Happy New Year

By Jodi B., an Ex Christian Science contributor.

There are things we all do when we are getting a new start: a new project, a new life, a new job, a new haircut. Maybe we think about what isn’t working, and what is working, so we can focus more on what is working and discard what isn’t.

We think about what didn’t work, what might work, how we might go about making a change, whether the change is realistic or not, when we might like to start. New Years is a perfect time to do this sort of thing.

Many cultures (all?) celebrate a New Year. I personally celebrate my new year with the Winter Solstice – December 21. But a lot of the United States celebrates it on January 1. The Jewish folks have a different New Year and so do the Chinese. I am sure there are other people out there who celebrate the New Year on their birthday or at other times during the year. 

Our New Year’s Celebration has grown to include more family time, a few meaningful rituals and traditions, and some thinking as to what we would like to let go of in the year to come, and what we would like to embrace more of. 

Growing up in the Christian Science household where I grew up, I saw my parents do things like run together, eat vegetables, drink milk. My mom prided herself on “not cooking with salt.” I also didn’t go to health class. I was excused by religious exemption, from going to health class. So I didn’t learn things like: where is my spleen? what is a miniscus? how should we wash our hands properly? what are the symptoms of a cold? What is the difference between a cold and the flu? Why does a woman bleed every month? What is a fallopian tube? Why do we need a liver? How do you put a condom on a banana?

The day of the winter solstice, it rained all day long where we live. There were a few moments when the sun came out. My older son taught me the term “sun shower,” which is when the sun comes out in the middle of the rain. We all opted not to go out in the rain across the yards that are no longer just wet, but now they are spongy, and we stayed inside our home, looking out a particular window to see the sunset. Before that happened, though, a rainbow came out a few times! It was so beautiful! It was a special kind of New Year experience for us, to have a rainbow.

My two goals this year for the New Year

This year, for our New Year, I have made my goals simple, so I can focus on them and try to stick to them. My intention is to be kind to myself in my own head about them if I don’t. My focus this year for New Years is to practice self care. I have learned from Ruth Bader Ginsberg, that it’s important to take care of our physical bodies. I think I am finally getting the message about this, because I didn’t get it in a health class in middle or high school. Thank you, Justice Ginsberg. For me, it will be eating right, moving more, and using that elliptical I just HAD to have on Amazon Prime Day.

The other goal I have set for myself for this near year is to follow the idea of Hestia – she is a little known goddess. I found out about her in the book “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy” by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Hestia is “the goddess of the hearth and home.” I have little projects here, there and everywhere. I have finally learned that the idea of “I want to make this and I can totally do that, and it will be beautiful!” is completely different from, “I am going to spend time and make that and it will be completely beautiful!” So I have the makings of various projects all over the house. (The shelves I want to hang, the wreaths I want to make, the violin music I want to play, books I want to read, my dad’s books I want to scan and put online so everyone can read them….) I have decided that it’s time for me to also just focus more on taking care of our home.

I hope everyone has a lovely and peaceful new year. I also wish everyone a productive and peaceful 2019.

A reference:
You may find Pinterest helpful in finding self care tips.

Practicing Radical [Self] Reliance: Self care for former Christian Scientists (and for life in general)

This post was originally shared on Nov. 9, 2016. The holiday season can be a difficult time so we are sharing it again as a reminder to everyone to take care of themselves. 


With the holiday season upon us, we are sharing some of our favorite self-care techniques. Self-care is often a difficult concept for former Christian Scientists, and it is an on-going process.


If you feel things are really bad:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Lifeline Crisis Chat: https://t.co/UXJqH6Y0KA

Please. Use them. We need you.


Self-awareness:

  • Understand your body. Get enough sleep and drink plenty of water.
  • Be comfortable: don’t overeat, eat healthy, balanced meals.
  • Wear clothes that feel good, especially underwear. Go braless if it makes you feel better in your own skin, or find the best fitting bra that you can – a good bra is worth its weight in gold.
  • Medicate appropriately. Address pain with medical professionals and be kind to your body.
  • Know what your “baseline” feeling/mood is. Notice when it changes, by be patient and kind with yourself.
  • Knowing when to ask for help. Knowing when to seek professional help i.e. a doctor, therapist, psychologist, friend, family member, etc.
  • Therapy and counseling options may be helpful. When in doubt, “treat yourself like you are someone you love.”
  • Accept that you are human and mistakes will happen.
  • Accept emotions rather than fighting them, even if you don’t know where the emotions are coming from.
  • Know that it is OK to be sad, angry, depressed. These are real human emotions. You are a real human. Don’t beat yourself up for having them.
  • Accept that you are human and you have a physical, material body. Embracing sensuality is neither gendered nor an indulgence, it is part of the human experience. Touch is one of the most powerful sensations that we have: explore it and own it.
  • Do something that stimulates your body and/or brain:
  • Exercise: biking, pilates, walking, yoga, meditation, journaling, writing.
  • Do something that grounds you:
  • Keep track of your moods, pet your cat/dog/horse/chicken. Craft, garden, paint.

Be in control:

  • Have your own bank account.
  • Know how much money you have, where it comes from, where it goes.
  • Use a budgeting tool to understand your spending habits (mint.com)
  • Say “no” when you need to. You don’t need an excuse.
  • Enforce your boundaries.
  • Reserve one or two nights a week for yourself, adjust as needed.

Know that when you start establishing boundaries, you may initially get some “backlash” from those who are used to running over you. Hold your ground, boundaries are very important for your well being. The more you say “no” to things, the better you will get at it. It’s ok to say “yes” to things that you do have time and energy for, and saying “no” to the rest will help you find that balance!

Be patient with yourself and others as your perspectives change: the morals you were brought up with may be arbitrary and others may have different values, so try to keep an open mind and not be critical of others. If it doesn’t affect you/others, don’t make it your drama. Own your feelings and examine what makes you uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to change your views based on your new understanding of life.

 

Links some people have found helpful:

PLEASE: http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/reduce_vulnerability.html You can google “DBT Please” for more. These are for regular maintenance.

Distress Tolerance: http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/distress_tolerance1.html These are for when you are overwhelmed in the moment. Different things you can do when in an emergency. Google “DBT Distress Tolerance” for more.

 

What do you find helpful? Let us know in the comments!