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Pressing the reset button: How women reinvent themselves

Posted on 05 February 2020

Pressing the reset button: How women reinvent themselves

In association with The Midult, Mishcon de Reya hosted a panel discussion entitled ‘Pressing the reset button: how women reinvent themselves’. Annabel Rivkin, co-founder of The Midult chaired the panel, with Mishcon’s Sandra Davis, therapist Mandy Saligari and journalist Kate Silverton joining her for the discussion.

Wellbeing of Women began the discussion with a short presentation on their work, outlining their pioneering support of research into women’s health, including the HPV vaccine and the importance of Folic acid for pregnant people. With 33 current projects being funded across 18 of the country’s most prestigious medical institutions, they encouraged the attendees to get involved in as many ways as they could via their website.

Annabel set the tone for the evening when she announced that “we are used to, when attending talks by motivational speakers, to hear about the triumphs. I’m much more interested in hearing about the bumps in the road.” Declaring that “tonight there is no shame”, the lively and honest panel delved quickly into how women can build resilience and press the reset button.

Therapist, addiction, parenting and relationships expert Mandy Saligari began by exploring her ‘warning signs’ – when you know it’s getting too much. Declaring that “self-care is self-esteem in action”, Mandy encouraged the guests to engage in a morning and evening affirmation, starting off the day by telling yourself, “I’m looking forward to spending the day with you”, and finishing by simply asking yourself “how was that?” She also strongly recommended undertaking a quick 90 second meditation three times a day, by setting a timer on your phone, grounding your feet to the floor with your palms up, and breathing “nose to mouth and mouth to chin.”

As Annabel said, “If you think everyone hates you, you need an early night. If you hate everyone, you need a sandwich.”

Sandra Davis, Head of Family at Mishcon de Reya took us through how she helped clients navigate the “ghastly process” they are often stuck in the middle of. She explained the importance of being kind to oneself, as “given what people experience, unforgiveable behaviour is actually forgivable.” Her top tips for resilience under pressure were:

  • Don’t get overwhelmed, divorce is a heavy and sometimes lengthy process and you don’t always know at the outset where you will end up
  • Take each stage as it comes
  • Learn to share
  • Learn to ask questions
  • It takes time to process trauma - short overcoming is not possible
  • Use support.

Journalist and broadcaster Kate Silverton explored trauma and the importance of community; “the essence of trauma is not always just the trauma, the trauma comes from not being seen and not being heard in the situation.”

She advised the audience to accept that acknowledgement helps healing. She also talked about her time on Strictly Come Dancing, and what that taught her about resilience and facing her fears; “I’ve learnt I’ll always be nervous stepping up on stage and I know I can own it. Whatever happens I’ve got my own back.”

Above all, the panel emphasised the importance of accepting the pain and hardships and to move beyond them, understanding that ‘pressing the reset button’ is not a one off, but a process.

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