"Harry, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it. Don't wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee." -Special Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks
Why self care is valuable
Many people work jobs they dislike and do things they don't want to do. That is no way to live a fulfilling existence! In my opinion, stifling your dreams is pretty traumatic. If this is how you are living, the link above definitely applies to you. Self care is about taking baby steps into a life that takes the obligatory aspect out of daily routines. It is also a way to learn more about yourself, which increases your overall chance for success---however you define that.
To figure out your goal points regarding self care, it can help to choose a 'safe place'. (Can you tell I've been in therapy on and off for over a decade?) Close your eyes and imagine a location where you feel completely comfortable. Breathe into this for at least a minute. Now open your eyes and record how you felt. The emotions you felt there are the emotions your self care exercises are supposed to evoke.
Even if you feel like you're not a list maker, this is a good time to experiment.
Here is my list, to give you a taste of what a Self Care November routine might look like.
Warning: some of this is suuuuuper corny. I am privy to indirect trauma for 40+ hours per week, so there is a lot of psychic deep cleaning that is necessary in my routine that you may find too intense to be authentic in your own.
Here they are in no particular order....
-Every day, say "I deserve success".
-Redefine "expert". Find quotes and put them up.
-Read about how to best follow your intuition.
-Write 2 stories about people who follow their intuition.
-Regular meditation practice.
-Follow your creative desires. Trust they will lead you back.
-Challenge excuses you make to yourself.
-Find positive, independent female role models and include them in your life via their art, words, photos.
-Craft, watch movies, read, chill.
-Meditate on your goals.
-Explore, challenge fears and self-judgment with yoga.
-Positive self-talk, record it if you must.
-"Love is what you make it. You choose now."
-Make a film, start to finish, about intuition.
-Ride your bike everywhere.
-Make a master list of your strengths.
-Rewrite/update personal mission statement.
Some basics I didn't include, because they are already a part of my weekly thang, like soaking my feet in hot water or drinking water with lime. Start small.
The point is not to force care. Listen to the quote above and let it be organic.
Good luck, people. I'll be posting updates. It would be great to hear from all of you, too.