Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Practical Lesson in Self-Care

     Some life lessons, I learn again and again. The importance of consistent self-care is one of them. If I let it slide I find my self feeling stressed, short with people, and less than well. I notice my time and energy feels like it is all going OUT from me. My focus becomes EXTERNAL. When I take time daily to care for myself, time slows. I have more energy. My focus becomes more balanced, both internally and externally. My boundaries become present and deliberate. I begin to "water my own lawn" as it were.

     Sadly, our culture is not rooted in self-care habits. Seeped in materialism, and appearance focused. Saturated in demands of work, socializing has been marginalized to texting and social media networks.

I recently heard read (on social media) a friend say "Be bold, phone them." And he was right. It has become "bold" to phone. Quite a testament to the disconnection present in this period of history.

     Originally, I made this list for me but if any of this speaks to you, this list is for you too! Just recognizing that this speaks to you may be enough.

For me, being ALONE and having a clear intention of recharging is the most important part of the equation.


     Change happens slowly and unconsciously for some, while for others change can happen quickly and deliberately. These are not "shoulds" they are "coulds"... so with that in mind I present my list of self-care suggestions:

1. Go for a walk
2. Carve out 5 minutes to be alone
3. Start a journal
4. Start an art journal
5. Visit the library and find a physical book to get lost in

6. Actually get lost in said book
7. Lay on the lawn and gaze at the clouds
8. Visit a lake, river, or ocean spot you've never been to
9. Listen to music you like
10. Listen to it loud

11. Declare a pajama day
12. Hug a friend
13. Cuddle an animal
14. Create something: music, poetry, photo, jewelry...
15. Shower

16. Daydream
17. Write down your worries and negative thoughts... burn them (optional)
18. Pray
19. Meditate
20. Doodle words that have meaning for you

21. Color
22. Spend time in a forest
23. Hoola hoop
24. Say "no" when you mean no
25. Say "yes" when you mean yes

26. Notice when something doesn't feel "right" and listen to that feeling
27. Start to feel, name, and be curious about your emotions, without judgement
28. Realize that our emotions are there to tell us something
29. BREATHE. Really BREATHE. Seriously, look into all the ways to breathe and start practicing
30. Think about the people who really care about you

31. Think about the people you really care about too
32. Think about how someone makes your life better and let them know you appreciate them
33. Ask for help
34. Cry
35. Take a hot bath. (bubbles, wine, music, candles optional)

36. Identify your tribe... and spend some time with them or let them know they matter
37. Make a bucket list
38. Make a thoughtful and realistic to-do list for the week, then try to use it as a guide
39. Drink a hot bevy of your choosing
40. Declare it a "screen-free" day

41. Declare it a "screen-day" and indulge
42. Identify goals you have set in the past and met
43. Learn techniques to be "in your body"... then spend some time there (even just 5 minutes)
44. Identify what is most important to you in your life
45. Choose foods that taste good and nourish your body and spirit

46. Pick just one of these and deliberately make it a habit
47. Dance
48. Stretch
49. Drink a glass of water
50. Take a guilt-free nap

51. Help someone
52. Cultivate compassion for yourself when you fall short or make mistakes
53. Learn from your mistakes
54. Go get a massage, acupuncture, or pedicure
55. Eat some chocolate

56. Bake cookies... your house will smell delightful
57. Phone someone who matters to you
58. Plant a garden
59. Write a letter on paper to anyone living or dead (then do whatever you like with it...)
60. Pay attention to your finances... budget in something for yourself or for charity

61. Cultivate awareness of negative self-talk
62. Cultivate awareness of negative beliefs
63. Learn about ways to change thought patterns
64. Cultivate spirituality
65. Watch your favorite movie

67. Tell someone you love them
68. Forgive yourself
69. Forgive others
70. Plant seeds of a peaceful joyous life everyday!

71. Start a gratitude journal
72. Start to notice when judgemental thoughts creep in
73. Realize that the only person you control is you (and be thankful for that because it really is a load off!)
74. Listen to the rain, or lay in the sun
75. Learn healthy ways of communicating about your feelings and needs

76. Write your own self-care list!

No comments:

Post a Comment