Your own self-care guidebook

August is always the quietest month of the year for Bird. Organisations tend to step back from investing in any kind of workshop work whilst folks go on holiday. And so, apart from continuing to work with my beautiful 1:1 clients, I have a little more time to step back and reflect.

Now I have a busy brain, much of the reason I got into the field of resilience and stress and burn out is because I have explored it all, many times, myself.

When I gain an expanse of space, with more time to think, I often find myself filling that space with a bunch of worries. I fill it with thoughts about whatever is uncertain or unclear and I feel stressed and anxious. Right now I notice I am filling the workshop void with worries.

However, I haven’t been doing self-development work for the past six years for nothing. I know the things that help me. And one of the newest processes I’ve started to use is my ‘self-care guidebook.’

This isn’t something you can buy. This is something you make. I have an email in my inbox called ‘Hannah self-care guidebook’. It has two lists in it, one titled ‘if I feel lethargic and burnt out’ and one titled ‘if I feel stressed out.’ Under each list is a bunch of things I do that make me feel better in either situation. They are things like, reach out to people, run for a short amount of time, make sure I have a holiday booked in, allow myself to be with the uncertainty.

When we’re going through a hard time, it can be really challenging to actually remember the things that are helpful. Having a guide book there, a personal tried and tested one, can help no end.

I’d love to hear whether you’re creating one for yourself.

With love as always, Hannah

PS. This ‘being with the uncertainty’ piece reminds me of a theory a colleague of mine shared with me. It’s called ‘the fertile void’, and is an idea developed by Gestalt, which suggests that there’s a lot of value in creating space in your life to reflect and reconnect to what’s important, and to have creative ideas about what’s next. Resting into the void can feel scary, and I have to work hard to keep the worries at bay, but it is an incredibly valuable, re-energising and creative place to be. It deserves a place in anyone’s self-care guidebook.

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

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