A dear friend and I were talking the other day about emotional health and how to cope with life in general. Do you cope with the unexpected? Hard to know really until it comes along... I recently went to a talk by a wonderful lady named Christine Coop who is an Occupational therapist and perhaps the most inspiring lady I have e-v-e-r met!!! E-V-E-R. Get the picture. Christine talked and talked and talked. I hung on her every word. She made so much sense......
Christine had many tips on how to thrive not just survive. She talked about burnout but her message was that we don't need to do less in our lives, just put back in what we take out. Makes sense right? Women in particular are very bad at this. You know we are. Put your hands up if, for example, when you want to go out for dinner, first you cook dinner for the family, makes lunches for the next day, put washing on, fold down the beds, have already done the shopping, bathed the kids and puts kids to bed first before getting out the door........... Okay, put your hands down. I'm talking to you. She likened personal energy to filling up a car. Would you drive and drive and drive until you ran out of petrol and sat by the side of the road stranded? No. You would plan your trip and fill up prior or during when getting low. I think, at times, we are kinder to our cars than we are to us. Do you service your car? Do you put new tyres on it? Yes? Now, here are some of Christine's tips. The ones I can remember....
Energize you life by:
- Do at least one thing you like/love to do. No matter what
- Make your life beautiful everyday. Appreciate and take pleasure in all the senses
- Celebrate excellence, not perfection. Do the best you can in the circumstances
- Celebrate small joys -optimists do better than pessimists
- Allow others to give to you. Receive with joy
- Spend 20minutes per day doing something you feel like doing
- Make a difference. Give to others
- Negotiate respect from others around you
Minimize the drains in your life:
- Stop or trade things in your life you don't like doing
- Celebrate mistakes as part of learning
- Listen to the 'had enough' speak. Your tank is empty
- Negotiate mutual give and take in relationships
- Stop 'should-ing' on yourself. You don't feel guilty about re-fuelling your car do you? Give yourself permission to energize
What do you think? Sarah ban Breathnach and Christine have similar ideas about knowing yourself and being kind to yourself. If your energy levels are high and a crisis comes, your coping will be much better. If you dip into depression or anxiety, it takes a long time to get out so how about you don't get there in the first place?
So friends fill up your petrol tanks guilt-free. 1.Do something once per week you really enjoy(salsa, yoga, photograhy classes...) 2. Look at your friends. Does someone take, take, take? Are they hard work? Do you brace yourself when seeing them? If so, re-evaluate the effect of the contribution they make in your life. 3. Strive for excellence. Do the best you can. It doesn't have to be perfect. Take the pressure off yourself. 4. Only let people treat you how you want to be treated. 5. Spend 20 minutes per day doing what you want to do. It doesn't need to cost money: sit in the sun, drink tea in your favourite corner....
Okay folks. You have homework. Pick 2 of the above points and do them for the next week. There will be a test at the end!! (Only joking but the latent teacher in me always wanted to say that!) Tell me how you went.
Ciao for now