Self Care Solitaire blog featuring self care suggestions, clinical examples, product recommendations and playlists to help readers identify healthy routines and habits they can incorporate into their own lives
Announcement: The Token Deck is now available for pre sale!
Talismans and amulets abound in this mystical, tarot sized deck. For those seeking meaning, the Token Deck and guidebook provide an encyclopedia of protective and inspirational symbols, giving the user access to ancient cross-cultural folk wisdom. My hope is that, through using this deck, you will absorb and internalize a sense of power and ease in yourself, knowing that you exist both in this world and as a part of this world. This deck and its accompanying guidebook feature original art in a minimalist style and therapeutic insights steeped in mysticism.
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.
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.
Happy Halloween! Because the 5th Monday of this month falls on a holiday that celebrates identity exploration, I thought it would be interesting to do an interview centered around this theme. My wonderful sister, Claire, was brave enough to do a sort of self care challenge that required her to take on the identities of others to explore different ways of caring for herself. I asked her to choose 3 characters who have styles, attitudes, or self care routines that are very different from her own. Check out her incredibly honest and thoughtful interview below.
This month's playlist is my attempt to capture the essence of Halloween. For me, this time of year is multifaceted: it's about fear and monsters, but it's also about acknowledging and accepting our shadows, exploring and integrating aspects from other identities. It's about embracing ourselves as magical beings, which we are - down to our stardust skeletons. Give these songs a listen and let me know what you think in the comments. Any other suggestions for Halloween related tunes?
When I think of my childhood, I think of magic. I have always been fascinated with the idea that people can be powerful, that human beings can develop abilities that allow them to do the impossible. When I was a kid, this meant I devoured Harry Potter, played with glittery wands, and adored Halloween. As an adult, I think this same interest in human power and transformation is what led me to a career in therapy, and a specialization in self care.
Knowing who we are is so important to self care. How can we take care of ourselves if we don’t know what energizes us, what calms us, what excites us? But sometimes it’s hard to know who we are if “who we are” is in a state of flux. We are always changing. And maybe giving ourselves this permission to change, to experiment with our identities, can be self care in and of itself
Most of us have bad habits; we bite our nails, spend too much time scrolling through Facebook, we snack on junk food even when we're not hungry, or we may regularly drink too much or use drugs in excess. In moderation, these things are not necessarily unhealthy, but they become "bad" habits when we overuse them.
It's important to remember that having "bad" habits does not make us bad. It makes us human.