Since last time we were in this space together, we’ve been feeling tired. Like really, exhausted, candle-at-both-ends, biting our tongues, sending ourselves to our rooms kind of tired. Right after a piece we wrote about self-care, you say? Hello irony, our old friend….
At Handled we’ve had lots of practice providing self-care to others, but sometimes we need a good dose of our own medicine. And so we asked you: What are your preferred self-care activities? And, more to the point:
Do you know what fills your cup and brings you a sense of emotional, mental, or spiritual well-being?
From the depths of our pop culture steeped memory, we were reminded of a scene in The Runaway Bride when, Richard Gere’s character ‘Graham’ implores to Julia Roberts’ ‘Maggie’: “you’re so lost you don’t even know what kind of eggs you like!”
Wowzers, Graham. Thanks for the reality check.
Maggie set off on a mission to try all the different egg dishes she could in effort to finally know, once and for all, what her favourite was – outside of the influence of others. After what seems like all the eggs, Maggie’s final verdict? Eggs benedict. (Way to go, Maggie!)
And that started us thinking. What if we’ve been doing (or suggesting) ‘self-care things’ just because people tell us they’re useful? Are we sure that they’re working for us or are they just trendy, obligatory things that give us some kind of social brownie points?
Woah. What if we could learn how to carefully select the ‘right’ (ie.. right for us) type of self-care from a collection of solutions to help maintain overall wellness or snap us back into shape if we’re feeling extra bent out of it? What if we all could?
We need to figure this out! And we know just the way to do it.
THE SELF-CARE EXPERIMENT!
We’re here to help be your go-to resource for self-care, finding the best ways to keep your stress manageable – and bring more fun back to your life! So, with Maggie as our muse, we’re sending one of our own to try a bunch of the styles of eggs – um, self-care – to figure out our favourites and create a well-rounded self-care toolkit that we can share with you.
Any good experiment based on a throwback rom-com should have a few key elements, but not the least of which it needs to flow from our core approach to self-care:
Self-care is giving yourself permission to ask for and enlist the help you need so that you can focus on the most important things in your life, and be present to experience them more fully.
- The activities should take care of at least one aspect of overall well-being, whether that’s physical, emotional/spiritual, or mental.
- The activities need to have the potential to become a habit or part of a regular routine. Self-care should help us feel more capable, comfortable, less stressed, and happier ongoingly.
- We need one ‘Maggie’ – a guinea pig for all things self-care. (In our case, that’s our intrepid friend, colleague and collaborator Tamara Glick.)
- There should be Richard Gere. He has spent considerable time with the Dalai Lama, so it just makes good sense.
Ooh, this is starting to sound so GOOD!
The benefits seem endless: we could become calmer and more peaceful. We could look fresher and feel better rested! We could eat more healthfully and feel truly nourished! We could be fitter! We could really live that ‘it takes a village’ kind existence! #LivingMyBestLife for sure!
What downsides could there possibly be to taking a purposeful route to, and prioritizing, self-care for once?
Only one that we could think of: there’s no one-time solution for self-care. So, we have one last requirement for the experiment:
Any self-care activity we include we’ll be dedicated to for at least one whole week.
What should these activities be? The most interesting ideas were things that most people felt were difficult to achieve, or things they’ve done for a while but then fell off the wagon. They’re the classics we hear about all the time, the “more revered than realized” sorts of self-care. Behold the Self-Care Table of Elements:
|Planned Clean Eating||Physical|
These are the kinds of things we’re ‘supposed’ to be able to do already. But if we’re being totally honest, we also know that you know that we don’t. These “good-for-me” things take up so much time and effort! So let’s go back to that definition of self-care:
“Give yourself permission to ask for and receive the help you need.”
Ah yes. BINGO. With the torch passed, the research done, and the help asked for, let’s begin The Self-Care Experiment!