Let’s take a collective deep breath. Here we are in the wake of another dystopian news cycle and it’s leaving folks feeling hopeless, filled with grief, rage, and even numb.
I’ve spent much of the week (and really the past two plus years) talking with folks about how to navigate these times when it feels like we’re pummeled with wave after wave of tragedy, and there isn’t an easy answer. What I am sure of, however, is that caring for ourselves and each other in meaningful ways is no longer optional. It has to be a priority and the norm. Even for people who feel they don’t have the time. Especially for the people who feel they don’t have the time.
The concept of soul-care is talked about in different ways. From my perspective it speaks to the expansion of self-care to also encompass community-care and ecological care. It’s about prioritizing our mental, physical and spiritual health, so that we can fortify ourselves and show up fully in our lives and the world.
Deeply caring for ourselves is one of the most socially-responsible actions we can take. Sometimes that looks like a nap or time in nature or therapy. Sometimes that looks like spending time with loved ones and sometimes that looks like giving our time or monetary resources to support a more just world.
So how do we make that shift when the world feels so very out of control and many of us already feel at capacity?
I suggest first brainstorming what you find nourishing emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and physically. Jot down your ideas. The key here is to note what authentically feels good. Try to avoid writing down practices that don’t feed you. Not everyone finds meditation helpful and some folks need social time instead of alone time. Be true to yourself and allow yourself to experiment.
If possible, invite friends, family or co-workers to join you in this process, and set yourself up for success. I highly recommend scheduling your practices. I know this is not the most intuitive approach, but, believe me it is helpful. I’m offering an infographic here to support your process, but please feel free to edit in a way that’s right for you. Know that it’s okay to start small, but DO commit to a plan.
As always, I’m here to support. Please reach out directly or leave comments if you have questions.
Until next time, wishing you health and ease,
When I tell people that I utilize the expressive arts in my online therapy practice, I am often greeted with enthusiasm ... and some degree of confusion.
"That sounds so awesome!" People will often respond, and then ... pause. "So, what exactly is that?"
I smile because they are genuinely curious and I am eager to share.
So here are some things to know about of expressive arts therapy (or as we call it in the biz, EXA):
Meanwhile, I think it's important to note that EXA is not an ethereal approach to therapy, though it can feel that way because as adults we are so divorced from viewing creativity as a vital part of living. It can seem "so alternative" rather than straight up natural, and even practical.
After all, by incorporating the arts in therapy we often bypass defenses that hinder us, and are able to access suppressed feelings and inner wisdom that otherwise may not be accessed through talking.
Clients often report feeling relaxed or energized after sessions using the arts, as well as gaining new insights.
If you're interested in learning more about how EXA can be incorporated into therapy sessions, please visit here.
Meanwhile, I hope you'll consider creating something this week. Anything. Just to see how it feels for you. I truly believe creativity is life force, and artistic expression, a birthright.
Let me know how you do!
Till Next Time,