Creating Change, Tools & Coping Strategies

Be Well Message

Dear Guests, I hope you all are doing well and staying safe with the coronavirus scare. In times like this, it's not easy to stay healthy, be positive, and find moments of laughter or joy to balance the fear, frustration, or other negative sensations that may rise. For people who enjoy being active outside and/or interacting with others face-to-face, this is an especially challenging time. Being confined alone or with others for extended periods of time can bring out the best and the worst in relationships or highlight things we've all tried to ignore or deny about ourselves and each other. Tempers get roused easily. People react and act to stuff they normally wouldn't. Maybe out of fear. Maybe out of frustration. Maybe the stressful times are their version of an excuse for behaving in such ways? Please remember that we still have choices. We can choose react from a position of fear-based choices. We can to argue and fight and lose our tempers. Be angry at the world and socialize and continue with our routines like nothing is going on (denial). We can ignore government mandates and health authority warnings. We can let prejudice rule our opinions and influence our interactions with others. We can choose to feel and express anger in ways that hurt ourselves and the people around us. Or we can choose to to react from a position of love-based choices. We can use effective communication and compromise strategies. Use Active Listening skills to to ourselves and each other. Check in from a position of love and acceptance. Be kind to ourselves and each other no matter how scared or stressed out we feel. And most important, express our fear, anger, shame, or other negative emotions in healthy ways that support us and the others around us instead of hurting ourselves and those other people. Sometimes we might not have choices in how we act or react. Instinct and learned behavior (i.e. survival skills) override everything else when we feel overwhelmed or pushed too far. In situations like that, when "the damage is done" we till have choices to make. We can pretend nothing happened. We can continue to escalate the negativity and cause more damage to an existing relationship until nothing is left. We can acknowledge the situation and try to make reparation and/or amends or listen with compassion to the other party and work out a solution. We can acknowledge our part in what happened, reflect on the situation, and work out ways to prepare for future ones. Maybe preventative actions or a coping strategy? But no matter what, we humans are a resilient species. And we can survive this. We will survive and learn to thrive in the changed and changing world. I believe in you. Please believe in yourselves too.

Art as creation and recreation quote
Tools & Coping Strategies

Movement Challenge – 6 days and counting

I woke up this morning feeling emotionally lighter than normal. In fact, I laughed at the circumstances since it was an "oh crap, I overslept. Thank (your word) I work from home" kind of start. But it got me moving. I couldn't sit still to work, but I did experience improved concentration compared to yesterday.… Continue reading Movement Challenge – 6 days and counting

Integration, Tools & Coping Strategies

Sensory grounding Strategies taught me how to communicate with and listen to my body

The Sensory Grounding premise goes like this:

When engaged, a strong sensory experience (i.e. smell, taste, touch, sound, or visual stimulus) can bring a person in the middle of a distressing event or emotionally overwhelming state back to the present moment.

Example:

A common trope is: one person complaining about an aching foot. The companion offers to help with a distraction. When the first person agrees, the companion punches the first person in the shoulder. Now the first person is thinking about the shoulder instead of the foot.

My personal favorite way to use Sensory Grounding Strategies is to engage all 5 of my senses at the same time through an object meditation or breathing exercise. Chocolate, blueberries, grapes, coffee, tea, anything that engages your senses and is safe to smell, touch, taste, hear and look at will work.

The meditation goes like this:

The way you're moving (or not) right now could be influenced by things other than your physiology
Integration, Tools & Coping Strategies

Movement Quotes from Body Dynamics by Katy Bowman – Integrating body/mind/spirit

Background Integration is an important part of my personal health and wellness philosophy. I struggle with feeling whole instead of separated into parts because of my trauma history. My mind and body separated when I was a child. Emotions and spirit separated into dissociative parts after my mind and body separated. This was beneficial in… Continue reading Movement Quotes from Body Dynamics by Katy Bowman – Integrating body/mind/spirit

Tools & Coping Strategies

Self Care Challenge 1/25/2020 (Final day) – Sleep and/or Relax

Action: Sleep and/or rest as much as I want all day and in between food breaks, hydration, and restroom breaks :/

Intention: Celebrate the spirit if not the law of the Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year holiday) by not doing much on the first day of the new year. Also practice Self Care practices like giving myself rest periods, reducing my sleep debt, and giving all parts of my self a chance to heal from everything that happened over the last few weeks by sleeping and resting.

Reflection: I feel like this goal was a success in many ways and a learning experience in other ways. Today is the second day I got to sleep late and wake up when I felt like it instead of when someone or something woke me up. In spite of the dog living above me and being on the second floor, I spent my first two nights getting some of the best consistent sleep in a long time. As in, I slept through the night for more than 3 hours at a time and wasn't triggered by the noises coming from above, beside, below, or from the window of my apartment.