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2 years ago

MSWA Bulletin Winter 2019

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COUNSELLING MORE THAN A FEELING Write without worrying about punctuation or spelling. Write until there is nothing else to say. Hopefully you will feel a load has lifted from your shoulders and you feel calmer. “Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels?” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina. I’ve noticed that most people These causes often boil down respond ‘good’ or ‘fine’ without to whether you feel worthy, thinking when asked how they are. acceptable and loveable. It can be difficult to appear vulnerable in Before you automatically respond front of others. It can feel awkward ‘good’, be mindful of how you or embarrassing. really feel. I’m not suggesting that you express We all know everyday life comes how you are feeling to absolutely with soaring highs and painful everyone you meet. But why not lows. So many of us struggle to try by being honest with a trusted express how we truly feel. There friend or family member. You might are thousands of songs and poems be pleasantly surprised by how about feelings. supportive they are. If you do not There may be several reasons why you are keeping quiet: / Perhaps you don’t want to be a burden / You fear being judgedw have someone you feel comfortable speaking to, you may wish to speak with a health professional, your GP, or an MSWA counsellor. Journaling feelings can also be helpful. Get comfortable with / You’re a perfectionist with unrealistic expectations / You are stressed and losing control expressing your feelings in your journal. It is private and for your eyes only. MSWA CAMPS 2019 Next time when someone asks, “how are you?”, how would it be to forget ‘good’ and ‘fine’ and try expressing how you really feel. You might start by saying “I’m feeling a little tired today” or “I’m in pain today” or whatever is appropriate to how you feel. Expressing emotions is a key to health. Bottling up feelings can take a toll on your body, disturb your sleep and lead to emotional outbursts. Expressing vulnerable emotions such as sadness or loneliness can help you live your best life. “Running from your emotions amounts to running from yourself, tuning in to your feelings helps you to grow and evolve.” Anonymous. JEAN HUDSON SENIOR COUNSELLOR MSWA camps help people living with multiple sclerosis to spend quality time together, learn more about multiple sclerosis and bond with others who are sharing their journey, here are the remaining dates available for the rest of the year. / Carers Camp at Safety Bay: 19-22, 26-29 August / Members Camp at Woodman Point: 9-12 September / Family Camp at Woodman Point: 7-10 October / SW Members Camp at Denmark: 28-31 October For further enquiries and bookings, contact Sumit Sandhu on 0458 999 310. MSWA thanks Lotterywest for their funding support. SUMIT SANDHU CAMPS COORDINATOR 20

PEER SUPPORT CONNECTING WITH OTHERS “Loneliness is one of the first things I experienced with MS,” said Vicki, a Member of MSWA. Having multiple sclerosis impacted Vicki’s work, relationships and friendships – her social connections. Feeling that we belong, or connecting with others, can be hard. What can help us feel more socially connected? Ways that can help you experience more belonging include: / Connect with nature: Spend even a few minutes outdoors, notice the fresh air, the trees or the waves at the beach / Connect with furry friends: Pets are great companions. They can help you get outdoors and meet others / Connect with others living with a neurological condition, either face to face or online. Contact MSWA about peer support options, or like our Facebook page. Read a regular blog, such as on the MSA website or / Take time offline: Connecting with others through social media can boost us, but too much time online can make us feel lonely. Make sure you take time offline too / Connect with others with similar interests – do you enjoy photography or knitting? Join with other people through or / Take care: Look after yourself through eating well, moving your body, supporting your sleep, learning and practicing mindfulness / Be there for yourself: Listen to yourself and your needs. Be gentle, notice any judgement or criticism. How would you respond to a good friend who expressed these needs? Care for yourself as you would care for a child or a good friend / Help others: If you have the energy, look for a volunteer role that fits your interests at Otherwise, share a smile or say thanks to someone. Sign an online petition. We can all make a difference / Express gratitude for what is already in your life. Write down three things each day that you appreciated that day / Ask for help: Ask for an appointment with an MSWA counsellor on 9365 4811 or speak with your GP. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you feel very low or in crisis Vicki said, “I've found some solace in reaching out to other people who also have MS. I try to connect with new people that might be in other groups.” SABENA LUND COORDINATOR OF HEALTH EDUCATION & PEER SUPPORT 21