On 22 June 2016, 22 people attended the 5th Portsmouth Trialogue meeting. Of these, 16 identified themselves as having lived experience, 4 as carers, 8 as professionals, and 1 as interested public.
Opening question: How do we foster self-care, self-worth and self-compassion in ourselves?
Do something meaningful that is important to you.
Stick up for yourself
This seems simple but is really hard when you’re in a bad place psychologically speaking
It is easy to feel guilty for putting yourself first
It is quite hard to say no to something you don’t want to do.
Feels like a waste of money to buy yourself something
Practice being more selfish – but not in a selfish way!
On a bad day it goes out the window
Once it’s gone (mental distress) self care is easier
Be as kind to yourself as you are to others
Being ‘selfish’ is necessary but has lots of negative connotations
Speak to yourself kindly
We judge ourselves – often harshly
Nice to be in groups where nobody really judges you.
Peer group – we’re in the same boat really
No false or unreasonable expectations put on you in those sot of environments
Try not to criticise yourself
Lists really help – to prioritise
This helps check facts too eg. Timeline – there is time no need to worry now…
Think of 3 things you’re proud of
Lists – can also be a stick to beat you with
The expectations of others can be crippling
Rise above and beat them
Can be motivating too
Who am I journal, write as many things as possible that are positive
Bad days = I can be, good days = I can
Language changes when we feel different, with our moods
Few models in society regarding how to be good to oneself.
How do we learn to do this stuff?
It is looked down on compared to ‘legitimate’ subjects eg maths in school
Those who haven’t been on an inner journey have no vocabulary for it.
Self-respect – accept ourselves just where we are at
It is ok not to be ok
Allowing ourselves to feel
Being a bloke makes emotions very hard too
Talk to yourself in a mirror – positive affirmations
We don’t necessarily learn how to care for ourselves in our families
In Finland they teach wellbeing
UK – not so ok to talk about feelings
Get a job etc, but how do we do this if we’re not ok?
Vanity – don’t look in the mirror some are told, we can be filled with self-loathing but learning to look in the mirror and see yourself positively is important.
It is quite a difficult journey
Not so much physical appearance that matters but what’s inside that counts
Who you are might be portrayed to other people
Are we allowed to feel good about ourselves?
Mirrors therapy – new age, bits and bobs of other therapies like affirmations is helpful. Is it eye contact with yourself that helps actually.
How we interact as humans is interesting – like chemical reactions, we might see 5 different counsellors but only one of them works for us.
Surround yourself with people who are good for us and find strength to remove toxic ones.
Sometimes expectations are very negative, always we are given the complaints policy when in healthcare, never the compliments policy!
Sets an expectation of negative care.
Positive feedback can have a massive positive impact on your day
Friday the 13th, if looking for disaster likely that disasters will happen
Reframing – so initial thoughts can be changed for something more positive
We believe negative stuff straight away, we have to say or hear something 10 times to hear it when it’s positive
Self- development courses need to be dropped into schools. Even 2 days could have a massive impact
Depression seems to be rigid thinking and negative expectations
Children generally love themselves, how do we lose this?
Responsibilities take over your life and you forget your inner child that needs to play
Go on the swings if you want to!
Not worrying what other think about you is helpful
Doing something a bit out of the ordinary
We’re like sweets, all look different but the same in so many ways
Lot of negative things said to you as children is unhelpful
‘you’ll never make it’ ‘ you’re only a girl’ etc..
You grow up feeling worthless and it takes a lot to fight back
Watching others and comparing is not always helpful
So much is measured, hard to be a child.
Why do we judge vanity as bad?
Media suggests we should all have the ideal chocolate box life
Believing others can cause depression, means we are over affected by their expectations
Bullying can be devastating
It’s about how we bounce back
Resilience, if I get in this situation again how will I manage it?
Bad things still happen but how do we get in more positive places to deal with it? We can do this better if we’ve been there before
Self-worth etc is preferred. Resilience is being used as blaming for some for not be resilient – not currently being used positively as a word.
Conformity – unspoken expectations, we are expected to conform
Need to be ourselves – we don’t always conform
Getting in touch with ourselves, maybe this is important
What have we all done that has helped us to deal with these issues?
What strategies could we use to help foster self-care and what tips could we share to educate others to understand and accept us?
Diagnosis is used to make use conform.
Imagine yourself when you are 80 and you’ve lived the life you wanted to lead then write yourself a letter.
Toolbox for self-compassion
Recovery college – mindfulness, ACT etc
Moisturiser on your hand, smell it, rub it in slowly and massage a bit, this really feels like a self-compassion exercise.
The Artists Way – recovering your inner creativity.
Book a 2 hour slot in your diary to play
It is often difficult to protect the time.
Self-sabotage can be physical not just psychological
Why save for best? Do it now!!
Be your own visitor, you matter
‘When I……I’ll be happy’ – why wait do it now
Taking time to smell the roses
Creativity is harder when very unwell
Setting goals can be a stick to beat yourself with
Do it as it comes, go with the flow
Find people who can allow you to be honest so you can say when you need help
To explain to neighbours what it is that might indicate that you need help
Back up team , like a WRAP
Do something different to distract
Anger can be a positive not only a negative
It doesn’t’ have to be destructive
Bonfire is a good metaphor for anger and out of control emotions
In this culture anger, in others fiery
It is an honest emotion, we should be able to express how we feel
It’s ok to feel
Resilience is politically charged as a notion
Pro-resilience training to toughen people up to unreasonable change
True resilience is about learning how to deal with emotions
Conformity – everyone seems quite placid these days
Being told what to think or believe is unacceptable, even stops people getting jobs.
Sometimes we are pressured to behave the way the therapist wants us to. Taking the point of what the therapist is saying but then doing it your own way is important
Convention is not good for everyone, we need to test out boundaries to find out who we are
Finding our true paths is the way forward as long as we’re not breaking the lay or hurting others
Doing it for you – therapy – do it for you
Being told you can’t do it can be motivating for some
Living your own values believe in yourself means you can sleep at night
It is ok to disagree on things
Social values evolve and these have a ripple effect, we all have the right to have our own opinion
MH problems are still seen as something people don’t think is real – that is their choice to think that
Everything is neutral until we attach a value to it.
If we adopt a value we come hostage to the emotions connected to it.
Respectful curiosity is helpful in understanding difference regarding MH
We do grow and develop over time
Given we talk about MH practitioners – there is a great challenge for people in talking to professionals
What strategies could we develop to help us deal with the barriers between us and professionals?
These people have often formed an opinion of us already
We need to empower ourselves
Going beyond the labels, they aren’t us.
We all suffer from labels – roles are also full of stereotypes.
The theme agreed for the next Trialogue meeting is: What strategies could we develop to help us deal with the barriers between patient and professionals?