101 Little Ways We Care for Ourselves


101 Little Ways We Care for Ourselves

Usborne coloringOn February 24th, Denise and @brucemc had a podcast called  It's the Little Things (All 101 of Them). If you haven't listened, I highly recommend it.

I got to thinking. It usually is the little things that touch us so deeply, a touch on the arm, a kind word, a friend who sits silently with us in a difficult wait. Those are life changing things. We can lend our presence, our gentleness, our words and our silence.

So I keep returning to the thought: Can we list 101 ways we care for ourselves? I'll get us started, and I'm hoping you all comment below and add your numbers in sequence with the person above you. Let's see if we can get to 101! Feel free to return to add more as you think of them.

Small things, simple things, hings you can do at home, things you can do for free or almost free, things by yourself, things with others.

Small things that are really big things.

I mentioned this idea on chat today, and Lillie told me it fits perfectly with this morning's podcast with Denise,Bruce and Jane called "finding yourself in caregiving." That's my next stop, after I post this. We can listen here.

Let's get started!

1. Put on favorite perfume/lotion/aftershave even if you won't see anyone but your caree today, even if no one at all.

2. Same as above, with a favorite scarf or outfit. Do it for you.

3. Same as above, with sparkly, funky earrings.

4. Put on some music, loud, quiet, whatever suits you. Headphones if necessary. Let Pandora introduce you to some new tunes customized just for you.

5. Soak. Light a candle.

6. Breathe. You've been breathing all day without noticing. Now, notice. Try 90 seconds of breathing, not controlled or forced, just noticing what your body's been doing all day.

7. This one sounds odd, but it works for me. (Idea is from Self-Compassion by Kristen Neff, highly recommended read.) I thought it was wacky until I tried it. The idea is that your brain responds to touch even when it doesn't know who is providing it. So, you can give yourself a squeeze, or a compassionate touch of the kind you would give a friend in need of comforting. For me, that means rubbing my shoulder/upper arm tenderly. It can be accompanied by spoken words or silent thoughts of "You are doing a good job  You are only human.  You will make it."  I swear, it works for me. And no one has to know how silly you feel at first. It's between you and you.

8. Call a friend you've been meaning to talk to for a long time. Send a card. Send an email. Send a text.

9. Do a random act of kindness.

10. Smile, even a half-hearted one. It changes body chemistry. Again, sounds wacky but works for me. I have found if I put my mouth in a pleasant position, I can feel my breathing change.

11. Color, doodle, Zentangle. The photo on the post is color by number by Usborne books, made for children but very suitable for me. Relaxing beyond belief! (This is not an advertisement, but my daughter is a consultant for Usborne books--message me if you want info.

Okay, who wants to start with number 12?