If you have found yourself in a therapist’s office in the past year, chances are that you have heard the phrase “self care.” It is a topic that we hold near and dear to our hearts. So much so that it has probably shown up more than any other topic in the blog you are currently reading. We know when you take time to care for yourself, it helps you navigate whatever struggles, traumas, and frustrations that life throws your way.
Again, this is not new territory, nor a new idea, but I wanted to take this opportunity to pull back the curtain on all of us here at One:12 Counseling and more specifically share a story of a recent experience we all had that provided a unique way to engage in self-care.
This fall, our team had the opportunity to go to the U.S. National Whitewater Center here in the Charlotte area. We had to chance to play for an entire morning! We worked together on the ground while facing challenges, balancing boards and solving problems. We then got to head into the sky to walk across wires, jump from board to board (while safely tethered) and encourage one another while being challenged physically to traverse one of the ropes courses 30 to 50 feet in the air.
Sometimes self-care can look like rest or meditation or play and exercise. This was very much in the vein of the second option. Along the way, some of us got to face fear of heights or falling. At other points, we faced fears of uncertainty or loss of control. We also experienced the thrill of success, and the irony of well-intentioned failures, often followed by laughter and growth. We were time and again reminded of the importance of leaning on one another to accomplish tasks that were greater than we could have managed on our own. All of this and more in the context of fun and play.
I share this story and a picture of us for a couple of reasons. I want to point out that even therapists need to stop and care for themselves from time to time! We are people too, and unsurprisingly, life is stressful for us too. Sometimes we need to practice what we preach, and when we do that, it benefits both us and the clients under our care. The second reason is to encourage you to get outside and play! Maybe it looks like an organized event like the one we participated in, or maybe it is spending time with your family on a hike. Or maybe get the kids to play tag in the yard or bike by yourself on the greenway. Whatever it is, this is your encouragement to get out there and have some fun! It may seem small, but events like this can make life a bit sweeter and make the work of therapy and struggling through in life all the more valuable.