Simplify: Self-Care

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As a joy expert, self-care is my jam. 

Let's get one thing clear, though... consumerism is NOT self-care. 

Yet, society at large is constantly marketing things with the not-so-subtle message that "if you care about yourself, you'll buy X".

"Retail therapy" is, at best, a distraction from the real therapeutic work of fully acknowledging your experiences, feeling through them, and learning healthy, meaningful ways to navigate the world. At worst, "retail therapy" is a classist lie, leading people to believe they have to spend lots of money to take care of themselves.

Self-care has become synonymous with "treat yourself".
Self-care has been commodified and sold as a luxury. 

I'm here to call bullshit.

The most meaningful, transformative types of self-care are not for sale. 

The most meaningful, transformative types of self-care are practices that help you connect to ease of body/mind/spirit, establish a sense of belonging in the natural world, affirm your place within a community, and connect to a sense of hope for the future. 

Below, I will list my personal top 20 favorite free, meaningful, self-care practices. 

Please remember that self-care is a practice--it's not a quick fix. Nor is it all or nothing. Do what you can, when you can, as compassionately as you can. 

Self-care is a commitment to your well-being and an affirmation of your inherent worthiness of joy, love, and belonging. 

Please let me know what your favorite suggestions are, and any other types of self-care that work well for you. 

In Joy, 
Maya Hampton


Emotional Self-Care

  1. Create a list of 1-5 MOST trusted people (this is your contact list for when you're getting down on yourself, or need connection. Put the list on a business card in your wallet. Let these people know they're on your list. USE THE LIST.)

  2.  Practice self-forgiveness (Where are you holding resentment, shame or frustration against yourself? Spend time writing yourself a letter of acknowledgment and forgiveness; conclude by stating you've done the best you can, and you're learning how to do better.)

  3.  Take a break from social media

  4.  Write down feelings without judgment or restraint 

  5.  Practice interpersonal boundary-setting


Somatic Self-Care

  1. Be sure to drink water & stay hydrated

  2. Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4, exhale for 4; repeat as feels good

  3. Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping pressure points)

  4. Stretching body

  5. Cheek/jaw self-massage 


Cognitive Self-Care

  1. Meditation (whichever form you like) 

  2. Take a break from technology

  3. Gratitude journaling

  4. Read something edifying 

  5. Get organized


Spiritual Self-Care

  1. Sing or chant

  2. Pray

  3. Visualization

  4. Spend time in nature

  5. Nurture a plant or animal

Are you feeling overwhelmed?

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Simplify!

That's our theme for January 2019. 

In the past, I've gone along with the hype and used January as a starting point for big projects and goals.

This year, I'm trying something new. I'm ready to simplify. 

I'm using this month to get clear on what's important and what's clutter in all aspects of my life. It's time to think about where our schedule, habits, and stuff are causing us overwhelm. 

It's time to stop glorifying consumerism, busyness, and exhaustion.

It's time to simplify. 

That means reevaluating and letting go.

Take a closer look at the self-imposed expectations you've been struggling to meet or exceed. How much joy do they bring to your life? 

How high up on your priority list are peace of mind and relaxation? Is self-care a non-negotiable? Or is it something you occasionally "fit in" to your schedule? 

If self-care is way down at the bottom of your to-do list, I encourage you to simplify your list. Par it down to essentials, and give yourself permission to make self-care an essential. 

Look at your to-do list, and be honest. How many of those things are "should do" and how many are "need to do"? 

What's dictating those "shoulds" on your list? Is it shame? 

Shame of not being responsible enough? Shame of having a messy house? Shame of not being a good enough partner/parent/friend/boss/employee? 

Shame doesn't make a good secretary--it has no business running your personal or professional life. 

Perfectionism is not a virtue.

As you enter into 2019, I encourage you to simplify by practicing letting go of shame-motivated actions. Get clear on what your needs are, and what strengthens your experience of joy. 

When you let go of shame-motivated actions, you liberate yourself from the grip of believing that your self-worth is tied to productivity and output.

You are inherently worthy of joy, love, and belonging. 

Welcome to 2019! Let's keep it simple.