self-care guidance for natural treatment

Learning self-care skills is extremely valuable. Self-care is distinct from escapism or indulgence. It is treating ourselves the same way we would treat our most precious loved-one, on physical, mental and emotional levels.

Our culture doesn’t teach us about self-care, and often tells us that self-care is selfish and wrong, when in fact, it is often vital for deep healing. During your initial evaluation, and later as Dawn gets to know you, in addition to acupuncture, herbal medicine, manual therapies and nutrition, Dawn will determine if and what kind of self-care guidance might be helpful for your best health and recovery. She will make suggestions and offer resources for specific self-care routines.

These may include breathing techniques, meditation or visualization practices, stretches and gentle exercises, lifestyle ideas, aromatherapy, books, articles, videos, music or apps.

Another important aspect of self-care is becoming aware of the running conversation that is constant in our minds; learning to shift any negative self-talk that we observe there; and becoming intentional about what types of experiences we are regularly exposing ourselves to.

For example, if you are dealing with acute anxiety, besides the obvious step of turning off TV and movies that highlight stressful situations, there are some other self-care steps that may not be so obvious: You could start a gratitude journal, take up a prayer or meditation practice, find a local yoga class that incorporates mindful breathing. You could turn on a comedy or an inspirational movie, listen to some relaxing music, or go outside for a stroll in nature or on the beach. You could also avoid caffeine and other stimulants, which can cause the release of stress hormones in your body, and do some things to promote your best sleep.

Learning to take care of yourself in this way may seem foreign initially, but as you become more aware of how your mind, emotions and body react to situations, thoughts and experiences, it will become easier to help yourself by reducing your exposure to certain things, and partaking in practices that support your health and recovery.

For more information about self-care for mental health, check out the following blog posts:  Shifting our Inner Conversation, the Possibility of your Healthiest Self, and the Medicine of Gratitude.