29 October 2008

How to keep your spirit strong?

1. Look outward rather than inward. Can you help others through your own experiences?
2. Consider how you can use a bad situation to better yourself.
3. See life experiences as leading to personal development.
4. Try to think positively. Always keep in mind: this is another phase, better things are around the corner, life will improve.
5. Reward yourself for small gains.
6. Keep a sense of humor.
7. Maintain a perspective: look at the whole picture rather than the hiccups.
8. Find out from others who have had similar experiences – or from experts – what effects you are likely to experience and what is “normal” on these circumstances.
9. Redefine your notions of what it means to “cope” – coping or having strength does not indicate an absence of emotion.
10. Allow yourself to accept help, to be nurtured.
11. Create a list of resources – people, places, things, activities – that have the capacity to enhance your sense of wellbeing when you’re feeling distressed.
12. Continue to do simple appropriate things that remind you of your own strength and competence – once the immediate crisis has passed, set yourself achievable daily goals.
13. Allow yourself to discover your own rhythm of contact and withdrawal from distress or grief. “ Stay with” the experience for as long as seems right for you, then distract yourself with some physical activity.
14. Get plenty of rest, take gentle exercise and eat simple, nutritious, easily digested food.
15. Focus on the source of your “self”/energy/healing peace through meditation, prayer, music, scenery, message, activity or aromatherapy.
16. Take time out from newspapers or listening to miserable or horrific news stories.
17. Surround yourself with beauty.
18. Don’t allow others to impose their ideas/cures/beliefs if they don’t meet your needs – choose your own path to recovery.
19. Engage the help of an advocate – someone who knows you well enough to be assertive on your behalf when your emotional and physical energy is depleted.
20. Where possible, make the experience work for you – use your anger, indignation, fear or sadness to write a book, take risks, eliminate unnecessary baggage in your life.

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