Coping with caring

I am going to be a carer to my partner, my sister and my dad for the rest of their lives.
It's a privilege.
What can dealing with people who are ill teach you about how to deal with people?

  1. You should listen more than you talk.
  2. Take breaks when you need to.
  3. Make sure you look after yourself. I realised as Gwin went off to bed that we're leaving 2019 stronger than we were at the end of 2018. It seems to be working.

Living in the hive

I don't do social media anymore.
I despair for our future. It's desperate. Our relationships with these companies are completely asymmetrical. And they have tested it out on the youngest, most vulnerable members of our society.
People are not meant to be constantly connected. You can't be a functioning individual if you grow up in a hive. A bee, if it is separated from its swarm, can't survive.

Duhigg Power of habit

This is a really, really interesting book.

The tools for finding your habits (or are they addictions?).

They all form a loop, that goes in a circle (imagine this, because I'm not doing a drawing):

Cue > Routine > Reward > back to cue

Step one: Identify the routine

What's the routine? In my case, it's using the Internet excessively, to the detriment of other things.

What's the reward for doing this? In my case, I think it is a way to take myself away from feeling empty and stressed.

When you've done that....

Step two: Experiment with rewards

Find four or five alternatives to this behaviour. In the first week, I tried:

Reading a book

Batch cooking

Cleaning the kitchen

After each activity, write down the first three words in your head. Then, set a timer for fifteen minutes, and see how you feel.

Do you still feel the urge to do your routine after fifteen minutes?

Step three: Isolate the cue

Almost all cues fit one of five habits. These are:

1. Location

2. Time

3. Emotional state

4. Other people present

5. Immediately preceeding action

Step four: Get a plan

If you plan for it, you can change it. You could call it "implementation intentions". 

If you keep following the plan, it will become a new habit.

A new start

Gwin is really struggling with her mental health, and I am looking after her.
It is rough. We aren't going to be able to have my family over, her anxiety is stopping her from being left on her own.
I felt really bad after I went downstairs. She hasn't made any bread like she said she was going to, so there were just crisps for breakfast. My first Christmas without eggs!
She bought me a shirt which I liked, but it was three sizes too big. Although I did get the Analog Sea books that I had wanted, after we went to a talk given by the leader.
And then I realised it was all alright.
I am really lucky to have what I have. I have a great home, a great partner, and food. Family that want to see me even if circumstances dictate that they can't.
So many people don't have any of this, and what there is could be taken away from me at any time. The house is a mess because I felt sad and didn't clean it up.
So I'm going to spend the rest of Christmas feeling lucky that I have what I have and make the most of it.