In a recent conversation with my friend, who is a mom of 2 (under 10) and a ECE teacher she said “If one more person tells me to focus on my self care I’m going to vomit. It feels like a punch in the gut at this point”
And it got us talking about this..
Why do we feel so frustrated these days, even just hearing the term “self care”
And why isn’t it working anymore?
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am an advocate for women taking space and taking amazing care of themselves… I practice and teach these same self care tools myself.
But there is a part missing in the conversation and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it here.
Most people, when they hear the term “self care”, think of physical self care. Things like:
- Epsom salt baths
- Getting hair and nails done
- Exercise and movement.
All amazing suggestions, however, there are at least 4 other forms of self care that are just as essential and need to be attended to a lot more than bubble baths right now.
4 Key Forms of Self Care
- Emotional Self Care
Your ability to process and regulate your feelings and emotions is paramount. Is there a safe space for you to feel the full range of emotions?
- Mental Self Care
Your happiness depends on this. How are you nurturing your mind?
- Social Self Care
Humans are meant to connect with other humans. Period. I don’t know about you, but this part has been hurting in my life lately. We’re experiencing collective trauma on this level. How are you nurturing your relationships?
- Spiritual Self care
Inclusive of your beliefs, How are you connecting with your soul’s authentic expression?
Quite frankly, if you are a parent, teacher, or health worker, in fact anyone living in the world today, you too, are likely rolling your eyes at the vague term Self Care.
Because at least two things come to mind immediately when we think of blocks to self care:
Time and energy!
Chances are that you are so exhausted already from all of the demands of the day. In this covid era perhaps your kids are home – virtual learning, while you are juggling your own work, keeping your family safe, all while trying to process collective trauma. Many of us are feeling disappointed at the people calling the shots in our country. Add on to that, the need to be present in your relationships, or maybe you are having to do it all solo. It’s a LOT!
So even if you miraculously manage to find the time to have the bath or go for the massage, it’s likely that your mind will still be focussed on whatever stress is happening in your life right now. It’s really difficult to switch off.
The truth is, yes, doing these self care activities is great, but it may also be bypassing the actual stress and how it’s affecting your body.
I believe that Physical Self Care comes as a last step of the Self Care process.
In my opinion, Emotional Self care needs to be addressed FIRST, before any other form of self care.
This is the kind of stuff every human should be taught as early in life as possible and what I think is missing from the current education system. That is why it is up to US, as parents, to teach and support our kids in this way. My hope is that this should become part of teacher training in general as it is crucial to our wellbeing.
In a state of heightened emotional stress it is not enough to just go for a massage or a walk or get your hair done to take your mind off of things. You need the tools to be able to:
- Identify the stress
- Understand and process it
- And then, take action! (Which is where those physical suggestions can come in!)
But you see, before you’re able to regulate your nervous system, those activities feel like a Band-Aid and for some a total waste of time. Often you end up not feeling any better, or as if you are doing something wrong, and so simply don’t make time for them.
The problem is that we haven’t been taught how to repair and regulate our own emotions.
The collective tendency has been to find something outside to soothe ourselves with, which is the culture of “obsessive self care” and that’s why it no longer works. We’re simply exhausted about being told when and how to take care of ourselves
Our own self-regulation tools are lacking, yet we so deeply desire to help our kids, but are at a loss as to HOW. So we end up living in a state of complete overwhelm – which is not helpful for anyone!
I’m a Somatic Psychotherapist by training, and I facilitate healing spaces for moms, particularly women who lead a family dynamic and have a business or a career.
I’d like to invite you to join my next Somatic Healing Circle. My intention with these spaces is to create community where we get to share and experience practical tools for regulating your nervous system and helping your kids to do the same. I deeply believe this work is currently the most important work to be done. Because we are all currently experiencing trauma to some extend! Every single one of us.. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, in which case, I’ll need to know where I can get one too 🙂
It’s not whether you’ve ever had trauma that you need to heal from. Right now it’s about being able to process and repair trauma in the moment.
I’ve studied and practiced trauma healing tools for 15+ years.. And I’ll tell you, the solution here is being able to BE PRESENT, PROCESS and REPAIR in the moment.
If you are someone like me, you’ve been walking the personal development, inner healing path, you know how deep those trauma roots can go. And would it have been easier if there was someone there to help you process those big feelings when they were happening? Regardless of how big or small the difficult events were?
The effect of what we are currently experiencing will show up in the future for our children. How we handle things NOW is imperative. It’s imprinted in the future generation.
I’m here to ensure that we don’t continue to pass on unconscious biases..
I’m here to ensure that we assist these brilliant children consciously
I’m here to ensure that we advocate for them. That we don’t leave them alone with the trauma,
In the words of Dr. Gabor Mate: “Trauma is not the event that occurred, but rather that, No one was available to help us process it”
And since we know better, we can do better.
Our kids need conscious and connected adults to guide them
Don’t think that they don’t know, and what they don’t know won’t hurt them!
That’s old and outdated. Kids KNOW!!
And it’s our job to help them build resilience.
Resilience does not come intuitively .. Someone has to help you learn those skills. We don’t want to encourage resilience as a trauma response, we want it to be a solid foundation for a healthy and stable life experience
My question to you is:
Are you processing OR are you storing your current experience?
Do you know the difference?
WHAT ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN?
Our Next Healing Circle is open to the public. If you wish to join, please comment below and we’ll get you the link to access.