Reframing self care: micro doses of joy
I would like to share some thoughts on something I was talking to one of my clients about in her weekly check.
She’d just recently had a staycation—because, ya know, can’t travel right now (COVID!)! But she mentioned how much her mood, energy and sleep improved over these few days away.
I wrote to her asking if there are micro things that can be done on a daily and weekly basis that can bring that same FEELING of joy that she had upon returning from her few days away.
Burn out is not fun. Getting to a point of exhaustion is not fun. Of course this is extremely nuanced and stress management is something that this particular client and I have been working on but that FEELING she had upon returning was key. Now we know what good can FEEL like so what can we do to bring more of that into her day without it having to be a vacation?
I gave her some ideas for how she can get micro doses of that joy she felt. I will share them with you, but first here’s what I’m curious about.
What if we as women desired more about how we wanted to feel in our life everyday than getting to a point where we NEED a vacation just to create some breathing space?
Because it’s entirely possible to not fall into a vacation exhausted. It starts with desiring more for yourself and realising you’re worthy of more.
What I mean is this:
You can want more than to just make it through the day.
You can want more than to feel like you’re running on empty.
You can decide that you want to thrive not just survive.
I get that there are a trillion things pushing and pulling you everyday. There are family and work commitments, obligations—but expectations? They’re on you.
You can decide to say no to things and yes to things. Although it might be hard you always have that choice.
Time for women, especially mothers, is a privilege. Sometimes it does mean letting go of other things in order to create space. Again , that is a decision you can make and it’s so nuanced. But even the busiest day can have space for a tiny micro dose of joy to keep you humming along rather than go a million miles an hour to where you run yourself into the ground where you can’t DO anything.
How good would it feel to actually enjoy your holiday? Rather than it being a thing to just come back to some kind of normal to get ready to do it all over again?
Look for things you can do that can elicit that same feeling as reading on the beach for an hour. Of course it’s not realistic to make that happen, but by small doses during the day and week you can give yourself more of what you desire.
I’m reframing ‘self care’ with micro doses. I feel like self care has a lot of connotations that come along with it. This is not about booking yourself in for a massage—in some places that is time and money costly, right? It’s not as accessible.
I’m talking about small pockets to avoid such big surges of go go go and crash crash crash.
On a daily, you might consider:
1. Using the 'breathe' app on your Apple watch or phone timer and breathing deep for 1 minute.
2. Lying down on your bed for 1-5 mins and just closing your eyes.
3. Put on a song you love and dance for 1 minute or the whole song!
4. Having a cup of tea without distraction.
5. Have an ongoing jigsaw puzzle set up that you spend a couple of minutes on daily for a break.
6. Reading 1-2 pages of a book.
On a weekly level you might consider:
1. Phone catch up with a friend who makes you feel loved.
2. Seeing/doing something or speaking to someone that inspires you, like watching a film or documentary
3. Having one night where you get into bed early (if you can!) and just read for a bit longer before sleep.
4. A bath with epsom salts (or without. No bath? Fill up a plastic container and soak your feet for ten minutes)
5. Reviewing the week by journalling and making sure you have things in place to stay in the path you want to be on for the week ahead.
Of course you don't need to do all of those things, they are just ideas. Look at these things just as little pockets of joy that you can bring into your life that can emulate on a smaller scale how you feel when you feel your best.
They don’t need to be big or time consuming or costly.
The only thing you need to do is first decide that you are worthy of wanting more for yourself. Then decide what is a small action you can take to remind yourself of that each day.
A couple that I have: feeling the sun on my skin (when it’s out!), deep breathing for one minute when I wake up (literally one minute!). On a Sunday I give myself a minimum of 5 minutes of reading my book in bed with my coffee. I look forward to it all week.
I’d love to know: what is your micro dose of joy each day?
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