A Much Needed Self-Compassion Checklist
It is a truth universally acknowledged that kids need you most when you're in the shower.
They will also need a muffled reassurance through the bathroom door that you still love them and haven't abandoned them in the 20 minutes you've taken for yourself.
Dear friends, it is really important for caregivers, especially those who are expected to fill in all the emotional labor gaps, to invest in ourselves. I have learned repeatedly that if I save taking care of myself until all the other needs are met, I am not taking care of myself.
I am willing to change, but in the moment of need, what would be most helpful is to experience some mothering myself. What if I had a checklist to compassionately ask myself the questions I need to hear?
Me to myself. It would go something like this:
1. Would you like a nice cup of tea? Tea is love. You are loved. Have some tea.
2. Have you taken your supplements or meds? It's so easy to forget. Ask for reminders.
3. Would you like to put Netflix on for the kids and listen to your audiobook for 15 minutes? Everyone could use a breather. Focus on the breathing part while you listen. Or get out your paints and let the colors do the "breathing" for you.
4. Have you checked in online with a friend? Virtual chocolate isn't everything, but it means something. It means solidarity. Solidarity is virtual chocolate. Do you feel like asking for some? Remember, there are a lot of generous folks out there who both love to share and could use some, too. Give yourself permission to reach out.
5. Do you need to eat something? Build a list of easy-fix snacks, and take inventory before you food shop. Eat a spoonful of almond butter to help you think. Have some real chocolate, too.
6. Are you worried about something that can be taken care of tomorrow? Later today? Say this to that worry with me: "Wait. Your. Turn." Then go put "flowers" on your shopping list.
7. Remember your treat stash? Yeah, you need this. It's how you celebrate being a person when life is getting too hard. If you're not hungry, just go give it a knowing wink and a pat, a promise to be back.
8. Can I light a candle for you? We can watch the tiny flame dance and remember that's all it takes sometimes to make a world of difference.
9. You need magnetic poetry. Go build a poem right now on your fridge. Make it dreamy. Make it silly. Make it justice-y. Whatever you're drawn to. You have permission to be ethereal for a few minutes.
10. What's your favorite thing to wear? Are you wearing it? Go put it on. Take a selfie. Take another. Be sexy. Be smart. Be thoughtful. Be ridiculous. Smile at all of it.
That's a proper tailor-made checklist, and I think it just might do the trick for me. I'll let you know.
So, tell me. What is something that would go on your checklist? Leave a comment or share a blog post if you've already done this or are inspired to make one!
Love and go brightly!