Today the group looked at ways to keep safe over the Christmas period. Group members also reflected on the last year and were also able to mention positive things that had happened for them in 2014. Most people commentated on how the fact they are still alive is a big achievement for them. The group worked on the “safe card” which the group has developed. The “safe card” has been mentioned in previous posts, but for those who have not seen it please look at the template below:
Someone I can contact;
Things I can do to look after myself
What can I tell myself:
How would I respond to a friend who was in a similar situation:
A quote that helps me:
Something I am grateful for:
What is my long-term vision of my future:
At the end of the group we watched some Christmas funnies from the group’s you tube channel!
We would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement for the group in 2014 and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Please note that after the group on Thursday 18th December there will be a 2 week break, with the first group of 2015 starting on Thursday 8th January.
Today people felt free to share about being in a “dark place”. A lot of people struggle at this time of year. At the end of the year people may reflect on their life and think about loved ones who are no longer here making it a really emotionally challenging time for them. At this time of year, worrying thoughts we have can suddenly multiply into lots of other worries in a way that may not necessarily happen at other times of the year. And, as discussed in previous blogs, the winter weather and long nights can all contribute to negative feelings. Group members discussed that focusing on really small plus points can be helpful such as being thankful for a warm bus ride, or having good shoes to walk in icy weather, and enjoying a good hot cup of tea. While members are going through this hard time we tried to look at things we can help get through it and also things to look forward to in the future like new goals.
In the midst of overwhelming struggles we identified that a disrupted sleep pattern and isolation can make things feel far worse, so we looked at ways to address these. People found that getting up at the same time everyday was very helpful to maintaining a routine, as was eating regularly each day. We looked at a Twitter thread about self care leading up to Christmas called #25daysofselfcare and found that other people were reporting the same things. Among other ideas which were helpful was keeping a positive jar, and everyday putting something good in it, as it was acknowledged that even on a really bad day there will be a little glimmer of something good, attending the group and other local services was also very helpful, especially for breaking isolation. Use of online connections was something else that was very helpful to people, particularly because contacts can be world wide, which means that if you are having a horrible time at 3am in the morning, there are people on the other side of the world who you can connect with for support. We intend to have a group soon focusing on how to use social media sites as not everyone feels confident. We discussed the use of Twitter, Facebook, Youtube groups and specialised forums e.g. Netmums.