I need reminders. I always have a check off list or do certain things a certain way every time so that I do not forget things. With Q-fever and the concussion, I did not realize how many work arounds I came up with to make sure that I remembered things. I’ll go into more detail later.
This “Daily Reminder” thing is basically scoffed off of Pinterest. In Food Safety plans we have this thing where we look for critical control points that we monitor and then have a corrective action that we recommend that you implement if it is outside the parameters we define so that you can be sure that nobody becomes ill. We use the same process thinking in conservation planning and in I like to use them when I look at existing businesses to see what they are doing and then outline various things that can be done to make it “better.”
What were some of my daily “bottlenecks” that prevented me from being able to function? This list in that picture hit on my Top-5. It also had suggestions to help me settle those feelings so that I can function. Awesome. To remind myself, I made a few of these “Daily Reminders” and put one on my small monitor. I put another one heading out of my bedroom. Sweet, I have an implementation plan that is short and simple!
What do I write? Just brain fart it. Write it out for 3-pages or 20-minutes. Then leave it and walk. We have a 0.8km neighborhood block that is a great quick way to move. Wave to people in that polite New England way that suggests you are welcoming but does not mean that you have to talk beyond that gesture.
Read for me also means audio books or podcasts because sometimes if I tip my physical/mental stress into vestibular places, I have a sensitivity to light and reading physically can give me a mad headache. I have learned to control that some by going into a dark room. I wish I learned how to control it this winter because driving with that dappling from winter trees super messed me up.
I was fascinated with “move, walk and exercise” as recommendations for so much regulation. When I was operations manager at a couple creameries, I found that my staff tended to focus better, and we seemed to get through a lot by walking while we talked. I did a lot of thinking when I dug out bedded packs or hoed my garden. Before the hip injection and PT, I was a mess because chores were done but not without an insane amount of pain. How do I “move, exercise, walk?” Now, I am carefully working on increasing strength and endurance. It is not without setbacks, but I keep trying.
Last week, I was getting triggered a lot. Things often build and build, and it gets to the point where I am in survival mode. I honestly cannot tell you what feelings or where I am, it is like hunkering down to walk during a central NY winter from the house to the barns where you would have a strong wind with all of the possible forms of precipitation hitting you and all you thought about was getting to that door. I frantically asked for more tools in my mental health toolkit. What do I do when I feel ALL THE FEELINGS? If someone said breathe exercises or meditate, I would have thrown something in their general direction (in disgust, not in harm).
I literally looked at art and drove listening to an audiobook to calm down. Walking to the Smith College Art Museum and then various galleries and the Guild Art supply shop were my go-to after divorce court take things down 16-notches move. I am trying to come up with a stay at home version of that.
I then started to break things down in a spreadsheet. I broke it down into:
- Physical Responses
- My Impulse
- Thoughts (I call them my “inside voice” meaning they are loudly screaming inside my head – a take on inside voices being quiet… Anyhow)
- Helpful Action Items
My next therapy meeting, he gave me some worksheets and it felt good to realize we were both on same page re: tracking things and seeing how this all works for me. After that, I broke it down into physical and mental monitoring with some more variables from his sheets. I need to work through how to validate how these Action Items helped manage the rest and then start to think about positive things that will happen as I go along, but this is a start.