By: Amy Maricle
Building a Self-Care Community
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking this challenge so seriously. Thank you for your comments, your shares and likes, and your posts to the Maricle Counseling Facebook page. Mostly, I want to thank you for supporting each other, and for bringing your heart and soul to this challenge.
I knew this challenge could be incredible, but there is a huge risk involved in an undertaking this big. What if no one participated? What if all my friends and colleagues saw my updates everyday and thought, “Geez, she’s still doing that? There’s that self-care thingy. No one is even doing it.” So I was scared. But anyone who knows me at all knows that I believe taking calculated risks, even small ones, is a key component to feeling happy and fulfilled. So I told myself that if it failed, I would learn a lot, and all I would suffer would be a slightly bruised ego.
I started this challenge because I wanted to help people see that even short amounts of time spent on self-care can make a major impact on their well-being. I knew it would be really fun, and I hoped that folks might learn a thing or two from each other, but I hadn’t anticipated what an amazing COMMUNITY you all would help create.
You took many risks and inspired us with your courage. Drawing for the first time in 20 years, going out without makeup, or admitting that you have let your self-care slip, are just a few of the brave things you did. You are what made this challenge work. You brought your beautifully crafted, sincere words, and your heart to the comments. This had a contagious effect, the momentum built, and we reached more and more people. What an amazing gift you gave your family, friends, and the world this week. Thank you.
Lessons in Self-Care
I want to share some your insights from this week:
– Committing to 5 minutes of self-care a day is more effective than putting it off because “I don’t have time.”
– Art is how I connect with and express what’s really in my heart and soul. It’s a tremendous grounding practice that requires quietly tuning in.
– I can share publicly about myself in a safe community of people dedicated to the same goals. It wasn’t so scary, in fact, I enjoyed it.
– I realized I often let little things stew too long inside of me. I need to learn to let things go more, this is my next self-care goal.
– When I slow down and tune in, I can hear what my body really needs. I am committing to doing more yoga daily, even for a short while.
– Keeping “space” emotionally, physically, and spiritually for self-care practices is what feeds me and allows me to feel a little joy everyday.
– Looking for beauty right now, right in front of me, no matter where I am, is one of the fastest ways to add more joy and creativity to my life.
– Just 5 minutes of writing can expose concerns so that I can take care of my needs more effectively.
-Taking in my surroundings through my five senses and really tuning in is self-care. Mindfulness exercises calm the mind, body, and soul.
-Self-care is stopping to consider what the options are and which would make me feel the best.
– Drawing can offer perspectives that words don’t if I sit with the image and ponder its metaphors.
Self-Care Is an Attitude
Self-care is an attitude. If you make it a “given” in your life, if you decide that everyday must include some self-care, if only 5 minutes, you will cultivate the self-care attitude. It’s not selfish. You will have much more to give others when you feel emotionally nurtured.
I want you to know that you are so important. Precious. Please remember this and treat yourself accordingly. And if you can’t believe it right now, let me believe it for you. Act as though you believe it by doing something good for yourself each day. In time you will come to know, as I do, that you are worth it.
Self-Care Focus Group
Do you wish the challenge wouldn’t end?
Are you interested in giving some feedback about what moved you, helped you, guided you, and inspired you in the challenge?
Do you have ideas about how to make the #selfcarechallenge even better?
Would you like to be a part of an online community of supportive people focused on creative, mindful self-care?
You can be a part of a “focus group” of sorts by individually answering the above questions via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive 10% off any workshop or online offering in the future.
More Self-Care: Art Journaling 101
If you have enjoyed the creative prompts for self-care, you will love my art journaling workshop on Tuesday, September 23. A number of our commenters are already signed up, so it will feel like a #selfcarechallenge reunion!
Tuesday, September 23, 6 – 9PM in Foxboro, MA
You will learn to use text, color, your own handmade stamps, collage, and themes in your journal. The only materials you need to bring are yourself and a blank page journal for art making.
You may choose to bring other beloved materials such as natural objects, ribbon, cloth, special papers, photographs, or a favorite quote. I will provide everything you need for a 3-hour evening of art and fun.
You can enjoy this lovely evening for just $49. All you need to do to register is email me and I will send you a Paypal invoice, or you can pay by check. Space is limited, so please register now to reserve your space.
7-Day Self-Care Challenge Winner
And now, the moment we all have been waiting for… After compiling a list of all the names of folks who commented each day (maximum 1 chance per day), the randomly selected winner is:
As you know, Teresa has the opportunity to choose either the portable art kit, or a spot in Art Journaling 101. Either way, I hope Teresa and you all will be continuing your self-care habits into the foreseeable future.
How will you continue your self-care? What are your lessons learned? Share with us about it in the comments. Please also remember to email me if you wish to respond to the questions in the Focus Group section.
Work with Amy:
Curious about how art therapy might work for you? We can do a free phone consultation to figure out how I can help. To learn more, go to my therapy page, call: 508-964-2029, or email: email@example.com.