2. Self-care Guru Ground

If you are wondering about the title of this post, hopefully you won’t be surprised when I say your very own self-care guru is you. You know yourself better than anyone and you know what you will and won’t do to take care of yourself.

Writing things down, using pen and paper allows us to be intentional with our thinking and feeling, our goals and dreams. Sometimes our thoughts want to run faster than our pen, that’s okay. Taking the time to write down our thoughts, our dreams, and also ways we take care of ourselves, not only gives us a moment to really go deeper into what we want, need, think and imagine, but also solidifies our goals and the ways we take care of ourselves, so we are more likely to take action.

* I am going to ask you to do three exercises again today to work on being your own Self-Care Guru and to work on building an even stronger YOU!

Exercise 1- Be your own Self-Care Guru

List three ways you take care of yourself. This can be things you enjoy, things that make you feel good, things that make you feel good about yourself, positive things that make you feel relaxed. It might be running, it might be drinking hot tea, meditating, calling a friend, drawing, writing in your journal, etc.

These things not only partly define you and what you like, but also show ways you take care of yourself every day and also will hopefully be a reminder of how to care for yourself when you need too. We all should have our own list.

Exercise 2- What is your name?

Write about your name. Do you like it? Why or why not? Do you wish you had a different name? Who gave your your name? Why do you have that name? What is its history? What does it mean? Is your name different from what people call you? Do you use your middle name or your first name? What about your last name? What meaning does that have for you?

Our names say a lot about us and so does how we feel about our name. Consider sharing what you wrote with someone who may not know about your name, why you have it, and how you feel about it.

Exercise 3-Grounding- Finding good ground for yourself

Grounding is a way we stay connected to the world we are in. And it is super important! We might need to ground ourselves if we get sad, angry, anxious, or overwhelmed. We may need to ground ourselves if we suddenly remember something unpleasant or if we are having trouble staying present.

Grounding may take various forms. It may be using our 5 senses to notice what is going on around us. This may be through looking around and orienting. It may be marching in place. It may be touching a textured wall or a rock or fabric with texture. It may be holding an ice cube. It may be watching our hands. It may be standing up if we are sitting. It may be wiggling our toes, trying to feel each one.

First: Write down three things you do to ground yourself when you need grounding. Then write down things from the five senses:

  1. Write 5 things you see where you are
  2. Write 3 things you hear.
  3. Write 1-2 things you smell.
  4. Write 1-2 things you taste or could taste right now.
  5. Write 3 things you could touch right now with texture. Touch those things.

Second: Write a scene of a person who has your name doing things to ground themselves, things that you would do. Use your five senses to describe what she sees, hears, touches, smells, and tastes. Use the list of things you do to ground yourself and the list of the five senses.

Here is an example I wrote for myself (in the third person):

Liza looked around. She noticed the blue vase on the counter, the green folder on the table, the pink pack of gum beside her, and the red stuffed bear from Valentines Day last year. She picked up the gum pack, pulled out a piece, took the pink piece of gum from its wrapper. It smelled like fake strawberries. She put it in her mouth. It immediately made her mouth water. It tasted like fake strawberries. She picked up the red stuffed bear and stood up. The bear had soft fur but a thicker body than she would have imagined. She wiggled her toes and stretched her arms above her head, still holding the bear. She heard the sound of an airplane overhead and the space heater beside her was whirring. She felt the heat on her legs. She began to march in place, raising one leg, then another. She set the red bear down and reached out toward the wall. It was cold and textured beneath her fingers. She marched five more times in place and sat down.

In my example, the Liza character (me) is grounding, orienting, and setting herself to be intentionally aware of her surroundings and where she is in them. Knowing grounding techniques can help us be more present, help us steady ourselves if we need steadying, and help us feel more in tune with our worlds. What do you do for grounding? Write about how you ground.

*Try to build writing into a regular practice. It gets easier and helps us feel more grounded and stronger. Aim to write even a sentence or two a day. But even 3x/week would be great!

Thank yourself for writing about you.

Thank you for reading this blog. And thank you for writing.

Tune in next Monday.



Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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