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Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.
Please read my full disclosure and policy statement here:
During this time of uncertainty, we have a great opportunity. An opportunity to work on ourselves. To learn good stewardship of our minds, bodies, and spirits.
My basic premise, that bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it, is also true of Self-Care. The first thing I have to admit is I changed the word self-care to stewardship for my life. I am the steward of my life. My life’s one and only caretaker.
Why did I change the word I use to define caring for myself? A mentor made the greatest observation when discussing the topic of self-care. “Pretend you are a beautiful flower, say an orchid. Do you know how to take care of a beautiful flower, like an orchid?”
Of course, I had no idea how to take care of a flower or any other plant at that time. That was his point. Self-care is not something we inherently know how to do. We have to learn what works for us.
For me, taking the approach that I was outside myself and tending to me like I was a plant I knew nothing about really helped me in the beginning.
To be a good steward of the orchid I want my life to become I needed to develop some skills and knowledge.
- To learn what the orchid likes, wants and needs.
- To know what can attack the orchid or reduce its life.
- To not only love the plant but love caring for the plant.
This interprets into knowing, protecting and loving ourselves and loving the act of caring for ourselves when we apply this to our persons. The thing is we have no idea about these things, and we have to learn them.
One other issue that caused me to change my terminology from self-care to stewardship is that this has allowed me to shut out all the noise that has become the self-care industry. Don’t get me wrong there is fantastic information out there under this topic but lighting candles and taking bubble baths did nothing for me. A lot of what is sold as self-care is just being momentarily good to ourselves and has no long-term effect on us. Self-care is a topic is sliding towards instant gratification rather than long term results. If you are the steward of something it instantly connotates you are in this for the long haul.
This is a difficult time for all of us. To help us get through this we need to be good to ourselves and love each other. If this post and this blog can help you learn to be good stewards of your mind, body, and spirit I am overjoyed.
As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things. Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds, and lives.
The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”
I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”
Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.
Self-Care for the Real World: Practical self-care advice for everyday life.
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BLOG OF THE WEEK:
Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well. This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you. I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Lachlan Brown.