A little over six months ago, I spent the afternoon with my precious granddaughter, Sarah. A week later, she was fighting for her life. When her body gave out after an amazingly brave battle, she transitioned to heaven, leaving all of those who love her behind, living in our own Hell on earth. Our loss, Heaven’s gain.
When I took her to the labyrinth on a sunny, cool, November day, I promised her we’d come back each season, take photos, and see the changes in nature. We’d have wonderful memories and photos to look back on, and the moment I hugged her in the center of the labyrinth, I knew it was our special place.
In my last post I discussed my “self-care” emergency kit. While I incorporate several modalities, my favorite is the “Daily Challenge.”
Every day, I challenge myself to learn or try something new. Sometimes it is as simple as looking up a word I don’t recognize. Other times it’s reading a new topic, or challenging myself to walk 15 more minutes. Some days, it’s trying something new with art.
As I continue my healing journey, one thing I am constantly reminded of is to “self-care.” I’m sure others are probably tiring of me reminding them to do the same.
Self-care may sound a little “woo-woo,” but it really is not. It’s not all about massages or mani-pedis, though they can be incorporated, too. In times of trauma recovery, self-care is a reminder to be gentle with yourself in all situations, and to not only learn your limits, but to honor them, too.
Yesterday, I celebrated my sweet Sarah’s 13th birthday, wracked with profound grief. Sarah transitioned to Heaven early in December after contracting viral myocarditis. It was such a shock to our family, friends and the community at large. People from around the world – literally – were praying with us as this sweet child battled an awful virus that attacked her heart. And those same people have supported us in our grief.
The initial shock is beginning to fade, and I find myself living in the reality of the grief. The loss. The gut-punch of never seeing her in this realm, yet feeling her presence on a soul-level.
To say that the past year or so of my life has been the worst season of my existence is a gross understatement. So, while I am on my healing journey, self-care has been a huge priority.
A month or so ago, my hairstylist/friend, recommended the book, “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron. The book is an exercise in tapping back into the creativity we all have, and using our art – in any form – as a building block to healing. A great way to self-care.
Ordering the book, I was struck with the thought, “I know I heard about this book before,” but I couldn’t remember why. An email reminder that I received the next day re-engaged my brain: I had signed up for a workshop at our local library, based on this book – and it was being facilitated by a friend of mine.
Self-care is absolutely vital when you decide to commit to therapy.
If you are committed to getting back to good mental health, self-care will be an important component. Self-care is similar to giving yourself healing time after surgery or an illness – such as eating light, resting, drinking tea, etc.
As I stated in my previous post, trauma can be anything from grief to abuse to living through a life-threatening illness/injury or even a near-death experience. And while you may be grateful that you lived through the trauma, you may not have processed it.
A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom. – Bob Dylan
I look forward to walking my puppy in the evenings. It’s a nice way to decompress after a long day and enjoy the beauty of the seasons. Especially in the summer.
One of my favorite views is of an older church in our neighborhood. The well-kept building and its grounds are beautiful and peaceful. It reminds me of the iconic, Americana view of a sunset, steeple and lush trees.