The Sweetest, Simplest Self-Care Question
When I confessed last week that my self-care habits have been shaky lately, I heard from several of you a version of "me too."
Most of us, I'd guess, have good intentions to prioritize self-care, only to find that as soon as we get even a little busy-er or out of our routine, our beautiful practices and healthy habits take a back seat.
To help us keep our self-care front and center, I'll share here a bullet from Elizabeth Gilbert's list of ways to befriend ourself from this week's online writing circles, Befriending Ourselves: What It Looks Like.
Ask, "What do I need in this moment?"
So smart and loving to ask ourselves when we're on auto-pilot or powering through our day, (and especially with pen and notebook in hand!):
"Darling, in this moment, do you need to eat? Pee? Rest? Breath deep? Walk? Scream? Dance? Write?... Have a cocktail with a girlfriend? Watch Netflix? Read a poem?... Daydream? Turn off the phone? Nap?... Play in the garden? Listen to music?"
Now if we could just remember to stop and ask what's needed in the moment to restore or invigorate our heart, mind, body, or soul,
...and not ignore what we hear when we DO ask,
...and not beat ourselves up when we don't remember to check in -- or we ignore what we hear!!
(No self-compassion = no self-care!)
Since writing about self-care these past few weeks, I notice that I don't just have a tendency to grind it out with my work and creative projects. I even grind it out when I'm in leisure-mode, watching Netflix!
I catch myself being so, so tired, I can barely keep my eyes open, but I'm going to be perfectionistic, push through, and watch till the end -- just 16 more minutes, fighting to stay awake...
...until a wiser part of me mercifully takes the wheel and says, "Alyse, it's OK! You can go to sleep! You're EXHAUSTED. Finish tomorrow, sweetheart."
And I immediately feel relief, flip my computer shut, and am asleep in seconds.
Sound familiar, anyone?
This week, notice you own quirky patterns of self-care honoring and self-care amnesia.
- Celebrate your great habits and steadfastness.
- Be excited when you catch yourself sleepwalking and change it in an instant, by simply asking, "What do I need in this moment?"
- Have compassion for yourself if you've been stuck.
- (No self-compassion = no self-care!)
Consistent self care is hard!!!
If it were easy, this world would be brimming with self-care masters!
Want to write?
Take a pen & prompt journey:
What do I need in this moment?
Set a timer for 10 minutes. Or 5. Or 2!
Write whatever arises in your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
Don’t stop to think or edit - keep your pen moving.
Accept ALL that you write - the pretty & ugly; absurd & boring.
Discover what wants to be felt, known, expressed, released...