Steve Cowen, CEO Gateshead Carers

Video script: My Top Tip’s around worries

Hello there, my name’s Steve Cowen. I’m Chief Exec of Gateshead Carers Association but more importantly I think the fact that I’ve been a carer for 10 years and I’ve spoken to hundred’s of carers over that time. I think I’d really just like to give you my Top Tip based on what I know – Top Tip for Carers.

My Top Tip’s around worries and worries are just thoughts you might say, but as carers we have a lot of worries and I think at the moment with everything that’s going down, with the lockdown, changes in how we live our lives, I’m working at home at the moment, I think now is probably as good a time as ever to pass this on.  So don’t go away, it will only take about 30 seconds for me to do this.

My Top Tip on worries is that they’re sort of sneaky things and I call them sneaky because they’ll just arrive in your head coming from nowhere. They won’t ask to be let in, they’ll just arrive and when they do get in they hang around for ages – sometimes hours. And when they’re in your head it’s almost impossible to think about anything else except those sneaky worries. 

So, this is my tip, the next time that a worry enters your head this is what you say...and you say it to the worry. You say, sorry, I don’t want to think about you now, and this is the nice bit, I want you to go away and I’d like you to come back at, just pick a time that suits you, let’s say it’s half past seven tonight, don’t want to speak to you right now, don’t want to think about you right now, go away, come back at 7.30 pm tonight, and this is the part I love, come back at 7.30 tonight and I’ll spend 5 minutes with you.  7.30 comes in the evening, YOU invite the thought in, it doesn’t let itself in, you invite the thought in, this is your time, off you go worry, and take your mind wherever it takes you, after 5 minutes, you say right that’s it, I’m afraid its time up for you today but you’re welcome to come back at...pick a time...whenever you want...10 O’clock on Sunday morning – 5 minutes, never more than 5 minutes. It’s never more than 5 minutes because that’s all you need.

 If you think about the times you are worrying you go over the same thing time and time again, sometimes several times, the same worry session.  Just stick a limit on it, just 5 minutes that’s more than enough for any worry that you’ve got. The key thing is when you give an invitation when they are invited back in, make sure you open the door and let that worry in. I’m not saying worries aren’t important – they are, but let’s keep it , let’s keep YOU in control and I think that’s the key message – Be in Control of Your Worries – Don’t let your worries control  you.  It’s a very simple technique that does work, please try it and in the meantime, stay safe and best wishes.