Guerrilla Self-Care

I was meeting with a client and we were celebrating a recent instance of her self-care in the face of stress. She has been practicing expanding her repertoire in this area of her life. I won’t note specifically what she did, but it involved being very intentional about taking a few moments from a harried day to focus on herself and her needs. As she reported on the ease it brought into her experience of the day, we somehow hit on the phrase “guerrilla self-care”.

Maybe you can relate to a time you had so much to do, you didn’t want to take the slightest moment for yourself, and yet your tension mounted, perhaps causing stiff muscles, an irritable mood, a sense of urgency… That’s exactly the moment a “stress buster” is called for.

We’ve all known the relief and release that comes from taking a short break to nourish our spirit, to replenish our reserves. Rarely is what we’re working on so important we need to begrudge ourselves a little break to relax. Yet we push through, thinking we’ll get done sooner and be free to enjoy ourselves—but really, don’t we not only get done at about the same time since we return to our task more productive, and we have a better frame of mind and more bodily comfort for having taken a mini-vacation?

Some activities that make good guerrilla self-care moves include:

  • Taking a brief walk
  • Looking at something beautiful
  • Closing your eyes and giving your ears a massage
  • Listening to a favorite song
  • Calling/texting a friend
  • Stretching and taking a few deep, cleansing breaths
  • Imagining a restful visualization
  • Asking someone you care for, for a hug
  • Nibbling a bit of dark chocolate

I think the best ones involve the senses; the more the better. And it can be anything that’s meaningful to you. Just a few minutes break and you’ll notice that your whole outlook can brighten. Guerrilla Self-Care is really just a fun way to saying Mindfulness, and that’s something we could all use a little more of.

What’s one of your Guerrilla Self-Care success stories?