Self Care During a Faith TransitionSep 08, 2022
There is no doubt that leaving a religion that you were once ALL IN with is hard work. So many new facets to life to experience, new ways to learn how to connect to yourself, and all the flooding emotions one feels when they leave. Through our continual work with clients (as well as through our own experience), we've seen the deep need for self care during this time! So here are 10 ways you can begin to care for yourself during a faith transition:
1. Have fun: Life isn't as serious as you were trained for it to be! Fun should be part of the healing (and living!) plan.
2. Find safe people to talk to: Seek out those who have been there before, those currently experiencing similar situations, people who are good at holding this space, or even professionals. It's really important to know you aren't alone in this and that you are NOT crazy for all that you are experiencing.
3. Take a break from all of the heavy existential stuff: We guarantee you're not going to figure out all of the answers right now. In fact, that is the cycle you're trying to exit out of that you learned in religion. The goal is now to learn how to sit in the discomfort. And if anything, revert back to #1.
4. Be gentle with yourself: There is a lot that will come up from your religious programming that you will want to get harsh with yourself and wonder why you're still struggling. In fact, you were conditioned to show only the good parts and repress the bad (as seen in this cycle). This is the work to learn how to stop fighting and learn how to accept yourself--ALL of you.
5. Give yourself time until you're ready to tell others: Despite being trained to be responsible for everyone and everything, this choice is YOURS and it is not required for you to have to share it with anyone who asks.
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6. Practice resting: Take breaks, find moments to breath, slow down, and honor rest.
7. Redefine healing: What if healing, instead of "curing", meant "caring for"? How differently would you relate to yourself if you weren't trying to still fix you but instead, learning how to care for the parts you have spent so long rejecting?
8. Take time to get to know yourself: This is your new journey. You get to figure out who YOU are, something you were never given in religion. Take this time to acquaint yourself with you. This will take time so so slowly and be gentle on yourself.
9. Limit exposure to certain people: It's okay to take a step back from those who don't understand or respect your decisions to leave. You don't have to cut out anyone but you can limit your exposure as needed.
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10. Take a break from reading/podcasts when needed: Information at this stage can be very helpful...until it isn't and becomes overload. Get to know the signs of when it becomes too much for you and try taking breaks from ingesting information. This is a time you get to figure out what YOU want so it can be difficult when you are listening to everyone else's thoughts.
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