January Blues

Alison Jordan

The CEO of Pete’s Dragons, a charity which helps people living through the suicide of a loved one. Alison officially founded the charity in 2015 after her brother Pete Wicks took his own life at the age of 24 in 2010.

What is your top tip for

mental wellbeing?

Gratitude, you can’t be sad when you are expressing gratitude, you can’t be angry, frustrated or guilty. Before going to sleep if you make a note of three things a day that you are grateful for (and they can be as small as someone smiling at you) you will begin to shift your focus toward the positive things in your life.

How do you cope with work

stress and pressure?

I make a note of the three most important things I need to achieve on any given day and do them first. If I achieve nothing else that day because of interruptions or unexpected events, I still feel organised and in control, which for me is the key to not succumbing to pressure and feeling stressed.

Has your mental health ever made you feel vulnerable?

Yes, I have had times in my life where my mental resilience and wellbeing have been reduced. For me this means I begin to listen to my critical inner voice, which can make me feel extremely vulnerable. One thing I do to prevent this now, is notice it (because if the voice starts to get loud it will mean I need a wellbeing boost) and then I apply what I call the ‘Best Friend Test’ – would I say these things to my best friend?  The chances are I wouldn’t.  So then I change what I am saying to myself to reflect what I would say to someone I care about.

What steps do you take to ensure good mental wellbeing?

Practice mindfulness as much as possible. With a busy job and a large family I do not get the chance to sit quietly very often, so I practice mindfulness in amongst my normal day such as when I am brushing my teeth or standing in a queue.

Alison Jordan January Blues Profile

Are you aware of any external mental health support services?

I feel I am very fortunate to live in Devon where there are some extremely proactive organisations championing mental health and wellbeing. I am the CEO of one of them so am in the loop. If you are not sure, then do an internet search – you will be amazed and reassured – and there will be one that suits you.

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