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MORE ABOUT RESILIENCE
Everyone experiences bumps in their life, yet we all deal with these twists and turns differently. Resilience is the ability to adapt to and cope with the events in our lives.
“Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors.” - American Psychological Association
How do you increase resilience?
Research has shown that there are many different ways to increase resilience. Examples include;
Having supportive relationships with friends, family or whanau. People who have positive relationships with others which include reassurance and encouragements, are able to cope better when something goes wrong and rebound more quickly. Prioritize relationships to build resilience.
Having a positive view of yourself and your abilities in life can increase your resilience. This means you are able to recognise your own assets and potentials, in a realistic way. Those who see themselves for who they really are likely to be more resilient. Encourage positive self-talk among your peers in order build resilience.
Taking care of your body:
Research shows that having a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition, sleep, hydration and regular exercise can strengthen you body to adapt to stress and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Look to eat foods such as fish, nuts, beans, fruits, vegetables, probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, and limit packaged or processed foods or foods high in sugar.
Meditation, yoga and mindful journaling have also shown to help people build connections and deal with situations that require resilience.
Setting realistic goals for the day and ticking them off is a rewarding activity which can help build resilience. Write down what you want to achieve today, not matter how big or small. Doing something regular which enables you to move towards what you’d like to accomplish can help build resilience.
When you need it, getting help is vital in building resilience. Whether it be talking with friends, family and whanau or seeking professional help when you feel you are unable to go about your daily life.
For more information, contact us on 09 846 9776.
SUPPORT FOR WHĀNAU / FAMILY
Families play an important role in the recovery journey of people experiencing mental illness. Whānau / Family can refer to anyone who supports or cares for a person experiencing mental illness. When someone you love is experiencing mental illness it can feel like an emotional rollercoaster and a challenge for you, your relationships and your family.
Acceptance, love and boundary setting can be pivotal in helping a loved one recover. Denial, disapproval, blame and judgement is likely to worsen the situation. As family / whānau there is a lot you can do to help. It’s important to keep your self-care as a priority in order do to your best for your loved one.
We have outlined the main points to consider below. You can download a help-sheet with full details of each point:
• Practice Self-Care
• Resource yourself
• Be patient
• Stay in touch
• Be persistently kind
• Be positive
• Start conversations and not conflict
• Make sure you have resources
• Find a support network and keep it active
Help resources for parents, family and friends
Commonground – a website hub providing parents, family, whānau and friends with access to information, tools and support to help a young person who is struggling.
Parent Help – 0800 568 856 for parents/whānau seeking support, advice and practical strategies on all parenting concerns. Anonymous, non-judgemental and confidential.
Family Services 211 Helpline – 0800 211 211 for help finding (and direct transfer to) community based health and social support services in your area.
Skylight – 0800 299 100 for support through trauma, loss and grief; 9am–5pm weekdays.
Yello Brick Road (formerly Supporting Families) – For families and whānau supporting a loved one who has a mental illness. Auckland 0800 732 825. Find other regions' contact details here.
RELATIONSHIPS, DIET & EXERCISE GUIDANCE
As part of a holistic approach to managing your experiences with anxiety, depression, OCD and phobia – maintaining healthy relationships, an intake of healthy food and regular exercise will create noticeable benefits and improvements to your ongoing mental state. We've outline a few points below, which may seem obvious at first, but it's worth reminding ourselves from time to time.
If you are in a relationship, a partner who understands your condition and supports you is vital. As always, discussions with partners regarding your condition should be approached as an open and positive conversation. Accept that often the people around you won't have a complete understanding of your symptoms or their causes. Education, information and patience will be your most powerful tools to help them help you. If your partner struggles to understand your condition, you can refer them to the section above on Whānau / Family, or they may wish to take part in one of our workshops for Whānau / Family. See more here.
Abusive relationships or partners who have substance abuse issues should be avoided if possible. If not, they should also seek help. Drug Alcohol Helpline: 0800 787 797
Shine, help for domestic violence: 0508 744 633
Diet / healthy eating
It may seem obvious to some, but a healthy balanced diet can have significant effects on your general mood and have a positive impact on your recovery. Fresh fruit and vegetables making up your 'five-a-day', fresh home cooked meals and healthy drinks will significantly help your recovery. An excess of fast food, fried food, high sugar content snacks, highly processed foods and alcohol should be avoided. If your diet currently contains many of these foods, try a healthier diet for just few days and you will likely experience a positive change in your mood and mental state. A guide to healthy eating as it relates to mental health issues can be downloaded here and is provided by MentalHealth.org.nz.
Often it can seem like the easiest most relaxing thing to do when you experience anxiety, depression or other mental health issues is to stay indoors, or lie on the couch with a film. But research has shown that even moderate exercise produces 'endorphins' – or in other words the brain's natural 'happiness' chemicals.
Regular exercise at a level you feel comfortable with is important and can play a big part on your journey of recovery. Find an activity that you enjoy, which could be as simple as running, walking or tennis and you will soon notice the benefits. For more advice and information regarding exercise and mental health issues, you can download a PDF provided by MentalHealth.org.nz
BRIEF INTERVENTIONS FOR ANXIOUS CHILDREN
If you have child who is experiencing anxiety, try some of the breathing and action techniques below.
Fill a glass to halfway with water or your child’s favourite drink (we always encourage a healthy sugar free drink of water or milk). Place a straw in the glass and ask your child to take a deep belly breath (see Belly Breathing exercise for how to do this) and hold for 3 seconds, then blow into the straw slowly through their mouth. Repeat this 5 – 10 times (or as many as your child needs to feel less anxious).
Place on your child’s hands on their chest and one on their belly. Breathe in through the nose for half their age in seconds, hold for half their age in seconds and breathe out for their full age in seconds. This methods works well up to age 8. The structure would be: – 4 seconds breathing in, hold for 4s and out for 8. If your child or young person is over 8, use the following: – 4 seconds breath in, hold for 5 and breathe out for 8. (adjust this as per the needs of the child or young person).
Robots, Jellyfish and Towers
The aim of this game is to practice progressive muscle relaxation. You call out each of these names and your child mimics the behaviour of each one: – Robots, who are stiff and robotic in their movements. – Jellyfish, who are floppy and relaxed. – Towers, which are strong and stretch up high into the sky. The game begins with each person cycling through the actions a couple times. Try to keep mixing the order of the names up and ensuring there’s a jellyfish movement after the tense movements.