Welcome to Self Care Solitaire! The content on this website is created and curated by a licensed psychotherapist. Self Care Solitaire is dedicated to connecting you with coping skills and assisting you in developing a dynamic and rewarding self care routine. Self Care themed playing card decks coming soon!
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Because change on all levels tends to be slow, fighting the good fight against oppression can be as exhausting as it is important. In order to continue to feel energized enough to persist, we need to care for our activist selves and encourage friends to do the same. Here are some specific ideas to tailor your self care practice to meet your needs so you can keep moving and fighting.
In preparation for Self Care Solitaire's upcoming deck, which revolves mainly around symbolism, I have been doing a lot of research on archetypal images. In his theory of the human psyche, psychologist Carl Jung establishes the clinical view of archetypes as universal themes that make up different motifs residing within each person's subconscious. He describes the Self as an archetype that is the result of unification of consciousness and unconsciousness. The Self, according to Jung, develops after the integration and acceptance of all other aspects of our personality, and allows us to feel connected not only with ourselves, but with all existence.
Originally published by Gary Chapman in 1995, The 5 Love Languages began as a tool for helping romantic partners discover the unique ways in which they each communicate and receive messages of love. The theory behind the book, was that each person expresses and receives love through one or more of the following five methods: words of affirmation, acts of service, gift giving, quality time, and physical touch. The purpose of this exercise is to increase awareness of both self and partner in a way that allows each to more effectively and intentionally give and receive love. Since then, there have been several more editions published for utilizing the 5 love languages in a variety of other ways, including using love languages with children and in the workplace. In this blog post, I'll explore what it might look like to utilize the love languages to communicate self love.
You may have already heard of the Danish concept of hygge, (proncounced "Hoo-gah") about which more than 20 books were published just this year. This word, which doesn't have a direct English translation, but essentially refers to a feeling of coziness and content, has become extremely popular recently. 2016 was a rough year for many of us, so it's not hard to see why the pain and struggle of the past 12 months would prompt an increase in desire to focus on caring for ourselves, helping ourselves (and our loved ones) feel comforted.
Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah! For some, the holiday season truly does feel like a joyful time. But for others, the expectation of merriment and connection that comes along with this time of year can highlight mental health issues in a way that exacerbates feelings of unhappiness. If you are one of these people, know that you are not alone. Try to be gentle with yourself, release yourself from unrealistic expectations of perfection, and take things slow. You will get through this.
To continue this month's discussion of New Year's resolutions, I wanted to address the issue of motivation. Sometimes, when we've been working hard on something, we become so tired that we feel like giving up. It can be hard to remain resolute, ("purposeful, determined, and unwavering") but if we prepare emotionally for the difficulty of working to achieve our goals, and plan appropriate self care ahead of time, this will increase our chances of being successful.
It's good so set lofty self care goals for ourselves, and have expectations that feel important. When it comes to New Year's resolutions, deciding to work on things like increasing self love, feeling happier, or living a calmer life are healthy aims. However, they are also so general that they may cause us to feel overwhelmed or unsure of where to begin. When clients come in with these types of goals, I find it important to help them break them down into smaller, measurable objectives.
It's December already! As the end of the year approaches, some of us may be contemplating resolutions; evaluating the goals we had for ourselves this past year, coming up with new goals for the year ahead. As we think about our New Year's resolutions, I want us to remind ourselves of the definition of "resolute," the root of resolution, which is, "to be admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering."
These are strong words! If we are going to pay "purposeful, determined, and unwavering" attention to something, it seems to me that the thing we are striving for should be incredibly meaningful.
Recently, many of my clients have been bringing up the topic of guilt in sessions. Occasionally, the feelings of guilt they describe are appropriate; when we have done something to hurt ourselves or someone else, it is normal and healthy to feel guilt or regret. This guilt is what keeps us from repeating the same harmful behavior. However, most of the time I notice that the feelings of guilt my clients' experience are related to things beyond their control. For example, many of my clients feel guilty about their various experiences of privilege. When we feel guilty about something that we cannot control, we tend to get stuck.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this week seemed like a good time to discuss methods to help increase feelings of thankfulness. In my last blog post, I talked about the personal benefits of gratitude, but how exactly can we choose to feel thankful? Especially when recent events make it difficult to see the positive, how can we foster an attitude of gratitude? The answer is intention.