I spend a ton of time coaching in the treatment room because, as I tell people on their very first acupuncture visit, “you are the wise person who lives in your body. I’m not the expert on you, I’m here to help illuminate that inner wisdom.” And I mean it.
Acupuncture treatments, Chinese herbs and all of the modalities at my finger tips are in my opinion some of the best medicine on the planet. Though it’s no replacement or band-aid for what people can offer themselves when they become empowered about self care. You see, self care is self love.
What I mean is, just like when we truly love someone, we understand their beauty, their true nature, their idiocies…and with as little judgement as we can muster up we love them all the same – the good, the bad, the ugly. We do things for them in moments of breakdown to help them (even when it’s a compromise of some kind), and we do super kind and thoughtful things for them just because we love them and want to show them. Developing the same kind of relationship with ourselves is integral to our well being.
One of the things Joy and I both refer to often in our sessions with patients is our self-care checklist. She and I have both spent at least the last five years working on our own (a bit longer though I am not sure either of us realized it until we had started school). We work with people to create their own checklist so that over time as symptoms and dis-ease states improve patients can sustain their own well being for years to come. This is a hugely important aspect of the work we do with people because we are not in the business of fixing people or fixing symptoms. We are in the business of wellness empowerment. It’s what we love and we know from personal experience that it makes a huge difference in our health.
Here’s my list so you can get an idea of how to begin thinking about your own. I continue to modify it as I learn new things about myself. I don’t keep it written down, though I could, it’s simply a list of things I run through in my head or speak to a buddy about when I’m in the midst of a health breakdown (which can happen at any level – mind, body, spirit). Because I’ve been practicing using this for quite some time now, it goes faster and faster with each breakdown so I can get myself back to wellness.
Top four Rachel checklist items (in no particular order):
- Have I been sleeping enough? Is it going well?
- What have I been eating? Is it going well? Am I getting enough nutrition/nourishment?
- Am I upset about something that I haven’t sorted out yet (angry, sad, hurt, worried)?
- How is my breathing? Have I been forgetting to breathe (deeply)?
Once I make it through that, it get’s more nitty gritty so I can either expand on those above, or take care of a different issue (in no particular order):
- Am I resting enough?
- Am I “on screen” too much?
- How’s my hydration?
- Have I been watching too much garbage on TV? Reading garbage?
- Am I moving enough; when did I last exercise, stretch, take a walk… ?
- Have I been creative lately (whether that’s artistically or professionally)?
- Am I getting enough social time with people I love?
- Have I been getting enough touch and affection? Have I been giving enough of this?
- Am I holding judgement about myself for something? Do I have some self work to do on that?
- Am I holding judgement against someone else? What can I clean-up with that?
- Have I checked in with my spirituality lately? Am I taking time to appreciate amazement of being alive?
- Have I been outside? Gotten enough fresh air? Sunlight?
- Am I feeling self-expressed?
- Am I feeling understood and valued?
- Have I exfoliated lately? (seriously this is so helpful for me to slough off the dregs of digesting daily life and to keep up my barrier to the bullshit we all run into with “the world”)?
- How is my routine? Am I making it work for me?
I could probably share more; this is the short list though of things that I run through pretty quickly in my minds eye. It’s an exploration. Note that these are all in the first person – there is no victimhood here. It’s not anyone else’s fault if there is a breakdown in my wellness. And there is no need for self blame either. It’s simply about how smooth things are going on a day-to-day basis. There will be life circumstances that seem to get in the way. There will be breakdowns. It’s all good! We just do not want to get totally stuck in them. We want to honor ourselves the way we would someone else we love when we see things might be a little tough and ask ourselves, “what would make a difference and help this heal or move?”
Your list does not at all need to look like mine. And, if you can come up with even one great checklist question to ask yourself, then my friend, you are golden!
Asking yourself is part I. What you choose to do about it, well that’s a whole new post…!
If you find you could use some help with this we have a ton of resources for you:
- Check our our blogs.
- Listen to our podcast Wellness Unlocked. Questions can be send to info(at)thirdspacewellness.com or tweet to us @ThirdSpaceWell with #WellnessUnlocked.
- Come in for Acupuncture or wellness consulting.
- Check our our wellness workshops.