How to Deal with Social Media Envy

The habit of comparing ourselves unfavourably with other people damages our self-esteem and wellbeing even during the best of times. When we experience more challenging times, it can take very little to make ourselves and our lives feel really rubbish. It wasn’t quite so bad in the olden days when […] Read more »

How Your Personal Values Affect Your Wellbeing

Values are the ideas that define the way we view the world. They are the abstract notions on which we base our judgements of what is important in life. Our values shape our choices and decisions. The way we behave, how we live and work, our relationships with ourselves and […] Read more »

How to Have Good Phone Conversations

At particular periods in all our lives, it isn’t possible to have face-to-face contact with the people who matter to us. It doesn’t matter that much these days, we say blithely, because of all the possibilities for voice and video calls. We can still see each other. We can still […] Read more »

How to Write a Lockdown Letter

You might wonder what would be the point of writing a letter during this period of forced separation and constrained activity. After all, we’ve got the technology which enables us to see and talk to each other, even though we are miles apart. When you can actually get a large […] Read more »

How to Have a Gentle Lockdown

The contours of our lives have changed. For now, we don't have the regular rhythms and rituals which give shape to our days. Without the activities which normally punctuate our waking hours, we are faced with a shapeless mass of time which we need to mould into a recognisable and manageable form. Read more »

Be Wary of New Words that Disguise their Real Meaning

Our language is vibrant and flexible, constantly changing as it reflects the changing nature of the world it describes. Communication has always been enriched by varieties of slang, for example, and by the emergence of new words and phrases that sometimes refer to a new reality, and at other times […] Read more »

The Assertive Way to Fight Body Shaming

personal development website maryhartley.com

For years and years, the practice of making fun of fat or thin people has been a staple of cartoons, picture postcards, film and television comedies, books and stories. It’s what we do, mock and marginalise our fellow humans who don’t conform to some manufactured ideal of physical appearance. The […] Read more »

How to Deal with Workplace Jargon

The Oxford English Dictionary has asked the public to contribute examples of the work-specific language — slang, technical terms, acronyms, ‘in’ phrases — which is current in their profession. The fine lexicographers at the OED are following the practice of Sir James Murray, who in 1878 took on the huge […] Read more »

How Parents Can Manage the Stress of Exam Results

Once upon a time, way back in the day when there were only two television channels available and they were both in black and white, the only people interested in exam results were those directly involved. The results arrived at your house by post, in an envelope addressed to you, […] Read more »