Self Care with a Difference

Self-care is so important for our physical, mental and emotional health. We know this, don't we? But do we do this for ourselves? I for one don't give enough time for myself. Until recently. Here is one of the ways I now care for myself...

Often, I talk to my clients about self-care, asking them what they might find helpful to them. We discuss the importance of self-care and how simple it can be to give themselves a few minutes in the day to read a book, have a bubble bath, cook your favourite food, walk the dog, listen to music, be outside in nature. However, I realise that I wasn’t doing this for myself as much as I would like to. There was always something that needs doing; or an email to send, a phone-call to make, a room to tidy, or… Sound familiar?

Over the last few months, however, I have begun to recognise that I do more for myself than I thought. I become vegan in November 2019, something I’ve been thinking about for ages, and I feel so much better for it. I’ve also decorated almost every room in my house over the last year, which was a challenge, and makes me very happy. Both these things are my way of caring for myself, but I also wanted to do something that was fun.

A friend introduced me to The Creative Counsellors Club a year ago. This was another challenge for me as I’ve always thought of myself as not being very creative. How could I contribute as a creative member of this group? My background is in Science, I have a logical way of thinking and I like order in my life. People who know me well though, know that I like a challenge and so I joined the club. So far I have found the group very welcoming and helpful both personally and as a therapist.

So it was with curiosity and an open mind that I went along to a workshop about mask making. As part of the workshop, the leader Gaynor showed us a painted rock. I was intrigued, especially when Gaynor said it was her first ‘rock pour.’ I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and came home with my pained mask, which I have since talked about in small groups. I felt so inspired that I went out the next day and bought all sorts of art materials; acrylic paints, brushes, glitter, stickers, masks. I even bought a container for them all and placed them in my therapy room. And there they stayed. I’m not creative I kept telling myself, where do I start?

I used to think that being creative meant being artistic or musical, or a writer, none of which I am. However, the workshop and the rock had really had an impact. I realised that I am creative in the scripts I create for hypnotherapy clients. Decorating my house has created a calming, relaxing home which both friends and clients love. So I was beginning to feel ready to experiment with my first ‘rock pour.’ It had been a while since the workshop so I watched the video by Gaynor in the club, as well as several videos on YouTube to find out what to do.

Feeling excited and a bit apprehensive, I got everything ready; selected my rock, poured layers of paints into the cup, placed the rock on a rack over a tray; and began to pour. The result was not quite what I had hoped for, I hadn’t let the paints down with flow medium and they stuck to the rock in clumps. I felt annoyed with myself, I had cut corners and the result was… well lumpy! However, I am a determined soul and I swirled the paints with a cocktail stick to create a pattern and cover the rock. Not bad for a first attempt I thought, and I enjoyed doing it. I got some positive feedback from friends and fellow creative counsellors, and I am pleased with my first ever ‘rock pour.’

A few days later I watched the videos again, and decided to try using water to let down the paints. I took my time and planned the colours, mixed the paints, chose the rocks and began. I spent the whole of a Sunday afternoon mixing, pouring, and creating. I was very happy spending so much time painting rocks. I am over the moon with the results, and it was one of the best forms of self-care I have tried. I will be making this a regular event in my life.

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