Libraries and Pondering the Future

Finally registered with the local library and got my first book out: ‘Confessions of a Male Nurse’. I’m looking forward to it greatly, especially as I suspect more and more that my future lies in healthcare. ‘Allsorts’ looks intrigued, too… 😉 It’s been a while since I’ve had the concentration to sit and read, and… Continue reading Libraries and Pondering the Future

Small Acts of Kindness

As part of an Occupational Therapy group at my placement we are doing a topic on ‘care’; a member of our group suggested that we make notes to leave in books at the library and what a lovely idea that is! So today I’ve gotten really in to finding some nice messages and making some little cards up to put in there on Monday.

I’ve always loved the idea of doing something like this, thinking that you never know what little thing might brighten someone’s day. And who knows, maybe it will trigger a whole chain of small acts of kindness?

Dishing out advice is so much easier than following it…

As someone who yesterday wrote this: Today I’ve struggled not to dissolve in to tears about the mess of a person I am and the mess of a year I’ve just had. Whether it was comparisons with others (the achievements and lives of my friends, people I went to school with, people I’ve been in… Continue reading Dishing out advice is so much easier than following it…

Love to All on a Tricky ‘Holiday’ #NewYearsEve

Sending love out there to everyone, no matter what this evening means to you. Struggling with tonight is not a sign of weakness. Not having fond memories or proud ‘achievements’ from 2018 isn’t a sign of failure. Today and tomorrow are days like any other; if ‘all’ you do is survive them, that is amazing.… Continue reading Love to All on a Tricky ‘Holiday’ #NewYearsEve

Week-i-versary

So, I’ve been at my new placement a week. It kind of feels like forever in both good and bad ways…I’ve met some really lovely fellow patients who I enjoy spending time with and some nice staff who seem to genuinely care but it has also felt a little claustrophobic at times with some big… Continue reading Week-i-versary

Help with Emotions

Emotions are tricky little buggers. They really are.

And for some of us they feel down right impossible to cope with, understand, recognise and even simply to have. I struggle in many ways with emotions…others’ but mainly my own. I also give myself a hard time about that fact and expect myself to ‘do better’ or ‘feel the right thing’. Knowing this, and knowing that I’m facing a particularly turbulent time*, last week the crisis team manager had me do an exercise where I stood in the middle of a room surrounded by different sized pieces of paper and alotted emotions to those pieces of paper according to how much I was feeling them at the time. We then went through several different scenarios and changed the emotions around accordingly. This was to show me that even if I was being hard on myself and expecting to feel the ‘right’ emotions (e.g. happy or relieved that the placement is definite rather than scared or anxious) or feeling that I would feel one emotion forever, in fact recent history shows that emotions fluctuate massively in their presence or size and that I can feel many things at once without invalidating anything else that’s going on.

I found the exercise incredibly helpful (although it felt quite painful at the time) and today decided to recreate it in a portable and reusable form. I already have benefited from this – working out what is actually going on inside me rather than just a broad ‘overwhelmed’- and thought it’s a concept worth sharing in case anyone else wants to give something similar a go in any of its forms.

So here is a concept borne of the crisis team manager’s work with me:

This is in my visual journal but could be on a standalone piece of card or inside a diary or something similar, with very basic boxes drawn on the page, and colour-coded emotions cut out in card and blue-tacked to the appropriate box at that moment in time.

Let me know if you’ve used something similar or gave this a go!

*in the latter stages of preparing for a long-term specialist hospital placement, hours away from home/family/care team, in a locked and mainly unknown environment, after my last placement collapsed for financial reasons with just 28 days notice and after not fulfilling their promises/purpose

Small Gestures Save Lives

Today I woke up to the crisis team manager calling me as she walked in to a meeting “just because she had 2 mins & knew I was having the toughest time atm so wanted me to know that I’m not alone, she & her team are still in my corner, & she thought I… Continue reading Small Gestures Save Lives