Self-Care: Make It Tangible
When I first reflected on writing this post about self-care, I thought that I would preach the importance of it. However, if you are reading this, I’m betting you are in someway related to the helping profession (as an administrator, teacher, clinician, facilitator, etc.) and already know that it’s important. I’m guessing you have gotten to a point in your life and/or career at some point and felt overwhelmed by your work because caring for people is hard and it requires much from you.
The work we do in the helping profession is often intangible. We don’t always see results right away. Sometimes we may never see the impact we have made on a person’s life. This can wear on you.
To combat this emotional toll of the intangible, I have a tiny little porch garden. It’s not much, just a tomato plant, a pepper plant, a few herbs and a few flowers. But for me, this is an act of self-care. This is planting something tangible, that I can see grow in real life. This is taking the time every morning and every night to connect with something that I can (literally) reap the benefits from. I can’t make the plants grow, but I can water them. Then I get to see them bloom! I’m not a pro at this gardening thing. In fact, I was halfway through the season before I realized you should cut basil and not pull it (who knew?!?). But it’s OK to be a beginner in this self-care practice. I’m going to keep trying and failing and learning and watching it grow.
I hope that wherever you are in your life and career, that you have made a practice of tangible things - whether that’s an exercise goal you have created, a garden you have planted, or art that you create. May your self-care be finite, touchable, tangible. Because while the work you do daily may be intangible in many ways, the effect you have on your clients, your staff, your co-workers, it’s real. It matters. And so do you. So plant a seed, beat your average mile/minute pace, or paint your picture. Do it for yourself because tangible things are worth seeing and you are worthy of seeing tangible change.
What’s your favorite way to take care of yourself? Comment below and share about it in a tangible way!
Compiled by Gretchen Benner and Miriam Tart:
Continuing with posts this year on the theme Musical Moments... were you aware that today is National Grouch Day?
It is important for music to express, what some may call, “negative” emotions. Feeling tuned into one’s emotions takes presence. Life often elicits a range of emotions and grouchiness may naturally surface. Much of our clinical work supports clients learning more about one’s own thoughts, feelings, actions and intersections of those.
“Many therapists with demonstrated expertise in addictions are of the opinion that effective treatment must involve . . . the uncovering, experiencing, and expression of many feelings – including distressing feelings of fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, sadness, anger, loneliness, regret, grief. etc.”
Reference: Gardstrom, S. C., Carlini, M., Josefczyk, J., & Love, A. (2013). Women with addictions: Music therapy clinical postures and interventions. Music Therapy Perspectives, 31(2), 95–104.
Music therapy can help you express your grouchiness…. and may actually turn into something fun through songwriting, instrument play, inspired artwork and more.
Perhaps this tune particularly comes to mind, today?
Removing the label as a “negative” emotion could be helpful in thinking about the feeling of being grouchy. Transferring such an emotion into healthy activities can be beneficial as well as learning what factors contributed towards that feeling... any patterns or trends?
Thanks for reading today’s post recognizing National Grouch Day. Remember that our team will represent at two community events this weekend on October 19. We hope you’ll join us at the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte (DSAGC) Buddy Walk or National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Piedmont Tri-County 1 in 4 Walk to make music with our community bright and early on Saturday morning!!
Providing music therapy services for early childhood to older adults, music instruction and enrichment plus continuing music therapy education in Greater Charlotte Area of the Carolinas.