This month we are talking about Rebecca Scritchfield’s book Body Kindness.
I just wanted to spend some time sharing with you how personally helpful this book has been for me. Just because I am a therapist doesn’t mean that I am immune to falling into the trap of not practicing good self care. Rebecca’s journaling exercises have helped me get curious about what is going on in my life when I find myself exhausted and on a downward emotional spiral.
This is why I truly loved Rebecca Scritchfield’s concept of Upward Spirals. I wanted to show you how I have been using this concept in my life lately.
Forgive my handwriting. This is my version of my weekly Spiral Up plan. It is helpful for me to be intentional about the steps I plan to take to spend the week in an upward spiral. Rebecca Scritchfield suggests drawing lines that get increasingly larger at the top of the page and then starting at the bottom by adding one body kindness decision that would leave you in an upward Body Kindness spiral. The concept is that positive reinforcement will build upon itself, and that is such truth! So often we believe that negative reinforcers like shame and guilt will motivate us to change behaviors, which if you think about it makes zero sense at all!
Here is my Body Kindness Spiral Up plan for the week. Do not feel like you have to do what I do. This is all about what works for YOU. These are just some things that I have noticed leave me feeling better about the busyness that is life:
- Meal plan and Cook for the Week Saturday and Sunday- Elicit help from my family. When I have lots of yummy food options available I feel prepared for the week. Plus I love to cook and it is a love that I want to pass along to my littles. This week I made some delicious “BLT” omelets that I can reheat in the morning for breakfast. Which leads to another spiral up because breakfast is my love language and somedays I find myself having too little time to make something satisfying. I also made some pumpkin chocolate chip bread, which was so fun to pass this recipe and know how down to my 8 year old! That’s like a Spiral Up, inception! Which is basically the premise…one will lead to another.
- Start my day with Mindfulness and Contemplative Prayer- I love Insight Timer and notice when I start my day this way (arriving at my office 15-20 minutes before my first client) I am more centered throughout the day.
- Walk in the evenings with the hubs- when you have enough time and energy. I notice when I end the day this way- even if it is just a few days a week, I feel more connected to my spouse and I sleep better. I think this is because we talk more about our day and it is a great time for me to work through thoughts and concerns, which keeps me from laying awake thinking about that junk.
- Eat at more consistent times throughout the day- When I do this I feel more balanced and less likely to get hangry. I am very fortunate that I work in a field where eating during appointments is acceptable and even therapeutic.
- Continue bi-weekly personal therapy. When I go to my own personal therapist it makes me feel relief and gives me a space to process my own thoughts and feelings.
- Reading and Journaling before bed vs. watching television. Don’t get me wrong- I love TV and snuggling in bed with the hubs watching a good show is a great spiral up! However, I have noticed if we are watching a show that is a little too intense (his favorite type) I struggle to fall asleep. Instead, if I read a few poems and spend fifteen minutes journaling I almost always fall asleep faster.
- Spiritual Direction! I meet with a spiritual director on a monthly basis. It is truly life changing. My faith is something that is super important to me and the spiritual direction process has helped me truly deepen my relationship with God.This is the ultimate Spiral Up. What my Spiritual director and I talk about at the beginning of the month keeps me in a faith upward spiral all month!
- Sabbath on Fridays- These are a few other spiritual practices that help me spiral up. My husband and I are both off on Fridays, and ALL the kids are in school (I know, right?!) we use this as a Sabbath time and have made a rule that, with some occasional exceptions, we will do no work on Fridays. We usually have breakfast in bed (I told you it’s my love language) then do things that restore our bodies, minds, and souls. This is my favorite Spiral Up! I usually read for fun, do some yoga, play chess on the back patio, or just snuggle all day with my husband watching our favorite Netflix show.
- Say no to more and be a better delegator- I recently hired an administrative assistant and she is AWESOME! This is helping me Spiral Up by freeing me to do only what I love- seeing clients, blogging, and checking in on social media with my body kindness tribe!
This is my Spiral Up plan for the week! What do you have planned this week to keep you spiraling up?! I am hoping to spend the year really focusing on Body Kindness and what that actually looks like in practice.