Last week I penned this piece about questions we can explore to take compassionate care of ourselves—to identify our needs and to meet them—questions that help us to build beautiful lives. Below, I’m sharing more questions for you to contemplate.
These questions aren’t about what to eat, how early you need to wake up or how to fit more into your day so you can be super productive or super human. Because I believe that our well-being is much deeper than that.
I believe the ingredients to being well and leading a meaningful life are about connecting to ourselves with compassion; about exploring our emotions and our difficulties; about identifying what’s important to us; about telling our stories; about thoughtfully reviewing how we spend our days. I hope the below questions help you start a sincere conversation with yourself.
- What is magical to me? How can I make this magic a regular part of my life?
- What is a worry that I keep coming back to?
- What or who am I jealous of? What does it tell me about what I really want (or don’t want)?
- How can I reconnect to my natural surroundings (an important way to ground myself)?
- How can I relinquish this unrealistic expectation?
- What helps me to feel whole? What does “whole” even mean to me?
- What is so hard for me right now?
- What is a tiny change I can make to make my life easier or more meaningful or more fulfilling or more joyful or more peaceful?
- What are the fun things I’d like to do this fall? This winter?
- What can I start or return to even though I worry that I’m too old?
- What have I been avoiding that will actually add to my health (i.e., going to the doctor; having an honest conversation with a friend)?
- What am I curious about right now?
- What tasks, activities, choices are part of my day? Do I really, actually need them?
- What and who do I love?
- What do I need support with (whether from a loved one, therapist, spiritual leader or someone else)?
- What losses do I need to grieve (e.g., moving, starting a new job, ending a relationship, stopping a habit)?
- What is important to me that I might be overlooking or neglecting or forgetting?
- What story is “banging on my rib cage” that I need to tell (maybe to no one, just on paper, to myself)?
Jot down your responses in a journal. Because taking compassionate care of ourselves means carving out time to listen to our hearts. It means asking the questions and listening to the answers, with openness, and without judgment. This is vital, and yes, you deserve the time, and tender care.