Monica Marie Jones
While I have tons of systems and structures in place to keep myself organized and on track, I still return to the simple practice of using my daily planner to make sure I feel rooted and grounded in the day that is before me. One thing I love about the planner that I use is that it has a box called “Self-Maintenance.” The creator of the planner included it to make sure that we don’t wait until we are exhausted or burned out to engage in self-care, but that we embed it as a part of our daily routine.
Even though the space provided is small, I write in several little things that I can do each day that will delight my soul. These include things like herbal tea, the current book I’m reading or listening to, a tv show or movie I look forward to watching, or low maintenance skin or hair care treatments I plan to indulge in.
This section is so important to me because amid all of the personal and professional responsibilities and tasks that must be done in a day, it makes sure that I remember me. It prompts me to make space for myself in a day that could easily squeeze me right out.
Here are some strategies for you to consider as you create your plan for going into self-maintenance mode.
Presence Practice. It’s easy to jump out of bed and dive right into the long list of tasks that must get done today. This leaves little to no time to get present with yourself and focus on what is most important. Each morning I set aside 5 to 10 minutes with a hot cup of Mud/Wtr and my Passion Planner Daily to ground myself in the day. Although all of my plans also exist in my Google Calendar and my regular Passion Planner which focuses more broadly on the months and the weeks, I find that I feel more present with myself and my life when I just focus on one day at a time. This helps to reduce and even eliminate the stress, anxiety, and overwhelm that arrive when we look at all of the things that must be done over time.
What simple practice will support you in being more present?
Tea Time. There’s something about the warmth, flavor, and fragrance of tea that soothes my soul. I use this as a presence practice by savoring all of my senses as I enjoy each cup. I listen to the relaxing sound of running water as I pour it into the cup, I see the steam rising, I smell the herbs and spices, I feel the warmth of the mug against my skin, and I taste the flavor when I take a sip. Tea happens to be my preference, but you can insert so many other things to create this sensory experience. I’ve engaged in similar experiences with wine, chocolate, walking in nature, and stimulating conversations. The point is to be fully immersed in every facet of the experience.
What ritual or tradition will you create around something that delights you?
Joy Jar. Last week I facilitated a group coaching session called Cultivating Joy. I facilitated an activity where participants created a joy jar. They simply drew a picture of a jar and filled it with simple activities, people, and things that brought them joy. I encouraged them to return to this jar when they were having a moment or a day where they needed a boost of joy to select one of these items to engage with. This weekend I intentionally engaged in several of my own joy jar activities to recharge me for the week ahead.
What’s in your joy jar?
This week I challenge you to identify at least one thing each day that will delight your soul, then go do that thing to activate your self-maintenance mode.
I am practicing presence with myself, my loved ones, and the way I engage with my day.
I am creating and engaging in rituals and traditions that delight me daily.
I am intentionally inviting moments of joy into my life.