Entries organized under Real Self-Care

Don’t let the patriarchy get you down: self-care when you feel triggered

October 12, 2016

This post is for those of you who know what it feels like to be triggered.

This is for you if you’ve experienced past trauma, oppression or other interactions that give rise to the feeling of being triggered. While this isn’t a cure-all for past trauma, what I hope to offer is a selection of practices that might help to support your heart while you’re going through this.

A point of clarification before we dive in: A person being triggered is different from a person being upset. It is the act of having a comment, event, act or other experience that gives rise to particular feelings or sensations related to the actual trauma they’ve experienced. They often mirror the same feelings or sensations they experienced at the time of the initial trauma. It’s very real. It sucks very much.

Don't let the patriarchy get you down. (Self-Care for moments when you feel triggered.) If you're experiencing triggering or trauma, don't ignore it. Here's what to do instead. (Plus a free workbook inside!) >> www.christytending.com

 

Don’t ignore that that’s happening, take good care of yourself.

These conversations pervade our social media, our news, our conversations at work, in our families and in our communities. If you are feeling triggered, take good care. Allow yourself to experience what you’re experiencing.

Below are some suggestions for how you might offer yourself some self-care during these times. The underlying theme?

Do what you need to do for yourself. Honor your needs and experiences. You are not alone, nor do you ever need to feel alone.

We are all in this together.

Don’t forget that your trauma is real. This is more than a theoretical conversation.

These conversations may appear lofty or theoretical when they are happening within the context of a national discourse (or on cable news). They’re not. This trauma is real for the people who experience it. For many, discussing sexism, sexual assault, rape culture, and the systematic subjugation of women is all too real. It is, in fact, a conversation about their lives.

Do not forget. What you have experienced, your reactions to it, and your ongoing experience are real. These conversations may feel more potent and powerful, because they are not imagined. They reflect on what you’ve been through

Don’t let minimize or dismiss your lived experience. Don’t apologize.

As a result of trauma, many survivors diminish their own experience. Out of the shame of the experience, we may minimize your own credibility. Instead, decide to own it. It is not for anyone else to say what we have been through. It’s certainly not for them to determine how it makes us feel.

How you feel – your lived experience – is only for you to say. Don’t try to downplay it, hedge or undercut yourself when you’re facing it. Allow it to be what it is. Allow yourself to feel what you feel.

Let it be what it is. It is nothing more or less. There is no need to apologize for having a deeply human reaction to something incredibly difficult.

Be gentle. Use all of your tools to take good care of yourself.

If you’re feeling vulnerable, be gentle. Pull out all the self-care stops. Go slow with yourself.

Nourish yourself extra: with food, with community, with movement or rest. Keeping your toolbox stocked with great self-care ideas can help, so that when you need them, they’re at your fingertips. The temptation might be to numb out further, but I recommend finding ways to feel truly *good*. Give yourself what you need, rather than retreating.

This is the time to offer yourself extra compassion, through action and meeting your needs. If you’re having a tough time figuring out what might feel good, try writing down some suggestions for yourself (before you’re in a triggered spot) that you can use as a jumping off point later.

My free workbook, Care for Every Moment is designed exactly for this purpose.

Use mindful isolation – walk away from conversations with unsupportive folks

I’ve talked about mindful isolation before – but in this case, it can be an act of self-preservation.

Don’t feel obligated or pressured to spend time with people who don’t get it. “People who don’t get it” include (but are not limited to:

  • People who make jokes about rape, sexual assault or violence against any group of people.
  • Anyone who thinks being triggered is a joke or akin to being overly sensitive. (It’s not.)
  • Those who are generally acting like jerks toward you. Even if it has nothing to do with the issue triggering you, go hang out with nice people.

You owe those folks absolutely nada. And this goes double for people on the Internet. Just excuse yourself or back away slowly, and mindfully isolate yourself from people and conversations that don’t feel supportive.

Drink extra water, ground and clear energy.

Keep yourself well hydrated is (maybe) self-care rule #1 (if I believed in self-care “rules”). When you’re feeling extra-sensitive or off-kilter, hydration is even more important.

Get yourself grounded, whatever that means to you. Go for a walk, do some yoga, connect energetically with the earth – whatever you need to do to get yourself nice and solid again. Eat nourishing foods (with plenty of healthy fats). Be among some trees. Put your hands in some dirt.

Clear away and release any energy that doesn’t belong to you or serve you. Clearing can be as simple as opening a window or lighting a candle. You might (if you already have a practice) smudge with some sage or palo santo, use a selenite wand, or spritz a little smudge spray.

Connect: recognize that we are not alone, we are not alone

When you’re ready and feel strong enough, find yourself some community that gets it. (And, trust me, there are plenty of people out there who get it and are rooting for you.)

Remember that you are never, ever alone. Being triggered by past trauma as it relates to patriarchy and the oppression of women is incredibly common. There are a lot of people who understand and can relate to your experience (whether you know it or not). Seek those people out.

Allow them to support you. Allowing people who care about you to share and support your experience is a gift – to both of you.

When we care for ourselves in these moments, we are pulling back the veil on this one aspect of patriarchy.

We refuse to be silent. Instead, we can choose to meet ourselves with compassion.

When we do this, we may finally take back the power that is so often robbed from us through systemic oppression. When we use self-care as a tool when we are feeling triggered, we reclaim our humanity. We reclaim our deserving from a society that says we are not good enough.

 

Want to set yourself up for fabulous self-care in any moment? Grab this free self-care workbook!

My Self-Care Playlist

June 27, 2016

A bit about my self-care playlist before we begin: I love music. It’s an essential ingredient for my self-care. It creates a mood. It transports me. And it can create a real shift in my being whether I’m listening to music that’s soothing, uplifting, or connected with memories.

It’s one of the reasons that I created bonus playlists for both Hella Metta and Sacred Focus. Not because those practices demand music inherently, but because music can support us on our journey.

From Beyonce to Bluegrass: the best music for sweet self-care, to uplift, inspire and heal. Plus grab your free retreat planner inside! >> www.christytending.com

I’ll admit, music for self-care is entirely subjective. You have your own preferences, associations, and memories. But in honor of this summertime series of awesome self-care resources, I offer up what constitutes musical self-care for me.

Here are some of the songs and bands that support my self-care on the regular.

The songs that cheer me up. The ones that give me hope. The ones that help me focus. The ones I know all the words to. The ones that capture my imagination.

Rising Appalachia

Medicine

 

Deva Premal

Gayatri Mantra

 

Garth Stevenson

Flying

 

 

múm

A Little Bit Sometimes

 

Nahko and Medicine for the People

Black as the Night

(This one makes me extra happy because of how many of my friends are in this video!)

 

Lindsey Stirling

Elements

 

Avett Brothers

Offering

 

Cat Power

Living Proof

 

Also: Beyonce

Freedom

(I couldn’t find a video for this one, but you should just go buy Lemonade and watch this piece in particular. It’s so, so good.)

And Also:

Anything that Kathleen Hanna has touched, including Le Tigre’s album, This Island, and The Julie Ruin’s latest album.

Oh, and I’ve been listening to the Dixie Chicks a lot, lately, since they are incredibly charming and wonderful.

 

P.S. Podcasts for Self-Care and Real Self-Care: Music

Real Self-Care: a new inspiration guide

April 4, 2016

I’m so pleased to introduce Real Self-Care: an inspiration guide to craft messy, delightful self-care that serves your actual life.

Real Self-Care : an inspiration guide to craft messy, delightful self-care that serves your actual life. : Christy Tending Healing Arts : www.christytending.com

When I began my work here, I knew a couple of things:

  1. Self-care is necessary for people who want to change the world – I know that it can make us more effective and able to accomplish great things with more joy.
  2. Most people agree with me on this. Self-care is important.
  3. People don’t have self-care practices because they believe they don’t have time and/or don’t know where to start.

I wanted to break down myths around self-care that were keeping people from treating themselves well.

I wanted to create a safe space where people could experiment, feel heard, and journey home to themselves through self-care practices.

I wanted to uncover and rediscover the self-care practices that really make up a joyful life. I wanted to push myself creatively to show a full range of self-care practices. Self-care can be messy and complicated and decidedly unperfect.

So I created a blog series last year called Real Self-Care – for thirty days I wrote about a new self-care practice each day.

It was a delight.

Physical practices, ethereal ones. Mindset shifts, hot baths.

Getting deep with the earth and being in the company of sweet beings.

A sense of play. A sense of devotion. A sense of miraculous imperfection.

Self-care that truly encapsulated an ethos of custom, intuitive, feasible and kind.

Now, it’s a book.

30 practices.

30 journaling pages.

In each practice, there’s some background, some encouragement, some instruction, some inspiration. Gentle, doable, and mostly-free. Plenty of ways to tailor the practices to you.

Then journaling space for reflection, observation, keen insight.

And a bonus resource guide that will blow your mind with how packed with awesomeness it is.

There are brand-new practices. Every section is edited, updated, and expanded with my latest understanding of self-care and healing work.

Make it yours

Customize it however you like. Take it as a challenge or a set of gentle invitations. Take some of what’s here, then set it aside for awhile. Or dive in, full-heartedly.

It’s up to you.

Take it lightly.

This is not a serious undertaking. It’s meant to be inspiring and fun.

Mix and match the practices. Take what serves you and leave the rest.

Maybe you’ll craft a weekend-long self-retreat based on this book. Perhaps you’ll skim through it over the course of a year. Or maybe you’ll work through it, linearly, in 30 days.

It’s all up to you.

[bctt tweet=”Real Self-Care is all about the messy, delightful self-care that serves our actual lives. http://www.christytending.com/inspiration-guide/”]

It’s an inspiration guide, not a textbook…

Let it inspire you.

This is simply what has worked well for me, and a gathering of what I have collected so far in my work. In order for self-care to be real, you are the one who must bring it to life. This guide is here to spark your imagination.

It is here to support you, and give you space to roam.

This inspiration guide is just that. Self-care is never a finished product.

Buy  your copy here:

Send me my copy!

Cost: $18

Learn more

Real Self-Care: 108 self-care ideas for world-changers

March 21, 2016

I want you to know that self-care is possible. And that there are brilliant, actionable self-care ideas beyond, “Take care of yourself.”

I want you to know that you can have a kinder, more intimate relationship with your own well-being, even if you are facing health challenges. I want you to know that self-care is never one size fits all. There are self-care ideas that can fit into your actual, non-Pinterest-ready life.

Self-care is possible. If you're looking for self-care inspiration, I've got you covered. 108 self-care practices and ideas to spark your imagination. Look inside! >> www.christytending.com

This is an updated, revised, and expanded version of a blog post from last year. I’m lucky enough to have the chance to offer up the latest from my practice here.

The results of which, I humbly share with you.

Want a pdf copy of this post? It’s now a special bonus inside my e-book, Real Self-Care >> Get your copy here!

I still believe in self-care that is:

  • Custom
  • Intuitive
  • Feasible
  • Kind

Now, I’ve revamped this list with even more inspiration.

It’s updated, expanded, and infused with my latest insights and fresh inspiration. I’m always examining new self-care ideas and inspiration. I’m always growing in my own self-care. I’m always gaining new perspective on how we can care for ourselves, as people who want to build a more compassionate world.

As one of my teachers would say, this is the weather report: current conditions in my practice that I hope will inform yours.

Here we go. 108 self-care ideas so you can change the world:

  1. Drink a glass of water with lemon. Try water that’s warm or room temperature.
  2. Spend 5 minutes tidying your workspace.
  3. Call a friend.
  4. Send a handwritten note.
  5. Move around the block once. Get some sunshine, if it’s available, or a little breeze on your face.
  6. Spend some time with an animal — your own, a friend’s or at the shelter. (The SPCA often looks for folks to play with their pups and kittens.)
  7. Eat off of a plate, rather than out of a container. Sit down instead of standing over the sink. Use silverware instead of plastic.
  8. Cook a whole meal from scratch, with love.
  9. Make enough for leftovers. There’s no shame in leftovers. They are a gift from your past self.
  10. Drop a habit that doesn’t serve you. Sometimes self-care isn’t about doing something, it’s about not doing something.

  11. Go touch the earth – or a tree, or a rock. Imagine it absorbing anything you want to release.
  12. Meditate. Just for five minutes.
  13. Try walking meditation — a nice alternative when sitting doesn’t work for you, physically or mentally.
  14. Put one plant in your view. You could start it from a cutting from a friend.
  15. Don’t look at screens (including your phone) after 9pm. Or after dark. Or at the dinner table.
  16. Put your phone on airplane mode, turn off notifications or otherwise make yourself unreachable.
  17. Delete any apps you’re not using – or ones that don’t make you feel good.
  18. Copy your favorite poem and put it in your wallet, so that you’ll always have it with you.
  19. Make your favorite tea in your favorite mug. Sip slowly.

  20. Clear the clutter from one surface of your home.
  21. Create your own custom booty-shaking, singing in the shower playlist (mine includes Dolly Parton and A Tribe Called Quest).
  22. Cross something off your to-do list that you just don’t feel like doing (that’s not life or death). Let yourself off the hook. Decide to live without it or outsource it.
  23. Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart feel your body in relationship to the earth. You might bend your knees a little and let your arms swing back and forth. Notice the sensation of the soles of your feet on the ground. Take three deep breaths.
  24. Immerse yourself in hot water: bath, hot springs, hot tub. Whatever suits you. Really savor the feeling of being held, surrounded by warmth and water.
  25. Add epsom salts to your bath for even more muscle-soothing loveliness.
  26. Or a tiny bit of essential oils.
  27. Leave yourself loving post-it notes.
  28. If you’re feeling run-down, set some good boundaries around your time, energy, helpfulness.
  29. Find a sacred spot: a view you love or a place that makes you feel deeply alive. Visit it as often as possible.
  30. Explore a new neighborhood in your town or city. Build intimacy with the place you call home.
  31. Get your hands in some dirt and connect with the earth element.
  32. Eat a piece of really good (ethical) chocolate. Allow it to touch each of your senses.
  33. Eat something green — a smoothie, a salad, a plate of kale.
  34. Eat lunch away from your desk.

  35. Have a conversation — at the grocery store, at the farmer’s market, at a restaurant — with someone who grows or prepares your food.Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com
  36. Find a beach (or a sandbox) and wiggle your toes in the sand.
  37. Enjoy some art: whether at a museum or a mural on the side of a building.
  38. Re-read your favorite novel.
  39. Take a picture, every day for a week, of something or someone who brings you joy.
  40. Take a picture of yourself, every day for a week. Notice all the things that make you… you.
  41. Smile at the next five strangers you pass.
  42. Clean out your closet.
  43. Build an altar.
  44. Give yourself some reiki, or healing energy.
  45. Play cooperative boardgames. None of the competitiveness, all of the silliness and fun.
  46. Observe the cycle of the moon. Create a ritual to mark the new moon and full moon.

  47. Keep regular hours: go to bed at about the same time and wake at the same time each day. Let your body find its rhythm.
  48. Spend a day in total silence.
  49. Use a salt lamp: it creates negative ions and counteracts the effects of harsh screens.
  50. Two words: organic skincare. What you put on your skin eventually goes into your body.
  51. Hold a skill-share. Gather friends to learn something new and allow yourself to sit in the seat of the teacher.
  52. Host a potluck. Fill your home with friends and food.
  53. Feed yourself a food you’re craving deeply – notice what foods for which your body truly hungers.
  54. Listen to an uplifting podcast. Try Jumpstart Your Joy.
  55. Go to bed as early as you like.

  56. Wear your comfiest flannel shirt. Or something fabulously sequined. Wear something you save for a special occasion – or something that just makes your body feel really good.
  57. Honor your breath. Either use a pranayama technique that’s familiar to you, or take three to five deep breaths when you need a break.
  58. Apologize for something. Clean up your mess and make amends with someone.
  59. Forgive someone without getting an apology.
  60. Forgive yourself for any regrets.
  61. Practice some lovingkindness for yourself. My course, Hella Metta, will show you how.
  62. Call a mentor: a parent, a teacher or someone who has taken the time to nurture you. Ask them what you’ve always wanted to know. Ask them to tell you a story from when they were your age.
  63. Watch your favorite movie with a happy ending.
  64. Wrap yourself up in your coziest sweater or blanket.

  65. Clear your space. Light a candle, smudge with sage or palo santo – even opening a window to let a breeze in. Let the stagnant out and the fresh in.
  66. Give yourself a hand or foot massage.Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com
  67. Trade massages with a partner or friend.
  68. Get yourself some fresh flowers. They don’t have to be from a store. Wildflowers or something from the garden will do. (I actually like succulent cuttings.)
  69. Tell one person who doesn’t know it that you love them.
  70. Buy a divination deck (tarot cards, oracle cards, etc.) and use them. You can also borrow from a friend. Pull a card to guide your day. What does it have to teach you? What messages should you look for?
  71. If you’re a schedule-minded person, schedule a self-care date with yourself. Put it on your calendar the way you would any other important work.
  72. Say no to a project.

  73. Say yes to an adventure.

  74. Do the thing on your to-do list that you’ve been most dreading.
  75. Curl up with a hot water bottle by your belly or feet.
  76. Wash your sheets and make your bed — attend dutifully to the place where you spend maybe a third of your life.
  77. Take a nap.
  78. Move. In a way that suits your body today.
  79. Do one thing (whether a task or something for pleasure) with your whole attention.
  80. Stretch. Your body, your brain, your perceptions.
  81. Close your eyes and allow your intuition to tell you what to do next, rather than your to-do list.
  82. Chant or sing your favorite song. Out loud.
  83. Switch up your alarm clock to one with a more gentle sound.
  84. Watch cartoons in your pajamas.
  85. Make art: knitting, watercolors, sketching, hand-lettering. Let it be bad. Just allow yourself to play and create.
  86. Try coloring books, if you’re craving more structure. They’re fun, beautiful, and great for mindfulness practice.
  87. Burn what doesn’t serve you anymore. This could be a metaphorical fire. Or a literal burning of old papers or journals.

  88. Learn to cook five healthy, delicious recipes. (Or five new ones!)Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com
  89. The last few months, I’ve been loving coloring books. Maybe a little silly, but so awesome.
  90. Fill your home with framed pictures of loved ones. Or yourself having adventures.
  91. Pause before you eat to center, give thanks, and send energy to yourself and your food.
  92. Make friend-dates, or even friend-phone-dates. Cultivate your friendships the way you might a new romance.
  93. Do the dishes before bed.
  94. Take a road trip.

  95. Listen to  stand-up comedy or go to an improv comedy show.
  96. Pick up a hobby from when you were a kid: I loved ice skating and horseback riding.
  97. Cultivate gratitude — Setting Gratitude Free is available here. Start integrating thankfulness and joy into your life in a regular way.
  98. Go tell someone else why you’re grateful for them.
  99. Laugh.
  100. Create a win book: a blank notebook where you write down all of your “wins.” Include compliments, achievements, “yeses” you’ve received. These wins can be big or small, so keep track of all of them.
  101. Wear a color you love.
  102. Do 10 minutes of savasana, or corpse pose in yoga. Or put your legs up the wall for 10 minutes. Nurture your nervous system with some restorative yoga.
  103. Take everything out, organize it, and put it back.
  104. Let yourself ask for what you need.

  105. Focus all of your attention on one of your senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, sound. Fill them with something wonderful.
  106. Free write: journal without letting your pen leave the page for 3 full minutes, and notice what comes up.
  107. Fix something that’s broken. That ripped shirt? The bulb that’s been burned out for ages? Offer them some love and make them good as new.
  108. Finally, if the above doesn’t work, there’s always pizza and binge-watching episodes of NCIS (or other procedural). I’m not kidding. (Read this post, if you don’t believe me.)

Look, not every one of these self-care ideas will be your cup of tea.

They won’t all be the perfect antidote to what you’re working through. But I hope that there’s enough inspiration to get you started. What I want you to know most is that you have the power to claim self-care. The inspiration here is just a starting point.

 

Want all of these self-care ideas as a beautiful mini-book? Grab your copy here:

Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

 

PS: Get your *free* Real Self-Care Planner here!

PPS: Want to dive in all the way? Grab your copy of Real Self-Care, a messy, delightful inspiration guide for self-care that supports your actual life.

4 Pillars of Awesome Self-Care

March 7, 2016

I believe in self-care that’s awesome. Not indulgent or expensive. I don’t believe in self-care that feels like a “should” or that masks itself in shame out of concern for you. I believe in self-care that feels awesome, not a burden. (That’s why I created Real Self-Care, which you can grab right here.)

If you want awesome self-care, you have to set a good foundation. Self-care isn't cookie cutter – and it doesn't work if you don't do it. Learn how to make it happen with the four pillars of awesome self-care – and download the free self-care planner inside! >> www.christytending.com

But if you’re here for the first time, or you’re just starting to dip your toe in the pool of self-care, you might not be sure where to start.

Here’s a secret: it’s not self-care if you never do it.

If you keep putting it off or avoiding it, it’s not self-care. It’s only self-care if it’s something that brings you joy or benefit. It might not always be fun, but it will leave you with a sense of well-being.

Some days, I drag myself onto my yoga mat. But it’s worth it.

Self-care needs to feel personal.

The internet makes everything taste kind of the same: pleasantly bland. Full of things you should do to bring more joy and well-being into your life. But if you follow the suggestions of Internet People and feel nothing?

That’s just crappy.

It’s time for a change.

So, wise one, what does your self-care look like?

I have built my own self-care practice over the last fifteen years, learning to meet my own needs with compassion over and over again.

I’ve healed or walked myself through all manner of dark times. I’ve survived the death of loved ones. I’ve kicked unhealthy food and body image mindsets. I’m still journeying through depression and scoliosis.

What I’ve learned in that time is that your self-care has to belong to you. YOU have to belong to you first.


Weave more self-care into your schedule with The Real Self-Care Planner from Christy Tending. Grab yours here -- www.christytending.comPsst! I’ve created a free self-care planner to help you get started. Part journal, part guide, part planner, it will aid you in your journey toward more amazing self-care.

Grab your free planner right here! >>

 

 


There are, in fact: 4 pillars of awesome self-care

This is self-care that feels great. It’s self-care that meets you in the midst of your messy, imperfect life. It’s self-care that honors this as a practice – not a destination.

When these meet as co-conspirators in your self-care? It’s the best.

Custom

Your self-care has to fit into your actual life. It has to tailor itself to your particular needs, goals, intentions, desires… your reality. It has to work with your finances, your family, your dreams, your abilities, your time. As you are. Not the dream-you. Not the you fifteen years or pounds or miles from here.

YOU.

Because, gosh. You’re awesome. Your self-care should reflect your exact awesomeness, not someone else’s.

Self-care is best when it honors exactly who and where you are in this moment. Your self-care might look different from someone else’s. Keep your eyes on your own paper and honor yourself with the care you need.

Examples of custom self-care:

  • Ordering food in, because your chronic pain is high on that particular day.
  • Making food from scratch, because cooking is a creative outlet.
  • Doing a brisk vinyasa yoga practice because you’re looking to burn off some excess energy and get your endorphins pumping.
  • Choosing a restorative practice because you’ve had a tiring week or are getting over a cold.

“Because” is a key word here. It’s what creates the context for why we make the self-care choices we make.

Custom is a cornerstone of self-care. Without it, there’s no “self” there – no you. Meaning: it won’t actually create a sense of self-compassion or well-being in your own body, in your own self.

Why?

Because it doesn’t meet your specific needs. It doesn’t fit into your actual life.

Intuitive

I believe that you are the expert in your own experience. I have some practices I can offer you. I can speak to you about my own experience and what’s worked for me. I may be able to reframe situations that feel hard.

I may even be able to remind you of what you’ve forgotten. But you are the expert. Your intuition knows best.

It is wise beyond words.

Examples of intuitive self-care:

  • Looking in the fridge and following your hunger about what to have for dinner.
  • Getting on your yoga mat without a plan, and moving as your body wishes.
  • Breathing for a few minutes while you listen to what would most bring you joy next: coloring books? A hike? A hot shower?
  • Doing one thing at a time, moving deliberately from one activity to the next so that you can discover the flow of your energy and how you best like to work.

I trust you to find the self-care that truly fits you. This is about keen inner listening. It’s not about a to-do list. It’s about going with the flow and following the calling of your personal wisdom.

It’s about slowing down enough, and quieting down enough that you can truly hear yourself. It’s about trusting that voice when you do hear it. It takes practice, but it will get stronger over time.


Weave more self-care into your schedule with The Real Self-Care Planner from Christy Tending. Grab yours here -- www.christytending.com

I’ve created a free self-care planner to help you get started. Part journal, part guide, part planner, it will aid you in your journey toward more amazing self-care.

Grab your free planner right here! >>

 

 

 


Feasible

Again, if you don’t do it, it’s not self-care. You need to honor what’s actually possible. You may be able to shift things, eventually, to create more space, more time, more energy.

I encourage you to start right where you are, right now.

What is possible for you today, in this moment? (Then ask that question again tomorrow.) Making big plans that crash and burn isn’t self-care. That might actually make you feel worse. (I know, because I used to do that.)

Set yourself up with what is actually within your control, and give yourself care there.

Examples of feasible self-care:

  • Making yourself a cup of tea, and sipping it slowly, even if you’re at the office.
  • Going for a walk to the end of the block and back, if that’s all the time you have.
  • Wearing your favorite sweater – not necessarily buying a new wardrobe.
  • Spending a few moments looking at photographs of loved ones, even if you can’t get on a plane right now.

Feasible self-care is all about doing what’s in reach, what’s possible right now. Just because you can’t get an hour-long massage doesn’t mean that you can’t do 10 minutes of yoga. Do what you can.

Take baby steps. Make small gestures in the direction of your own self-care. Even if it doesn’t seem like much, it does add up. You’ll be happy that you did what you could. It’ll set you up for a pattern of self-care that’s worth more in the long run than a single spa weekend once every three years.

Do what you can. You’re on the right track.

Kind

Self-care should feel respectful. It’s not another chance to fail or beat yourself up. Your self-care plan is not a hit piece. It’s a careful, compassionate way of approaching your own heart, and offering it what it needs.

I would like for you to be kind to yourself. This is why I created my meditation course, Hella Metta. This is why I do any of this work.

Especially if you’ve tried and “failed” at this whole self-care thing before.

If you’re starting at the absolute, very beginning, start with this: Be Nice.

Examples of kind self-care:

  • Getting enough sleep instead of binge-watching something until 2am.
  • Creating an inner monologue that is forgiving and compassionate.
  • Offering yourself opportunities for nourishment, rest, movement, and creativity in a gentle way – not forcing yourself into something that’s “good for you” because of a fad.
  • Claiming self-care in any moment – not because you accomplished something.

Awesome self-care isn’t always about heroics. It’s about self-respect.

It’s about sometimes doing the hard, but compassionate thing for yourself. Self-care isn’t a punishment or a chance to martyr yourself. You want to create a meaningful self-care practice? Start by being nice to yourself.

[bctt tweet=”The four pillars of awesome self-care are: Custom, Intuitive, Feasible & Kind. Learn more: www.christytending.com/awesome”]

Weave more self-care into your schedule with The Real Self-Care Planner from Christy Tending. Grab yours here -- www.christytending.com

 

Want to craft a self-care practice that feels custom, intuitive, feasible and kind? Start now with the free Real Self-Care planner! Grab your free planner here>>

 

P.S.: Demystify Self-Care and Create your own self-care retreat!

PPS: Real Self-Care: an inspiration guide.

In Case of Emergency

February 17, 2016

When times are tough, how to do you offer self-care even then? Get simple, actionable practices that you can use even during difficult moments. Plus get a free self-care resource guide inside! >> www.christytending.com

Or: self-care for when the chips are down and shit gets real.

I get it. Self-care is best arranged to keep us well. It is best applied in small doses over time. It is a practice, a salve; it is not meant as triage.

Except.

Well, except when that isn’t really possible. Because there are days when self-care is the thin turquoise line (I like to think of self-care as turquoise). There are days when self-care isn’t the thing we do, diligently, to stay well.

Self-care is what keeps the pieces of our being from flying out into space. Or that’s what it feels like.

So, what then? What does self-care look like when the chips are down?

I have some ideas for you. Don’t fret. It’s going to be okay. I’ve got you covered:

Lie down on the floor

Better yet? Put your legs up the wall.

Get yourself, very literally, grounded.

Lying on the ground, feet on the ground and knees in the air (or with your legs up the wall), has real physiological calming effects.

Place your hands on your belly or over your heart, for even more gentleness.

Get in a super-hot shower

I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets all her good ideas in the shower. A nice hot shower will clear your head and help to reset your brain. Breathe deeply and let the water literally wash it away.

But there are tangible benefits, too.

The hot water stimulates your circulatory and lymphatic systems. The rhythm of the water soothes the nervous system and adrenal glands.

Plus, if you’re having a particularly tough day, treat yourself to some of the good shampoo or a loofah. You’re totally worth it – and small treats like that can go a surprisingly long way to turning a shit day around.

Turn off your computer, walk away from your desk and go outside

Even if you’re at work. If you’re reading this in a meeting, things are probably pretty real right now. Just get up and go. You can explain yourself later. If you work with grown-ups, they’ll probably get it, even if you’re totally honest.

Get yourself some snuggle time

With a dog or cat.

Borrow one if you have to. I love the people in my life to pieces, but when the chips are down, nothing beats my cats. Animals are the ideal companion for a self-care emergency. They’re delightfully non-verbal and non-judgmental – and the reciprocal pleasure they get from rubbing their faces on my hand.

In case of emergency card

Before I memorized it, I had one of my favorite lines from my favorite poem written down on a little card. I kept it in my wallet and would pull it out in emergencies. Words have power.

Get yourself a “when things get real” mantra and keep it on your person.

Those words may just carry you through.

Drink something calming

Different herbs have different properties. Warming, cooling, astringent, sweet. Choose something that calms you.

Sure, probably not coffee. But you might look for something with cooling properties, like peppermint tea or grounding properties, like dandelion root tea. (“Root” is generally a good code/shorthand word for “grounding.”)

Treat yo’ self

After wrapping a particularly big project, I came home one day, took my really hot shower. I made some tea. I lay on the floor for a while.

Then I got up and really asked myself what would help me feel really restored.

Turns out? It was coloring in my Enchanted Forest coloring book, and watching five straight episodes of NCIS (because I have my mother’s taste in pop culture).

It was the pinnacle of indulgent. Not the healthiest. Not the most spiritually enlightened. But it totally worked. I felt like a radically different human afterward.

Sometimes, we gotta do what we gotta do.

Look.

I hope you’re taking good care of yourself a little bit every day. I hope that you’re looking after your heart and staying as close to your true self as you can. But if you can’t? That happens to the best of us. And when it does, there’s hope there, also.Want to know what I use for my own self-care- Find out in this mini-resource guide- A Few of my Favorite Things, from Christy Tending. Grab yours here -- www.christytending.com

Want to know some of my favorite tools that I use in my own therapeutic self-care practice? I made a free resource guide for you >>

P.S. Restorative yoga and Lovingkindness meditation

The Myth of Bubble Baths

January 19, 2016

Self-care isn’t all bubble baths and bon-bons. It’s not tropical vacations or daily massages or any other form of indulgence. I mean, it can be those things. But really, it’s the real, sometimes gritty, always heartfelt act of caring for yourself and being your own best advocate.

Join The Tiny Little Self-Care Class–a free course for people who feel seriously burned out—and need immediate relief. It’s free, and super-doable, even if you think you have no time. I hope you love it.

Self-care isn't all bubble baths and bon-bons. It's the real, sometimes gritty, always heartfelt act of caring for yourself and being your own best advocate. Come see what I mean and grab your free self-care workbook inside! >> www.christytending.com

True story:

I’m a self-care advocate and I don’t take bubble baths. I take the occasional epsom salt soak, but I’d much rather read a non-fiction book or play with my cats. Why? Because I believe in personal (and non-crappy-feeling) self-care – and those are the things that feel good to me.

My self-care looks like hiking and doing some yoga and playing with my tarot cards and going to bed at a reasonable hour — give or take.

I hear the myth repeated often that self-care is all about bubble baths (or similar indulgence). For some reason, that’s the first thing people think of when they think of self-care. So self-care is cast as this flaky thing we’re “supposed” to do that secretly kind of sucks.

So, I’d like to nip this myth in the bud so that we can get back to self-care that feels rad.

If your self-care feels bad or it belongs to someone else, it’s not self-care.

Self-care doesn’t work if you don’t do it. So, if you’re thinking that self-care needs to take a particular form (bubble baths, for instance), and that form doesn’t work for you, you won’t do it. Which leaves you with no self-care at all.

In my manifesto, I talk about self-care that’s custom, intuitive and feasible (you can download that here!). This isn’t about someone else’s self-care, and it’s not about moving heaven and earth. If something doesn’t sound good, then it’s not your self-care. If you roll your eyes, it’s not your self-care.

Self-care has to fit your particular needs and longings for it to belong to you, and be something that nurtures you. The other side of the coin is: It has to serve and fit into your actual life — the one you already have. Get off of Pinterest and look around.

Where could you use a little nurturing in your life right now?

How could you make yourself feel cared-for?

Maybe it’s cleaning off your desk. That’s sure as hell not sexy, but for me, a clean desk feels awesome. It feels like a home where I can get my ideas out into the world (which in turn feels super awesome).

Maybe it’s dancing, in your house, with your headphones on to your favorite song. Sure, you look like a dork (no judgment), but if that brings you joy — makes you feel more whole and alive — do it.

Maybe it’s just closing your eyes and taking five deep breaths to re-center and recalibrate your nervous system.

A CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE GUIDE TO SELF-CARE IN ANY SITUATION- Care for Every Moment, a free workbook from Christy Tending. Grab yours here -- www.christytending.comWant to begin crafting self-care that feels personal, even when you’re having a tough time? Get your free self-care workbook, Care for Every Moment, here. >>

It’s part choose-your-own-adventure, part journal to excavate what *your* self-care looks like – in any moment.

Self-care not straight-up indulgence, either.

Self-care doesn’t work if you’re numbing out. The key is to stay present with yourself and do the best you can. It’s not alway fun.

Self-care isn’t just an endless amount of Netflix and chocolate ice cream and lazing around the house. It’s not sitting in a bath drinking champagne until you’re all pruney. That’s self-indulgence.

Sometimes, it means getting scrappy and making care happen. Maybe for you, it feels like wrestling demons in meditation. Maybe it means getting up an hour earlier to get out into nature. Maybe it means doing yoga when you’re grumpy instead of serene already. Maybe it means trade-offs.

Sometimes, taking care of yourself means doing the hard thing.

Self-care might mean working super-hard, actually. So that you can build the body of work that you want. Or so you can quit your job. Or so that you can create systems that give you the flexibility that you want.

So that you can be proud of yourself.

That might sound hard. But in those trade-offs, you build trust with yourself. You become someone who shows up for yourself when you say you will. You build the habit of tending to your own inner world, even when you try to push yourself away. Even when you don’t feel like getting out the paint and putting your brush on the paper. Even when you don’t feel like getting on your meditation cushion.

Here’s the key: you feel better afterward. It might be hard in the moment, but it’s worth it. You keep going. You stay diligent and curious and present with yourself on your path.

Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

Self-care isn’t about beating yourself up. Or being perfect in order to start.

Don’t just use self-care as another weapon against yourself. Be gentle. Maybe you forget or get busy or blow it off. Just keep coming back, with as much compassion for yourself as possible. Maybe your self-care today is just remembering to drink enough water, instead of berating yourself for not drinking enough water.

Again, think about your own very personal situation. How can you care for yourself in the midst of your present moment, with what you’ve already got?

You want to make art because it makes you happy and feeds your soul? Do it! Don’t wait to make art until you’re an amazing artist (not how that works) or until you’ve bought $200 worth of art supplies.

Don’t beat yourself up for not being an accomplished artist.

Just start making art because it’s fun and feels good.

You want to move your body? Great! Don’t wait to move your body until it already looks perfect (whatever the ‘eff that’s supposed to mean). Go for a walk with your dog. Go ice skating with your friend. Make it fun and let it come from a place of love (instead of body hatred).

Start with small acts of self-care, applied with great joy.

[bctt tweet=”Start with small acts of self-care, applied with great joy.” http://www.christytending.com/the-myth/]

Nurture yourself because you’re worthy of nurturing exactly as you are. You don’t have to get somewhere or be someone different before you’re worthy of that.

What I do here is mentor people to create self-care practices that feel personal — self-care that’s custom, intuitive and feasible. Does a bubble bath not really sound like your cup of tea? Is it something that isn’t possible in the context of your life?

I solemnly swear, I will never make you take a bubble bath.

 

A CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE GUIDE TO SELF-CARE IN ANY SITUATION- Care for Every Moment, a free workbook from Christy Tending. Grab yours here -- www.christytending.comWant to begin crafting self-care that feels personal, even when you’re having a tough time? Get your free self-care workbook, Care for Every Moment, here. >>

It’s part choose-your-own-adventure, part journal to excavate what *your* self-care looks like – in any moment.

 

PS: Demystify Self-Care and Four Pillars of Awesome Self-Care

Real Self-Care: Forgiveness

September 30, 2015

No one is more worthy of love and a second chance than you. - Real Self-Care – Day Thirty. Find more real self-care tips and get your free self-care planner! -- www.christytending.com

This post is part of a month-long series on Real Self-Care for world-changers. It’s about the experimentation: figuring out what works for you and following your heart. Simple, messy and everything in between. Self-care should be custom, intuitive, feasible and kind – to serve your actual life.

The Real Self-Care series has been updated, revamped, and is now available as an e-book and self-care inspiration guide. Pick yours up here:
Buy now!


Forgiveness

I can’t recommend this practice across the board: if you’re not ready to forgive, you’re not ready.

But this is a challenge. Think of some of the people you haven’t forgiven yet. Please include yourself.

What is that grudge or pattern of anger doing to you? How does it feel? What could it feel like instead if you brought some forgiveness to the party?

It doesn’t have to be someone who has wronged you. You could forgive yourself for your regrets. You could forgive someone for simply not living up to your expectations. You could forgive someone instead of nagging them. You could forgive them instead of rolling your eyes.

Forgiveness doesn’t have to be monumental. It can be mundane.

I might suggest, very gently, that forgiveness is a form of self-care. We are freeing ourselves of the emotional and psychic energy that it takes to hold onto anger. Sometimes, it’s justified. Sometimes, the apology will never come. But I would offer the possibility that there may be room for forgiveness anyway.

I wrote a longer post about forgiveness over on Tiny Buddha. I believed for a long time that forgiveness was impossible, until once day it just felt right. Trust your gut. You are wise.

Maybe forgiveness won’t come today. Maybe you won’t even speak it out loud, ever. Maybe the person you’re forgiving won’t ever know. But maybe you could offer yourself enough compassion to let yourself be free of it. And if you’re still working on forgiving yourself: please do that as soon as possible.

[bctt tweet=”No one is more worthy of love and a second chance than you.” username=”ChristyTending”]


 

Real Self-Care is now available as an e-book and self-care journal.

Pick yours up here:

Buy now!

Learn more

Weave more self-care into your schedule with The Real Self-Care Planner from Christy Tending. Grab yours here -- www.christytending.com

Want to cultivate your own fabulous self-care? Download my free self-care planner here >>

 

P.S.: Want more real self-care? Try these blogs: Clearing Space and Clear away the excess.

Real Self-Care: Journaling

September 29, 2015

journaling can be a useful mechanism for processing what comes up and caring for ourselves well / Real Self-Care – Day Twenty Nine. Find more real self-care tips and get your free self-care planner! >> www.christytending.com

This post is part of a month-long series on Real Self-Care for world-changers. It’s about the experimentation: figuring out what works for you and following your heart. Simple, messy and everything in between. Self-care should be custom, intuitive, feasible and kind – to serve your actual life.

The Real Self-Care series has been updated, revamped, and is now available as an e-book and self-care inspiration guide. Pick yours up here:
Buy now!


Journaling

To be honest, I’m not much of a journal-er. It’s not really in my nature. But I’ve been experimenting with some different kinds of journaling that I’m finding interesting. Journaling doesn’t have to be pouring out your heart and soul and crushes onto the page. And it doesn’t have to be rote lists, either.

I use planners as a way of plotting out the future, but also reflecting on what’s come before. I process through the past, present, and future.

I also use note cards as a form of journaling. Rather than keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself, I’m writing and sending physical mail as a form of expression. It’s a fleeting and impermanent form of journaling that makes me feel more connected with folks.

I’m also experimenting with art journaling–using visual media to expressing my mood and events in my life. Sometimes I’ll add a little quote, but oftentimes, it’s just about swirling some paint around to capture what’s coming up for me.

I also love gratitude journaling. Gratitude is one of my favorite practices, and I write more about that here.

[bctt tweet=”Journaling can be a useful mechanism for processing what comes up and for getting the information we need in order to care for ourselves well.” username=”ChristyTending”]

Journaling can be stream-of-consciousness; it can take form in lists. It can even take shape through classical poetic forms like haiku.

Whatever form it takes, journaling can be a useful mechanism for processing what comes up and for getting the information we need in order to care for ourselves well. Experiment, play and start to hone in on what kind of journaling, and what rhythm might suit you. There’s no wrong way to do it.


Real Self-Care is now available as an e-book and self-care journal.

Pick yours up here:

Buy now!

Learn more

Weave more self-care into your schedule with The Real Self-Care Planner from Christy Tending. Grab yours here -- www.christytending.com

Want to cultivate your own fabulous self-care? Download my free self-care planner here >>

 

P.S.: Want more real self-care? Try these self-care tips: My favorite self-care tools and How to create meaningful intention!

Real Self-Care: Edit Your Schedule

September 28, 2015

Editing your schedule is better than being ruled by it. - Real Self-Care – Day Twenty-Eight. Find more real self-care tips and get your free self-care planner! -- www.christytending.com

This post is part of a month-long series on Real Self-Care for world-changers. It’s about the experimentation: figuring out what works for you and following your heart. Simple, messy and everything in between. Self-care should be custom, intuitive, feasible and kind – to serve your actual life.

The Real Self-Care series has been updated, revamped, and is now available as an e-book and self-care inspiration guide. Pick yours up here:
Buy now!


Edit Your Schedule

I talk about this rather bluntly in this post here, but I truly believe that self-care starts in our date book. If you’re finding it hard to create space in your life for the self-care you need, or wish you had, my best advice is to start with your schedule. This means saying no.

This means taking an honest look at what feels like a “should” versus a need or want. This means evaluating where you’re not getting some benefit. Obviously, kids and pets and other instances where another being is relying on you for survival are non-negotiables.

But in the cases where someone isn’t counting on you for sustenance, it may be time to make some changes. It comes down to this:

How do you want to feel?

I feel better when my schedule is less hectic, when I have time for myself and my practice. I can tell when I’ve done a good job planning, because I have time to make my house tidy, cook nourishing food and hang out with my cats (and other loved ones). Or, if I don’t have that time, then I’m feeling super-inspired by what’s taking me away from those things.

When things are out of balance, I don’t need to do a total overhaul on my life. It takes a few tweaks–a little editing–to get back on track.

[bctt tweet=”Editing your schedule is better than being ruled by it.” username=”ChristyTending”]

Editing your schedule is better than being ruled by it.

(Read more thoughts on that here.)


Real Self-Care is now available as an e-book and self-care journal.

Pick yours up here:

Buy now!

Learn more

Weave more self-care into your schedule with The Real Self-Care Planner from Christy Tending. Grab yours here -- www.christytending.com

Want to cultivate your own fabulous self-care? Download my free self-care planner here >>

 

P.S.: Want more real self-care? Try these self-care tips: What is your Sacred Focus? and Real Self-Care: 108 ideas!