If you are anything like me (or other human beings!), you might struggle with self-care.
Maybe you lack (or do not make) the time for it. Maybe you don´t know what to do, when you get the chance. Maybe laying on the sofa and watching random videos is just so much easier than thinking of something kind for yourself to do.
Here comes the self-care jar to the rescue! Yep, you thought right. It is a jar full of self-care! Or at least, full of ideas for self-care. And now, we are going to make one! (are you as excited as me?)
You will need:
- Four pieces of paper – in four different colours.
- A jar (fairly big one).
- Scissors and a pen.
- Whatever you can think of to decorate (for the arty ones! hint: I’m not one of those).
- Music! (actually, you can turn that on right now).
Step 1: Take the four pieces of paper.
Step 2: Quite carelessly, cut them into many many slips! I ended up with 24 from each paper, 96 in total – which of course, doesn’t matter at all. All you need is something big enough to write on, the more pieces you get, the more ideas you get to write down.
Step 3: Assign each colour an amount of minutes! This is the time I used for each slip – and you can write whatever feels right.
Step 4: The fun part! And possible the most difficult one. Some wonderful music, or if you prefer quiet, is essential for this step. Grab your pen, and start writing, whatever comes to mind (no editing!). On each slip, according to the minutes, write down whatever you can think of. It can be pure self-care, it can be something challenging, or it can be something that you know will make you feel better. When you have written on all the slips (and yes, I know, the last five in each colour might be a struggle!), fold them up and put them in the jar.
On my slips, I wrote everything ranging from “Take 10 deep breaths” to “Watch your favourite feel-good movie.” Some of them were quite ambiguous, like “Do something you’ve wanted to do for a long time” or “Tackle a nagging task.” You can also write similar ideas on a few different slips. Point is, you can write down everything that you can think of.
Step 5: Use it! The jar is now there for you to use, whenever you feel like. You can also decide that you´d like to pick one slip each day, in which case it would be sensible to make about double the amount of the 5-15 minute ones. And when you’ve used the slip, you can tuck it in another jar, to repeat the cycle when you’ve gone through it. Or, like I’m doing now, tucking it back into the same jar, convincing yourself that it is going to the bottom (even though it isn´t).
What I love about this jar is having a little play with the Universe.
You know how when you draw oracle cards and you always get exactly what you need? Coincidence? I don´t believe it. Or when you get a red light when you are in a hurry somewhere, simply to give yourself a chance to take a deep breath?
I believe that the Universe is always helping us. And that it has great humour as well!
So yeah, I have picked three slips from the jar already.
First one told me to put on a fun song and dance. Did I want to dance? Hell no! Did I feel better afterwards? Hell yeah!
The second time, I was literally thinking “I don´t have time for this” when I picked a slip out. And it told me to do exactly what I was doing at that moment, listening to my favourite song and singing out loud.
Third, was the best one. I am doing PBYP and on the rest days you are supposed to meditate and take a walk. Yesterday, I planned to walk but didn’t, and meditated instead. Today, I knew I needed to go for that walk, but it was late and I had all the reasons not to. Then I stood by my jar and was tempted to take the purple one out (not remembering what the colours meant anymore). And what does the slip say? You guessed it! “Take a long walk.”
So yes, thank you my dear Universe. Message received. And now I am writing this after a wonderful walk.
And this is also the reason I wrote some slips for pure challenge. Some of them tell me to do things that I know I need to do, but I am not ready for. One of the blue ones even says “Start writing your book.” Do I know what kind of book? Nope. And I can be sure that I’ll get that slip precisely when I am ready for it! (even though it is still super scary).
I knew I needed to make this jar for myself, to give me a prompt to take care of myself. I did not, however, expect the influence of simply making the jar.
In the process of writing down those 96 self-care things (and yes, some where the same, I wrote “read a book” on all four colours), I became more mindful of what I counted as self-care. I understood how simple self-care was.
On one of the slips I wrote “Light a candle.” And since writing that on the slip, even though it is still in the jar, I have been lighting candles more often than before.
By simply acknowledging my self-care activities, was I able to do more of them. So even though I only draw out a slip occasionally, it keeps me mindful of what I need to do to take good care of myself.
And I hope, that your jar will do the same for you ❤
Try this out and let us know how it goes for you!