LIFE + ME’S WELLBEING PSYCHOLOGIST, SUZY READING, GETS US REFLECTING ON ‘WHAT WENT WELL?’ AS A SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE SELF-CARE TOOL…
We’re all aware of the power of goal setting, but did you know that reflecting on your accomplishments can be just as potent for motivation and even more importantly, your health and wellbeing? In fact, sitting down to acknowledge what I’ve achieved is one of my favourite self-care activities – there is so much zest to mined there!
Just about everyone has a ‘to do’ list, the practice I would love you to consider is a ‘what went well’ list or just ‘what got done’. Too often we fritter away the energy available to us in acknowledging our achievements when we leap straight onto the next thing that needs doing.
Pause, notice how far you’ve come, see the mini milestones for the true triumphs they are and feel how this lifts your spirits and bolsters your feeling of self-worth and personal power.
HOW TO PAUSE TO REFLECT
For many of us, the end of the school year provides us with a natural pause. Before your mind launches into preparing for the next chapter, take the opportunity to sit, either on your own, or with your kids and look at how far you’ve come and the ways you’ve grown. Whether the school calendar affects you or not, this is a fruitful exercise to engage in. You don’t need to wait for a time of significance. We can pause to reflect at any time and reap the benefits. While this process might not feel comfortable at first, it is worth the effort.
Think along the lines of:
If this feels tricky, break it down into a single day. Scan back through your day and notice what you got done, any challenges you overcame and the strengths that you put to good use. Things don’t need to have gone well in your day to feel a sense of accomplishment!
RECOGNISE YOUR STRENGTHS
Consider what you might reflect back to a friend if they recounted the same information to you. If the notion of strengths doesn’t sit comfortably, know that there is nothing narcissistic about this concept. We all have strengths, every human has something of value to contribute. It’s not about being more special or important that anyone else, it’s about deepening your awareness of the ways in which you shine as an individual and looking for opportunities to put those strengths to good use.
Reflecting on your achievements will empower you with insight into your unique skills and abilities, boosting your sense of agency and wellbeing.
I wish you happy reflecting! Write it down too. Looking back on it will fill up your cup all over again. This is how we make self-care simple and do-able.
Suzy Reading is a Chartered Psychologist, Yoga Teacher, Health Coach and mum of 3. She specialises in self-care, helping people manage their stress, emotions and energetic bank balance. She is a contributing editor for Psychologies Magazine and author of ‘The Self-Care Revolution’. Suzy is Life + Me’s Wellbeing Psychologist. If you have a question for Suzy for our Q+As, or if you have a suggested topic you would like her to cover, email email@example.com.
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