Practicing Self Care

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This year has been a bit of a shock all round what with lockdown, social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, daily figures……….I could go on but you all know how it is and the effect it has on our mental health and in some cases on our physical health. Many of the avenues we would have used to practice self care have been closed off to us and where those have now reopened, or are in the process of doing so we may not wish to take the risk, however small of accessing them.

In the past when I needed to give myself some self care it would have quite likely taken the form of getting a hands on Reiki treatment as well as booking myself in for a massage, reflexology or something similar. Earlier this year though I had a health scare which occurred during lockdown so nothing like this was available to me which was difficult at a time when I was not well enough to fall back on my own resources.

One of the things that was gentle enough for me at the time was the free weekly guided meditation sessions via Zoom with Dzochen Beara. The other form of self care I used was to reach out to friends who could do distance healing with Reiki and Shamanic healing. Once I was feeling up to it I also began to join in a weekly Reiki self healing and found the group energy helped support me there.

Listening to my body, what it would allow me to do at any time, what it needed me to do come to that, focusing inward rather than outward and really paying attention to both my physical and mental health have been a really powerful form of self care. I used to always be reminding clients and students to do this and although it is something I have always tried to do I am not sure I have ever done so to this extent.

My self care so far has included, in no particular order:

  • walking barefoot in the garden
  • stepping outside to take in the fresh air
  • opening all the windows for fresh air
  • listening to audio books when I couldn’t read
  • reading ebooks once I could read again
  • allowing myself to sleep as often during the day as I needed to
  • going for very short walks that gradually increased in length over time
  • walking on the beach
  • listening to music
  • attempting not to get caught up in the news too much
  • painting or drawing for no reason
  • simply sitting and being still and not feeling I should be doing something
  • using Reiki to support me at all times
  • beginning to move my body again through gentle exercise – Feldenkrais, Somatic Yoga at first and now light resistance work
  • giving myself permission to do whatever was needed
  • recognising when I wasn’t ok
  • letting others help me
  • not reaching out to help others when I wasn’t really ok to do so
  • putting my own health before everything else

I am sure there are other things I have been doing as well but underpinning everything has simply been listening to what I really needed and still need rather than letting my mind try and dictate to me. Self care at its most fundamental.