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Hello you. Beautiful, strong, capable you. Take a deep breath in…and let it out. Shake out your shoulders. Let go of the tension in your jaw…

 

Let’s take a few minutes together to gather our thoughts, grab a cuppa, and sit with me.

 

Emotions are running high across our little country right now. People are scared, worried, stressed, angry, and lonely. There’s chatter everywhere about what’s right and wrong, what should and shouldn’t be happening. Some of that chatter might be on the news, it might be in your school or college, it might be in your home, it might even be in your own mind. Everyone is REACTING because that’s what we do and that’s ok. But every so often, we need to take a deep breath in…and let it out. Shake out our shoulders. Let go of the tension in our jawto keep the balance. 

 

This year has been a lot right? Since early March the world has been in chaos and we’ve all been watching from the sidelines: Australian wildfires, a global pandemic, the tragic deaths of Kobe & Gigi Bryant, Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, unimaginable racial injustices, and that’s only as far as May. And while some of these things may not have directly affected us, we consume content about them all. day. long. through social media. Take a deep breath in…and let it out. Shake out your shoulders. Let go of the tension in your jaw. 

 

Over the last few weeks with my clients, I’ve seen lots of worry, anxiety, and reliance on harmful behaviours which is really concerning but totally normal. When we don’t have healthy and helpful coping skills in place, we’ll revert to unhealthy and unhelpful ones because the mind is always trying to relieve itself of the pressure and it will find a way. So much has happened over the last few months that we’re still trying to get our heads around and there’s more coming. School has been turned upside down, from virtual learning before the summer to mask-wearing-keep-your-distance classrooms a few months later. You might have been dealing with stuff at home with your family, with a boyfriend or girlfriend, with your friend group, or a mental or physical health issue too (or maybe even all four!) Take a deep breath in…and let it out. Shake out our shoulders. Let go of the tension in our jaw.

 

We can’t make any of this stop, or go away, or disappear. But there are lots of things we can do to mind ourselves and to remind us that we are capable. Take a deep breath in…and let it out. Shake out our shoulders. Let go of the tension in our jaw. And yes there’s a reason I’m repeating that!

 

When we repeat helpful behaviours like this, it rewires our brain from a place of “OMG I just can’t deal!”, to “I am stronger than I think, more capable than I believe, and more resilient than I may ever know.” Take a deep breath in…and let it out. Shake out our shoulders. Let go of the tension in our jaw. 

 

Here are 31 other things you can do for yourself that will make you feel better too – pick what sounds the yummiest to you and leave the rest 🙂

 

  1. Deep breathing
  2. Journalling (written or video)
  3. Colouring
  4. Watching your fave show on Netflix
  5. Painting
  6. Drinking water
  7. Scrapbooking (got some old magazines?)
  8. Playing with a pet
  9. Cuddling a pet
  10. Talking to said pet
  11. Eating your favourite food
  12. Find a mantra and repeat, repeat, repeat
  13. Talking with a friend on the phone
  14. Reading a great book
  15. Checking in with a friend to see if they’re ok
  16. Making up a dance routine
  17. Doing yoga
  18. Trying meditation
  19. Unfollowing some peeps online
  20. Cleanse-tone-moisturize
  21. Checking in with an older person 
  22. Listening to music
  23. Walking outdoors
  24. Resting
  25. Drinking tea
  26. Baking cookies
  27. Taking creative photos
  28. Creating coloured water (food colouring & some empty jars/bottles)
  29. Organizing your room
  30. Creating new clothes (check out Tara Stewart and Abigail McDonnell)
  31. Crochet/knitting

 

You CAN change how you respond, how you feel, how you think, and how you try to cope. Pick something from this list, try it every day for a week, and see how you feel. We’d love to hear how you get on too 🙂 

Don’t ever, ever forget that you are not alone. There are LOADS of supports out there. Write them down, save their numbers on your phone, and use it as needed. That’s what they’re there for. We really are all in this together. We see you. We hear you. We love you.

 

Some helpful supports available in Ireland:

SPUN OUT:  This is a one-stop-shop for all mental health issues. The articles are very matter of fact, helpful, and all bases are covered.

TACKLE BULLYING: Lots of resources for kids, parents, and teachers on dealing with bullying.

SAMARITANS: This helpline is open 24 hours a day and completely confidential. Call 116 123.

BODYWHYS: Online, phone, and group support for eating disorders.

CHILDLINE: Helpline and online support, offering advice and support to young people under 18.

BELONGTO: Support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in Ireland.

AWARE: Providing support and assistance to that section of society whose lives are affected by depression, bipolar disorder, postnatal depression, or suicidal thoughts.

POSITIVE OPTIONS:  Advice and support for those experiencing crisis pregnancies.

TURN2ME: Support for anyone feeling anxious, sad, or lonely.

YOURMENTALHEALTH: Lots of information about Mental Health in Ireland.