The endless mental cycle of the summer holidays

We’re diving headfirst into the summer holiday. In the UK this averages at 6 weeks out of school for children. So what is there to do? And how are we going to manage it all?

As a parent there is a whole range of emotions attached to this impending break for their children. Because for a parent this can feel like anything but a break.

It’s important to remember that raising a child does indeed take a village. It is no easy feat, having the kids home for that length of time is never going to be easy. What you are feeling can be summed up into an emotional cycle that we can all relate to:

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Bluey and the (banned) episode, ‘Smoochy Kiss’

Our YouTube audience have loved hearing some insight on the Disney Plus show Bluey. So much so that we had to offer some commentary on a specific episode, one of several that Disney Plus originally refused to publish on their streaming service – ‘Smoochy Kiss’

For those that don’t already know, Bluey is an animated Disney Plus series for children. It’s a wholesome story that follows the life of a puppy called Bluey and her sister Bingo that play imaginative games with their parents, and learn valuable life lessons along the way. 

Can we actually learn something from Bluey?

Bluey is more than just entertainment. One of the reasons the show is so popular among children and their parents is that it promotes a healthy family dynamic that features everyone spending quality time together and accepting each other’s flaws. 

Some episodes are an honest portrayal of a family life that has fun but also engages in behaviours typically seen as disgusting.

In ‘Smoochy Kiss’, Bluey and her sister learn about their dad’s gross habits.

Even though being a little gross is human (like having bad breath in the morning) and accidents can happen to all of us (a gravy stain on a t-shirt), it’s not something we see on TV often. This lack of representation creates expectations of how we should be and might pressure us to be perfect. As a result, many peoples feel embarrassed when they fulfil their basic needs and engage in natural behaviours such as going to the toilet.

While the content of the episode might seem gross to some, those real-life examples are a way to teach kids that they shouldn’t be ashamed of who they are, which can help them develop higher self-esteem. If characters they look up to aren’t afraid to be true to themselves, they have no reason to be either.

“You gotta take the good with the bad”

Another important takeaway is that “you gotta take the good with the bad” when you’re in a relationship. Bluey and her sister are surprised that their mum doesn’t mind their dad’s habits; she sees him for who he is and doesn’t expect him to be perfect all the time. While you can grow with someone during good times, it’s how you handle the bad times that determines if you can have a loving and committed relationship. 

Parents find this angle refreshing because it’s just how it is in real life: there’s the good and the bad, the fun and the gross. 

Watch the full video right here:

Have you ever accidentally joined a cult? Here’s how to know.

As we continue to find our place in the world, to seek out meaning and ultimately find happiness for ourselves, it can be easy for a lot of people to be drawn into a group, a person or experience that seemingly offers all of this in one go. This is where cults can lure you into a false sense of safety and clarity.

One thing that has been a constant in our society is being able to seek out these things, and unfortunately this can be taken advantage of for gain, including money, power and fame.

Cults have a very enticing nature. Even though the term ‘cult’ has an infamous reputation and we all well know that the risks outweigh the benefits, there are a surprising amount of offerings out there that do possess elements of a cult.

There are many reasons why people can be lured into their beliefs and even if you may think that you could never, ever in your wildest dreams fall for something like that, I thought it would be interesting to pick apart what exactly is the allure of these groups and to ask yourself if you have ever been a part of something similar.

Cults can be enticing for several reasons, despite their potentially harmful and manipulative nature.

1. Fulfillment and belonging

Cults often make grandiose promises of personal fulfillment, spiritual enlightenment, or a higher purpose in life. They offer happiness, success, or salvation, which can be enticing to you if you feel dissatisfied or lost.

You’re also part of a group who share common goals, values, and beliefs. This sense of belonging can be particularly appealing to those who feel isolated, lonely, or disconnected.

2. Emotional support and a feeling of certainty

Cults often offer emotional support and a support system that members may lack in their personal lives. They also offer a sense of certainty and stability. In a complex and uncertain world, the simplicity and clarity can be comforting. 

3. Personal transformation but control

They offer a way to overcome personal flaws or achieve enlightenment. This desire for a seemingly easy path to personal growth and change can be appealing if you are seeking a fresh start.

Yet a cult’s success is also built on this need for many people through manipulation. They use tactics such as love bombing (excessive affection and attention), exploiting vulnerabilities, a sense of dependency, or even fear and guilt. 

Once you take these elements, you can apply them to popular and even mainstream groups, businesses and belief systems including: 

  • Any Multi-level marketing structure
  • Fitness cultures such as Bikram Yoga
  • Conspiracy theorists 
  • Large media fandoms or fan-groups

There is no guarantee that everyone is susceptible to these types of groups, but it is a common misconception that joining a cult or a group of its kind is the result of naivety or stupidity.

When you feel lonely, lost or depressed you can have the urge to find instant relief and fast solutions to how you are feeling. This is when an offering of community and acceptance becomes the most enticing.

Real mental health seen through Apple TV’s ‘Shrinking’

This unique way of portraying therapy in Apple TV’s Shrinking has had a powerful impact on viewers’ perception of their own emotional wellbeing.

Anchored by Jimmy, a deeply empathetic, flawed but steadfast therapist, the first episode offers a complex portrayal of the therapeutic process and the significant challenges faced by his clients.

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What is The Whale movie really about?

The Whale depicts the last moments of severely obese Charlie who tries to reconnect with his daughter in an attempt to redeem the past.

What issues are covered in The Whale?

When his daughter was 8 years old, Charlie left his wife to be with his gay lover, Alan. Their happiness didn’t last long as Alan’s religious parents cut ties with him which made him commit suicide. Due to his life choices and unfortunate circumstances, Charlie experiences regret and suffers from other mental health issues:

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Flexi-hours, remote working and mental health

The rise of flexi-hours and remote working intensified during the pandemic. The change was quick and dramatic; we had to adapt, and we did, out of necessity. But now, after the pandemic has ended, remote work and flexible hours have become less of a temporary solution and more of a new normal.

Office norms are transforming faster than we could have anticipated, so it’s important to understand the potential mental health implications. Adaptability strategies that have emerged.

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