Here are some things you might do to improve your well-being alongside therapy sessions.
EAT - Learn how food can help your mental health - I recommend Rachel Kelly as a place to start - www.rachel-kelly.net
MOVE - Do anything that gets you moving, find something you love and go do it - as much as you can! What’s good for the body is good for the mind, and exercise also makes good brain chemicals that help your mood.
NATURE - Be in the countryside, in the forest, by the sea, near the mountains - let nature nurture, it’s one of our greatest healing resources.
CONNECT - With people, friends, family, work colleagues. We’re enriched, stimulated and supported by these ties.
NOTICE -Stop, take a moment and be curious, see beauty, notice the seasons, pause and take what you see whenever you can. Reflecting like this helps you appreciate what matters
LEARN - Try something new, take up an old hobby, do a course, challenge yourself, fix something, cook something different. Learning builds confidence, brings fun and satisfaction to life
GIVE - Do something nice for a friend or stranger, say thank you, volunteer, join a community group, smile at someone, reach out by phone, text, email. Seeing yourself as giving and part of the wider community is deeply rewarding and creates connections with others
SLEEP - learn about the powerful effects of sleep on well being, and how to get a good night’s rest.
The following information can help you manage your stress
Heartwork, from The Path of Self-Compassion by Radhule Weininger Brief On-the-Go Practices for Various Moods and Predicaments.
When I Feel Triggered
1. I notice my body.
2. I choose to pause
3. I exhale gently to relax
4. I recognise my feelings
5. I sense my heart.
6. I offer compassion to myself.
7. When I am ready, I re-engage.
When I Feel Stressed
1. I notice where I feel stress in my body.
2. I choose to press a metaphorical blue pause button.
3. I exhale gently to relax.
4. I recognise that I am hurting and that I have lost my balance.
5. I feel the tender breath of my heart.
6. I hold my predicament with kindness and offer compassion to myself.
When I Want to Shut Down
1. I notice the sensations in my body.
2. I choose to pause so that something new can happen.
3. I exhale gently to relax.
4. I recognise my urge to retreat, contract and isolate myself.
5. I feel the breath of my heart.
6. I am gentle with my feelings and offer compassion to myself.
7. I take refuge in the sensations and movements of breath, and let go all the way until my breath connects me with the web of life.
When I Am in a Bad Mood
1. I notice what is going on in my body.
2. I choose to press the pause button and allow change.
3. I recognise the emotions that keep me entangled.
4. I take refuge in the sensations and movements of breath and allow breath to breathe me.
5. Without grasping or pushing away, I allow my difficult thoughts, feelings, and moods
to pass by like clouds in the sky.
6. I know that all is change and ultimately okay.
When I Feel Sad
1. I notice the feelings of sadness in my body.
2. I sense the breath of my heart.
3. I turn to myself with gentleness and care.
4. I feel the breath of life brushing through the contracted, heavy undergrowth that weighs down my heart.
When There Is Tension and Hurt Between Couples and Pairs
1. Notice the sensations in your bodies
2. Choose to press the metaphorical pause button.
3. Notice the energy of distress in the room.
4. Exhale gently to relax.
5. Sense the breath of your heart.
6. Feel your suffering and offer compassion to yourself.
7. Allow yourself to open to each other’s energy.
8. Realise that both of you want to be happy most of all.
9. Imagine walking in each other’s shoes for a little while.
10. If you are able, allow for the possibility of taking the other’s point of view and feeling his or her hurt.
11. Keep returning to the breath as a refuge.
12. When you are ready, meet each other with openness and respect.