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.
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.
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.
This month's theme is gratitude, and I have to say that I feel very thankful for the things that I have learned while researching this topic. I feel grateful for the ability to feel grateful, knowing what an impact being intentional about this can have on a person's life. Not only does practicing gratitude benefit the people around us (who doesn't enjoy hearing a heartfelt "thank you"?), but it is hugely influential to our own happiness as well; gratitude functions like a natural anti depressant.
In one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs, she purrs, “we are stardust, we are golden.” The beauty of this line has always made me smile, even before I learned that she was being literal. We are actually stardust. The elements that make up our world, and our bodies, were forged in the heart of a giant supernova 14 billion years ago. We are as ancient as the universe itself! If you don’t believe me, check out this National Geographic interview with Astrophysicist Karel Schrijver.
As I begin to notice the first signs of cool breezes and chilly mornings, I am thinking about transitions. I love autumn, but it is always hard for me to say goodbye to summer. The shift into fall weather is a bittersweet one, as many transitions are; whether we are dealing with a breakup, the loss of a loved one, or even an overall positive feeling transition such as a shift in weather, a move, or a promotion, change can be a struggle. Caring for ourselves with kindness and compassion becomes even more important when we are going through an adjustment.
If we look through history, we find that symbolism is something that has always been important to the human experience. It is natural for us to distill complex ideas and meanings into images; in some cases this makes our messages easier to communicate to others. It may also solidify our values so that we ourselves have an easier time connecting with the represented idea.