Self Care Template

Somatic Personal Practice

Self Care Template

Here’s the activity for Self Care, Pleasure, or Joy that I’m planning to do:__________

Here’s the amount of time, physical energy, and emotional energy it will require:__________

Here’s the benefit I expect from doing this activity:__________

My level of optimism or expectation about this is__________(high/low)

Both before and after doing the activity, my intention is to pause and check in with myself, noticing what I’m feeling and how I’m feeling.

After doing the before check in, the activity, and the after check in, here’s my report on the experience:__________

Mine today: I’m planning to take a bath. I’m planning to intentionally slow down through the whole process including even walking down the stairs to the tub. I’m planning to try to notice the experience of my skin throughout, noticing the sensations, feeling the water and the air, stroking my own skin, really having an experience of my skin. And particularly noticing what feels good. Finding words for how it feels good.

This will take 15-20 minutes and not much energy.

The benefit I might get would be calming, grounding, coming more into my body, taking up more space in my body.

My optimism is medium. I might have a really satisfying and profound experience or it might fall flat and feel more cognitive than somatic or more confusing than pleasing.

I’m checking in now beforehand with what and how I’m feeling. Nothing hurts. I feel pretty neutral – I’m not really feeling dread but I’m not really feeling aliveness or eagerness either. When I feel deeper under the surface looking for emotions, the first thing I notice is this impulse to collapse, hide, be perfectly still, be invisible, and to not have to interact with anyone or do anything. Because I’ve noticed this, I would like to make some space for this part in the tub. Space to be and to palpably experience doing nothing. So that might change my strategy around attention to my skin. I think I can do both but not necessarily simultaneously.

Checking in after.

I’m feeling a bit tired. My breath is sort of panting. I feel more connected, or more something. Not neutral like before. There’s a warmth through my body, especially my back and my upper chest.

There’s a softening. I can feel gravity. And I just took a spontaneous deep breath. There’s something like peace, gratitude, and heaviness all mixed in together.

So, how did it go? I repeatedly forgot to slow down, starting with going down the stairs, then I would remember, then I would forget.

I found that it was difficult or impossible to keep my focus on one thing, and I didn’t force myself to do that. In some moments, I intentionally paused with something, like noticing the touch of my fingers on the top of my head under the water. After a while, my thoughts went where they went and my body went where it went. For a few minutes my neck was slowly moving, stretching, being with or working on something. At one point I realized the air felt too warm. I pushed the tub door open with more and more force, but I couldn’t get it to open far enough to stay open until I sat up and leaned over to push the door wide open. Then there was cool air and hot water.

Even though my attention didn’t go where I was planning for it to go, I believe the intentionality helped me to be more aware of my body and what it feels and wants.

My breath is easy, my shoulders are down, and my emotional energy is relatively calm, not pushing or racing. This was a useful and pleasant practice.

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