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Switching what we focus on and lighting the candles of hope for ourselves and each other

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Most of us by now maybe finding the whole COVID19 situation has been going on a long time. We may recognise the need for the health and economy of the nation that infection rates are brought under control. However, we may also be struggling with the restrictions which we find are necessary for this to happen. 

This balance of safety and maintaining a sense of wellbeing not only for ourselves but for everyone, can for some of us be a challenge. Our normal routines of holidaying, visiting family, going for an evening out and more we may find is disrupted and we may not like that.

In addition, we may also find in watching the news we are made aware of many other things which perhaps cause us anxiety. Climate change including the damage plastics is doing the ocean, fear for jobs and what the future may bring around opportunities for children and young people. If we focus on all of that for too long, we can find we end up tumbling down the rabbit hole and finding it exceedingly difficult to get back out again. 

Natural anxieties and fears come to the surface maybe even with an undertone of where is the point, and feelings of helpless and hopelessness. As ever, if you find you are feeling this is becoming too much, do talk to someone as people do care. 

The whit's happening info mags on the website have a helpline section as well as many other resources, you are not alone. If you need to speak to someone now, phone the Samaritans Tel: 116 123.

The danger when we focus on all that is wrong, and yes there are things which are happening which do cause concern. BUT, when we focus only on the things which cause us concern, not only does it drain our energy to look for solutions, BUT, even when a solution, or, an opportunity presents itself, we may not see it, or, bother taking it as we don't think it will make a difference.

While this workbook alone will not solve the problems of the world, that will take a concerted effort by individuals, families, communities, cities, local government, national government, business and the other people and nations of the world to find new ways to work together. It may offer some useful tips on how to refocus the filter we look at the world through. To recognise yes there are challenges but what can we do in the roles we have to be part of the solution? Every choice of purchase made which avoids single-use plastic helps take some plastic out of circulation. 

Every smile, or, wellbeing tip shared with a neighbour, friend, or family members helps push back the overwhelming anxieties the COVID19 pandemic is causing. We. every single one of us, can make a difference, and plan a vision of a better tomorrow, while we take steps towards building that better tomorrow, today.

If we find through our mind is drifting more than we would like to on the problems, then this wee workbook may help you find a way to refocus towards solutions, or, finding ways the problems have a reduced impact on you and the people you care about.

There is a lot of content within the booklet and this does not have to be completed in a single session. Please take the time you need and use this at a pace which feels comfortable for you. If you have never used a workbook for self-management before, here are some tips you may find helpful:

  • 1.Do it because it matters to you and you think it will offer some value to your life.
  • 2.Decide where and when you can have time to work through the materials so you can give it your full attention.
  • 3.Decide if you need a self-management buddy or sounding board you can run ideas by. This does not need to be a therapist, although it could be. It could also be a trusted and supportive family member, friend, or, the peer can be a buddy.
  • 4.Maybe invest in a notebook to jot down ideas and thoughts you have while doing the workbook, or in response to areas of the workbook which invite you to reflect. Or, if you have the resources to do so and would find it more helpful, record your thoughts to listen back to them later
  • 5.Before you start each session using the workbook, perhaps visit the 3-minute relaxation video on www.cope-scotland.org or use some other techniques which help bring you into the moment, to give the workbook your attention.
  • 6.Don't force it. If you find some sections are a struggle, leave them or come back another day.
  • 7.The workbook itself offers some ideas to consider, some space to reflect, some tips to consider and invitations for you to decide what action you plan to take and when.

We all have a filter we look at the world through. We are not saying this workbook alone, will hold all the answers, however, you may find it helps you suffer a wee bit less, or even feel a wee bit better and that in itself can help begin to encourage us all to look for reasons to smile and appreciate the world and each other, they are still there. People care, I care

'' "It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness" is often attributed as a Chinese proverb meaning better to do something about a problem than just complain about it. Further, a candle is a small answer to a large problem, but it is still a worthy step in the right direction, rather than just bemoaning the problem (of darkness)''

Gambling Harms Champions
Whit’s happening issue 10

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