Critical or nice to have – for business and self?

What is self-care?

Something that many of us dismiss.  

Yet, it’s critical to build ‘mind muscle’.  Mind what? 

Read on – to decide if it makes critical business sense – for your people and brand. 

The human mind has an automatic blueprint to amplify negative emotions to keep us safe.  If we don’t intercept that negative spiral as it starts, we can quickly become unwell impacting those around us, at home and work.

How do we make that interception? 


By scheduling, daily, timed 2 minute windows of fun throughout our day connected to routine activities – we will build that mind muscle so a new blueprint is developed one that considers alternatives to the automatic negative thoughts.

Wellbeing windows are easier to schedule in to the most cluttered diary and will be achieved.  After three weeks, these windows become an automatic habit.  Then we can focus on increasing the time – strengthening the mind muscle we have built.

This is my definition of self-care.

Our minds do not think clearly nor innovatively when they are overwhelmed.  It’s logical for businesses to ensure they are doing all they can to make their environments mentally healthy.  But, it’s down to us individually to practise self-care as much as we practise brushing our teeth.

The article image shows the awesome delegates from a leading UK University, the first to gain ISO45003 who are focussed on ensuring the students, academic and operational teams all have the tools to flourish.

@i-acttraining is unique in the following core aspects:

  1. A global course – no need for country licences – delivering a uniform company experience even when that company is international
  2. It has a preventative focus
  3. Covers reactive measures and tools to use when supporting others
  4. Explores how to connect with those who may be struggling – sentence construction
  5. Enables participants to focus on how to keep themselves psychologically safe if they do decide to start a conversation – boundary statements
  6. Aligns very closely with elements of ISO45003
  7. Has over 50 tools which can be adapted for self and others
  8. Accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists
  9. Enables evaluation of any intervention 

So, what did some of the delegates think after doing the course?

“I knew how to prioritise my mental health but not the importance of it. The course has helped to explain its importance and why I MUST prioritise it.” J

“Really insightful course, with focus on improving both your own resilience and helping others. A multitude of accredited resources, many of which I did not know about prior to the course. Jane was extremely interactive and guided us through both the manual and additional resources in a clear and succinct manner.” M

“Daily wellbeing activities to build my resilience (I’ll definitely be dancing while I brush my teeth!)” S

“The course gives a good general overview to metal wellbeing and it has given me the confidence to know how to approach these situations.” B

What does the commissioning client think?

Jane has delivered mental health and wellbeing training to both staff and students. These are very sensitive audiences. I only entrust them to trainers I have faith in. The feedback I have received from Jane’s sessions has justified my faith. It is always very positive. It’s clear that Jane delivers training in an engaging and effective way. This ensures the content is both remembered and applied – a crucial outcome. I intend to book Jane as a trainer again and I have no hesitation in recommending her work to others.

So, what do you think of self-care for yourself and your teams now?

Has someone inspired you?

Tell them!

I noticed on LinkedIn that someone who had been a Real Apprentice (work experience programmed I devised and run 2004-2013 for unemployed people) had endorsed me for multiple skills.

How kind to be remembered so many years later. Now an Operations Director they took the time to do this kindness which has motivated me no end!

Sending a message back thanking them, I received the quote in the image.

This serves as a great reminder. If someone has inspired you, let them know – even if it is years later you will make more of a positive impact than you can imagine.

Thinking back to the Real Apprentice days, the programme won multiple awards year on year including a one of European award in 2012. Of course, the employer I worked for at the time loved the spotlight of these awards as it set them apart from their competitors.

I wonder how much more successful they would have been if they had focussed on the important stuff – 75% of the unemployed, non-confident participants secured permanent jobs. Many, like the person I refer to above, are now in senior management positions, others have started their own businesses – all have been empowered to change their lives.

It doesn’t take much to empower others, include them, make them feel they belong. If all employers focussed on this rather than their profits – I wonder if their profits would naturally grow more than they ever thought possible!

Don’t wait!

If you see a change in someone – no matter how subtle – check in with them. Just asking if they are doing ok can spark the conversation to enable them get the help they need.

Following the awful feature on BBC’s website this morning (link below), this is a reminder to us all that negative thoughts are natural but can be overwhelming if we hang on to them – asking for help with them is not a weakness.

Let’s smash mental health stigma – society’s and self – now.

The icon in the picture below features the UK’s free, 24/7 textile platform Give Us a Shout – accessible by texting the word SHOUT to 85258. Reach out and get the help you need and deserve now.

Welcome – more accredited Practitioners!

This week saw another collaborative session delivering #I-Act Understanding and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing with delegates from a leading UK University – the first to gain ISO45003.

ISO45003 focuses on the psychological safety of the workplace for everyone in it removing the fear to speak out about issues that affect the team.

Raising confidence to notice a ‘change’ in ourselves as well as those around us enables early intervention, a smoother recovery and avert the spiralling decline into mental ill heath as negative emotions engulf us.

Our minds naturally have a ‘blueprint’ to overthink any risk it perceives to keep us safe. Practising windows of non-negotiable self-care every day builds our resilience to deal with low moods when they hit. This practice forms another ‘blueprint’ – one which challenges negative thought.

The tools and processes learned on the Practitioner and Manager level courses are critical to individuals, those around them – home and work – employer reputation, client relationships, staff retention, productivity and bottom line profits.

Why wouldn’t every employer ensure these two global, accredited courses, delivered virtually are in place?

Haajarah did it!……….

After an amazing journey Haajarah has completed Growing Talent 30 and starts her journey as a permanent employee with Pertemps today.

Her willingness to learn, coupled with her passion to help her peers quickly saw her build strong links with the team – as can be seen from the feature image.

Pertemps is a recruitment business which requires a lot of legal compliance. A potential minefield which demands strong attention to detail.

Haajarah opened her mind to learn this new area and is growing everyday.

The power of self empowerment, belief and belonging, coupled with nurturing support from Growing Talent and the employer, in this case Pertemps, and of course the encouragement of JobCentre Plus truly delivers strong results.

Haajarah is now on a journey to build her new career and we known she will be awesome

Congratulations Haajarah – your tenacity and integrity has paid off – keep going!

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  • Growing Talent on twitter

Knowledge – it’s all around us, but do we always see it?

Many people will generally hide their love of repeat tv. Retro, drama, musicals, crime, films – doesn’t matter what the genre – there’s a certain embarrassment in admitting watching repeats.

However, so much factual knowledge can be contained within retro fictional tv!

Did you know Thomas Hardy started out as an architect?

Did you know he was charged with moving all the disturbed headstones of displaced corpses formed during the railway development of Kings Cross and St Pancras?

Did you know instead of throwing away all of the headstones, Thomas arranged them in a circular design at the base of a tree in St Pancras Churchyard which you can still see today?

I didn’t know any of these  facts until watching a repeat of a retired fictional police drama whilst on my cross-trainer (walking, not running!)

The episode featured The Fleet River in London – which still runs under the City.  Did you know about this? – I didn’t.

My history interest was spiked just by distracting my mind whilst exercising and watching a 10 year old repeat.

I’ve learnt more about the City in which I live and more about Thomas Hardy – who I never knew was a trainee architect.

So, don’t be embarrassed by what you watch.  Open your eyes and your mind.  There will be something new to learn.

Knowledge is all around us but often we don’t see it unless we consciously look.

So, what do you watch?

“A priceless memory – the gift that keeps giving”

Christmas is fast approaching and the cost of living crisis is looming large, engulfing many of us with no end in sight. The pressure to spend money we don’t have to bring the joy we want to those we love will be amplified and constant. The pressure we put on ourselves will get heavier and heavier.

Reading Susan Calman’s column, it struck me how true her thoughts are:

“a token present doesn’t mean as much as a priceless memory – it’s the gift that keeps giving”

How often have you given a gift that maybe cost you relatively a lot of money – maybe you used savings or a credit card – only to get a ‘lukewarm’ thank you?

Maybe you never saw your gift being used by the recipient. Children often want the latest toy, trainers etc because their friends have got them or they’ve seen the endless marketing and think they want these items.

Think back to the memorable times in your life – did they involve expensive gifts or priceless time with someone?

Why not follow Susan’s example of her birthday ‘presents’ and give your time to someone instead?

We can’t control the consumer crises, nor what politicians do, but we can control how we deal with things in our life.

What do you think?

Let’s talk workplace positive mental health and wellbeing…..

With over 15 years experience of delivering a range of mental health and wellbeing products in the UK, i-act (for positive mental health and wellbeing) training. Mental Health Training is the only workplace designed course on the market I’ve come across that delivers lasting knowledge, real tools and steps for colleagues to gain confidence in supporting each other whilst giving knowledge on how to demolish workplace stigma – perceived or real- removing the fear in disclosing to ensure early intervention, help and support. It aligns perfectly in supporting #iso45003 employer guidelines.

In addition, a strong focus on prevention enables staff to learn tools to build their own resilience to deal with life/work events more effectively whilst enabling them to ‘bounce back’ quicker when low mood strikes.

Accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists it gives confidence a meaningful programme of effective knowledge will be received rather than a ‘tick in the box’ exercise.

With hybrid working homes are now completely or partly also workplaces making the division between home and work spaces more blurred.  

In addition the global fiscal crisis means money in all areas is tight. So it makes sense to select the most effective training programme that will deliver the right results for employees and employers – doesn’t it?

Working with a leading UK University recently, the first to gain #iso45003, the interaction, sharing and clear growth of knowledge amongst the delegates was awesome to be part of.

But, what did they think?…………

“Thank you so much for delivering the i-act course today, it went above and beyond my expectations and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone already in or moving into a management”

“That was a fantastic course- thanks so much!”

“Thanks for the excellent course today, I gained a lot of knowledge from it”

How psychologically safe is your workplace?


3 weeks in……….


……. and Haajarah is doing great!

Growing Talent gives the space, nurturing, coaching to enable confidence to flourish and true abilities to be revealed.

She is thriving under the guidance of her manager Pedro at Pertemps and, from her third appraisal, is clearly giving equal support to the team and candidates in her care.

An inspirational journey of growth over a few short weeks.

London employers, is this for you?…..

Employers – you know finding new, sustainable talent takes time and money.

Before you stop reading – this is not a ‘sales pitch’ It’s information on a free service!

In these pressing times, we need to ensure effective use of both time and money. Why not add Growing Talent to your talent identification tools?

With a track record of over eight years which has seen roles filled in multiple areas including logistics, maintenance, hospitality, corporate operations, documentation management, recruitment, project management, HR advisor, junior accountant etc – we could be a good match.

There are clear differences set out below that are completely free to you. What’s not to like?

If you have roles in London, why not pilot us? You have nothing to lose and potentially some awesome talent to gain!

Too good to be true?

Well, there are some obligations on you:

  1. All roles must be signed off and permanent
  2. You or a representative must attend the selection stages