Why we all need a time out

Relationships of any kind can be demanding. Every single relationship has a unique dynamic and often requires maintenance. A big part of this maintenance is telling yourself when you need space from relationships.

Just because you have a free weekend you don’t have to pack it full of social engagements. You may want that weekend to recuperate and replenish. Even though you may feel the pull to see some friends or go out for dinner it is just as important to spend time with yourself.

This can also help to put us back in touch with our feelings with at times can get completely lost within a hectic work/social schedule.

Signs that you need to give yourself space

  • Becoming increasingly irritated.

    Getting frustrated or irritated is a normal part of life and it can be a response to stressful situations. However feeling irritable all the time and especially to those closest to you could be a sign that you need to get away from every one for a short while. Sometimes something as simple as going for a walk by yourself can make all the difference.

  • Not getting enjoyment out of things that you normally would enjoy.

    Having a hobby is a great way to add fulfilment to ones life but something that previously gave you much joy that you feel unable to engage with could be a sign that you need to take step back.

Giving yourself space

Life can get very busy at times. Work, friends and family all have their demands. Sometimes this can be easy to cope with and at other times not so easy.

With all the demands that we face in life it can be hard to know when you need some space for yourself. There can be warning signs that you may need to take a time out.

Self Acceptance

Knowing when to accept your thoughts and behaviours is a challenging concept. There is a feeling that perhaps is you are practising self acceptance then your are not taking responsibility for your actions. But is it possible to be responsible and to be self accepting, I feel it is.

If you can take responsibility for behaving in a way that you didn’t feel was appropriate, one can then also practise self acceptance by allowing yourself to make a mistake and by not prolonging the feeling of shame for it.

Perfection is not possible, everyone know this but yet as a society we all tend to strive for it, in our relationships, at work, etc… A high part of self acceptance is allowing for imperfection to exist. It is the room to get things wrong. As painful as it can be at the time, mistakes are also a necessary part of developing in life.

Social Media

Social media is predominantly becoming the way we communicate with each other and our environment. How many times have you found yourself involved in a convo where everyone is talking about a particular post and the feeling of missing out if you have not sen the post.

Arrogance misunderstood?? pt.2

in my previous post I shared an example of my friends behaviour with you. His arrogance was a way of protecting himself. In the past his in laws had made him feel uncomfortable and small. He wasn’t sure what to do with those feelings or how to respond.

His arrogance kept them at a distance thus resulting in them being unable to engage with him and belittle him. Behaving arrogantly can be a way of protecting yourself and making sure other people don’t get too close. Think about how you have felt when other people have been arrogant towards you.

Arrogance misunderstood??

Behaving in an arrogant way is a sure way to repel people but why do we do it then. One thing is for certain no one behaves arrogantly because it makes them feel good. I’m sure it is something we can all recognise in ourselves. People can be arrogant at home, at work and socially.

Arrogance usually occurs when there is something uncomfortable happening. I saw the happen with my friend at a family function I was invited to. My friend was aware that his in laws were going to be there who he doesn’t get along with. He was really nervous about seeing them and his unconscious way of dealing with that was to behave arrogantly towards them. He made little eye contact and made it difficult for them to communicate with him.

On a spectrum

A spectrum by definition is a scale between two extreme points. The use of the term spectrum has helped psychology a great deal. The approach that you either are or are not is a former and more rigid way of viewing things. This approach would often alienate individuals into thinking they are abnormal.

Whereas thinking of things in reference to a spectrum helps us to see that an individual does not need to be in either A or B but that they can be both and they can also be somewhere in between A and B.

Masculinity and mental health pt.2

So one he is through the door and is sitting comfortably in an uncomfortable way. The therapist will help him find a way to talk about himself. Some men approach therapy with the idea of needing to be fixed as if in someway there brain is broken. That is exactly how some men feel when they struggle with there emotions or have been unable to process and experience or trauma; they feel broken!

They feel broken because they feel let down by their emotions and they want to fix that or remove feeling emotional at all. The therapist at this stage not only needs to contain the mans shame at being in therapy in the place but giving them a gentle introduction into what emotions are, how they work, the affects they have and how he is using them. Often most men find this a relief. It is as though they have finally been given permission to acknowledge they are not ok.

Masculinity and mental health

Since I began working clinically i have noticed that men are becoming more aware of being able to access therapy. So why is it so hard for some men to access therapy. For anyone to start seeking help they first need to acknowledge that something isn’t going right for them.

For some men the thought of acknowledging that there is something wrong is an incredibly shameful experience. To admit that you cannot handle every aspect of your emotions and life. This can be considered to some people as a sign of weakness and frailty.

For the majority of men it is not only their feelings of needing to be ok and ‘honestly i’m fine!’ attitude but it is also the attitude that their family has towards masculinity that over time gets engrained with the individual. Ie; a twenty something is noticing that they have been feeling down after a breakup, he is having trouble processing what happened in the relationship but his father has told him not be weak and to get back out there. For someone like this young man there is a need for reassurance that seeking help does not make you weak but that there is a great strength is knowing that you are not ok and then getting help.

Small talk pt.3

Secondary small talk basically is a tool to determine whether your colleague/peer is your kind of person. Secondary small talk often involves generalised conversation with small elements of the self. I shall illustrate this through a small dialogue between Liz and Kate. Kate has just started a new job and is working along side Liz on project. This is the second day they are working together.

Kate: Hi Liz, thanks for all your help yesterday.

Liz: No worries. You will get the hang of it.

Kate: Yeah hope so. Its meant to be lovely weather on Saturday.

Liz: I could really do with some sun. You got any plans.

Kate: Not really, might go for a picnic with the kids and hubby.

Kate’s last sentence was a way of letting Liz know something personal about herself but in safe and generalised way. In the hope that Liz will be also offer some personal information. Liz now knows that Kate has children. If Liz wants to engage in further small talk she might ask Kate how old her kids. If she does the conversation will transition from small talk to a conversation that will let them know a bit more about each other. Thus building on a relationship.

Small talk pt.2

When you first begin to form a relationship with someone at school or work or at your local gym, small talk is the communication tool you will use to begin relating to them. Small talk acts as a sensor and actually does a lot more than people consciously realise.

Through engaging in small talk you are able to determine how interested another person is in you. If someone gives you continuous eye contact and a friendly smile you are likely to expand on your initial small talk. You started talking about the weather, now you may ask how their weekend was. This is what I like to call secondary small talk.

Small Talk pt.1

Firstly there is an awareness that they are part of the same environment as their peers. Secondly they begin to comment on this environment before they begin to comment on themselves. Why is this? It is safer to talk about something they have in common with other people than to talk about themselves.

This is why small talk is so important. Small talk acts as a bridge between talking about something that you know the other person will be able to relate too. Ie: What a miserable day, I can believe all this rain. For sure you know the other person is aware of the weather.


Communication can be difficult. Some people are good at taking about work as there is already an existing framework to the communication. There is a safeness and familiarity to it. This framework gets set for us from a very early age.

We start at pre-school which is often a pre-verbal time. As one goes through their schooling they learn to communicate their experience at school. Talking about which teachers they like and dislike, who they don’t like in their class. These are very important developments in communication.

being there and not there

A common aspect of depression that most people are familiar with is the struggle of going out and being able to interact with your surroundings.

What is less commonly known is that there are many people who are in a depression who are able to go out, to go to work and to socialise. Just because they are able to do those things it doesn’t mean that they are not in a depression anymore. Many depressed people live very functional lives however it is the level of enjoyment within their lives that the depression limits.

For example a depressed person may go to a party and say and do all of the ‘right things’ but actually deep down they feel unable to fully engage with their experience.

What no one tells you about depression. Pt.2

Feelings help us to notice things about ourselves. When you feel angry it is because something is not sitting right with you. When you feel excited it is usually because you are looking forward to something. But it you find yourself in a state where there is an absence of feeling it is impossible to know what your emotional state is.

Many people who are depressed do not know why they are depressed because they do not have many present feelings to help them make sense of things. This process is often very gradual. Therapy helps you to begin to feel again.

Fear pt2

You may feel very anxious in the run up to an event or family function. That anxiety can often be a manifestation of an initial fear that is felt. The fear could be directed toward something going wrong or something bad happening to yourself or someone else.


Humans usually feel fear in response to something that is going to happen. Ie: you might fee frightened the first time you have to drive on the motorway or you may fear in relation to a family member. Fear can be felt in varying degrees but most commonly is manifested through anxiety.