Entertainment and SelfCare can go hand in hand, however it can also have the power to undo deep inner work in an instant. Are you being conscious and thoughtful about what kind of entertainment you take in, and what it’s long term (or short term) effects are on you?
Conscious consumption of entertainment is tough, and asks you to engage a little bit before/during your rest and relax time. The questions I focus on are “does this impact me long after and is the impact positive or negative?” and “do I think about this entertainment more often than I think about my real life, and are my thoughts helpful or a hinderance to my Big Goals.”
As a quick side note, I do believe some entertainment can just be neutral, a break, and in zero ways edifying. And TOTALLY ENJOYABLE. For example, I love pretty ridiculously terrible TV. I check in with myself and it’s impact, and if the impact is neutral, I keep on with my bad-tv as an occasional self-care binge break.
Journalling through this is relatively simple, write out a thorough list of the entertainment that you enjoy. Next to each give a check if it fits the bill! If not, cross it out and see how it feels to not engage with it for a few days/week/rest of the month. You can get specific here, I started by listing the kinds of entertainment I consume, and then sub headed with some of the ones I like most in each catagory. Then asked myself those questions and responded quickly and honestly without thinking too much about it. Here are my catagories! Maybe yours also includes Movies, and seeing live shows!
For me, the ones I have to be the MOST aware of are social media/scrolling based. They have the highest amount of “think about it later, feel bad” for me, so being aware has helped me to focus on books, tv, and podcasts for entertainment and focus my social media time more.
Bonus! Share some of your favorite current entertainment that is benfefical or neutral to you! I’m always looking to add some solid shows to my list 😉 Espiecally because I’ve embarrassinly hit nearly the bottom of netflix that I enjoy!
Online Boundaries are a really important way of caring for yourself. Setting boundaries can feel muddy and confusing, it’s easy to know when a boundary is CROSSED but it can be really confusing to set it ahead of time. For today, I want you to journal in two sections.
First; What would your online time ideally look like. Get specific. How long, on what kind of app’s (social media, entertainment, work, ect.) and write them down. I want to spend a maximum of X amount of time daily on social media (entertainment, work, ect.) and then also write down a list of things you would like to do with the time you free up. You can also use an app to help you manage this (like Moment) or if you have an iPhone the “screen time” tab in settings has MANY options for limiting your varying app’s and categories.
Secondly; Write down how you would like to feel when you are online. What kind of accounts of articles fill you up, encourage you, educate you on topics you feel are important, or keep you entertained in soft ways that feel good or thoughtful. Again, create a list. THEN; Cull the social media. This piece is SO hard (I’m currently putting it off. . . ). This can mean unfollowing accounts that don’t fit in line with how you want to feel online, it can also mean “muting/hiding” or “unfollowing” (on FB, this is a way to not see someone in your feed, but still be “friends”) family and friends who you’d rather not see in your feed as often.
Real Life Boundaries
Boundaries are the ultimate in my self-care. They are how I am able to really prioritize what is important to me, know that I am honoring my needs, and a way that I can model and embrace how important my own mental health is. And? When my boundaries are (mostly) in check, I have far more space and energy for tangible self-care acts. There are more kinds of boundaries out there than I can list. Today I want to put aside time to journal about whatever Real Life boudaries are weighing on you. For some this is family, others friends or work, and for some it might be parenting and/or partner. But usually, when that word comes up, we bristle at one of them and know that we need to look at more closely, or where our boundaries feel flimsy and in need of some building up.
To start, list some of the kinds of real life boundaries you have, and how they feel. Then write down 1-3 spaces you would like stronger, more clearly communicated, or more clear to you boundaries. From there is the tough component. Add actions. What action can you take in building these boundaries. The importance here isn’t that you then go and DO every action (though, Heyo! That would be amazing!), but that in getting yourself totally clear on it, you’ll have an easier time acting within your boundaries because YOU will know your goal.
For example; Spaces/Actions
Work: Set hours for working on email responding, research, and writing. Stick to hours.
Money: KNOW the budget, write it down, be bold in suggesting options other than eating out when with friends.
Friends: Be present when were talking, be firm in my actual availabilty to spend time together, PLAN hangout time in order to protect alone/family time.
Revisit the physical list of self care that you created on day two. Comb back through and see how those ideas are resonating today, if possible, expand the list based on your journaling over the past two weeks. And most importantly; today! Do at least one thing from this list. If you’re low on time set a 20min timer and give yourself that space for one small increment today. Maybe it’s while wearing a baby, or a podcast binge as you drove. Fit in something YOU chose as self care into your day, with intention.
Pleasurable Movement. Movement is often heralded as a “great form of self care” but I’d press that the only way it will “work” as actual care is when it’s not under an umbrella of shame, punishment, or as a means to justify a meal (spoiler! You are allowed to eat. End of story.) Start today with writing a list of ways that you’ve enjoyed moving before. Then circle at least three that are accessable to you (pysically, mentally, and financially) and look at the rest of your week to see if there is space for any of them in a short burst (or every day!) A few minutres of movement can shift your heart rate, hormones, and mood.
Here is my list, to give you some ideas!
Dancing (car dancing too!)
Stretching and twisting with deep breath in my office chair
Yoga and Danc’y yoga pratcices
Group Fitness Classes
Weight lifting, esp lower body
Gym Workouts (TV and treadmill esp!)
Hiking or walking somewhere beautfiul, bonus if there is a view at the end.
“Pose strong mama! You’re so strong! Strongest person I know!” And I feel that sting of pride in my eyes for how she sees me, and in turn how I hope she grows to see herself reflected back. And then? “Pose like a starfish!” Today’s #Abundant30 prompt is to journal about your 6 year old self (or if remembering to then feels too hard, try 8/10/12). Write about her confidence, strength, fun, and adventure you see. And then wrote about you today. How you can (and do!) still embody that playful, curious, magical person.