Our last post highlighted questions to ask yourself to help become aware of, and attuned to your individual support, or solace, needs.
As mentioned, understanding what we need BEFORE we need it, can be extremely helpful to us because sometimes when we’re in the thick of change, and feeling challenged, overwhelmed or distraught, we lose sight of things that otherwise might seem really obvious.
Including ways in which to sooth ourselves, or people who can provide us with the kind of support we need for that particular mood.
Aligning support with a personal Guide to Solace.
Today we’re going to continue on the topic of support by pulling the information we’ve gathered from the exercises in the previous post into our own personal Guide to Solace.
The purpose of this guide is to provide you with a go-to place to quickly identify your mood and associated people, places or things that will offer you the best form of support within that context.
The Guide is personal, based on your individual preferences. It is intended to be adaptive, and should be regularly updated and tweaked to fit with your changing needs and interests.
What we create today will be the preliminary framework for that Guide. It’s up to you to fill in the detail, and adjust as necessary, but we should cover enough to be helpful in setting up the key components.
If you’re interested in more detailed instructions and examples, please sign up to receive the free PDF of this series, which will include these things.
Creating the framework for your Guide to Solace.
Using the data you’ve recorded from the Attunement stage of the last post, create a spreadsheet or document, which will become your go-to place when you’re seeking some form of solace.
At a minimum, include the following:
Communicating our desire for support.
Those people we rely on to provide us with support, may often times behave based on what they think we want or need, instead of what we truly want or need.
Sometimes this is okay, but other times, by trying to be helpful, the person can actually contribute to our feeling worse.
To prevent this misalignment from happening, it is important to communicate our interests to the other person, especially if we want to be able to rely on them for support but they haven’t always succeeded in providing us with the kind of support we wanted.
It might feel awkward to formalize what otherwise might seem like a typical conversation, but doing this helps the other person to understand:
Depending on your current relationship, if it feels uncomfortable to provide someone with an outline of the kind of support you might request from them, talk with them ahead of time.
Ensure they are willing to be a part of your support network, and let them know that you will provide them with some information to help them better understand the kind of support you might request from them.
This isn’t to say you can’t just call up a friend or family member to talk, but when you have a specific need, this information can be very helpful to ensuring the other person is on the same page as to the kind of support you're looking for.
Of course, letting the person know that you are calling because you would like their help can ensure the person knows the difference between a friendly general call, and one where you’re seeking their support.
Most people want to help us in the best way possible. Even if it feels strange, providing them with an outline of your needs will allow them the opportunity to do just that.
Authenticating your Guide to Solace.
Create a habit.
According to Gretchen Rubin happiness guru and author of Better Than Before (a book about habits), change is one of the best times to create new habits. So once you have prepared your preliminary Guide to Solace, why not create a habit by practicing to use it?
When you feel a strong emotion or sensation and are at a loss as to how to shift out of it, visit your Guide and give it a try.
If some of the activities fall short, pull them from the list. If you discover other things that are helpful, add them. If you talk with someone and discover something specific that does or does not help you, add it to your communication document(s).
Remember, this Guide is a living document intended to change and evolve with you. Regular reviews and updates will allow it to thrive.
One way to prompt yourself to review and update your Guide on a regular basis is to pre-schedule reminders on your calendar.
Here are some ideas to consider for doing that:
A little comfort can go a long way.
Creating your own, personal Guide to Solace can be a pretty big undertaking, but one well worth the effort.
By taking the time to learn about our typical moods and what works best to comfort us, we have a higher likelihood of shifting those moods quickly and effectively so we can get on with our lives, rather than run the risk of getting stuck as we adapt to the change.
By understanding our own needs, we are better able to communicate them to others. While the focus is on support during our transition to change, understanding the kind of support that is most helpful to us, as well as what isn’t helpful, can improve our relationships at any time.
Being conscious of our desire and need for comfort is something that isn’t talked about very often when preparing for change, but it is immensely important in order for us to create a smooth transition.
A little comfort can go a long way, and when undertaking a big change, we can use all the comfort we can find.
Coming up next:
Stay tuned for our next post which offers a way to take action when we're waiting for action.
Remember, I’m creating a PDF version of this completed series, which will also include some bonus material that won’t appear elsewhere. Click below to reserve your copy today.
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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