At Christmas time, sometimes we may forget, as cliché as it sounds, the true meaning of Christmas. Here at Social Sense we’re focusing on “unwrapping the present” by putting aside the materialistic items, the food and the drinks.
There are many different ways to feel “present” around Christmas, and this can vary depending on the individual. Here are some ideas to help you take time to appreciate and be present in the moment:
Sometimes it can be all too easy to forget to be grateful for the people around us, the love, the peace and blessings we receive throughout the year. It is important to show our gratitude, for ourselves and others.
“Thank you is the key that opens the door to instant happiness.”
Focusing on the 4 A’s of Gratitude:
- Appreciation– Being appreciative of the gifts we give and receive, and for all that we are blessed with around Christmas.
- Approval– Give praise and approval for every occasion and for every accomplishment – no matter the size. This could be a family member who has cooked Christmas dinner, or to a loved one for doing an amazing job despite the busy and stressful time of Christmas. Remember, whatever you praise gets repeated.
- Admiration– Compliment people on their accomplishments in work and private life. Make someone feel happier and good this Christmas.
- Attention– Listen patiently, thoughtfully and without interrupting. True listeners hear what’s being said to them. By expressing your gratitude to others in this way you increase your own happiness.
“The most selfish thing you can do in this world is help someone else, why? Because of the feeling it can give you.”
During meditation, brain scans see increased activity in regions directly correlated with decreased anxiety and depression. Meditation has been found to improve memory, self-awareness and goal setting. Setting goals is important as it can help trigger new behaviours, help guide your focus and helps you sustain that momentum in life. Setting a goal like being “present” can instantly have an impact this Christmas.
Meditation can reduce stress through the controlling of your breathing whilst also controlling the variability of your heart-rate. A great free meditation can be found online at: (http://www.mindful-me.co.uk/learners/)
It is important over Christmas that you find balance when visiting friends and family, whilst ensuring that you do not overwhelm yourself with trying to fit everything in. Ensure you to take time for yourself allowing for a break to recharge in time for the new year.
It can also be hard being around family, as we might prefer to have our own space. Find a way of getting that space, even by doing simple things such as going on a walk, going to the gym or going to a café by yourself.
Whilst there are many positives to social media, it also comes with a lot of negatives such as social isolation and sleep deprivation. Make sure you find a balance between spending time on technology and social media, with actually being present in the real world.
Happy holidays and enjoy unwrapping your present!
by Charlotte Yiatrou
Digital Marketing Apprentice
Social Sense has completed a trio of appointments in just 5 weeks, in preparation for a planned period of growth in early 2020.
Stacey Adams joins as Director of Operations, having previously occupied roles as Deputy Chief Executive for a large charity and several key management positions in the NHS.
Her move follows those of Nadia Miller, a Breathworks qualified Mindfulness Trainer and Charlotte Yiatrou who joins as Digital Marketing Apprentice alongside weekly mentorship from Manchester based Social Chain.
The appointments represent the next exciting phase of growth for the Media City based Social Marketing agency, whose programmes have directly engaged over 200,000 people in the UK and in Europe since opening in February 2011.
Established In house programmes include those to reduce smoking, alcohol, knife crime and domestic abuse. In 2014 it established a programme to deliver Mindfulness at scale, which has now reached over 20,000 young people and adults.
This year the organisation also began the new co-creation of a platform to measure and improve lives for people with dementia, which is due to launch in April 2020 across Greater Manchester.
In addition to growing these programmes, the company has ambitions to scale its licensing, training and consultancy arm which enables more public sector and voluntary organisations to unlock their potential in delivering measurable social value.
Managing Director Gary Lovatt explains:
“Having been established for almost 9 years now we now have many programmes that are in great shape to be replicated at scale and have already had some success with this through R U Different? and Mindful Me.
Stacey is incredibly passionate about helping people to help themselves and has a wonderful track record of delivering value to workforces and communities across the North West.
Operationally this will enable us to move to another level – preparing us for the licensed growth of existing programmes, creation of new ones and further consultancy projects.”
One of Stacey’s early tasks will be to conduct a full strategic review of the organisation, ranging from policy, business development, communications and legal. Her early impressions are very positive:
“I have been an avid admirer of Social Sense’s work for some time and always shared its passion for delivering great outcomes at an early intervention and prevention level.
Having explored its programmes, evaluations and plans for the next few years I feel really excited about supporting the organisation to reach its next phase of growth”.
For more information about Social Sense Ltd visit www.socialsense.co.uk
For more information Social Sense Community and its school and community projects visit www.socialsensecic.co.uk
Due the continued growth and success of our Mindful Me programme, Social Sense is excited to welcomed Nadia Miller to its ever-growing team. Nadia will lead the training and development of our Mindfulness courses in schools and workplaces across the North West.
We sat down with Nadia to find out more about her.
Welcome to the team Nadia! Can you share with people how you got into teaching Mindfulness?
Following a lot of trauma and tragedy in childhood, I was diagnosed with depression and traits of an emotional unstable personality disorder. After 20 years of different types of therapies, I had Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) which touched upon Mindfulness and helped me get to recovery. For me this means learning to manage my mental health condition.
This led me to the Manchester Buddhist Centre where I started to practice Buddhism and it is here, I saw a poster to train as a Mindfulness Teacher with Breathworks, a globally recognised Mindfulness provider. I took an interest in this straight away, as the Breathworks training is built upon compassionate foundations and shines through all the training they deliver. As I embarked on the teacher training, I got a real direct felt experience of the impact of this, and it would later prove invaluable to my mental health recovery journey.
Where are you in your training
I am accredited to deliver Breathworks 8-week Mindfulness for Health and Stress courses or what would be the Level 2 equivalent for Social Sense (Level 1 is awareness).
How has mindfulness has helped you?
I have become more mindful through meditating and practising mindfulness each day e.g. slowing down, paying attention to the present moment (slowly making a cup of tea, noticing clouds passing, feeling my feet on the floor) and this has helped me notice my triggers earlier due to the awareness developed from this. The result is that I no longer self-harm and I am able to work with intense emotions when I experience episodes which are now very rare. For me being able to take preventative action is key.
Mindfulness gives us choice between our thoughts and is scientifically proven to create new neuro pathways and help rewire the brain.
Another impact aspect that mindfulness has supported me tremendously with, is learning to accept how I feel, being able to sit with this in a non-judgemental, compassionate manner.
The result of this has meant that I am able to keep growing, becoming in life. I am not paralysed by habitual ways of thinking, restricting me from showing up for myself and the world.
How do you feel about joining Social Sense?
I am really excited to be joining the Social Sense team. This is a great opportunity for me in terms of supporting individuals to create awareness of mindfulness through direct felt experience with a view to providing the coping mechanisms that mindfulness can bring.
I am inspired by the way Social Sense are trying to share Mindfulness with more people at a whole population (and preventative) level but I believe I also bring, through my own lived experience, an ability to connect with people who are currently struggling with their mental health.
For more information visit:
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At Social Sense, our greatest ability is delivering and demonstrating social impacts at scale.
Over the last 10 years we’ve achieved great results in the areas of smoking, alcohol, drugs, knife crime, domestic abuse and mental health and now we’re applying our learning in new areas such as helping people to live well with dementia.
Social Sense Ltd, in partnership with Wirral based Hitch Marketing, has been chosen to build a ground-breaking platform to measure the real time ‘Lived Experience’ of people with dementia.
The platform will be used to record information about a wide range of factors that affect quality of life for people who are living with dementia.
Social Sense recently concluded a successful 12 months project with local secondary schools and youth groups in Kent, addressing emotional health and wellbeing needs.
Kent Police and Crime Commissioner provided funding to commission Social Sense’s Mindful Me Programme across 3 organisations with pupils and young people from 12 schools/colleges.