You know all the old sayings. Let it wash over you. Swimming against the current. Sink or swim. It comes and goes in waves. Drowning in sorrow.
So many sayings about coping, healing and life in general reference water. I'm not going to say they're all great, or healthy, but most of them have helped us to visualise what's happening in our lives at one point in time. And visualising things can be a really great way of understanding or emotional state. It can help us to get out of our own heads and see things in a new way.
Think about healing. You've hopefully heard that healing isn't linear. It's not on a gradient scale of bad to good. It spikes and dips, and we will have good days and bad days along the way to our goals. If we judge ourselves for the bad days or try to stop ourselves from having them, our healing journey can be incomplete or inauthentic.
Now think of the sea side. Wishing there were no waves will not make the ocean still. Trying to stop the waves from forming is futile and will only make you more weary in the process.
By standing knee deep in the water and letting the waves crest and fall as they please instead of trying to stop them, you will become more attuned to the rhythm, and find better ways if dealing with the push and pull of the current. You will learn how to hold your body, when to tense and when to rest.
Your emotional waves are the same. Stand amongst them and just... notice them. Don't try to stop them or judge yourself for them or wish they weren't there... you will just grow more weary. Trust yourself to learn new strategies for standing upright, learn when to brace yourself and when to rest. Forgive yourself for losing your footing every now and then and remind yourself to stand back up. Over time you will find the waters receding, leaving you stronger in their wake.
And if you feel like you might drown or get swept away, just remember that you already know how to swim. And if you haven't learn to swim yet.... float. Then book yourself in for that swimming lesson, stat 😉 A good counsellor will not only teach you to swim, but float alongside you when things feel hopeless, reminding you you're not alone.
Most couples don't take the time to think about what their ideal future looks like - beyond how many kids they want, or where they want to live. Couples should think about how they want to feel, and what they value in their relationship.
Having an end in mind helps you to keep your relationship on course, and ensures that if things start to go off track, you can recognise that you're heading in the wrong direction.
Read more: http://ow.ly/gy6G30gGMai
Good morning new week! Let’s do this! Let’s start, let’s see, let’s enjoy, let’s change, let’s create, let’s smile. But most importantly; let’s do what we can, rearrange what doesn’t work and tell our expectations to get stuffed!
Relationships are central to the functioning of human beings, from the moment we are born to our last moment on earth and all the moments in between.
Love is the central part of relationships and a great feeling to experience but that doesn't make couples immune from problems and challenges. At times these challenges tend to be too much to handle.
If you need help as a couple, call Lifeline Pretoria on 012 804 1853 to make an appointment with one of our trained counsellors. Alternatively you could call the crisis line on 012 804 3619 for telephone counselling.
Self-care is so important. We certainly can not care for others if we are not caring for ourselves. What are your self-care rituals? If you don’t make time for this already, consider some ways that you might. You won’t regret it!
SELF CARE SATURDAYS
Self care is care provided “for you, by you.” It's about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. Self care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself kindly and with respect.
Here's the thing, though. When things are really tough or when our mental health is at a crisis point, we can lose sight of self care practices, forget to action our own care plan, and reject the very strategies we have learnt even when we know they work. Our healthy brain knows "a hot shower will help you feel better" but our mental illness tells us all of the reasons we shouldn't or can't do it.
This is why "support systems" need to be part of our self care plan. It is about identifying people and services you can trust to be there for you nomatter what, who can (and will) help you to self care or get you to immediate safety. Someone who can tell you to go take that hot shower and not get angry/frustrated with you. Mental illness can trick us into feeling like a burden or unworthy of support, so having a really clear outline of people and services your healthy brain can trust will help to remind you you're not alone.
So today, for Self Care Saturday, make a list of people and services you trust will support you in times of need. Even if it is just one loved one and one service (kids helpline or lifeline). If you are feeling strong today, you can even walk your trusted person through your self care plan so that they know which strategies you find helpful and when to remind you to do them.
YOU DID IT!!!! Whether you just graduated Grade 12 (that came quick, didn't it!!!), made it through a big week at school or work, or simply made it through today, CELEBRATE YOUR WIN! A massive congratulations are in order!
Pat yourself on the back, treat yourself to something yummy or relaxing or joy evoking, and pocket this victory in your mind. Next time you're questioning your strength, remind yourself that you have evidence that you can do it... because here you are... doing it.
Keep in mind that there are people around who will always help you celebrate your win, nomatter how big or small it is. Keep those people close. And if you need another supporter in your pocket, reach out. I still have a few online and phone counselling sessions available over the next couple of weeks and would love help you in any way I can. Simply pm me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
When you leave or come home remember to kiss and hug your partner before you do anything else. This is a great way to create a moment to connect with each other and build on the intimacy and passion in your relationship.
WEEK 1: INTRO TO VISUAL MINDFULNESS
Every Monday until the end of the year (that's six weeks!!), I'm going to be giving you some info and tips on mindfulness, in particular VISUAL mindfulness. Today I'll give you a short intro into what visual mindfulness is, when and how you can use it and why it can be beneficial. Keep an eye on my instagram stories, too, to give me your input on what you'd like me to include!
WHAT IS VISUAL MINDFULNESS & WHY IT WORKS:
Mindfulness aims to calm our anxious/emotional/busy brain by returning our thoughts to the present moment and becoming non-judgmentally aware of our here and now. By practicing this present awareness with visuals, audio, touch and smell, we can teach ourselves how to do so with our own thoughts and behaviours: becoming aware of them and remaining free of judgement.
WHEN & HOW YOU CAN USE IT:
Over the next 6 weeks, I will be uploading photos that you can save to your computer or device (maybe make yourself a "mindfulness" album). When you feel your brain becoming emotionally overwhelmed, open the album (or your own photo album), choose a photo that makes you feel calm or happy, and focus on the picture. Imagine it's the first time you've seen it. Note the colours, the textures, the details. What does it look like? What would it feel like to touch it?
Become aware of how the picture makes you feel, memories it might bring forward, thoughts it might provoke, all the time remaining focussed on the picture. Notice your breathing slowing, your mind becoming more calm and settled. If you find your thoughts wandering, don't criticise yourself for it but remind yourself to re-focus on the picture.
You might do this for 1 minute or 10, the time is not important. What is important is that you are training your mind to focus on the here and now and not get carried away into future fears or worries or self judgement.
Note: mindfulness is not a quick fix, thought it can help you in the moment. Practicing mindfulness exercises can help you in time to be able to remain present and non judgemental of your surroundings... and THAT IS what can help you to live in a calmer more balanced mindspace.
We fall in love by chance, and stay in love by choice. Happy couples make a commitment and work on it. My couple's retreat in the beautiful Blue Mountains in February is all booked out - to register your interest in the next retreat, simply head to my website: http://melissaferrari.com.au/couples-retreat/
Do you find you are living your life on auto-pilot or get stuck thinking and worrying about the past or future? Check out my blog on mindfulness practices which can help to ground you more in the here and now and live a more present and peaceful life. Happy reading!
I'm so sorry for my absence! I have been visiting family and friends down in Brisbane for this past week, and have kept my business posts to a minimum so as to make the most of my time there. I hope you have all had wonderful/productive/healing weeks. I am now back working so if you would like to book an online/phone/video counselling session please reach out!
This past week I have seen a lot of rain. We don't get a lot of it up in Townsville, so to my little family and I, the rain brought with it fun, relief, coolness. To some in Brisbane, however, the rain was tiresome and irritating. So which of us were right? Was the rain a good thing or a bad?
The answer is neither. What is ACCURATE and what is REAL are not always the same thing. While some welcomed the rain, others had had enough of it. The rain itself was neither good nor bad. It just WAS. What changed was our perception of the rain.
The same can be said for most things in life. Some might welcome a new job prospect, while others would see the same prospect as scary or a step in a direction they did not want to take. A sunny day might be a great reason for a walk for some people, but a dangerous reminder of a skin cancer scare for others.
We need to learn to listen to people's experiences. Instead of telling them their worries are unfounded, listen. Validate. Empathise. Instead of telling them you have been through it and it was fine, listen. Try to understand. Ask what you can do to help.
Rain is not the same in everyone's eyes. To some people it is a storm. And it is a storm that must be weathered. Doing so is much easier to do if it is not met with judgement or criticism. .