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Self care workbooks are very new to me, and I want to share how I reached this stage in my self care journey with you. I began this blog with the intention of sharing my struggles with anxiety, and what I have learned about self care along the way. The idea was to inspire others to begin to practicing self care, to begin really taking care of themselves, one little tidbit at a time. And I hope that I have made an impact on someone, somewhere, to do just that. Or provided some insight into an aspect of mental health or personal growth otherwise not considered by a reader. I have talked a lot about self care here since I first began this blog, and recently I came across a form of self care I have never thought of or heard of before, and I slowly started to think more about more about.
And that form of self care was self care workbooks, as you might have already guessed. I think I first thinking about this when I bought and read Believe in Yourself and Do What You Love by Kate James. That little book really inspired me and got me thinking. And then, I happened to be watching Youtube and the Youtuber was using a self care workbook. And I thought, hmmmm, that’s interesting. And then I ran across them in a bookstore window. I couldn’t go into the store because we were still in lockdown (thank God things opened up a little now) and I couldn’t find the books online because they were clearance. But it did seem like the universe was sending me a message. So I bought a self care workbook (online), and I was really excited about it.
But, I have yet to start using it for no real reason other than I’ve been busy, I’ve been tired, and maybe I kind of put it off? But today, stores were finally allowed to open up a bit and I went to the bookstore and had to hunt for the self care workbooks I had seen in the window because of course, they’d been moved. I did eventually find them however, and after a couple of weeks of feeling really low, I have started using one of the books.
What Took Me So Long?
Honestly, I’ve been feeling really down in the dumps. We are finally right in the middle of getting our floors done, and the place is a disaster. I hate it. Also, I’m 33 weeks pregnant (7 more to go) and I’m exhausted and can barely move some of the time. At least, not like I used to and not without discomfort or even pain. So I’ve spent time moping on the couch instead.
But Giulia, you might ask, isn’t this exactly the time you ought practice self care? Well, yes. But I’ve been in such a funk that I all I could do some days was cry. Pregnancy hormones are way more powerful than rational thought processes. They take over in a crazy way, and quite unexpectedly. But, I was able to finally start my self care workbook after a talk with my hubby, and I think both that talk and the workbook have helped me a lot. I still feel on edge and overwhelmed but I think I might actually make it through tomorrow without crying.
How the Self Care Workbook is Helping
The workbook I’m currently using is great because it offers self love and self care tips and also allows for a lot of space for creative exercises like doodling and colouring and space to record your thoughts. The doodling really calmed me down. It allowed me to focus instead of wallowing in my worries and fears—which so close to the birth of my baby are many.
There are a ton of activities such as listing your stress triggers, breathing exercises, expressing gratitude which are all excellent in supporting self care and mental health. Taking the time to sit down with one of the books, focus and reflect has proved really invaluable to me right now as I’ve been too on edge and upset to find solace in less structured self care acts like taking a bath or reading a book. The workbooks are sort of like journalling, and in this way are cathartic. This is the reason why I’ve decided to start using them regularly. I honestly believe they reduce stress in the same way as journalling.
Making the Workbooks Part of a Routine
Sometimes self care needs to be routine–like having a routine before bed, or first thing in the morning. Sometimes self care needs to be taking a little extra time for yourself–to take that bubble bath or lounge in bed day. Right now, the workbooks are me taking a little extra time for myself and really being focused because that’s what I need as my anxiety is a little higher due to my current circumstances. But the workbooks could be part of a routine, where you could write or doodle in them every day. Some of the exercises don’t take more than a quarter of an hour, and really provide stress relief and a feeling of calm. I intend make these workbooks a regular part of my self care routine. In fact, I even bought a self care book designed specifically for after the baby comes. I will be sharing more of this with you later on once my little boy comes and my life as a mom really begins.
Want to Get Some Workbooks?
If you are interested in getting some self care workbooks, I can recommend The Well Being Journal. Full of creative activities and lots of space to draw and write, this is definitely helping me practice mindfulness. Breathe, Self Care Journal is a great resource as well as a self care workbook. It is both a self help book and a workbook with exercises and space to reflect. Calm provides visual aids for mindfulness that accompanies invaluable information and exercise you can do anywhere, such as stepping out of a uncomfortable moment to practice visualizing how to let go of control. The visualizations are well described and really help to bring about a sense of peace and calm.
Our mental health and peace of mind is so important. We are so busy with work, friends, family and the pressure can become intense. We have also been taught by society that we must always perform at the top of our game, do it all, and love doing it. When this proves to be too hard or just plainly untrue because we don’t love doing it all, we become stressed, anxious and often have no idea how to deal with invading thoughts and emotions. Our mental health begins to suffer because we continue to work hard at all of it even when we are tired or need help. I know, I’ve done this, and doing this for too long is what led to complete burnout and something of a break down. That is when I truly started practicing self care and seeking out help to manage with the stressors in my life. And once I did that, I started being me again. I wish I had had self care workbooks at the time–they would have made a huge difference, but I am glad to have them now.
Have you used self care workbooks? Share in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe to the newsletter for access to freebies and more!