Skills

Life skills are basic skills that can be taught or may be acquired and developed through the experience of living, working and relating with others. Life skills enable individuals and groups to effectively handle issues and problems commonly encountered in daily life. A rights-based life skills approach, including information on sexual and reproductive health and skills enhancement programmes for people with disabilities, is crucial for helping make informed choices.

This section is about some skills that we think might help effectively cope with stress, and in turn help enhance one’s life experience. If we are aware of the benefits of a certain stress management skill, we might want to hone these skills and develop them consciously. 

Self-awareness is about understanding one’s own needs, desires, failings, habits, and everything else that makes you the unique individual that you are. The more you know about yourself, the better you are at adapting to life’s changes. When we have a better understanding of ourselves, we are able to experience ourselves as unique and separate individuals. This equips us to make changes and build on our areas of strength, as well as identify areas where we would like to make improvements. Self-awareness is often the first step to many things from self-care to goal-setting.

Read this about the importance of self-awareness.

Learning how to become more self-aware is an early step in the creation of the life that you want. It helps you pinpoint what your passions and emotions are, and how your personality can help you in life. You can recognize where your thoughts and emotions are leading you, and make any necessary changes. Once you are aware of your thoughts, words, emotions, and behaviour, you will be able to make changes in the direction of your future.

How to Be More Self Aware: 8 Tips to Boost Self-Awareness covers specific actions you can take to become more self aware on a daily basis.

A helpful tool for developing self-awareness by self-reflecting on emotions can be found in the toolkit here by Positive Psychology.  Apart from tools, they have some worksheets and activities. 

Sexual self-awareness is about moving from an outside-in experience of our sexuality to an inside-out experience. It is about understanding our inheritance so that we can determine our legacy. In other words, it is about understanding our motivations, values and desires so that we can create the life and relationships we desire. It is also about the kind of sexual healing that allows us to honour the erotic as one of the pleasures of being human.

Some of us has a sexual self – an evolving relationship to the world of the erotic. For many of us, that is a radical notion. We may think about sex as a behavior, not an identity; something we do, not something we are. If you begin to think of your sexuality as an unfolding aspect of who you are as a person, important questions arise.

These questions are at the heart of what can be called a sexual self-awareness – an ongoing, curious, and compassionate relationship between you and your sexual self.  To know more read here: What Is Sexual Self-Awareness?

Becoming aware of our bodies and sexuality is a huge part of growing up and with a comprehensive sexuality education, this informed information can lead to better choices among young people. Read more about Young People and Sexuality from TARSHI’s emag In Plainspeak.

Here are some worksheets on self-awareness:

Why I do what I do

My warning signs of stress

Draw your mood

I am sexy and I know it

Mindfulness is the idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment.

Mindfulness can be cultivated through proven techniques. Read more to know the various types and benefits of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a practice involved in various religious and secular traditions -from Hinduism and Buddhism to yoga and, more recently, non-religious meditation. People have been practicing mindfulness for thousands of years, whether on its own or as part of a larger tradition.  Know more about the history of mindfulness, if interested.

While mindfulness can be practised in each and every activity we do in our life, here are some tips on a few.

The time you spend every day in the shower is a perfect opportunity to pay attention to the present moment you are living in and become more in touch with your body. The tips in this article can equally help those of us who do not have the luxury of uninterrupted water supply and those of us who prefer a bucket bath!

A mindful shower – A perfect start to everyday

How to Be Mindful While Brushing Your Teeth

Mindful walking simply means walking while being aware of each step and of our breath. Know more about mindful walking on our page about meditation.

Mindful eating (i.e., paying attention to our food, on purpose, moment by moment, without judgment) is an approach to food that focuses on individuals’ sensual awareness of the food and their experience of the food. It has little to do with calories, carbohydrates, fat, or protein. The purpose of mindful eating is not to lose weight; the intention is to help individuals savour the moment and the food and encourage their full presence for the eating experience.

Mindful eating with Indian Cuisine: In a fast-paced world, it is becoming increasingly normal to eat while also busy with other tasks, like checking mails or watching TV or even commuting. But this style of eating is mindless and doesn’t really satiate the senses or the mind. How we eat can be as important as what we eat. 

The raisin experience is a wonderful example of what mindful eating can be, with its intention to focus on various aspects of the moment-by-moment experience. The focus on the sensual experiences of sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste brings about the full awareness of the food in the moment. The raisin experience involves eating a raisin mindfully, to demystify the concept of meditation.

Diets in times of disequilibrium: As food prices rise, and the supply of produce is controlled, we must find a way of eating, mindful of the context and our own privilege.

Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy: Combining mindfulness concepts with art therapy results in the therapeutic treatment that combines the philosophy of mindfulness within an art therapy setting. In other words, you engage in the creative process of making art as a way to explore yourself (in a mindful manner).

Resilience has many different connotations but often refers to the capacity to positively respond to, and cope with, difficult situations, events or setbacks. These difficulties can occasionally be life-changing traumas or tragedies, but can also be the build-up of pressure or stress in our day-to-day living. A person demonstrating resilience is not only able to handle such experiences and difficulties in the moment, but also to ‘bounce back’ more effectively afterwards.

Here is a worksheet on understanding resilience.

Resilience: Build skills to endure hardship  explains that resilience means being able to adapt to life’s misfortunes and setbacks. TGet tips to build your own resilience.

Understanding resilience: What does it really mean? explains how resilience does not occur in a vacuum or an all-or-none manner – it is contextual

Visit How resilient are you?  to go over a questionnaire by Health Education North West

Building a Resilient Workplace: 5 Valuable Tools and Activities: For the employee, workplace resilience provides essential support for mental wellbeing and optimizing performance (Robertson et al., 2015). While, for the overall organization, resilience absorbs the shock of unforeseen events, providing protection, and the ability to bounce back (Boin, 2013). And yet, resilience—at an employee or organizational level—can be grown or learned, often in response to adverse situations.  The tools and activities set out in this article will help you develop the resilience to confront stressful events, feel less vulnerable, be more flexible, and overcome the challenges that form part of your life

CorStone develops and provides personal resilience programs to improve well-being for youth worldwide, focusing on adolescent girls as critical change-agents in their communities. The Resilient You Podcast features experts in lively conversation with Steve Leventhal, CEO, about good mental health, wellbeing and how to build and sustain personal resilience during times of crisis and loss, including COVID-19.  The Resilience Toolkit has some tools and techniques that offers a multi-disciplinary and integrative approach to developing and supporting personal resilience.

For a basic understanding about boundaries: How to Set Healthy Boundaries: 10 Examples + PDF Worksheets

Boundaries, Burnout & The Art of Saying No: The Worksheets by a psychologist practicing feminist counselling, are about understanding one’s limits, created from experience with caregivers and kind-hearted individuals of all kinds. Here is a course on boundaries that combines experiential learning with the chance to share personal experiences and insights

People from different walks of life may have a hard time setting boundaries because it’s not easy even in the best of circumstances. People with a history of trauma or abuse may have grown up with the belief that their boundaries won’t be respected no matter how hard they work at setting them, so why bother?

5 Ways to Navigate Consent with a Partner Who Has Trouble Setting Boundaries helps to see how you can work with them to build a relationship that honours that history while also helping them to heal.

Boundaries can call to mind giant fences or “do not enter” signs. In relation to setting boundaries at work, however, what a boundary looks like is typically a bit less obvious.

Setting clear boundaries helps to maintain good productivity and social dynamics in the work place. When professional boundaries and priorities have been clearly defined, everyone is able to function more effectively. Setting Boundaries at Work Is Important. Here’s How to Do It can be a good place to start!

Here is a worksheet on Setting boundaries. 

Increase / Decrease
Contrast