Covid-19: Mental Health Exercises to Face This Incredibly Challenging Situation No5

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Dear friends,

-Can a man still be brave if he is afraid?

-That is the only time a man can be brave!

A Game of Thrones – G.R.R. Martin.

YOUR BUCKET LIST

Having a bucket list will help you identify your personal and professional goals and desires. Use a bucket list to keep yourself focused and make an effort every day to accomplish at least one small task that will lead you towards crossing things off of your bucket list.

MINDFULNESS EXERCISE

You’ll need a few raisins for this activity (or if you prefer, any other dried fruit can substitute). In addition, I recommend taking a few moments afterward to write down any reactions you have to the exercise, and what you learned from it. Your intention will be to eat a raisin in a mindful manner, fully immersed in the experience.
Begin by taking a raisin and placing it in the palm of your hand. Glance down at it, pretending for a moment that you’ve never seen anything like it before. Alternate between holding the raisin in your hand and placing it between your forefinger and thumb to more fully feel its texture. Notice the weight of the raisin as it rests in your hand.
Now take a moment to really see the raisin, paying particular attention to its subtle details. With full attention and awareness, notice the texture of the raisin, and the shadow it casts on your palm. Notice its ridges, and the particular colors it contains.
Placing the raisin between your fingers now, observe all of its texture with even more awareness. How does it feel to brush your fingers over the raisin? Feel the ridges on its surface.
Now bring the raisin up towards your nose. As you inhale, simply notice any smells or scents that you detect. Or if you cannot detect a scent, simply notice that as well, without judgment.
Slowly take the raisin and place it gently in your mouth. Observe what happens within your mouth when you do; perhaps you’ll find yourself salivating or notice your tongue “reaching out” towards the raisin as you place it in your mouth. Before chewing, simply notice whatever sensations come up in your mouth now that you’ve placed the raisin on your tongue.
Take a single bite into the raisin and notice how doing so affects your mouth and tongue. Notice the different textures that you can now pick up on. When you’re ready, continue to slowly chew the raisin. But before swallowing, again simply notice all that’s occurring right now in your mouth, mind, and body.
When you’re ready, swallow the raisin and continue to observe any feelings, reactions, thoughts, and emotions that come up for you as you do. Without judgment, bring full awareness to whatever is happening inside of you, and take a minute to merely sit with those reactions with your eyes closed.
People have all sorts of reactions to the raisin meditation. For some, it’s an eye-opening experience, in that it demonstrates how a simple activity (eating a raisin) can be transformed into something far more meaningful. For others, it feels foreign to eat a raisin in this manner and can even feel uncomfortable. Whatever your reactions may be, take a moment to simply notice them, and write down some quick thoughts about the exercise.

Take care and stay at home.

Love,

Vassiliki

https://www.udemy.com/course/teacher-emotional-wellbeing/

Covid-19: Mental Health Exercises To Face This Incredibly Challenging Situation No4

 

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Dear friends,

This exercise gives people the space to express some of their anger safely on a paper.

Think of coronavirus. Draw it on a piece of paper.

Call the coronavirus all the names you want.

Now tear it up however you please.

Tear it into strips or little pieces or any way you want.

Imagine that this piece of paper is your source of stress and anxiety. Tearing up the paper is very therapeutic!

Love,

Vassiliki

 

The Best Technique To Help You De-Stress

 

Pouli

 

Hello my friends!

Stress is one of the world’s largest health problems, leading to exhaustion, burnout, anxiety, a weak immune system, or even organ damage. Studies show that art therapy, coloring mandalas  and drawing in general, can minimize anxiety and combat negative mood. Art therapy is a form of therapy that encourages creativity and self-expression as vehicles to reduce stress, improve self-esteem, increase awareness and help remedy trauma. Psychologist Carl Jung recommended coloring mandalas (circular designs that can contain intricate patterns or symbols) as a therapeutic intervention to promote psychological health, as he perceived that drawing mandalas had a calming effect on his patients while facilitating their processing of thoughts and emotions.

Today, art therapy is recognized for its many therapeutic effects on aspects of mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. As described by art-therapist Myra Levick, these include:

To provide a means to strengthening the ego.

To provide a cathartic experience.

To provide a means to uncover anger.

To offer an avenue to reduce guilt.

To facilitate impulse-control.

To help patients/clients use art as a new outlet during incapacitating illness.

In 1971 a radiation oncologist named Carl Simonton formulated a concept for cancer patients involving among other things the integration of art therapy. Simonton and his wife designed a strategic approach to attack cancer from all sides, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually with a host of progressive and relaxation techniques. In perhaps the most significant plank to bridge the fields of alternative and modern medicine, mental imagery and art therapy were employed as complementary tools to fight cancer cells and help rejuvenate the body.

Try the following theme:

Draw yourself.

Draw a picture of a part of your body you feel needs a special attention. Draw an area that you feel is perhaps a target organ of stress, for example a headache, sore back etc.

On another sheet of paper, draw an image of this same body region fully healed.

Use your imagination to restore this image to health through metaphor.

OR

Draw a peaceful image

OR

Draw how you feel right now. What emotions are you feeling right now? What does your anger look like to you? Try to visualize your emotions  on paper.

Art therapy is a portable form of therapy, and one that can be practiced alone without the support of a therapist.The beauty of art therapy is that it can be practiced for as long or little as you wish, depending on the amount of time you have. Just ten minutes of self-directed art therapy, every day, can make improvements to the quality of your day and to the levels of stress you experience.

Love always,

Vassiliki xxxx

 

Feeling Down and Overwhelmed by Life’s Challenges? 19 Steps to End Worrying.

 

pexels-photo-626165

 

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” —Albert Einstein.

Hello my friends!

Worry is a form of thinking.  How we worry can either be constructive or destructive. Worrying is feeling uneasy or being overly concerned about a situation or problem. With excessive worrying, your mind and body go into overdrive as you constantly focus on “what might happen.” Sometimes, a little worry or anxiety is helpful. It can help you get ready for an upcoming situation. But excessive worry or ongoing fear or anxiety is harmful when it becomes so irrational that you can’t focus on reality or think clearly.

Chronic worry and emotional stress can trigger a host of health problems. The fight or flight response causes the body’s sympathetic nervous system to release stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones can cause physical reactions such as:
Difficulty swallowing
Dizziness
Dry mouth
Fast heartbeat
Fatigue
Headaches
Inability to concentrate
Irritability
Muscle aches
Muscle tension
Nausea
Shortness of breath.

There are 19 steps you can do to stop the pattern of excess worry and live a happier life.

1.Identify your stress situations and what you’re worried about.

2. Make time for Faith. “ The simplicity of our life of contemplation makes us see the face of God in everything, everyone, and everywhere, all the time”. Mother Teresa.

3. Challenge Your Beliefs About Worry.

What is the evidence that the thought is true? That it’s not true?
Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?
What’s the probability that what I’m scared of will actually happen? If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
Is the thought helpful? How will worrying about it help me and how will it hurt me?
What would I say to a friend who had this worry?

4. Practice Realistic Thinking.

5. Write down your worries.

6. Setting aside a certain amount of time (10-15 minutes) each day to consider worries and avoiding thinking about them at other times in the day.

7. Make your worries boring. If there is a specific worry that bothers you often, you can try to make it boring, so your brain will return to it less often. Do this by repeating it in your head again and again for several minutes.

8. Interrupt negative thought loops and replace them with positive ones.

9. Think of how to solve the problem. Knowing what to do if a dreaded event does occur can help reduce the anxiety that develops from an imagined scenario.

10. Think about social influences. Emotions can be contagious. If you spend a lot of time with other worriers, or people who make you anxious, you may want to reconsider how much time you are spending with those people.

11. Accept the Things You Cannot Change.

12. Embrace uncertainty.

13. Try not to isolate yourself. Develop deep relations.

14. Get moving.

15. Take a yoga or tai chi class.

16. Try deep breathing.

17. Meditate.

18. Stay focused on the present.

19. Practice progressive muscle relaxation.

And always remember:

“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” —Walter Hagen.

Love always,

Vassiliki xxxx