By Hilary Lewin | Abdominal Therapist and Educator | Surrey, United Kingdom
How can we take care of ourselves and our clients when we feel helpless?
As news from around the world alerts us to the struggles many people are facing in their homes and countries, we may find ourselves becoming anxious or fearful. Many of us are feeling dis-ease in both ourselves and of course those that are coming to our massage tables.
One line of response in times of stress may well be to reach for faithful coping mechanisms; these could be food, alcohol, drugs, or exercise. If you are “acting out,” it may well be due to the news that fills our screens and ears on a daily basis. I offer the suggestion of giving yourself a very real hug before you pour that drink or crack open the chocolate bar.
Hugging and gently stroking can send positive messages of safety. A 20-second hug can stimulate the release of a cocktail of feel-good hormones, and allow the parasympathetic nervous system to balance. Literally wrapping your arms around your own body and gently stroking yourself is all you need to do. If you have another human, dog, cat, donkey, or other fluffy animals, wrap them in your loving embrace too, and share the love.
Flowers essences are a beautiful addition to your “dial down” apothecary. Take some time to sit with and meditate on which feel right for you. These are safe and wonderful tools to use with children who are feeling overwhelmed, too. A particular favorite of many people these days is the essence of Yarrow, which is best used for, “feeling drained and depleted from absorbing negative thoughts of others, or by one’s social or physical environment; overabsorption of others’ suffering, resulting in feelings of depletion.”
How do you take your news? Whilst it is important to be aware, we must also be careful of how often we check in on current affairs. If you listen to the radio when driving, or as background noise during the day, you may be having hourly updates of trauma. It is wise to moderate the amount and style of media intruding into your world. I choose to read my news, as hearing or seeing it becomes too visceral for me. If you have young or tender people in your home, avoid the media when eating and relaxing. Meals with words and images of war in the background are not a good recipe for digestion.
It may be difficult to reconcile our own health, wealth, or abundance with the lack that others are experiencing. I invite you to remind yourself each day that you are safe and abundant. It is not inappropriate to seek joy in times of turmoil, and if you share your joys with others, then it is a community win.
Remember our very own YAM – Rosita will be sharing our next YAM Jam. These are proving to be a wonderful way to take a moment to pause and settle ourselves. Shira Lipkin and Chaya Aronson have led the first two YAM Jams, and we invite volunteers to lead us in the coming year.
Remind your clients they too have YAM at their fingertips. This could be an opportunity to send a message to them with our Yam guidelines and journal for their own self-care.
Reach out to those around you, make time to share a moment with those you care about. As the world spins, we have a chance to spread a little joy and love. If not now, then when? Make that call, send that letter, or drop in on a friend. Take a breath and pat yourself on the back, you are worth it.
Finally, never underestimate the power of intentional prayer. It is suggested that we can change not only our own electromagnetic fields but also those around us as well. With this in mind, the ATC is holding a Primicia for Peace on the 3rd of April. Please join us if you can.
More thoughts from our Sun Members:
When we meditate on love the electro magnetic field around our heart changes and can help others feel more calm. – Molly
When I feel helpless, I meditate on resilience. Get into nature if I can, ideally the garden and planting. I’ll make medicine: tinctures, flower essences, anything to busy my hands and quiet my overstimulated mind so I can lessen the noise of the traffic of the world and tune into the quiet voice of spirit. I sing the songs that lift me. If I’m too desolate to sing, I’ll listen to them. I watch Ted talks and listen to podcasts of those that inspire me. I just keep going..poco a poco, until I remember to have hope, and to look for the things that bring gratitude to my heart, even if it’s as simple as taking a deep, restorative breath. – Bryn
When I feel hopeless, I remember back to times in the past when I’ve overcome whatever challenges life has brought. If I did it then and somehow made it through, how is this time different? I also practice gratitude daily by lighting my candle and thanking the divine for the assistance I need. This keeps me going especially when I don’t know what to do. I pray with the intention of asking for guidance and thanking the divine for holding me when I can’t hold myself. What has helped in the past was just reciting, “I have faith with all my heart,” until I start feeling faith again. – Vivian
When I feel hopeless, I go still and listen to the whisperings of nature. I bring my attention to the soles of my feet, the skin on my face, and feel the Earth below me supporting me, the wind upon my cheeks, and I am grateful for being held in the arms of Gaia. – Amanda
Join us in Primicia For Peace and RSVP your place.