Editor’s Letter: July Issue

Dear Neighbours,

I’ve had a hectic few weeks, rushing from one thing to another and whilst I’m exhausted, it’s also fulfilling to have been so busy – although I’m not sure I have the stamina to sustain it! I normally like to be in control and pre-plan everything in advance, however I’ve recently had a number of impromptu jaunts…and I’ve now discovered, after 40(ish) years, that I quite enjoy being spontaneous! For one thing, it’s refreshing not to have time to over analyse every detail of a pre-planned event (another trait of mine!). So, this summer why not break from your norm and do something out of your comfort zone…you might surprise yourself!

This issue is all about embracing the great outdoors… from stylish summer picnics, page 14; tech tools for wherever you may roam, page 20; holiday reads, page 24; making the most of summer by ensuring your garden is a great place to relax and entertain, page 38; to the best convertibles for under £2000, page 56.

Do make sure, however, that you stay safe in the sun; our health feature highlights the dangers of UV exposure and the importance of protecting your skin, page 28; we also have advice on helping your dog deal with the heat of summer, page 50.

With school holidays approaching, we have suggestions on how to make your budget stretch that bit further in order to enjoy a summer full of fun activities, page 10. Finally, we have a couple of great recipes for you… a tasty starter of Filo Crab Parcels, page 34 and individual Berry and Chocolate Pavlovas for dessert, page 36. Enjoy!

Until next month…

Zoë

Northampton Town Festival: 7th-8th July

Great British Food Festival: Kelmarsh Hall, 7th-8th July

Royal & Derngate – Kinky Boots Comes Home To Northampton

EmotionalSkills: Stress

Indeed, but what is stress?

Stress is a reaction to an overload of difficulties and a reaction to that circumstance by an individual’s idiosyncratic learnt behaviour. Stress can be external and connected to the experience or situation, but may also be triggered by internal perceptions. These, often irrational, thought processes can cause an individual to feel exaggerated negative feelings relating to the difficult situation.

A new study* has found that over the past year, almost three quarters (74%) of people have at some point felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.

“If you remain passive, thinking, ‘I can’t do anything about my problem’, your stress will get worse,” says Professor Gary Cooper from the University of Lancaster. 

So, what to do? There are lots of positive things that stressed people can do. Make contact with people, do some physical exercise, volunteer and help others. Take up learning?

If you are stressed, try to think mindfully. Say to yourself, “Right, I’m starting to move towards being stressed, so let’s contemplate mindfully, rather than ruminate mindlessly.” A deep self-awareness helps and trying to be flexible and kind to yourself is beneficial. Mindfulness can really help bring some relief and comfort.

Many Emotionalskills clients come to us with work related stress. Sometimes they can change their jobs and lifestyle, but they often do not have any chance of altering their occupation, so they might have to accept this and try to focus on the things they do have control over.

Working smarter, rather than harder, means arranging your work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference rather than just blasting away in a disorganised fashion. 

Like many things that are worthwhile, it’s not easy in the beginning, but persistence pays off.

If you’re struggling with emotional issues, email info@emotionalskills.uk. Visit www.emotionalskills.uk
Emotionalskills sessions run in Northampton and are with Deanna Joyce, a degree qualified therapist who has also studied the theory of personality, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), focusing, mindfulness, couples/group therapy and creative thinking.

*Survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation and undertaken by YouGov, polled 4,169 adults in the UK in 2018.

Trilogy Health & Fitness – FREE Month On Us This Summer!

Green’s Restaurant: New Menu

Editor’s Letter: June Issue

Dear Neighbours,

Every now and then I look back over my back catalogue of editions and re-read my editors letter for a particular month and year; it’s a lovely snapshot in time and a reminder of what was happening in my life at that point – almost like writing a diary, which I regret not continuing with after my teens…life just becomes too busy to make the time, unfortunately. As I flicked through past June issues, where I talk about the yo-yoing weather in 2017 (no change there then!), the 2016 Olympics, and my sky-dive in 2015; it was my opening paragraph in 2014 which made me reflective… “It can’t possibly be four years since the last FIFA World Cup! Where has the time gone?”

And yet here we are again! Another World Cup, signifying four more years of my life have elapsed in a blink of an eye… four years older (and not necessarily wiser!)… two strapping teenagers, now as tall as me… highs and lows within that period of time… and regardless of the particular milestone, it acts as a reminder that time flies and to pause every so often to reflect, appreciate and enjoy each chapter.

That can, at times, be difficult if faced with a challenging period in your life; emotionalskills psychotherapist, Deanna Joyce, provides advice on well-being on page 26 and our health feature this month looks at when ‘Golden Years’ are tarnished by stress, page 54.

With summer on its way, we have tech for outdoor living, page 10; money saving tips for your summer holiday, page 12 and beauty travel buys on page 16.

Gardening expert, Pippa Greenwood, gets creative with containers, page 34 and our interiors feature this issue is on bathroom lighting, page 40.

Finally, we have a family ticket for Bugsy Malone to give away, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 31.

Until next month…

Zoë

Northampton Music Festival: Sunday 17th June

Collingtree Park Care Home: Open Day, Saturday 9th June