I am in a sort of recovery and transitional period right now and I am nursing myself like I am an intensive care patient. I am aware my normal support system has diminished dramatically recently.
The death of my beloved dog, my son leaving home, 2 very close friends dying this year and other numerous friends I have let go of, including one I spent a lot of time with. Outlets for giving and receiving love and pats and hugs are reduced. It’s been necessary but also a very sad time, one huge letting go exercise.
All the more important that I look after and support myself very well. For me at the moment the mood isn’t exactly buoyant and full of zest. It is definitely a quiet low period and I am not expecting much other than small steps. I am going into unknown territory now and feel generally a bit undone and unravelled.
I can feel stable within that too. I am so glad and grateful that I have the heart-warming resilience that self compassion and actively caring for myself have given me.
This is what my self care regime looks like this weekend and during the week it looks much like this too, with the addition of a long swim first thing each morning.
- Be with the feelings as they arise, quietly, privately and breathe slowly through them. I give myself a little hug or reassuring stroke if I feel like it.
- I spend a lot of time on the sofa under a warm woollen blanket, cushions at my back and under my knees.
- Candles on for ambience and extra lights on. Candle on in the bathroom even, in a holder which casts fabulous shadows.
- Very comfy clothing on, with loose stretchy materials
- Light healthy eating, some fish, very little meat. Steamed salmon steaks yesterday. I make big salads that last all day. The ingredients are things like lettuce for bulk to keep the calories low, vine ripened tomatoes, finely chopped cucumber, stir fried tofu, aubergine and seeds with not much oil and some soy sauce, all mixed up with a splash of balsamic vinegar and stuffed into toasted pitta bread. For snacking it’s wholemeal rice cakes, olives and pickled onions.
- I use zero sugar Almond Milk instead of cow’s milk. Lower in calories as I am drinking continuous cups of tea. Honey instead of sugar.
- I look at the beauty of the trees out the window, and around me in the flat and appreciate that beauty.
- Lots of Silence. When it is noisy outside (with leaf blowers or pressure washers), some fabulous music to offset that.
- Central heating up high and the place is toasty. If I had a real fire I would have one on too. It is dark, cold and wintery out there and inside feels so cosy.
- Very little socialising. I dont have energy for chit chat and I respect this and don’t even try.
- Permission given to do nothing other than relax deeply. I cancelled a couple of work related plans as I just don’t feel like it. I have barely gone out the house this whole weekend.
- No phone calls taken. No emails replied to. I don’t think ahead about work.
- I choose my input carefully on the internet. A good percentage of uplifting, inspiring and heart-warming material.
- I enjoy looking up flights to places that inspire me, I want to visit and ponder on making plans to do some solo travelling.
- I buy some warm winter clothes on Ebay. I select natural materials to wear, silk and cotton. I have changed from leggings to stretchy thick jodhpurs and they are warmer for winter.
- I buy some Xmas presents online, it feels good to think of others just now
“Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish. If you are not capable of generating that kind of energy toward yourself, it is very difficult to take care of another person. In the Buddhist teaching, it’s clear that to love oneself is the foundation of the love of other people. Love is a practice. Love is truly a practice”.
– Thich Nhat Hanh