Self Care and Recovery Part 1

“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires; we do it not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.” – Parker J. Palmer

What is Self Care?

Picture a beautiful garden. Gorgeous flowers, trees, and perfectly trimmed shrubs into whatever shapes you desire. Maybe there is a koi pond with beautiful fish. Is there is a section with homegrown vegetables? No matter how your perfect garden would look, let’s pretend it’s you. What would have to happen for a perfect garden to be destroyed? The answer is simple yet profound, nothing. All that has to happen for a garden to wither to an abandoned lot is lack of care. It’s the same with a mind, a spirit or life. Two things are necessary for a perfect garden to remain. One being, removal of what is harmful and maintenance of what we want. We must protect our garden from weeds and pests while simultaneously allowing for the right combination of watering, feeding, and light.

Mindset for Self Care

Having the proper mindset is critical. So many things can come under the heading of self-care. Maybe even more important than the chosen practices is the appropriate attitude. In a “Psychology Today” Article entitled “Self Care Reality Check” Megha Pulianda writes:
“I’m not going to guarantee an improvement in your mental or physical health through the application of one single practice or action. I’m not going to convince you to try a life-changing goji berry and flaxseed blah blah blah energizing smoothie… It’s the music I play while commuting to work. It’s the dish I attempt to make without a recipe with jazz softly playing in the background. It’s the phone call I make to a faraway friend, to say hello and catch up. It’s the request I make for help without feeling like a burden or ashamed because I am acknowledging my human existence and my need for support.”

An Environment for Self Care

Our environment is a reflection of our mindset. We have heard the theory of your body is your temple which brings up the question “How is my temple?” Set up your home in a manner that pleases your senses. Here are some tips:

  • Remove clutter: it distracts from positive vibes and energy.
  • Scents: aromatherapy (incense, candles, essential oil diffusers)
  • Sounds: Find out what music or sounds soothe you.
  • Visual: Whether it’s through art, playful themes or spiritual artifacts, make your home a sacred place for yourself.
  • Power Spot: an alter need not be religious. In recovery, we all pray and meditate. One helpful tool is a spot in your home that is dedicated to your concept of a Higher Power.

The environment sets the tone. True growth starts at home. Start with the home. After this self-care can expand to the body, mind, spirit, emotions and then spill over into our relationships, careers and social affairs. This is what we will get into next. To be continued.

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