The Healing Power of Service Work

Redpoint Center Service Work During Coronavirus
by Redpoint Team member, Wendy Stine, certified interventionist and addictions counselor
Service work is a powerful healer. “When I get nervous, I focus on service,” is a saying that a spiritual mentor taught me years ago in Hawaii. It’s been amazingly helpful these last few precarious weeks. As we experience semi-sheltered existence, service work provides.

What is Service Work?

In “Pre-Covid Times” (PCT), I managed to stay involved in service work through my 12-Step Groups and my training with Native American Tribes across North America. I took several pieces of training with White Bison, which is a nonprofit that integrates Native American spirituality practices. These include the medicine wheel, the Sacred Four Directions, ceremonies, etc., and incorporate these with recovery, along with the 12 Steps. It is a Native American organization founded to help its members, as well as those in recovery, heal from trauma, abuse, and addiction. I’ve also done service work with the Lakota Sioux on Pine Ridge Rez, the Ojibway in the Midwest, and the Couer d’ Alene Tribes. In addition, I have spoken in Northern Canada. Service work is different in this new reality. I’ve had to find a few more creative ways to stay committed to helping others while keeping my mind too occupied to fall into anxiety and self-pity.

Ways to Be of Service

There are lots of ways to show up for others. During COVID-19, we’ve had to be a bit more creative about this. But, it’s possible. Sometimes, it’s as simple as asking someone how they’re doing? Just remember that intention goes a long way. The thought truly does count. Here are some tips to help others:

Nourish others

One avenue I use now is to offer my cooking skills to others. I cook for a couple of people in my recovery community. Each person is struggling with significant physical health issues and mental health issues. Both individuals helped ME a ton in my early sobriety. I can go to the store, do some meal prep, and get some warm soup or a few meals boxed up and delivered to their door. It’s my way of saying thank you, and thank you to The Universe for my good health and good fortune. It’s not a heavy lift for me, but it would be for them.

Thoughtfulness

There are always ways to be thoughtful. Perhaps the local town needs some assistance in distributing supplies. It can feel scary to put yourself out there, both psychologically and physically right now, but there are safe ways to show up. Wear your mask when in groups, gloves if needed, and keep the distance. Your support can mean a great deal to others.

Donate

Donations always help during times like these. And right now there are a lot of services and organizations that need support. Here are some ways to help your community and offer resources toward those in need. Along with donating money, you can go to a blood drive, offer your skills to organizations in need, or donate materials.

Reach out and connect

Write a letter. I’ve also decided to write a few actual handwritten notes (on that stuff called stationery) to our local assisted living home residents. There are many who feel isolated right now and could use some human connection. It’s pretty easy to do, just call a center and ask for a few names of residents that get little to no outside interactions. I’m told that now residents wait by the door for the mail!
My challenge to you is to find ways to get out of yourself; to contribute to the greater good, and create some goodwill. There are so many small acts of kindness that we can bestow upon each other. Let’s do something good, and in the process, heal ourselves.

We are here to help.



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