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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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Five Senses Image scaled
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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Are you all shook up Blog Feature Image 1
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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personally preferred comms scaled
Communication

Personally Preferred Ways Of Communicating – The 5 T’s

Did you know that there are five main ways of relating to other people? Here at Arafmi Ltd, we call them the “5 T’s”. Briefly, they can be described in the following way: Talk: you like to express yourself with words. Task: doing things for other people is how you communicate. Time: spending time with people is how you relate to others. Touch: a tactile person will convey their message through touch. Things: giving of objects or gifts is another way to relate to others. Similar to the five love languages, these describe ways in which we prefer to communicate and relate with others. Whilst we use all of these ways to convey a message, we do tend to favour only one or two. Similarly, others also tend to favour one or two of these styles. Generally we like to give care and concern in the same way we prefer to receive it. Let’s take a mother for example. This mother may show her love for her family by completing tasks – lots and lots of tasks. Making the kids lunches, cooking dinner, doing the laundry etc. She would love it if her family, without being asked, did little tasks

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Self care image
Coping Skills

No-One Can Pour From An Empty Cup: 5 Ways Carers Can Care For Themselves

If you’ve ever been on a plane, you’ll know that there’s a moment before take-off where the flight attendants take you through the safety message. It is made clear that when those oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, you are to put on your own mask before helping your dependants with their masks. Why? Because there’s no point trying to help someone else when you haven’t got access to oxygen yourself. Being a part or full-time carer is the same thing. You need to ensure that you are taking care of yourself before you can be of any use to others. But how do you do this? All too often we get caught up in the day to day running of life for our loved one and it seems easier to put our needs at the bottom of the list. Time, energy and motivation are used as excuses for not doing anything for ourselves. No-one can pour from an empty cup, so we’ve put together five ways you can start taking care of yourself and including yourself in the picture:   1. Schedule Time In For Yourself We can see you rolling your eyes already, but we’re serious. Put it

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Five Ways To Say No Arafmi Mental Health Carers Feature
Coping Skills

5 Ways To Say No

In our Mental Health Carer Workshop “The Power of Personal Boundaries”, we discuss a very important topic, the power of saying ‘no’. This one small word can pack quite a punch and understandably, we sometimes find it difficult to utter this word. Too often we feel like we have to say ‘yes’ and end up over-committed, stressed and resentful. And many times this is a direct result of never being taught how to hone this very handy skill. Saying ‘no’ is definitely a skill worth learning and practising. It’s worth noting that often times when we say yes to other people, we’re saying no to ourselves. But why and to what end? While it can seem easier to say yes, this can sometimes be not only unfair to ourselves, but to the other person. Your time is important and respecting yourself sometimes will mean you have to say no. Putting yourself first is not something to feel guilty about; it’s merely a matter of learning the skills and practising it. If you remain unconvinced, how about thinking of your ‘yeses’ as a commodity? Your yes should mean something – it should be special and the less you give them out,

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7 Carer Coping Skills and Planning tips for the Festive Season web 2
Coping Skills

7 Carer Coping Skills and Planning tips for the Festive Season

Christmas is a challenging time for Carers, for many it can be overwhelming, stressful with mixed emotions such as anxiety, love and sadness. Some family members that you don’t often see until Christmas time may find it difficult to understand the complexities of a mental illness, which could lead to loved ones feeling rejected. What’s important is that your loved one is reassured that their mental illness is not their fault, it’s not who they are and not a sign of personal weakness and, particularly in at this festive time to be themselves and have fun. Talk to those friends and family who want to be understanding and compassionate and share the following with them, it will be useful for you too. How to cope with difficult behaviour Don’t try to defend yourself It is better not to force decisions When responding, use “I” statements Acknowledge their experience as being real for them Be respectful and avoid confrontations When they are in pain, they may want to hurt others as much as they are hurting Try to discontinue the discussion without damaging the person’s self-esteem Carers often respond to requests for help from the person they care for by instinctively

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Life without respite web
NDIS

Life Without Respite

Last week Arafmi Ltd attended the 2nd NDIS Mental Health Conference, our CEO was invited to speak at the Lived Experience workshops alongside Tania Curlis and Amaya Alvarez from Tandem. He chose to speak about ‘Life Without Respite’ and understanding the struggle to access respite services and its impact upon carers and their families. Unfortunately, this topic is becoming more and more popular due to the shortcomings of NDIS, we feel strongly about sharing this abstract. Last year, I brought to the conference a presentation that invited the audience to contemplate what it would mean to have no mental health respite services. In Queensland with the federal Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR:CS) funding being rolled into the NDIS and little remaining state funding for mental health respite, life without respite is becoming a reality for some people with mental illness and their carers. Arafmi Ltd has been supporting mental health carers for over 40 years. We currently have five respite houses for people with mental illness across South East Queensland. These houses provide people with a mental illness a friendly and supportive environment where they can take a break from daily life stressors and participate in a range of

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