When facilitating groups over many years, I have often taken a ball of wool, asked participants to wrap a small amount around their finger (not too tight!) and throw it to another participant to do the same. Once all participants have a piece of wool around their fingers, I ask them to take one step back to which I hear a lot of ‘ahh’ and ‘oo’. I then highlight the fact that we are all connected and each person’s actions affect another’s.
The current climate that we find ourselves in amplifies my wool illustration, not only in relation to COVID-19, but in relation to our everyday interactions (in person or virtual) both positive and negative. So how do we stay motivated to foster positive connections, when we are exhausted just ‘getting through a day’? My answer is focus on ‘one small thing’, celebrate it and try and do it consistently.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I reflected that due to the ages and stages of our children and the competing work, school and social demands, at any given time, someone in our household was staring at a screen. We therefore decided that our ‘one small thing’ is that on Sunday’s between 1pm and 4pm everyone in the house is off devices.
Initially we were met with many complaints and much opposition, but we chose to persevere. Now in the Reid household between 1pm and 4pm on a Sunday you can see family members: in the lounge laughing and joking around, reading the physical newspaper, writing letters to friends, jumping on the trampoline, and people embarking on household maintenance together (like my son working with my husband to unblock a sink for the first time. This was very entertaining and let’s just say, he is not going to be a plumber!).
This week, your ‘one small thing’ will look very different to ours. It might be to sit outside for ½ hour and watch the birds, sit down as a family to eat a meal together, listen to music, read your child/children a bedtime story, ring a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Whatever you decide, the key is to choose ‘one thing’, make sure it is doable and celebrate when you do it. Having small goals ultimately help us to stay motivated, stay positive and stay connected with ourselves, others and the world around us.
Lily from MBK recently sent me this amazing ‘diamond art’ giraffe. This clearly has been her ‘one thing’ project and took her a month to complete. I am aware that she is now working on a unicorn. Well Done Lily for demonstrating creativity and perseverance.
I hope that those families who signed up to the free ‘Flourishing Families’ sessions with Edwina Ricci are benefiting from all that she has to offer. I certainly am! There are two more sessions to go and even if you have not participated in the first two, you can register for the last two. The next session will be on Thursday August 27th from 7.30pm-9pm on ‘Managing your emotions’. Please click this link to register.
In her presentations, Edwina Ricci often refers to making sure that we have ‘tools in our backpack.’ These ‘tools’ are not ‘magic’ and don’t make the ‘mountains’ in our lives go away, rather help us to navigate and ‘climb’ them. I love that analogy and was again reminded of it when watching ‘Hannah Montana’ (I know!!!) with my family. In the movie she sings a song called ‘The Climb’. So, as a bit of a ‘pick me up’, I have included this link to her song lyrics on YouTube. I hope that you find encouragement in the words and that they inspire you to ‘keep climbing’, understanding that it is the process of climbing that ultimately teaches us and helps us to grow.
Other Useful, Supportive Links
I would encourage you to check the Community News page of this newsletter for a number of other supportive links I have discovered during the past week, which may make the climb a little less steep.
Until next time,
Julie Reid – Student Wellbeing Officer