Keeping it simple

Joanne Te Paiho, September 2011

Tena Koutou, in thinking about what to write about in today's column, there are three words that come to mind "Keeping It Simple". This is often what I try to encourage in clients when times get a bit rough and life decides to throw those curved balls, that none of us are ever ready to catch.

You may be journeying through the death of a loved one, or faced with whanau breakdown, it may be past issues catching up with you and wanting your attention, or it just could be that you have found yourself in a place that is uncomfortable and unknown to you. It could be the diagnosis of Depression or some other medical condition, in short, it may be a quandary of things, that have set you off course.

So what may this whole "Keeping it Simple" thing look like? I guess it could be about slowing yourself down. This may give you the space to address what?s really going on within. Too often individuals may do the whole "Busy" thing to escape these uncomfortable places and the feelings associated with what may be really happening for them. When you do begin to sit quietly with yourself and realise that you are not coping with this new place, it's time to take stock of what you are needing.

"Keeping it Simple", may be about taking care to really look after your immediate needs. What may they be? It might just be about giving yourself a pat on the back that you got up this morning, when yesterday you couldn't. It might be that you cooked yourself a meal, or got out in the garden, or went for a walk. Catching up and sharing with a friend over coffee is a great way of staying connected to others, as during times of enormous stress and emotional pain it can be really easy just to shut yourself off. "Keeping it Simple" is about not staying too long in your head, where you may be doing too much thinking, and exhausting yourself. Taking a break from your head and allowing yourself to be connected to your body, through physical exercise or activity may allow you to take a break from the big stuff. Getting out in nature or out by water can also be really healing.

So in short, "Keeping It Simple", is all about looking at your immediate needs in the here and now and not looking too far ahead and it's about slowing down. Staying in the present moment is essential during these times. And of course the other really important gem here is about not "sweating the small stuff". During the times when everything just feels too big for you to manage alone, seek support from local agencies, whanau or close friends. If you are a parent and you are needing support, you can contact us here at Parentline on 355 1655.

Nga Mihi Kia Koutou