Self Care is such a buzz word right now, and it is easy to see why. With the amount of things we are trying to juggle on a day to day basis, mixed with the emotional information we are constantly being fed, it is no wonder we are burnt out, depressed, and anxious. Coupled with talk therapy, a good self care plan can go along way in helping you being to feel energized and like yourself again. This then translate into being able to be more present and content with the ones you love.
Exercise: Write down a “menu” for yourself of things you like to do. (It is important to have it written down. When we are stressed, our brains forget details of how to make us feel better because it is dealing with chemicals involved in feeling overwhelmed.) Below are some examples of things to add.
This menu should include three categories:
- Daily Activities
These are thinks that cost nothing or a small amount of money, and only take a couple minutes. (Cup of coffee, walk with your pet, partner or friend, 5 minute phone call with a loved one)
o Challenge yourself to find 10 different activities for this category.
- Weekly Activities
o This requires a little more investment of time and money
o 5-10 activities for this category would be ideal (Guilt free watching your favorite show, getting to an exercise class that you enjoy, painting your nails)
- Monthly Activities
o In this category, you want to make a list of things that take more energy and more time.
o At least 5 activities for your monthly to do list. (Going on a fun date, driving to the mountains, plan a party with friends, go on an adventure with your kiddos)
Once your menu is created, try to incorporate 2 of your daily self care items a day into your routine, 2 of your weekly, and once a month add from your monthly list.
Your almost done! Now to make these activities benefit you it will involve slowing down in the moments when you are participating in them and becoming aware and grateful that you doing something yummy for yourself. For example, I LOVE coffee and as part of my routine, having a deliciously warm beverage is always a daily must. In order for me to be able to add this to my self care plan, I must slow down and appreciate that cup of coffee. I ask myself: How does the warm cup feel in my hand? How does the cozy chair I am sitting in feel on my back? Can I taste the hazelnut flavor in the coffee? What does it smell like in this moment? Take a few deep breathes, smile, and go on your way.
Quick and easy right? Doing this over and over throughout your day and week will help your body learn to slow down.
Couples Therapy bonus points. Can some of your self care plan items include your partner? Can you ask each other what you are enjoying or noticing in those moments together? Can you express gratitude with that person?
Self Care Plan Ideas:
• Take a bath with Epsom salts
• Make a happy music playlist
• Host a game night
• Go for a hike
• Visit a lake
• Read for pleasure
• Try essential oils
• Plan to do a Saturday adventure day with your kids
• Try a new recipe
• Light a candle in your home
• Get outside and wander
• Host a tea party
• Try yoga
• Get friends together for touch football, soccer, volleyball
• Visit a petting zoo and pet the animals
• Try a new craft
• Ask for a hug
• Color in a coloring book
These activities (and I know I’m missing a ton of fun things!) help you slow down, connect to yourself, and help to connect with others.
What other ways to do you all take time to slow down and connect with yourself and feel grateful?