I am a giver. I work during most days as a counsellor, often being with people in times of distress, stress, trauma or anxiety. On other days, and some evenings I teach yoga and offer practices that care for peoples’ bodies and minds. In between, I care for my 4 children, 2 dogs, 9 chickens, garden and the Earth.
My lesson is how to receive. I am blessed with a great family and many caring friends. However, I have also had to learn how to offer myself compassion and kindness, and consider this to be my ongoing learning.
The idea for “Self-care September” came after my training on Mindful Self compassion. I was struck by how much I needed to incorporate these practices into my daily life, to develop a routine so that I can continue to give to others without experiencing burnout or ‘compassion’ fatigue.
I also know that habits are hard to form, and that smaller is better. I wanted to create a daily reminder for myself that self-compassion practices don’t have to take a long time, that 5 minutes or less is often all that is needed.
The self-compassion practices I have chosen to incorporate a variety of methods from mindfulness practices, positive psychology and compassion focused therapy. I have added my yoga understandings and somatic practices to develop 30 different meditations for body, breath and mind.
There is a suggested practice for each day. One for each day in September. The practice includes brief guidelines, a quote and picture to reflect on. On the four Sundays in the month, I have a suggested longer meditation practice, based on mindful self-compassion and yoga nidra meditations, with links to the audio to practice these guided meditations.
The practices are based on the components of self-compassion including:
- Offering yourself soothing touch
- Offering yourself kind thoughts
- Savouring the world using your senses
- Offering gratitude and kindness towards others
- Recognising our common humanity
If you practice, you may also wish to keep a journal to reflect on which practices resonated, and what you notice throughout the journey. I will also open a face-book group where you might like to share your reflections with others.
To receive a copy of this self care September manual, please join my mailing list and a copy will be shared soon.
Have a wonderful month, taking care of yourself.
Lots of love to you.