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Self-care tip: Shut everything off

I had the pleasure to facilitate mindfulness sessions at a seminar. It was a workshop for service providers dealing with trauma survivors. Trauma can be a heavy subject, but confronting it is intrinsic to Satori. In zen, we are here to master ourselves, and we can only truly know and be who we are when we can face our deepest issues, and finally realize we have power over them. So I consider these participants heroic, as they chose this line of work when they could have chosen other jobs. As heroic as it can be, it can definitely take a toll on us if we are not mindful and we don't take care of ourselves.

So naturally, the participants are reminded to take care of themselves. A question was asked: "What is your way of self-care when you get stressed?" Some answered going for a massage, or going to a Zumba class, and there was a consensus on watching BTS! Of course, these are amazing ways to relieve our stress.

I personally have ways to handle stress, but the most important thing I've learned to do is: SHUT EVERYTHING OFF. Keep my phone or computer away, and close my doors and my windows. The essence is to drive information down.

Information leads to thoughts, and thoughts bring about emotions. When you are overwhelmed with information, emotional distress can be extreme. This aggravates us, weighs us down, and on the extreme end, lead to anxiety or depression. When you are overwhelmed by thoughts, or even a singular powerful thought, you forget about everything else--nothing else matters. You forget who you really are--a being far beyond these thoughts.

And this is why eliminating objects and spaces that stimulate these thoughts for a period of time--a day, half a day, an hour--can have powerful effects to calm you down.

I would do this in my room, or if I'm lucky to be close to nature, I will go outside and just be with nature. No phones, no social media. Mindfully walking, feeling the grass, the soil, the sand if you're in the beach. Bringing your attention to where you are at that moment and nothing else. Reminding yourself that this is the real you: you are free and light. And being here walking on earth is beautiful, that it doesn't expect you to be anything else other than yourself, as you are one with it.

That is liberating.

So yes, definitely get your massages, enjoy BTS, dance your heart out, and try out these periods of shutting everything off and just be with your beautiful self.

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