Know your best self-care tools BEFORE you need them
When you're stressed, feeling particularly sad, or are in some other type of a rough patch, do you know exactly what steps will make you feel better? In other words, what kinds of self-care tools help calm you down and find some peace no matter what's happening in your life? Self-care is an extremely important part of moving past your emotional pains. And creating a personalized list of self-care steps helps ensure that you'll actually implement those tools when you need them most. The problem is that if we don't have a list of self-care tools at the ready, we usually forget what makes us happy and calm. It's like we're existing in a fog and can't see more than a few feet in front of us. So we don’t know how to help ourselves when we’re feeling emotional pain. I recently made a list of self-care tools that are easy to use and particularly helpful to me. Here are some of my own self-care go-to steps:
Use calming essential oils
Journal any and all thoughts popping up in my head
Drink calming teas like chamomile
Maybe yours might include taking a soothing bath, reading a book, doing yoga. Or perhaps meditating, saying affirmations, going for a walk alone, or knitting. Since suffering is inevitable in everyone's lives, it's worth your time and effort to create your own unique list of simple self-care steps you can use the next time you're feeling anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed, or just “off." So take a few minutes to think about what type of activities are soothing to you. Then write those activities down and place them somewhere in your home or office (or keep them in a note on your smartphone) so you can find them easily. Remember, it doesn’t matter what specifically is on your list; it only matters that it’s something that YOU will enjoy doing.
Ask yourself: Does this bring me joy? Do I feel calm and peaceful during this activity? Does it help me forget my worries and stress? This personal self-care list will be an invaluable resource for you to have at the ready whenever life throws you that unexpected curveball. You can't predict what will happen in the future, but you can prepare yourself with these self-care tools. Then you'll feel more confident and empowered that you can handle whatever challenging times may come in a calm, relaxed manner.