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The Secret to Self-Care

Written by: Kim Wilkinson, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

All the self-Care in the world isn’t going to help unless you include this one thing.


It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and I think we can all agree that now, more than ever, self-care is something that needs to be a priority.

First, let’s identify self-care. When most people think of self-care, what often comes to mind is doing things like yoga, meditation, massage, spending time in nature, getting enough rest, eating well, disconnecting from social media, reading, and other activities reducing stress and help us to feel good.


While all these things are very helpful and beneficial, without also focusing one on other specific thing, it is not really improving our well-being. These things, alone, can bring temporary relief but a false sense of healing.


Life, especially in these COVID times, can be not only difficult but emotionally painful and unbearable. Life has and will bring many challenging situations for all of us. Pre-covid, many of us have experienced career struggles, relationship struggles, health concerns, we have lost and will lose people we love, we may be a child of divorce or find ourselves going through a divorce, and many of us have and/or will experience significant traumatic events such as abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual). You might also be victims of violence, hate crimes, and/or other unpleasant and painful experiences. Throw a pandemic on top of all that, and life can feel like an F5 Tornado.


So, how have you been taught to manage all of this? I am willing to bet, most of you have never been taught how to manage these situations. I certainly wasn’t.


The most common term used to relate to all this chaos is stress. I think if you ask most people how they manage stress, they will say, "self-care."


The problem with our society today and the reason for so much suffering are that we label our emotional experiences and treat the symptoms. We are told things like, "You have anxiety. Take this medication, practice self-care. Take up yoga or mediation to bring calmness into the mind and body." Sound familiar?


It’s the same thing with Depression, ADHD, and other illnesses. We are told, “You have Depression. Take this medication. Do these self-care practices to elevate your mood.”


This is still a "band-aid" approach. Don’t get me wrong; I believe there are times when we do need medication. However, I don’t think it is the last resort or perfect solution.


What we should be doing is digging deeper and asking, “Why is there anxiety? Why is there depression. Why the ADHD, diabetes, the digestive issues” and so on.


Skin doesn’t bleed for no reason. A cut, a wound, cause the skin to bleed. Our anxiety, depression, and most other ailments and illnesses stem from an emotional wound – trauma and/or unresolved grief.


Many people aren’t even aware that they have trauma and/or unresolved grief. Most people relate grief to death, and most people relate Trauma to First Responders and/or people who experience violence/abuse. While this is very true, there are so many other experiences that cause grief and trauma.


Grief can stem from any loss, person, pet, job, home, loss of trust, loss of connection, loss of feeling in control. Grief is also what we experience with a change in familiar patterns and behaviors, such as divorce, moving, retirement, health diagnosis, covid. These are just a few examples. Trauma can be as simple as our basic human needs not being met, for example, the need to feel safe, the need to be heard, the need to belong. Again, I ask you, have you ever been taught how to manage these experiences?


What most of us have been taught is to avoid and distract. We are told and taught, just keep busy, be strong, sweep it all under the rug and just keep moving on, let it go. Sound familiar?


This is the “band-aid” approach.


Yes, doing things like Yoga, meditation, getting enough rest, eating well, massage, and so on will help us feel better. It still isn’t a solution to treat the wound from trauma and/or unresolved grief.


Unless you learn to identify and deal with the root cause of your “symptoms,” all the self-care in the world is just another band-aid.


To really get to the root, we must first become more aware and gain a better understanding of trauma and grief. Then we must journey through specific action steps and reflect on our past experiences to create a deeper self-awareness. This self-awareness will show us what exactly needs to be healed; from there, we can take appropriate action to complete the relationship to the pain of our emotional wounds.


It is still important to practice those other self-care techniques. However, they will be much more effective when you include trauma and grief recovery.


Here are some links for you:

  • To learn more about Trauma and Grief, access my FREE 1hr webinar.

  • To learn more about the 7-week online one-on-one Grief Recovery Program (live coaching). This 7-week program currently has a $100 discount in support of Mental Health Awareness.

  • For online, work at your own pace programs.

For more information on the Grief Recovery Program, visit my website or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Read more from Kim!

 

Kim Wilkinson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Kim Wilkinson is an expert in Emotional Health and in helping people to move from suffering to empowerment. Through her own family struggles with Mental Health, PTSD, Addiction, and Traumas, including losing her 22-year-old son to an overdose, Kim found healing, recovery, and transformation. Most of all, through this journey, Kim found purpose and a passion for helping others. Kim's approach with clients is one of compassion, non-judgment, and patience. She knows firsthand how applying specific tools and techniques can bring healing and recovery and bring abundance and success in all areas of life. Kim continues to work a few days a week at the Addiction Treatment Centre that her son attended. However, most of her time is focused on supporting people through Grief Recovery (online and in-person). A message from Kim "The whole world is grieving right now, and we all have unresolved grief. It's time to learn how to take care of our Emotional Health and break the cycle of Mental Health concerns and find an end to our suffering."

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