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Lisa's Corner 


Lessons for Moving Forward in 2020


March 14, 2020

It has been a long time since I updated this blog. I apologize for that.

2020 is looking to be a very strange year. Covid-19 is changing how we interact, at least for a time. I am hopeful that the lessons we can learn will serve us well going forward.  

ACTS Therapy will now provide Thera-link counseling via our computers or smart phones. If you are a current client, you will be provided an invite to join. If you are a new or returning client, please call 612-483-4464 and we can set this up together. 

Anxiety has been an issue in our society and now this new uncertainty is causing more stress. Please remember you can only make choices for yourself (and young ones perhaps) Choose kindness and compassion. Choose self-care 

Here are a few ideas I have taken from others:

For you

  • Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage
  • Connect through calls/text/internet
  • Add extra time for daily stress relief
  • Practice self-care (see older blogs on this site for skills)
  • Focus on your mental health (use your flow chart and skills)
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap (I sing the abc song and rinse with the “now I know my abc’s ….”) 

For your young ones

  • Reassure them that they are safe 
  • Let them talk about their worries.  Listen to them and repeat their words back them, perhaps say:  I heard you say you are afraid. I understand that. I/we are doing our best to keep you and others safe…..
  • Share your own coping skills
  • Limit their news exposure
  • Create a routine and structure
  • Teach them to wash hands for 20 seconds with soap (I sing the abc song and rinse with the “now I know my abc’s ….”) 

For Quarantine/Isolation

  • Keep in contact with your loved one via social media, texts, and phone calls
  • Create a daily self-care routine
  • Keep yourself and others busy: games, books movies
  • Focus on new relaxation techniques

I always share on the first day I meet a client Day One Skills. These are skills you can use and share to help improve your positive thinking and lower anxiety/depression even anger.

Here they are:

Skills

Tapping in the positive- Most important skill EVER!!  This is a bilateral technique that will actually change your brain from its natural state of searching for danger, fight, flight or freeze to looking and scanning for things that make you more positive. It will help a person in a heightened state of anxiety /anger/depression to a more positive state of mind:

Any time you smile at something or have a happy thought tap it in…

Use your feet (back and forth/left then right)

Use your fingers or hands….

Give yourself a butterfly hug: Cross your arms over your chest, hook your thumbs together and tap hands back and forth on your shoulders (every-one needs a hug)

Following are three breathing techniques to lower anxiety and get your body back to a calmer state. When you pick a techniques use it for as many cycles as needed to feel calm. Practice breathing regularly with your hand on your diaphragm to check to see if you are breathing naturally. Most breathe from a state of anxiety higher in their chest and not from their diaphragm. When you get back to the natural state of breathing your mind, body and spirit all work better!

Breathe in 1-2-3 (tummy gets fat)

Hold 1-2-3-

Out slow 1-2-3 (tummy gets skinny)

Breathe in 1-2-3

Hold 1-2-3

Breath out the bad 1-2-3 (loud whoosh as breath out bad feelings!)

Breathe in the color…. (from head to toes

Hold 1-2-3

Out slow 1-2-3 (from toes to mouth)

If have trouble sleeping think of a paint brush going back and forth under your eyelids and forehead, Back and forth painting white paint over all your thoughts and covering them with the paint so nothing is thought of except the white emptiness

At Night

Breathe out bad of day (into your container if you have one)

Tap in good of day (if a bad thought comes in just accept it but don’t tap then go back to the good thoughts) 

Breathe in 1-2-3 or color

Safe/Calm Place

Add skills as you learn them

Stop sign: visualize or hold up hand like stop and say to self I don’t want to go there and then go to tapping in the positives. Be a cheerleader for yourself. If distracted and need to focus tap in your to do list to focus your mind on what you do want to do for the next 30-60 minutes. 

After each skill take a drink or swallow spit. This starts your digestive system and tells body you are not in flight, fight, or freeze. The starting of your digestive system tells your body you are safe!!

I believe as a people we are stronger when we do what we can to help and serve others. In this case it is recommended for us to think about physical distancing. Remember our goal is to help the doctors, nurses, medical people be able to serve those who are the most at risk and not overload our hospitals and care facilities. Our desire should be to not expose our most vulnerable to this virus. 

Stay healthy; Use your skills; Teach these skills to others!

Blessings,

Lisa Marie Raines


 

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