Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Basketful of Gifts

Years ago one of my neighbors was telling me about a book she was reading, "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Ross W. Greene.  She was getting some really good information to help her raise her own spirited child and wanted to share some of it with me.  She told me about a method the author suggested for dealing with behavior problems which is to divide various behaviors into three different "baskets."  Basket A includes the behaviors that you can never be lenient on such as hurting someone, being destructive to property, etc.  Basket B includes behaviors that are important, but could be negotiated.  Basket C includes behaviors that really aren't a big deal to let go of if need be.  Her son has a form of Autism and she told me that when he is having a good day they focus on his behaviors in all three baskets.  When he is having a really bad day they let go of the behaviors from Baskets B and C.

I hadn't thought about this conversation in years, but it came to my mind this morning.  As I was thinking about it I thought that I could create "baskets" of my own, but instead of categorizing behaviors I could categorize tasks.  With my Breathe Strategies, you would think that I already know what I need to do for myself to relieve my stress and move through my emotions, but for some reason following them every day is a real challenge for me.  When unanticipated things happen in my day or when I'm having a low day, all those strategies go right out of my head.  I was talking to my husband yesterday about finding a way to remember to at least do the bare minimum of these strategies so that each day I am doing something to help myself let go of emotions and stress.

This morning when I came up with the basket idea I was contemplating what I would "put" in each basket.  I was thinking that Basket C could be the tasks that in my ideal day I could accomplish.  Basket B would include things that are important for me to do, but I could move around to different days if I needed to.  And, finally, Basket A would be the things that no matter what goes on in my day I need to do them because they help me relieve my stress and deal with my anxiety and depression.

Here is what I have come up with so far as possible tasks for each of my "baskets":

Basket A - prayer, scripture reading, journal writing, connecting with spouse and children, meditation, 15 minutes of exercise (such as walking on the treadmill or doing Wii Just Dance), and one thing that I want to do that makes me happy

Basket B -  connecting with friends (either by telephone or email), household chores, church work, writing blogs, a minimum of another 15 minutes of exercise, the basic needs for running my Close to my Heart business, creating stamping or scrapbooking items and other fun activities

Basket C - appointments, home projects, extra activities for my business, service projects, additional exercise and fun activities, etc.

The important thing is that every day I do at least one thing in the emotional, physical and spiritual categories to support my well-being.  When I'm having a bad day or when my day gets really crazy, I know that if I only do the tasks in my A basket, the tasks that fall into my most basic Breathe Strategies, that I will be better off.  I realize that other days I'll be able to add in tasks from the B and C baskets.  

My husband was teasing me that now I've gone from "boxes" to "baskets."  I told him that the good thing about baskets is that generally they don't have lids.  I guess by visualizing my emotions in baskets instead of boxes, I can't hold them in, they will be free to move in and out.  And each of the Basket A tasks that I accomplish will be like giving a gift to myself, and at the end of each day I know I will have done what I need to do for myself because my basket will be full. 

1 comment:

  1. Love this! I've been thinking all day about what should be in my baskets.


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