Am I Too Old To Change Jobs?

Many people think about changing their careers, even after a considerable amount of time in the same job or sector. It is never too late to change careers. Career transitions offer an opportunity, a challenge and financial rewards, but at the same time might offer stress, and even financial difficulties.

Common beliefs about jobs include that you keep working in the same career until you retire. This is actually not true. People change, industries change and sometimes certain careers even actually disappear. Just like our life’s journey, our career journey is multifaceted and transitional.

The important thing is to reflect on where you have arrived and where you want to go. Unfortunately, many do not really know themselves, so this is an exercise in self-reflection. Your job and life experiences are very valuable as they present your talents and skills in different scenarios.

Start working towards the next step. Find different ways of updating yourself, with for example different part-time/online courses. Networking is also very essential at this stage, as you never know enough people in the world of work. Try expanding your horizons beyond those acquaintances you know. In addition, your online presence is critical at this point in time as it will get many to take notice of you and what you are capable of.

Take your decisions carefully and trust yourself while making them. Take things one step at a time, until you know your plan and are ready to make the move. Resilience and adaptability are vital factors to manage challenges in one’s career development. It is, therefore, crucial to be mentally prepared. It may take some time to sort your thoughts and the tasks you need to do in order to change your career, but don’t panic.

Go after career satisfaction and fulfilment. Making a career change is not an easy decision, but if you prepare yourself for this change, it will pay off into a successful career and a well-lived life. Hold on to what is working for you, let go of what is not, take on new learning opportunities and move on towards new experiences. 

Letting Go…of Anger

Anger is an emotion, same as happiness and sadness. And this means that anger in itself is not a problem, but rather what we can do when we are angry. This is the same as happiness and sadness… after all, if I get so happy that I start spending all my money, then that’s an issue as well.

Anger can be channeled in a constructive way which supports your goals in life, rather than hinders them. Here are some things you can do to let go of your anger:

  1. Take deep breaths – and practice meditation.
  2. Recite a mantra which supports you, such as “everything is going to be ok” or “I’m ok”. Say this slowly repeatedly.
  3. Try a visualisation where you’re taken to a place which calms you and makes you happy.
  4. Express your frustration – find a trusted friend or loved one and allow yourself to express your frustration in a safe and supportive environment. Expressing frustration allows the anger to dissipate rather than remain bubbling inside.
  5. Defuse anger with humour – Finding the funny aspect of a situation can help defuse a tense situation. We’re not laughing away problems, but rather being more lighthearted about them. So imagine your situation from an outsider’s point of view… what would be funny for them?

Exam Season – ready for this?

Exams are one of the main stressors for young people, and this stress can really affect our productivity. Here are some tips and ideas which can help you this exam season.

Create the right working environment

  1. Have comfortable furniture to sit on. Get a larger desk, giving you more comfort when spreading out notes and books.
  2. Declutter your space.
  3. Buy fun and nice stationary – make studying fun with colourful pens and notepads.

Eliminate Distractions

  1. Find some quiet – if you have noisy siblings or constnat activity at home that can make it hard to focus on studying. Consider going to a library or cafe. Or have a talk with your family to stop entering your room when you’re studying.
  2. Use music – this isn’t for everyone, but many people express that music helps their concentration. Find your own “concentration music” (this can be repeating sounds, or songs you love).
  3. Put your phone on do not disturb
  4. Stay away from social media

Time Management

  1. Set study times – these are specific times in a day when you will focus on studying.
  2. Be realistic with your study goals – you probably wont finish your entire study unit/subject in a couple of hours.

How to Love Yourself in a Few Easy Steps

Getting to know yourself, and loving yourself, can be one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, experiences. After all, you’re stuck with yourself for a lifetime, might as well enjoy the ride.

Self-love might sound like a buzzword nowadays, something which only belongs on social media, ideally with a picture of us taken next to the sea. But what is the true meaning of loving yourself? To love yourself means to respect and accept yourself, be it the good, the bad, or the ugly. To truly love yourself, you need to embrace every piece of you, and every experience you’ve ever had. This doesn’t mean that your experiences must always be seen through this positive lens, but rather, recognise that every experience made you who you are.

Apart from reflecting on your experiences, another way of loving yourself is by placing yourself at the top of your priority list. Does this make you selfish and self-obsessed? Not at all. Care for yourself as you would your best friend. In fact, think about who you surround yourself with? Are these people who are supporting you to be the best version of yourself, or are they more critical, and holding you back? If it’s more the latter, then maybe it’s time to set some boundaries and reorganise your priorities.

Another way to be self-loving is to be kind and understanding towards yourself. This doesn’t mean that you’re the best person in this Universe, but it means you forgive yourself for your mistakes, and you make the active decision to learn from those mistakes. It also involves being more understanding when it comes to things you view as flaws in yourself. When negative thoughts come up, try to talk to yourself as you would a loved one; be gentle, caring and forgiving with your inner dialogue.

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Music for the Soul

You’ve heard of art therapy, you’ve probably also heard of drama therapy, but what about music therapy? Music therapy involves using sound, or vibrations, to elicit some sort of response from the client.

Humans have used music to express emotions for hundreds of years, and music has been so powerful that it has even been banned in some countries for some time! Music and songs can be used to send messages and to retell stories of love and war (note the ballads sung by the bards in olden times).

It’s not just the melodies or the lyrics which can be used for therapy, but also the vibrations. Research has proven time and time again that a cat’s purr resonates and heals our bodies on a cellular level… and what is a purr, if not vibrations?

What’s amazing about music therapy is that you don’t have to be a musician, or even feel creative, to benefit from it. Music is made all the time, from the sound of a laptop’s fan, to footsteps on the street. All you have to do is listen.

So, dabble with an instrument, even if you’re not going to be the next Mozart! And create some playlists – create a playlist for your feel good songs; create another for songs that energise you; create another for those songs which make you feel something on a deeper level. And use them to help process your feelings, or to express yourself.

First Aid for Self-Injuries

There are many forms of self-harm (also known as non-suicidal self-harm). These can come in the form of cutting, hitting, pulling of hair, and so on. In another blog I will go into harm reduction when it comes to self-harm, but now I want to explore how to take care of your injuries, specifically after cutting.

  • Assess the damage. If blood is pumping out from the injured area, in time to your heartbeat (to check your heartbeat you can put two fingers to your neck, under your jaw; or you can press two fingers to your wrist) then this means you have cut through an artery – therefore immediate direct-pressure is needed, and you should head to your nearest clinic or call an ambulance;
  • The bleeding needs to be controlled to make sure blood loss is minimal. Cover the wound with a clean dressing (do not use tissues as pieces of tissue can get stuck to the wound and cause an infection) and apply direct pressure to prevent bleeding do this for 3-5mns;
  • When blood trickles or oozes out of a wound then it would not necessarily be an emergency, but veins, tendons and nerves may still have suffered damage;
  • If the area of injury is on a limb then raise the limb to reduce blood flow to the area, reducing blood loss and allowing time for a blood clot to form.

When direct pressure is not appropriate, such as when something is stuck in the would, then you may use indirect pressure by pressing the wound together – do not remove the object, but call for an ambulance. 

If you have been feeling distressed or in pain, consider speaking with a therapist or counsellor who can support you through the pain. If this is not accessible for you, consider speaking with emergency or 24/7 services like 179, 1770, and kellimni.com (in Malta & Gozo).

Friday Questions for Self-Reflection

  1. What do you want that you don’t have? What benefit will it give you to have this?
  2. Do you feel like you deserve things? Do you only deserve them if you rest or are productive?
  3. What is the purpose in your life?
  4. What do you deserve?

Take some time to reflect on the above questions. Was anything triggered?

Self-Compassion and Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is not the same as arrogance, or having a lack of modesty. Self-esteem means tht you are realistic about your abilities, neither overestimating nor underestimating them.

Self-esteem generally starts developing in children, around the age of 3. Through the approval and praise from the adults around us, we start to view ourselves in a positive way. A healthy level of self-esteem tends to make us happier, but having a low self-esteem doesn’t mean we’re doomed to feel that way forever, we can do something to change it!

Good self-esteem is having the awareness and understanding that we are good in certain things, and that we may be weak in others – and that’s ok. So if you have a bad self-esteem, what can you do?

  1. Get to know yourself. You are your own expert, after all. Start by writing down things you are good at, and things you would like to grow further in.
  2. What do you think about yourself? Write these down. Start to notice if your thoughts tend to be very critical about yourself. ex. “I can’t do this, so I’m bad”. Challenge these thoughts, is there a different way you can word it?
  3. Ask yourself, would you say this to your best friend? If not, then why should you say it to yourself?

By being compassionate and caring towards others, we are one step closer to being compassionate to ourselves. So imagine you are your own best friend, what would you say to that person?

Another recommendation is to be around people who support you and build you up (which means giving critical feedback too, but given in a supportive manner), rather than criticise you. Ask yourself, what kind of people are you surrounded with?

Self-compassion is a skill, it needs to be practiced. And as you become more compassionate and caring towards yourself, the more your self-esteem will begin to improve.