when self care looks like lists

If you’ve hung around me at all, especially in the grocery store, you know that I have an aversion to making lists. I’ll even joke about it. I’ll say ‘making lists reminds me of my mom’ (hi mom. love you.).

This non strategy was not limited only to the grocery store. I would not make lists for groceries, for tasks, for money matters, for time commitments, or anything else at all.

I embraced this ‘easy going’ lifestyle for a long time. And, for the most part, it worked for me. I was never known for being the most organized, but I got where I needed to go, had food to feed my family, and paid my bills just fine.

Imagine my surprise when this tactic stopped working.

Daily grocery store runs started to feel tedious and loathsome. The question ‘what for dinner?’ would send a prickly wave of aggravation down my spine. I started forgetting things, and when I remembered them too late, I’d be in a tailspin. I was in a haphazard state. You know what that’s good for? Being an anxious mess.

It’s been a relatively recent discovery that I don’t need to carry on like that. I am allowed to make changes to the status quo in service of pursuing my greatest good. I am allowed to meal plan and keep a pretty calendar where I track my commitments. I’m allowed to protect my time. Even when that strategy means something different than it meant last year. Same strategy. Different method.

In my Instagram story last week I highlighted how this scenario plays out for me these days. It was Sunday midmorning and I was invited to coffee with a beloved friend next door. She said ‘coffee will be hot, the kids can play.’ You guys. These are the exact words to my heart.

I declined so I could stay home and get dishes done before nap time.

I realize that to some of you this is like the most boring and obvious thing to do. But for me, it’s revolutionary. Revolutionary because I knew what I needed, and I honored that.

Back to list making.

I’ve incorporated list making and similar practical processes as an integral component to my self care practice. I am rewarded with freed up brain space. It helps preserve precious mental energy. Similar to automating where possible, list making has proved worthy of the upfront investment of time required. And, thanks to my beautiful mama, I have a natural knack for making some sick lists.

If you’d be interested in my list template, send me an email and I’ll kick it your way.

The moral of this story is that self care isn't always sexy or fun. It's not exclusively related to doing things you love. Sometimes it means giving yourself what you need.

Self care today:

Journaling. My current go-to journaling exercise is ‘this time next year’. Then, for fun, I’ll break it down into quarters, months, and weeks.

Pandora, podcasts, and audio books. Listening is my favorite way to consume media. This isn’t new.

Movement everyday. Either outside, or at the gym, or on the treadmill.

Writing and trusting. Woo alert: I’ve experienced a handful of synchronicities lately. In areas of my life that I’ve desperately needed clarity, I have stepped into clarity and the universe has reinforced this. Shrug emoji. Flexed bicep emoji.

Hydration. In a conversation last week I said, “I’m having a moment with moisture.” Not sure where this stems from. I have recently purchased night cream, hand cream, and my chapstick made it onto my gratitude list.

List making. See above.

What I’m thinking about: Gardening when it’s nice out
What I’m listening to: Leave a Light On by Tom Walker
What I’m reading: This Naked Mind by Annie Grace
What’s next: I’m opening one coaching spot per month for the summer. I’m looking to work with a specific type of person. Someone on the cusp of change, someone who is ready to step into what’s next, someone who is tired of their own bullshit self-limiting stories. Are you her? Send me an email to inquire.

 

Carmen