Inspirational thoughts to help cope during Covid-19

The Weekly Takeaway

One of the main reasons behind this six-week initiative was to help people cope with the Covid-19 restrictions and members in the North East & East have come up with their own way of dealing with the challenge. Area Co-ordinator, Louise Carroll, explains that The Weekly Takeaway is about.

Working with GROW Mental Health Recovery groups over the past 12 years I have learned so much from members. During conversations with members over the years about their experiences of their first GROW meeting I noticed a similarity in their stories.

Members would very often talk about how they entered GROW looking for a way to forget, leave behind and blank out certain experiences they had lived through. A struggle within themselves and a difficulty in accepting that some of their life experiences had brought deep sadness and pain. This daily struggle of trying run from the memories of these experiences often led to a feeling of exhaustion, hopelessness, depression, isolation, anxiety, stress and/or other mental health difficulties.

The GROW Program encourages us to admit when we have lost our way and need direction. This can be difficult, but once we admit this we can than reach out for help and begin to be our true self. Our true self is our happy self – GROW Program. Members would talk about how attending weekly GROW meetings helped them see more clearly that in everyone’s lives there will be times of sadness and pain and trying to run from these experiences is futile. 

GROW encourages us to accept the things we cannot change and to have the courage to change the things we can. We slowly begin to own our experiences, both good and bad. Taking back control in what we can do. This helps us to use all our experiences to help ourselves and others.

A seasoned GROW member welcoming a new member into a meeting, encouraging and talking openly about their experience of attending their first meeting, this is a great example of using our experiences to help ourselves and others.

The Covid 19 pandemic has had an affect on our day to day lives. We have been asked to stay home, isolate from our communities, elderly loved ones and follow social distancing. I asked members if they would like to start a WhatsApp group called The Weekly Takeaway. Members post once a week what they are taking away from living through this time, this experience. What can we learn from this that can be used as a personal resource in helping us to accept, adapt and move forward in the future? We cannot change that this pandemic is happening, we have to accept this fact, but we can change how we react to it and takeaway learning from living through this time in our lives.

Members have posted such inspirational, uplifting, honest, funny and heartfelt takeaways. I asked members if we could share these posts so others can be inspirited, enjoy and learn from everyones experiences. Members are happy to share and let their learning help others.  In helping others we help ourselves – GROW program.

Louise Carroll – Area Coordinator North East/East 

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