Be Your Own DIRECTOR: Self Care Strategies

Being an artist, a creative, a storyteller asks us to be vulnerable, open and honest in ways that most aren’t able. The result that I’ve found in my lived experience, is an emptiness, almost exhaustion. Holding space in moments of high emotion is just as hard labor as any other job, and I am grateful to have tools and practices that fill me back up in those empty moments.

Imagine if you will a cup, with a saucer. When we fill that cup with water, it can overflow into the saucer. The cup, in this analogy is you. The water is your energy, skills, etc. All the great things inside of you. What happens when we give water from that cup and not the saucer? That water in the cup, even in the practical sense is for YOU to drink, to use for yourself. The water that typically falls over and out of the cup into the saucer is for everyone else. Your partner, your family, your job, your art, everything….else. When we give out of that cup, we are sabotaging our opportunity to fill ourselves first and then, give and support everyone else. I know…it’s a hard concept to grasp. Helping yourself before others? It sounds strangely familiar…

This is a constant practice for myself, and I was provided an amazing tool to remember the things to keep in mind when I need to fill that cup back up. It’s a simple acronym: D.I.R.E.C.T.O.R. (I learned this after reading It’s Just That Simple by Dr. Doral R. Pulley)

Diet/Digestion – What is going into your body? What does the diet your body needs look like?

Intimacy – Are you taking time for genuine intimate connections? Intimacy isn’t limited to our romantic relationships! Make those connections with friends and family.

Rest – This is a no brainer. 7-8 hours of sleep. Find what works for you! Micro naps, meditation, whatever you need for that recharge.

Exercise – Our bodies are the only one’s we get in this life time so keep it oiled and moving. 10-15 minutes a day of exercise of your choice (dancing is a great one!) is a wonderful start. No one’s expecting you to dive into being a gm bro, but at least give yourself a little stretch at the beginning and end of your day. Circulate that blood!

Check-ups – Dentist, Doctor, Vision, etc. You know what you need to keep in check. Health is wealth!

Treat yourself – I personally try to do this once a week in small ways (a candy I love, a movie, a fancy drink) and once a month in a bigger way (a new piece of clothing, a cool book, tickets to see a show/event).

Outward appearance  – Well groomed! Remember that moment after you get your hair cut, or styled? The moment after a facial or a mani/pedi? You can have as many of those moments as your time (and budget) can handle.

Recreation – Get out and do some fun things,  connect, be as social as you are comfortable.

These are what work for me, but maybe you’ll find something else that works for you. It’ll work if you work it, but you’ve got to work it!

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