Week 3: Physical & Emotional Self-care
Before I start going over next week’s prompts, I would like to take a moment and praise you all. You are doing so
well. I know that the work of week 2 has been tough. but it’s also the most important week. I am so impressed and inspired by your efforts and hard work. And I love following our hashtag #selfcare_in_september and seeing your shares. You inspire me in my own self-care journey. Thank you.
Since this is a very personal challenge a few of you have reached out to me because you didn’t feel comfortable sharing your work. That is totally fine. Sharing is optional. I am also filtering my shares. Some things just need to be kept private. And that’s okay. It’s the journey that’s important.
That being said: This post is decorated with pictures shared by participants in the challenge. Thank you for letting me use your work.
Keep working on yourself
Last week you were introduced to different kinds of cognitive exercises. Now as I wrote in my last post, these don’t work if you don’t. It takes time to change your habits and thought-patterns. But many of you have already noticed that it is much better when you are kind to yourself. So keep practicing. It takes time for new thought-routines to become automatic, but it is worth the effort and extra work! Changing your thought patterns changes your life!
So while we take a breather in week 3, with physical and emotionally self-care, remember what you learned last week. Remember the reflections you did and the realizations you had.
The main challenge for us in week 3 is grounding ourselves and letting our thoughts settle. While we do this; keep practicing your self-caring thoughts. In all that you do: love yourself, accept yourself, forgive yourself, be proud of yourself, stand up for yourself, make time for yourself, take care of yourself.
I hope that you – by know – understand that practicing self-care is anything but selfish. If you need a reminder: You can’t pour from an empty cup (actually you can for a while – I did for years – but you will eventually burn out). During this challenge I have noticed that I have been able to give the same or more to others without being totally drained myself. And an added bonus: I have actually been more productive.
Last reminder: Remember what I told you about signal-value? I wrote about signal-value in my first self-care post. This is so important. Keep practicing things every day (like journaling, drinking coffee in your garden, singing in the car, taking a nap, ordering in, having drinks with your significant other – whatever makes your heart sing) that signal to yourself that you are worthy of the – “small”, everyday – things that bring you joy.
Let’s take a look at week 3’s prompts
The prompts in week 3 are pretty self-explanatory. But I do want to share with you why I have chosen these prompts in particular.
The theme is physical and emotional self-care. In my experience there is immense value in working with the connection between body and emotions. So many of our emotions are triggered by the state our body is in, and our body is just as effected by the state of our emotions. Respecting, acknowledging, and practicing this connection between body and emotions in everyday-life is self-care.
One of the best ways to practice being aware of our body and emotions is through the different grounding-techniques. Describing how you can ground yourself is fairly easy, but it takes practice to actually find it. Grounding basically means anchoring your body, emotions, and thoughts in the present moment. That is what we’ll be practicing next week.
My body is my temple
In these moments of grounding, where we anchor ourselves and are taking care of our body and emotions, we can also take time to practice self-care through self-acceptance. This therefore becomes an underlying theme for week 3.
It is so important to feel comfortable in your own skin. You live and exist 24/7 in your body; from the day you are born, until the day you die. In a hectic everyday-life it is easy to forget that your body is in fact, your temple. It is easy to get caught up in how your body “should” look. It is easy to forget to take care of your body.
This week we’ll be focusing on small treats for our continuously working, moving, and accomplishing bodies. We will also practice accepting your body as it is – not as you wish it would be. Accepting your body – through respect, appreciation, and gratitude – is a very effective form of self-care. Because it is very difficult to have a good life where you feel truly good about yourself, if you don’t accept your body.
This does not mean that you have to think your body is perfect or that there isn’t something you would like to change. Accepting how your body is right now is being proactive with your energy. By accepting where you are you’ll be able to channel energy – otherwise used for blaming yourself, feeling guilty or beating yourself up – to work on getting where you wish to be. Most of us get much more done when we are in a positive mood.
I want you to remember this throughout the entire challenge: It is so important to live and enjoy your life WHILE you’re working on yourself. Don’t wait to be happy until you reach your goals. It’s all about the journey. The journey is life and life is the journey.
That’s it for week 3.
You are also welcome to visit my Pinterest-board "Self-care" to find inspiration for the self-care challenge.