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Not all of our self care actually helps us long term

Welcome back to walk of the week. Each week we look at an element of The Pocket Mentor toolkit to help us thrive in the challenges of life to be resilient, confident and happy.

This week we’re looking at how not all of our self care actually helps us long term.

I understand why you might think self care always benefits us because…the clues in the name! But are the activities we label as self care actually helping us create a calmer, happier life long term?

Naturally our brain is good at coming up with excuses to stick to the ‘easy life’ or retreat to unhelpful habits, so labelling something as self care is a great excuse for it!

For example, labelling 4 glasses of wine after a tough day as self care is like fixing your car brake lights by turning the warning light off. It doesn’t actually take care of the problem, it makes it disappear temporarily, leading to a greater problem down the line.

We all like to do different things to look after ourselves and that’s fine, but ensure they’re coming from the right place with helpful benefits. Here’s a tool from The Pocket Mentor daily mental wellbeing workout that can help here.

Instead of retreating to unhelpful habits after a tough day we can use the ‘Today I’ tool to help us reflect objectively on the tough day and refresh for tomorrow to help us calm and feel happier about the next step.

Today I… is a short journaling exercise where you answer 3 questions about your day. First a chance to just write, get everything out of your head and in words in front of you. This in itself is a really cathartic process that helps destress in the moment.

Reflecting on what’s written you’re then prompted to look for any progress made, and what you can learn from this challenge to refine for tomorrow.

This stops our reactive mind from focusing solely on the negative (which naturally it loves to do) and allows us to objectively overview the situation, and perhaps even see a positive.

If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ll agree this provides a calmer and happier evening… rather than retreating to unhelpful habits and ruminating over the negative.

We can either choose to stay stuck in unhelpful habits, or start choosing impactful self care that forms helpful habits to make meaningful change long term.

Start thriving by trying out the Today I tool here


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