Welcome to the Twenty Fourth bulletin
WISH online - we have workshops scheduled weekly over the coming weeks. Please check the page and register if you're interested.
Activity of the week - Listen to an educational podcast
What Is a Podcast?
At its most basic, a podcast is a digital audio programme or recording, similar to a radio or television show, that can be downloaded from the internet or made available to and accessed from various mobile devices. As with most media in the digital age, the format, structure, and content of a podcast often resemble those of an older analogue medium: the broadcast-radio programme. Podcasts, like radio, are often created serially and post new episodes regularly.
There are important distinctions, though. For starters, the notion of time is different for podcasts: Each listener is in control of when (and on which device) to listen to a podcast, as opposed to radio and television, which run shows at specific times. Also, you can make your podcast episode any length you want—five minutes or five hours. As a podcaster, you're in control.
Here is a link to the most popular UK podcasts - top UK podcasts
Ten reasons to listen to Podcasts
There are more listeners than ever - approximately 7 million in the UK listen to podcasts monthly in the UK, a 24% increase since last year! Why not join the crowd and get learning?
There are more podcasts than ever - In 2013, there were around 100 new podcasts being launched every day on iTunes. Now, there are around 350 new podcasts per day.
There’s more variety than ever - Whether you want to learn about WW2, photography or politics, there’s a podcast for you. The average podcaster listens to 5 different shows per week.
It’s free - You can open your phone or computer right now and have expertise delivered right into your ear, without spending a penny on books or courses.
It’s up to date - Traditional education can be rigid in teaching established ideas, whereas podcast creators who specialize in their areas are up to date weekly on the latest information.
It’s mobile - 70% of audiences access podcasts via phones and 22% of audiences listen while driving. Podcasts allow hands-free learning, while doing other things.
It’s private - As the education sector becomes more politically charged, your choices in education topics can have social consequences. With podcasts, your choices and interests are your own.
Choose your speed - If you need your information delivered a little slower, podcasts allow you to drop the speed to 0.5x. If you want it a little faster, you can speed it up by 1.5x or 2x.
Little advertising - Most podcasts mention their sponsors at the beginning of the podcast (if they have one), after which the information flows uninterrupted, unlike television or radio.
You can teach too - Are you an expert on something? Are you passionate about something? If so, it’s just as easy to teach as it is to learn. How to start your own podcast
Skill of the week - Mindfulness
This article and information comes from the website LifeHack and is written by a Psychiatrist who specialises in treating depression through the use of Mindfulness.
A Simple Guide to Mindfulness for Beginners
Does your mind ever feel like it just won’t switch off? Thoughts are spinning around and around inside your head like a carousel out of control. And the more you try to stop them, the faster they seem to go. All you want is some peace within.
Our hearts have a tendency to lead us toward things we need. So you may have already read about mindfulness and its ability to reduce stress and create more peace. Or perhaps a friend has been singing its praises. You may even have seen a poster in the doctor’s office. It sounds like something you might want. No, it feels like something you need. But, the usual suggestion to “just sit, observing your breath for 30 minutes” is confusing at best. And so you toy with the idea for a while, not sure where to begin. Or maybe you’ve even tried it once or twice, only to give up in frustration, as your monkey mind chatters louder than ever.
If you think you aren’t the “mindfulness type,” you are giving up too soon. There is a much simpler, easier way to be mindful. And I promise you, it will work just as well. I know because I’ve been there.
A few years ago, I was going through a particularly difficult and sad time. I was spending a lot of time inside my own head, and even when I wanted to switch off, I couldn’t. At the end of the day, my body would be exhausted, but my brain kept whirring. Sometimes I felt like I was going crazy. I was desperate to find a way, and I started reading a lot about meditation. I even took a few classes. But for some reason, I couldn’t make it work. It was too hard. It took too much time. So, I gave up.
Then in 2009, I took a course called “Mindfulness: A Simpler Form of Meditation” as part of my psychiatry training, where I was introduced to a new way of living mindfully — an easier way, a way that actually worked for me. And will work for you, too. To be able to use this new method well, we need to first understand what mindfulness actually is.
So what is mindfulness? Jon Kabt-Zinn, a world-renowned expert in this subject, defines it as, “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
I love this definition, because it helps us understand that your attention, or awareness, is the crucial ingredient in Mindfulness. It has to be intentional, meaning you don’t leave it up to chance; you consciously bring your awareness to rest on something. Whatever you choose to be aware of is okay, as long as it is happening in the present moment. When the mind wanders (as it invariably will because that’s what minds do), you just bring it gently back to your current focus of awareness.
Jon Kabt Zinn also reminds us to be non-judgmental with our awareness, meaning there is no perfect way to do this, no “standard” to judge yourself against. So, don’t get upset or disappointed when your mind wanders. All you need to do is bring it back gently and repeatedly. In traditional mindfulness, we are taught to do all this while sitting with eyes closed, observing the breath. This is hard to do, especially as beginners, because as you sit observing your breath, the thoughts often seem to get louder. Plus, you still have to go back to real life once it’s done.
So, here’s the easier, simpler way: instead of sitting quietly observing your breath with your eyes closed, simply learn how to do your daily routine activities mindfully.
Let me explain. Despite our misleading Facebook updates, most of us have normal, somewhat boring daily lives filled with mundane activities such as driving, doing the dishes, cooking a meal, or taking a shower, right? Well, how about learning to do these daily activities in a mindful way?
Some benefits of this method: Let’s think about why this might be better than the usual way, especially for beginners.
Since these activities are already an essential part of your day, you don’t need to find a separate time for practicing mindfulness.
You can start with small three- to five-minute activities, such as brushing your teeth.
You can do this even if the environment around you is loud or busy.
You can change your awareness for any urgent interruptions and return to mindfulness mode easily.
You can do this at work.
It can be used a quick stress management strategy because you will see your anxiety reduce almost immediately.
And so many more.
So, how can you train your monkey mind in this new way of relating to everyday tasks?
Practicing in real life:
Imagine you are washing the dishes. You might begin with trying to do it mindfully for just 5 minutes. Here’s how:
Start by bringing awareness to your senses: how does the soap feel against your skin, what does it smell like (rather than describe or think about it, just enjoy actually smelling it), what shape is the dish you are holding, how does the wash cloth feel as it moves over the dish, what sound is the water making in this moment, and so on.
Notice how we use our senses to help keep us aware of this moment.
You can also use your own body in this way: bringing your awareness to rest on the sensation of your hands moving as you wash, the feel of the floor against your feet, the sensation of your joints moving, etc.
Whenever your mind wanders, just notice it and gently, with no judgment, bring it back to your senses.
Do it for just a few minutes at a time but in those few minutes, try to get completely absorbed in your awareness of that moment.
Whatever the activity may be, and however “boring” it may seem, when you fill your awareness in this way, your mind will have no room for rumination. Rather, you will feel fully alive and present. I’m certainly not a yogi, but with constant practice, I have found it easier to include this kind of mindfulness in more and more daily activities.
Some other possible activities to combine this method with:
Use it to help you feel calm, even in the midst of a traffic jam. Use it at work, when you need a break or feel stressed out. Use it when you are eating, when you are showering, or to connect better with the person you are within each moment. Your daily life is filled with possibilities.
Finding peace, joy, and connection doesn’t have to be just a lofty goal. And you don’t have to be Buddha. Just simply do whatever you are already doing in this very moment — in full awareness, mindfully.
Because this moment IS your life.
Interview question of the week – How do you like to be managed?
There are many opinions on the (as there are with other questions too), but it is very important to focus on the positive and communicate the not-so-positive as learning or developmental experiences, no matter how horrid they were at the time!
Use your experience to frame this answer i.e. who brought out the best in you in the past?
Application skill of the week - How to fill the space.
If you are a job seeker, you will probably have to fill out many application forms. You should know that employers do read the forms, and that the way you prepare the application can make a big difference in getting an interview and being hired for the job.
Here are some tips to fill the form correctly.
Be Prepared - Make sure you know the correct names, dates, places, and other information you will need. It may be helpful to create a sample application to bring with you when you apply for a job, in case you must fill out an application form on the spot.
Don’t rush it - Filling out the form at home can be easier as you are able to take your time and do a good job. If possible, ask for an extra form, just in case.
Read The Form - Before you start writing, look for instructions that say "use pen only" or that tells you to list information in a certain order.
Be Neat - Use a pen or you might want to type the information in. If you need to correct a mistake, use correction fluid.
Answer questions completely and correctly - Know proper dates, addresses and how to spell names and places. Don’t make up answers!
Be Positive - List what you have been doing, not what you haven’t done. For example, if you have been unemployed for a period of time, show the work you have been busy with, such as going to school, managing a household or doing carpentry on your home. If paid experience is not specified, list any volunteer jobs or activities that can show your skill and ability to work.
Be Clear - Know the position title you are applying for and the right salary range. You may have to do some research to find this information. WISH can help you if necessary. Also, most application forms ask when you will be available to start. Be prepared to answer this question.
Alert References Beforehand - List people whom you have checked with and who have agreed to give a reference. There are two kinds of references, 1) Character or Friend, 2) Employer. Do not use relatives as references.
Re-read The Application When You Are Finished - Make sure you correct any errors or omissions. Check your spelling. Then, hand it in, post or email it. If you are handing-in or posting the form, it is a good idea for you to make a copy for yourself and to note the date you sent the application. Also, when posting or e-mailing an application, be sure to send a cover letter re-stating your interest and qualifications.
Again, there is plenty of advice available, but Indeed and Totaljobs both have some good points - Totaljobs Indeed
Online learning – Avail Learning Academy.
SETAS has started a partnership with Avail Learning Academy to offer their short online courses to WISH customers. They are all free to you and cover a wide range of courses. They aren’t accredited qualifications, but they are work-related courses that can be completed quickly and give you additional material to add to your CV and help you build your skills and knowledge.
Please take a look, use the voucher code listed and give me feedback if you do decide to try it out.
We will be doing this on a trial basis, so if it is a success and the feedback is good, we’ll extend.
Click on this link to access the courses - Avail voucher link
Maintaining physical and mental health
Ever wanted to learn how to run? Horsham wellbeing team have two groups starting this month, one in Horsham (starting 17th Sept) and one in Steyning (starting 22nd Sept) for people who do. They are ten-week courses and aimed at total beginners, click here to register to join
Link to businesses who have jobs with immediate starts available - WISH-live-vacancies/
If you would like some one-to-one job searching support, then fill in your details on this link contact-us and we will get in touch.
We are committed to helping you on your journey towards employment so please get in touch if we can help you in any way. It has been great to speak, text or email with many of you over the last couple of weeks and hear how you are getting on.
Richard and Mel
Richard Brooks FIEP - Director.
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Specialist Employment, Training and Advice Services
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