When our internal world is fraught with confusion, overwhelm and fear, it is not unusual for our external world to follow suit.
I have had many clients share with me that they have left their laundry for days on end, let dishes pile up, emails unopened, messages not responded to, bills unpaid and all sorts of other mundane tasks undone.
Sure, this might seem harmless in the greater scheme of things - especially in the face of illness.
However, I would like to challenge this thinking.
You see, our internal and external words coexist in a symbiotic relationship.
When we stop caring for our external world, it creates a sense of chaos. This sends messages to our internal world that we are not safe; the world is a scary and unpredictable place; and we are not capable of caring for ourselves.
In an effort to support my clients in creating the safety and security they so crave, and we all deserve, I will offer them a version of the following practice as a starting point:
Title: Your home is your heart living on the outside.
A practice is an action or activity done repeatedly with the intention of building your capability and competency, leaving you more able to deal with your challenges in your own way.
The purpose of this specific practice is to:
Increase your capacity to create and ensure consistency and calm in your life
Improve your capacity to prioritise self-care
Develop your capacity to create structure and establish boundaries
Choose a day of the week and block 2 hours (or more) in your calendar.
Title this "Self Care Date".
You will use this time to do your laundry, deep clean, tidy your home, read and reply your emails, etc.
You will also use this time to pamper yourself - play you favourite music; dance; use a face mask; eat your favourite meal.
Whatever you choose to do during this time - do it mindfully.
Pay attention to each of your five senses so that you are fully immersed in this practice of self-care.
Self-care is an integral part of your personal development, please remind yourself of this as you use this time to care for yourself (inside and out).
After your self-care date, spend some time reflecting on the following questions in your journal.
How did it feel to prioritise caring for my external world?
What did I find most challenging?
What surprised me most?
What am I learning about myself as a result of this practice?
Continue this practice for 4 weeks.
Ask a friend/partner who cares about you to support you on this journey. S/he will hold you accountable by calling to hear all about your self-care date.