I believe the relationship we have with ourselves shapes our daily experiences profoundly. If we do not accept ourselves for who we are and feel that we can only be “enough” if we reach certain standards, we are bound to a life of suffering. Self-compassion involves treating the self with care and concern when considering personal inadequacies, mistakes, failures, and painful life situations.
Use this tool for a fun way to think about how you can improve your self-care, you may be surprised at the things you include that you no longer do because of time restraints, work and family commitments etc. However, lack of self-care and compassion can impact your life in many negative ways….so get your thinking caps on 🙂
Self-Care Vision Board
This exercise involves creating a self-care vision board. A vision board is a visual representation of a particular concept using images, illustrations and/or words. Thus, a self-care vision board is a collection of images and words that reflect ideas for self-care. Self-care activities are those things we do to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Follow the following three steps to create your self-care vision board.
Step 1: Brainstorm self-care activities
Come up with a list of as many potential self-care activities as possible. Be bold and creative, allowing yourself to consider new and different potential activities. Only include activities that you would genuinely enjoy doing and that fit with your lifestyle and your values. Refer to the list below for inspiration.
Step 2: Collect images for your vision board
Find positive images that correspond with your chosen self-care activities. Look for images that resonate with you, and inspire you. You might like to use the internet, magazines, and photographs as potential sources. Use photos of activities that you can do to take better care of yourself and your needs.
Step 3: Collect words for your vision board
You can decide to keep your vision board completely visual or to add words and phrases to it. The words and phrases you choose should reflect or relate to your chosen self-care activities. You might like to cut words out of magazines or print them from the internet. Choose words and fonts that resonate with you and inspire you.
Step 4: Put your vision board together
Once you have gathered your images and inspiring phrases, get creative with your arrangement. This is supposed to be fun and there are no wrong ideas!!
Once created, put it somewhere you will see it often, to remind yourself that you do matter and looking after your emotional, physical, social and spiritual self is top of the list when it comes to self-development and leading your best life.
Examples of self-care activities
■■ Learn to say “no.”
■■ Intentionally schedule “me time” on your calendar or planner.
■■ Reward yourself for completing small tasks.
■■ Use online tutorials to learn something new.
■■ Develop a relaxing evening ritual.
■■ Allow yourself to feel and express all of your feelings (in a safe and appropriate environment).
■■ Try some mindful exercises to help bring you into the present moment.
■■ Try some adult colouring as a form of anxiety and/or stress release.
■■ Remind yourself of the good stuff in life by writing a list of things you’re grateful to have.
■■ Take a moment to allow your feelings to be present without judging them.
■■ Stop being your harshest critic. Allow yourself to make mistakes.
■■ Do some stretching exercises.
■■ Take a walk.
■■ Drink more water.
■■ Exhaust yourself physically. Do whatever helps you feel fatigued.
■■ Get a massage.
■■ Go out and spend 10 minutes under the sun.
■■ Go for a bike ride to nowhere in particular.
■■ Go hiking, camping, or backpacking and spend some time in nature.
■■ Go to bed early.
■■ Avoid toxic people.
■■ Ask for help. Let people know you need some help.
■■ Call a trusted friend or family member and talk things out.
■■ Choose who you spend your time with today. Spend time with people who are enthusiastic and positive.
■■ Intentionally reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with or have unresolved conflict with.
■■ Join a support group for people who are going through what you’re going through
■■ Schedule a regular date night with your significant other.
■■ Take a road trip with your siblings.
■■ Make time for meditation in your day.
■■ Do a 10-minute body scan technique to check in with each part of your body.
■■ Do something nice for someone in secret.
■■ Donate money to a charity of your choosing.
■■ Help someone in some way.
■■ Find an opportunity to use your strengths, the things that energize you, more often.