Category Archives: Bereavement

Our Need For Companionship

According to an article I read online recently, a Japanese man has found a way of earning a modest living by renting himself out to people who want a companion, whether that’s because they’re lonely, bored and want someone to accompany them to a hospital appointment or, when it was possible, to a social event

Maybe you read the same article…..if so, what did you think about it?

Apparently, Shoji Morimoto, who’s 35 years old, has received thousands of requests for his services and rents himself out under the name of ‘Rental Person Who Does Nothing’. He charges about 10,000 yen which is around £70 and adds on expenses for any travel and meals. He meets clients for a chat and a drink but nothing more than that. In fact, he advertises himself as a person who can “eat and drink, and give simple feedback, but do nothing more”. As well as having 269,000 Twitter followers he’s published books, although I couldn’t find them online, but presumably they’re based around his experiences of going for a walk with clients, shopping with them or accompanying them when they have appointments with a professional.

In some ways, I’m thinking that this is a very worthwhile service, but also – it’s sad that we live in a society where people have to pay someone to alleviate their feeling of being alone. I doubt that this is confined to Japan as loneliness affects people worldwide although I suspected not so much in collectivist cultures. However, apparently that isn’t true as people don’t seem to be lonelier in societies that are traditionally labelled ‘individualistic’.  It’s common to live alone in those societies but it doesn’t always go hand in hand with loneliness. Interesting…..  see the link below for more information about this:

https://ourworldindata.org/lonely-not-alone

If you’ve spent five years or fifty years in a relationship and that person is no longer there, either because they’ve died or left, it can leave a huge hole when you’ve been used to having someone to share your life with. Even if you didn’t do a lot together and had few shared interests, that person was there physically at least. The same goes for a sibling or close friend – if they’re no longer in your life, for whatever reason, the void left can be very hard to fill Maybe you’ve decided to try to find more people to share your life with, not necessarily in a relationship, but so that there are people who provide a degree of companionship that you feel you’re missing. If so, going for a walk every day and just saying “hello” to whoever you meet along the way as well as texting someone in your family or a friend to see how they are. When restrictions ease, you could try joining a group that interests you as well.

It’s not easy to make these changes but if you try them, you may well find that you find the companionship that’s important to you.

I’d be interested to know what you think about this blog and what I’ve written so do comment if you’d like to do so.

You can read my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on Linked In, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.

Companionship

Have You Had A Lockdown Breakup?

Breaking up during lockdown

If you’ve broken up with your partner during lockdown, you may already realise that the coronavirus crisis has had the same effect on a lot of peoples’ relationships. It’s a unique situation and has increased all the usual stresses that couples experience.

Your relationship might have been heading in this direction anyway, but the pandemic may have highlighted any differences that you had. Not least is the fact that most of us deal with stress and a crisis in different ways, plus finances may have become a lot more strained if one or both of you were made redundant or have been furloughed. Add home-schooling into the mix and not being able to see family and friends as much as usual, and it’s not surprising that so many couples are separating.

So, it’s important to work out how you actually feel about what’s happened and at first that may be anger and grief – if that’s the case, you need time to process the whole situation. You might feel denial at first as in ‘this isn’t really happening’ and ‘I’m not going to let this happen’ but if your partner is adamant that they want to separate, eventually you’ll need to adjust to the situation and start to accept it.

Talking to a friend whom you can trust is often a good idea as well as keeping a journal to write down all your feelings about what’s happened. Counselling could also help you come to terms with what’s happened, although this would need to be online or via video call at the moment,

If possible, talk to your ex about whether you’ll have a ‘clean break’ or whether you’d like to check in with one another now and again. It may be that you’ll have to talk anyway, because if you have children together, communication is vital and in the same way, if you’re dividing up property you’ll need to speak sometimes. Try to keep it calm and to the point as there’s nothing to be gained by shouting at one another and you probably won’t feel that good afterwards.

Thinking about children, they have already had a lot of upheaval due to the pandemic and may have found it so difficult not seeing their friends, so keeping to some sort of routine is important but of even more help will be if you can keep things amiable with your ex. It probably won’t be easy, but having the intention to do this is a start. If you can agree between the two of you what you’ll do if things get heated, it can help as you’ll know that there’s a way of stopping things getting out of control. For instance, you could have a code word if one of you thinks that a situation is getting too heated and then you can restart the conversation later. Deep breathing during these times can help a lot!

During this pandemic, it’s difficult to hide from your feelings and although all the emotions are painful and uncomfortable, the pain can be a catalyst for something better as it makes you look at what you want in your life in the future and what you might want from a future relationship (even if that seems an impossible idea right now!).

Even though you can’t go to a gym right now (and may not be able to afford to anyway), try exercising at home and use meditation as a way to get through what is undoubtedly a very difficult time. There are lots of apps like Headspace to help you meditate and reflect on what’s happened and how you’re feeling about it.

When the pandemic is over and life returns to some sort of normality, you will hopefully find that you’ve come to a deeper understanding of yourself and how you will go forward in the future.

Please do comment on my blog if you have found it interesting, useful or otherwise. You can see my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on Linked In, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.

#relationships #issues #bloggerforever #livingchange #youcandothis

Thinking About New Year’s Resolutions?

Are you thinking about the resolutions that you might make on New Year’s Eve? A lot of us will be doing so right now – maybe we’ll resolve to stop smoking, drink less or lose weight but it seems that only one in 10 of us will achieve our goal.  Here are a few tips to make sure that this year you succeed with your resolution(s):

  1. Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution – take some time right now, a few days beforehand, to reflect about what you’re really hoping to achieve.
  2. Make only one resolution – your chances of success are greater when you channel your energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.
  3. By breaking down your resolutions into smaller goals, you’re more likely to succeed.
  4. Tell your family and friends what you’re hoping to do – they may well support you when you feel like giving up.
  5. Keep reminding yourself about the benefits of achieving your goal. This will help you to keep going. Write down these benefits to look at when you’re tempted to go back to your old ways.
  6. Whatever resolution you’ve chosen, try to accept that you may need help and support with it. If you want to stop smoking, visit your GP Surgery for help and guidance from a Stop Smoking Clinic, nicotine patches, lozenges or you could try hypnosis. If you want to lose weight, join a slimming club (you can do this on-line as well as attending classes, especially as none of us know what restrictions might be in place during the coming months). There is usually some support available whatever your resolution happens to be.
  7. Don’t focus on the downside of what you’re doing. For instance, if you’re hoping to lose weight try not to think about the foods you can’t eat but focus instead on how, in six weeks’ time, you’ll be able to buy clothes that are a size smaller.
  8. Expect to revert back to your old habits sometimes but treat it as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether.
  9. If you feel that your success might be hampered by low self-esteem or lack of assertiveness, consider counselling to help you overcome this.

Good luck with whatever resolution you’ve chosen and I hope that by this time next year, you’ll have achieved whichever goal you’re setting for yourself.

Please do comment on my blog if you have found it interesting, useful or otherwise. You can see my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on Linked In, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.

Wishing You A Very Happy Christmas

I wish every one of you a happy Christmas – thank you for reading my blogs and for those of you who also comment, I really appreciate it.

Whatever Christmas means for you, if it hasn’t worked out as you’d hoped, I hope that you can still enjoy whatever pleasures the day brings and go forward with renewed hope for the future.

Keep reading and if you want me to write a blog about a particular subject, please let me know! I’m always looking for new, relevant ideas.

“Smooth Seas Don’t Make A Good Sailor”

There’s an African proverb that says, “Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors.” In other words, it’s the hard knocks in life that soften our rough edges and help to shape us into someone who is resilient.

Whilst I think it’s true that having to deal with difficulties and disappointments often help to shape our characters, surely some people have too much to cope with? Life’s knocks can get us down especially if we have no real support, have to deal with a lot of ill health or cope with several bereavements within a short space of time.

The school of hard knocks isn’t the only way to build up resilience – there are several ways to get through hard times so that we can bounce back and feel happier. I have a lot of empathy for people whose lives have gone downhill with all the negativity that they’ve had to cope with but if you’re reading this in the hope of developing more emotional strength and feel  that you have too much to cope with, try the following  and see how you get on. I’m not saying that you won’t feel overwhelmed at times, but these tips will hopefully diminish those feelings so that you’ll feel happier again:

  • When things go wrong, try thinking “things will eventually get better, even if I can’t see that right now”. Being resilient is partly about realising that it’s unlikely to always be that way, even if you can’t see a way out right now.
  • Find something, however small that you can control – there are loads of things we can’t control and these include big challenges like broken relationships, bereavement or redundancy but by taking small steps in almost any area of life can help us to see a brighter future.
  • Sometimes we undermine our own resilience by thinking “Is this down to me?” rather than realising that sometimes things are out of our control such as when the car breaks down (’I should have made sure it was serviced’) or when we’re late and it’s had a knock-on effect on other things (‘I should have prioritised more; I’m no good at anything’). Give yourself a break emotionally and recognise that if you’ve had a lot of other more serious things to deal with, smaller things like servicing the car can easily get pushed to one side. Try to think about what you can do to stop the problem occurring again.
  • Focus on what’s gone right even if that’s hard – there will be one or two things that have actually been positive, even if other negative things have piled up. I’m not suggesting that if you’ve had a death in your family or are dealing with a cancer diagnosis, you shouldn’t let yourself grieve for what you’ve lost, whether that’s a person dear to you or a frightening illness, but even on the darkest days there will be one or two things that have been alright. It could be a kindly neighbour who’s taken in a parcel for you or even cooked you a meal, or that there was a glimmer of sunshine after hours of rain. Even on the worst of days, there will be some little things that were good and they can make a difference.
  • This isn’t about living a life where you pretend things are always fine but more about getting a perspective.
  • Ask other people to help you – when we have problems it’s so easy to feel isolated. Social media ensures that we’re constantly seeing people who apparently have perfect lives, having achieved great things but realistically, however true those stories are, most of us need help at times so don’t be afraid to ask for that if you’re struggling. This doesn’t have to put a burden on the person you’re asking for help – maybe you just need someone to listen or to share their knowledge about something that they know more about than you do.
  • Find something to laugh at – it could be an old episode of ‘Only Fools and Horses’, but really, anything that floats your boat so that you’re having a laugh, is good; really good.
  • Finally, find a distraction – it often helps to take time out, even if it’s only for a few minutes. One of the best things is exercise if you can motivate yourself to get out there and walk in the fresh air or go to a yoga or meditation class. This can often help us to think more clearly.

Please do comment on my blog if you have found it interesting, useful or otherwise. You can see my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on Linked In, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.