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Maintaining your health and wellbeing provides the energy and capacity to endure the challenges that you may face in your role of caring for others. Good health and wellbeing mean that you can provide the best care to yourself, your family and your clients. Carers need to maintain their health and wellbeing to provide the best frame of mind to care for another individual or group.
To ensure caregiver burnout does not occur, you must practice emotional care with the same diligence you take when caring for others.
Emotional care refers to the practice of being mindful of our psychological health and adopting short but frequent daily habits to monitor and address psychological wounds when we sustain them. In your care-giver role – whether that is as counsellor, psychologist, coach, nurse or any other role where your main function is to care for another - burnout can manifest itself in a variety of ways. A few common signs to look out for include: anxiety, depression, irritability, new or worsening health problems, difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating, drinking, smoking or eating more, or neglecting your self-care, health, and wellness.
Some of the most important tips for carers include:
The cumulative effects of stress can build over time and not be noticed until problems emerge. Apart from the above, there are plenty of useful strategies for managing stress, including:
Guilt, anger, resentment, fear, stress, anxiety, depression and grief are some of the emotions that will be encountered in your role. It is normal to feel as if you are going crazy at times, and it does not help to try to suppress or deny what you are feeling. The best way to deal with your feelings is to accept them, but make sure you can talk about your feelings with someone who understands, whether it is a family member, friend, counsellor or support group.
Depression is always a potential concern, and you should seek professional help if it becomes a serious issue.
Maintain an identity of your own separate from your role and keep your links to the world outside your job and role.
Contact me to assist you. HELP IS ONE CALL AWAY - email@example.com or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Credit: psychologytoday.com; synapse.org; blog.careacademy.com; caregiver.org; nih.gov
In psychology, resentment is when a person has ongoing upset feelings towards another person or place because of a real or imagined injustice.
Can you recall the last time you held a grudge against someone? Perhaps it was a friend who betrayed you, a stranger who wronged you, a lover who left, or a parent who unintentionally hurt you. Perhaps it is because you are in a role that requires caring and supporting people and do not feel appreciated.
What can we do to overcome these feelings and painful memories?
What can one do to overcome these negative thought patterns?
What can we do to relinquish ourselves from feelings conjured up by other people’s actions?
When we drill deep into the root of resentment and anger, the cause usually revolves around our ego and the mind’s attempt to protect it from extinction. We react from a place of ego, survival instincts and defense. We may lash out from a place of anger, or our anger turns inwards, and we become depressed and resentful.
We fight out of an instinct to survive, and to protect our ego-driven pride. In the end, nobody wins. Resentment, anger, and fear are all connected. We become trapped in a self-obsessed cycle of being afraid of the future, angry in the present, and filled with resentment over our past.
The keys to overcoming the emotion lie in understanding and forgiving. This seems counter-intuitive, since our instincts tell us that we need to defend ourselves, and possibly come up with ways to hurt the other person.
Understanding gives us insight into what the other person is feeling. Even before we reach the stage of forgiveness, understanding will automatically ease some of the emotional burden we’ve been carrying.
Before seeking to understand, we need to find a place of clarity within ourselves. Once we have understood the place from where we are responding, we can move to forgiving the other person and ourselves. Holding on to resentment is usually more harming to yourself than the person you hold the resentment against.
Use responsible methods for dealing with these uncomfortable and unpleasant emotions so that you are no longer slaves to the emotional reflexes of our animalistic instincts.
Contact me to assist you to move through these powerful emotions - firstname.lastname@example.org or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Credit: psychologytoday.com; thinksimplenow.com; lifehack.org
Caring for others, whether as a career or in an individual capacity, is always a privilege. Being there for someone in their time of need enables us to connect with our true humanity and often provides a service when there is none.
It does, however, often take its toll if the carer doesn’t care for themselves. Nowadays, with the bombardment of people’s suffering, we are often exposed to pain that we would not encounter under other circumstances.
Caring too much can hurt. When caregivers focus on others without practicing self-care, destructive behaviours can surface. Apathy, isolation, bottled up emotions and substance abuse head a long list of symptoms associated with the secondary traumatic stress disorder now labelled: Compassion Fatigue
While the effects of Compassion Fatigue can cause pain and suffering, learning to recognise and manage its symptoms is the first step toward healing.
Compassion fatigue used to be a problem that was most commonly seen among health care professionals. Because their work puts them in situations where they commonly see or hear about ongoing and sometimes unspeakable suffering, it is not unusual to see some of our most skilled, caring, and compassionate "helpers" fall victim to compassion fatigue.
However, in today's world, where every tragedy is instantly broadcast live in living colour directly into our living rooms (TV), laps (laptop), and/or hands (smartphone), compassion fatigue is no longer unique to certain professions. Signs of compassion fatigue include:
If you are feeling distressed, frustrated, guilty, exhausted, or annoyed, it is important to know that these feelings are normal. It can be easy to put your own needs last, but it is important if you are feeling tired or stressed to look after yourself, so you are still able to care for others. Seek help if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.
HELP IS ONE PHONE CALL AWAY! Get the support you need - contact me at email@example.com or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Credit: compassionfatigue.org; psychologytoday.com
Building resilience has become a fundamental skill in today’s challenging world. The popular view of ‘tomorrow will be better’ is often a denial of dealing with our pain in the moment. Tomorrow is often better, but sometimes it is not. And even if it is, a day will come when our pain surfaces again and we go back into denial and push through the tough times at the expense of healing and finding deeper meaning and the true purpose of our lives.
Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”. A person with good resilience can bounce back more quickly and with less stress than someone whose resilience is less developed. Everybody has resilience. It’s just a question of how much and how well you put it to good use in your life.
Everyone can learn to increase their resilience abilities.
All you need to do to increase your resilience is have the willingness to do so. Part of building resilience is about finding one’s purpose. What in the bigger scheme of life makes you realise your value to yourself and others? How do you find meaning in life, even when days are dark? We often need to question our values and behaviours to find our true meaning. This is not an overnight journey, but more of a life long one of discovery. It is not always a pleasant journey, often difficult, but always rewarding. It takes time and self-awareness to be conscious of the choices we make, how they impact our lives and the lives of others. Self-reflection in an honest and non-judgemental way is required as we walk this path.
As we continue our search for personal meaning, we will need to correct our thoughts and actions, and gently guide ourselves to a place of compassion and understanding, both for ourselves and others.
Building better resilience takes time, effort, commitment, and focus. It will not just happen to you overnight. It’s a process that will take time to learn and master.
Don’t be frustrated by this, because unlike your eye colour or height, resilience is not a trait but rather a skill that you can readily enhance with patience and training. This may mean the difference between a crisis-filled life or a life of meaning. The journey is worth it.
Let me assist you in your journey - contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
There is a growing realisation that mental disorders take an enormous toll on society. Statistics reveal just how dire South Africa’s mental health problem is: It is estimated that approximately ⅓ of South Africans suffer from some form of mental disorder, according to a SASH (SA Stress and Health) study conducted in 2003/4 and ratified in 2014. The stark reality is that more than 17-million people in South Africa are dealing with anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, mood disorders (a major depressive episode, for example), as well as alcohol and drug use.
Neuropsychiatric disorders are ranked third in their contribution to the overall diseases burden in South Africa according to the National Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategic Plan 2013 - 2020 published by the National Department of Health of SA.
All mental disorders are potentially fatal. Any disorder that has suicide as its potential outcome can be considered to be a terminal illness. We need to work hard to change the narrative around suicide to understand it as the terminal phase of a very serious illness rather than an act of either cowardice or criminality. A failure of the brain is just the same as a failure of the heart or liver or lungs.
Much of the stigma around mental disorders arises from the belief that people can “pull themselves together” to recover from a mental disorder.
In general, once a mental disorder emerges, the best route is both through medical intervention and therapy/counselling
Knowledge, awareness and self-care are all imperative to prevent or minimise the onset of mental disorders and relapses.
Support of the person with the mental illness and the family is desperately needed. Compassion and understanding are the new paradigm in treating mental illness. Take responsibility and seek help when you are feeling depressed, anxious or stressed. Seeking help is a strength and not a weakness – it will help you and your family get through difficult times.
Get the support you need - contact me on email@example.com or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Mental health stigma can run so deep that we can second-guess ourselves when it comes to our wellbeing and self-care.
Take, for example, a rough day. You’re sitting at your desk struggling to focus on any one important thing. The anxiety kicks in, and you start to think about all the ways your next task could go wrong, how many mistakes you’ll make. The negative self-talk begins, and your depression hits you like a sack of bricks. You just know you’re about to have a panic attack and you can’t think of a single way to stop it.
Now if this were any other illness that had symptoms preventing you from functioning normally - a migraine or the flu - you wouldn’t think twice about calling it a day and going home to rest. No one could blame you for it - you’re sick, right? You don’t feel well. Go home. Feel better.
But this is not a migraine or the flu, this is mental illness. This is anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, which don’t carry the same severity in our society as other well-known illnesses. When we’re really suffering from mental illness, people tell us to stop exaggerating or to suck it up. So when we contemplate the idea of a mental health day, we beat ourselves up for it. Tell ourselves to man-up and get over it, to stick it out, just like others would tell us.
The problem with this way of thinking is that it is not self-caring at all. We must fight the stigma to not only help others understand that these illnesses we deal with are just as severe as other physical illnesses, but to also help us be kinder to ourselves. Giving ourselves time to rest and being kind to ourselves about what our limits are helps us feel better, just like rest helps us feel better when we have the flu.
If you need some time to re-energise, do it. Your mental wellbeing is just as important as your overall wellbeing, and you must take care of your brain like you take care of the rest of your body. Your good health depends on it.
Some tips for mental health care:
Don't let stigma prevent you from caring for yourself. Get the support you need - contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Credit: psychologytoday, take5tosavelives
Mental health issues widely affect both men and women, so regardless of gender; we should all be taking our mental health seriously.
That said, there are certain mental health issues that affect women most, and this is due to a mixture of biological factors, socio-cultural influences, (workplace inequality, body shaming, and the pressure to "have it all"), as well as the fact the we have statistically higher chances of experiencing sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape, and attempted rape in our lifetime. It's clear that if you're female, it's imperative that you educate yourself on the gender-specific mental health risks women face.
Women are up to 40 percent more likely to develop mental illnesses than men, so women should be aware that gender does play a role in mental health.
Whether you've struggled with your mental health or not, it's important to know how your mind and body are pre-disposed to certain mental health issues so that you can better understand how to keep yourself healthy. Here are some mental health issues that affect women more often than men.
Women develop less of the feel-good chemical serotonin and process it slower. Hormone levels naturally fluctuate more than men's do, especially during the childbearing process and menopause, which affects mood.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to manage anxiety, from breathing techniques to medication. If you or a loved one is suffering from anxiety, know that you don't have to do it without help.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental health issue, don't ignore it or trust that it will get better on its own.
Please seek treatment - contact me on email@example.com or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Do you have limiting beliefs? Limiting beliefs constrain us in some way. Just by believing them, we do not think, do or say the things that they inhibit. And in doing so we impoverish our lives.
Some examples of limiting beliefs include:
We may define ourselves by what we do or do not do. I may say 'I am an accountant', which means I do not do marketing and should not even think about it, and consequently fail to sell my services well. Another common limiting belief is around how we judge ourselves. We think 'I don't deserve...' and so do not expect or seek things.
We often have limited self-images of what we can and cannot do. This is the crux of many 'I can't' statements: we believe our abilities are fixed and that we cannot learn.
Just as we have limiting beliefs about ourselves, we also have beliefs about other people which can limit us in many ways. If we think others are more capable and superior, then we will not challenge them. If we see them as selfish, we may not ask them to help us.
Why do we limit our beliefs?
A key way by which we form our beliefs is through our direct experiences. We act, something happens, and we draw conclusions. Often such beliefs are helpful, but they can also be very limiting. Particularly when we are young and have few experiences we may form false and limiting conclusions.
One reason we use faulty logic and form limiting beliefs is to excuse ourselves from what we perceive to be our failures. When we do something, and it does not work, we often explain away our failure by forming and using beliefs which justify our actions and leave us blameless.
Limiting beliefs are often fear-driven. Locking the belief in place is the fear that, if we go against the beliefs, deep needs will be harmed. There is often a strong social component to our decisions and the thought of criticism, ridicule or rejection by others is enough to powerfully inhibit us. We also fear that we may be harmed in some way by others, and so avoid them or seek to appease them.
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 084 779 4889 to discuss your limiting beliefs. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Are you driven by fear? Is your fear stopping you from doing what you want or being who you want to be? The first step is owning your fears and then identifying them. Then, of course, the question becomes, "How do I get rid of these fears?"
Being rich is not about money, it’s about living without fear. We all have fear. If we didn't feel fear, we wouldn't be alive. But there's a big difference between having fear and being driven by your fear. Most people are driven by their fears, leading them to make (or avoid making) decisions that could be life-changing.
People have fear of poverty. Fear of not being accepted. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of abandonment. Fear of success. Fear of people. Fear of vulnerability. The list goes on.
You will always have fears, but when you get to a place where you are no longer driven by them, something magical happens. You are in touch with your value. You feel powerful. Alive. Worthy.
Here are some tips to help you with your fears:
Notice your fears: Everything starts with awareness. Think about all the fears that are stopping you from being happy. Just observe them. Once you do that, recognize that your fears, despite seeming very powerful, are not concrete walls. They can be dismantled and are less powerful than you think.
Admit that you are afraid of particular things: Many people know what they are afraid of, but won't admit it, especially to themselves. This resistance will only give the fear more power. Denial means you're running instead of facing. Only when you admit what you are afraid of can you start dissolving your fears.
Decide you no longer want to be afraid: At some point, you must make a choice to no longer be afraid. At some point you must decide to enter the arena. Yes, you can choose to be less afraid. No, this doesn't mean your fear is just going to go away. But it will move the ball. It will create a shift. Examine where your fears are taking you in your life and decide to no longer allow those fears to drive your life.
When you are no longer afraid, you are completely free.
Let me help you work through your fears and free yourself to live a happy and fulfilling life – contact me NADINE on email@example.com or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
6/27/2018 0 Comments
While personal matters such as family problems and living situations might cause the most stress for women, new research shows its work issues that cause men the most anxiety.
Few of us enjoy Monday mornings. Swapping a lazy day reading the Sunday papers for a lazy manager with a sadistic streak is always a bad trade. But in the greater scheme of things, is your job really that stressful?
If you’re working in sales then yes, say scientists from the US Public Health Service. Their new study found that desk-bound sales callers are more likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke thanks to their stressed-packed workplace.
So far, so utterly scary. But there’s more. Another study conducted by CareerCast found the toughest ten jobs on the entire planet. They've all got a few things in common - jobs that require you to face unpredictable conditions, immediate dangers and high-stakes situations rank among the most stressful. Some of these include military personnel, firefighters, pilots, event co-ordinators and journalists.
But even if your job doesn't rank anywhere near the top 10, bad management, long hours and recessionary fears can make even the most serene career stressful.
It’s worrying, yes, but we’re here to deal with the question: what can be done about work stress?
If your feel like your job is completely unbearable, start looking elsewhere in a constructive manner. Try take yourself back to your childhood and ask yourself what you enjoyed doing? What brings you joy now? How do you have fun? These simple questions can often help us reconnect with ourselves and what we love to do. Over the years we have become bombarded with social pressures on what our careers should look like, status, cars, and houses that we lose sight of our true value and passion.
Apart from that there are very practical ways to combating stress which are enough to make a big difference to your mood. From self-hypnosis. Meditation, simple breathing techniques and exercise can contribute to lowering stress. Lifestyle will build a good foundation in the long run for managing stress – eating optimally, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and having fun! These are some basic pillars but if you want to learn more about how to manage work stress or investigate a career change, contact me.
Work stress is a choice. You don't have to pick it.
Nadine@nadinetherapy.co.za or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Credit: menshealth, webmd, businessnewsdaily, everydayhealth
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