Updated: Mar 25, 2019
Let me tell you the origin story of my self-care journey. When I was 17, I had a revelation. A senior in high school in the suburb of Chicago where I was raised, it was March of 2001 and I was deep in the throes of one of my first episodes of Seasonal Affective Disorder (though I wouldn't realize that's what was going on until a decade later).
I was in the middle of a tear-filled writing rant, filling page upon page of my journal with my teen angst, and suddenly, it hit me: There are things I like to do that make me happy!
By this point in my life, I'd amassed a healthy collection of hobbies that gave me joy; I loved to act, sing, and dance, I was a (terrible) poet, and I liked to draw, rollerblade, and of course, hang out with my friends. My favorite things came pouring out of my pen onto the paper as my last tear fell and a smile of relief crossed my lips, "I'll never be sad again!" I thought, "I can just do the things that make me happy!"
I marvel at how simple I thought it would be back then - ah, youth! But it certainly set in motion something that would come up over and over again for me, and which I would continue to refine over the years: my own personal self-care guide.
The purpose of the Self-Care Motivator tool is not to plan, but to reflect. Each time you practice self-care, you get to fill in a square on the tool with the corresponding color. You'll see that there are four categories: Physical, Emotional/Psychological, Relationships, and Spiritual, with several examples under each one. Each category also has a color associated with it. And you are, of course, encouraged to add your favorite self-care activities in the blank spaces provided.
The tool is designed to help you track your self-care and reflect on your needs. You'll start to notice which areas in your life are being tended to, and which are being neglected. This can come in handy if you're noticing that you don't feel quite like yourself, but you're not sure why, and may give you some ideas for new things to try.
To get your Self-Care Motivator tool, sign up for my list. The tool will come straight to your inbox and once it does, print it and post it somewhere accessible like on your refrigerator, next to your desk, or in a journal. Then, stock a few colored pencils or markers nearby so you're always prepared to use it. Enjoy!
For now, I'd love to hear about YOUR self-care tips and tricks. Leave a comment below about something you've discovered that works for you.