Self Care Tool – Plan for It

If you’ve ever found yourself reeling at the breakneck speed all of your best-laid plans came crashing down around you as soon as something didn’t go according to plan… this post is for you. Alternatively, if you have ever felt overwhelmed or burned out to the point of virtual paralysis, you might find this tool helpful. In its most basic form, it is a list of things you have to do in order to support the person you are (or are becoming). But really, it’s a guidebook for getting and keeping yourself in a calm and capable state, with tasks organized by the time commitment required to accomplish them.

The instructions are pretty basic… start by getting to know your needs. But before you start, I want to clarify that this list is all about how YOU are going to commit to taking care of YOU. Try not to put anything on here that is dependent on another person’s reaction, compliance, or agreement in the moment, because the objective is to feel calm, centered, and aligned with yourself. Obviously there are some cases in which you have to rely on others for certain things, such as monetary or childcare obligations, and I would encourage you to address those separately when possible. This list is supposed to help you stay mentally present, and put forward the best and most authentic energy into every day.

I create short phrases or statements to describe the categories of things I need, based on the things I know that cause me frustration. For example, I know that I don’t perform my best when I look like a mess, so one of my categories is “Look and feel good”. I have everything from getting a massage to keeping up with routine medical care in there, including simple things like putting on a favorite piece of jewelry. Another category for me is “Create mental peace”, and that one is kind of a catch-all that addresses some of the ways I start to feel “behind” or otherwise not at peace. I include deep work with my planner and to-do lists in that one, as well as learning new things and spending purposeful time with friends and family. Purposeful because I CHOOSE to do it, not because I am OBLIGATED to do it… notice the very different energy between those phrases.

As you collect ideas to help you combat your own personal frustrations, start grouping them into categories based on the total time it takes to complete them. This means that if you have a 45 minute exercise class you just love to go to, but it takes 20 minutes each way to get there and back, list that one under the “1 Hour or More” category, not the “30-60 Minutes” category. On the other side of that coin are tasks that individually take a short amount of time, but together take an hour or more, such as the laundry. If you can toss your laundry in the washer and walk away, that task could go in the “5 Minutes” category. I would list that separately from folding, hanging, and putting the clothes away, because that generally takes me a bit longer. If you have to visit the laundromat or hand-wash and hang-to-dry items, best to list that in the “1 Hour or More” category, but maybe bring along something to do while you wait that helps move the needle in another area? The idea here is to make it easier for you to choose aligned actions that over time create the space you need to handle whatever life has to offer with grace.

Once you have a list that represents your needs, it’s time to commit to yourself! First, commit to modifying the list as you go… if something isn’t working, replace it with something that does. Then, commit to keeping this list handy and referring to it when you find yourself with a few minutes to spare. If you practice this during times when you’re not overwhelmed, the list should make it easier to keep doing those healthy things by taking the decision-making process out of it. You are building trust in yourself every time you choose to do something from that list, because you are choosing to care for yourself.

Now when you start to notice your anxiety creeping up, whether it’s nervous chatter, cravings for comfort foods, or whatever that looks like for you personally, create a new habit of stepping away for a few moments to check in with yourself and your list. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that you are in control of your energy, and nobody else’s. You can trust yourself to take care of yourself, no matter what circumstances arise. You are only responsible for how you react. You are capable of handling these feelings. These feelings will pass, so what can you do in the meantime to support yourself, and start moving the needle back to a calm, comfortable place of peace?

Full Moon Tarot Reading August 22, 2021

Hello and happy Full Moon in Aquarius, my friends! I’m back with another Full Moon journal page (at the end) and tarot reading! The energy we are dealing with is revealing and transformative, and as always with the full moon it asks us to look deep into our lives for what we are ready to release, so that we can grab hold of the things we really want.

After I had selected the cards, a phrase jumped into my mind. “It has never been about how other people treat you.” I ruminated on all the seemingly important memories of my unfortunate mistreatment at the hands of others as I chopped vegetables for my breakfast. The second half of that phrase interrupted my lamentations. “You need to see that you gave up on yourself.” In an instant, my perspective on that highlight reel changed. Instead of the victim of external forces, I suddenly saw myself as the messenger for those external forces, inflicting pain upon my inner world as punishment for the discomfort I felt about what was happening. Even though I was adamant that what “the other” was doing to me was bad or wrong, inside I was hurting as if they were right. And in that moment I began to understand what years of therapy could never teach me. The battles have always been won or lost on the INSIDE.

Obviously that is a huge revelation to have over breakfast, and it is not something that one just learns by reading no matter how much one agrees with the text. Wisdom is revealed to us when we are ready for it, so I would encourage you to receive whatever resonates right now and leave the rest. If you do feel called to investigate your inner world, do so not as a tyrant, but as a friend. Not an ice-cream-and-binge-watching kind of friend, but the kind of friend who sees when you are overwhelmed and suggests grounding exercises instead of numbing behaviors. Leaving a party instead of staying for another round. Going to bed instead of texting the ex. Getting up early for gym or yoga instead of staying up late swiping. Drinking water even when you’re not thirsty. Be that friend for yourself, and over time as you learn to see yourself through good times and bad, you will learn to show up for yourself no matter what anybody has to say about it.

Choosing to accept our limitations does not mean conceding to feelings of unworthiness. If we think our lack in a certain area disqualifies us for something we want, we can choose to be angry at ourselves for our lack (and often resentful of others for it), deceitful about our capabilities to try to get what we “deserve”, or we can be humble and express our wants, knowing the answer might be no, but it might shed some light on how we can work toward what we want. The energy of this cycle asks us to get a little more clear about what we want, so that we can be more discerning about where we put our efforts in the coming month. Work toward the results you want, not against the fears that limit you.

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Journal Prompt – Trying New Things

Hello again, my friends! I’m scheduling a few more journal prompt posts for the next few months, so I hope you find them helpful! Today’s prompt is one I’ve used a lot lately, because I’ve been trying a lot of new things these days. Normally a self-professed “perfectionist”, I started to realize that naming a trait doesn’t make it healthy. So I decided to bring more conscious awareness to my most recent attempts by journaling about them.

Re-framing my thoughts helped me to think about my recent attempts as growth opportunities. I put together lots of notes about things I could do differently the next time to get a better result, and felt good about the things I recognized as essential preparation. This exercise has totally changed the way I approach the projects in my life!

Since I am now consciously aware of the lessons I am learning when things don’t go how I expected, I have far less anxiety about making mistakes. Not to mention, I am improving very quickly! Let me know in the comments if you used these prompts, and what you were able to learn for next time!

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Super Full Moon June 24, 2021

Hi friends, Happy Super Full Moon! If you’ve felt a heavy energy lately, whether chaotic or just HEAVY, this is likely the combination of the summer solstice and this super full moon ushering us into the emotional Cancer season. While it might feel insurmountable, it’s definitely time to take stock of our blessings and look for ways that we can shift the things that make us uncomfortable. The full moon is the perfect time to release and let go of the heavy energies we carry with us, so without further ado, let’s get into this!

Intentions are going to be the most important part of this month’s work for me personally, and perhaps for you, too. Where our focus goes, so goes our energy… which means that energy spent on things that don’t further our objectives is effectively wasted. Look for ways that you can shift the responsibility for your time so that you feel more in control during all hours of the day, but especially those that aren’t earmarked for something else. There is nothing worse than reflexively snapping at someone you love because you’re stressed about all the stuff you have on your plate, is there?

“You are being called to find a balance between what you give and what you get.”

June 24, 2021 Tarot Reading

I decided to pull the cards a little differently this time… mostly because the first pair jumped out while I was shuffling. In total there were 4 sets of cards, each pointing toward the same general theme… use the past as a tool to change your future. The first group of cards brings up the way we express our satisfaction (or lack thereof) in our efforts. The second group of cards asks us to ponder the way we hold onto control instead of delegating, when trusting another person to help can benefit both of us. (Control freaks of the world, I’m talking to us!) The third set gets a little darker and asks us to look for ways we might be lying to ourselves (or other people), in order to avoid discomfort. The last set kind of ties it all together and asks us to look for ways that bringing our energy into balance can improve our lives.

“Use the past as a tool to change your future.”

June 24, 2021 Tarot Reading

Much like last month, balancing our lives and energetic expenditures is a big theme. This month tied the balance to our abundance, which hits pretty close to home for me. I recently started a creative endeavor that has challenged me in every area of my life! Overall I’m really proud of myself, but I’ll admit that it hasn’t been without its ups and downs. Sometimes it feels like, “Why am I even trying this?!” But for every incredulous doubt, there have been moments of clarity that feel like I was born to do this. As far as I can tell, the right paths are SUPPOSED to feel this way. They challenge us and in turn, we challenge the limits we once believed in… and then we grow in ability and in faith.

Over the course of the next few days, take a moment to think about what you are hoping to call into your life. Are you able to receive it just as you are, or do you need to accept yourself before you are comfortable accepting the abundance you want? What wisdom can you gather from the significant events of the last month? Sometimes even just changing the language you use to speak about yourself can create the space you need to let go of the things that hold you back.

I hope you found this helpful in developing the insights you need to move forward in grace! Wishing you all the best during this full moon!

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