This weekend while watching the movie, “Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” I was inspired to think about the options that are available when we need support for healing. There was a scene in the movie where she went to a rehabilitation facility for four months to support her recovery. We often see or hear about these places when someone is challenged with addictions to drugs or alcohol. This made me wonder, where do people go when they need support with other addictions that get less attention such as work, or challenges like navigating the grief associated with transitions and change?
We experience things daily that leave us with a need to detox from their harmful effects. What if we could create restorative spaces and practices that would help us to heal? Here are a few strategies to consider as you plan your restorative recovery.
Self-Care Share. In the second installment of the Sex in The City movie all the main characters had their homes with their families, but they retreated to an apartment that one of their friends owned when they needed a little time to themselves. Whether it’s a small nook at the office or a section of someone’s yard, consider curating a safe shared space with a group of trusted friends where you take turns enjoying a moment to reconnect with yourself.
Similar to the idea of a timeshare, how might you collaborate or pool resources and responsibilities with others so that each person has their turn to take a break?
The Grief Grid. We often associate grief with major losses such as someone passing away. This may lead to us overlooking the grief that comes with the losses that occur during times of transition and change. Even if the change is seemingly small or positive, there may still be the loss of a previous identity, relationship, or way of being in the process. To address this, I developed an activity called The Grief Grid. I created a table where vertically along the left side I wrote down all the things that I was grieving, no matter how small. Horizontally along the top I wrote the stages of grief. In the rest of the boxes, I mapped which stage of grief I was in for each loss, change, or transition. This helped me to bring awareness to how many things I was grieving at once, and it brought forward areas where I might need more space and support to heal.
What do you need to give yourself permission to grieve?
Organic Oasis. When I traveled to Morocco last year, I noticed that I felt better physically than I have in a very long time. This is often the case when I spend extended amounts of time traveling internationally. I believe that this is related to the fact that the food I am consuming is in its original state unlike much of what I eat normally. Many of the things that are added and the way that foods are processed here are not available or legal in other countries.
In addition to enjoying the benefits of real food, what if we set aside space and time where we could operate as our whole authentic selves. Think of all of the things you do to mask your true feelings, thoughts, dialects, and physical attributes for the benefit of others on a daily basis. Consider creating a little cove in your calendar where you can liberate yourself from all of the pressures that make you feel you have to be anyone other than who you truly are.
What will you release to create your organic oasis?
This week I challenge you to create the conditions that lend themselves to your restorative recovery. There are certain things that cause us harm that have been normalized. Create and activate a plan to take a real break from what is breaking you.
I am practicing community care as a form of self-care.
I am giving myself permission to grieve no matter how small the loss.
I am allowing for space and time to be my whole authentic self.