I promised Marie and Rhi I would try to do a blog but I have never done anything like this before anddidn’t know what to say. In the end I seem to say a lot so bear with me!!
As many of you know I have been continuing to work during this lock down period and have had a lot of very long days. I fully appreciate that I am very lucky to still be working when many other people are not in that position. And while the work that I am doing feels pretty stressful at times, I also
know that there are people doing much harder work in the frontline than sitting at a computer for hours a day.
However, like everyone else, this lock down period has played with my emotions on a daily basis – I have been up and down like a yo-yo and have had good days and pretty bad days.
Last Friday morning I joined a webinar run by the Mental Health Movement in Australia about Resilience. I wanted to share some key things I took away from that session.
They talked about six keys to being resilient and some of them really resonated with me based on the last 6 weeks.
1. Vision – understating your vision and knowing your “why” is really important. It is essential to find meaning during tough times.
2. Self-Care – this is not necessarily about going to the gym or running miles but finding your own coping strategies and, most importantly, to have these as part of your daily routine. It is also about learning to engage in positive self-talk.
3. Problem-Solving – understanding that setbacks are normally temporary and getting the appropriate help and support – don’t be afraid to ask for help.
4. Perseverance – having a strong vision and purpose helps you through a tough time but you should still accept and acknowledge the tough times that you are facing and persevere through without adopting a victim mentality.
5. Composure – resilient people have emotions, but they try to avoid making poor judgements as a result of them. They also do not compare themselves to others.
6. Collaboration – you have to use people around you and also make sure that those people are people who, themselves, have good composure and are able to support you.
When our mental health cup fills up, we tend to move away from these behaviours. They then shared the things we can do to build mental health resilience. These included:
- Mindset – the importance of a growth mindset when wanting to better manage your mental health and trying to turn a negative into a positive. The two best ways to avoid negative self-talk is talking to someone else, and practices like mindfulness and gratitude.
- Coping Strategies – including nutrition, exercise, good sleep practices, social engagements, relaxation and laughter.
- Support networks – it is NOT a sign of weakness to seek support; just a sign you want to be doing better.
This is a very brief summary of the webinar but some things really did resonate with me. I know Ihave been guilty of comparing myself to others recently and feel I haven’t done enough if I’m not
running 10k daily, doing DIY around the house or participating in online chats each evening! That negative self-talk is not doing me any good. Everyone has their own coping strategies and if mine are falling asleep on a Saturday afternoon or reading a book then I should be happy that’s what
works for me.
I also loved the reminder of the importance of reaching out to others for help. What I love about our Happy Feet group is that we are there to support each other. We may not be able to see each other face to face right now but we have a great online community. In all honesty, this group has really kept me going over the past 7 weeks through its camaraderie, support and genuine friendliness – I feel so glad I am a part of such a great group.
One of the webinar presenters had apparently experienced some pretty significant mental health issues after being bitten by a shark!! I don’t think we have to worry too much about that in Worcester to be fair, but I am going to remember my P.E.A.R.L.S:
- Pleasure – doing things you find pleasure in or that bring pleasure into your life.
- Exercise – doing something is better than nothing.
- Achievement – working towards goals to achieve a sense of accomplishment
- Relaxation – calming the mind and the body
- Laughter – finding what brings you laughter
- Social Engagement – spending time and doing things with the people you love
Have a wonderful week everyone – can’t wait to the day we get to run with each other again.
Vicky's brilliant contribution to our V E Day Bingo..
Something starting with V, Something starting with E,