Emergency self care: make a list of things that make you feel good

I had a post all prepared to write for you today. Then my day got derailed by a lack of sleep (again, I know!) and I decided to write about what’s happening to me now. Sometimes when I’m sleep deprived I’m okay, others I go into this horrible fog of inability to think/process/do anything. This morning I sat at my desk staring at a technical article I didn’t understand for hours. I felt awful, but in the spirit of changing my life I decided to implement some emergency self care to help myself feel good.

Take your own advice

First I had to really listen to myself. I acknowledged how I felt and asked myself what advice I’d give someone in this situation. Number 1 thought: “go outside”. It took me half an hour to get myself out and into the rain, but I made it. My walk wasn’t as enjoyable as yesterday’s due to the rain and extreme tired, but I did it. Also I got to use my fun new, incredibly bright, umbrella – silver linings.

An emergency self care list

On my walk I was listening to episode 69 of the Happier podcast which featured an interview with Moby. Side note: sadly Moby’s sleep music did not help me nod off last night, but I’m not holding that against him. Moby spoke about how he loved working and how it makes him feel happy. Even, he mentioned, cleaning the kitchen. Basically working on anything productive makes him feel good.

I was struggling with my current to-do list but knew I wanted to still do things with my day. I too feel happy when doing something productive. So what, I wondered, could I do to get me feeling good again and lift me out of my sleep deprived fog? I decided to make a list of the things that make me feel good. The idea is that I can keep this list somewhere and pull it out whenever I’m feeling low.

Emergency self care - list of things that make me feel good

My list of things to do that make me feel good.

How a list of things that make you feel good can help

When you’re feeling low, for whatever reason, it can be hard to pull yourself out of it. Thinking of, and then doing, something you know makes you feel good is really hard when your mind isn’t in that place. That’s why keeping a list of things that make you feel good close to hand is great. All you need to do when you feel low is remember to read the list.

My feel good list

I decided to put mostly practical and productive things on my list. Stuff that will still make me feel like I’m achieving, but that are less demanding than on my to-do list. I have included one thing, scented candles, that is just a nice thing. What I love about this one is it’s really quick and easy, requires minimal effort from me and yet can totally change my environment/mood. It’s not just me who feels the candle love, Gracy of Self Care with Gracy mentions it in her latest post too!

I’ve also put one thing not to do on my list, which is not to go on Facebook. This just isn’t a place I want to be when I’m feeling down.

Your list of things that make you feel good

Now it’s your turn. Take 5 minutes, sit down with a pen and paper and write a list of a few things that make you feel good. They might be practical and productive things to do, like me, or they might be more nurturing like having a bubble bath.

As always I’d love to hear your thoughts about this little self care tip. Let me know what’s on your list of things that make you feel good! 

About ecarr

Ellen is a writer and theatre maker who has just taken the freelance plunge after too many years of 9-5 office life. She is a yoga teacher in training and passionate about pursuing your dreams.

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