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Visual Self Care Map To Support Filling My Tank

This is a great visual reminder to encourage filling my tank with self care throughout the day.

I know I need to fill my tank with self care when my jaw feels tight, my stomach glitches, and my breathing gets fast and shallow. Or I become the 'Should Mama', 'Tilly the Taskmaster' or 'Cathy Complainer.' Seeing a visual reminder helps!


I know my kids' need self care to re-center when they start to fight with one another or become less cooperative. I now know to ask them when they seem off track, "What do you notice in your body right now? How would you like to fill your tank?"

You can do this exercise on your own or with your children. Gather what you have around the house for art supplies. OK if just ball point pens and computer paper. The key is fun not artistic perfection. If you have art paper or colored paper all the better as that can spark creative juices, just as colored pens and pencils or scissors to cut out shapes.


There is no right way for this visual self care map to turn out. The beauty is in the process, not the result; we each do this for ourselves. The exercise is adapted from a Brene Brown course I took called, The Gifts of Imperfection, named after her book.


A nice way to start is to sit quietly and breath deeply from your diaphragm for a few minutes. Close your eyes if that feels good and just give yourself a few moments to just be. No agenda, no way to get it wrong. Put on your favorite music. Or if doing this with kids, take turns choosing songs.


Without thinking, just start doodling, coloring or drawing shapes of things you enjoy. No art critic, no A-F here, stick figures are welcome and if it looks more like a Spanish Dali work, fantastic. The process is to express and play. Create images or words of things that bring a smile to your face, that bring you joy.


I do this often and put them up for a while where they can remind me to pause and wake up enough to choose something for me. Helps me re-center. I give thinking-mind a break, turn away from comparing-mind, release complaining-mind, stop urgent/serious-mind for a while. I flow into that curious, open-hearted part I was born with: worthy, whole, safe, and enough. Ahhh.


​© 2015 by The Heart Gym