Creating Your Bespoke 'Well-being Survival Kit List'
I want to share with you something quite personal about my journey in the last 6 months. I think one day I may go into the details of this as there is a book there somewhere I’m sure, but for now the specifics aren’t so relevant, so I will just say that it was a prolonged traumatic experience/s over many days, on top of the ‘usual’ grief (whatever that is!) of the loss of a loved one.
Life often throws us ‘big stuff’ and when the ‘proverbial’ hits the fan it can really knock us off course and keeping ourselves on an even keel, staying grounded, connected and keeping a sense of calm in the unimaginable mayhem can be incredibly challenging, if not impossible at times. There are many reasons we can come off balance, losing a loved one, a relationship, losing our home, a job, health, our security.
For a while back there I lost my sense of connection and faith in the flow of life, the Dao even and for a short time I wondered if I would ever get it back after being in a traumatic situation that continued relentlessly for many, many days, even before the real grieving began, many days of ‘no light’. During this time I’d forgotten what it was that made me ‘me’ and was looking to the outside to find it but of course, I remembered that what I needed was to remove the ‘noise’ of it all in my mind and reconnect to the expansive, natural, timeless element that is within all of us. All the answers were there in the silence if only I could hear it but I’d just forgotten how to get there. On top of this, I was also judging myself in the process, my resistance to the resistance I was experiencing and feeling ‘bad’ about the fact I was feeling bad, creating a spiral of ‘not very helpful-ness’!
So many of my health and wellbeing professional colleagues have said the same since, that when they had a massive life changing event, all the things that we do and all the tools we use to help ourselves (and our clients) feel more balanced, connected, healthy, alive and whole, can disappear out of reach. It was as if the ‘fight or flight’ experience took over everything.
One time, I was trying to remember the things that once worked for me and thinking that I’d wish I had written then all down as a kind of emergency/reference list, almost a 'map to well-being'. So I have now written my ‘Well-Being Survival Kit List’ in case I am ever in a place again where I forget what it is that helps me reconnect and I urge you to do the same, make a note of things that make you feel alive and good and in times of need if life throws you a curve ball. If you find one thing doesn’t work on the list, try another.
So here’s some of my ’Well-being Survival Kit List’ (so far!):
- take a walk in nature – listen, connect and ground remembering to just be
- tai chi qigong and/or yoga - remembering that it doesn’t have to be a big session and knowing that just 1 min can help hit the reset button
- gift myself my own sound therapy self-treatment
- read/listen to inspirational books/art/music
- allow myself to just be and not judge my feelings and emotions, just simply reflect on them with compassion
- take a moment to breathe - light a candle
- do some drumming
- get some endorphins running round my system, exercise
- talk to an open ear
I now have my list written on a small piece of card with some images that inspire me.
Here are some other ideas that might help remind you of what works for you:
- do some abdominal breathing to help reduce anxiety (see my vlog here)
- create something a piece of art, music, cooking, baking
- do some gardening put your hands in the earth
- stopping and listening to the blackbird singing in the morning/evening
- pick up a book and open at a page to see if there’s a message there for you
- book a sound therapy session ;)
- apreciating the small things; come back to the moment, feel my clothes/sheets on my body, the warmth and rhythm of my breath. Take a shower and feeling the fresh water on my skin appreciating the gift and luxury of fresh clean water
- whatever works for you...
Peace and connectedness comes from within not from outside of ourselves, the trick is remembering how to achieve that in you when you need it most. For some it’s skydiving, surfing, for others it’s knitting. All of the above are forms of meditation in that it allows the mind to gently focus and be in the moment, bringing us out of the potential of the ‘depression of the past’ and ‘the anxiety/fear of the future’. Looking back, had I not had many of these tools in my life already, I don’t think I’d be doing as well as I am now. It is also important to remember that in times of crisis you need to look after yourself first before you can really look after anyone else effectively. “You can’t help others to breathe if you’re not breathing yourself.”
If you need guidance to connect to ‘you’ please do contact me. If you are experiencing trauma, severe depression or anxiety there is help available and always someone to listen, so do reach out to someone, if you’re not sure where, contact me.