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Self Care, and Caring for Others

We all seem to lead such busy lives these days, and manyforget or don’t prioritise time for themselves. It’s often difficult when you haveso many balls in the air, to make time for yourself for self care. But thesedays I try to actually schedule in time for me when I need it. I find it absolutelynecessary – chronologically the body is now entering the “elderly” phase, andneeding more opportunities for rest, however much my youthful mind tells me aboutthings I would like to do if I had the energy!

For me, self care is all about time and solitude – giving oneselftime to just be in a supportive nurturing environment with nothing much to do,or doing something you really love - something that relaxes you and gives youmuch needed “time off”. We can’t always be there for people – we can’t give ofour best if we are tired out and “on duty” all the time. We all need tore-charge our batteries at some point, and for me the Christmas period is justthat opportunity. It’s a time when the work thins out, and I can spend somewelcome periods resting and doing things I enjoy, rather than the usual adminand Coursework.

It’s particularly important to take time for self care whenwe’ve had a difficult week or month, or an especially busy or traumatic time.Healing needs space and time to do its magic, bringing us back to a place ofharmony and wholeness. A short time every day put aside for meditation, gonging,listening to music, exercising, or some other harmonising activity will also bebeneficial to our ongoing state of being.

There are also those times when we need time to come toterms with things that have happened, both in our personal lives, and also inour country or the world. This last few days has been that sort of time here inthe UK for those of us who are fully awake and aware. I feel the best way wecan deal with the situation we find ourselves in is to look after ourselves andeach other mindfully and lovingly, and band together in community with like-mindedothers so that we can also care for those in need in whatever way isappropriate.. Clearly we are going to have to be our own mentors, and fordisadvantaged others too.

Coming to terms with our feelings on a personal level also needstime and space. When for instance, you’ve had an emotional or physical shock, yourfeelings are very hurt, or you’ve had some really bad news – these are timeswhen we need to withdraw and honour how we feel. Emotional self care iscrucial. We need space and quiet time for ourselves to be able to process thesethings and come to terms with them. Healing isn’t usually instant. It takestime and space to grieve, truly feel our feelings, and honour our own needs onevery level – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. When we take time outin this way we can re-group and get ourselves re-centred and re-charged oncemore before we go out into the chaotic fray of life to deal with it all again. Thisis especially true if you are very sensitive and aware.

This is why I’ll be taking a period off over Christmas andNew Year, for some self care, and to give myself some time to reflect, both onthe events of the year that’s passed, and also on the year to come. I wish youall a quiet and peaceful festive season, and see you on the other side in 2020!

Sheila Whittaker 14.12.19


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