2013 has been a funny old year and not just for me. There have been highs and lows, good times and not so good times, times of laughter and times for tears. Babies have been born, a friend got married and friends have passed away. The circle of life all in one year. By Christmas I hoped that the worst was over but my elderly dad was admitted to hospital the day after Boxing Day and I’ve had more bad news which isn’t mine to share but it has really affected me. It was all beginning to get to me but looking through my pictures I came across this oneI’d downloaded from Facebook some months ago. This reminded me that I’d been through times like this before and it was true; I’d not only survived I’d come out of it stronger and I’m sure many who might read this blog will have found the same. But sometimes it’s good to find new ways of coping as well as reminding yourself of the old tried and tested stratergies.
I know many people, especially those of a certain generation who are very sceptical of Facebook. Personally I love it. I’ve made new friends and although I haven’t met them and possibly never will, the support I’ve had from them when I’ve been going through a bad or stressful time has been amazing. Whether it’s been advice or their best wishes it’s helped me feel better and to know that I’m not the only one who has been or is going through it. The Lupus group for example really helped me when my son was in hospital as they know what it’s like when things go wrong. It was also particularly helpful when I was studying for my exams as the members of the Open University Facebook group for the course I was doing shared lots of tips and advice and when you’re doing all your studying on-line this type of support is invaluable. Thanks guys I owe you big time!
Another aspect of being on Facebook that I love is all the pictures with quotes and sayings that are shared by people, as anyone who has been following my blog will know! Quite a lot of my blogs have been inspired by a picture I’ve seen on Facebook and this one is no exception. This picture was shared by the Ripple Kindness Project on the day I heard that my dad had been admitted to hospital and at the same time as I’d found out that a relative of someone close to me had passed away on Christmas day. I felt a wave of despondency fall on me at this news. It didn’t help that I was still in pain from a fall I’d had before Christmas which was making me feel low anyway. But this simple advice has and is helped me to know that I can cope if I follow these steps.
Relax- easier said than done I know! But if we’re in a state how can we help anyone or be of any use. I know that in the past I’ve wasted too much worrying instead of simply getting on with things. Worrying is a waste of energy and never achieves anything in my experience.
Breathe-taking a few deep breaths really does help to relax you and calm the mind. I also interpret this as taking a break and doing something that you that enjoy or that helps you to relax. If you’re in a situation where you’re needed to help and /or support someone, you’ll be no use to them if you end up making yourself ill or burned out.
Do your best-again, easy to say, but it’s so true. We can’t do anymore than this. Off course we can always do better but in my view the way to improve is by doing the best that you can at the moment. Worrying that this is all you can do at this point in time is again a waste of energy and in my experience doesn’t help when you’re in the middle of something.
Be patient-many of life’s trials and tribulations take time to be resolved. There is no magic wand or time machine that we can use to make things improve faster. Personally I find this one the hardest to follow, especially if someone dear to me is in pain. If you break a leg or arm, it needs time to heal properly and if you try to use it too soon you risk making it worse or permanently damaged. It’s the same with emotional pain. Try to hurry through it and you will only risk either being left emotionally crippled or running the risk of it rearing it’s ugly head again sometime in the future.
I’m not writing this as someone who’s got it all sorted, far from it. I’m a work in progress and each time life sends me a curve ball I have to dig deep to find the resources I need to help me cope. That’s why I love it when other people share these quotes and life lessons.
2014 is nearly upon us and I’m certainly hoping for a Happy New Year. But if it’s not I know that I can cope with whatever it brings as long as I remember the lessons I’ve learned from previous years. We can only do our best and if we can accept that it will free us up to cope with whatever we’re facing. But life isn’t all doom and gloom and it’s also important that we make the most of the good times.
Pictures courtesy of:-
Cogges pigs Isabel Johnstone ©