As we forge ahead after the strangest time ever through Covid I am encouraging my clients who are mostly women in leadership roles across human services to take some small steps now to build their own recovery, wellbeing, and resilience. Of course many of us working in human services ( education, health, chaplaincy, policing, social welfare, counselling, to name a few) are very reluctant to go any where near selfcare .Maybe we see this as somehow soft when we ourselves are’ teflon coated’, ‘can do’ and naturally ‘resilient’, Poppycock -working with people we are usually hugely resourceful, experienced and skilled, and we are human and so need to find a way to invest in our own selfcare, resilience and wellbeing. We know all this of course but sometimes we need a little help to close the ‘knowing/doing gap’. I hope that as you read these five practical ways to invest in your own wellbeing you will find at least one that will help you to take and sustain action in looking after yourself in the closing quarter of 2021.
Five practical ways to reconnect with your innate resilience and strengthen your wellbeing
1) Practise the art and skill of Pausing
– Set a time for two minutes everyday – just sit there and notice how it feels to pause on purpose, or
– Do a one minute breathing exercise everyday, or
– Find your own intentional ‘pause’ to practise everyday – notice the kettle as its
boiling, look cloud……
2) Bring Self Compassion into your everyday
When difficulties arise and there is suffering
– allow yourself to feel the impact of the challenge in your body and emotions – be as kind to yourself as you would to a friend in the same situation – asking
yourself ‘what do I need now?’ – Ask for help
3) Develop your backpack of activities you enjoy for the difficult times/days
Think of things you enjoy doing, or enjoyed at an earlier time of life and somehow let go, activities that are restful, restorative, enjoyable, where you are ‘in the flow’.
– Aim for a list of fifteen to twenty five
– When you are having a difficult moment, hour, day – whether you feel like it or
not, make it your practise to spend time in one of these activities.
4) Include boundaries and sometimes saying no into yourself care/ self regulation routine
Start slow with one boundary that will help you, one area where saying no makes sense. Build this important muscle of self care and self regulation slowly over time.
This is an area where seeking help, talking over the particular issue with another can be really supportive as you take the action you need.
5) Develop practises of Gratitude and Kindness
Gratitude – start a morning or evening practise of gratitude
– Five things I am grateful for on waking up or as you go to sleep
– Start a gratitude journal, or a gratitude jar
– Find a gratitude buddy to regularly share what you are both grateful for
Kindness- start a practise of one to three small acts of kindness a day.