My Wellness is Worth it...Because I’m Worth it!


5 minutes - Article

What’s up with this idea of “self-care”?

Everyone is talking about it...but what does it really mean! It’s up to you to define it for yourself. This absolutely does not mean that we do this alone. We need our friends, family, support workers to help us, take care of ourselves.

Here’s the question: How do you take care of yourself?

To us, “self-care” is the healing and wellness of our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual bodies. Try on a few of these techniques and see how they feel for you. If they work, AWESOME! If not, leave it.

1. Crying is a Ceremony – Elder Elsie Paul


Everybody is gifted with that scared water. If we’re overwhelmed with pain and hurt and anger, whatever the emotion is, we want to cry. If we just allow ourselves to cry and when tears come down, we always feel a little bit better afterward because it’s released.

2. Ground Yourself in 5,4,3,2,1!


Anxiety is real and it is very common. If you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed or having a panic attack, the first step is to focus on your breathing. Slow, deep, long breaths can help you return to a feeling of calm, safety and presence.

Once you find your breath, go through the 5...4...3...2...1 Steps to help ground yourself.

3. Smudging


Use a flat rock, an abalone shell, a cast iron pan, or ceramic bowl to hold your medicine.

You can smudge and pray any time of the day. Smudge medicines include sweetgrass, sage, cedar, or diamond willow fungus.

Keep your medicine in a clean place. When lighting your smudge, use matches and do not blow on your medicine. Instead use a feather or your hand to get the smoke going.

Remove jewelry and glasses, turn off cell phone and put it aside.


Hands first

Ceremonial items

Mouth to speak good things

Eyes to see good things

Ears to hear good things

Head to think good things

Heart for love and acceptance of others

Say your prayer and send it to Creator with the smoke from the smudge

Want more strategies like meditation, starting a journal, music, movement? Download the BearPaw Media and Education Wellness Guide for Indigenous Families

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