What does self care mean to you? For me it is ensuring that the love I have for others, I also bestow on myself. That I take time out of my day to go within and check and regulate my internal dialogue. This process did not exist for me in my teens. I was too busy on a mission of self destruction. There were plenty of unhappy moments heaped on top of one another. To the point that I tried to run away from myself, by moving overseas. There I was able to reinvent myself. And I found my first self care item for my checklist. Travel.
Travel developed a freedom in my soul that remains unmatched. Being a school teacher made it very viable as well. Living and working in London meant I was able to travel to completely different cultures to what I knew in a short space of time. However there were toxic personal relationships (that I fostered and enabled) still occurring, which counter balanced the self care. So I added another element - keeping a diary. Whether it was a dream diary, travel diary, or now it is a gratitude diary, it helps to remove the thoughts from my head onto a page.
Over the years other self care actions (good and bad) have included team sports, walks by the beach, emotional eating, decluttering my space, meditation, op shopping and a whole lot of drinking! But what happens when almost every self care action is no longer viable...and you created that situation?
In late January 2020 I moved myself to a remote Indigenous community, that was a dry community. It was a culture shock that took hindsight to realise how much white privilege I'd packed in my bag with me. Then Covid hit and whilst everyone else was locked down, I was locked in. No team sports, walks by the beach but 5 meters from the shoreline due to fear of crocodiles, plenty of opportunity to emotionally eat, few belongings to declutter, increased meditation, no shops, no alcohol, no travel. My self care routine needed an absolute overhaul.
And that was when I saw the blurred lines between "self care" and avoidance strategies. It began the most important journey I had ever travelled. To truly find myself and what made me tick and why. It has been painfully beautiful. It's what led me to study hypnotherapy. It's what led me to find the inner childhood wounds that were hidden, ignored, denied. All those memories are still there, but they don't hurt anymore, and certain self care routines have become obsolete (I'm looking at you alcohol!). During the "Reflective Practice" element of my studies, I was able to receive hypnotherapy sessions from RTT graduates from around Australia. Now I have a much clearer understanding of what makes me tick and why. If you believe hypnotherapy could help you, call for a free discovery call, we can work that out together.