Too busy for a relationship?

This is adapted from an article I originally wrote for teachers on Staffrm.io. Of course this applies to many other professions too and the pressures of the modern world.

Recently there was an article in TES (The Times Education Supplement) about how many teachers felt, because of the stresses of their job, they did not have time for a relationship.

I find that very sad. If you are not happy in one area of your life it will impact on the others such as work and friendships. As a coach I help people find balance in their life and what works for them. That includes work as well as personal life.

I have been single for many years. I was in an abusive marriage for over 15 years which ended in 2002. My abuser died in 2014. This brought up the pain from my marriage which I had suppressed so I had no alternative but to face it. I realised that it was a major factor in stopping me from forming another relationship and a healthy one.

So it might be worth looking at what is really holding you back. Often it is not what you think. I thought I had recovered so it was a big shock when he died what I felt.

In April I decided to commit to finding my soulmate by the end of this year. Things have definitely shifted since I made that intention.

Things I found that were stopping me included:

– I didn’t think I deserved to be happy

– all the good men were already taken

– I was happy being single (nothing wrong with that and I was) but I was tricking myself into thinking it was ok when I would really love to be in a relationship

– I am too old. And as each year passed there was more tension around this one!

– admitting I would love a relationship is a sign of weakness

– I am too busy. I have a full life, how on earth would I find time for a man?

– and the biggie – I am afraid of getting hurt again

If, like me, you have suffered trauma in the past it would be well worth looking at some sort of support or counselling. There are several domestic abuse charities out there that can help. There is the national charity Womens Aid but check out for local ones in your area too.

If you are still feeling stuck why not consider coaching? As a coach myself I can help you find out what is really going on for you. It’s hard to do it on our own sometimes and it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Rather it’s a sign of strength and vulnerability.

On this blog I share my journey and I hope to inspire others too as I write my own fairytale happy ending. I have always been a hopeful romantic!

Sending love to you all. Remember it starts with loving yourself and knowing your own self-worth. Easier said than done but never give up! I haven’t.

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The true cost of not taking care of your staff

While I worked as a supply teacher for 10 years on and off I became aware that more teachers were going off sick for longer. Many schools now have trouble recruiting and retaining staff. It is not unusual now for teachers to leave in the middle of the academic year – something that never used to happen. A BBC News report tells us that each school in the UK spends £168 a year on average on each pupil for extra staffing and this can be as much as over £500. According an NAHT report schools can spend as much as £10,000 on agency fees to recruit teachers.

However there is a simple solution. By investing in your staff’s well being your school can save thousands of pounds. A primary school in London gave coaching to all their staff and they all stayed – no one resigned last year. Another in Bristol recognised the benefits of coaching and created a coaching culture in their school. Their following two OFSTED inspections were outstanding. We are waiting with bated breath for the result of the next one.

Last year I was facilitating a workshop when teachers reported back that they had the 3 minute breathing space I taught and they were sleeping better within a few days. So if only one of your teachers has a better night’s sleep and has one fewer absence our mindfulness course has paid for itself. I know finances in schools are tight but can you really afford not to?