Thursday, April 6, 2017

[Guest Article] Kolika: What is Self-Care?


A note from Witchy Words:  At the beginning of the year, I asked the circle I coordinate, Circle of Fountains, if they'd each like to do a guest article based on a topic that I might not be able to cover.  This is a great effort by my amazing circle to give you information that you might not otherwise encounter here at Witchy Words.  The following article is written not by me but another member of Circle of Fountains, with credit and notes about its author below.  Enjoy!

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What is “wellness?" Health is easily defined, generally, as “in good working order.” It’s quite fitting to write this article when fighting my annual flu. For those of you whom are not close to me, I never get sick except for once per year. Every time I catch it, I think I’m going to die. I think: “this is it, this is how I go.” Hyperbole, right?

I’ve been the designated “kitchen witch” for Witchcraft & Wellness for about two years now, which is a wonderful Facebook page/community all about living well and living cyclically with the earth, and taking care of yourself. Self-care is a big thing, as well as homesteading and caring for your family, and even goes to easy recipes you can do for yourself.  I was privileged enough to be given a carte blanche to manage the page as I see fit, and I do my best to provide (decently) well-informed, quality content when I come across it.  I must confess, it’s great fun and rather fulfilling.

In the pursuit of wellness and health, I like to find content that is useful to your everyday person, such as quick fixes for a sore throat with an herbal tea in lieu of a powerful antihistamine that may make you drowsy and difficult to function at your place of employment. I also like to share things about how to build your own greenhouse, how to grow corn, how to grow lettuce on your windowsill, and how to save money or reduce your trash production. I wouldn’t call this a “lifestyle blog” by any stretch of the imagination; I’d just like to think of wellness being something mindful that you do.

I see a lot of ‘self-care’ text posts on Tumblr that say “wrap yourself in blankets and watch movies” or “eat a whole chocolate cake because you deserve it.”  Whether these people are joking or not, I think that self-care can be something like “finally doing that laundry so you can see your floor” or “opening your windows and letting some fresh air in” or “taking a long hot shower and getting nicely dressed.” I think that self-care and wellness is about how much you value yourself and what you’re willing to do for yourself. Sure, you can lock yourself in a closet and eat cupcakes, but I don’t think that should be used as a “go to” for your self-care routine.

Wellness and health, for me, means body and soul. I try not to drink soda because I can feel my body sort of squick up when I drink it, and then get incredibly thirsty afterwards. I try not to be a part of drama or toxic relationships or anything like that because it’s bad for my soul. I used to imagine negative energy as sort of black ink blots all around my aura, and when someone having a bad day would unload on me what it was, I could almost see the ink splots being shot out through their mouths and on to my soul. A strange analogy, I’ll admit, but it’s how I felt.

Self-care and self-love does not mean a big ego. It simply means that you love yourself enough to say “this isn’t okay” and to walk away. I realize that this is difficult for our friends dealing with anxiety or depression, which is why I don’t think there’s such a thing as a blanket cure for anything. You can’t just ‘shake it off’ sometimes; sometimes, you need help, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for it.

Empathy and sympathy are a huge part of health and wellness. To sympathize with someone is to understand what they’re going through, to maybe even try and put a silver lining on a bad situation. To empathize is to make a very vulnerable choice and to project your imagination just so that you can put yourself in another person’s place. I feel that empathy is sort of a scary choice to make sometimes; it’s to see someone in a hole, and to find that deep dark hole within yourself and say to them:

“I know what you’re going through and you are not alone.” An empathic response can be even something as simple as: “I don’t know what to say, but I’m just so glad you told me.”  

I told my friends that I was sick and they said "That sucks," which is a fantastic statement to make. Not only does it both acknowledges that I am struggling but it also acknowledges that my current situation is really awful and they understand that. Surely, you’ve been sick before and you feel as if the very air around you is just like  a million needles on your skin? Your throat is parched, no matter how much you drink? Most have had the flu in their lives, so it’s easy to understand why somebody wants to stay inside and be a hermit until that awful plague passes. Making the very simple, yet very powerful, choice to empathize is one step closer to becoming a well human being.

Wellness doesn’t mean doing yoga and jogging a 5k every morning. Wellness means being well with yourself, and being tranquil and peaceful and gentle with yourself. Being well means that you have the capacity to pour from your cup into another’s once in a while, or being able to acknowledge that your own cup is currently empty and that you need to recharge. Being well means listening to your body and doing what’s right for it when you can. Drink water instead of soda. Eat vegetables. Take a walk outside. That’s self-care, if you ask me.

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Along with being the Nutritionist for Circle of Fountains and a dedicated Wiccan, Kolika is the owner of Pistachio Bakehouse and a member of the ACF.  You can find her blog and read more about her adventures at Wanna B Gourmande and like her Facebook page here.

2 comments:

  1. Damn. I was so sick from that flu that I have zero recollection of writing this. Big love to you, Mar! ❤

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    1. Great article, Kolika! I creep on your instagram as a follower and like your blog very much. I love food and your sense of humor!
      Cheers,
      Vanessa aka Anara Ravenmoon :)

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