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The Year of the Rat and all that...

The Year 2020 has started off as a hugely exciting year of firsts for me! If someone had said to me 6 months ago that i would be waiting on the first print run of my first ever children's book i would never have believed them!

Truth be told, this would never have been possible without the support of Fi and Becs from and their Become-an-author Competition. I had doubts whether to enter or not but decided to go for it , after all "Whats the worst that could happen?!"

The last few months have been a steep learning curve but I have loved every minute of it. It has opened so many new and exciting doors for me, providing me with a focus and a challenge that I am fully embracing! Putting myself out there, leaving myself vulnerable and reaping the benefits of it all.

Part of my role as an occupational therapist is to support individuals to come out of their comfort zone in order to become the person that they want to be and to achieve their goals towards a life worth living. How can I do this role effectively if I don't practice what I preach?

With this in mind, I am pushing myself to take the plunge, not knowing what the future holds or whether others will love the Resilient Ratties as much as I do but, Hey! I am enjoying the process along the way!

Everyday in my work role I feel privileged to be part of each individual's journey of recovery. It isn't always plain sailing but the challenge is rewarding. Being able to watch an individual grow into the person that they want to be through their own hard work, grit and determination despite all of the obstacles in their way is why I do what I do.

My hope for the Resilient Ratties series is to reach out to all children, no matter what their background, to promote positive mental and physical well-being and in turn build their levels of resilience so maybe they wont need to work so hard on building these skills as an adult.

Unfortunately today's research provides evidence of the staggering worldwide problem of Adverse Childhood Experiences and how both genetics and environmental factors shape who we become as adults.

But what if, we could work with children and their families to educate them about the common effects of stress on our bodies and teach them practical ways to manage and tolerate stress? What if all children were taught resiliency skills alongside other mainstream subjects like Maths and English - Could we tackle mental health stigma? Could we create a more compassionate society? Would children feel confident to step out of their comfort zone in order to experience the powerful effects of Positive Stress that will help to scaffold their transition through childhood and adolescence into adulthood?

So with all of this in mind, I am making 2020 my year of firsts! A First Time Author, A First Time Website Creator, A First Time Blogger!! All in an effort to challenge myself, step out of my comfort zone, open new doors in order to reach out to those who may find benefit from learning some practical skills to help manage emotions and improve their overall well-being.

I'm sure the road ahead will be a bumpy one, full of obstacles to test me, urging me to close some of those doors newly opened, but how can I effectively do my job if I haven't experienced these hurdles and learned from them? Not all stress is bad, and with the right tools and support along the way, the benefits can definitely outweigh the negatives!

So...Here Goes!!.....If the kids can do it, so can I - Which door is next?...

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