Self Care List

  You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves...  -Opening lines from "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves...

-Opening lines from "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver

As a recovering perfectionist I still love lists. But this is a special list, one meant to soothe a people pleaser and lifelong "good girl" and bring her back to her own precious heart. I've written this self care list (which will be ongoing) as a reminder to myself and I hope it will bring comfort to others.

  • Give yourself space to hear your own inner voice... quiet moments without the noise of tv, internet, radio or too many people and activities. You're like a glass that can overfill and needs downtime to process.
     
  • Honor your need for rest. Sleep in when you need it, there's no reason to feel guilty.
     
  • Take walks when you feel restless and try to hike in nature regularly. A moderately strenuous hike feeds your body healing doses of oxygen, especially when surrounded by trees.
     
  • There's no need to please people who don't get you or those who discount your feelings. You don't need to prove your worthiness to others... you are good!
     
  • Take a relaxing warm bath with your favorite bath salts and candles.
     
  • Try to keep your coffee consumption to one cup per day in the mornings (since it makes you anxious). After that enjoy warm healing herbal teas throughout the day.
     
  • Do the things you enjoy to express your creativity. Right now for you that's singing, photography and writing.
     
  • You have the right to speak up for yourself, especially when someone (including an authority figure) is crossing your boundaries. 
     
  • Take breaks from technology and limit computer use at night so you can get a restful night's sleep. (I like to use the app flux on my computer to reduce stimulating blue light after sunset)
     
  • Feed yourself a nourishing hot dinner every night.
     
  • Lower the lights in the evening and light your favorite candles, or a fireplace when you have one someday.
     
  • Make time to relax with your favorite form of entertainment without feeling guilty, such as tv, movies or a good book.
     
  • At night heat up a hot water bottle and place it under your covers for a cozy warm bed.

    And always remember that you are good and precious. You don't have to be productive, clear away your "imperfections" or win the approval of others... all you have to do is be yourself.