Nocturnal Works death doula resources

Caring for the body is promoting mental health

Viewing the body as an instrument

I have been thinking about my relationship with my body. Like many (or most) people, I haven’t been happy just being with myself, but have spent most of my time with “busyness”. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t negative with myself. I didn’t think badly of myself, physically or otherwise. Rather, I imagine that I have treated my body as an “instrument” for use.

Ignoring your home

Rather than nurturing and cherishing this space which is my ultimate home, I pushed my body to perform through studies, with little sleep and in many ways ignoring its needs for gentle care. I have eaten terribly (chips, pizza, etc). Physical exercise has taken a back seat to study and many other things. I suppose I have just expected my body to keep going, regardless of how much I have ignored its needs.

Spending time understanding yourself

Enter meditation – when I sit, I am with myself. There is no one else there. I feel my breath, I notice my chest rising and falling hour after hour. I begin to realise the miracle of every moment, as my body takes care of me (body and "me" are the same). Actually, this distinction between body and mind, body and spirit or however you wish to frame it is one of the causes of our neglecting ourselves. Dichotomies are generally simplistic and have little value. It takes a larger consciousness to hold thoughts of things having many possible aspects, than it takes to imagine simple extremes of this versus that. Body versus mind. Body versus spirit. Body versus me.

What we take in becomes us

We are not separate from our bodies. Great thinkers have long understood this. The things which we use to sustain us become a part of who we are. When we fill ourselves with the suffering of others, can we really be surprised that we have heart disease, diabetes and a myriad of other ailments? We are creating our future, every moment we live.

Your body is your mental health

So, what is the point of a discussion of the body when considering mental health topics? There is no distinction between who you are physically and mentally – caring for your body is caring for your mind. Your mind is part of your body and you cannot have good mental health, while punishing your body. Looking for your next steps in mental health? Take care of your body. It IS your mental health.

Aroha nui,

Lee Jordan signature

Gerald Lee Jordan, MBA, MEd, MCouns ❤️

About Death Doulas

Death Doulas - also referred to as End of Life Doulas - provide emotional and other support to the dying and their families. Support can be psychological (e.g. counselling), physical (aiding with exercise), clerical (helping with completing documents, including advanced directives), documentary (recording messages, including final messages for the dying), ceremonial (e.g. helping plan and/or deliver funerals) and other assistance which is not medical in nature. Death doulas are not doctors, they are not nurses and they are not solicitors/lawyers. They are brought in at the request of the dying and/or family and they are there to help the person transition from life.

About Nocturnal Works

The content on this site is provided to give resources and support to those dying, their loved ones and those providing death doula (end of life) support. When we find out that death is near and the initial shock wears off, emotions and questions flood into our minds. Noctural Works exists as place where you can find out about mental health issues and therapy related to death, dying, grief and bereavement - as well as more practical support, such as planning for death and supporting others on their journey.

The resources on this site are provided by Death Doula Ltd, a company in Aotearoa New Zealand which provides end of life doula support online, in Wellington, Blenheim and Picton (New Zealand). These resources are not legal or medical in nature, so do no rely upon them, but seek legal and medical advice, as required. If you are interested in counselling resources not focusing on death and dying, you can visit our other site, Therapy Aroha.