Meet a family that swapped the 9-5 to travel the world…

Travelling around the world, sounds idyllic right?

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Last year Katie Tucker, her partner and two young children decided to take a once in a lifetime trip around the world. As well as being an adventure into the unknown, we spoke to Katie about the mental challenge of having no fixed abode and the resilience required for the unpredictability of such a trip.

Listen to our chat with Katie here…

To catch up with their adventures on Instagram follow @world_family_trip

5 reasons scary risks are actually healthy new beginnings

Moving on from a job, career, city or relationship that doesn’t fit us anymore can feel scary and risky. In fact, our brains interpret big changes as life-threatening which throws us into fight-flight-freeze responses. These leave us feeling stuck. Stuck in our comfort zone. Stuck somewhere we don’t want to be. But change doesn’t have to be so scary. There are plenty of upsides…

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  1. We get to control the design of our life: By deciding to make changes, even if we need to dig deep, we get to experience the satisfaction of grabbing our life by the goolies and making it happen. We step into life’s driving seat and go beyond reacting to whatever life throws at us.  

  2. We get to feel brave and powerful: Vulnerability and courage exist in exactly the same spot, according to psychological research.  When we admit that we are somewhere we don’t want to be, we only have two choices: stay put and accept the situation or learn what we need to make change happen. By taking action and learning what’s required for change, we offer ourselves the chance to feel brave and powerful. What’s not to love? 

  3. We can’t fail - if we see change as experimentation: Fear of failure adds to the riskiness that surrounds change. Repositioning “scary change” as “an experiment” means that we can’t fail. If an experiment doesn’t work, then it simply needs to be tweaked until it does. Big changes usually happen in tiny increments so there’s often plenty of time to tweak their design. 

  4. Life options become limitless: Mastering the experimentation mindset gives us the skill and know-how to build our best possible life. A life based on evidence from the results of our experiments. Who knows where that could end? 

  5. Staying within our comfort zone is safe...but it can also be dull. Some people choose to stay exactly where they are forever.  Others chose to move beyond the initial discomfort that accompanies change, and experience unanticipated joys. They get to meet new friends, gain skills they never dreamed of, uncover talents they didn’t know they possessed, visit new corners of the earth and create memories that wouldn’t have seemed possible...if they had stayed put. 

Lucia Knight gave up her 20 year career in corporate head-hunting to study a full-time MSc Psychology, while also being a full-time parent, before designing much more satisfaction and fun into her new career at Midlife Unstuck. Author of X Change: How to torch your work treadmill. 

6 ways to make moving less stressful

Moving is officially one of the most stressful life events, along with divorce, breaking up and starting a family (wonderful, but overwhelming!). We thought we’d share some tips on how to have a smooth and less stressy move, which involves forward planning and some self discipline and is kind to you and your mental wellbeing. 

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1. Declutter before you need to

Having a declutter will unburden you in the long run. If you have filtered out all the belongings you don’t need and haven’t used in the last decade that will make life a lot easier when it comes to packing your whole life away, and may not seem as overwhelming as once thought. Having a good clean out is not only good for your home, but it’s great for the mind. Giving away, or throwing things away that you don’t need breaks down attachment to things that we quite obviously don’t need anymore allowing us space in life for new belongings and memories. 

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2. Figure out a removal strategy early on

Whether you are planning to use a removal company, or you are hiring your own vehicle and roping in some pals to help, get this plan formed and confirmed weeks in advance. It’s one less thing to worry about when it comes to the stressful part of moving everything you own. You then know how everything is going to get from A to B. 

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3. Make a list and stick to it

It might sound very obvious, but making a list helps you set yourself guidelines and rules. This list should consist of everything you have to do in the run up and during the move consider your timeline. You may have only just had your offer accepted and be months away from completion. But that doesn’t mean you should wait until the week before your move to start preparing.

4. Get your paperwork in order

It’s easy to lose things when chaos unfolds and the moving starts, but make sure you have all your important documents in one handy place. These could include; passport, insurance, wills, or possibly the house deeds - these might all be hard copies, so it’s probably wise to have electronic copies of these documents too, as a handy backup. It’s also important to remember to take final meter readings, which can be a quick picture taken on your phone in preparation for when you’ll need it for move out day. 

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5. Pack a moving day survival kit

It’s always handy to have a kit of essentials that will make the overall moving experience easier for you, and whoever you are moving with. This includes all manner of things including a trusty phone charger, water, toiletries needed as well as any food that might be needed throughout the day, as it’s super important to stay hydrated and fed on high energy days such as moving day. This sounds simple, but planning ahead will stop any stress or worry around this on the day and will allow you to focus on the job at hand! 

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6. Take it easy

Moving day is stressful enough, flapping and being disorganised will make the day manic. Take time to process things and set yourself realistic expectations - there is a very small chance (unless you have super powers) that you are going to pack up, move your things to a new property then unpack it all in the same day. Give yourself a realistic timeframe. It will take time to adapt, and get your new home the way you’d like it, but this doesn’t need to happen instantly. Assess what you vitally need for the first week or so, and just relax it isn’t a race. Once you firm in your mind what you need, everything else will start to fall into place. 

In this episode of the 87% podcast we spoke with Jo Hooper, founder of the Mad and Sad Club.

Jo had a successful career in communications, and like many others worked her way up a career ladder which resulted in her bagging her (what she thought) 'dream job'.

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“I’ve realised how much flexibility I need to manage my mental health.”

- Jo Hooper


Jo says that work is one of her main triggers for mental ill health, and expands upon experiences she has been though which led to her entirely changing her career path. Being made redundant from a role, or ending a job drastically can appear daunting and understandably scary, but sometimes it leads to wonderful new beginnings.

Listen to Jo's story here...



Being a dad with arthritis

A diagnosis with a serious condition can be part of the ebb and flow of ordinary lives. Depending on how someone sees and tackles challenges, being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (an auto-immune condition) can be an ending of one phase or the beginning of something new. Not only does this impact people physically, but also mentally. For thirty-two-year-old dad of two, Phil Davies, a diagnosis in his mid-twenties meant a combination of things. He had a wedding planned, hopes of a family and the responsibility of a full-time job, he had things to get on with.

 Phil Davies, 30, who is living with rheumatoid arthritis.
31/07/2017 - Photograph by Sam Frost ©2017 - www.samfrostphotos.com

“For men, not wanting to show they’re in pain is a pride issue. talking about

it at times felt embarrassing. ”

- Phil Davies

Phil says, “My first thoughts were about whether I would be able to work; if I would become disabled – and if I could still play football.” For someone like Phil who has a passion for sport and enjoys being active, the diagnosis hit hard at his sense of self. There was a concern about rheumatoid arthritis taking away the things Phil excelled at and redefining who he was.

“For men, not wanting to show they’re in pain is a pride issue,” he explains. “People don’t always understand how much the pain can impact you, and as a result talking about it at times felt embarrassing. ”

A defiant attitude challenged the impact of a diagnosis

The first year was a time of adjustment where Phil relied on his wife for help with routine tasks. At times it felt like he was losing his independence, when tasks like dressing, driving to work, and staying in work were challenging. He credits his wife’s ‘tough love’ approach where she was always supportive but also encouraged Phil to maintain his positive outlook when faced with difficulties.

 Phil Davies, 30, who is living with rheumatoid arthritis.
31/07/2017 - Photograph by Sam Frost ©2017 - www.samfrostphotos.com

“It’s important to be able to bond with your child. Not being able to even pick him up had a huge effect.”

- Phil Davies

Phil decided he wasn’t going to let arthritis steal his life. Mindful of the restrictions a flare up of the condition could cause, he made changes every day to defy the condition and retain as much independence as possible.

Overcoming baby blues to become a fully engaged dad

When Phil and his wife decided they wanted to start a family, he was taking Methotrexate, a drug that suppresses the immune system and can reduce the potential for joint damage as well as reducing evidence of arthritis. The medication has a number of side effects, and is not recommended for individuals who are trying to conceive. But having a family was important and becoming a parent was not something that Phil was prepared to miss out on, so he temporarily paused taking the medication.

When Phil’s first child arrived, the pain in Phil’s shoulders was significant and meant it was difficult sharing parenting duties. While most new fathers are able to be fully involved in caring for a new baby, Phil was unable to hold his son, much less feed him or look after the baby’s essential physical needs.

Phil is open about expressing the impact this distance had on his feelings as a new father. “It’s important to be able to bond with your child. Not being able to even pick him up had a huge effect.”

With time and by continuing with his treatment, Phil has been able to regain and maintain his sense of self: physically, emotionally and as a parent. His second child was born three years later. Now Phil is a football dad, does the school run and plays sport with his children.

Living well one day at a time

In the UK, 400,000 people have rheumatoid arthritis. Some, like Phil are younger men who are managing busy lives, and some are dealing with a new diagnosis. They may be asking themselves all the questions about what happens next that Phil had to face and eventually found answers for.

He is clear in sharing with anyone with a recent arthritis diagnosis that everyone is different, and handles change and challenges according their individual situation.