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Practicing Self Care with G.R.A.P.E.S.

This week is not my week. I can't seem to do anything right. And the things that I do manage to accomplish are taking a lot more time an energy than usual.


The proud part of me wants to push through and just force things work, but the wise part of me knows that won't help right now (because forcing myself to try then crying when I fail is not particularly productive). The wise part of me knows that this is a time for G.R.A.P.E.S.

I first learned about the G.R.A.P.E.S. acronym from my social-worker aunt when I was going through a particularly rough patch in my mid-20s. Each letter stands for a different aspect of self care:

G is for GENTLENESS - when things are rough, it's important that we be patient and kind to ourselves.

R is for RELAXATION - sometimes we need to rest and recharge. Things always feel worse when we're tense and stressed.

A is for ACCOMPLISHMENT - while we may have to adjust our goals and expectations, recognizing our accomplishments can help our negative narrative become more positive.

P is for PLEASURE - we may feel like we don't deserve nice things when we're failing at life, but treating ourselves and having fun can help us feel better.

E is for EXERCISE - exercise is great for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is endorphins!

S is for SOCIAL - when we're feeling down, we don't always believe our positive self-talk, but we might feel better after interacting with people who are encouraging and supportive.

I'm not gonna pretend that this blog post is a masterpiece (I seriously feel like it's missing a joke about wine, for a start), but right now it's all about managing my expectations. The way today is going I can feel accomplished about just getting it written and posted. And I can continue to take things one at a time while making room in my schedule for relaxation, exercise, spending time with friends and family, and other activities I enjoy until my life decides to start cooperating again.

Of course, I'd rather be kicking ass and taking names, but since that doesn't seem to be an option at the moment, I'll choose self care over continuing to bash my head against the proverbial brick wall.

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