Necessity is very much the mother of invention. As such, in times of crisis we are forced to think outside the box and try new things. The Coronavirus outbreak has pushed many out of their comfort zone in countless ways. Those of us who have been slow to put ourselves out there online have realised that now is a good time to embrace new learning. Noticeably many are seeing the crisis as an opportunity to overcome our fear of technology, particularly when it comes to doing a live video online.

I overcame my own fears of live video just like that and now I am comfortable to work with clients online. This means I can help more people than ever, no matter where they may be. So yes, we have all had to adjust and come to terms with where we find ourselves since lockdown began on 23 March. Some of the subjects I touched on in my videos are in this blog which, I hope, will be of help to many of you.

As adults we have to support our own families and friends, try to work where possible but to do this we also need to keep our own thoughts and feelings in check. It is a fact that times of crisis can trigger an increase in stress and anxiety and feelings of not being in control. When we feel like this our thoughts can spiral downward all too easily. Being mindful and checking our thoughts can bring us back on a more positive wavelength. Focusing on things you can control and letting go of the things you cannot is important. Stop those “what if” thoughts, breathe slow and steady and think “calm and relaxed” whilst doing it. Failure to do so is not an option.

Why not take advantage of the slower world we find ourselves in. See the positives; and there reallyl are many.

Connect With Those Dear to Us

It is an ideal opportunity to connect with our close family and friends as well as to catch up with those we never normally have the time to catch up with. For the majority of us this will mean connecting online using video calls as well as sending messages through WhatsApp, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. For some, it will mean living pretty much 24/7 in their homes for the duration and it could well be their first experiences of living via the virtual world. The challenges found when living so closely together are real but there really are many positives if you look for them.

Be Present and Enjoy Those Moments

The opportunity to fully be present is quite often missed in our typically frantic lives. Now parents and grandparents can fully engage with children, grandchildren. Siblings can connect and catch up. Couples can re-connect and relationships can gain greater depth. Friends we have not talked to for some time can be caught up with. By reaching out and lending support to one another all our relationships will blossom and grow in ways we could not imagine. Out of crisis comes some magical moments and some great self learning.

Adapt, Learn Patience and Listen

We will learn to adapt to our changed lives. Being patient will allow us to stop and listen fully to one another. We can take the time to enjoy our homes and gardens far more than usual. Taking the time to communicate with each other can often prove difficult in the fast paced world in which we live. Now is the time to take stock and be reflective. Time to make positive changes within ourselves and our future lives.

Home Schooling

Having a house full of children clamouring for your time can feel like a pressure. Instead turn home schooling into something fun and engaging. Allocate special time to help your children learn. Show them that you need some time to yourself so you can carry out work tasks whilst they have some time doing solitary tasks or playing together without an adult. This will teach your children that you will make special quality time for them but everyone also needs their own space too for a time.

Watch that Anger

The challenges presented by this lockdown situation can give rise to emotions running high. Anger could well be a huge emotion for many of us right now. Anger at the government, anger at people's behaviour in supermarkets and going outdoors when asked not to. Be careful where your anger goes and try and let it go as it will not serve us in any positive way.

Let Negatives Go By Turning Them into Positives

Work at letting the negative thoughts go by turning them on their head. Whatever you do, don't let those negatives stay with you. Accept that we may feel fearful. Process how you feel. Remind yourself that things are different and it is very normal to have such feelings. Then choose to let those negative feelings go by flipping things round so you can see the positives in the situation. Instead of feeling pressured that you have to home school your children think “how can we make this fun”.

Set Your Mindset Each Morning

Set your mindset each morning so that you start out feeling upbeat and positive.

  1. Make up your mind that it will be a great day.
  2. Close your eyes to help you visualise your day going as well as it can. Picture the sun shining,. Know that everything in the day ahead is going to go smoothly, the children will behave, the work will get done. We will get to the shops and they will have some toilet roll.

If you follow these steps then when things happen during the day to bring you down you will overcome them more easily. Far more easily than if you begin the day thinking your day is going to be rubbish.

Establish a Routine

Lack of motivation and structure will not help you to make the best of your day. Staying in your pajamas and giving in to going with the flow with no set routine is all too easy to do. Instead have a set time to start your day, shower and breakfast or similar morning routine.

There are lots of good things happening out there on line now to keep us engaged, focused as well as physically and mentally healthy. Morning exercise sessions with Joe Wicks, online training courses for all sorts of new skills are just some examples of things you might want to include in your day.

By planning the night before for the next day ahead you will find it far easier to keep focused and experience a positive and successful day. You will be able to create some fantastic memories to look back on when this time is long past.

Acknowledge Your Children's Concerns

Our children need to be listened to and their worries taken on board. They could well be anxious and will have their own unique way of expressing their fears. Keeping control and in the moment ourselves will help our children to keep calm throughout the challenges of lockdown and the general craziness that is life as we know it today.

Limit Access to Coronavirus News

Checking on what is happening with the world is something we need to do to stay in touch. However, it is all too easy to overdose on the never-ending supply of news items online and on the television. It does not take long to feel overwhelmed by it all and the net result is to feed our fears all the more.

To mitigate the negative effects of overexposure to Coronavirus news stick to specific times to dip in and catch the key headlines on the News channels at the end of each day. If you prefer to get news from social media sand other online sources try to visit Facebook and the like no more than a few times a day. Instead, tune in to alternative sources of entertainment which will stimulate your creativity and the fun side of your nature. Share these more positive aspects of your day with your family and friends. It will help them to keep positive too.

If you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling I am happy to offer a complementary 30 minute consultation without obligation simply because your mind matters. Just get in touch with Nicki at nicki@thewellbeingpeople.co.uk or call 07568 145151 if you would like to arrange a no obligation complementary consultation.

Self-harming is highly damaging behaviour which can literally affect anyone of all ages with the right triggers.  The problem has been around since biblical times and back then was termed “self-flagellation”. 

Since not everyone seeks help for self-harming it is difficult to be accurate about the numbers within specific age groups but it is increasingly a problem among young people in the Millennial Generation.

Essentially, self-harming means to inflict physical damage to yourself to convey feelings which cannot be put into words or to release painful emotions.  People who self-harm may initially feel better for a time but this is only temporary relief.  The painful feelings can and will return, and then the cycle repeats itself.

Possible Root Causes for Self-Harming

It is clearly a significant cause for concern if you or someone close to you is causing intentional injury to their body.  Self-harming can be linked to anxiety and depression but can also involve:

Why Self-Harm?

Some people who self-harm do it to try to feel in control of something when they actually feel powerless.  Some do it to simply feel alive or to feel anything because all they feel is numb and empty.

Self-harmers often hide their injuries so outward signs may not be immediately apparent. Keeping their behaviour secret is isolating, further adding to their despair and loneliness.  They develop feelings of guilt and become trapped in a downward spiral where they feel shame for their behaviour.  They do not believe anyone will understand and this mindset adversely affects their relationships.

Identifying People Who Self-Harm

If you know what to look out for there are many different ways to detect that something is wrong.  Note unexplained physical injuries such as cuts, bruises and even cigarette burns.  Very often these can be found on wrists, arms, thighs and chest areas.  It is probable that self-harmers will keep their body fully covered no matter how hot the weather is.  Other classic indications to look out for include signs of depression as well as:

Less obvious self-harming behaviours include:

Self-Harming Is Used to Cope with Significant Emotional Distress

Self-harmers have a very real intention to self-punish, relieve intolerable tension or to deal with deep and overwhelming emotional distress. The reasons behind this behaviour can include one or more of these possibilities.  It should be regarded very much as a painful cry for help and should not be ignored. 

High Risk of Suicide

Some self-harmers can feel like they want to die so it is not surprising that those engaging in self-harm are at high risk of attempting suicide.  In fact, figures suggest that in more than 50% of deaths by suicide there had been a history of self-harming.  With suicide statistics like this, self-harming behaviour needs to be taken seriously.  Self-harming people should not be dismissed as attention seeking.  The sad truth is that they self-harm in secret and are fearful of discovery.  Many do not really want to commit suicide at all.

Common self-harming methods involve cutting or burning the skin, punching themselves or poisoning with toxic substances. 

Close family and friends are often best placed to notice when a person is self-harming.  Anyone wanting to support a self-harmer must acknowledge and overcome their feelings of shock when they realise someone they care about is a self-harmer.  Seeing things from their loved one’s perspective and learning about the issue will help them to be supportive. 

Help for Self-Harming People

Self-harming can start with a momentary impulsive reaction to an event.  But the situation can soon escalate to a seemingly uncontrollable compulsion and then it can become very addictive.

Teaching self-harming people how to deal with emotional pain and trauma in a more positive way is essential.  Help from a qualified health professional should be sought at the earliest opportunity – the earlier it is caught the easier it is to address.

Many GPs are happy to refer self-harmers for hypnotherapy and other complementary services.  It is critical that the underlying root cause or triggers are identified and resolved.  Hypnotherapy can be very effective at doing this.  If you would like to learn how hypnosis can improve resilience and eliminate self-harming then please contact Nicki at nicki@thewellbeingpeople.co.uk or call 07568 145151.

“Love is all around …” so the renowned Wet Wet Wet song goes.  It is a given that we all need love as a key part of our wellbeing.  It is sad but true that we often forget the greatest love of all is within us rather than around us.  This is surely the heart of all facets of love?  If we don’t love ourselves then how can we love others?  It is nigh on impossible to love others when our inner demons continually sabotage our state of mind and drag us down.

Valentine’s Day is traditionally very much about romantic love.  Are you lucky enough to be truly in love right now?  Are you missing out on love?  Are you just infatuated?  Are you focussed on the love all around and missing the self-love that is crucial to your wellbeing?

Anxiety and Depression Harms Our Ability to Love Ourselves

Anxiety, trauma and the baggage we can often carry through life chips away at our self-esteem and undermines our confidence and mental health.  Left unchecked it grows and grows to a point where you do not feel remotely like yourself.  Nobody wants to feel isolated, insignificant and struggling through life yet all too often we do nothing to stop this negative spiral until we reach rock bottom. Instead, we continue to feel helpless and unable to stop the negative downward slide and feed it some more.  What is more, many suffer this pain in silence.  Soon depression sets in and nothing seems good about our lives any more.  Perspective is lost and eventually everything can feel very dark and hopeless. 

Mental Health Needs Must Be Addressed

If we needed food because we were hungry, we would soon rectify this need.  If we had a bad headache that would not go away, we would take a paracetamol to relieve it – even those resistant to taking medication would succumb if their suffering was bad enough.  The same applies to most of our needs.  It is all part of our sense of self-preservation and ultimate survival.

Strangely we, as a species, often neglect our mental health which is essential to our general health and wellbeing.  In recent decades society has become more understanding and accepting of mental health issues but there is much work still to be done on this.  Most of us can understand that it is a necessity to nurture our mental health by talking, acknowledging and – more importantly - resolving issues as they arise.  Opening our minds sufficiently to seek the help we need does not come easy to some, however.  Mention mental health, depression, anxiety and they feel judged, embarrassed or lacking in themselves.  BUT …. once sufferers decide to seek help with an open mind the relief they feel is tangible.   They feel so much lighter and able to take control of their lives.  Those sitting in judgment can become more enlightened – usually because they become aware of someone close to them suffering with mental health issues. 

Find the Love and Happiness Inside Ourselves

Whitney Houston truly had it right when she sang “I found the greatest love of all inside of me ….”  This is very much the cornerstone of inner peace and happiness and we are all capable of achieving it with the right support.

Finding the right help is critical as it is not a one size fits all remedy.  Different things work for different people.  Resolving anxiety, self-esteem issues, depression and stress issues through hypnosis works for many.  It helps them to clear out the negative memories and feelings within the subconscious mind.  Then it reframes their focus into something so much more positive allowing them to move forward in a very positive way and ready to take on the world again.

If you would like to know more about how hypnotherapy can help improve your wellbeing through improved self-love then please contact Nicki at nicki@thewellbeingpeople.co.uk or call 07568 145151.

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