We all know how hard it can be, but we also know the benefit the effort makes. The best suggestion Sarah has for us all is to get out of bed in the morning, and go to bed at night at the same time each day. If we develop a short routine of the same things we do each time, then we make a small ritual of it. It gives us a sense of structure to top and tail the day so we are in the best position to make the most of what we have.
Sarah reminds us that in these uncertain times, the one thing is sure, the sun will rise again, so let's greet the day and farewell the night.
Sometimes it helps to take some time out, to rest the body and to refocus the mind on what is important. Adrian has prepared for us a 4 minute meditation for just that purpose. These strange days of COVID have shown us about the importance of reaching out, being kind and being gentle.
When we relax, we can think more clearly, this short activity takes us through the steps to ease our mind and help us relax. We can then focus on who needs our love for the moment - it may be ourselves, it maybe someone we know who is hurting. Through these few minutes we return to what we know is important to us.
Steph has identified 5 important survival skills in these days of isolation:
1. Self care: Take time to relax. Put the phone away, focus on what will help you chill out. It may be a bath, lighting a candle to lift the mood any of those little things that can make a difference in our lives. Take care. 2. Stay in touch with loved ones: reach out to those who care for you. The ones who have been around for years - family and friends. While there may be physical isolation, it doesn't have to mean we cannot connect with our important others. 3. Online activities: there is a wealth of free accessible online activities. Something as simple as visiting an Art Gallery to look at some masterpieces, the Melbourne Zoo does online streaming of its animals. We can lose ourselves in other worlds for a little while. 4. Exercise: a 20 minute walk should be possible. While there may come a time when we cannot do this, at the moment, this is possible. It is glorious autumn weather. Connect to nature, breathe the fresh air and move those legs. 5. Meditation: online resources, free! There are lots of meditations and mindfulness practices available for free online on YouTube. Pick one to play until you get tired of it, then try another. Build a small collection of the best meditations so you have one for every need.
Barb was thinking wouldn't it be great to be able to leave the grandchildren her journal of what it was like in the days of COVID-19. Those who have not lived through these days would have no idea of how it felt. Even the last week has seen so much happen here and across the world.
A journal is a record of what we think, feel and do, usually over a 24 hr period. It is a great way to help us organise our experiences and helps reduce anxiety and take better control of our lives. The three elements of a Journal are: 1. Use it to reflect. Recording our observations is a way to give us distance from the events and experiences. This then enables us to consider them without the immediacy of the moment. 2. Express gratitude. At the end of each day it helps to recall at least one, preferably more, things for which we are grateful. This expression of gratitude has a positive effect on our mind and helps us to settle for the night. It sets also the frame of thinking for the day to come. 3. Identify our motivation. What is it we can do to help ourselves feel better? There are a number of key activities we in our BPD community, can do that will help us feel. Barb uses the example of avoiding being judgemental, but there are many other practices, skills and techniques we can apply. For each of us, it will be different.