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Stress Part 4- Helping a loved one through difficult times and resources

Welcome to my last post in the series. I really hope it has been of some benefit to you or someone who has needed it.

Helping a loved one, no matter how young or old through difficult times is often something as humans we either step up to, or shy away from. Now I say this without judgement as we all have our reasons for stepping in or stepping away from this. But never underestimate the power of a simple act of kindness.

I was recently chatting to a close friend, who was sharing with me a wonderful positive experience she shared with her children. Her daughter who has started school this year, has been struggling with some tummy issues due to the anxiety of being separated, not only from her mum during school hours, but she is also not in the same class as her twin brother and her anxiety has been presenting itself as tummy pains. My friend was telling me on the way to school the other day, she played some very relaxing music in the car, then before going into the school grounds had all her children doing some deep diaphramic breathing. To her wonderful surprise and joy, all her kids stated that they loved this, felt much calmer and asked “could we do this every morning. Mum?”
Now this is music to my ears! Not only does this demonstrate the power of deep breathing but also how important it is to equip your children with coping strategies, even reminding yourself to this for your own wellbeing.
The old adage, ‘a problem shared is a problem solved’ can be very true in many cases. I’m not suggesting you go spill your problems and issues on complete random strangers, but reaching out and either giving or asking for support, help or guidance can simply make a difference of a good or bad day or week. Sometimes just being there for someone, holding their hand or listening to them, driving them to an appointment or even making them a meal can be of great help and support when others are going through stressful or difficult times.
Family friends of ours, are going through a terrible time. Both their two children are in hospital with serious health conditions, which are unrelated to one another. To make matters more challenging, they are in separate hospitals. Now this is real life stress and trauma. One that you just can’t imagine the worry and pressure you are placed under. So to simply offer help is one thing, but something I read about on a wonderful website (and also book) called Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, states that, instead of offering help to people going through major life challenges, just show up and do something for them. Sometimes they don’t know themselves what is it that they want or need. The point is, never underestimate the power a simple gesture no matter how small or grand can make to a person’s life during difficult time. So for our friends. We cooked the husband dinner one night and said, it’s here no matter what time of night you get here. He got here late, ate his dinner over a glass of wine with us and downloaded. I sent in a simple card, with a simple message and a lovely block of dark chocolate to his wife, who was camping bedside to one of their daughters. Now it’s not life changing, nor is it taking away the terribly stressful situation they are in, but it helps.

I know that I have experience some truly touching gestures by friends and family over these passed months that have meant more to me than any words could say. My gratitude to these   gestures have keep me feeling positive, supported and loved when negativity and overwhelm has surrounded me.

 

So finally, I would love to end this series by sharing with you some wonderful resources that I use, recommend to clients and anyone can utilise. Most of these are FREE, too.

1. Music- Listening to calming music is something that resonates for me. On Spotify you can search out relaxation music. Sound cloud is also my new favourite site for this; https://soundcloud.com.

YouTube have a lot for free and you even purchase on iTunes. Music can absorb our attention, it acts as a distraction at the same time it helps to explore emotions. This means it can be a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind wandering. Musical preference varies widely between individuals, so only you can decide what you like and what is suitable for each mood. For me, during stressful times its deep relaxation, classical or chill out music.

Check out sonesence, which is beautiful meditation music, using a combination of music and biennial waves., created by Tahlee Rouillon

http://www.sonesence.com/

2. Meditation APPS– My favourite are;
• Mind Metro ( using music and biennial brainwaves to guide you through meditation)
• Smiling Minds ( which is brilliant for all ages)
• OMG I can meditate
• 1 Giant Mind
These Apps are free to download and most have access to all or some free guided meditations.

3. Free guided meditations and yoga session on YouTube.

YouTube is an amazing free resource with lots of wonderful guided meditations and yoga sessions to suit your individual needs.
Go here to find some great free resources, just enter in your requirements in the search panel. I enter meditation for stress and restorative yoga and loads of session will come up.
https://www.youtube.com/

4. Counselling/ therapy– Most GP’s can refer you to a counsellor or psychologist if need be. There is public funding for people who are unable to afford this service. Please talk to your GP for guidance in this area. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance and support.

5. LIFELINE- is a free on call, 24/7 service you can call whenever you need someone to talk to. They can also guide you in the right direction. They have a self-tool kit on their website, which you can access here; https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/facts-and-information
Or call 131114

6. Rescue Remedy– is a homeopathic spray or drops and is a blend of five Bach Flower Remedies especially beneficial when you find yourself in traumatic and stressful situations. It’s something that I have been using and know many who swear by it. You can purchase it from any good health foods store, some pharmacies and online. Here is a link to a wonderful online store that stocks it; https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/search.html?qs=rescue+rememdy

7. Journaling-
The Resilience Project has a wonderful guided wellbeing journal, which you can check out here; https://the-resilience-project-shop.myshopify.com/collections/merchandise/products/my-resilience-project-journal

For kids there is a wonderful journal called big life Journal.
https://biglifejournal.com/collections/main-page/products/big-life-journal

Or simply buy a cheap but pretty notebook from any store and start the process of journaling down your thoughts and feelings. It’s a great way to channel all that’s going on in your life. I know for me and many of my clients, it creates clarity in amongst the chaos.

8. More Apps websites and books;
Apps-
• MindMetro- Lovely music to biennial waves, to help your brain relax.
• Calm- another wonderful app to use when needed.
• Headspace- a brilliant and simple app for meditation
• Insight timer
• Free Relaxing nature sounds
• 10% happier

Websites-
• Option B- this wonderful website and book has been written by Sheryl Sandberg. Option B helps people build resilience and find meaning in the face of adversity and draws on skills and tools to build resilience.
https://optionb.org/
• Headspace-
https://www.headspace.com/
• The Resilience Project-
https://theresilienceproject.com.au/

I truly hope that any information I have shared with you over this series has come to guide, assist and create a deeper understanding on not only how your body and mind operate under stress, but perhaps direct you to tools and strategies that can provide you or a loved one with better management because as I said even though we can have good stress that motivates and drives us, mostly ‘stress sucks’ and if we can navigate ourselves or others to minimise its impact then that makes for a happier, more grounded life!
Please let me know if this series has helped you or a loved one in anyway.

 

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