Mushka has a gorgeous selection of Cape Mohair blankets to keep you warm this winter. These winter blankets deliver the ultimate in quality and warmth.
Special offer - free courier during lockdown.
News supplied by Mushka.
"Wait and see" is the current status of The Hill’s 1000 Paws Walk which brings in a large chunk of funds annually for our SPCA. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the event may not be permitted. We appeal to everyone to support this necessary service.
Account number 1133791700
Branch code 198765
Reference: Your name
More about uMngeni SPCA.
I have begun to hear a number of things being said by friends and family, in response to my “how are you coping?” question, that are of concern to me. And what I am hearing more and more of, are comments such as the following:
- I am feeling a lack of motivation at the moment
- I have lost interest in….
- I am comfort eating a lot at the moment
- I am not sleeping so well
- I don’t seem to have as much energy as I used to
- I am really finding it hard to focus on anything,
- I can’t seem to make even the most simple of decisions
- I am just feeling irritable
So, what could be going on? Well, it is possible that some of my friends and family are beginning to show definite signs of chronic emotional stress while others may, in fact, be showing the first signs of having dropped into what is termed a “depressive episode”.
And none of this is a big surprise to me. That’s because the last month-and-a-half has been (very) stressful for most people. The high levels of uncertainty, in particular, have resulted in elevated levels of anxiety. And in many families the 24/7 nature of the household relationships, over the past six weeks, is resulting in growing levels of frustration (if not open warfare).
And both anxiety and frustration will trigger the stress response in most of us. This becomes very unhealthy when it occurs day in and day out for an extended period of time as has been the case since the lockdown began. Prolonged periods of emotional stress result in chronic, systemic inflammation of the brain and body which, for those of us with either a genetic predisposition and/or a psychological vulnerability for clinical depression, will invariably lead us into a depressive episode.
Somewhat fortunately, the term “depressive episode” is used because of the fact that it is generally time-bound in nature, and is usually not expected to continue ad infinitum. It is still very unpleasant, however, and is associated with a number of common problems (or symptoms).
If any of the comments that I listed at the beginning of this newsletter resonate with you to some degree and/or with someone close to you, it is worthwhile noting that everyone who suffers a depressive episode will be subjected to a set of problems that is somewhat unique. The intensity of the problems and the particular combination of problems are rarely the same for any two people.
This is largely because your brain is unique in structure because of the unique set of genes and life experiences that you have. As a result, your brain will (mis)function slightly differently from the brain of any other person struggling with depression.
The problems associated with a depressive episode involve compromised functioning in the emotional, physical, and mental (cognitive) areas of one’s being. And for it to be formally diagnosed the majority of the following problems/symptoms must be present most of the day nearly every day (for a period of at least two weeks):
1. Emotional problems/symptoms
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Depressed mood (e.g., feeling sad or empty) or appearing tearful to others
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities, including hobbies
2. Physical problems/symptoms
- Change in appetite or a significant weight loss or gain
- Change in sleep patterns, e.g insomnia
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Psychomotor agitation and/or retardation
3. Thinking-related problems/symptoms
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate,
- Diminished short-term memory
- Negative thinking
- Heightened levels of Irritability
- Recurrent thoughts of death or of committing suicide
Common behavioural problems include anger attacks/aggression, alcohol or drug abuse, and risk-taking behaviour.
Keep an eye open for my next newsletter delivered to your inbox next week.
With warm regards,
Alistair Mork-Chadwick (Psychologist)
Bridget Erskine, a KZN Midlands property agent with Pam Golding Properties shares her lockdown thoughts, 'Hello fellow South Africans, I am so proud of this wonderful country and how we are all making the very best of this difficult situation. During this time, I have decided we are definitely not turning into the ‘Lockdown Loners’ but the ‘Lockdown Learners’! Pam Golding is forging ahead with updating and enhancing our skills as agents. After many years in the property business, I realise up-skilling is an ongoing and empowering exercise which I have fully embraced!
Our property market in Hilton and Howick – which includes the beautiful St. John’s Village is moving steadily upwards due to new developments and the general expansion in the area which is so encouraging. Now is definitely the time to browse what is available on our webpage and contact us agents for many more properties.
It’s great to be able to exercise in the early morning and I have sensed a much kinder and friendlier attitude by all. We have always been a happy nation and now the concern for each other is something we have embraced and will carry forward into the future. I miss face-to-face chats as does everyone else but we are strong and will survive!'
News supplied by Pam Golding Properties.
FENCEWORKS is open for emergency repairs. Don't put yourself or your property at risk. Contact them to repair your fencing and electric fencing.
Contact Chris on 060 935 6354.
More about FENCEWORKS.
In 1989, two brave souls, a professional Swiss Lausanne Hotel School hotelier and Cordon Bleau Chef, moved from the comfort of their Johannesburg lives to start a new life in the rustic Natal Midlands. They had discovered the derelict Fern Hill farm in their quest to relocate their family out of the rush of city life. It was love at first sight.
What most people saw as condemned buildings and a waste of space, they saw as new possibilities and envisaged a happy space for their family to grow up in.
With many calling them crazy (including their parents) for buying the place and very few companies in the Howick region willing to help them rebuild, they both launched into rebuilding what they could by themselves with a small team they hired off the streets.
For 9 months they worked tirelessly on the buildings they could salvage, teaching themselves new skills as they went and not being able to afford to raze it to the ground and rebuild from scratch (as so many had advised). Buildings were built up brick by brick, foundations were underpinned by hand, roofs were laid with no safety equipment to assist them, gardens were created where once only veld, bugweed and blackjacks existed.
Blood, sweat and literal tears dragged Fern Hill from the brink of extinction.
On the 1st of May 1990, Gion and Karen Poltera and their small team managed to open Fern Hill's doors again. They weren't ready, but they had run out of money and needed to earn again. The same small team who learnt how to build, then had to then learn how to waiter, chef, housekeep, bar-tend and welcome the first of their guests. The hotel fast became a roaring success. The once unskilled employees became highly skilled and an asset to the company.
The hotel grew and developed over the years, fast adapting to the needs of society and the economy: hotel, conference centre, wedding venue and training college. In keeping with their roots of the business, Gion and Karen sponsored unskilled youth through their training college every year to give back to society. Their strong sense of social responsibility also shown in the millions they raised for charities and NGOs over the last 30 years.
It feels fitting that today, exactly 30 years later, Fern Hill is birthing a new division of itself to survive. That Fern Hill will have to remodel and reshape it's very way of existing. Gion and Karen's core ethos of hard work, creativity, learning new skills, thinking on your feet and service excellence leads us to soldier on in these extremely difficult times.
News supplied by Fern Hill Hotel.
We hope that you have come out of the initial lockdown period healthy and in a good state of mind. Under the current challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the limitations of a continued state of lockdown, we have decided to keep our recycling villages closed until further notice. This is to ensure the safety and maximum protection of our staff and the general public, while we investigate and put in place measures to adhere to the back-to-workplace regulations as communicated by the government on the 3rd of May 2020.
The recycling villages which will be CLOSED until further notice are as follows:
• Quarry Recycling Village, Hilton
• Midlands Mall Recycling Village, Pietermaritzburg
• Hayfields Recycling Village, Pietermaritzburg
• Pick n Pay Recycling Village, Howick
• St Johns Recycling Village, Howick
• Watercrest Recycling Village, Hillcrest
Although we encourage you to continue best environmental practice, including recycling from home during this period – we urge you to please not dump your recyclables at the villages over this time as there will be no one available to sort, collect and keep the villages clean and tidy.
We thank you in advance for your understanding, apologise for the inconvenience caused and wish you and your families good health.
Should you experience any Covid-19 symptoms which include a dry cough, runny nose, fever and shortness of breath, please use the following numbers provided by the National Department of Health – Covid-19 Support Services:
• Emergency Hotline – 0800 029 999
• WhatsApp Support line – 0600 123 456
The WILDLANDS Recycling Team
The UCSI continues to add value and support to SAPS and the crime-fighting initiatives in our communities.
UCSI Update 15 April – 5 May 2020
18 April 2020 (Karkloof): The UCSI received a notification about a vehicle that was sought by the Underberg SAPS. Affiliated security companies, SAPS radio control and local SAPS were informed. Vehicle could not be located. Case still pending.
19 April 2020 (Hilton): The UCSI received a notification about a vehicle that was sought by the Kloof SAPS. Affiliated security companies, SAPS radio control and local SAPS were informed. Vehicle could not be located. Case still pending.
20 April 2020 (Merrivale): The UCSI received a notification about a vehicle that was sought by the Durban North SAPS. Affiliated security companies, SAPS radio control and local SAPS were informed. The vehicle was located. UCSI handed the matter over to SAPS.
22 April 2020 (Merrivale): The UCSI received a notification about a vehicle that was possibly linked to an armed robbery in the area. Affiliated security companies and local SAPS were informed. The vehicle was located and monitored. SAPS were advised. The UCSI was instructed to monitor the vehicle further.
25 April 2020 (Merrivale): The UCSI received a notification about a vehicle that was reported stolen with a Pietermaritzburg CAS number. Affiliated security companies and local SAPS were informed. The vehicle could not be located. The UCSI suspects the vehicle went onto the R617 where there are no cameras in place as yet. Case still pending.
29 April 2020 (Merrivale): The UCSI received a notification about a vehicle that was reported stolen with a Mountain Rise CAS number. Affiliated security companies, SAPS radio control and local SAPS were informed. The vehicle was located. SAPS and radio control confirmed that the vehicle had been recovered. The vehicle owner was advised to update details with SAPS. The vehicle was removed from the SNIPR database. Case closed.
1 May 2020 (Merrivale): The UCSI received a notification about a vehicle that was wanted by SAPS. Affiliated security companies, SAPS radio control and local SAPS were informed. The vehicle could not be located. The UCSI suspects the vehicle went onto the R 617 where there are no cameras in place as yet. Case still pending.
The role the UCSI is playing in our community is invaluable. The support offered to SAPS and Law Enforcement is critical in monitoring who is moving in and out of our areas. The UCSI also plays a fundamental role in helping “clean-up” databases. No matter how small the contribution – it all matters and makes a difference.
How can you get involved?
Please join the UCSI as a contributing member. The UCSI will not be sustainable without monthly community support from business entities, shopping centres, hospitals, schools, estates, security companies and private individuals.
Stay safe – we got this!
The UCSI Board of Directors
Themba Ndulini (Chairperson), Thandeni Zondi (Vice-chairperson), Debbie Preston (Secretary), Krish Ramkuber, Kevin Wright, Terence James, Whyona Sithapersad and PJ Myeni.
Supplied by UCSI.
'Please can we assist the car guards of Fairways on Main with groceries, it is at least 6 weeks they have gone without income. Centre Management is supporting what they can, but it is hardly enough.
Please drop off at Center Managers office, we have 10 guards and 3 of these have families. I have applied for grocery hampers twice but to no avail. Thank you and bless you.' Julie Coles - Center Manager at Fairways on Main, Howick KZN.
Congratulations to Alex Candler who was selected to be a part of the U19 Shadow Squad of the U19 South African Girls Team that will attend the inaugural U19 Girls World Cup.
'Today we celebrate our Howick Hospice Nurses. The amazing women that they are that go above and beyond!
May all the care and kindness you give come back to warm your heart.' shared Howick Hospice of their Facebook page.
Pictured from left to right: Sister Carolee Thompson, Sister Chantal Hathorn, Clinical Manager Charlotte Woudberg, Sister Bev Gibson and Sister Nola Poole.
News supplied by Howick Hospice.
The Stool Bus is now operating in your area!
They offer the following services for both residential and commercial customers:
1. Sewage and waste removal.
2. Clearing of blockages.
3. High-pressure cleaning.
4. Camera inspection.
5. Construction and repairs of septic tanks and soakaways.
6. Stormwater, sewage lines and water solutions (drainage).
Chat to Jabs Malinga on +27 (0)83 578 9887
More about The Stool Bus.
We have all been assessing the impact that the pandemic has had on our personal finances. Be it short term liquidity or more long term retirement planning, at a time like this, it can feel like your finances have been completely turned upside down.
While the picture may seem grim, now is the time to maintain focus, develop a strategy and find opportunities within the challenges we face. We can help you make the right financial decisions and adopt strategies in your investment planning so that you are in a better place in the future. We are faced with many challenges but together we can overcome them.
"We Look After You"
Contact Cooke Fuller Group.
There has never been a better time to plant some winter veggies, fruit trees and edible plants! Now open at Fairways on Main, The Plan & Plant Nursery - call 079 216 9322 with your questions.
I admit it. I am guilty. I am one of those individuals who secretly hoped that once the current lockdown was partly lifted we would all go back to some level of normalcy, only better.
I was hoping and expecting, perhaps like many of us, that as soon as the 1st of May dawned we would all jump back into daily routines that were mostly similar to the ones we enjoyed prior to the lockdown.
And now I know with certainty that this will not be the case and that our lives are not going to look the same as before.
It is also clear that the coronavirus is not going anywhere anytime soon. And the realisation that is beginning to sink in for many of us is that increasing numbers of people within our local communities are going to be infected with the virus and/or are going to starve. And, as a result, there will be people we know who are going to become really sick and some of these people may die “before their time”.
One important outcome of this is that most of us are going to experience multiple losses, not only of people we know and care about but also losses relating to one’s finances, one’s dreams for the future, one’s way of life, etc.
We will each continue to wear a face mask, engage in regular hand sanitizing, maintain social distancing in public spaces, but beyond this we have no control over the spread of the virus outside of our homes and within the homes of our friends and family.
The lack of a sense of control over one’s life and one’s health and wellbeing coupled with the enormous feelings of uncertainty relating to almost every aspect of life and living is potentially very anxiety-provoking. And, if we don’t manage our anxiety levels well and we don’t process our losses effectively then the ongoing result of all of this is chronic emotional stress (and, for some of us, some level of long-term psychological trauma).
So, an important question to ask oneself is: How can I effectively reduce emotional stress on a daily basis so that it does not become chronic in nature?
The first consideration relates to how willing you are to keep learning and to make changes in how you think, feel and act. This is fundamental to your success in learning how to reduce your risk for chronic emotional stress.
The second consideration relates to the fact that to learn and become competent in any new set of skills and abilities, such as are involved in the effective reduction of emotional stress, requires regular daily practice.
If you have the willingness and motivation to learn and practice a new set of skills and abilities, then I believe it is worth considering a mindfulness-based approach to stress reduction. This is because mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is not only the most well-researched approach to effectively reducing chronic stress but it is also the most effective approach (according to the ongoing research conducted over a period of more than 40 years thus far).
So, let me tell you a little bit about my personal experience before and after I received mindfulness training as part of my initial education as a psychologist many years ago.
Before my training, when a stressful situation arose, such as during a difficult interpersonal interaction, involving conflict for example, I would quickly and quite automatically do everything I could to avoid the emotion of anxiety...the unpleasant feelings, thoughts and physical body sensations that would be triggered within me by the situation.
My training in mindfulness led me to start practising mindfulness on a daily basis, and this resulted in me being able to see clearly, for the first time, how certain difficult emotions, such as anxiety and uncertainty, motivated me to act or react in certain habitual and self-defeating ways.
In other words, practising mindfulness made it possible for me to identify my emotional habit of avoidance and release it, and start building a more accepting attitude towards my experience of anxiety and other difficult emotions.
This mindful state of mind has proven to be critical to my wellbeing and, especially, to my relationship with my two children. Before their births, I had imagined that I would be a cool, calm and collected father no matter what my very busy life would throw at me. So it was quite a surprise to find that I would, in fact, frequently get caught up in powerful feelings of impatience and frustration during stressful times.
Once again, however, mindfulness helped me to more clearly see this self-defeating emotional habit of mine. And, once again, I was able to release it and start building my ability to recognise the first signs of impatience and frustration as they started to arise within me.
Catching these unpleasant emotions at an early stage in the process gave me the time that I needed to make a conscious choice with regard to how I would respond to a difficult situation involving my children. Simply breathing deeply and slowly in these difficult situations was generally all that I needed to do to bring me back to a place of relative calm. And I was then able to express what I was feeling in a way that was far more caring and constructive.
Importantly, regular mindfulness practise has resulted in a significant change in my relationship to my inner experiences, from fighting against (i.e. avoiding) and/or getting stuck in difficult emotions to one of observing and accepting the feelings, thoughts and body sensations which I now simply hold in our awareness.
The more you practice mindfulness the less power your anxiety and other difficult emotions will have over you. And, one way to learn the basics of mindfulness is to enrol on a course...
So it is with great excitement that I am able to inform you that, after many, many months of making videos, gathering articles, writing course notes, etc, my new online mindfulness course is about to be launched (on Sunday the 17th May 2020). I will keep you updated.
Keep an eye open for my next newsletter delivered to your inbox in a few day’s time.
With warm regards,
Alistair Mork-Chadwick (Psychologist)