Encouraging Light for the Wellbeing of Others
When we encourage someone we give support and advice so they will have the confidence or hope to do something.
How do we encourage and give support, confidence or hope to someone?
Before we can talk about “how” we must be well with oneself first.
We have to be honest with ourselves about what is weighing heavy on our mind and our heart.
Identifying the weight we carry personally will guide us to release the weight and trust ourselves. Once we trust ourself we can then begin to encourage, care and trust others.
Well Cara, thanks for making that sound so easy, cheesy, and fluffy!
This made me think of a recent quote I saw by Kris Carr a New York Times and #1 Amazon best-selling author, wellness activist and cancer survivor:
“Honestly, self-care is not fluffy - it's something we should take seriously.”
Ever since I began work in recreation, sport and leadership years ago I have experienced times when I’ve had people not take the work I do seriously.
Well folks, I’m here to say that it’s not fluffy at all and it’s not just about throwing a ball out, winning the championship, or being the team captain. All (recreation, sport and leadership) of the work is extremely serious when it comes to being critical thinkers during challenging times, we must develop our personal self-care strategies and look out for the wellbeing of others.
Take care of yourself first.
It will be the best decision you made for others too because you will have the mental and physical strength to persevere during unprecedented times. like the times we find ourselves in now with the coronavirus.
Your right it’s not always easy.
It takes time being honest with yourself, asking questions and sharing what is weighing you down.
Sometimes we might choose to go, go, and go...neglecting taking care of ourself and making it more difficult to be a light encouraging the wellbeing of others. We lose sight of the moment and become discouraged in various environments and hinder the wellbeing of ourself along with the wellbeing of our colleagues, friends and family.
I’ll be honest a week ago, I had not started writing my blog titled, Calming Light of Acceptance until the morning I posted it. I didn’t know where to begin and I really wanted to step away from it and give up on writing for the week, it was a hell of a week.
I was tired and I had a difficult time easing my mind and resting my heart. I acknowledged my reaction and reminded myself that writing is a place where I find my calm and tend to feel better after I enjoy quiet time in solitude to write. Those closest to me know this contributes to my best self too, they support me and give me confidence to press forward.
For me I really needed to step away and have time to process. The feeling of anxiousness and unknown was creeping up on me like a stranger following me in the parking lot, instead of letting the stranger grab me I needed to turn around and acknowledge they were there. Two other times prior to the coronavirus were I felt this feeling before was during the time I worked at Virginia Tech during the shooting and when I was first going through my divorce.
It makes quite a bit of sense though if I think about it.
Through all of the past experiences and this current experience with the implications of the coronavirus there were and are many unknowns, constant problem solving, and sleepless nights.
Writing for me resets my mind and gives me the strength to encourage others.
I chose to acknowledge the feelings I was having and made time for self-care: walking outdoors. long conversations with loved ones, and as my mom reminds me taking time to simply be still.
This was important, my capacity for encouraging the wellbeing of others was strengthened and was and is being shared.
It is our responsibility as we feel the stranger (the anxiousness, the panic, the unknown) following us again to acknowledge they are there, address them and get to taking care of self so we can be one hell of an encourager to someone else.
How can we get started and encourage someone right now?
Reach out to folks, yes the way we socialize is changing daily and we are all pivoting to a new way of doing things. Instead of in person gatherings or in person meetings to the use of FaceTime, Zoom, Facebook, Instagram. LinkedIn and picking up the phone.
Yesterday, I had an hour walking meeting with a dear friend and colleague to catch up, check in and chat about plans for research we are doing. I’m currently working on finding a time for a wine date on a Zoom call to celebrate with colleagues about a finished project and a coffee chat with one of my mentees.
Next week my on-line classes will begin with my students. I will remind all of us about the importance of self-care as we navigate these unchartered waters.
I will encourage them to reach out to one another and to support one another. Tom Rath is a consultant on engagement, strengths and wellbeing. He has authored a number of books including Strength Based Leadership, he has shared:
”When top scientists and psychologists talk about what's important to our overall wellbeing and how satisfied we are with our lives, the only thing that they all agree on is that social relationships are probably the single best predictor of our overall happiness.”
As you exude your encouraging light for the wellbeing of others take time to first acknowledge what is weighing you down, identify what you need (sleep, nutrition, exercise, music, quiet, excitement...) and then get out there and be an encouraging light someone needs.
Helpful sites regarding self-care and wellbeing