KEEP A DIARY - Writing down your feelings can be both liberating and illuminating.
The great thing about a diary is that it is private. You can say what you like, however you like, which makes it a safe place
to keep painful, sad, and angry thoughts as well as happy or hopeful ones.
If writing's not your thing, turn your diary into a scrapbook or a home for your cartoons. No matter how skimpy or erratically
the entries in your diary are, they will still be a treasure in the future.
LAUGH - Funny things still happen in your life. Enjoy them. Celebrate the good times. Laugh at absurdities
and jokes, share good times with your friends. Yes, yes, the old saying is true - laughter is the best medicine.
MAKE MUSIC - Music is also a great comfort and companion. Play your favourite music, sing at the top of
your voice or, better still, make music with your friends.
NOTE YOUR PAST SUCCESSES - Remember all the things you've achieved recently. You might have passed a course,
won a competition, done well in sport, finished a good book, coped with a difficult situation without 'losing' it. You have
many skills and talents. Don't ever forget that.
OPTIMISM - Much is happening in the world of HD research and you have plenty of time to develop a rich,
fulfilling life. Look around you, think of your talents and of all the good things in your life. You'll soon see there is
a lot to look forward to.
POSITIVE THOUGHTS ARE GREAT - Remind yourself of all the things you do well. Like listening, cooking,
making music, playing sport, being a friend. Remember, you've survived so far and you will continue to survive. You have much
to offer yourself and the world.
QUESTION - Continue to be curious. The questions you want to ask about HD will change over time as you
grow older and move into different stages of your life. You'll need new or different information to help you plan your future
and cope with changing circumstances. Keep asking.
RELAX YOUR BODY AND MIND - Relax, take a deep breath, be calm. Take time to soothe your body and soul
and reflect on the beauty of the universe and your place in it. You can do this when you watch the sunset or the sunrise,
take a long bath, walk the dog, stroll on the beach or in the bush, fly a kite or fish.
SHARE YOUR PROBLEMS - A problem shared is a problem halved, or so the saying goes. Talk to your mother
or father - tell them how you're feeling and ask if they have time to talk. They are going through much the same thing as
you and probably feel much the same way.
If you have other adults who understand, talk to them. There might be a counsellor at school or a social worker you can
ring. Pets make good listeners too - they don't get bored or tell you to pull yourself together. Soft toys were invented for
just this purpose - teddy bears make excellent companions.
TREAT YOURSELF - Pamper yourself. Having plenty of rest, eating good food and keeping fit will care for
your mind and body but your spirit deserves some pampering as well. Indulge in some junk food occasionally, blob out in front
of TV - for a change! Have a hot bath, get a massage, go shopping, buy a magazine, surf the net, whatever makes you feel good.
UNIVERSE - Remember that you're part of a much bigger system. You belong to a family, a school or workplace,
a community, a country, a world, the universe.
You're part of the natural rhythm of change. Seasons come and go, people are born, grow older and die. Some creatures live
for only a few weeks, other live for hundreds of years. Earthquakes, floods, avalanches and droughts are part of the natural
order. On a big scale, such changes are normal, on a personal level they can be devastating - but they are still part of the
VALUE YOURSELF - Coping with HD is hard but it is also rewarding. As you cope, you grow in wisdom, acceptance,
compassion and maturity. You have the chance to think about what is really important in life. You can be a model for others,
so value that.
WRITE - Write, draw, sing, dance, play music, play. Be part of life.
X - What can we say? This is the mystery spot for you to fill in with your private coping strategies.
YOU - Yes, we've said it before but we can't say it too often. You're lovable, valuable, precious to yourself
and others. Don't forget it.
ZZZZs - At the end of all this, you'll be tired. Treat yourself, put you feet up, sleep in, catch up on