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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Autumn 2021

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Get to know your new President | Resilience: I get knocked down, but I get up again | MSWA’s m contribution to research | 36 years of Bulletin

COUNSELLING AN ARTICLE

COUNSELLING AN ARTICLE TO SELF Sunday morning, there I was sitting with a friend at the local markets, enjoying the sunshine, the music, and the coffee. I overheard a person sitting nearby say, “If you don’t make time for your health you will have to make time for your illness.” It was a comment that really made me pause. I know all about self-care, and I know a bit about illness, so why don’t I make self-care a higher priority? With that on my mind, the opportunity to write this article was presented. It was a sign – article to self! I did a little more pondering, and a bit of asking around. This is what I came up with. Self-care is the bottom line of taking care of our health. We no longer live in a tribal village and I, like many others in WA, live in a different place from my extended family – my original tribe. Whilst I have a place in my current tribe, I mostly lead an isolationist lifestyle. This means I am responsible, to the best of my ability, for making sure I am ok. In our society we cling to as much independence as possible. It follows then, that we also cling to being responsible for ourselves. Or do we? Robert Cooper asks the question, “If we knew that the first twenty minutes of the day set the tone for the rest of the day, how would we spend that twenty minutes?” I asked myself ‘what makes me want to get out of bed?’ Here is my list: friends, exercise, the dog, the garden, and my work, because I enjoy what I do, and who I do it with. We know that self-care is about lowering our stress levels, but it is also about enjoying our lives. So, what are we doing when we lose track of time? For some it is a good laugh, sitting in the bush, being with nature, feeling the connection, being still and with self. Anyone who is learning to meditate will testify that being still, sitting within your body, and being observant of the self is not easy. Jules Shakira from The Grief Centre of Western Australia says, “Making friends with whatever one is feeling automatically causes a relaxation of mind and body.” Or, if you like – heart, mind, and body. Acceptance of self, and knowing that of yourself, you are enough, in this moment and every other moment. Aim to be soft, and witness rather than exacerbate, the drama of life. Come out of the story and back into your body. Whatever state it is in, it is yours. Trust in yourself. You know what you need and what to do. Reference: Cooper, R. 2016. ‘The Neuroscience of an Exceptional Life’, robertcooperphd.com KATH BUDZINSKA MSWA COUNSELLOR 28

I’m a big fan of self-care and over the years have figured out what works well for me. Maybe something on this list will be useful for you too. / Scheduling a sleep in. Extra sleep is lovely, isn’t it! / Drinking a tonne of water. / I don’t do meditation or yoga, but I do breathing practice – I have an app on my watch that tells me to stop and take a breath. / Essential oils are a big part of my day. I put drops of oil on lava jewellery and take the time to do this ritual each morning. SELF CARE IDEAS FROM NICOLETTE MURPHY MSWA CLIENT / Eating as cleanly as possible. You can speak to a dietician about healthy eating and the elements of nutrition that are particularly important. / Exercise – I love to do YouTube dance tutorials to get my steps up. / Relaxing in the evening with TV or a movie. I have my own TV space separate from the kids’! / Keeping in touch with friends. I’m texting all the time. / Sitting in the sunshine, and of course going to the beach if you can. / Watching sunsets and taking the time to be outside and breathe. BRAIN GAME This autumn, we’re challenging you to one of our brain games – the Stroop Test. Psychologist John Ridley Stroop created the Stroop Test in 1935. When you’re asked to read the words, or name the colour of the word, you really have to pause! This might be because the brain reads words faster than it recognises colours, or because colour recognition requires more attention than reading words. Or perhaps it’s just because we’re more used to reading words than noting their colours. 29