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Welcome everyone to our 2nd blog and our theme this time is compassion and kindness

  • 30 November 2020
  • 8 min read

We are living through extraordinary times and now that winter is upon us and it is getting colder and darker it is really important that we take care of ourselves and each other. Whatever challenges you are facing whether it is exams, assignment deadlines, making career choices, doing applications, keeping yourself motivated while job searching, going for interviews and assessment centers or dealing with rejection, there is no doubt that a little compassion and kindness for yourselves is vital and remember we are here to support you.

The following are suggestions on taking care of yourselves. They include embracing Hygge, the power of kindness, reframing, small goal setting, and celebrating the small stuff.

We have given you some tips and some suggestions of songs to listen to. Maybe create your own playlist of tracks that remind you of being compassionate and kind.

Embracing Hygge

The Danish word hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”)  can be roughly translated as “coziness.” Conjuring images of snuggling around a warm fire or sharing a meal with friends, the best explanation by author Helen Russell, is “a complete absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things.”

In this article, there are 8 suggestions to Hygge this winter  and each one is an example of compassion;  https://www.alive.com/lifestyle/embrace-danish-art-hygge/

Here are two:

 

Connecting

One beautiful example of kindness to yourself is to stay connected to people who will support and help you. This is a good time to reach out to others when you're having a stressful day or seek our help to support you in your career journey. You don't even need a formal appointment. Careers and Employability are running some virtual drop ins and lots of events throughout teaching block 2.

The Careers and Employability Team are here for your during these testing  times. You can book an online 20 minute career appointment or book onto an event through MyCareer,  alternatively you can call us on 02392 842684  or email careers@port.ac.uk  . If you would like to book a 40 minutes career guidance appointment to discuss your options please call us on 02392 842684. 

Tip - It is always a good idea to consider what and who could support you right now. Is it to chat about career ideas? Do you need to understand what an employer wants? Might it be a good time to try a mock interview and get feedback to help you improve? Being specific might help you plan the support you need and sometimes not being specific is still a good place to start. 

Track - Four Tops - “Reach Out (I'll Be There)”, James Taylor - "You've got a Friend" 

 

Practicing gratitude

Most of us are rushing, trying to get things done, moving on to the next task and forgetting to stop, breath and give thanks.

Gratitude is about slowing down and noticing those small things that we might overlook in the rush. 

A soft blanket, a warm pair of thick socks, a hot meal, or a steaming shower. Someone who made us smile, a thank you, an enquiry into how we are today. We can support you in changing your focus and noticing the positive feedback you have had in a job or volunteer opportunity, supporting you in finding a positive way of telling your story about yourselves. 

Tip - Write down three things you’re thankful for at the end of each day; research suggests that doing so can have a positive impact on our well-being and help us maintain a more positive outlook.

Track - ”Days” by Kirsty MacColl

The power of kindness for ourselves and others 

This is a lovely little clip of Simon Sinek talking about the power of kindness. 

Do you know that every time you do something kind or observe someone doing something kind you get a release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain. It's sometimes known as the "cuddle hormone" or the "love hormone," because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially. Can you believe that such a simple act can spread and make you and others feel so much better?

The Power of Kindness | Simon Sinek

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8afO6jkod_4

Tip -Make a conscious decision to do an act of kindness each day and notice when others do them 

As the Chinese proverb says -’ A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses’.

Track - "Kind & Generous" by Natalie Merchant

Reframing

“It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters”

This was written by Epictetus who was  a Greek-born slave of Rome in the first century. He became a great philosopher and teacher, and was eventually granted his freedom. He might have lived a life of bitterness, anger and resentment but instead he has taught us how we might rethink our response to challenging situations. When you get a rejection for a job application what do you do? Maybe you have made lots of applications but haven't been successful, what do you think?

When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it; you can either accept it or resent it and you can certainly learn from it.

We can replace the energy-stealing thoughts with more responsible ones, such as: “I think there must be something important for me to learn here.” These are examples of reframing problems as challenges, and taking them on as such.

Knowing this is powerful because we can then choose how we wish to respond rather than feel we are victims of bad luck. We can take strategic steps

Tip- Reframing can be hard to do by yourself if you're not practiced at it so the next time you feel your confidence dropping or you have a rejection for a job role or you haven't heard from an employer come and seek us out. 

Talking through the situation may be useful in order to learn something new, rethink your response and look at what is happening in a different way. “What can I learn from this?” Is a good place to start.

Track - “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash

Small goal setting

When it comes to employability It is very easy for all of us to feel we don’t have time to  do that application form, prepare for that job interview, research a career area.  We can feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to start. If this is familiar then consider setting small, manageable and focused goals within a realistic time frame.

Avoid these common mistakes:

  • Setting unrealistic goals, not being able to achieve them and beating yourself up

Tip -To set realistic goals, use SMART Goal Setting  strategies: make sure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound

  • Underestimating the time needed and feeling demoralised and giving up

Tip -  Use action programmes and  effective scheduling  when planning your goals. And allow extra time to account for delays and setbacks. If you add extra time into your estimate, you'll feel less pressure to rush and finish by a certain date

  • Appreciate failure and beating yourself up. It is common to find you haven't achieved what you set out to do.

Tip- Be kind to yourself. Maybe your goal wasn’t realistic, or you underestimated how much time you needed. That’s fine, reframe and learn from this

  • Not reviewing progress- Does this sound familiar? If you're so focused on the end goal and if that isn't achieved it is very easy to lose sight of what has been achieved.

Tip- The best way to set goals is to also set small sub-goals, celebrate your successes, and analyse what you need to do to keep moving forward. No matter how slow things seem, you probably are making progress!

You can also take this opportunity to update your goals, based on what you've learnt. Have your priorities changed? Or do you need to set aside some extra time for a particular goal activity? Goals are never set in stone, so don't be afraid to amend them if you need to. We can help you set small manageable goals.

“The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them.” — Og Mandino

Track - Chumbawumba - Tubthumping  

Celebrating the small stuff

Compassion and kindness is all about taking notice of all the small successes and achievements we have in life from day to day. We are all different so the small stuff will be different from person to person.  Most of us are programmed to focus on what didn’t go right rather than what did.

What small things have you celebrated recently?

Tip - Take time out during the day to focus on something you have enjoyed, something you might have learnt, something you heard which made you smile, when you got some lovely feedback take time to remind yourself what it was.  Share your achievements.

Reward yourself for doing those small things. Imagine you have a pot and each day it is empty. As you move throughout the day what can you add to the pot? Every time you pop something into your pot how did you feel? What might you do to celebrate these small things? 

We don’t need to wait for the big stuff to celebrate. We need to take notice of the small successes, the tiny positives, the little wins: the small yet significant things which happen every day.

Track - Celebrate Good Times... Come on!!!Kool and the Gang

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