Deep Stretch: Spring Clean Your Self-Care

April is coming to an end and if you're familiar with the podcast, you know we're back with our monthly Deep Stretch episode. Spring season has arrived and many of us are de-cluttering our spaces, our lives, our minds. If that sounds like you, this might also be a good time to de-clutter your self-care. In this episode, Taylor asks and answers 4 questions that can help you to clean up your self-care. You'll definitely need your journal for this one.

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Episode Transcript

Hey, welcome back to Inner Warmup where your inner work begins. My name is Taylor Elyse Morrison, creator of Inner Workout and you as always, are our expert guest except today, it's the end of the month so we do things a little bit differently. It's a Deep Stretch episode. So grab a cup of tea, get cozy, this should just feel like a conversation where I'm telling you pretty openly and honestly, what self-care, what inner work has looked like for me over the course of the past month. And as you probably already saw, today's episode is titled, Spring Clean Your Self-Care. This wasn't intentional, I actually was sitting down and reflecting about what happened over the past month that I can share on the episode. And as I looked at some of the tweaks that I made, I realized, oh, this kind of falls under spring cleaning. And if you're new to Inner Workout, you might not know but the way that we talk about self care is really fluid. It's really seasonal and cyclical. 

So I'm not about ‘set it and forget it’ when it comes to self care. I really believe that your self-care needs to be allowed to evolve, because everything in the world is evolving. And so if your self-care stays stagnant, it's going to stop serving you. And, as we'll hear today, that can happen sometimes without us even noticing it, which is why I'm offering up four questions that you can ask yourself to do some spring cleaning around your self-care. I'll share the questions right here at the top of the episode and then we'll go into each one with a little bit more detail. I'll share some examples, hopefully get your juices flowing about how this might show up in your life. 

So the four questions are: What's working? What's not working? How have I changed? What's changed around me? 

So let's start with that first question of what's working. If you are kind of a recovering overachiever/perfectionist like me, your brain wants to go straight to what's not working so it’s intentional that we start by celebrating what's working. Celebrating, honoring the fact that you have things, maybe you don't, and that's okay, too. But you hopefully have some things in your life that are serving you well and are continuing to serve you well. You want to honor those, and you want to know that you can lean into them. If they are serving you, well for me, a big one was movement. I feel like I'm at a place where I'm really starting to move my body at a frequency that feels useful. It's not like I'm exhausted from all the movement practices that I'm doing. It's really helping me stabilize my mood and my anxiety and just gives me a lot of joy in my day. This has felt especially important because at the beginning of the year, I had COVID. It was a pretty mild case, but I still had some difficulty breathing for a while. And so I had to ease back into my movement practice. And now I'm at a place where I'm trying different things, I'm doing more Pilates, which is something that for whatever reason, I used to be kind of afraid of. I was like my core is not strong, I cannot do Pilates. And now it's something that is challenging me in a good way. And so I'm testing different things, I’m having fun, I'm having dance parties in my living room. It's really, really working for me. 

Now, we can get to the place of what is not working. And I don't think I can overstate this, we’re not asking this question for you to grade yourself. Hopefully you don't have a rubric and you're not like, okay, I failed at this thing. This is not working, so I'm a failure. That's not what we're doing here at all. What we're trying to get to by asking that question, what's not working,  and then excavating, getting underneath it to hopefully understand more of the why is just to give you more information. So that as you're building practices, as you're seeking out products and partners for this new season, you're doing it from a place of being informed. So it's not about judgment, it’s about getting more information. And for me, what I realized really was not working for me were two key things. My mornings…honestly, my mornings were not working for me anymore. And my screen time, and not even time really but the way I was relating to my screens that was not working for me. I'm going to share more about how I worked with those later so I won't get too into it, but yeah. I just realized as I was starting my day, I was feeling really frazzled. My mind was all over the place and that feeling was just compounding throughout the day. And so I knew that if I could get more intentional with my mornings, that could completely change not just the first couple of hours of my day, but really my full day. 

The next question is, how have I changed? And this doesn't need to be like you changed personalities, or anything major like that, though, it might be you might have realized, oh, I thought that I was this way. But actually, that's because everyone in my family or everyone in my old job acted that way. But now that I'm in a different environment, I realized that's actually not who I am at my core, that could be the case for you. For me, one big thing that changed was that I had a major deadline that was off my plate. So my book manuscript was due on February 1 and I had been really spending so much time and intentional energy, just pouring that into the book. And once it was done, it was like, whew, I can breathe. I can explore other creative outlets, I can open up to the world in ways that I didn't allow myself to previously, because I wanted to make sure that I had as much to give to the book is possible. So that was something that changed.

I also noticed some increases in my anxiety. And I think I've mentioned it a lot of times on the podcast, I have generalized anxiety disorder, I'm an anxious person, it ebbs and it flows. So it's something that I have come to know, come to get used to but just noticing, okay, it's ratcheting up. There might need to be some care and some interventions that happen so that I can feel more supported through the experience of anxiety. And then the last thing was another piece of how I spend my time, and especially my work days. I've been doing a lot more one on one coaching, I've been doing a lot more facilitation. And so the energy that takes from me is different than when I'm doing more work like building courses, or writing out content that doesn't involve a one on one or a one too many interaction. So noticing the structure of my work days change, the content of my work days change, and the energy shift that happened as a result of it. Which ultimately means I need to build in some different types of care if I want to make sure that I can continue to sustain myself as I'm doing this work that I love, but does take a little bit more out of me. 

And then the last piece, what's changed around me? So it's not, I wish, I don't even know if I wish that but it's easy to feel like okay, well, I can just focus on me and that's all that matters. As long as I'm good, everything should be good. But there's also a war happening in Ukraine. There's also so many news stories, even just in the past couple of days of when I'm recording this, that I've had to come back to myself, and re-regulate after seeing something that knocked me a little bit off kilter. Outside of the big global or national events, there's things like I'm in Chicago, the weather's changing, I can be outside a little bit more. And my friends and loved ones, they're navigating some of their own transitions that can sometimes require something of me emotionally, something different than maybe I had to give even a couple of months ago. 

So those four questions: what's working, what's not working, how they changed and what's changed around me. Think of them as kind of a scavenger hunt. You're gathering information, you're drawing lines or making connections that maybe you just didn't notice before. And you've got, hopefully as you work through this kind of…bundle of information that you can work with. And you can decide, okay, what is my next step with this information? 

For me, one of my next steps was to do more of the things that I know are good for me. So I mentioned my anxiety was creeping higher and higher. My mornings felt like kind of a mess and were probably contributing to my higher anxiety levels. So I doubled down by clarifying what a good morning means to me. And I broke down, like five things that I need to do in a morning. I might do them for two minutes each, I might do them for 20 minutes each, but it's moving my body, practicing presence, reflecting, adorning - like putting in some earrings if I am showering that morning, and then nourishing - making sure that I'm actually putting some good food in my body. If I can get those things done at the beginning of my day, as my priority, it makes the rest of my day that much better. And I wish I could say I've got this perfect thing going now. It's still hard because honestly, I would sometimes just rather sit on my phone in the morning. I sometimes have the problem of getting so excited about what I get to do for work that I want to jump straight into work. And then I've got to pull myself back and say, okay, now, you know, these things are good for you. You know, these things serve you well, both in the short term, in the long term. Let’s come back to these Taylor, let's come back to these things. And then the phone, the work, the whatever else will be there afterwards. And it's continued to be a conversation that I have with myself. I have to keep reminding myself come back, come back to these good things Taylor. 

So as you look through your list, what I really encourage you to do is just to choose one or two things, one or two things to shift. So you're making a change, you're swapping out a practice, you're refining something or lean into something. Like I said, the things that are working are valuable data too. So if you see something that's working that you were kind of just doing accidentally, like, for example, if I've been outside more because it's nicer, but I'm realizing how good it makes me feel and I want to now make sure that I'm going for a walk everyday…intentionally you can lean into those things. You can double down on the things that are working for you, you can do them with that much more intention. 

And if you've got anything on your list related to your relationship with screens and social media, you are going to love something that we have coming up called the Scroll With Intention Challenge. It's a mini course that happens over a week and there are short videos, about 10 minutes each day, as well as a practice to help you get super clear about how you want to be spending your screen time. So this isn't something that will be guilting you and saying oh, you're on your screen too much. No, the goal is to put you back in the driver's seat so that you can say, okay, these are resources, these are tools that I have available to me, how do I want to use them? 

So if that interests you, check out the show notes. You can get on the waitlist so that you can be among the first to sign up. But first access is actually going to the members of the group chat and they get a discount too. So we'll add that link as well. The group chat, if you don't know, is our membership community. You get access to our online community, you also get discounts for products and launches like this, two monthly events and a secret newsletter with the Inner Workout team’s recommendations. So if you're just interested in the challenge, we'll include a link to that waitlist. Or if you'd like to get in on the challenge and have a discount by being a group chat member, we’ll add that link too.

Thanks for listening. I hope that you get some incredible spring cleaning going on and that you're able to feel really cared for throughout the rest of your spring. If you want to share or if you want to be part of a larger group conversation, come join us in the group chat. We would love to have you! Thank you for your time and as always thanks for your expertise. Take care!