What helps you when you CAN’T do your favourite self care practice?

This week’s blog post encourages you to have a plan b in case your equivalent of sea swimming vanishes. When something works well, it might need additional practices to counter its (hopefully temporary) loss.

I’ve written about the importance of having a spectrum of self care practices to help you when time / energy and other things impact your capacity for self care.

But what about your No 1 Cure for ALL that Ails You?

When I got sober in 2001, swimming became my replacement even though it was MUCH easier to pour a drink than to trek to the pool.

Still, at a certain point, as I built up to an hour (in heated pools NOT the sea) after swimming a certain amount of time, I’d have a lovely thought like, ‘Ahhhh. I feel human. I no longer feel like an amoeba.’

It always made me laugh because I’ve never consciously thought, ‘I feel like an amoeba’ and yet, almost every time, something shifted and I felt better in every fibre of my being.

When people call me brave for my at least once a week sea swims, I explain they set me up for the week. There be magic in that there ocean

A tiny procedure at the doctors unexpectedly meant no swimming for a week. A WHOLE WEEK. Torture. So naturally, I figured, FINE, will get another tattoo (as the two week ban on swimming after tattoos is what’s stopped me getting a second one all these years) and that definitely made the rest of that first week easier.

But these past few weeks have been really odd as while, in many ways, they’ve been brilliant, my mood has plummetted several times. I know that not getting my underwater sea monster fix has been a huge factor and mowing the lawn barefoot (manual mower, am VERY mindful) was lovely and grounding on Saturday. Not sea level (geddit?) but a great reminder of the benefits of being outdoors.

Going out for extra walks and bike rides in the rain has helped (as well as enjoying sunshiney walks. And the wondrousness of Westport that means that often, like today, I get sunshine, howling wind, rain and more within the one walk).

Extra yoga

Extra time with people I care about. But it’s all taken more thought and I realise WHAT a bedrock of my weeks my sea and pool swims are.

What about YOU?

What keeps you on an even keel or lifts your mood? It might be climbing a mountain or an epic bike ride. Maybe it’s dancing? Or working out? Something creative? It might be a meal with family or friends. It might be time curled up with a favourite book… what, right now, springs to mind?

If you COULDN’T do this thing every day / every week or however often, what smaller self care practices would help you restore your equilibrium? There are lots of ideas in the book, 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing but you’ll already have your own, too.

Feel free to email eve@selfcarecoaching.net to let me know.

And please feel free to share this post on your social media etc so others who may find it helpful can read it.

With love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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