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To Do

Freebie: To-Do List with Compassionate Reminders

The To-Do List is an essential part of the organized person’s life. What is often left out of to-do lists though, is a reminder section for self-care, compassion and how to ask for help. Since the majority of the people I work with have a number of competing responsibilities, roles, and priorities, I created this freebie To-Do List printable to get you focused on task completion, along with some reminders about making sure you select a self-care activity, tell yourself a compassion phrase, focus on effectiveness (whatever works!), and ask for help when needed.

Self-Care is crucial. It’s especially important for people with high stress jobs, careers and lives. Self-Care is the #1 topic in my sessions with First Generation Professionals, especially those in helping professions. Burnout and compassion fatigue are occupational hazards for helping professions, therefore self-care is a priority.

Self-Compassion aka Compassion Statements are just as important especially when people tend to beat themselves up for missing deadlines, performance evaluations, etc. Compassion means calling out the struggle for what it is and wrapping with it TLC (tenderness, love, care) for oneself. For compassion statements to be powerful, they must be personalized.
Below is my favorite book with empathic and compassion statements if you need help coming up with some (Disclosure: I’m a part of the Amazon Affiliate Program which means that I earn a small commission if you buy directly from this link. Proceeds from the commissions go toward buying more books to read and recommend). Otherwise, you can check out for more information.

Focusing on effectiveness, means “just do what works.” Sometimes we get caught up with control, perfectionism, fears about quality, (and oh so many more) that it causes us to avoid tasks and they don’t get done. Then we’re mad or disappointed in ourselves, and perhaps other consequences as well. Effectiveness means just get it done. I remember hearing in my college English and creative writing classes that a paper is never done, it’s just due. The same thing applies with a lot of tasks we need to prioritize. Not everything will require the same amount of detail. Do what works/satisfactory work (or even just that need that check mark next to it, like, ‘Paid Bill;’ ‘Scheduled conference call;’ ‘submitted request;’). These tasks might not require dissertations or much thought.

Asking for help is another big topic that I’ve come across. Not only personally, but professionally and with my clients. Additionally, this is a common theme among First Generation College Students and Professionals. Major strengths among First Gens is their resourcefulness and grit to get through high school and college, and many times with a feeling of doing it completely on their own (especially because they are the first in their families to do what they’re doing/studying etc). As professionals, I’m seeing that it can be super hard to ask for help, for fear that it might imply that we’re incompetent, not worthy, lazy, etc. But asking for help is a major strength. It’s what let’s villages raise children. It’s what teamwork is built on. It’s what can transform suffering into manageable pain, and isolation substituted with connection.

Try these tips! Download the freebie To-Do List with Compassionate Reminders and let me know what you think.


Free Download: Tips for Managing Loneliness

Loneliness comes up quite often for many people. Below is a list of the top 5 recommendations I discuss with my clients who want to address this complicated and difficult to manage feeling.

  1. Observe the feeling. To work on loneliness, you first have to know that’s the emotion you’re experiencing. When use the observe skill, we’re simply paying attention to the emotion that’s been triggered and not reacting. Just notice loneliness. Notice the urge you feel to be with others. Notice the pain that comes with it. Notice any thoughts, interpretations or perceptions that arise as a result.
  2. Honor the loneliness. Our emotions are here to tell us something. Loneliness is often here to tell us that we are missing or grieving connection. Connection is an inherent value for humans. It’s a pivotal trait that helped us humans evolve and stay safe. It makes absolute sense that this is one of the ailments after grief and loss of any sort. Pay attention to the loneliness and as if you were a child experiencing this pain, soothe yourself and honor that loneliness is a call for connection.
  3. Seek healthy connection. Since it’s human need to be connected to others, it’s perfectly ok to seek connection and companionship. My biggest recommendation is that you seek and develop healthy relationships. Focus on friendships and relationships that are healthy and good for you. This can include people with whom you have common interests, those who make your soul feel good, and where power and control are not an issue.
  4. Tolerate the loneliness. For those who want don’t want to depend on building connections with others just yet, I highly recommend to work on tolerating the loneliness when it comes up. Here you’ll be using skills 1-2 from above and deliberately watching it go up and down. You can use a 1-10 rating scale to check in with how strong the loneliness is. I really like this skill because it forces me to be aware of what’s going on with me physically (aching heart, rapid heartbeat, pain) and with my thoughts (I miss ____, I have no one).
  5. Nurture the connection with yourself. As you’re tolerating loneliness, you can this time to focus on solitary activities that bring you joy. You can use this skill to help you distract from the loneliness if it gets too high, and you can also use it as a way of building mastery of a certain skill you’d like to learn or develop. This is where a lot of people check out new hobbies and activities. Focus on new activities since the novelty of it can activate ‘feel-good’ brain centers and chemicals.

Check out this infographic with reminders. Feel free to download a free pdf here  , pin, link, or share with others!


*Disclosure: This is not meant to replace any professional relationship with a therapist or recommendations from your own therapist or medical professional.