I found myself needing (desperately) to spend time in my personal retreat (Birdsong Studio) last night. It was nothing specific that happened during the day, just an encroaching feeling of being overwhelmed. I couldn't place where it was coming from or why it was circling on this particular day; it was busy with a lot of things happening, but the day contained no specific elements that should have had an impact.
I think that like so many other people, I have days when things catch up and my capacity to cope dwindles. Thankfully, I have become rather self-aware in my middle age years. I'm also very fortunate to live and work in the same area of the city and I mindfully go home at lunch for a mandatory 5 - 10 minute siesta. It's amazing what slowing my heart rate down does to my ability to function at a high level.
I'm also lucky that I have a place and an activity to regenerate in the evenings and weekends. My painting studio is an amazing oasis, especially when I'm able to have the door open in the summer months. Yesterday was a day when decompressing in front of a canvas was absolutely necessary.
Are you listening to your body? Are you finding the time for self-care and self-awareness?
We had a great session yesterday with Valerie O'Leary from Critical Incident Stress Management. She shared many recovery strategies and wellness tips for all of us who have experienced various levels of trauma and loss since the fire.
I left to go catch a nap after the presentation was over. When I returned 30 minutes later, the group was still talking and sharing; talking and sharing are two essential healing tools.
Have you established a personal retreat for yourself? Do you invest the time to recover and recharge?
I found myself thinking about our elected officials and the community folks who have been appointed to the recovery committee. How are they coping? Are they finding time for self-care? In many ways, they are at the epicentre of this experience, surrounded by the good, the bad and the ugly. They don't have the option to fade into the background, or in my case, into a painting studio.
What about the thousands of people who lost homes, or who have homes, but haven't yet been allowed back to assess the damage? I hope they have been able to find support and an outlet to disconnect from the stress and find some inner peace.
My beautiful wife Heather works in this field every day. She helps people in multiple ways, but especially through her cranio-sacral therapy practice. Clients have been effusive in describing how her healing touch has had a profound impact on their ability to cope and to thrive. If you want to learn more, click here.
There are also many other professionals in our community who are ready to help. For some, going it alone isn't enough; and that's OK. Sometimes, we need to call in reinforcements.
The rain is softly falling and a new day has begun. Take care of yourself.