Self-care is the cornerstone of a healthy life.  Of course, we take care of our body with rest, smart foods and plenty of exercise. But what about when it’s our soul that needs soothing? When we’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed, sad or gloomy?

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Here’s a collection of healing tools to keep at the ready when you need to care for number one. Gather these lists in a beautiful journal, on a bulletin board, or in your favorite app or excel spreadsheet – and reference them in your time of need.

Listening Lists

The Greek philosopher Epictetus said we have two ears and one mouth to emphasize the wisdom of listening over talking.  Keep a collection of inspiring Ted Talks for those days when you need to hear the wisdom of someone else. Make a playlist of your absolute favorite pick-me-up tunes and crank the volume for an immediate mood changer. And keep an inventory of motivational audiobooks – they’re the best antidote to road rage and the perfect boredom-buster while completing chores.

Cheer Lists

The ANTs go marching one by one…hoorah! Hoorah! Psychologists call “Automatic Negative Thoughts” ANTs, and sometimes they come marching along to suck our joy.  Exterminate these ANTs with laughter and cheer.  Keep an on-going log of your many accomplishments – indulge in it when you need to be your own cheerleader. A gratitude journal has been widely touted as a key to happiness – keep one and be amazed at how your outlook changes when you focus on abundance over scarcity. And everyone knows laughter is the best medicine, so bookmark an assortment of hilarious YouTube videos to get you through the darkest times.  Here’s the one that leaves me in stitches every time.

Reflection Lists

If you were a John Denver fan like me (fully aware I just dated myself), then you might remember Poems, Prayers and Promises, a song he wrote about reflecting on life. Keep a record of all your favorite poems and prayers for times when your essence needs some nurturing. Favorite quotes from your heroes and mentors are perfect for those reflective times, too.

Assembling lists and inventories might seem the antithesis to soul-calming behavior, but consider it meaningful preparation for those times when your spirit needs some attention.

What are some ways you care for your soul?

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