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11 Things to Know About Starting a New Job

11 Things to Know About Starting a New Job

Starting a new job is an exciting but testing time when you will face many new challenges. While you may be justifiably proud of yourself for having completed the application process successfully and secured the position you wanted, this is not a time to rest on your laurels. Thinking about how you will approach the first few days and weeks in your new job and planning ahead for any potential issues you will face will help you to: reduce your stress levels become productive more quickly be accepted by new colleagues more quickly prepare for the cultural...
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Why Do People Respond to Stress Differently?

Why Do People Respond to Stress Differently?

People experience and respond to stress in different ways. There are seven reasons why this happens: 1) Personality There are several dimensions of personality, but the most important dimension, the one that explains most varience, is neuroticism versus stability. The term ‘neurotic’ has a meaning in common usage and one that isn’t flattering. By contrast, to the psychologist, the dimension of neuroticism - or negative affectivity - is simply a dimension on which people vary and should not imply a value judgement. Nice people can be neurotic! A person high in...
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RECIPE: Shiitake Mushroom, Bean and Fennel Soup

RECIPE: Shiitake Mushroom, Bean and Fennel Soup

Using beans to thicken soups creates a smooth and creamy texture. Shiitake mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine for their immune-stimulating properties, while fennel bulbs and seeds are excellent for cleansing the digestion as well as supporting kidney function. Ingredients  Serves 4  10g (.oz) coconut oil 200g (7oz) fennel bulb, finely shredded 2 celery sticks, finely shredded 1 onion, finely chopped 100g (3 ½ oz) shiitake mushrooms, sliced 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 tsp fennel seeds 4 thyme...
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Craftivist Collective: Craft for Wellbeing

Craftivist Collective: Craft for Wellbeing

As the name suggests, Craftivist Collective, founded in 2009, is a movement which seeks to combine craft and activism. Their aim is to provoke awareness and discussion of issues surrounding local and global poverty and injustice. The World Health Organisation includes “contributing to society” as one of their paths to wellbeing. This was the focus of the most recent Craftivist exhibition, which was held in Aldgate East in London. The project, titled #wellMAKING, was the culmination of more than 50 ‘stitch-ins’ held across the nation. It’s goal was to...
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Doctors Dissected: What are Doctors really Thinking?

Doctors Dissected: What are Doctors really Thinking?

As I sat down to write about the relationship I have with ‘my GP’ I realised I couldn’t. Last summer I had cause to visit a general practitioner several times, I am asthmatic and although my condition is manageable day-to-day sometimes I need additional care. I saw three different doctors in the space of six weeks. One was a locum covering for holidays the other two were regulars at the surgery.  All were professional, helpful, concerned. But they, like their approaches, were all different and that was just over one short season. Even if we live in the...
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How to Embrace Mindfulness at Work

How to Embrace Mindfulness at Work

Is it possible to synchronise the world of work – all cut-throat competition, profit margins, productivity and cold, hard cash – and the higher principles of mindfulness? You might imagine that combining the two might make for an almighty clash. In fact, mindfulness is one of the hottest ideas in business right now. At the recent World Economic Forum a panel featuring Jon Kabat-Zinn (who virtually invented the modern idea of mindfulness), Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post  and a board member of Goldman Sachs was a sell-out. Not only did it...
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RECIPE: Warming Chicken Broth

RECIPE: Warming Chicken Broth

This chicken broth can be enjoyed as a soup or used as stock in other dishes. You can make the chicken broth in advance and freeze it, if wished, or you can make double or triple the quantity and then freeze for later use. To intensify the flavour, it can be reduced by one-third before adding the garnish at the end. Ingredients Serves 4 5kg (3lb 5oz) chicken bones 4 celery sticks 4 carrots 2 onions 5 garlic cloves 15g (½ oz) coriander seeds 2 star anise 15g (½ oz) fennel seeds 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns 3 bay...
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Writing Music to Overcome Depression

Writing Music to Overcome Depression

One afternoon I had a moment of clarity and wrote all of the words, in one prolific sitting, to a song for my Dad. He moved to America when I was four and I dragged a heavy anchor of anger and disappointment behind me most of my life as a result. I describe in the piano ballad how I was confused and missed him as a child, felt that he didn't know me as a teenager, as an adult I needed him and finally in the present day, I forgave him. Along with a very long letter, I sent this song, which I called ’The Gift’, to my Dad in the mail. It was the closure that I...
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