Self Care & Healing

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity. ~Hippocrates

Welcome to Healing.

Healing. If you’re reading this post, you are probably no stranger to it. Likely trying to figure out how to go about it like the rest of us. Healing is messy. It takes time. Just when you think you’re through it, you’re right back in that place and it feels like starting all over again. A friend once metaphorized healing to a wave, it crashes into shore, recedes, is calm, is turbulent, and changes with the tides of life. There is no right or wrong way to heal. Big or little setbacks, conflicts, losses, grief, heartbreak, all of it. Healing is as individual and unique as the person going through the process. My hope is that this blog can motivate someone, even if it’s just one person, to feel secure knowing that they can and will repair the wounds. Healing is one of those things no one can do truly alone. So let’s do it together.

Kintsugi (joining with gold) or Kintsukuroi (meaning ‘golden repair or gold mending’ is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. The guiding principle of this practice is that breakage and repairs are part of the object’s history. The imperfections should be recognized and valued, not rejected. Treasured, not thrown away. Celebrated when the object is made to be more beautiful because of the repair. The philosophical lesson of this art form is one of accepting fragility, building strength and resilience, and taking pride in the imperfect. Things can and do fall apart. Embrace the beauty of imperfections and healing into something more elegant than it was before.

Healing is no different. It is an opportunity to learn a process that works for the individual, identify individual needs, what brings peace, stills the mind, and inspires the soul to transcend. By doing so, the individual emerges restored and lovelier than before whatever caused the hurt and pain. Embrace the healing and learn to cherish and treasure yourself along the way.

Pictured: A few of my favorite skincare face masks.

Self Care Suggestions to Get Started:

What is ‘self care’?

Well as a social worker this is something that is paramount to my field. Working with people is challenging in and of itself, add in mental health, trauma, abuse, heartbreaking circumstances, and a myriad of tribulations, self care is absolutely essential. Self care is in the most basic sense is simply taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical and mental health. There are seven pillars or categories of self care, any activity fits into one of these: mental, emotional, physical, environmental, spiritual, recreational, and social.

So how do you know what self care to do?

Really it is sitting with oneself and your emotions to identify what brings relief, peace, or recharges your energy reserves.

As an introvert, solitude is an absolute requirement for me. I restore my energy away from others and find being around people draining. A good determinant of personality type is to take a test. I recommended either of these: Free Personality Test | 16Personalities or The Myers & Briggs Foundation – MBTI┬« Basics (myersbriggs.org). I also have an auditory processing disorder so for me loud noise or quantity of different noises causes feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed because I cannot process the environment. So a quiet area with minimal disturbances is ideal. Knowing this about yourself is key. Identify your stressors, triggers, things that aren’t relaxing so they can be omitted from your self care space and activity.

Here are some of my personal favorite ways to unwind and forget about life for awhile:

  • Reading outside, usually with a skincare face mask and teeth whitening strips on. I totally unplug, leave my phone inside where I cannot hear or see it. This helps focus completely on the book and provides a heavenly escape from the world.
  • Running. I actually don’t love the act of running. It is tedious, irritating, and takes time. However, running also saps me of my anxious energy. I can go into a run wired with racing thoughts and finish my run feeling resolved and satisfied.
  • Boxing. I will go more in depth about this in a later post. For now, I will say that boxing is highly technical. No matter what is going on in my life, it forces me to focus on my technique, go in a zone away from my worries, and reinforces my strength and power.
  • Meditating/Manifesting. When I do this, I blend these together. If I am feeling emotional about something, I sit cross legged on a meditation pillow with either music or a meditation soundtrack, and just let my brain run wild or free associate for as long as it needs to.
  • Painting. I don’t plan out my paintings. I set up my chosen area. Then I pick a color. Which leads to another color. Which leads to an idea or a design I thought of or some flower that was pretty. And it just happens. I do find that my color choices very much correspond with my emotions at the time. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to show anyone the artwork. Just pick up a brush and get whatever is inside, out, with colors!

*Stay tuned for more in depth ideas and the principles behind self care and the many various ways to practice wellness.