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Anxiety

You are not alone this Christmas

Christmas is a festive and joyful time for some, but unfortunately it can be a difficult and challenging time for others. Loved ones and carers may have unpleasant memories of previous Christmas seasons or they may feel surrounded by triggers such as alcohol and noise. Not everyone has a family or close friends to spend Christmas with and loneliness may be felt more strongly than usual. Carers have to deal not just with their own expectations and hopes for Christmas but also with their loved ones. If you are one of those carers, we understand that this can be stressful, so it’s important to be kind to yourself and look after yourself. Please remember that there are services out there still operating during the Christmas period and if it all gets too much, please call the Arafmi support line and we will welcome and support you. You are not alone. Here is a link to some available services in Brisbane over the Christmas period. 24 Hour Helpline If you have any questions about this article or need someone to talk to, you can call Arafmi any time of the day on 07 3254 1881. It’s comforting to know that when you

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Communication

We are moving

It’s true! After many moons in New Farm, Arafmi is off to a new home – albeit just around the corner. We’re a little sad, but very excited about moving to our new place. We wanted to share this news with you and answer any questions you may have.\ Where is it? Our new address will be 24 Chermside Street, Teneriffe. It’s not far from our current location, but here’s a map so you can check it out. Where can I park? |ur new premises has quite a lot of 9h carparks around us, as well as a couple right in front of the door. We may also be able to utilise some carparks at Kui down the road. Where’s the nearest bus stop? There are quite a few bus stops close to 24 Chermside Street. The closest one would be Harcourt Street (Stop ID 010351), at Hough Lane Teneriffe. For TransLink Public Transport options visit TransLink website or Call 13 12 30, 24 hours a day. Will the workshops still be inhouse? Yes, our workshops will continue to be held within our offices, it just means you’ll travel to 24 Chermside Street, Newstead. When are you moving? Our moving

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Anxiety

Imrana’s Carer Story

At our recent Mental Health Carer Retreat, one of our carers penned this letter to us and we were so moved, we asked her if we could share it on our website. She has very kindly given us permission, so we have shared it with you below. “To whom it may concern, On our road to recovery from unimaginable trauma and tragedy, we came across, or rather had the privilege of being introduced to Arafmi. My three beautiful children had suffered at the hands of a toxic tyrant who almost got away with murder – in some ways he did actually as we lost the will to live. I reached out in frantic desperation and sent out a multitude of emails to various organisations, crying for help. I did the best I could but my children required specialised support. Arafmi held my hand on this journey to help me recover and are still doing so. Carers and their loved ones, at times of crisis, rely heavily on organisations like Arafmi. The support workers provide a safe, loving environment allowing carers to be human again. The gravity of my stress levels hit me hardest during, ironically, a meditation session organised by

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Anxiety

RUOK?

This Thursday is RUOK Day and we want you to take a minute to consider whether someone you know might be struggling. Sometimes we get a gut instinct that something isn’t quite right with a friend, loved one or colleague. Don’t stay silent. Reach out and ask them if they’re okay. RUOK have shared a video that explains it best. As carers our lives can become all about the people we support and sometimes we can develop a mental health illness ourselves. When this occurs we can tend to lose interest in things that we would normally enjoy. Our usual happy demeanor may slip and we could find ourselves withdrawing from our normal activities. However, it might be you that’s noticing changes in your friend’s behaviour – suddenly your reliable gym buddy doesn’t show up on the usual day, or the person who calls you religiously to chat about life, just stops calling. These might be signs that your friend is struggling. If you’re worried, we would encourage you to  call your friend and see how they’re going. That one gesture of kindness could make all the difference for someone who is suffering in silence. As the RUOK website notes,

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Narelles Carer Story
Anxiety

Narelle’s Carer Story

We are regularly calling for our carers to share their story with us and where we can, we like to share them with you. Below are the words from one of our carers who has bravely shared their journey with us. We respectfully and gratefully pass it on to you. “When I really think about my life, I have always been a ‘carer’. From a tiny tot when I use to save stranded cats, to a teenager sticking up for the kids being bullied, to as an adult working with people with physical and intellectual disabilities, to now being my 40-year-old son’s unpaid carer, which started when he became unwell at 25. I tell people, that I should be fitter than I am, as I do a lot of dancing – two steps forward, 1 step back, as I have travelled this mental health road with my son. Nothing prepared me for this, and all I had going for me, was my love for my son, and my spiritual belief. Hope is steadfast in my daily life, without it I may have given up, and I know hope is what keeps my son from giving up. I am amazed at

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10 Things To Remember
Anxiety

10 Things To Remember When Communicating With People Who Have A Mental Illness

Communication is a two-way street. It involves a sender (the person speaking), a receiver (the person listening) and the message (what you’re trying to say). When communicating with our loved ones who have a mental illness, it’s imperative that we show empathy and understanding to their needs. Communication is key in interacting with someone with a mental illness and if we demonstrate a lack of empathy, then we risk isolating them or hurting their feelings. To ensure this doesn’t happen, we have put together the following 10 tips that will be a start for you to improve communications with your loved one. 1. Use short, clear direct sentences Long, involved explanations are difficult for people with mental illness to handle. If it goes on too long, they will tune you out. 2. Set boundaries Set limits with the person, as you would with anybody. “I only have five minutes to talk to you”, or “If you scream, I will not be able to talk to you”. 3. Keep it simple Cover only one topic at a time. One direction at a time. Simplicity is key. 4. Know when to back off If the person is becoming agitated, it’s best to

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Emotionally Resilient
Anxiety

8 Traits That All Emotionally Resilient People Share

Emotional resilience can be defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity, the ability to calm your mind during or after a negative situation. People who demonstrate a high degree of emotional resilience are able to cope with stresses (minor or major), in a calm and effective manner. Much like other aspects of our persona like IQ, social intelligence and emotional intelligence – emotional resilience is something we are all born with and continues to develop as we grow. However, some of us are more resilient than others. Thankfully, it’s a trait that can be further developed and learned with conscious practice and awareness. As carers, it would benefit us to develop our own emotional resilience. Not sure what that looks like? No problem – all emotionally resilient people share the following eight traits. Have a read and see how you fare. 1. Emotional awareness If you’re aware of how you’re feeling and why, then you are emotionally aware. You also have the ability to understand how others feel because your awareness. 2. Perseverance Perseverance is never giving up in pursuit of your goals. People who have grit and persevere with achieving their objectives tend to be more resilient.

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Gardening and Depression
Anxiety

How Gardening Can Beat Depression

As we care for our loved ones who suffer mental health illness, we can at times fall into depression or suffer anxiety ourselves. Self-care, whilst important for everyone, is especially so for those of us who are carers for others. Unlike paid roles there are no ‘set’ hours, no holidays, no real downtime. So we are perfectly placed to occasionally become depressed or suffer anxiety. Gardening: A Cure For Depression? There has been much written about the steps you can take to help with depression, including various activities that help alleviate the symptoms. Exercise, limiting alcohol intake, surrounding yourself with friends and family to name a few. But have you considered gardening? Yes, getting your hands dirty in the garden can sometimes be the secret to lifting yourself from the darkness of depression according to a recent study. This study found that gardening and horticultural therapy decreases stress, anger, fatigue, and depression and anxiety symptoms. How Does It Help? Gardening helps with mindfulness which is the practice of being aware of the present moment without judgment. For a moment it’s just you and the garden. Your mind is focused solely on this task and it’s a perfect opportunity for mindfulness.

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Anxiety

How Your 5 Senses Can Help When Anxiety Strikes

As a carer you may become annoyed when anxiety strikes. “I don’t have time to have an anxiety attack right now”, “of COURSE this has to happen now, I’m meant to be doing something for my loved one” or “I am so sick of these anxious moments, I wish they would just go away”. When anxiety pays us a visit, it brings with it a sense of doom. Our hearts race, our minds get busy concocting all different awful scenarios, our breathing becomes shallow and we can sometimes feel light-headed. Suffering anxiety is not fun. If you suffer anxiety, you know this to be true. Whatever the trigger may be, we suddenly find ourselves cocooned in a storm of feelings that nobody else can see. Whether you’re at work at your desk, or frozen at the kitchen sink, or standing at a set of lights – your stillness contradicts everything that is going on within your mind at that moment. What To Do The fabulous world of the internet shows us that there are a multitude of ways to deal with anxiety. But for us, we wanted to share with you an activity that involves using your five senses and

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Coping Skills

Looking For An Effective Stress Busting Technique? Try Tension & Trauma Release Exercise ‘TRE’

Have you ever felt THAT stressed or strung out that you can feel the tension trying to leave your body? You know what I mean – that feeling of wanting to lash out or move your body in some way? Well that feeling actually harks back to a natural response to stress or trauma where we would involuntarily tremble and shake when faced with a stressful or traumatic situation. In the animal kingdom, animals shake instinctively to release tension after a life threatening event. Unfortunately, over time we have overridden this natural response with our cultural norms to it still and stay in control of ourselves. This has left us with no natural way to rid ourselves of the internal pressure we feel. But all is not lost. Thanks to Dr David Berceli, he has created and introduced the world to a stress-busting technique called Tension & Trauma Release Exercise (TRE). What is TRE? TRE is a set of deliberate trembling and shaking exercises and is perfect for those of us who don’t want to talk about our issues yet, but want to feel better. What are the benefits of TRE? TRE: helps people sleep better; reduces lower back, shoulder

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Arafmi would like to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s First People and Traditional Custodians. We value their cultures, identities, and continuing connection to country, waters, kin and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and are committed to making a positive contribution to the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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