Monday, January 28, 2019

Voices of Experience: My Self-Care Basket

by Anne M. Gorman

When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.   
~ Jean Shinoda Bolen

As a caregiver for my beloved Jim for five years, one important thing I learned during that time was the importance of caring for self. I think that part of healing has to do with self-care and this is what I'm doing for the New Year. I just came off of a Stay-at-Home Retreat and decided to prepare a Self-Care Basket that I can go to when I need a day to focus on myself. This did not happen to me in my first years of loss, but we change – and for me, today I like to focus on doing something for myself.

My Self-Care Basket for 2019

Gifting myself a day of self-care ~ suggestions for my basket (items can be changed)

***Drink more lemon water that day, or buy fresh flowers for the day, schedule naptime, have a self-love affirmations list to recite throughout the day: 
  • I accept all compliments, 
  • I let go of all negative talk, 
  • I accept myself for who I am, 
  • I will treat myself with kindness, 
  • I will stop apologizing for who I am…
Something Physical
Massage oils (I like eucalyptus oil and tea extract), a yoga DVD, facial mask supplies, Epsom salts for a bath, take a walk in nature, spend time in your garden, go for a swim, treat self to a manicure/pedicure, find a reason to laugh

Something Emotional
Journal/pen, tissues, add a movie you’ve already seen or one you want to watch to your basket, listen to music from a playlist you created, create an art piece to express your emotion

Something Spiritual
Meditations or articles from my Pinterest boards, do a random act of kindness, read a favorite book, listen to inspirational talks, listen to music, breathe, listen to a podcast or TED talks: ‘Body Language’ by Amy Cuddy and ‘The Power of Introverts’ by Susan Cain are two talks I listened to on my stay at home Retreat (the Internet has many TED talks that inspire)

Something Sensory
Stress ball, scented candle, soft blanket or fuzzy socks, a pleasure reading book (I like Mary Oliver’s book Dog Songs), drink herbal tea, listen to music, and eat chocolate

Something Social
Send a card to a special person, write a letter to someone you haven’t heard from for a while, call or text a friend, spend time with an animal and if you do not have a pet perhaps you could visit a shelter, write a letter to yourself complimenting yourself for something you did, go to lunch with friends, be proactive, not reactive to situations

Notes to self:
  • In the evening make a plan for the next day
  • Have a routine – streamlines daily processes
  • Have a style of dress (I like scarves and add them to my wardrobe)
  • Check your emails or texts and respond sooner rather than later
  • Keep your space neat – less clutter
  • List things that you are grateful for that day
  • Define what gives you stress
© 2019 by Anne M. Gorman,
Also by Anne Gorman:
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