Challenging Times Self Care Challenge: Day 4
Welcome to Day Three of the Challenging Times Self Care Challenge.
With all the changes, physical distancing and self isolating many of us in the world are currently practicing at this time, it’s my hope that providing these self care prompts will help to get some self care practices in place.
And making sure to build in some self care in your day may help to support your emotional and mental health during this time.
Before we get into Day Three of the Self Care Challenge, the Day Two challenge consisted of making a list of all the stuff you’ve been wanting to do, and making that list in however way best suits you… whether in a To Do style list or through doodling, maybe even mind mapping, or however else it works for you.
Specifically, the idea behind it is just to get some of these things down so that:
a) It’s out of your head in some kind of tangible form. Sometimes having things that keep popping up in our thoughts as something that has to be done can add additional mental clutter. Getting some of these thoughts out of your head will maybe help clear some mental real estate for you.
And b) If, and only if, you’re looking for something to do during the self isolation period, you can have something that’s there for you to do.
Because again, these prompts are meant to be about self care, not productivity. If you keep this list of things within reach, you can also keep adding to it whenever you might think of something else you’d like to add.
The hope is that it can act as a tool to keep your mind a little less cluttered and have something to consult if you are looking for something to do.
Now, let’s get into the details of Day Three.
Day 3: Gratitude
Today’s self care prompt is to answer this question: What are the three things you are grateful for right now?
I realize that it can be hard to think of things that you are grateful for at times like this, but it can also be true that sometimes these kinds of extreme circumstances can be what brings to light the things we might have not had consciously thought to be thankful for until now.
Taking time to intentionally think about things you are grateful for, can momentarily shift your mental and emotional state away from other thoughts and feelings you may be having.
Gratitude can elicit feelings of calm, appreciation, and empathy among other feelings.
And while none of these self-care prompts are meant to be any kind of a magic pill, it can be really beneficial to know that there are ways in which you can experience a shift in your mental and emotional state, even for a few moments.
And this can be especially important during times of uncertainty.
I personally go in and out of having a more formal or routine-based gratitude practice. But because I think I’ve been doing it for some time in some way, I noticed that I’ve developed what I call a “thought habit”.
So I’ve done it so often over time that whatever situation or challenge or difficulty that I might be faced with or thinking about, my mind has been trained to some extent to immediately also think about what I’m grateful for in that moment too.
It’s not always an antidote for whatever might be happening, but I noticed that my mind doesn’t dwell on only one way of thinking or feeling about things.
It’s like a counterweight to whatever else might be going on.
So again, the challenge for today is: To write down, sketch out, draft out, dance out, share with someone, maybe even on social media. Three things you’re grateful for right now.
If you’d like some examples of how I use this particular self-care practice myself, please consider listening to the longer, companion episode Gratitude During Hard Times, episode 35.
Thank you for taking care of yourself and please stay tuned for Day Four of the Challenging Times Self Care Challenge.
Please share how you’re doing in general, but also how you’re doing with the challenges themselves. You can reach on Twitter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Instagram, too. I’d love to share what you’re doing and even suggestions for a future challenge on future episodes.
Stay safe and in good health!