This last month has certainly tested us all. Firstly, I would like to send my sincere condolences to Rosewood and St Margarets Hospital for the loss of residents’ due to Covid-19. The situation unfolded before you through no fault of your own and I am sure the whole of New Zealand’s thoughts has been with you over this time. I do hope, that with a shift to Level 3 and hopefully soon to Level 2, you will feel some sense of normality, what ever normality is for you. It would not have been an easy job looking after older people, especially those with dementia, who would not doubt have developed a delirium. Couple this with them not being able to understand why you are all gowned up. It must have been terrifying for them – and you as well.
While we will never forget this time, when we look back in 6 months, it will be seen in a different light and you will be congratulating yourselves on how you all got through it. I think the greatest testament to the whole aged care industry is that so many of you kept the virus out of your facilities. WELL DONE. Your systems and processes are working.
So, in order to move forward, we have to start looking for ways in which to do this. One of the recognized ways is gratitude. What can you be grateful for over this time? What have you learned from it? What wonderful things happened to you as a result? Did you find an inner strength you didn’t know you had? Did your family come to the fore and show you the true strength of unity? Is all the work you put into your family coming back to show you what a wonderful job you have done? Have there been some people who have surprised you with the support you have been given? What extra ordinary things have arisen to give you hope and be grateful for.
It is so easy to focus on the terrible things that happen to us and around us, yet there will more good things than you realise. Complaining about your our boss, colleagues, children, partner or the governing bodies serves no purpose. We should be looking at more positive things in life, because believe you me, there are many positive things in life to be grateful for. Did you know the average person spends 10 hours a month complaining! What a waste of energy. Just think about what you could do that was more beneficial to you or others with those 10 hours. Don’t believe me? Well check out his article.
Pop Psychology really has so many worthwhile benefits. When you stop complaining, you find you no longer need the buzz that adrenalin gives you to get all fired up. You channel your energy in much more worthwhile directions and the surprising thing once you start this, you get to like people. They no longer fire you up in a negative way. I have heard of instances when couples were on the verge of divorce but when they stopped complaining or griping about each other, they fell in love with each other again. So, you see when you stop complaining, you are more at peace inside and with the world around you. It is very easy to feed this addiction, because that is what it is. We often unwittingly get drawn into the a gripe session – it is like a magnet and we jump on the bandwagon. Social media is a breeding ground for gripers. Don’t be tempted to get drawn into it so you can feel vindicated. Does a gripe session gain anything? How much satisfaction does it give you and how long does the satisfaction last? So, over the next month, stop griping about people, work, the effect Covid-19 or anything else that has had a negative effect on or around you, and think and talk about the great things that have come out of it. It will amaze you when you shift away from complaining tbeing grateful how many positives you will see from this time.
Human kindness is another important factor at this time. Being kind to others is another positive stream to lowering your stress levels. Being kind to others doesn’t cost you anything but it does help you build up your bank of happiness which makes you feel good.
So how does this work? Well, being kind boosts oxytocin which is the love hormone. It also releases dopamine which is a chemical messenger which gives you a high and makes you feel good. It also releases serotonin which are neurotransmitters that regulates your mood. So, the more you are kind, the more you build up you bank of happiness. Don’t believe me? Well take a look at this.
So, what’s my message this month? Yes, its been a hard month for everyone but you have come through it. Be grateful you still have a job, colleagues, a purpose in life, something to get up for in the morning and you are not alone. Be grateful we have a compassionate leader that has been thinking of you at this time regardless of your political views. Be grateful that most of your residents didn’t get Covid-19 thanks to the care they received from you. And finally, be kind to each other and use your energy for good. Remember, what can you do with the extra 10 hours a month you gain by not griping?
Food for thought.