First Aid

Community festive and holiday times are great.  Time to get together, share meals, have time out, read,  and get into the great outdoors are all terrific things to do.  However, there is also the contradiction that community festive and holidays are also the most painful times of the year for many.   Any loneliness, illness, unsupportive families, lack of money, insecure housing and other life travails all seem, and often are, experienced and felt more intensely at these times of the year.

How can you manage those feelings and not give into despair at the toughest of times?

I would like to share an inspirational story from one of the women who participated in our SECASA art group a little while ago.   Justine gave me a beautiful set of affirmation cards called EIMBUE that she has designed and had printed.  She told me that the name comes from the word inspire or permeate with (a feeling or quality).  She loved the meaning, “I wanted the cards to inspire and make someone feel good.”

They already have, I know.

She told me about creating the cards:

 “I had made a ‘first aide box’ for when times were really tough to try to help me through. It contained anything that I found positive like a small candle, shells, cards and a list of things to do like watch a movie, walk the dogs etc because when you are really flat it’s really hard to make yourself do anything that isn’t negative.

As I got stronger I was ready to try and put some positive motivation into each day, so I made my own set of affirmations, I printed them on card and put them in a box. At first it was really hard to relate to most of the affirmations so I allowed myself to take three and choose the one I could relate to most and try to use it to change my outlook on the day. 

As I kept forgetting what it said, I decided that I would carry it in my purse so I could pull it out several times during the day to keep me positive. At other times I would need to pull a different card out several times during the day to help me get through

Now I mostly just choose one and I can read and allow myself to relate to it – even the ones that say I am worthy of love and affection. Sometimes it is just a reminder of how far I have come along my healing journey.”

I gave my set of EIMBUE to a close friend.  We were  in the Intensive Care Unit where her husband is critically ill.   EIMBUE was in my bag and I suggested we choose some cards together.   Her first card said When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.  Could not have been more appropriate, in the circumstances.

The art program at SECASA has had deep impacts on many women who have participated ….  often in ways that are as unexpected as they are delightful.   EIMBUE is one of these.  Justine told me that the art group was a big influence in the creation of the cards for a few reasons:

  • made me realise that I could create something and it didn’t have to be perfect and I wouldn’t be ridiculed for it.
  • gave me the confidence to be creative
  • made me want to express my feelings in a positive way and hopefully one that would help others
  • showed me that being creative is a great way to achieve, open a conversation with someone and relieve stress
  • helped me decide to improve on the cards so I could give them to others

I encourage you to purchase a set of cards for yourself, and maybe another set for someone who needs them. The cards are small enough to slip into your pocket, they feel lovely in the hand, and they look terrific.   They are $25 available oneBay