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What about me? A personal development course for carers in Wales
What about me? A personal development course for carers in Wales

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Your reflection

Activity 1.1 Thinking about myself

Timing: You should spend around 20 minutes on this activity.

To get you started, think about the following four questions:

  • How do I see myself now?
  • What am I most proud of?
  • What makes me happy?
  • How would I like to see myself in the future?

Before trying to answer these questions have a look at the following examples, which show how Alana and James answered them.

Example 1: Alana

We know that Alana has completed a Level 1 in Hairdressing and is progressing onto Level 2. Have a look at Alana’s table to see what Alana hopes for the future and how she sees herself now.

Table 1.1 Alana’s table
How do I see myself now?What makes me happy?
  • Hairdresser
  • Quiet but once you get to know me confident
  • Determined
  • Talkative
  • Volunteering
  • Sometimes call myself stupid
  • Following my dream
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Coming to Young Adult Carers group
  • Playing around with hair
  • Holidays
What am I most proud of?How would I like to see myself in the future?
  • Passing hair level 1
  • Volunteering
  • Overcoming fears
  • Successful
  • Hairdresser
  • Volunteer

Think about the following questions:

  • Do you identify with anything Alana is saying?
  • Do you have anything in common?
  • What is different about your situation and how you feel?

   

Example 2: James

Now look at James’ table and listen to him describing his experiences.

Table 1.2 James’ table

Table 1.2 James’ table
How do I see myself now?What makes me happy?
  • Middle aged
  • In a period of change
  • Letting go of the past
  • People
  • Laughter
  • Animals
  • Love
  • Peace
  • Studying
  • Good food
  • Thailand
What am I most proud of?How would I like to see myself in the future?
Remaining cheerful in the face of adversity
  • Qualified psychologist
  • Maybe working in academia
  • Happy
Download this video clip.Video player: wam_s1_james_1.1.1.mp4
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Your table

Now fill in the boxes for yourself on Activity sheet 1.1 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   that we have provided for you. We will return to this activity in Session 5 so you may want to keep a copy of your table.

OR

Open your Reflection Log and go to Activity 1.1. Once you have completed the activity, make sure you save the document again.

If you are working in a group and would like to share your answers, do so now.

Activity 1.2 Defining myself

Timing: You should spend around 20 minutes on this activity.

This activity asks you to think of the various roles you have in your life and what these involve.

In the previous section, we heard about Christine’s experiences of caring for her son, what it has taught her and how she feels about it. Have a look at Christine’s list of the roles that she now has in life, and then listen to her talking about these in the audio clip.

Table 1.3 Christine's table
My main roles in lifeWhat I do
  • Wife
  • Mum
  • Daughter and daughter-in-law
  • Aunt and great aunt
  • Listener – to husband, son, family
  • First aider
  • Restorer of humour
  • Standing up for the ‘under-dog’ better than for myself
  • Love, tend to and care for my son and husband.
  • Do what I can, learning to leave what I want to do but can’t.
  • My therapy ispaper crafting, also starting mixed media and textiles.
  • Mastering the sewing machine
Figure 1.4
Download this audio clip.Audio player: wam_s1_christine_1_2.mp3
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The example above shows how we have different roles in life. We all have many roles in which we use a variety of skills and abilities.

Think about the following questions:

  • Do you have anything in common with Christine?
  • Have you had to deal with some of the same difficulties?
  • Do you have goals you want to achieve?

In the previous section we also read about Claire and her role caring for her mother and her partner. Have a look at Claire’s table where she describes her many roles and what she does.

Table 1.4 Claire’s table
My main roles in life What I do
  • Carer
  • Partner
  • Daughter
  • Sister
  • Aunty
  • Student
  • Volunteer
  • Poet
  • Friend
  • General care for my partner
    • Assisting day to day activities
    • Assisting with transfers
    • Emotional support
  • Looking after my nieces
  • Staying in touch and seeing family and friends
  • Support women with mental health issues
  • Helping run and organise a drop in
  • Writing poetry and trying to get published
  • Learning British Sign Language

Now define yourself at the present time, and the roles you fulfil, in Activity sheet 1.2.

OR

Open your Reflection Log and go to Activity 1.2. (If you forgot to save your Reflection Log, you can open a new document.) Once you have completed the activity, make sure you save the document again.

If you are working in a group, you might want to share your answers and discuss your roles with each other. Similarly, if you are working one-to-one with a mentor, use this time to tease out some of the ideas above.