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  1. How laughter yoga can be good for your health

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    Article by Caroline Carr Laughter Yoga. One cold, wet, grey morning last summer I woke up and thought: “You know what – everyone needs a little bit of sunshine in their lives.” This was a massive turning point, as I decided to rebrand from Help! My Partner is Depressed to Let the sunshine in! and somehow in amongst all that this involved, I  stumbled across Laughter Yoga on the internet. “Really?” I thought, “Laughter YOGA? How on earth does that work?” I soon found out when I decided to become a teacher of it. Laughter Yoga is wonderful. It’s hilariously wacky, has great health benefits, and the yoga refers to the deep breathing that is an integral part of it, so there are no yoga postures as such....
  2. Home for Christmas – your child, homesickness and how to handle it.

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    Article by Caroline Carr Has your son or daughter just finished their first term at university or college? How have they been? And how have you been? Has the break away from you been tricky or traumatic, or has it been absolutely fine? Lots of young people will not allow themselves to admit to being homesick – yet I reckon many long to be back with their families for ages after they have ‘left home.’ This can fuel or even trigger anxiety and/or depression sometimes. And you might never know, because they don’t tell you. I had a client who had a promising career, but had developed what I believe was a Generalised Anxiety Disorder whilst at University. She had told no-one, but her student life was...
  3. Has redundancy triggered depression in your partner?

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    Article by Caroline Carr You can spot them a mile off – someone who feels fulfilled, inspired and valued, and who adores their work. Whatever life throws at them, whether they have any mental health issues or not, they have a secure identity around their work and career – and it shows. Somewhere deep inside there is a sense of OK-ness. There is a sparkle, a sort of self-assuredness. But if that work no longer is, and the person isn’t needed anymore – that sparkle can vanish so quickly. We know that some depression comes about as the result of a trauma – and to suddenly find that you don’t have a job can be hugely traumatic for many people. Especially if there is no redundancy package to cushion...
  4. A Mini Guide to Depression

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    Article by Caroline Carr. This week is Depression Awareness Week, so here are a few important points: Depression can come on suddenly, as the result of a trauma or stressful event, or it can build up for years, and a person may experience it once, or have bouts over a period of time. Some people feel sad and gloomy for months or years. In some cases, it never really goes away.   It is likely to be the result of a combination of some of the following: life circumstances – what has occurred, and what is occurring in the person’s life, the type of personality a person has, and how they deal with things generally, whether or not depression runs in the family, genes and DNA   Different types...
  5. Ways to help your partner if they’re depressed

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    Article by Caroline Carr Know that your partner can’t just snap out of depression. His or her behaviour may be very challenging to deal with, and you may long to say “For goodness sake, get a grip.” Or “There’s lots of people far worse off than you are”, or something to that effect. But this won’t help. How ever your partner is behaving, they probably feel very bad about the effect they’re having on you – even if they are being unkind. They feel as if their life is spiralling out of control, and their behaviour is a reaction to that. Encourage your partner to go to the doctor in the first instance, because their symptoms could be due to something else such as another...
  6. Are you a Zippy Woman? Zestful, Inspirational, Proficient, Passionate, Youthful (in mind and outlook)

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    Article by Caroline Carr Are you a ZIPPY Woman?  You’re probably thoroughly ZIPPY already, or maybe your ZIPPY-ness has got a little lost somewhere for a while. Confidence plays a large part in ZIPPY-ness, and confidence can come and go. Sometimes it takes a real knock. Life events can leave you reeling –  for example, when something didn’t turn out as you expected or hoped. Maybe you have been made redundant –  yet you have so much to give and contribute, and years of experience behind you. Unwanted redundancy can be devastating for many women, and if this has happened to you, your confidence and ZIPPY-ness might well wobble for a while. And if you have been ill, or out of work – or just generally ‘out of the loop’ for a time, you...
  7. Take a step back to avoid being overwhelmed. Find YOU again midlife!

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    Article by Caroline Carr It’s so easy to get bogged down with the detail – especially when you are worried or stressed or unhappy. Yet if you can take a step back, it can make all the difference to how you feel. Sometimes it’s just remembering to do that though. And often it can be tricky to see the bigger picture and put things in perspective. I had a client whose husband had been depressed for some time. Life was undeniably tough for her, as not only was she having to cope with her husband’s continual negativity, but also she worked full time, in a job she really disliked. Her elderly father lived nearby and needed her attention on an almost daily basis, and she told me that she felt...
  8. How to cope with Valentines’s Day if your partner is depressed.

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    Article by  by Caroline Carr Maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t for you. Perhaps you aren’t bothered about hearts and flowers and wine and chocolates, and romantic trips abroad and luxurious silk lingerie, and soppy messages in cards. Or maybe you love all that. Traditionally it’s a day for two people to express and celebrate their love – or at the very least to exchange tokens of affection. If you’re single, you probably feel fed up because everyone around you seems to get a card. And if your partner is no longer alive, Valentine’s Day may be a time of sadness, but also of many loving memories. Valentine’s Day can be a poignant reminder that your relationship has changed But when your partner is depressed, Valentine’s Day can be a...
  9. How can you tell if your partner is depressed?

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    Article  by Caroline Carr If your partner is depressed, there might be a dramatic shift in their behaviour, especially if the depression comes on suddenly. But so often, depression can creep up – over years in many cases, and quite often, you may have absolutely no idea that your partner is depressed. If you and your partner have been together for some time, you may well overlook any changes in mood or behaviour, because you’ll have got used to each other. So you probably go along with and normalise these, or make excuses for them. You might not even notice any changes to start with, because often these can be very subtle. If you are in a relatively new relationship, you might think that any mood changes or unexpected behaviour...
  10. Are You Ever the Martyr?

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    Article by Caroline Carr My elderly great Aunt Betty was an unusual character. An eclectic mixture of talent, fun, warmth and stoicism, she also had an ability for self-deprecation that matched no other. She was a concert pianist, and in her youth played piano accompaniment for the silent movies. Even in her eighties, she regularly trotted along to various care homes to “Play for the Old Folk.” Quite often she never got there though. She’d fall over in the street, pass out, and then catch the bus home whilst her head bled profusely under her wig. My granny worried about her. “Betty,” she’d say each time, “you should go to the doctor to get checked over.” “Oh NO dear. There’s no need. I wouldn’t want to be a nuisance....
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