News from Idaho SILC

Self Care for 2021

By Shiloh Blackburn

The other day I saw a commercial for a dating app, where Satan and 2020 made a love match. Hilarious, yes, and pretty much sums up the year we’ve all had, what with the Australian fires, murder hornets and the biggest drag of them all—the Coronavirus pandemic. With all this I’ve been afraid to ask the rhetorical question that Murphy’s Law would LOVE to answer: What more can go wrong? I’ve even been afraid to dare the Universe with these bold words: “BRING IT UNIVERSE! Hit me with your best shot!”

But the end is in sight. 2021 is here, and hopefully it will be kinder than its old predecessor was to all of us. Maybe it won’t be the baby of the love match from that commercial. I know, I know…you’re saying, “Shiloh, bite your tongue!” And I don’t want to – that hurts! Humor aside, I’m here today to share with you some tips for self-care and mental health upkeep.

1 – Get out in Nature. For me, this means crossing the street form my apartment and visiting the old white ash tree on the corner. I do this quite often in the warmer months whenever I need fresh air and a change to get out of my head. I talk with Ash, sharing recent events and feelings. Sometimes I run my hand through its lower hanging leaves to give it affection. (Yes, I’m a proud tree hugger!) A visit with Ash always leaves me feeling better with a calmer, clearer head.

2 – Guided Meditations. I’ve only been meditating for two years now, but man, it sure has helped me gain a different, yet calmer outlook on myself and life. Some people think meditation is where you sit still quietly, with a blank mind and it’s only successful if you achieve that state. Wrong! Our brains are computers that are always processing stuff and producing thoughts faster than we can speak. Guided meditation takes that stress away, giving us something to focus on in a relaxed state. I’ve found all sorts of guided meditations on YouTube. My first one had to do with the energy of the Winter Solstice.

3. Affirmations. Now these are easy, fun and can become a healthy daily practice. Repeat after me: I am beautiful/handsome. I am awesome. I speak my truth. I love myself. These are simple, but powerful affirming statements. You can find them anywhere, most often on inspirational posters.
4.  Tea/Hot Cocoa/Coffee. Now this tip is self- explanatory. Treat yourself. That’s right, you are awesome and deserve a reward every now and then. It doesn’t have to be a drink. It can be whatever makes you feel great. I happen to love peppermint tea and hot cocoa.
5.  A Cleansing Cry. Sometimes we can’t avoid an emotional storm, so it’s better to get it all out and move past it into clear skies. It always feels better afterwards. 6. Crystals. I happen to be someone who loves crystals and swear by their healing properties. Rose quartz is an excellent stone for self-love. I have one as a pendant and wear it whenever I’ve been harsh on myself.

These, along with a hefty amount of humor, are how I’ve survived Satan’s love match with 2020. I hope they help you with the coming year.