Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Functioning to Your Optimum in Israel of today

If anyone knows the profession of occupational therapy, yes, the title gives away that I am an OT. We are living in times that are very volatile, uncertain and stressful. We have lives to live but how is it possible with everything that is going on?

It is easy to get caught up with the chaos taking place and the fear that naturally arises. Since my profession is all about helping others to function to the optimum I decided to put my mind to what can we do. Many ideas you might have seen posted on various social network groups, but it sometimes helps to have the information written in a point form list.

1) The first tip is to remember to breath, take deep breaths and force yourself to be calm. If you notice fear coming up, concentrate on your breathing.

2) Keep talking to Hashem. Remember, the eye of Hashem is on the Land of Israel every moment of every day. Pray for peace, pray for the right leadership in Israel, pray for our Redemption. Pray for your safety and the safety of all Israel. Tell G-d what you are feeling and ask Him to help and guide you.

3) Take on a page of Torah to learn and / or a Mitzvah to fulfill to help to increase peace in Israel and the world at large. If you need guidance as to what Torah to learn, how to learn or what Mitzvah would be most suited to you, do be in touch with Chessed Ve'Emet, we are happy to guide you through this.

4) Be prepared that means: 
   - do regular exercise to make sure you are fit in case you need to run
   - take a self defense course, preferably Krav Magar
   - find out the law related to Pepper Spray and make sure you have one in case of need and have
     learned how to use it.
   - learn about first aid at the time of a potential attack. If you are able to, prepare a first aid kit to 
      have with you.  Of particular importance are gloves that are non-allergic and bandage that is 
      secure in it's packaging to be sterile and clean in case it is needed to use.
   - make sure to eat a healthy balanced diet, adequate nutrition is very important to maintain your
     health in general and in a time of stress in particular. 

5) Keep informed as to what is happening but put a limit on this so that you can free your mind to function effectively in your daily life. Spending all day watching the news or social networking will interfere in your time to carry out important tasks of daily living as well as increasing your stress levels.

6) Make sure you have time for some kind of creative outlet. It can be your daily exercise if this is what you enjoy most, it can be listening to music, drawing, writing, something that helps you to feel good about being you and alive in this world. 

7) Spend a few minutes or longer looking at the beauty of nature and creation. It helps to give us strength and to re-focus. If you need to look at nature in books or on a slideshow or a youtube video, that is fine too, as long as you are looking at something calming and beautiful. If you are able to interact with nature whether it is arranging flowers, tending to plants, caring for a pet, bringing some colour and beauty into your life, these activities are rejuvenating and calming.

8) Do an act of kindness every day. It can be listening more attentively, helping your fellow, smiling at your neighbour, taking care not to disturb your neighbour, learning how to be kind or any other act of kindness . Kindness is what helps the world to function and can tip the scales in favour of peace.

9) Limit your time on social networking and especially the nature of posts you put up. Be especially careful when wanting to share news of what is happening. It is easy in the moment of hearing that  something occurred or seeing something to want to tell everyone. Learn what is permitted and what is not. Remember, there are times that keeping quiet is also important for security reasons. There have been a number of posts requesting that we refrain from sharing certain information, if the request is from an authority e.g. IDF or retired soldier, it is being shared to be adhered to.

10) Spend some time learning the laws of Shmirat HaLashon (guarding your tongue), very powerful to help to bring peace. Make sure too to put the laws you learn into practice.

11) Maintain regular contact with friends and family. If you are going out somewhere, let a friend or relative know where you are going to and when they might expect you home. If you live alone, get to know your neighbours and find a community that is warm, caring and offers some kind of support. If you need to, join a group of some sort it can be exercise, art, photography, synagogue, music any type of interaction with others where you can develop the type of relationships with others that someone will know and care about where you are and what you are doing. 

If you are feeling stressed, stress management and relaxation sessions are offered for women and children in Israel. 

I hope you have found these thoughts helpful. Do you have any tips to share? Any important links that should be included? If so, please let us know for a future post or to revise this one.

Stay safe and may we all merit the immediate redemption

Chessed Ve'Emet                        

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