What’s In Your Rucksack
What's in Your Rucksack?
Self Care and Other Seldom Celebrated Strengths
Continuing on from the ‘Future Postcard’, when I lead The Marvellous Training Co.’s confidence building sessions a follow-up exercise I ask people to do is to consider a collection of travel essentials and think about what they might represent. This is to help them recognise their skills, strengths and accomplishments . A passport could represent the places you’ve been in your career and how far you’ve come; a tent could represent the home you’ve made for yourself; and the sunglasses might represent a clear vision for how things should be, an ability to lead perhaps.
My particular favourite though is the first aid kit. To me it represents my ability to help and support others when they need it; and also self-care; an aspect I’m guilty of not being as quick to tend to. So I’m trying to re-frame the idea of care and think of it more like a first aid kit. If I saw you cut yourself and I had a plaster I’d get you one. If I cut myself I’d get a plaster for myself too. It’s true if you’re having a hard day, I’d be there to support you, offer encouragement any way I could. The odd thing is though; would I do that for myself? Would I recognise the need for positive thinking and self-care or would I just give myself a hard time; blame myself? I think I know which answer I should give, but in reality, I do blame myself. So one of my current aims is to be more vigilant for this and apply self-care when needed. Just like I would get a plaster if I cut myself or run my hand under the tap if I burned a finger.
So when I think of the first aid kit in my rucksack I try to think of habits and practical solutions to help through tough times. Listening to upbeat music; being willing to rest and eating healthily are so hard when I’m sulking and feeling depressed but I know they do help. Making sure I’m washed, dressed and shaved can work wonders and I swear by the positive practice of making my bed in the morning. I have no idea why my duvet is a magic bloody carpet for my soul when it’s laid out neatly but it is. I just accept it’s worth the two minutes it takes to make the bed and get on with it. I even keep a checklist for when I have the blues: one of the main things on is to get out of bed (make it!), get washed and dressed and leave the house for at least twenty minutes. If I still hate everything and want to go back after that then at least feel like I’ve tried. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Simply giving it a chance though is definitely having a positive impact.
So what’s in your rucksack? What’s in your first aid kit? How do you practice self-care? Leave your comments below and while you’re here, why not try a free version of the confidence course?