Guest Author - Tracy Hamilton
If you are challenged by mental health issues, then you may have been in crisis of some kind. I know here in the UK that people who experience episodes or no clarity, are usually assigned a Community Psychiatric Nurse and a Social Worker.
It is not uncommon for an ‘episode’ or relapse to cause a lot of fallout. It can be tough to get back on track again, to regain confidence and to re-organise your life again.
Having the support or friends and family is crucial at this time to start to feel safe again and to rebuild your life. It has been shown that feeling a sense of community and having people around contributes to our sense of well-being and overall health in general.
If you have been in crisis, you will know the importance of being supported, and having people around who do not judge you. It is also important that you feel good about yourself and do not judge yourself either.
Here are some steps to take that may assist in difficult times:
Step 1 - Be kind to yourself. You’ve been through a lot and you need to honour that and recognise that you’ve come through it without beating yourself up.
Step 2 - Take it slowly. Take your time to re-establish your life again. There is no hurry and no pressure.
Step 3 - Ask for help from friends and family. Having people around who love and support you will be invaluable. It is not weakness to ask for help, it is strength. Through asking you allow others to have permission to be there for you. Sometimes friends and family don’t know what to say or do for the best, so when you tell them what you need they have a role that has been authorised.
Step 4 - Get some coping strategies. It is always a good idea to have some coping strategies in place. Meditation is good to help you stop in the midst of reaction and challenging situations and lets you take stock of what is happening. It gives you a space in your mind and time to breath into the feelings you may be experiencing. Counting to 10 and removing yourself from situations are also good self preservation tools.
Step 5 - Treat yourself well. Taking time to have massage, meet with friends, read a book or go for a walk are examples of being good to yourself. Do things that make you feel good and help to keep you relaxed and calm.
The key to surviving a crisis is your ability to allow others to help and to treat yourself well. Being isolated and beating yourself up will not be helpful to your healing. I urge you to make sure you have a good support system in place.