• Helena Smrcek

Selfcare Is Not Selfish - Part II

The days seem to pass by with an unusual slowness, as we miss our daily routines. But perhaps this is the time to contemplate why we do all that seems to be so necessary. Many of us stay in our groove, and get comfortable, losing a zest for life little by little, as we rush and struggle. This brief slowdown in the spin, as inconvenient and scary as it may be, offers an once in a lifetime opportunity to examine our level of happiness and perhaps even dare to ask: “What makes us truly happy and fulfilled?”

I looked up the definition of mindfulness, a somewhat trendy word I associate with yoga. What it really means is:

“A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

At this point of social, or be it physical, distancing, perhaps every one of us could use a

good therapeutic technique. I for one, as an extrovert, do miss my writers’ group, although an online meeting was an acceptable option, for now. But what about church, work, holidays, family gatherings, neighbours…

Calming my mind, and intentionally focusing on the present moment is perhaps even a little scary. I much rather discuss the ‘present moment’ with my friends, over a coffee. But I’m trying to find the point of acceptance, during my afternoon rest time. It is hard to stop the negative cycle, especially while watching the daily developments, but it is possible.

This brings me to another form of suitable therapy. Gardening. Somehow running fresh soil through our fingers tends to calm the soul. I love watching my seeds grow into little plants. I do fuss over them, ensuring that each one gets adequate light, water and love. My daughter isn’t into vegetables but loves her collection of succulents. May it be a pot on your balcony, raised garden or a cactus on your desk,

tending to plants will bring a little fragment of the Garden into your life.

How about all the scrapbooking supplies collecting dust for a decade or so? The yarn that looked so good at the craft store. The little project you never found time to complete. I’m not suggesting a full-on crafting weekend with a bunch of your friends, although that sounds very tempting just about now, but how about we scale it down a notch and dedicate two afternoons a week to creating something beautiful. Give yourself permission to use this strange downtime to nourish your mind. If crafts are not your thing, what other hobbies did you have to set aside due to demands of life? Could you find 30 minutes a day to spend doing something you once loved? Give it a try. It will feed your soul.

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