Wellbeing and Self Care
“Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t, do something else (or at least do it in a different way).” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Feeling a bit of unresolved lethargy at the dawn of the school year, I endeavoured to enrich my wellbeing by getting closer to nature and try my hand at greening my thumb. I instinctively resisted my own undertaking of this by thinking “How can doing more activity help me to feel relaxed and well?”… So after putting my journey off for a week or two, I realised that now was the perfect time to have already started something different. My first attempt was a good attempt, but not a successful one and I figured that I needed to learn more about growing things, so I grabbed a how to guide, congratulated myself on my perseverance and sought answers. My next attempt was far more empowering and I began to understand how wellbeing and gardening shared many similarities. First I evaluated the soil, which was dry, uncultivated and unable to facilitate growth, similar to my initial mindset. Then came the fertiliser, I needed to evaluate intake of the appropriate foods (and fitness) that was required for optimal daily functioning. Next came sunlight, which directly transfers to the warmth felt by love and relationships of family, friends and colleagues (sorry I wrote this on Valentine’s Day). Importantly we need time: to rest and recuperate; to recharge the batteries, it might be in making time or reprioritising time but if the schedule isn’t working for wellbeing, it’s time to do it differently. And finally some water, which I think we could all do with a little more of after a sunny festive season.
As chief drivers in the lives of children with a disability, you might be at any one time a parent, co-teacher-therapist-dietician-referee-taxi-nurse-superhero-the-list-goes-on (and my word count doesn’t). The important thing to realise is just how integral your wellbeing is. Self care requires an ongoing investment and it is the fuel required to get you to any destination. How far can you get on half a tank? Where will you be when you run to empty? Wellbeing is not the absence of illness; it is a balance between physical, social, mental and emotional factors (Better Health, 2011). While sometimes de-prioritised, wellbeing is the essential state that enriches our daily living. It is personal and many of the required tools are within each person, they just require some conscious cultivation to help them grow to the surface, and let’s be honest, you and your family are worth it.
CHI.L.D Association -Psychologist
For an optimistic look at wellbeing and self care please read:
If you feel like you need to speak with someone about any hardship you experience feel free to contact:
Lifeline: 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 http://www.kidshelp.com.au/
Beyond Blue www.beyondblue.org.au