Following on from last week's article on 5 ways to build your self worth, this week we'll dive into one creative way to explore what self care looks like to you. The idea is that you create a board with images of way you might enjoy caring for yourself but then you actually DO the things on the board. The board acts as a visual prompt, so it's best if you can see if daily. I keep mine in my wardrobe, where I spend more time than most people.
While self-care may sound simple enough, it is often difficult to execute. Many people say they “don’t have time”, so they don't engage in self care. Fortunately, there are many different self care practices possible, and none of them are especially time-consuming.
Self care is often mistaken as selfish, but it actually allows you to better take care of others when your own cup is topped up. Countless research findings demonstrate the importance of your ability to attend to and meet personal needs. Self care has been found to increase empathy, immunologic functioning, and has been associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression (Schure, Christopher, & Christopher, 2008).
Let's begin. Set aside one hour for this activity.
1. You can either use magazines and stick them to card (my preference because I'll physically see it more) or you can create a keynote or powerpoint slide with images you find online (there's the potential to be distracted when you're searching online... beware). You can also draw images with pen and paper, so the whole action board could be one large drawing if you prefer that idea.
2. Enjoy the process. Don't over think things. Just collect any and all images that appeal to you. You can edit later when you're sticking them to your page. To begin, just go for it. Especially if this is your first time making an action board. Put on some music, make a mug of tea/coffee/other, and have some fun. See if you can surprise yourself with what you create.
3. Put the finished board somewhere you'll see on the regular. It's an action board, so see if there's something you can schedule straight away. Can you call a friend and arrange a time to meet for coffee or FaceTime? Can Sunday night be spa night at home with candles and a face mask? What can you get the ball rolling with?
4. Congratulations. You've just done something wonderful for yourself. You can repeat this process as often as you wish. It gets easier each time you do it too.
Here you'll find essays and musings on applied mindfulness. What does this look like on a daily basis? How can you infuse it in your day to enjoy yourself more? Join hundreds of others on the the mailing list (link in footer) to get these straight to your inbox.