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February 2018 – Blog on World Thinking Day – 22nd February

On 22nd February, a joint service is held by Girl Guiding UK and the Scout Association in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the joint birthdays of Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell and his wife, Olave Baden-Powell, the first World Chief Guide.

On this day, we are encouraged to take time out and to think; to take stock of our mental ‘wellbeing’. This term describes our mental state – how we are feeling and how we cope with our day-to-day lives.

There has been a lot of media hype about the wellbeing trend in recent years, and employers are keen to jump on the bandwagon of being seen to look after their employees’ mental health too. This is because studies show that if you experience low mental wellbeing over a long period of time, you are more likely to develop a mental health problem.

Wellbeing only really means we allow ourselves not to be distracted by the surrounding white noise of the 21st Century and to build in a peaceful 20 minutes each day just for our thoughts; to reflect.

Reflection has long been identified as an integral part of the learning process. Without this built into timetables, pupils do not apply their learning and it does not ‘stick’. Or if it does, because it has been repeated by rote, then it is not understood and so is rendered meaningless.

Evidence shows that continuing to learn throughout adult life can improve and maintain our mental wellbeing. Learning can boost self-confidence, as the more capable you prove yourself to be, the better you feel about yourself. Additionally, it can help build a sense of purpose and allow you to connect with others. Learning often involves interacting with other people, which can improve our wellbeing by helping us to build and strengthen social relationships.

Learning is also associated with greater satisfaction, optimism and a greater ability to cope with stress. Adult learners also report more feelings of self-esteem and hope.

We are all different; what affects someone’s mental wellbeing will not necessarily affect others in the same way. Stress, loneliness, inactivity and a lack of sleep are all negative factors in maintaining wellbeing.

Other top tips for maintaining a healthy mental state include:

  • Setting targets and hitting them can create positive feelings of achievement.
  • Make time for the people you love. Keeping regular contact with friends and family, whether it’s face-to-face, on the telephone or by text, can strengthen your relationships and increase your sense of belonging.
  • Join a group. Meeting others with a shared interest can increase your confidence and build your support network.
  • Talk about the way you feel. Opening up to a trusted friend or family member can help you to feel listened to and supported. Just acknowledging your feelings by saying them out loud can help.
  • Use peer support. If you are finding things difficult, talking to people who have similar feelings or experiences can help you to feel accepted.
  • Volunteer at a local school, charity shop or hospice. Giving your time to those that need it can be extremely fulfilling and can help you to look at things from a different perspective.
  • Increase your activity and/or join sport classes. This produces the happy hormones; endorphins. It also keeps your body healthy.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Hypnotherapy podcasts and relaxation tools are readily available online.


Lucy Sherry, Solicitor-Advocate; Head of Medical Negligence specialises in medical negligence litigation, previously representing the NHS Litigation Authority and one of the GP Unions. Lucy now works with injured individuals and bereaved families to achieve compensation for adverse outcomes. Lucy has a passion for learning and sharing her knowledge, regularly delivering medico-legal training to lawyers, attending many hours of medical lectures each year to keep abreast of changes in treatments, and gaining an insight into new health and medical findings to share with Thomson & Bancks’ clients and visitors to this blog.

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Catch up with Lucy Sherry’s previous blog posts

January 2018 – Blog on Losing Weight with The High Calcium Diet
December 2017 – Blog on World AIDS Day 2017
November 2017 – Blog on Antibiotic Resistance – Causes, consequences and how you can help
We’ve been nominated for Employer of the Year!
October 2017 – Blog on Why Eating Curry is Good for Your Health
September 2017 – Blog on Challenge the Stigma of Dementia
August 2017 – Blog on Road Victims Awareness Month – August 2017
July 2017 – Blog on Group Streptococcus B Awareness Month
June 2017 – Blog on Brain Food!
May 2017 – Blog on Why Eating Less Meat Could Help Save the Planet!
April 2017 – Blog on the EWG’s Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen
March 2017 – Blog on Going Sugar-free this Lent
February 2017 – Blog on Antibiotics in Animal Feed & the Rise of the Superbug; 1 Reason Why I was Vegetarian!
January 2017 – Blog on Alcohol; a harmless social escape or a dangerous poison?
December 2016 – Blog on Our annual Christmas binge & January famine!
November 2016 – Blog on Battling Stress at Work
October 2016 – Blog on The Taboos About Men’s Mental Health

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