Newsletter 48 – Feb/March 2009

Newsletter 48 – Feb/March 2009

Posted by Ellie McLavin

Welcome to the first edition of “In Equilibrium” in 2009.

In this edition we bring you details of our new in-house training course; a stress tip which may help you deal more positively with a difficult situation; and include a link to a recent report from the CIPD entitled “Building the Business Case for Stress in the Workplace”.And if you’re reading this during a tea-break, please go to our recommended website section and try the “Taking a mooment” exercise, it may help to leave you refreshed and rejuvenated for whatever lies ahead today.

In Equilibrium News

In Equilibrium appointed by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) to deliver bespoke training courses for its 150 managers

CCW, which is the Government’s statutory advisor on sustaining the country’s outdoors and its wildlife, has introduced the courses in recognition of the importance of occupational health and the impact stress has in the workplace.   Following the initial programme for managers, which will be held over 2 months, the CCW intends to roll out the training courses to its remaining 400 staff members based at various locations throughout Wales. Jan Lawrence, Director, In Equilibrium said, “The CCW has an extremely effective stress policy in place and the training courses are a natural extension of this programme.  Like many organisations, equipping managers to be aware of stress and how to help members of staff is an extremely useful skill to have and is beneficial to everyone in the organisation.” 

A recent survey of 14,250 University and College Union members reported that almost three quarters find their job stressful.  Academic Lifestyle Management is a one-day training course which has been devised to help university and college professionals deal with the pressures of present day Academia.  During the last five years, In Equilibrium has acquired considerable knowledge about the internal pressures of the Higher Education system and this course will equip participants with the knowledge and skills to reduce their stress and boost their health and well-being. 


Survey Update

Thank you to everyone who took part in our recent survey to monitor the effect of the credit crunch on personal well-being.  The results showed that 62% of respondents felt that the current economic downturn was having a negative effect on their sense of well-being.  The remaining 38% said that it did not make any difference to them with not a single respondent answering the downturn was having a positive impact on their well-being.  However, on an optimistic note, 41% of those surveyed said they expected to feel better than they do now by the end of 2009. 

This month’s tip describes a technique which, although unable to change a situation, can help you positively alter your perception of it.


We found the following websites interesting: – recently launched website for those interested in knowing more about the links between healthy eating and a healthy mind.  As well as the facility to swap recipes, the site explains which foods are good for the brain and how you can eat healthily on a budget.

It may be a website about organic milk but it is dedicated to well-being.  The site includes a meditation tea break which was inspired by the relaxation a farmer experienced when taking a few quiet minutes out to listen to his happy cows.

Entitled “Taking a mooment” it is a 5-minute, 5-step meditation break which can be done anywhere as you can download the relaxing countryside sound of cows mooing from the site.  There are also some daily tai-chi moves you can practice, again with easy-to-follow instructions and complete with videos of farmers demonstrating them in their work setting – bizarre but relaxing!

Amanda’s Column

Amanda learns that to “think before you speak” may not be the worst advice offered by some of our well-known proverbs and phrases.  Read her column by following the link on the heading above.

Stress in the News CIPD report suggests that recent increases in personal debt is contributing to growth of work-related stress A recent report published by the CIPD entitled “Building the Business Case for Stress in the Workplace” suggests that work-related stress has increased in recent years because of a combination of changes including: the nature of employment has led to an intensification of work; an increase in social isolation as a result of the breakdown of traditional communities and the growth of single occupancy households; an increased reliance on electronic communication technologies; and the huge increase in personal debt over the last few years.  Read the full report here.

If you would like some advice on presenting a business case for stress in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website at  We are able to provide evidence and suggestions for building the business case and would be happy to assist you.

How to think yourself successful

An article which looks at how the character traits of optimism and resilience may help you manoeuvre your way through 2009.  Read more …

Psychologists advice to managers on how to help employees survive the stress of tough times … “Recession and redundancies are making it a tough time in the workplace, causing a great deal of stress for both managers and their employees. However, managers who treat their staff as individuals with thoughts and feelings will help them to survive the stress of recession” … read more$/division-of-occupational-psychology/psychologists-advice-to-managers-on-how-to-help-emlpoyees-survive-the-stress-of-tough-times.cfm

Laugh off all those fears of recession
This article looks beyond the predictable argument that spending money on staff-wellbeing initiatives during the current economic downturn is a cost some companies may look to axe.  It argues that this debate has moved on since previous downturns and employers may now realise that it is exactly during these challenging times that there are real business benefits to be achieved by looking after their staff.  Read more at …

And on a different note … Resourceful and Resilient Women are less Pear-shaped
Interesting article which looks at some research recently completed by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan.  She suggests that a more cylindrical figure may help women to become physically stronger, more resilient and more competitive than the conventional hourglass or pear-shaped figure.  Read more at


“Though no-one can go back and make a brand new start my friend, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.” Carl Bard, Scottish Theologian (1907 – 1978)

“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.” Vista M Kelly, Author (dates unknown)

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