How to cope with life's Ups and Downs
“We can’t look after anyone else if we don’t look after ourself!”
Carole Hanstede offering confidential,
flexible counselling services in the wider Dayboro and Samford areas.
On the 22nd of July I had the pleasure of talking to the Conversation Club in Dayboro. The Conversation Club is a local group for over 60 years of age and was established to prevent people from becoming socially isolated and keeping them mentally engaged.
The focus of the talk was how best to look after our mental health and well being. I started by explaining that in our younger years we develop out coping skills mainly by what we observe in our parents, but also schools, friends etc. A visual way to look at this is to imagine we develop a tool belt and clipped onto that tool belt are various coping strategies that we can draw on as and when we need. Some of the group shared their coping strategies including spending time in the garden, listening to a relaxation tape to help us sleep, reading a good book and the weekly visits to the Conversation Club where they get to connect with other people and enjoy a lovely lunch.
Throughout our life it is important that we keep “tweaking” this tool belt, through our ups and downs, we keep examining our coping strategies to see if they still work, we may change them or we may choose to explore new ones. Yes, we all get knocked down, but we have our trusty tool belt to help us get back up again.
However, sometimes when we get faced with something that hits us hard, loss of a friend, illness, relationship issues etc, we may find that none of our tools work anymore or that we seem to have lost our tool belt all together. This leaves us feeling utterly stuck, unable to go back, petrified to go forward. Our bodies might start telling us all is not well through panic attacks, bouts of depressions, obsessive compulsive type behaviour, etc. Or we may seek temporary relief in not so great coping strategies like alcohol and drugs. We may even reach a point where we want to run away from it all or are thinking of suicide.
It’s at moments like these where counselling may help. Someone that is there for you, that listens to and acknowledges your pain, keeps you safe and anchored as you find your tool belt again, dust off and re-polish some old coping strategies and helps you to add some new ones until you feel back on level ground again. It never ceases to amaze me how resilient people are and what a difference even a few counselling session can make in reconnecting clients with their own strengths.
Carole is a Member of the Australian Counselling Association and she can meet you at the Samford Chiropractic Centre, in Dayboro, come to your place or provide support via phone or email. For more details ring Carole on 0412132784 or email [email protected].