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Anxiety is Giving Me the Shits

anxietyToday, I have to admit that my anxiety is giving me the shits.  There is just so many external things happening at the moment and I am feeling extremely overwhelmed with it all.  The voices in my head hashing it all around just won’t shut up for a moment.

I am making sure that I am eating properly (if you take out that it was Emma’s birthday on the weekend and I probably ate too much sugar) and it is amazing how sugar can increase my anxiety.

I have been exercising but not as consistently as I would like.  However it is amazing how much even 30 minutes of exercise daily can improve your overall well being.

I tried to get some work done. I tried to read a book. I tried to listen to music which all helped but it didn’t last.  On my walk I concentrated on things I could see and my breathing which eased some of the tension.

However last night, I was thinking I might have to make an appointment to see a Doctor but I put cardamom essential oil and lemon essential oil in the diffuser and watch The Oscars.  I could not believe that the voices actually stopped.  I expected the voices to start up again today but guess what all is quiet.

I love having so many strategies to help with my head being full of chatter.

anxietyIf you would like to purchase this blend, I am now selling essential oils in 10ml bottles so that you can out them in a diffuser (not one with heat) and enjoy the quietness in your head.  I charge $25.00 for the 10ml bottles which includes postage.

If you would like to know more please email me at Rebecca@coachingforlifetimechange.com.au.

 

Stress Affects All Members of the Family

Stress affects all members of the family and it is important to take time out to recharge the batteries.  Emma is suffering through severe anxiety at present and it has been tough on everyone.  The last term of school was far from easy and then of course we had to help her through the demands of Christmas.

I purchased tickets to see Star Wars VII at Imax at the start of January.  It was wonderful just to have a few hours to ourselves as a couple.  It gave us the chance to talk about some strategies that we can use to help Emma.  We could talk about how Grace was travelling.  Plus we had the chance to talk about how we both were handling things.

Taking time out especially during stressful periods is a MUST to reduce the amount of stress levels which will improve everyone’s well being.

A Win Against Anxiety

depression

We had a win against Emma’s anxiety.  At school the preps are doing swimming lessons.  One of her friends was a bit excited and pushed Emma’s head under the water.  Emma already has had a near drowning experience and with her anxiety at mega level it understandably upset her.

I contacted her class teacher immediately of the problem as I was not happy that it was not stopped.  I also took the next day off work to get to swimming to support her.  I spoke with her teacher and we decided that I would come once she was in the water.

Sadly I got a call from the school saying Em was upset at the pool and as I walked in the door she was hysterical.  She simply was too scared to go into the pool.  So I managed to sit in the pool area.  Instead of trying to coax her into the water, I sat her on my knee and simply sat with her emotions.

She cried her eyes out and I massaged her from head to toe with a deep pressure massage and there we sat.  I wasn’t expecting anything at all and if we sat there to the end of the swim session then that was a win.  I talked about what the children were doing in the water and just sat there.  The she got off my knee and got undressed and I suggested about getting in with another group which had friends in there and she had fun for the last 5 minutes.

Today, I went to swimming and she went happily into the pool.

Sometimes we do not have to fix the problem and  just be comfortable with sitting with their emotions which is the first step.

Meditation is Under Valued!

Meditation

 

 

 

 

 

Have you tried meditation and didn’t make the commitment to do it daily?  I know I am like this as well.

Emma is going through heightened anxiety at the moment and it is extremely challenging on us all.  It is breaking our heart to watch her go through it and all I want to do is fix it.  For me personally, it is stirring up my anxiety as I feel that somehow I have caused it.  There is also the concern that this is what Emma will go through for the rest of her life.

So I have set myself the task of meditating every night before I go to bed.  I listen to Ken Davis music and it goes for 10 minutes.  I say in my head “I want to be calm (in breath) I want the world to be calm (out breath).

I have been doing this for a week and already I am feeling calmer especially when helping move through her anxiety.  During the day when I feel my anxiety starting I concentrate on my breathing and have to say by bringing my thoughts back to my breathe has a massive effect on my well being.

I am being patient with the girls and they are also calmer as a result.  I would recommend you to at least do a week and see an improvement in your life.

 

An Extremely Proud Mum and Dad

We are such a proud mum and dad of two girls with autism and SPD.

We have been at Keilor Heights Primary for three years now and we have never attended a Family Welcome Picnic.  Our girls anxiety is the main reason for us not attending the previous years.  However this year the girls wanted to attend.  Half of me was thinking this is great that they want to go but the other part of me was thinking how long we will last.

We arrived with excitement in the air and then……………………………………………………………………………………

We had to let go of our own anxieties and watch with such pride that they both went off with their friends.  Emma came back for cuddles and reassurance but they both were nice and confident to mix with others.

Autism and Eye Contact

therapist and child playingLately I have been reading a lot of discussion about Autism and eye contact and during Emma’s Occupational Therapy it reminded me of this discussion.  Emma’s therapist was trying to explain the game of dominos.  Emma was sitting there with little expression and also not responding.  I asked Emma if she understood and her therapist prompted her to “ask for help”.  Emma started moving in her seat and did not respond verbally with the prompt.  I knew that Emma finds it quite confronting, even with Steve and I, to ask for help so I was interested to see what would happen next.  The therapist then said to Emma that she does not have to look in her eyes but just to look somewhere near her face.  With that suggestion Emma looked and asked for help.

This interaction reminded me about a post I say on Autism Discussion Page about eye contact.  I know for Emma eye contact causes anxiety and there has been some recent discussion about why we really prompt a person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to make eye contact if it makes the person feel vulnerable?  Yes it is a “social” cue that we all learn but is it necessary?

Bill Mason discussion about Prompting Eye Contact is:

The best way to induce anxiety in children with autism is to prompt them to look at you. When many children are trying to listen to what you are saying, prompting them to look at your eyes will make them anxious and interfere with them being able to listen to you. There are three primary reasons for this:

1. Many children have auditory processing problems. Research has shown that people on the spectrum often look at your month. This would make since if they need to look at your month to better understand what you are saying.

2. Some children use peripheral vision to view things. For them, direct vision is too intense and overwhelming, so they look with their peripheral vision. When they are looking at you, they will appear to be looking away from you.

3. Many adults on the spectrum have told me that they become overwhelmed by the intensity of looking directly into your eyes. It feels very intimidating, very scary.

So forcing a child to look at you is not increasing their understanding, but often inhibiting it. It totally overwhelms and distracts them.

Like most all of us, looking at someone is much easier when we do it under our own volition. It is intimidating when someone prompts us to look at them. Same goes for all communication. We have found that children with ASD will look at you more frequently when indirectly invited to, not told to. Use the following tips and you find the child looking at you more often:

1. When talking to the child, position yourself so you are in front of him and at eye level. When your face is in his field of vision, it will get his attention better.

2. Use less words and more nonverbal language when communicating. Use more animated facial expressions, and exaggerated gestures to communicate. This invites the child to reference your face to obtain the information needed. Use words to augment your nonverbal language; while conveying most of information nonverbally. I animate my facial expressions which draws their attention.

3. When the child stops referencing you, try pausing briefly until he attention returns. Often the break in the interaction invites the child to check back with you to repair the breakdown.

So invite facial referencing, do not demand eye contact. And please do not grab and turn their face to you.

What is your thoughts about getting individuals with autism to make eye contact?

Is Your ASD Child Nervous About Starting School?

Is your ASD child nervous about starting school?  I know my Emma is.  At present we are in the middle of January holidays and I know that she is really nervous about starting school as she keeps telling me “when she is 6 years old.”  I am not sure how I am meant to get her there between the start of February to the end of February when she technically turns 6.

She is excited about having Grace there, “happy” about the teacher and also purchasing her school shoes.

However over the last few weeks, we have been seeing an increase in her resorting her to baby behaviour.  She feels that when we are in the car that it is going fast even at 30km/h. Plus forget about her eating as she is not eating much.

I spoke with her OT today and she thinks that Emma is trying to grab control of whatever she can because the thought of going to school is out of her control and making her feel like it could be going to fast.

Suggestions to help are:

*  talk with her about her emotions and normalise them

* do some animal jumps to the car

*  have a weighted blanket in the car.

I will try and give her more control in some areas so that she feels a sense of control.

 

How to Help Your Child With Anxiety

Are you thinking to yourself how to help your child with anxiety?  Already Emma is feeling anxious with heading into Prep this year and it became even more as we got her first pair of school shoes.  Instead of telling her it will all be okay, I said “I would feel nervous about heading to school because it is new to you”.  Then she said “but Gracie will be there.”

I have found a fantastic article called 9 Things Every Parent with an Anxious Child Should Try.

The authors main tips are:

1.  Stop reassuring your child – Stop and take some breaths with your child.  Empathize that you understand how they are feeling.  When your child is calm, together come up with possible solutions. Let go of any guilt that you feel.

2.  Highlight why worrying is good – Teach your child that worrying is normal and that everyone worries and feel the same.

3.  Bring your child’s worry to life – Personifying worry or creating a character has multiple benefits. It can help demystify this scary physical response children experience when they worry. It can reactivate the logical brain, and it’s a tool your children can use on their own at any time.

4.  Teach your child to be a thought detective – As they get older they can learn how to catch those thoughts that are causing the anxiety, collect evidence about these thoughts and challenge the thoughts.

5.  Allow them to worry – I would encourage you to read the article for total understanding but in short give your child maybe 10 minutes to worry and put that worry in a box.  This worry could be anything.

6. Help them to go from what ifs to what is – Mindfulness brings a child from what if to what is. To do this, help your child simply focus on their breath for a few minutes.

7.  Avoid avoiding everything that causes anxiety – break their fears into small goals over a period of time until they reach that goal because we do not want them living life.

8.  Help them work through a checklist – develop a checklist with your child to work out how to calm down.

9. Practice self compassion.

I really encourage you to read this article for some great tips.

 

Why Do I Want To Reawaken Myself?

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Why Do I Want To Reawaken

Myself ?

 

 

 

 

What will it mean to me?

Why?

I really want you to continue to keep asking yourself why to those answers because I really want you to peel off the layers of why you truly want to reawaken you.

Are you will to put in whatever it takes to reawaken you?

If you decided not to reawaken yourself………………what really is the worst thing could possibly happen?  For me if I did not choose to reawaken myself and let my depression take over I know deep down I would be in a worse state of depression than I started at.  I would feel resentful to my family because I would be living a life where it was based on only being a mum (believe me, I love being a mum especially after beating depression, postnatal depression), driving the girls around for their therapy and also feel resentment towards my husband as he is doing sports that he loves.

What would it be for you and be true in your answer?

If you truly want to reawaken YOU, I really encourage you to sign up for my 12 week course.  The best aspect of what I do is watching my clients grow.  For those who may be a bit hesitant I am developing a self guided workbook and an online program.  If you are interested about these options there is a link at the bottom of the above link and let me know that you are interested in either the self guided book on itself or the online program.

Postnatal Depression Effects on Relationships

Steve and I celebrated our 8 year anniversary this week and I thought I would take the time to reflect on postnatal depression effects on relationships.  It is tough!  But it does not have to destroy your relationship.

We often hear women/men saying why doesn’t my partner understand?  It is virtually impossible for a partner to truly understand what you are going through if they have never had a bout of depression.  You can not imagine how hard the black cloud is to get out of.  The suffocation it feels.

You and your partner also had dreams of being a parent and no one dreams that they would have PND.  No one expects this illness as part of their transition into parenthood.  But it does happen and PND can happen to anyone. No one chooses it to happen.

Nevertheless, it is very hard on relationships and once you really get on the road to recovery from your illness, you can start strengthening your relationship.  For me, I was extremely lucky that I had an extremely supportive husband and family.  He did not understand it but he supported me all the way.  I said some horrible things to him along the way and he just couldn’t understand how I could feel little love for both of the girls.

So, how did we get through it?

  • Although he may not have wanted to hear my feelings, I was honest with him.
  • I held his hand a lot to keep me grounded.
  • We told each other that we loved each other.
  • I kept getting help and I did whatever I had to do for the love of my family.
  • I worked really hard to put strategies in place to keep me well.
  • We worked on our friendship which is the base of all relationships.
  • I kept trying and trying.
  • I started to get better and became more affectionate.
  • He listened and didn’t always try to fix things.  You need someone to listen.

Steve and I have always had a strong sense of friendship which one of the most important aspects of relationships.  When Steve was diagnosed with depression as a result of everything we have been through, it was easier because at least I knew what he was going through.

A visualisation that helps me through the tough times of his depression is that I picture an invisible bubble around me that no matter what it can not be penetrated.

If you are looking for help to get your relationship back on track, look at my coaching program Reinvigorate Your Relationship and sign up for a free Reinvigorate Your Relationship Coaching Session.

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