HOPE - Is This Week's Focus As We Live and Work Through COVID 19
HOPE is this week's focus.
'Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.’ Robert Ludlum
Feeling hopeful can be challenging at this time of uncertainty. In order to feel hopeful we need to try and find ways to quieten our lower brain fear systems, and engage our thinking higher brain, where hope resides. Quietening our threat system can be supported by the simple practice of focusing on our breathing. Breathing out slowly is an easy way to support your nervous system to feel calmer. When you take a take deep breath it sends a message to your brain that all is okay.
What is hope?
Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]: Hope is the expectation that good things will happen in the future. Hope can be developed, like a set of muscles. The more you support your body to regulate, the more you will be able to practice your hope skills, and therefore the better they become.
Hope in Work
As healthcare professionals it is important you realise that your efforts to support patients has great value and power, because it is instilling hope in our community. We know hope exists when we remind ourselves of how many people have successfully recovered worldwide.
“Courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” Michelle Obama
Supporting not only our patients but each other is key part of spreading hope. Through such actions we are reminding people they are not alone. We are a key piece in cascading the ripple effect of compassion and care for others, which is evident in our communities at this time.
In work it can help to take few moments to REFOCUS your mind, REMIND yourself of your skills and knowledge, REPLEDGE your knowledge, skills and compassion to your patients, colleagues and yourself. See this advice sheet on how to do this.
Learn how to focus your breath, engage your mind and senses and relax using the Hand Breathing Regulation technique - or the muscle tensing and releasing relaxation techniques introduced by Dr Karen Treisman, Clinical Psychologist.
Research has also shown that gratitude exercises can increase positive hormones (e.g. dopamine) and encourage us to view things more optimistically. By focusing on things we are grateful for, we can support our overall regulation at this time. Gratitude needs to be practiced, so introduce this activity as a regular daily routine.
Focus on gratitude for the small things and how this makes you feel. Start a gratitude journal
Make time to build your hope skills by listening to calming music. Sing along to favourite songs.
Recall a situation when you overcame a difficult obstacle and succeeded.
Recall the good decisions you made and how you felt in control.
Recovery College Videos on HOPE
The Recovery College have developed 3 short videos exploring the concept of hope and what it means to us, what gives us hope, what can make us lose hope. Presented by Ann Butler and Lisa Morrison their conversations explain how we can take practical steps to develop our hope - they also introduce the idea of developing a HOPE BOX. The videos can be viewed from here
Introduction to Hope (6 mins 21 sec)
Hope box video (6 mins 23 sec)
Look out for our posts on the Trust's Twitter Account and Facebook page, please share with your colleagues, family and friends.
Download the Hope in Work leaflet HERE.
Next week we will be focusing on Anxiety.