Holistic Therapy & Authentic Self-Care
In a world of constant demands from relationships, jobs, pandemics, and political upheaval, we can easily feel emotionally, mentally, physically, and even spiritually drained. When this happens, it can become difficult to stay present and give our best to the things that matter to us most, and we may often feel as though we are pulling our last reserves of energy from a nearly empty cup just so we can make it to the next day.
When we get into this sort of rut, we often fall into two camps: keep trudging ahead no matter the cost to our overall health (which ultimately ends up in all kinds of physical and psychological health problems) or remove as many stressors from our lives as possible.
While this second option can sometimes be beneficial, it becomes less so when we are removing those things from our lives that ultimately give us a sense of meaning and purpose and when our actions are no longer aligning with our values because we are just so drained. This can cause us to fall further into negative feelings about ourselves and get us caught up in a cycle of low self-esteem, hopelessness, and lethargy. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter how many things we remove from our plate if we are not asking ourselves this frequently overlooked question: how can I replenish myself?
Holistic Therapy Focuses on Self-Care
Asking “how can I replenish myself?” is a key feature of what I like to call “Authentic Self-Care” — that is, self-care that is authentically catered to our specific needs in any given moment or phase of our lives. This kind of authentic self-care can truly replenish the vitality we need to show up for the things we value most. To figure out what we need to feel full and whole again, we need to engage in a bit of inner investigating around the areas where we have been drained, where we feel lack, and around what those things are that fill us back up. The expert therapists at CRIW can help you fill your cup with a holistic therapy approach.
Plus, to aid in that process, I’ve designed this straightforward, free worksheet to get you thinking about the kinds of things that fill you up. In times of stress, we often forget this simple fact because we can drop to such a state of hopelessness that our vision is colored by the idea that there is nothing we can do to feel better. The list in this worksheet will serve a reminder to your drained-self of the resources you have available at your disposal. It will help you avoid falling victim to the narrative that we often fall victim to in times of stress, which is that we have no way to care for ourselves or that we can only feel differently when our environment shifts.
It’s strange, but we do often forget that once we’ve allowed ourselves to feel what is missing, there are ways to replenish those areas that are lacking. And feeling the emotions around what we are missing is crucial because it gives us a more specific understanding of why we aren’t feeling that great.
When we haven’t allowed ourselves to fully feel our emotional pains and accompanying physical discomforts, we tend to do lots of work-around solutions to deal with the vague feeling that something is off. Often, we’ll focus more on trying to change others or engage in generic self-care and familiar coping mechanisms that don’t directly address our specific needs. Such strategies may provide us with some temporary relief, but holistic therapy can help with more permanent solutions.
Practicing Authentic Self-Care
As a therapist, for example, something that replenishes the energetic reserves, that allow me to be present with my clients is listening to wisdom from other healers, speakers, scientists, and artists I admire. Engaging with their insights makes me feel mentally and emotionally stimulated, exciting my sense of meaning-making and purpose.
Another common cause of energetic drain, for example, stems from feeling lonely. In this quarantined landscape, that is even more of a problem for many of us. It’s easy to get caught in that feeling as though we have no escape from it, but identifying with it in this way only makes us blind to how we can seek connection. We might be able to fill back up this emotional cup by calling a friend, or opening up about how we’re feeling with someone we trust, or making an appointment with our therapist. Even just watching a movie with kind, loving faces is shown to release chemicals in our brains that make us feel more connected and safe.
Our Holistic Approach To Therapy
At CRIW, our therapists can help you during this journey of self care, using an integrative and holistic therapy approach.
With all this being said, I offer this worksheet with love and suggest you spend some time with yourself thinking about moments when you felt the best in your body, mind, heart, and spirit. What were the things you were doing? What were you surrounded by? Who were you with? And maybe, even, what were you wearing, smelling, tasting, etc? This list can be such an asset when you need it and some future drained version of you might thank you for it.