It's February, it's squat challenge time! My mental health was really ropy in January, so how better to kick off the new month than with a challenge to get me out of my funk.
I love an exercise challenge because I know that by the end of the month I'll be in great shape, feeling energetic, and ready to enjoy the Spring. Add to that the chance to raise awareness about mental & physical health, and raising donations for mental health charity Mind UK, I signed up straight away.
During February I will be broadcasting some of my squat sessions live on Instagram and Facebook, so please do follow All Silver Clouds on the socials to catch me in action.
There are different types of squats, and different ways of incorporating them into your routine. You might add weights to the move, or build it into an aerobics sequence.
Here are 5 of squat types you can experiment with -
50 squats can be broken down into sets of 10.
Good luck to everyone taking part.
Let's raise awareness about mental health while tightening up the glutes!
#minduk #allsilverclouds #mentalhealthawareness #squatchallenge
Please see our Facebook fundraiser page to make a donation to Mind for mental health causes
International Men's Day 2022, Theme: "Mate ship"
Please feel welcome to join me each weekend in February. Oh, and you don't need to have Raynaud's - these are great moves for everyone!
Raynaud's can leave extremities feeling frozen and stiff. These are a few things you can do to warm-up...
Live presentations, conversations, fitness fun with me, meditation and much more. This event is in the name of mental health awareness, organised by Time To Change charity & TTC Champions, all with lived experience of mental health challenges. We're here to end stigma and create a network of support. As Time To Change draws to a close, after 15yrs of service, TTC Champions are coming together with lots of ideas and inspiration for the future, so watch this space for more info...
Raynaud's Disease - when you're cold, anxious or stressed, your fingers and toes change colour. Other symptoms can include: pain; numbness; pins & needles; difficulty moving affected areas.
I'm often overly hot, with red fingers and toes, or icy cold, turning to purple-blue. But why? Raynaud's affects your blood circulation, but it is not due to poor circulation; a widespread myth.
As a fitness instructor with both Raynaud's and PTSD, it is through exercise that I've learnt a lot about my circulation and my nervous system. I do not have poor circulation. I do however have a sensitive nervous-system and so I'm interested to explore that link.
Katie-Marie here! I'm hosting a free workshop on Raynaud's disease via Zoom,
Sunday 7 Feb. from 19:30
What is it? How does it affect you? Let's banish the myths and share useful advice and resources. I'll be sharing my tips on Raynaud's and exercise. I absolutely love cold-air training! I'd love to tell you about it. Then I have plenty of socks and blankets for the night-time.
Please join me and feel welcome to share your experiences...
Reserve your place: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/raynauds-awareness-what-is-it-how-do-i-manage-it-and-funny-stories-tickets-139053606079
Or please email rsvp: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please check out the Raynaud's Association website for great resources on the condition: https://www.raynauds.org
Keep moving and you'll be warm,
Here is the Eventbrite listing with full details - just press the button below and you're on the way to saving a seat for Sunday...
November is the month we support and celebrate men's mental health
This month at All Silver Clouds we want to open the conversation and bring awareness to the activities and services available for men when they are going through a tough time.
Every Friday at 16:00 during November
I am broadcasting 30-minutes of free fitness via Facebook. I've been collaborating with a football coach in Ohio, USA to bring you exercises that you may recognise from the field, that not only prepare you for a game, but relieve stress, anxiety, and focusses your mind in the present.
Week One: The Nervous System & Stimulating The Vagus Nerve
Week Two: Work Your Psoas Muscle
Week Three: Collective Effervescence & Dance
Week Four: Dance-Cardio-Football Warm-up
Every Sunday at 20:30 during November
I'm hosting a discussion each Sunday evening, speaking about mental health awareness, managing a diagnosis, and I'm lining-up a couple of guests to share their experiences. If you'd like to join me in the Zoom chat, or send me something to read out, please drop me an email: email@example.com
Week One: How Did I Know I Had a Mental Illness?
Week Two: Stigma and Mental Health, & Experiences from Men with a Diagnosis, recounted by Katie-Marie
Week Three: Suicide Awareness, and Men Who Have Survived
*Trigger warning - this is a sensitive subject so please take care of yourself
Week Four: What Is It Like To Live With Someone Who Has a Mental Illness?
All live broadcasts will be available for re-watch on facebook.com/allsilverclouds
Love always, KM x
If you would like to collaborate on a mental health awareness project, event or workshop please do drop us a line...
Let's get excited for World Mental Health Day, this Saturday, across the planet!
This year the world has been united in adversity. On Saturday 10 October we unite in supporting each other, and spreading awareness of mental health, and the outstanding stories of people's strength in the face of illness.
More than ever before, open discussions about mental health are taking place. The need for human contact and understanding has been highlighted through this year's restrictions. The need for personal space and a bit of time alone has also been highlighted. The desire to be free to mingle in a crowd, or go to a group class has left people feeling emotional. The eco-system has been disrupted, and it's given many of us pause for thought. What is going to happen next? I don't know, but now I'm anxious thinking...
One of the most important ways that you can support a friend who is experiencing mental health issues is to be there, listen, let them express themselves, or sit quietly, and that may well provide them with a little relief. Judgement is damaging but listening is healing. You may be living with a family member who is struggling. Your support is a comfort when illness is lonely. Please make sure to look after yourself too.
I'm hosting two online events on Saturday 10 October for World Mental Health Awareness Day:
Workshop: Declutter your Space, Declutter your Mind
from 16:30-17:30 BST
Free online workshop on Zoom
Please register at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/world-mental-health-day-declutter-your-space-declutter-your-mind-tickets-124213751675
Live broadcast: Time To Change - end the stigma around mental health
from 19:30 BST
Katie-Marie Live on All Silver Clouds Instagram
Please do send me any questions, or comments you'd like me to discuss...
Together we are stronger,
If you would like to collaborate on a mental health awareness project, event or workshop please do drop us a line...
June is here. PTSD Awareness Month, with PTSD Awareness Day on 27 June 2020.
I've been thinking about this month for some time now. I want to be active online throughout June. I want to bring awareness to PTSD, and the effect it has on an individual, in every aspect of their life. It's not a general condition - it is a mental illness and it is serious. It's also very hard for someone to comprehend the effects of the symptoms if they have not been through trauma of that magnitude themselves. I don't dare exaggerate. My life has changed irreversibly with PTSD, but from this change I've done interesting things I didn't foresee.
I was an art curator and registrar in Central London contemporary art galleries for more than 11 years. Following my diagnosis I've had to put my health above my career aspirations. I love art - I am deeply sad that I cannot be a part of that dynamic world again anytime soon. But now I am a lifestyle and fitness coach - working in a holistic way to bring healing to my clients. This can be through decluttering and organising, especially tough following a bereavement, or light-medium fitness, creative activities, usually a combination. I use planning and organising techniques to balance-out stress and anxiety, work-life balance, through phases of depression, lack of motivation or vision for the future. Once we put energy into an aspect of our life we want to change or develop, and feel the rewards, other things will naturally start to fall into place in our life as a result.
How did I make this transformation from curator to coach?
From the moment I realised I was unwell I went straight to the gym and I haven't looked back. I was doing it for my mental health. No other reason... I went back to work in the City after two months at home exercising and therapy. It became apparent that I was too hypersensitive to return to my old environment. An opportunity arose for me to start a new role in a fresh place so I went for it. I was devastated to leave my last role, but I guess I thought this would be a clean start, where no one knew about my bereavement. It didn't last long. The next place was a toxic environment. After trauma, I was not prepared to let anyone jeopardise my health and recovery. I quit. I'm proud of myself.
What Katie did...
With qualifications and extensive experience in Interior Design, Contemporary Art and now, surviving the harrowing journey through mental illness with a wealth of knowledge on PTSD, it became clear to me that all my skills and experience were ideal for the type of holistic coach that I am today. I've worked in many properties on lifestyle and design projects, sourcing storage solutions, organising, planning and decorating for a fresh start. I bring this into my coaching, because environment and the things we hold onto have a great impact on our mental well-being. Cleaning can be very therapeutic in times of bereavement, depression and inertia. I also formalised my fitness passion into a profession, and got my Instructor certification. I've used lifestyle and fitness in combination to help me, so I represent both and I love both.
In my spare time I am an arts & craft-er and calligrapher. I adore introducing people to different mediums and techniques. I also have a lot of art history knowledge if you fancy a chat! I bring hobbies and creativity into my coaching, as a means of art therapy. If you, like me, suffer from anxiety a good project could help focus your mind and give you some space from anxious thoughts.
In terms of fitness, I am focused on mental and physical balance (Facebook group: KM Body Mind Balance), It is the feelings and the strength that fitness has given to me on my journey with PTSD that has motivated me to become a fitness instructor. I choreograph exercise to music, and I take into account environment and triggers. I've been running some live 30 minute sessions on Facebook Live recently so do take a look, and join me.
What was the biggest calling for me to be a holistic coach?
The one thing I needed to hear, so much so at the beginning of my journey, when I was constantly ticking and jumping at everything, was: I understand. I found my person who understood, albeit a short time before he left the UK, He was a personal trainer, and just as soon I said: I don't want to be trained, I have PTSD and I... He stopped me in my tracks, with two words: I understand. It transpired he had been in the army and a few of his mates had PTSD too. From that moment I felt so excited about training and I signed up to 5 sessions. That's what I needed. Someone who understood. Who didn't stare, or question or judge. Someone who could be my eyes while I did my exercises. He understood. I didn't want rock-hard abs - I wanted an hour out of my trauma cycles.
If you say to me, I have PTSD, I will say, I understand.
I hope that can bring comfort to someone else. Freedom to do a bit of fitness with me, and know that you can be you; tell me how you feel and I will listen. I will be that pair of eyes for you while you have your hour for you to exercise, or try a relaxing calligraphy session that takes your mind away from trauma and into beauty.
You're not alone. Support Mental Health Awareness
I'm a lifestyle & fitness coach. My main focus is: PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression. I also specialise in motivation and organisation. I live with and manage PTSD myself
I am absolutely delighted to be a Fitness Facilitator volunteer with Crisis Christmas this year. I'm going to be bringing Exercise to Music to the guests. I can't wait to get everyone up, moving and stretching, and feeling great. It may be winter time but I'll have everyone's blood pumping in t-shirts! Let's do this!
In the past I have been a General volunteer, which allowed me the opportunity to sit and speak with lots of guests from a myriad of backgrounds. The reasons that bring people together at the shelter at Christmas are vast and I still remember some of the conversations I had ten years ago. There was another year when I led an Arts & Crafts group as an Activities volunteer. Again, I vividly remember what we painted and the emotional stories that we shared around the tables. Crisis Christmas has given me lifelong memories and I can only hope that I made a lasting positive impact on the people I met in return.
If you're ever thinking about getting involved as a volunteer with Crisis then please do look into it. If you have any questions the team are there to help by phone or email. It's not for everyone. I will say that from my personal experience it has been an unforgettable journey, which I've continued to support. I like to be in the shelter amongst guests talking and listening. However you can volunteer to be in a logistics or administration role as well. There are many options to get involved, or support Crisis through fundraising and donations.
Check out Crisis' website for more details about the charity, getting involved and how to donate: www.crisis.org.uk
It's so cold outside at Christmas - Crisis makes it possible to offer guests the chance for shelter, food, good company, activities, services and a place to experience some peace at Christmas, even if it is only for a few nights. If only it could be for longer...
For the latest dates and details...
I've recently signed up to The Smiley Movement. Their mission is to connect communities throughout the world to network and act on important issues. I'm all in representing Good Health and Wellbeing. I can't wait to get connected with new people to share ideas, and offer my skills, reciprocally learning from others. Let's get our ideas flowing and put global Mental and Physical Health issues as a priority.
The connecting starts for me this Wednesday 23 October 2019 at the next Smiley Talk: Let's Talk About Mental Health. I'm looking forward to the speakers, the panel discussion and the audience Q&A. The lead partner for this event is Time To Change.
Here are the details for this Wednesday...
Venue: Candid Arts, 3 Torrens St, The Angel, London EC1V 1NQ
Don't be shy to reach out...
It's World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10 October 2019. I'm thrilled to be volunteering for Sarah Burrell (of Inclusion: Diversity Consultancy) that evening at her amazing upcoming event: The Elephant in the Room. We are going to be opening up the conversation about mental health, and there will be people sharing their personal journey.
As many of you are aware, I manage my PTSD and I often experience prejudice from varying angles, and have received abuse from strangers on the street. I've even experienced health professionals who are not trained to an appropriate standard in which they can converse about mental health sensitively or constructively. I put that down to a lack of education on their part, and in some cases a moment of frustration when they forget their compassion for someone vulnerable. I talk about my condition openly to connect with people like myself, and to explain some of my experiences to those who don't necessarily understand, but who show interest and support. The more we talk about mental health, demystify the stereotypes, and breakdown the fear barriers, the more the bigots will become a tiny group that no one will listen to or take seriously again.
I've had phases of desperate loneliness with my condition, and times when I've been under attack for something, which like race or sexuality, I did not choose and cannot hide, and so that increases the feeling of isolation. But I say to myself: I have what I have and I navigate the world the best I can with the tools I gather. My PTSD has helped open up my creativity again, discard unnecessary stresses, and enjoy natural beauty much more than spending my time inside buildings. I have to actively seek joy in my life now...and I do find it.
The more I type the more I am looking forward to meeting new people at this event! I am a Time To Change Champion and I will be speaking about my personal experience on the evening.
Here are the details for this Thursday...
Venue: WeWork Kings Place, N1 9AG.
It'd be lovely to talk...
I'm so excited to be taking part in the Regatta London Event, organised by Charity SANE: http://www.sane.org.uk/ They are a charity close to my heart, fundraising for mental health, and supporting people who really need to know that someone is listening to them.
Date: Sunday 29 September 2019
Place: River Thames South Bank
My fundraising target: £250
It's going to be a beautiful Autumn event, where participants take their kayak or canoe and follow a 12 mile journey from Putney to Greenwich. ‘The river will be turned from one of the roughest stretches of inland water to the calmest, as the Regatta is coinciding with the routine planned closure of the Thames Barrier.’ SANE.
It's a wonderfully unique experience on the Thames, as well as an exciting opportunity for me to help fundraise for SANE and spread the word about mental health support, so I'm in!
I also look forward to meeting lots of new people at the event, showing our support for SANE and their amazing work, and showing our support for mental wellness.
I am so grateful to anyone who would like to make a donation to my Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kmf2019 Or you can use the Just Giving button below.
Monthly posts on All Silver Clouds latest news and thoughts...
All Silver Clouds celebrates charities & groups who provide mental health support and education. Fundraising via outdoor challenges is a great fun way for us to promote mental wellness through healthy activities.
Check out the pictures below...
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