What’s your self-care practice? How do you make sure your well-being is up to par? Why is feeling great so important?
You’ve likely heard the old saying about how when one door closes another one opens, right? Well, there’s nothing like a historic once-in-a-lifetime pandemic to give us all a chance to put it into practice!
We’ve all felt the wallop in different ways, and you can count your blessings if you’ve managed to dodge the bug altogether, doubly so if your family and friends are still hale and hearty.
That said, it’s a sobering reality that each and every one of us is only a degree or two of separation away from the tragic consequences of Covid, and with the outbreaks current trajectory heading into the winter, it’s no time to let down our guard.
While Covid has slammed so many doors shut, it’s easy to lose sight of the glimmers of light around the ones that opened. Crowded concerts, packed movie theaters, or bustling conferences all seem so long ago and far away. If you’re like me, you’re taking this seriously and exercising an abundance of personal responsibility to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
The danger in all of this is that folks who are isolated or facing tough times of one sort or another may sink into anxiety or depression. Tools and techniques for self-care are more important than ever, so any guideposts that can help lead one to greater well-being in these crazy times are welcome.
One such valuable tool came across my desk recently thanks to the kind folks at Pesi Publishing. Feeling Great is a new book by Dr. David Burns that’s full of practical advice and innovative methods to not only upshift your state-of-mind but help you develop lasting feelings of joy and positivity.
Building upon his previous work in the bestseller Feeling Good, Burns expands upon the idea that how you are feeling is directly related to the way that you’re thinking. It’s a relatable book with easy assessment tools to help you calibrate your state of mind and track your progress.
Primary among the more than 50 different tools within the pages is the overarching concept of ‘positive reframing’. Rather than taking a ‘cheerleading’ approach or offering platitudes, this is a way in which you can see unpleasant perceptions about yourself as expressions of what is right or positive rather than something that is ‘wrong’.
I’m a huge fan of anything that will help improve your thinking. I love unpacking hidden motivations and any form of mental bias. So when Burns discusses cognitive distortions in terms of fooling yourself he’s definitely speaking my language.
Moreover, what really hits home in our current Covid milieu is the fact that if you’re feeling bad, you’re more susceptible to thinking in such a way that leads to fooling yourself. So it makes sense that one of the most important pillars of self-care is to have your thinking in order.
Conscious dancers like you and I tend to place a good deal of importance on embodied awareness and somatic understanding when it comes to being in touch with feelings, emotions, and overall peace of mind. Your self-care rituals are as individual as you are.
Mindfulness comes in many forms. When you’re easily able to ‘be here now’ and be at ease with your body and mind you’re more likely to be in balance against fear, depression, or anxiety. Whether it’s jigsaw puzzles or knitting, daily walks or regular dancing, or relaxing with a furry critter while a record is spinning, peace of mind and tranquility is the baseline of well-being.
Discovering deeper levels of self-care may be a silver lining to the Covid era. What we learn about ourselves during the lockdown may serve us well in years to come. When one day we’re called to contribute in ways we can yet imagine, knowing how to maintain a positive state of mind and body will be the foundation we need.
Much love till next Monday!
PS: Vote early if you can!
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine