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  • Writer's pictureIt's Dr. Tara

When You Need Some TSC

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Thoughtful Self-Care™ (TSC) recognizes that oftentimes our current self-care practice (or lack of self-care practice) is rooted in our conscious and unconscious thoughts about self-care, which have often been influenced by our upbringing, societal images, our educational and workplace environments, and even songs. All of those things come together to shape our views on the allowance of self-care and our ability to implement it consistently in our lives. Thoughtful Self-Care™ allows us to acknowledge, without shame, the ways that we have been taught to view self-care, and in using its 4P approach, learn how to invite moments and actions of a thoughtful self-care practice into our lives. It's critical to our healing process, and many of us may be doing parts of it without realizing it.

In creating TSC’s 4P approach, I had to recognize and honor that self-care doesn’t come naturally for many of us (raises hand), and so, the creation of a practice needed to allow us to build momentum by taking thoughtful and intentional steps. So, enough suspense, let’s get into it!

Thoughtful Self-Care™’s 4P approach calls us to do the following:

  1. Pause

  2. Pose a Question

  3. (give) Permission to Receive

  4. Praise

Let’s take a moment to break each of these P’s down.

Pause. This is sometimes easier said than done, especially given that we live in what is now being called, “the microwave society”. We are expected to start and stop meetings at the same time due to their virtual space, “power through” and get things done, often at the expense of ourselves. The pause allows us the chance to reconnect with ourselves, if only for a few seconds, and acknowledge that there is something we need in this moment.

Pose a Question. After we have paused, we now have the space to literally ask ourselves the question, “What do I need at this moment; this day; this conversation, etc.?” The answers that come may surprise you. One of the things that I was surprised to learn on my thoughtful self-care journey was that the answers that came to my mind often didn’t include a new pair of shoes, lol, but rather were things I hadn’t even thought to be part of a self-care practice. Your answers might include playing a favorite song, having a glass of water, taking a nap, making a budget, talking to your favorite plants, pet or person. One time, my answer was making sure I had a pen available before I started my virtual meetings--what a simple yet thoughtful gesture that allowed me to avoid unnecessary anxiety while in meetings.

Permission to Receive. One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is permission. Oftentimes, we will identify what we need, and that’s where it ends. We’ll find ourselves continuing on with “business as usual”, never having allowed ourselves to receive. Permission grants us the opportunity to begin to challenge, in a loving and compassionate way, thoughts we may have around self-care that have been consciously and unconsciously standing in the way of our self-care practice. It is important to acknowledge the permission being granted to ourselves. For instance, if I take the example in the last section of acknowledging that I need a pen available before a meeting, my permission statement might be, “I give myself permission to set aside two minutes before my meetings to make sure I have a working pen by my side”. Permission is freeing and it allows us to acknowledge that we have the resources to meet our self-care needs, even if they include granting ourselves permission to receive help from someone else.

Praise. After we have given ourselves permission to receive, it is important that we acknowledge that effort, and how we feel about it. When we are beginning a self-care practice, it may be surprising that engaging in thoughtful acts of self-care feel uncomfortable and/or awkward. It’s okay! Make space for them, knowing that every time we do, we are strengthening our self-care practice and building momentum. Our praise can include things like, “That felt good” or “That was uncomfortable, and I’ll try again tomorrow”. Whatever your praise, allow it to be an honest reflection that shows compassion for yourself.

Now that you know the 4P’s of beginning a Thoughtful Self-Care™ practice, I would love to hear how you put it in motion. Can you try it for the next 15 minutes? I’d love to hear from you in our It’s Dr. Tara community forum.

As always, let’s heal together.

-Dr. Tara

P.S.: If you’re interested in learning more about Thoughtful Self-Care™, I’ve got you covered! Click here to purchase my ‘Putting on Your Self-Care Seatbelt’ workbook, and/or click here the to be notified of when my 'Deep Dive into Healing & Self-Care course launches

Check out my Dr. Tara Tuesdays video about incorporating Peace in Moments of Chaos.

© 2021. It’s Dr. Tara™

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