MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY with MASTER BUTTERWORTH
Dear Hapkido Family:
I never expected that my first Motivational Monday would be what is to follow. It was going to be about setting goals. As the world and our lives appear to be on pause I thought it more important to put on my Psychologist’s hat and share with you some suggestions which I have been receiving through my work.
Strategies to cope with stress, anxiety or distress
When many things feel uncertain or out of our control, one of the most effective ways we can manage stress and anxiety is to focus on the actions that are in our control. Here are some ways you can take intentional steps to look after your physical and emotional wellbeing during this challenging time:
Learn how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. The Australian Department of Health has recommended important actions we can all take to protect against infection and prevent the virus from spreading including: practicing good hygiene, self-isolating, and social (physical) distancing.
Acknowledge your feelings. Whatever you are feeling right now, know that it’s okay to feel that way. Allow yourself time to notice and express what you’re feeling. This could be through journalling, talking with others, or channeling your emotions into something creative (e.g., drawing, painting, poetry, music). Mindfulness or mediating can help us stay grounded in the midst of an emotional storm. You can learn how to witness and let thoughts and feelings come and go in their own time, without getting overwhelmed by them. This helps to settle and calm the body.
Practice Self-Care. To help encourage a positive frame of mind, it is important to look after yourself. Everybody practices self- care differently. Even if you’re in self-quarantine, or working from home, there are many ways to look after yourself. Examples can include:
• making time for activities and hobbies you enjoy such as your Hapkido. You can always practice your patterns, kicks and pole patterns at home by following along with the videos on the website.
• keeping up a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet. Remember to breathe- take slow, deep breaths to induce the calming response.
• exercising regularly, getting quality sleep and avoiding the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs to cope with stress
During this time of change, it’s natural for our minds to think of all the usual activities we may not be able to do at the moment. This is especially relevant to us as Hapkido students. Like me, I’m sure you all look forward to your weekly Hapkido training sessions. Make a conscious shift to focus on the activities we are still able to do, or those that we may have more opportunity to do if we’re at home more often. Some ideas could be to:
· Keep learning and maintaining your study
· Read a book
· Listen to a podcast
· Try out a new hobby or skill (e.g., cook a new recipe, play an instrument, learn a language, learn how to sew, gardening).
· Stay connected with others, so you’re not feeling socially isolated or lonely. Schedule a Hapkido workout together over a video chat with a fellow student.
Keep things in perspective. In a situation that’s uncertain, it’s natural to have many ‘what if?’ questions in our minds. In the absence of information, our anxious mind will often fill in the blanks with worst case scenarios, which can leave us feeling overwhelmed, helpless, or vulnerable. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to shift your thinking from catastrophizing to a more helpful mindset:
· What are the things within my control?
· Am I overestimating the likelihood of the worst-case scenario?
· What strategies have helped me cope with challenging situations in the past that will serve me well during this time?
· What is a small helpful or positive action that I can take now?
Wishing you all emotional, mental & spiritual peace, health and wellness.
We are all in this together and together we will come through it.