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Every night during Britain’s first lockdown, chef Joudie Kalla’s phone would ring at exactly 7pm. The friend on the other end would not need to say a word. Instead, she would sit watching on FaceTime as Kalla forced down mouthful after mouthful, or they would eat together in companionable silence, or she would tell Kalla anecdotes about her day, before ringing off and repeating the whole process the following evening. The kind gesture helped Palestinian...

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Stress and emotional eating have become a theme of the pandemic, with many worrying that their food choices are unhealthy, incurring a mood that negatively affects their overall sense of wellbeing and self-esteem. A recent YouGov survey commissioned by the British Nutrition Foundation looked at how Covid-19 has affected diet and fitness and found: 27 percent of people admitted they were eating less healthily 48 percent did not feel “motivated” enough to eat well.  63...

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TRIGGER WARNING: If you are having suicidal thoughts, click here for expert advice and for links to support groups, medical help and hotlines.  “I slowly opened my eyes, the place was filled with police officers and one was gently talking to me as I gained consciousness.” Chris Haill, 54, is retelling the story of his suicide attempt earlier this year. After living with depression for almost four decades, he made his second attempt at ending...

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Does the voice in your head say things like ‘I’m not good enough or  ‘People won’t like me’ or ‘I can’t do this’ or  ‘I’m not worthy?’ Wouldn’t you rather hear: ‘I am qualified and valuable’; ‘I believe in myself’; ‘I can achieve this’; and ‘I am deserving?’ Imagine taking back control of your mind and silencing those negative thoughts of self-doubt and judgement and reconnecting with your creative, positive inner-self, becoming more confident and reassured....

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Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question about positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself and define you as either optimistic or pessimistic. Indeed, some studies show that personality traits such as optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being, too. The positive thinking that usually comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management...

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Tom Clarke’s daughter Laura was the eldest of three children. In 2018 she left her mother and two sisters in Dublin to live with her dad in Dubai and study. However after a long struggle with mental health challenges, including borderline personality disorder, and all possible interventions by her family, she took her own life on September 2, 2019 at the age of 23. Tom is speaking about his loss to reach others who may be struggling. This...

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Aseya Nasib was only 16 when she was diagnosed with clinical depression, which runs in her family. “The teen/early years are when it first manifests itself for many of us who have lifelong mental illness,” says the 36-year-old Emirati. Over the years, Nasib learned how to treat her depression with medication and therapy. It was after breaking her ankle roller skating that she realized there was more she could do to help other women – and...

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Pete Davidson, a standup comic and regular on the American sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, has had some very public struggles with mental health. Davidson has been frank about having borderline personality disorder and depression with suicidal thoughts, even in his comedy routines. Those issues will also play a central part in a Judd Apatow-produced film based on Davidson’s life, The King of Staten Island, which starts streaming on June 12. Davidson is just...

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Mental health is a subject rarely discussed by adults and almost never with or by children. But from this month, children at Al Watan School in Shakhbout City have a new book to help them try.  And if they get stuck or have questions, they can simply ask the author, Ben Smith, who also happens to be a teacher at the school. A Zebra Named Zion tells the story of a young zebra who learns...

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At this time of year, people are usually making plans for the summer – where to go for their holidays, which countries to visit. But, as no one needs reminding, there is nothing usual about this year. In the second of the Flow Talk series running throughout this month, clinical psychologist Dr Saliha Afridi proposes taking another kind of journey – an inner journey. Now is the perfect time to “harness the energy of Ramadan” and...