Learn Arabic, get fit, save cash and more ways to enjoy 2012
Time Out Bahrain staff
Stub it out The number one wish for the last several years, as recorded by countless internet sites that measure these things, has been to quit the evil weed! Stop smoking! Stub it out!
It’s something the Time Out Bahrain team has attempted several times unsuccessfully. From patches and gum to acupuncture, drugs – these worked quite well but made our tester very sick – and of course the outright cold turkey of straight up willpower, we’ve tried them all with varying degrees of success.
But, to be truthful, nothing’s lasted too much longer than the first smoke-filled night out of the new year. So for 2012, we’ll be attempting something completely different.
Gill Purves is a registered nurse with diplomas in hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, among others, and a success rate of around 90 per cent in patients who want to stop smoking.
She practices out of her home in Saar, where the atmosphere is laid back and welcoming, and she’s very good at putting people at their ease, which is essentially what hypnotherapy is all about – a state of very deep relaxation in which the therapist reinforces your own desires with suggestions that make it easier to achieve your goals.
According to the New Scientist, hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking and Gill says: ‘Hypnotherapy deals with the psychological addiction of smoking, dealing with the emotional and psychological aspects of quitting smoking in a positive way. It is also a healthier option as it uses the person’s own natural resources and not pharmaceuticals!’
She aims to have fag addicts forsaking the nicotine in two sessions, with a third held in reserve in case you find your resolve weakening. We’ll be giving it a go in the New Year, we’ll let you know how we get on. Call 39737151.
Drop a Dress Size (or Three) For many of us, losing weight is the second in the ‘holy trinity’ of New Year’s resolutions but there’s no doubt it’s easier said than done.
We have at least one dedicated yo-yo dieter in the Time Out office who’s determined 2012 will be the year when the pounds finally come off and stay off once and for all.
If you’re in the same position, why not consider signing up with a company such as Diet Delight or Health Watchers – both of which take the hard work and organisation out of adopting a weight loss food plan with tasty and nutritious meals and snacks delivered to your door.
They do the calorie counting so you don’t have to and with programmes supervised by qualified dieticians and staff available to offer support and advice, it’s got to be easier than going it alone. www.healthwatchersbahrain.com, www.diet-delight.com.
Get fit The last of the ‘big three’ and a resolution we make year in year out.
But last year we did manage to clock up a significant amount of gym time, thanks to the services of a personal trainer.
Let’s face it, when the evenings are dark and chilly, the last thing most of us want to do after work is head to the gym for a workout session. In fact gym memberships, purchased with New Year’s fervour at the beginning of January, are frequently gathering dust, along with our training shoes, by the time Valentine’s Day arrives.
So what difference does a personal trainer make? Well, once the sessions are booked, there’s more incentive to turn up and some trainers will actually come to your home – thereby avoiding the ‘don’t do gym in the dark’ excuse.
We’ve been working with Cath Kerr of CK Life who offers gym training, home training, pool workouts and even the dreaded TRX (we hooked the straps over the kitchen door!) and knowing that the trainer cometh has been a real incentive.
In fact, knowing you’ve made a commitment to someone else is the real kicker so, whether you sign up with a personal trainer, book some sessions with the expert at your gym or even just arrange to go for a run with a pal, take that step, it’s a lot harder to back out when there’s someone waiting for you. Check out thisisCKlife on facebook.
Learn Arabic Ok so you’ve taken the plunge, left your home country and put down roots in Bahrain, but can you actually communicate with your hosts in their native language?
Yes, we know English is widely spoken and seems to be the common language among the island’s hugely diverse community, but wouldn’t it be great to be able to chat with Arabic friends and colleagues in their own tongue – not to mention being able to earwig when they think you can’t understand.
After several years in the Kingdom there really is no excuse for an Arabic vocabulary that’s limited to ‘shukran’ and ‘insh’Allah’, so we’re heading to Lingo-Ease on the Budaiya Highway where they reckon we’ll be chatting in conversational Arabic in just 10 weeks!
With small classes of between eight and 10 students, the course runs at 20 hours and uses total immersion teaching so, once you enter the classroom, you speak only Arabic (gulp). Role-play, props and mime all come into play, aimed at helping make learning both fun and memorable.
And if you don’t fancy Arabic, or already speak it, why not have a go at French or German – classes on demand – or check out Berlitz which, aside from Arabic, offers French, Spanish, German, Italian, Farsi, Urdu and many other languages. www.lingoeasy.com, www.berlitz-bahrain.com.
Take up a Hobby Ok, so we don’t have great beaches but the surrounding waters have some fab marine life. And don’t forget we’re in the home of the Bahraini pearl divers of old so it would be almost rude not to take advantage. Diver friends tell us the warm waters of the Gulf are a brilliant place to learn and we have some excellent dive schools on the island, from Coral Bay to Scuba Master and the Dilmun Divers, through the Dilmun Club. But, be warned, it can get addictive.
If you’re not keen on being under the water, how about life on the ocean wave? Both the Bahrain Yacht Club in Sitra and the Bahrain Sailing Club towards Zallaq, on the west coast, offer a range of courses from beginners onwards. The yacht club also runs a variety of social events throughout the year and both have regattas.
And if the sea’s not your cup of tea there are lots of other things to do, from golf to horse riding, cookery to singing you’ll find contacts for all manner of activities in our directory pages.
Join your National Society Bahrain’s brimful of various national societies from the Irish (always a party and loads of events plus Gaelic football and an annual Gaelic Games festival) to the French, whose Alliance Francaise de Bahrain offers language courses, a French library, films and activities as well as organising the annual French week.
All of the organisations offer a range of activities, from coffee mornings to beauty pageants, and they’re a great way to make friends if you’re new on the island and to keep up with news from home if you’ve been here a while.
Plan a Holiday It’s very easy to get to the end of the year and find you’re in a ‘use it or lose it’ position with your annual leave entitlement, so now’s the time to make plans.
Almost everybody feels a bit glum at the end of the festive season, particularly when the weather’s cold, so it’s the ideal time to start dreaming of faraway places with strange sounding names.
For some, their employment contract will include a ticket home but check with your employer, it might be possible to use this flight to go somewhere else.
Check out our travel pages for great destinations with direct flights from Bahrain. There are plenty of places at just a few hours’ flying time, which are a whole world away and need not cost the earth.
Making your holiday plans now will not only give you something to look forward to during the chilly days of January, it’ll also give you added incentive to put those money saving tips into practice!
If you’re feeling really ambitious, why not combine it with a goal – we’re planning a trip to Kenya and the ed says she’ll be fit enough to climb Kilimanjaro (this we must see).
Save Cash We reckon this should actually be right up there with the ‘holy trinity’, particularly in the current economic climate.
It’s certainly another one of those promises we make ourselves every year, but this year we’ve checked out a few expert tips to share with you.
For a start, make sure you always check your bank statements and credit card bills – they’re only human after all and mistakes do get made, plus you want to be sure you’re the only one using your accounts. Look out for special offers, such as those in our monthly best deals section, there are lots of restaurants and bars around drawing customers back in with promotions such as two for one or special deals on special nights, so keep your eyes open for them.
Make use of coupons. How often have you been handed a money saving voucher and simply stuck it in your wallet or purse and forgotten about it ’til it’s out of date – check out when they have to be used by and make the best of them.
Haggle. This is the Middle East after all, you’re in the home of the intricate negotiation and virtually everything from monthly rental to the singing camel in the souk can be had more cheaply if you’re prepared to bargain.
But remember, a bargain’s only a bargain if it’s something you actually want or need – saving BD20 in the sale on the price of a pair of shoes you’ll never wear is what’s left you needing to save cash in the first place.
Do your Bit Our part of the world has one of the planet’s largest carbon footprints, not surprising with the almost constant need for air-conditioning and our penchant for driving everywhere to escape the scorching temperatures.
But we can still do our bit to help the environment: recycling cans, plastic and newspapers really doesn’t take a lot of effort but it can certainly make a big difference. There are recycling points outside lots of the island’s supermarkets and some of the schools, look on www.recycling-for-charity.com to find one near you and you will also find workers who make extra cash by collecting alluminium cans and cardboard, so if you have lots of these just bag them and put them next to your nearest bin.
We also have plenty of charity shops, from the BSPCA to St Christpher’s Cathedral, so you never need to chuck out old clothing or books – there’s always someone who can make use of the goodies you no longer need.
Buckle Up And, last but not least, a special plea from us here at Time Out Bahrain – please, please, please wear your seatbelts folks and make sure your little people do too. We love our readers and want you all to have a safe and happy New Year.
A PS on the stop smoking issue. The mention of the 'drugs' working 'quite well' is actually not borne out by the facts and evidence-based statistics which have found that drugs used in smoking cessation, such as Zyban, are no more effective than the placebo effect (which is around 30%) unless they are used in the context of a support group of people working on quitting, which provides the opportunity of sharing and peer support. Those who take the drugs without this support don't far very well at all. And the problem with the drug approach, apart from being statistically very ineffective, is that it can induce psychotic symptoms in a lot of those who are prescribed the medication!
Dr Leila Edwards Jan 25, 2012 09:07 pm
Having trained Gill as a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist, including training her in Stop Smoking hypnotherapy, I'm very pleased to see this approach being publicised, which is, as you say, the most effective method for quitting of all the approaches (it wasn't the New Scientist that said so, they simply cited a large meta-study which collated all the research data over many years which confirmed that in all the research, of all the methods trialled, hypnotherapy has consistently achieved the best success rates). But I'm disappointed to see that she refers to it as "a psychological addiction". As I did explain to Gill when I trained her, along with many others that we've trained as hypnotherapists and psychotherapists in the Middle East, smoking is NOT an addiction, it's a HABIT. That's why when smokers go to sleep for 8+ hours, or go on a long haul flight, or have to do anything that means they can't smoke for many hours, or even many days, do NOT experience the horrible symptoms of 'cold turkey'. If smoking were actually a true 'addiction' the smoker who stopped suddenly would experience physical withdrawal symptoms, regardless of whatever technique or therapy was used to help make these less traumatic. Whereas, in fact, using hypnotherapy, a smoker can stop with no fuss and no side effects or withdrawal symptoms at all in the vast majority of cases. People may experience psychological cravings, but these are NOT the same as an actual addiction, and they can be switched off very easily when you know how. So it's a HABIT, NOT AN ADDICTION! Using the term 'addiction' when referring to emotional and psychogical cravings is simply inaccurate and leads to misunderstandings.
This is why people who've had a 25 year habit or longer, and on up to 3 packs a day, can stop with minimum fuss and no 'cold turkey' whatsoever using hypnotherapy. Have a look at my Linked In recommendations page, or our website, and you'll see typical remarks by former smokers about how EASY and EFFORTLESS it was to stop smoking using hypnotherapy!!
DS Jan 19, 2012 09:48 am
"Discover Islam" on Palace Ave in Manama also has really great Arabic classes, at a very reasonable price. They meet twice a week in the evenings and have several different levels that follow their own curriculum. Well worth your time!