Alberto Pavan Life Coaching and Counselling

My Blog. Alberto Pavan Counselling

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A special offer starts now

I am offering you to give me a try. Take a chance on my, to quote Abba. The first contact we will have is free of charge, By the end of this stage, you will already have an idea if what I have to offer is what you want, and if it is not, there is no obbligation, no hard selling, nothing, You will be able to say yes or no.

But, in order to give you more opportunities to find out more about me and my practice, I am willing to have the first effective session also free of charge. Unless you will want to continue to see me you won't need to pay me a penny. I am doing this, because i know how difficult can be to ask for help to a stranger, In the States to have a shrink is like having a dentist, but in the UK, things are different. and because i want to keep dping what I am doing, itis part of my job to try to change this mentality and giving free sessions is an investment. So, don't feel shy. Try to put some work to reduce your stress level and start feeling different t

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A continuation to the survival guide

It feels like an understatement to acknowledge that since February 2020, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, things have taken an inspected direction for all of us. Our day to day reality shaped up as if it were the plot of a neorealist horror film, if such genre ever existed. This disastrous calamity, which made us to get accustomed to hearing news reporting a stead, increasing trickle of casualties to reach figures matching and passing casualties in a world war, took place during an unprecedented historical moment when the whole world took a turn toward populism and extreme views.

The immediate and most visible consequence of such pandemic, was and still is the segregation of the individual indoors. Our symbiosis with our homes was soon a life-style for most. The recluses were the fortunate ones. Who was in possession of the freedom to choose to leave the home-surrounding to venture the outside world, were those whose jobs could not be fulfilled from home. while the "pen pushers" could continue to make a living by transferring office-life in their living room, those who provided any manual service were forced to expose themselves to the risk of being infected day in and day out. This was one of the first of many set-ups that served to highlight the privileges beheld by those involved in some sort of conceptual work or those who provided a service or who made something tangible. The interdependence of these two world, possibly for the first time in our culture, had to be acknowledged. the supermarket cashier, the bus driver, the nurse, the pharmacist, the factory worker, in order to survive financially, they all had to make heroic choices of leaving the safety of their own seclusion to venture out there in a contaminated world. We used to clap at them. not much, but at least some form of acknowledgement was given.

Another fact exemplified how much easier it has been for the better-off part of the population, to adhere to the guide-lines to protect the safety of the individual and avoid the breaking down of society, risk that is still tangible and can only be compared to the atomic holocaust, it has been the logistic of one's lockdown. It is not difficult to see why, even the existence of an extra room in your living space, can make a world of difference to one's well being. Those of us, lucky enough to own anything that can be called a studio, have been able to set up a work space to keep separated from our home. The beneficial effect of this separation does not need explaining. More broadly and to an extreme, if you have a villa, with a tennis court, a swimming pool and a sauna, yu will have quite a different kind of lockdown experience than if you were one of the four people living in a two bedroom council flat in a busy estate. Nothing new here, but Corona made us reflect over it.

Corona took a lot from us: it took our freedom to be spontaneous, to embrace one another and express physically our emotions, It has isolated us, it has made many of us financially much less well-off than we expected to be, it has damaged our mental health, it is not difficult to understand why people has been feeling depressed and anxious, however, in this bleak scenario, we also gained a few things we may overlook if we allow them to pass unobserved.

We have given something we all have been craving, something most of us used to complain not to have enough of it. Time. acknowledge it or not, but working from home allows us to sleep a bit more, to eat a bit better, to spend longer doing things we like doing. Many people have joined classes, dusted out forgotten hobbies, started to do some meditation, explored the web for healing articles. some of us built an interest in politic, some of us found solace in self-expression.

With extra time in our hands, given regularly in generous amount, we had to find ways to fill it, Alternatively, for those of us who seek enlightenment, had the opportunity not to fill it, but to observe it, receiving great benefit from doing so.

It is a bonus also that Corona has exposed the inadequate incapacity of many extreme populist government all over the world to act in the interest of the people they claim to belong to. The populations have witnessed in horror the attempts of various presidents and premiers to deny science, to ignore evidences and instead to propagate superstition, make-belief, prejudice and crass ignorance.

Those bewitched by such unsavoury characters will continue denying the pandemic, will continue to claim that their personal freedom is in jeopardy and be unconcerned with allowing attempts to establish dictatorships. They won't return to reason, but many people who were in between who harvested in their heart some doubts, had the best opportunity to see the effects of a superstition-based governmental guide-lines. In Brazil, like in America, in a crisis of this extent, the distribution of placebo medications instead of concentrating on the vaccine, which, on the other hand, by the same sources is receiving a press that borders on the most convoluted science fiction/fantasy plot.

COVID-19 has been an unexpected disaster that has rocked the foundations of the make up of our society, it has changed our lives in a radical way, it has given us premature bereavements, mourning an trauma. Yes, we all could have done without it, however, it also has given us precious gifts. It has allow us, the people, to cultivate ourselves in a way we would have never done without. If we choose to do so we may have toned up our body in a way that years of 3 times a week at the gym had never succeeded because yoga has never been in the menu before; we have learnt to live in the here and now, instead of our constant planning the future and regret the past; the populist politic of many self-absorbed, self-serving and narcissist politicians have been exposed; we all even had the time to observe the dangerous effects of the spreading of Fake news, phenomenon that, up to one year ago was considered more of a quirky eccentricity rather than slander, defamation and propagation of superstition. Once again here's the reminder that it is up to us what we choose to take with us from any experience. We can choose to focus on the bereavement and the trauma, on the loss and destruction, or we can embrace that, because it has affected us, but also balance it up and heal it with these precious gifts that an impersonal, emotionless virus has involuntary bestowed upon us.

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The curse with "ageing gracefully"
A continuation of the survival guide

The older I get, the more I have a problem with the very popular and largely accepted concept of "ageing gracefully".

Who came up with this concept? and what does it really implies? I have the strong feeling that whoever used this expression for the very first time was not an elderly individual. Us, the population over 40s, just got along with it, probably to comply with the subliminal request from the extended society to keep ageing without attracting too much attention over us, to blend in the background causing the least noise possible, the least possible troubles; as if passed the age of 40, one, bit by bit, loose interest in shapes, textures, colours and become siently and inexorably attracted to neutral colours, grey, beige, cream, magnolia, to plain food, to sensible shoes, to shapeless clothing, to moderate views, to appreciation of banality, of the flat, of the colourless. The same individual that just a short time ago was a laddette, a Vogue dancing vamp, a punk, an acid house raver, is meant to forget that identity, to loose interest in the current usrban tribes and embrace instead afternoons with crossword puzzles, and knitting. But how does the change from rebel rock and roller into a "gracefully aged" individual happens?How anyone can change so much? My belief it, it doesn't happen at all! This is a lie we buy into.

When I speak to to the majority of people around my age, we all seem to agree with one point. We don't feel any different, the same 20 years old punk is still in there. He/she is, however, no longer visible to the external world because we are tought that it is not appropriate to show individuality at our age. There are sentences all over the world that describe in a ridicule and negative way those who dare break this unspoken code. In the UK we have Mutton dressed as lamb; in Italy, my natal country we have Vecchia in fresca Old woman in freash and i am sure that I would find an equivalent in any other language The washing of your brain starts from birth, once "old" you are requested to start fading away. No wander so many older individuals struggle with depression. We are forced to a loss of identity we do not want. But let's face it, sexy clothing and a provocative attidude is hardly suitable to a toneless body, to a gravity challenged face. It doesn't look well. Well ... let me tell you what I think, Anything looks great on anybody if it is worn with conviction and with a strong sense of self. If one looks apologetic in an extreme outfit, the outfit will wear her/him. it will confirm the belief that this person is not ageing with the grace demanded. If what you wear, on the other hand, is yourself, if it is an expression of your individuality, your personality, you will look fantastic at whatever age. Sure there are things one can do to make it easier to feel confident. The most obvious is to take good care of your body as well as your mind. The two elements are complementary of each other, they go hand in hand. So many times I have heard the phrase : At my age, it is normal to be a bit out odf shape, to have a belly. To have a belly is only acceptable of you feel comfortable with it. Many overweigth people are perfectly confident with their body at any age and don't feel the need fr change, however, the majority do not think that the extra pounds belong to them, they get used to carry them around and do their best, but, given the chance, they could do without. In this case, the answer is simple, accept them sincerelly as part of you or loose them. you can. anyone can. Don't allow time and gravity to keep inflicting blows to your body. If you are a retired person, you have time in your hands, start following a yoga programme, engage in physical activity, your body will respond to it. You have retired from your job, not from your life. Go to your closet and select thise "elegant" composé so reccommended by your daughter to a man your age and chuck it out the window. go to your 10 years ago dismissed blue Jeans and keep training untul you will fit in them again .

Another issue heavy frown upon is the use of surgical or non surgical anti ageing aids that, in these days, are so widely available. If someone looks youger than the age they declare, the automatic comment to be expected is :- yes, but she is full of Botox, she had all those lifts.... And so bloody what? don't we go to the hair dresser to make our hair look well? don't men shave? and paradoxically, don't we take medications to cure our illnesses? what's so strange in using the available tools to restaure what time has chipped away? True, people exaggerate, it is not desirable to end up with a face that is no longer yours, but the key, like for anything else in life is to use common sense and moderation.

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How to survive another lockdown


It was bound to happen, we have been prepared to it from before the festive season, however, when it effectively kicked in, most of us were too numb to grasp the enormity of another general lockdown.

The population was concerned about having enough people willing to be vaccinated so that immunity will set in; we were still buzzing with a sense of achievement and victory. Then Brexit, by happening the way it did, got us all back in the deep see of uncertainty. Apart from a handful of patriots who voted themselves to Brexit, no matter what. even those who voted to leave, at this point, looking at the clear "loose-loose" situation of this rushed quasi-deal, would have gladly back-peddled if such option was a possibility.

At this point, the announcement of a third, strict lockdown, just caused us to go on overload. There only so much shock we can process, so much trauma we can come to terms with. My first, very selfish, very superficial coping mechanism, got me to think:-Oh well... it is not going to change that much. I have been already staying in, I have already my routine, no biggie.

The extent of the tragic consequences of this newly imposed, but absolutely necessary situation, sank in slowly, little by little. Will it even work as well as it did one year ago? In March 2020, we have been told to lock ourselves in, for a limited time, to give our ruling classes enough time to organise themselves and to come up with a plan of action that will take us all out of the pandemic, or, at least that the pandemic would have been kept at bay. The majority of the people did as they were told. In April 2020, I could see from my balcony, an increase of wildlife in the middle of London. Magpies, blackbirds, foxes squirrels seemed to become more and more in control of the urban pavements, Without so many humans, the animal kingdom seemed to blossom, the air became cleaner, the sky brighter. The corona virus was hunting the streets looking for victims, but found nobody. By summer things seemed under control. The infections were going down, the NHS was kept safe and we started to go out again. This government's priority has been to restore the country economy. However, by September, the infections were very much here, People kept contracting the virus, getting sick, death was still in the menue. In the meanwhile we experienced the Black lives matter movement, we saw the reaction to it of the American President that can feel no shame and that hasn't stopped,, as he planned from the very beginning, to shock us with outrageous remarks to deflect from his unhealthy politic and his self-serving narcissism, Then we got distracted by the downfall of this 'pro life" war-baron and his ridiculous inability to accept defeat. We got excited about the Festive Season and we got exhilarated by the news of 2 vaccines ready to use. In the meanwhile the virus got stronger and smarter and more and more people got infected. As a result, not we are back to square 1. maybe even worse. How will we survive this never-ending odyssey? the fact is, unless we get killed by the virus, we will. And not to get killed by the virus is not rocket science. It is heavy, it is boring, it is lonesome, but it is not difficult. It is not me who needs to tell you what to do, but maybe I can help you on how to do it; shall I?

    Get up at a reasonable time in the morning whatever if you are working or not and even if you don't have to get up at the same time you would if you were commuting to work, to maintain a steady time to start your day, is very healthy and it will help to keep a structure to follow

    Have some breakfast To have a moment to look forward in the morning will improve your moral. I know that many people think that they do not feel like eating early in the morning, but i can assure you, it is all about creating the habit. Have something you enjoy eating, indulge in setting the table nicely, make it to be a moment, with yourself if you are alone or with the person you share your household

    Dress up and make yourself look good Believe me, if you like the way you look it is in your interest to maintain yourself at your best. It makes things easier. If you don't like the way you look, my advice is to learn to do so. we are all potentially likeable. bu it is easier to work on liking yourself if you drop that baggy PJ and jump into something a bit more flattering. It is not for other people to see it, you are doing it because of you.

    Plan your day, have a routine it is up to you how you schedule your day; me personally, after breakfast I watch news, get ready, do my correspondence, do some admin work, then I do a yoga class, i choose a tough one, even if I am not able to follow it all. I try to have something to aspire to.

    Have lunch Another moment to treat yourself. avoid stuffing yourself, but make sure you eat something that is healthy but also that you enjoy eating. It is always a good idea to leave the table feeling some want for more. To get up completely satisfied, will make you sluggish, you will want to nap.If you nap you may compromise your night sleep.

    Go out Do not renounce to the daily allowance we were consented by the Government to go out for daily exercise. This is not only for the exercise, but to keep sanity. I prefer to avoid main roads, Always take side streets, I look for the least busy option. I go properties hunting. No, not that I look to purchase anything, just look around and fantasise how it would be to live in that mansion or in that interesting loft conversion.

    Cultivate an hobby Do something you enjoy doing, don't allow Netflix to be your only source of pass-time. Invent something, If you go on YouTube you will find tutorials for a million things, from drawing to Vaporisers fixing, to bicycle customising, to .. well, really.. sky is the limit. You can try out stuff, you might find out that you enjoy doing things you would have never guessed .

    Keep fit Do something to keep yourself fit and strong, If you, like me, have a passion for the gym, you are bound to have some basic equipment home, Use it. YouTube can help with this too. There are millions of classes online. Shop around, Find one you feel inspired by and go for it. Don't argue with yourself:- shall I do it? shall i not? It is not an option, you do it and full stop. A little is better than nothing, so even 10 minutes count, but I recumbent to workout for an hour.

    Keep in touch This is advice I give to myself. I tend to like my own company and I could end up forgetting that there is people I know and like out there. If you are anything like me, discipline yourself to make contact, phone, whatsapp, Zoom, email, FB, anything that comes natural to you! Use it. Talk to your friends

    Allow some escapism by watching television I am not a fan of passive watching, but it can be helpful to allow yourself to be taken away from the reality of the lockdown and watch some fiction. I personally prefer to choose what I watch rather than rely on whoever selects the daily TV programs and I am rigorous in watching them sparsely. TV can have an addictive effect and it is easy to allow this medium to take over. It can easily become something you rely on to change the way you feel. This is the typical condition which it is necessary and sufficient to set up the right ground for addiction to take place.

    Read a book . it has hardly any need for expanding. Books are our companions in many different life situations, If you are a keen reader, you will know already the advantages of getting lost in a good novel. If you are not and reading is not for you, well,,, obviously this is a point that doesn't apply to you . Just skip it

My Blog. Alberto Pavan Counselling


A curious coincidence

If you are over 40 and have checked, once, just the one time is enough, anything on FB or YouTube related to anything that have anything to do with men getting older, your targeted advertisement, personalised to your needs by some clever logarithm, will be a proliferation of products, courses, classes, forums, conferences and seminars on subjects related to men ageing.

The new pressure we all have already well internalised regarding the importance to be young has probably already made us all good market subjects to be exploited.

Old is not a dirty word. Old implies experience, knowledge, sense of reality, An older man is less likely to act in an impulse, he may be more rational, have a better grip over his life, himself. Of course we are all different and my above statement is a generalisation. but we can assume that on an average, age comes with the above qualities.

However, experience and knowledge does not have to go hand in hand with loss of muscular tone, with increase of waist line. Ideally we want to have it all, and we should.

If you talk about difficulty to keep up a muscular body, I know how it feels. If we talk about loss of strength, if last you were able to bench 60 kg thinking nothing of it and now you are struggling with 40, I have been there. If you have been to the Chinese herbalist to discretely buy a tonic to enhance your libido, yes, I know that one too!If you talk about Andropause, I know what it is.

I think I have a good experience of ageing men. I am interested in the subject and I would like to work with them. I began to look around, research online, look at magazines, at advertisements and I was quite surprised to find out that my targeted clientele has in fact, already been targeted by so many other competitors. YouTube already has super-fit trainers that peddle gym workouts for us, the oldies, magazines are crowded with advertisements for miraculous synergies of ingredients that return you to your energy levels of your 30s. Viagra is almost as available as Paracetamol.

So, the competition is fears and the market is already rich of elderly men selling their secrets about looking so well, but.... well.... they are not me! I have worked on myself long enough to feel confident that I am unique and I can tell you how to age well my way, like nobody else can.

I am going to make a summary of the facts we all need to know:

  • once you pass your 40, your liver and your muscles slow down the production of testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone that determine masculinity. So, less testosterone means increase of feminine characteristic. It is a catch 22. muscles produce less testosterone but muscles need testosterone to repair and rebuild themselves. This is why it is harder to maintain a good muscular tone once you pass your 40.

  • Men tend to store fat in the abdomen area, belly, love handle get bigger. They are difficult to shioft once they are there, so it is better if you manage to avoid them to begin with.

  • Cardiovascular exercise, although it is well known for burning calories, it is not the best approach to recommend to ageing men. Cardiovascular exercise does delivers oxygen and burn calories, but repetitive cardio might affect the production of cortisol which it is the hormone related to stress. Increased stress means also decreased testosterone production. At an endocrinological level, it doesn't provide the best form of exercise.

    In a nutshell, if you enjoy jogging, good for you, continue to do it. but if for you jogging is a chore and you do it to keep fit, think again. There are many other ways to keep fit that involve less time investment and are more fun. My suggestion is: keep changing, do different type of activity, keep shocking your system with a new discipline

    Eternal youth it is not something I can promise to my clients. Sorry. but no. I can however give you tips on how to make these days to be more active and I can help you to feel much better about yourself

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