Whole Warrior Solutions blog
I've been gone a while now and missed you! I'm feeling very grateful to have two essential jobs...whilst trying to keep my head above the increased need for crisis work which the pandemic has triggered. It's taken all my self-control to manage cabin fever, practice mindfulness, gratefulness and look for the silver lining the last month during the lockdown whilst providing telehealth counselling and casework. Some days I failed miserably! Other days when the sun was out I embraced working from home, took walks by the lake, enjoyed the friendly hellos as people exercised. Somehow the 'how are you's' have been more sincere during lockdown...especially from the single people self-isolated alone. Through it all...I never cease to be inspired and amazed by the resilience of my counselling client's who live with mental health disabilities.
It seems to be the little things that count towards resilience. The morning routine, expressions of faith, splashing the face with water, regular bedtime, food prepping, connecting in with people, and mindfulness to name a few that make all the difference. When chaos sets in...routine can be the first thing to go. However, keeping up the self-discipline of routine when things get tough is a hallmark of good mental health. Easier said than done when you're dependent on carers to provide for your needs and the workforce is impacted by a pandemic. Yet good habits are powerful things and help us navigate periods of change.
One of the only things we can control, when rapid changes are happening in the world around us, is our thoughts. We can choose to focus on the positives or the negatives. I think of my fruitless trips to buy toilet paper and coming out of the shop empty handed five times and feeling disheartened. So I chose to focus on my access to running water, a shower, and a roof over my head when so many don't even have those basic needs met around the world. That's what mindfulness is. It involves noticing the thoughts that come to us...inhale...and noticing when those negative thoughts leave our mind...exhale. It's OK to think of both the negative and the positive. It's even more powerful to notice when the negativity leaves our mind. I find it very exciting actually...when I notice a really positive thought come to my mind...it fills me with indescribable joy. You can't put a monetary value on joy!
After practicing mindfulness as a new habit for 21 days...your brain grows neurons and new neural pathways in the brain are formed. Making it easier each day to experience joy! Pretty exciting stuff hey! This works really well with trauma triggers too. Like when a flashback comes, breathe deeply four times, notice the thought leaving. Phew! You're then back in control, breathing steadily and enjoying the physiological calm that the simple deep breathing exercises produce. Try four deep breaths and notice your heart rate fall. This is great for calming anxiety too.
Whether you believe COVID19 is a 'Plandemic' involving biological warfare or an unfortunate virus that escaped from China...I try to look for evidence. Being a person who likes to see facts and statistics (probably due to my training in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to look for automatic thoughts V rational thoughts)...I found that Australian's only a 0.9% chance of contracting the virus and the recovery rate is 88%. The other encouraging things are that Australia has one of the lowest rates for the virus in the world, a high supply of respirators, and free public health system.
Coming from a large family of health professionals my heart goes out to all the frontline workers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service and sacrifice! It's a good time to keep health workers and our leaders in our prayers too...as the daily grind of showing up and leading is a test of their resilience too. For us personally, the things we can control are our thoughts, building our resilience, have a good morning routine, practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, and picking up the phone to connect with others. It's a privilege in my counselling practice to hear how people are navigating this new world order well. Each day holds a new celebration as they implement new habits to increase their wellbeing and resilience. I'd love to talk with you more about resilience and mindfulness techniques and how they can transform your life.
Light and love
#resilience #habits #mindfulness #neuroscience #mental health #CBT #wellbeing #psychotherapy #counselling
Learn more at www.wholewarriorsolutions.com.au
Tania Gorry is a counsellor in private practice at Whole Warrior Solutions based on the Central Coast of NSW. Tania has a passion for supporting people living with disabilities, trauma, stress, anxiety, depression and grief and loss.