positive difference? Are there any colours you avoid because they make you feel worse? I’ve noticed how some of our team members seem so much brighter and happier when they wear brighter colours; most recently, yellow summer dresses have been a big hit!
Updates and Celebrations
June saw the launch of our new out-of-hours workshops, which will be running fortnightly for our members who find it difficult to attend during normal working hours. The first session was a huge success, and we look forward to welcoming more people to these evening workshops in the coming weeks and months. An exciting development coming up later this month will be the move to running our workshops exclusively at Medina Valley Centre. We look forward to welcoming our members to our beautiful riverside setting, particularly those who have yet to see it in all its sunny splendour!
In June, we bid farewell to Laura (Wellbeing Coach) and Eve (Admin), and we wish them both well for the future. We also celebrated Corina’s engagement to Nathan, and Wellbeing Coach Molly’s graduation with an Upper Second Class degree in Psychology and Criminology.
We do encourage our team to get out and be sociable and follow their passions outside of work, which has meant that in the past month, many of the coaches have enjoyed live music, good food, dancing, baking, walking and painting in order to ensure that we were doing more than talking the talk during World Wellbeing Week 2023 and beyond. We welcome and acknowledge the importance of awareness days and weeks, but promoting wellbeing is what we’re all about at Isorropia Foundation, not just in June, but all the year round! Last but not least, at the start of July, it was the NHS’s 75th Birthday, which is a mammoth milestone to have reached for such a wonderful service. We hope our NHS colleagues had some suitably special celebrations.
Let us know in the comments how you have been prioritising your wellbeing this month.
Until next time,
How to boost dopamine by Decorating and Dressing for Happiness – www.themadameblue.com
How to use colour therapy to boost your wellbeing – https://www.calmmoment.com/wellbeing/colour-therapy-boost-wellbeing/
Colour Therapy: Yellow – https://vmagazine.com/article/color-therapy-yellow/
Colour and Breathing – https://www.colourtherapyhealing.com/colour-therapy/colour-and-breathing