Things you might find helpful on your therapeutic journey:
Moderate/Minimise caffeine intake. Coffee, tea and chocolate can be temporary sources of pleasure, comfort and energy. In the long term they overstimulate the fight or flight response, amplifying anxiety, disrupting sleep, chronically depleting energy levels and depressing the immune system. If you have to, consume before noon to reduce interference with sleep.
Sleep. Get at least seven to eight hours if you can. Aiming to be in bed by 10:30pm is highly recommended. If you need to and can nap during the day, listen to your body and do it. Avoiding the stimulants of screens, alcohol and caffeine will greatly improve sleep hygiene. It will be worth it!
Meditate. As a regular practice, it will be one of the most helpful resources you will ever come across. You only have to do a two to three minute practice starting out. A teacher is always recommended but in the meantime, Here is one you might like.
Connect with Mother Nature. Even a ten minute stroll in the park can do wonders.
Yoga. A personal experience with a yoga teacher is highly recommended. One that can teach you the eight limbs of yoga is ideal. In the meantime, there are some good resources online. Yoga with Adriene is one you might like.
Moderate/Minimise consumption of News, Social Media and Television. They are designed to be presented in as dramatic and stimulating a manner as possible. Heightening tension and amplifying fear and lack. Just like with caffeine, the fight or flight response is overworked.
Enjoy more seasonal fruit, vegetables and whole foods. Let go of the processed stuff. This might take time as processed food has a comforting aspect and can be habit forming. The first step is to be aware of what and how you eat without judgement. This is where mindfulness and meditation can help.
Listen……to your Self. Deep inside, in the core of your Being, you already know what feels right and what you need. This inner Guide is available 24/7 if we connect with it. The things I’ve mentioned above to moderate/minimise/avoid, do an effective job of keeping us disconnected from our internal compass.
Difficult feelings and thoughts are natural. When it seems like there is no legitimate, safe space/way for them to be expressed and heard, that is when disharmony sets in. A simple conscious acknowledgement to yourself that you are encountering a tough time can be the first step in a powerful healing experience.
Pain can be a guide. Sometimes the pain is so great that our first instinct is to obliterate it with a powerful arsenal of substances, devices and distractions. Sometimes the pain or discomfort is too intangible, its roots buried too deep to discern what might be the source of the dis-ease. And so we distract ourselves from the pain and keep on soldiering on. This is akin to stepping on a thorn, getting anaesthetised and continuing to power walk through life with the thorn still embedded in your foot. The issue with this is that suffering is compounded and is ultimately unsustainable. Beware: by removing the anaesthetic and listening to your pain and starting the process of locating its source, you may have to acknowledge elements of your life that might be initially disturbing and disruptive to the status quo but, the Truth will set you free.
This is where Counselling and Psychotherapy can help, with the therapist offering an experience of Deep Listening. Thinking and Being Present together with you in your lived experience, making sense of it all and yes, acknowledging and dissolving that metaphorical thorn in your foot when you are ready. In time, you will connect more deeply to, and be more nourished by inner and outer resources. You will come to know all that you seek.
Wishing you Peace and Healing.