Sharing some personal thoughts this morning.
This morning 8am and it’s Writers’ hour with the London Writers Salon. It’s what I do every weekday morning at this time, then sometimes again at their 1pm and 4pm sessions where I can write in community in a sacred space with other writers worldwide.
It’s the first day back after the Christmas holiday and whilst I have lots to do; catching up with my students taking courses with me to arrange sessions for this week, catching up with my Virtual Assistant, Jane with where we need to be with the diagrams for my latest book and planning the writing of the pre-school parents course for download, research for my novel and a few other admin tasks, I actually feel full of uncertainty.
This is not a usual state for me as I tend to be an enthusiastic worker , always keen to get on with what I have to do but todayI am full of uncertainty. I am very aware of children going back to school or not going back, are they, aren’t they? My son has just jumped in the car and is off to work as a photographer but will he still have a job, will he be furloughed again, what will happen? I have a number of teen clients who have really been suffering over recent months, they want and need to see their friends but will they have to endure another full lockdown with all the uncertainty about relationships and with parents 24/7 with whom they can’t share their fears as they doubt we old folk will understand.
Where before Covid, I was seeing clients weekly and maybe getting an update from parents occasionally, now it’s more of a hand-holding situation with clients on WhatsApp in full-on panic, tears and in need of emergency tapping. I’m introducing them to essential oils and meditation alongside EFT Tapping so they can hold onto some sense of control in all this uncertainty. I’m sending them links to specific relevant meditations and advising on which oils to use during the day for focus, calm, grounding or uplifting.
Sleep and eating problems are emerging and although I’m not a nutritionist, my daughter is and I know the basics of giving your body love through feeding it what it needs rather than stodge and fast foods. Most are struggling to sleep and the oils and meditations help there.
Many don’t have access to nature for walking and don’t want to go out alone, they don’t have friends who live nearby and don’t want to walk with their family so they are cooped up, trapped.
We are all filled with uncertainty and fear perhaps that even the politicians and scientists don’t know for certain about what will happen. What we all want to know is when will this end, when will we get back to ‘normal’ and fear that this is going to be a very long time and may not be any sort of normal we know from a year or so ago.
So how can we support each other? How can we support ourselves.
We can look at what is certain. What do we know for sure?
Focus on these things so that there are more things we know are certain than the list of things we are unsure of.
- Look in the mirror, you are certain, you look the same i expect. Look at your loved ones even if it’s over WhatsApp or zoom.
- Do a Body Scan meditation and check in with every part of your body, thanking it for being there to support you, be grateful for your feet, legs, back, arms and head. Be grateful for every sense; sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch.
- Practise mindfulness, taking time to do something you nromally do as routine and savour every moment of it.
- Walk in nature and take in the certainty of nature, how regardless of whatever is going on in the world, the trees and plants continue to do what they do and be there for us.
- We have time perhaps to learn something new, read books, write letters, emails, poems, memoirs. Keeping our mind alert and savouring our creativity through the written word enables us to feel productive and grateful for this time of quiet and an inner focus.
- Cooking, baking and making the most of the food we already have in our cupboards, using the recipes we can find online or in our books creates a space of certainty too. We need to eat and making it an enjoyable process which we can share with our family knowing we are keeping them healthy, is a great way to help us too.
- There are countless classes online so maybe find something you would love to do but can’t. Loads of my friends are missing dancing yet there is music on our phones, speakers and easily accessible. There are plenty of youtube Zumba classes and dance classes. You know for certain you can sing and dance and it will uplift you in these times.
- What else is certain? We all have friends we haven’t seen through this pandemic, friends we’d like to catch up with physically but can’t. Maybe we have seen them online but how about writing them a letter, find an old photo of the two of you together and share what you used to enjoy. The postal service is certain. Writing is certain and remember how great it felt to receive a letter? Buy some nice paper and get writing.
- Sleep is certain or at least the night-time is. We need our sleep in order to stay healthy and resist infection. Sleep is when our organs rest and grow, rebuild and repair. If sleep eludes you, try some of the sleep meditations online, use EFT tapping (get in touch if you’re not sure how to do it) and use deep breathing to settle the busy mind.
- Lastly, for you personally, think about what is certain in your life and every day practise gratefulness. You can get lovely 5 minute gratefulness journals to record a few things every day that you are grateful for, things that are certain. Maybe you’re grateful for the love of your children, your partner, your mum or dad, a close friend, your child’s teacher. Think about being grateful for your own resourcefulness and resilience.
Remember that you are doing a great job. Be kind and gentle to yourself. These are difficult times but when we focus on the difficult parts, the uncertainty, that’s what we will notice most and it will get us down. Focus instead on all that is certain.
Judy Bartkowiak is a family therapist working online with children, teens and parents. She trains the NLP & EFT Kids Practitioner Course online as well as courses for parents and children in confidence, resilience and managing emotions such as anxiety, depression, anger and low self-esteem. Get in touch.
Understanding children and teens - a practical guide for parents, teachers and coaches
A signed copy of Judy's new book with shipping included.
Understanding Children and Teens shows the reader how to use Neuro Linguistic Programming, Emotional Freedom Technique, and Art Therapy in order to connect with children and teens to help them conquer their problems. With clear explanations, examples, and easy-to-follow exercises, this book will enable those who care for children to gain valuable insight into their world, and to understand what they are thinking and feeling. It will give children the means to believe in themselves with unconditional love and acceptance, empowering them to achieve all they wish for in life.
This practical guide is aimed at parents, teachers, coaches, and everyone who works with children and teens and is informed by the author's experiences of working with this group over the last 30 years.
Judy Bartkowiak is an NLP trainer and coach as well as an EFT trainer and coach who specialises in working with children and teens. Before becoming a therapist, she worked in children's market research. She has written extensively on NLP. This is her first title for Free Association Books.
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