On becoming a self-employed Sound Therapist Practitioner, living and breathing everything sound on a daily basis, I quickly understood that having some kind of self care regime was not a luxury but an absolute necessity.
This is pretty bad, but earlier on as a Mum of three, it had never really occurred to me that taking care of me would ultimately have an impact on my children and how well I could care for them.
I suppose as a working Mum I was just spinning plates, things always ‘needed doing’ and I rarely got the time to consider such a thought. I would always feel guilty if I did something for myself, it felt like a selfish act – surely I should be with my kids for every waking moment?!
Learning about sound and meditation over a period of two and a half years changed all that! I had to develop a steady self practice before the penny dropped, but then, happily, everything altered and now I feel like I am such a different, kinder person and I’m pretty sure my voice has dropped an octave.
When you are self-employed, even though you love what you do, it can feel like there is no end to your working day and I needed time out. I often work with people who are quite poorly and sometimes the things that they have been through or are going through are really intense, sad, and difficult to hear. Most have a good cry in my studio and sometimes it’s hard to not cry with them. Thankfully all the training I have been through has taught me how to release emotion, so that I don’t absorb what does not belong to me. But I still needed some space to collect myself and ground.
So, written into my job description are the following points….
Time off - Take two days off each week – it’s really easy to say yes to work and at any time, because of the uncertainty of being self employed and having no clue as to what you will earn each week. But my health IS important and I try to take the two days together if I can.
Receiving Treatments - Often as swaps with friends who are therapists, it's such a lovely thing to do for each other, to trade with your peers.
Massage - My body can ache after all the lifting and carrying gongs and all the equipment, people don’t realise how heavy gongs are! The majority are made from silver nickel and can weight up to 20kg and they are not easy to manoeuvre. With this in mind, I ensure that I receive a regular massage to help my body to release and be soothed.
Kinesiology – This is a great therapy using muscle testing to find out your needs. A regular balance helps me to check in with myself and release on all levels anything that I might be carrying and just keeps the connection between the mind and body in check.
Being in Nature – this is the most powerful form of resetting for me. I have a dog, so I am lucky that I can immerse myself in nature daily. Everything in nature resonates at its natural frequency, so when we are in that space we are entrained to vibrate at a more natural frequency for us too! Similar to when you walk into a room and you can tell that two people are in the middle of an argument, or when you enter a space where there is loads of laughter, you can feel whether the frequency is of a lower or higher vibration.
Swim – for the last few years I have been swimming every week in the river, lake or sea. Just in a cossie and often just a dip, no hard core lengths. Its all about how the water feels on my skin and how going under the water, even in the Winter, brings me a sense of renewal, mental health reset and I always feel like the clearest version of myself when I come out. I am sure it’s addictive!
Grounding – sooo important and also very powerful. I have a grounding sheet
on my bed and as often as possible I go barefoot and get my feet on the grass. Even when it’s raining or frosty. Just to hang out the washing or have a quick cup of tea outside helps me to neutralise any excess positive charge of energy and static that my body might be holding.
Breathe – deep grounding breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth can make all the difference to my day. Ensuring that you breath in so that the belly expands out and that your exhalation is longer and a little more forceful and travels all the way down into the Earth. Just three of these allows your nervous system to release its grip and the body mind and emotions can soften a little and relax.
Meditation – I am a fan of ‘just being’ and have taken a few Vipassana courses over the years. Not for everyone, they are 10 day silent courses and you ‘sit’ for quite some time just body scanning. It’s known as the purest form of Mindfulness and follows the Buddhist philosophy. It changed my life. There are of course so many different forms of meditation and I also like to be guided by other methods too.
Salt Bath – Epsom salts are so neutralising in a hot deep bath, a great way to relax and sooth aches and pains and also serves my emotions too, (emotions being the water element and all!)
Laughter – I think its my favourite thing! You can win me over and I will do anything for you if you can make me laugh. Not a hard task, I am quite silly and easily amused!
I have learnt that you don’t have to move mountains and spend ages to help yourself to find some equilibrium, like everything it’s all about balance. I hope that by sharing these tips, you might try something you haven’t experienced before, in a quest to look after yourself.