Morning all fellow bloggers and wrappers.
Week 8 down! Here is the link to the all the other weeks covered so far. CLICK HERE I’ve learned so much. I hope that you have got or will get as much as I’m getting out of doing this course. This week one of our highly valued groupies could not make the group so we decided to put the second part of Action planning our triggers on hold, until next week. We focused on Early warning signs. These can be rather subtle or they can blast up seemingly from nowhere. If you have been doing this course over the weeks. You will know that Early warning signs can and often are linked with our triggers. Sometimes in life there may be many indicators that things are not going so well, perhaps you are not coping or managing your thoughts and feelings so well. Identifying your Early warning signs can help you from going into full crisis mode.
I found this session tough as I have never really looked at my early warning signs that may off set my mental health- negatively. If you have one or two supportive friends or family members, they can help you identify you EWS. Sometimes another persons perspective and how they experience your mental health- good and bad is something you can’t identify because you are in the ‘thick of it’ so to speak. Their view is external to your own. So it might just be worth asking someone what they think are your EWS.
EWS are usually thoughts and emotions that are going on inside. They are internal and seem to have nothing to do with a distressing situation. Here is a good way to see how EWS are related. Imagine that your mind is a bucket. From day to day you will come across many different stressful situations that fill your bucket.
So as an example: Your car breaks down- the bucket fills up a bit. You have a bad day at work, the stress bucket fills even more. Your child’s school call you in to discuss behaviour issues. The bucket is nearly brimming full. Then your partner accidentally breaks your favourite coffee mug. You bucket over flows. You then go crazy at your partner. Perhaps you shout at him or her and break down crying. It can seem like the coffee mug is the one thing that tips you into a negative mind state/crisis mode but as the diagram shows; it is an accumulation of events that fills up the bucket, until it is so full, that it seems something quite small can tip you over. This is why it is always important to recognize your Early warning signs. You can put in place a tap to drain the water (an action plan) so that your bucket (stress levels) never reach that tipping point.
MY LIST OF EARLY WARNING SIGNS
- I stay up until the birds are tweeting working on projects
- I get irritable
- I become overly obsessive with cleaning, my weight, everything.
- I miss taking my medication or stop using it
- I cut down on my food/fluid intake
- I over exercise
- I’m unable to see anything else that is going on around me that is outside of my own problems
- Avoidance- people, places, things. emotions
- I go onto auto pilot- I can’t stay in the present moment. I look to the past or to the future. I find it difficult to be in the present
- I isolate myself from people even family and lose friends
- I’m not able to give my full attention to my family
- I become focused on de cluttering my home (even thought it isn’t)
- I lose my sense of humour
- I’m resistant to all affection
- I focus on the negatives in my life. My ‘silver lining’ mantra disappears
- I trawl through social media websites comparing my entire life with the lives of what social media website users choose to present to the world and how they wish to be portrayed. I lose sight that this is only one dimension to their lives.
Brilliant! What do I do now? Unlike triggers, where I would need to make an action plan for each one. When it comes to action planning for my EWS I only need one plan. So here is a comprehensive list of what I must do if I do start to experience any EWS. It would be a good idea to go back to your WELLNESS TOOL BOX and try any other techniques that I/ you have learned over these two months.
Here is my list
- not over blog/write
- Disconnect from all technology
- carry on volunteering/working
- enjoy and give my full attention to ‘Date nights’ with my partner
- Spend more time with family/ friends-especially my daughter
- Book to go do something I enjoy. It could be something as simple as watching stand up comics at home or going to the theatre, cinema etc.
- Meet up for coffee with family and friends
- Exercise for no more than an hour and a half
- Lay back and chill and listen to my favourite music
- Communicate or at least try to communicate my thoughts and feelings no matter how jumbled they may come out
- have a clear out at home- don’t go over board
- face the day
- Keep in contact with my C.P.N.
- Use mantra’s and positive affirmations
- tell myself that ‘whatever happens I can handle it’
- Look for my silver lining
- Be kind to myself- a bit of TLC – go for a manicure, facial, massage
- RING MY LOCAL SAMARITANS if I feel there is no one else I can speak with
- A great technique to use is to alter my physical space which automatically alters my head space- it can be a simple as getting out of bed.
- Be creative- read books, write, paint, draw, do crafts
- Try the technique I describe in my video clip of week 8.
- Another good technique is this:
If you have a negative thought. Here is an example.
‘ I cannot cope.’
Write that thought down.
‘I cannot cope’
Notice that you have written done the thought
‘ I cannot cope’
The aim of this technique is that by writing the thought down you create a mental distance from it. It becomes not a fact but just a thought.
Finally I would just like to add and remind people of the 5 key concepts of WRAP. Another exercise you can do is based around these 5 key concepts.
HOPE. – write down one experience from your life that gives you hope for the future.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY -Write down one way that you take personal responsibility for your life.
EDUCATION- Write down something you have learnt about yourself on this journey.
SELF ADVOCACY- Write down one area of your life or situation where you would like to assert yourself more and a step you could take to achieve this.
SUPPORT- write down the name of one person who supports you and how they d that.
If you feel this is a tricky exercise and need an example. I will gladly use my examples. All you have to do is comment ‘EXAMPLE’
That is it for week 8. Go away and feel empowered. You are creating a powerful plan to help you in every life situation you face.