Caring means taking care of your body and soul.
Caring for the Body
-Cooperating with nutritional recommendations
-Taking steps to obtain enough sleep
-Cooperating with doctor’s recommendations
Pay attention to your five senses when caring for the body. Buy a flower, go to a museum. Listen to music, listen to a fire cracking. Put on your favorite scented lotion, smell some potpourri. Take a bubble bath, lay in some fresh sheets. Taste is a difficult sense to address, though. In that sense, it’s okay to skip this until you are a stable enough place in recovery.
Caring for the Spirit
Typically, prayer is the go-to for caring for one’s spirit. However, if you are not a religious person, meditation is another good option. Also, yoga is a great way to relax your mind and body. If those are too unappealing, simply try deep breathing.
IN MY RECOVERY
Recovery is crucial to caring for the body and mind. The simple fact of the matter is, if you don’t care for your soul, you won’t follow your doctor’s orders. And if you don’t follow your doctor’s orders you won’t get better. Blunt, but true. Therefore, it is so important to work on both the body and soul at the same time in treatment. While at inpatient my resources for “caring for my senses” were greatly limited. I had no access to my favorite lotions, perfumes or candles. If I was caught doing yoga, I’d be punished with Ensure for “exercising.” With those circumstances at play, I had to get creative. Before Remuda, I was a minimally spiritual person. My prayers usually included having a boy I liked ask me out, or to ask for my boobs to grow bigger. At Remuda, however, when we went to chapel for devotional services, things sometimes spoke to me. Even if I wasn’t praying, Chapel was a peaceful and serene place for me to be at peace with my mind.
I get stressed super easily. In college, I major in Communications and that means I have a lot of writing work to do that always seems to pile up at once. I will get stressed and I will worry that I won’t be able to finish it all on time. To help cope with that, I don’t like to light candles (especially Pumpkin Spice) because they are not allowed in the dorms. Also, exercise, having a cup of tea or stretching help me out a lot with my stress.
At work, things can get overwhelming at times. If I get frustrated with guests being troublesome or I spill a glass, it can put me in a funk and impact my work. Since work for me is always go, go, go what I do to calm myself down is just step into the office and take some deep breaths.
Driving is something that can cause people a lot of stress, especially those who have to commute through rush-hour to get to and from work (I’m looking at you, Mom!). Traffic for me either is the most irritating thing or a relaxing time, depending on how I handle it. To make things relaxing during a long, stop-and-go drive, I like to put on my favorite music and sing along with every word I know. I will put on cruise control and stretch my legs out and feel the tension pouring out of me.
Every day there are little ways that one can fit in self-caring here and there. Sometimes those things come naturally and you don’t realize them, but sometimes they are so needed and never done. Take some time out of your days to recognize little, simple things to help make your days less stressful.