In psychiatry, the mind is the focus of treatment 99% of the time. This does us a huge disfavor in terms of our wholeness of self.
In my own experience of having Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Disorder since 2008, I have only had my psychiatrist ask me once about how I was managing in spiritual matters and the question was posed as a curiosity, rather than as a treatment of my spiritual condition. It was never followed up and it was not a deep inquiry.
The body isn’t talked about much either other than the fact that I have gained much weight on anti-psychotics. And this was addressed early on in my treatment and then just accepted by my psychiatrist not me.
I am sure I’m not the only one who is in treatment for a mental health disorder, whether it be depression, anxiety, bipolar, psychotic disorder, or any other and have read the instructions for the many meds we take to manage our mind symptoms and have observed the following disclaimer- the doctor deems it necessary to take this medicine because the condition being treated is more serious and outweighs any side effects (then a long list of possible side effects) or something along those lines.
So we take our meds and observe the mind’s reaction and deal with the side effects, often taking another med to counter any negative reaction. I hate this! While my disorder is well-managed now better than ever, I have learned my own ways to deal with the unwanted side effects and I am still experimenting and open to anybody else’s successes at natural ways to counter them.
I will speak more about this in another part of this May 2022 series for I wish to further explore the neglect of the body, mind, spirit connection. For if one part of the equation is out of whack, how can we truly say we are doing well? It just doesn’t add up. We must be unified in all three aspects I believe to live a more functional life. Balance is what I seek after…
I learned this recently from Well Being Blogger in one of our few life coaching sessions. Her homework was simple and instructive and for me had the biggest impact upon my well-being. She asked me to write and do 5 things for my mind, 5 things for my body and 5 things for my spirit (which does not have to have any religious connotation). She also gave a few examples to help me but I was out of the gate running as I ran through my list quickly categorizing old and new ideas of how to manage these three aspects of myself.
It has been the elixir for my treatment plan and each week as I diligently started to adopt this 5 things practice, I became more connected to who I was and who I am becoming. I am quite pleased with the results thus far and would like to share a few examples of my routine. Some overlap as you shall see but I think you will get it and hopefully develop your own way and feel free to use any of mine. I also suggest taking a look at my May 2020 series published here for ideas and ways to incorporate them in your lives.
My 5 things
Mind- self study through reading and writing, meditation (walking I prefer, which can also count as spiritual as I observe nature), learning new words, practicing my Spanish and studying philosophy.
Body- exercise (for me this involves walking, yoga and just added strength training and swimming), proper nutrition (I’m trying whole foods eating 90% of the time), stretching, getting dressed nice (even though I don’t have a job) and gardening.
Spirit- yoga, ritual prayers, tending to the houseplants, listening to uplifting music of sorts and spending time appreciating nature.
I don’t do them all every day but do some of them every day like eating healthy, walking, reading and writing, and spending time in nature. The rest are on a weekly basis.
What are some of your 5 things you do for your mind, body and spirit?