The term self-care can mean so many things. Our last blog post was about taking time off- as in vacation days! This is a hugely important thing to do as solo-practioners AND it is also really scary. I wanted to take a step back from the self-care topic and pause on the big stuff (massages, days off, retreats etc) and talk about finding time for self-care on a much smaller scale. Clinically, I really enjoy working with clients on the concept of self-compassion. I also think the self-compassion work we might do with our clients can be translated into our own small scale self-care regimen.
I read a fellow therapist’s blog post on the power of the 30 second pause and it definitely resonated with me. Allison Puryear writes about the hectic schedule that can lead us to bounce from one activity to the next and how powerful it can be to just breathe for 30 seconds before stepping into the next activity on our crazy agenda. This got me thinking more about transitions in general. I have been experimenting with making transitions as gentle as possible. This is where incorporating the self-compassion work fits wonderfully. My self-talk around my day could typically sound like this jumbled anxious rambling…
“Why did I schedule so many things for myself today, I am going to be so tired, I shouldn’t have offered this or that…”
What if it sounded more like this though:
“Ok, today is really busy, I have a lot going on and I might need to get extra sleep this weekend. I think I will look at changing my schedule in the future.”
Instead of beating ourselves up over how stressed we can feel, perhaps attempting to be more compassionate towards ourselves and curious about changing things for the future might actually make us feel better about the tasks in front of us. I have definitely noticed this approach along with some gentle transitions has been really helpful! I am working on this as a new self-care regimen. With how busy we can get in the day-today tasks it can be overwhelming to have a new self-care practice, but just tweaking self-talk might actually do the trick sometimes!!