Rossendale’s Pia Webb - My recipe for loving life
- Credit: Archant
Tragic events spurred Rossendale’s Pia Webb to write a book designed to help others get their lives back on track
If the television stereotypes are true, when Scandinavians aren’t thinking of ever more elaborate murder plots they contemplate the hopelessness of life and give serious thought to ending it all.
So when a Swede, albeit one living in Rossendale, decides to produce a self-help book aimed at making jolly Lancastrians even jollier, cynics might think she is, well, having a laugh.
But Pia Webb’s book is being taken seriously by the people who use it and there are impressive testimonials on line. The author, who lives with her husband and two children in Helmshore, has produced ‘Improve Your Own Quality of Life – The Swedish Way.’
It draws on her personal experience as well as her work as a life and career coach. It differs from other self-help books in that it provides the reader with a series of wheel charts that Pia believes will, once completed, provide a gradual and lasting route to approaching life in a more positive way.
The marketing graduate from the University of Central Lancashire spent three years creating the ‘Webb’s Quality of Life’ model and this forms the core of the book, which is designed to give a better work-life balance.
Ten years ago Pia suffered severe stress – she describes it as ‘burn out’ – while managing a Swedish IT company. This, and the trauma of losing a baby in labour, pushed her towards an emotional abyss.
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‘I don’t want people to make the same mistake that I did, which was to refuse to listen to my body, or anyone else who might have been worried about my well-being. It is all about encouraging people to put themselves first. It’s down-to-earth, practical help.
‘It’s important to realise that no-one is perfect, we all have our issues. The only difference is that some people deal with them, while others don’t. I have dealt with my issues and continue to do so every day. I want to inspire others to do the same.’
The book is designed for personal and corporate use. ‘A lot of it is aimed at helping people to be happy at work,’ she says. ‘It’s about motivating people to wake up in the morning wanting to do their jobs, understanding what they have to do and why they are doing it.
‘Few people are good at time management. The book helps in that area so people find time for their hobbies, their health and to take exercise.’
Self-help books have gained a reputation among cynics for providing an emotional crutch for people with too much time of their hands.
‘But my book is about people taking responsibility for their lives and not blaming others for the situation they are in,’ says 39-year-old Pia.
‘It makes it clear that only you can make the change. It enables people to take a step back from chaotic lives so they are in charge. Often these are very small things, sometimes obvious, but you often need someone else to reveal them’
Pia met her Rossendale-born husband, Paul, a builder, while they were working in Greece. He loves Sweden and that means they plan to move back later this year.
‘But I will always keep a base here,’ says Pia. ‘I love Lancashire and love the English. The Swedes are more reserved. When my daughter, Lily, died we lost Swedish friends because they find it very difficult to cope with death.
‘It is very different here. The English are more connected to their emotions – you should be so proud to be English. It shows in small ways - people saying good morning, thanking you for letting them past in traffic, and so much help for charity.
‘Sweden is getting better but they are still more interested in their careers, high living standards, having two cars and a second home than they are in helping others.’
So, perhaps her book is needed just as much in her homeland? ‘Yes, that’s next. It’s due to be published there in August,’ she adds.
Pia Webb’s book ‘Improve Your Own Quality Of Life – The Swedish Way’ is available from Amazon and bookshops, r.r.p. £18.99