Here are the final prompts for the Self Care Reset. All of these prompts can stand alone, and be used as a journalling/meditation/thinking jumpstart to find deeper care for yourself that is tangible, true, and not purely media based or expensive.
I have high hopes these prompts have been helpful for you! If you used them, reach out to me! I’d love to hear more of your story.
The Big Goals. Setting small attainable goals is paramount to making overall change. We’ve all gone through the backwards goal setting of writing down the big goal, and then creating manageable bites to get you to the whole. Today I want you to instead think more broadly of BIG LIFE GOALS. The overarching, always need to be in mind, impact your big decision, kinda goals. For example I have two BIG life goals. One is to have a really connected, healthy, and active relationship with my daughters when they are adults. I think about this whenever I am making my parenting decisions, work choices, word choices with them, and everything else. It’s the northstar I use to think; Will this propel us towards a healthy adult relationship together? It’s helped me to not make short term decisions (I want you to just obey!) and instead make the (often far harder and more laborious; I want you to feel respected and heard, even if it’s inconvenient) choices. It helps me whenever we have a big decision we need to make because I can look at my BIG goal and think; Is this moving me towards the end goal? Obviously, I can’t, won’t, and haven’t always gotten it right. But knowing what I want the BIG picture to look like is incredibly helpful in keeping the smaller stuff along the way feeling less overwhelming and easier to maneuver. My last two BIG GOALS are related to my relationship with myself, and with my husband. When I have those three big pieces in my mind, it’s FAR easier to make decisions as they come up, especially the big ones.
Today in your journaling, meditating, or just thinking while you walk or drive; Look at your life and think over what your BIG goals are, the overarching, make your decisions clear(er), BIG goals. Write them down, and make them succinct and clear.
Meditation. I suggest this when the self care conversation comes up, nearly every time. For two reasons. First because I think nearly all of us could use some more quiet, down, rest time in our lives. And if that’s all that you gain from meditation, 5 minutes of stillness, I think it’s wholly worth it. And secondly, I think most of us have put what meditation means into a very small box, and exploring other styles and varieties is really helpful. In lieu of journaling today I encourage you to give a short meditation a try. Here are the varieties that I love, use, and apply depending on where I am at in my life.
Seated, quiet, mantra meditation: 5min in a comfortable upright position. Long deep breaths originating in my belly and moving all the way up to my collar bone. I focus on a mantra and repeat it to myself as I sit.
Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep), I follow along with youtube videos. It’s essentially a guided body scan while you lay down, comfortably, and often drift in and out of full consciousness.
Moving Meditation: For me this means walking or sun salutations, allowing my brain to stop thinking and move long enough for me to turn my focus solely onto my movements and breath.
Today is my favorite, and less popular form of self care: Get Shit Done Care.
This is the one where you real dial in what being DONE feels good. Phones call’s, doctors appointments, tidying up, returning emails, grocery shopping, taking out the (literal and figurative) trash, the list goes on.
Write the dang to-do list. And check some stuff off. What works best for me is to set a timer, give myself 20 minutes to get as much done of that task list as possible, focused, and without trying to do more than one thing at a time.
For example, a BIG form of get-shit-done care for me is a clean kitchen. So I turn on my cleaning music, turn on a 20 min timer and do NOTHING other than clean the kitchen for those 20 minutes. I don’t make my bed, I don’t look at my phone, I don’t stop to do. . . anything. I’ve gotten my kiddos into this too, we set a 20 min cleaning timer and then we DO NOT clean after that. It’s helped me to let them just PLAY and make the royal mess… and then, have the time and space to clean it all back up.
Today, instead of a poetic journal entry, write your hard list. And check something off.
Modifications. When I teach classes I offer modictations for certain poses or exercises that are rough on some bodies (wrists, back, shoulders, knees, ect.) and it’s often tough for people to choose the modicitations. This can be for so many reasons. Maybe they used to be able to do that movement or posture and letting go of that for now is tough, or they want ‘the hardest’ workout they can get so they’re pushing into bad form for the sake of doing the ‘hardest’ version. Or? They feel strange being the person choosing the modification in a class and don’t want to feel like they stick out.
The issue is that without important modifications, you can cause injury, burn out, poor form, and ultimately get less of the benefits overall. Your body will suffer, and you won’t feel successful at the end. The same is true in day to day life. Pushing through lists, work and expectations that are beyond your scope right now will cause harm and hinder forward momentum.
Today I want you to look at your day to day life and think about what you are pushing through and where you could modify. Is the to-do list incredibly long? Cut it in half. Find success in the list. Is the workout plan you’ve chosen too time consuming for now? Let it go and choose to do ½ as often, or allow a few minutes a day. Could you benefit by asking for more help? Childcare swapping with a friend, asking your partner to take over a meal/chore that its not feeling doable in your day to day right now. It might be more extreme; hiring a cleaner for once a week, paying for a babysitter once a week, ect.
For journaling list out the BIG things that are causing you stress right now and brainstorm some small or big ways to modify them.
We are not static, but it’s tough to change when you, your family, and everyone else believes you are One way. Today’s journalling is to spend some time thinking of the stories you tell yourself about You. The names you’ve been given. And the ways that you, maybe, no longer embody those stories, names, or past experiences. Or possibly, the ways that you have evolved and those have changed.
Maybe you were at extrovert in highschool and college, but parenting or work has shifted those parts of you and grasping at that ‘extrovert energy’ is more draining that fulfilling (hi, my name is Autumn, and that’s my story). Or possibly you were always a party person, and you no longer want that label. The list goes on. Today is about taking the stories and names you’ve held as true and examining them to see 1. Are they still true. 2. Do I want them to be. 3. Have they shifted and changed.
This practice can be a fussy one to work through, but once you pull the veil back it becomes a little more doable, and can be really helpful to getting deeper into understanding what you need to thrive.
Turn it inward, and get honest about the work you need to do. This might be work between you and judgement of others, it might be ways that you’ve hurt friends/family in the past and you are ready to shift forward. Problematic thought patterns, themes or thought, or ways that you are noticing some gross stuff in you that you wish you didn’t think. For me, it’s looked like a lot of really sorting through racial bias, systemic racism, how I contribute to all of that, and what I can be doing actively to undo these culturally learned and embraced ways of thinking, interacting, and knee-jerking in my day-to-day. This is the most important part of self care. Growth. The whole point isn’t just to feel good, it’s to be good. To be loving. To be a better community member and have enough care in your bank to be capable of showing up for the people who need it. A good way to start with this, if you’re feeling lost, is to take stock of what gets under your skin, what makes you prickle when others speak out about it; Racism? Feminism? Fat Phobia? Diet Culture? Clean Eating? Ect. Make it your JOB to read more, research, and NOT COMMENT on what you read. Just absorb. Give yourself time to really read and learn from the people who are affected by whatever it is that you’re diving into.