EMOTIONAL SELF CARE
As we continue to shed the old, we need to talk about how humans tend to ignore their emotional wellbeing.
Life is chaotic. We should expect a life of ups and downs. And yet, practicing proactive emotional self care is a rarity.
Stressed out human beings have a tendency to descend into anxiety, paranoia, rage, and more. It can feel like emotional gravity with no where to go but down, down, down, with no bottom in sight.
Imagine a day like this. You're on your way to work and there's a traffic jam making you 40 minutes late to work. When you get to work, you find that someone has forgotten to inform you of a critical meeting, so you're unprepared. Then later as you head back home, the engine light on the dashboard lights up signaling another trip to the mechanic. And when you finally get home, you find the dog has thrown up on the white carpet. With out a regular practice of emotional self care, any one of these events could send a person down the emotional scale and result in all sorts of drama and trauma.
It's time we bring conscious attention to the effects stressors have on our wellbeing and how we can and must take care to soothe, inspire, and calm our anxious minds.
STAR ROSE BOND
Licensed Social Worker and Trauma Specialist
The Power of Subconscious Emotions
According to Star Rose Bond, our emotions can be tracked along an emotional scale. At the top of the scale are emotions such as creativity, patience, confidence, and the like. As one slides down due to triggering people, events, lack of sleep, etc., emotions trend towards impatience, paranoia, and defensiveness..
The greatest gift we can give ourselves and those around us is to grow conscious of our changing emotions and practice self care in the moment. Just as we take vitamin C when we feel a cold coming on, we need a routine for emotional care-taking, especially when events threaten to push us down the scale into the zone of unconscious reactivity.
Here's my conversation with Star on this topic:
SELF CARE PRACTICE
Have your journal ready.
First, note your base temperament.
At the start of your journey with WOM, you took the "Four Temperaments" quiz. Do you recall your base temperament? Here again is the link if you need a refresher [ Quiz ].
Make note of your base temperament (primary and secondary) in your journal and try to commit it to memory. There is self care and compassion that comes with knowing where you naturally fall on the spectrum. It helps you understand yourself and thereby compassionately give yourself that which you need (like extra alone time or dance time in the living room) as it synchs directly with your natural temperament.
Next, note where your temperament naturally falls along the 'Emotional Scale' (attached.) For example, sanguines tend to fall far right of center due to a natural tendency towards optimism Melancholics tend to fall more towards the middle or left of center due to a natural tendency towards hyper vigilance and thoughtfulness. Once you have taken note of where you naturally fall, notice the buffer (or lack thereof) between you and the uncomfortable zone on the scale. A smaller buffer means you need give extra attention to self care. What an advantage to know what one naturally needs!
An inventory – note in your journal the following:
Your base temperament
Where you naturally fall on the emotional scale
Predictable trigger events that drive you down the scale
SELF CARE, A LA MAURICE!
Emotional Self Care Experiential
In the audio above, we explored how Maurice Sendak (the iconic and award winning author and playwright) beautifully tended to his needs. Let's follow his lead below and practice tending to your soul, spirit, sense of belonging, and connection to nature, as he did – as a strategy for emotional self care and literal survival.
Music to soothe the SOUL. Maurice chose Mozart. In case you're curious, and not too familiar with Mozart, here's a playlist to sample.
>> What music delights you in such a way? And/or, what music touches your soul?
>> Write SOUL in your journal, and then make note of your music choice.
Poetry to enliven the SPIRIT. Maurice chose Emily Dickinson. Here is a one of her most iconic poems, "Hope."
>> What poem inspires your spirit?
>> Write SPIRIT in your journal and then make note of your poetry preferences.
Stories that remind you that you BELONG. Maurice chose Moby Dick because he felt that Herman Melville was as cynical as he was. Here is an excerpt from the book [excerpt].
>> What book, movie or story stimulates a feeling of connection and/or belonging in you? Or a feeling of being less alone and more connected to humanity as a whole?
>> Write BELONGING in your journal and then note your movie or story preferences.
Your connection to NATURE. Maurice walked amongst the trees. There he felt connected to something awe inspiring, eternal, wise. Where in nature do you feel most alive? By the ocean, by a lake, amongst the trees?
>> Go there this week, if you can. Make this part of your care taking of self.
>> Write NATURE in your journal and then note where in nature you feel most alive.
Share Your Maurice List!
What are your selects for Soul, Spirit, Belonging and your connection to Nature?