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holistic self-care

Self-Discovery Activities

Self-Discovery Activities

If you are waking up in the morning and finding it increasingly hard to get your day started, something is not right.

At the very CORE of your being, you are UNHAPPY:

It may be that you and your current life are INCOMPATIBLE!

If this is the case, you need to return to your authentic selfthe person that you are meant to be — and lead the life that you were meant to live.

For those of you who are living with mental illness, your mental illness could be the culmination of the protests of your authentic self gone unheeded for years until you experience your mood disorder.

Your being is trying to send you an important message:

It’s time for a LIFE MAKEOVER, from the inside out and outside in!

And for those of you who just want to lead a more fulfilling life that is true to your spirit, don’t wait till depression strikes before you make a change!

The following Self-Discovery Activities will:

  • Take you on an inward journey back to your Past;
  • Help you to understand your Present; and
  • Pave the way for your Future.

In your foray into the past, you will reconnect with your authentic self and rediscover the things that once brought you tremendous joy, which you might have forgotten.

To warm you up, try out some of these fun and creative activities over the next few weeks.

Activity 1

  1. For this fun free-association exercise, don’t overthink it. Just complete the rest of these sentences as they apply to you.
  • My favorite childhood toy was...
  • My favorite childhood game was...
  • The best movie I ever saw as a kid was...
  • I don’t do it much, but I enjoy...
  • If I could lighten up a little, I’d let myself…
  • If it were not too late, I’d...
  • If I were not so afraid, I’d love to...
  • If I had not gone to..., I’d have gone to... because...
  • My parents think I should...
  • If I had had a perfect childhood, I’d have grown up to be...
  • ... is the most difficult thing for me to do because...
  • The most memorable moment of my life was...
  • My favorite cheer-me-up music is...
  • My favorite way to dress is...
  • What frightens me most about life is...
  • If I were..., I would believe in myself.


Activity 2

Here is another fun exercise to do without overthinking. Write down the first things that leap into your mind.

  • List five hobbies that sound fun to you.
  • List five classes that sound fun to you.
  • List five fun things that you have never done, but would like to try.
  • List five skills that would be fun to have.
  • List five qualities that you think a fun person would have.


Activity 3

  1. List 20 creative things you enjoy doing at any point throughout your life (eg. traveling, learning a foreign language, etc.). Try to recall when you last did them.
  2. From this list, pick 2 that you would like to do again. Recall your previous experience of these activities and explain why you would like to do them.
  3. Put together a list of things that you can do to move towards doing these creative activities again.

Activity 4

  1. Let’s take a leap of imagination: If you had five other lives to lead, what careers would you pursue? Jot down 5 careers that leap into your mind.
  2. Look over the five lives. Pick 1 that you can learn more about.
  3. Write down the steps that you would have to take in order to pursue such a life.
  4. To help you with this exercise, you can do some research on the Internet, flip through magazines, or go to the library to learn more about it.

We hope that you have been trying out the four aforementioned activities. They are meant to help you to rediscover yourself and reconnect with your dreams and aspirations. Now that you have a new perspective of yourself and your life, you could be ready to take a look at the big picture of your life.

Before we can start revamping your life, let’s start a look at the different areas of your current life:

Life Makeover

Now think about your ‘new’ self. You can choose to work on this exercise and complete it at a go in one sitting.

OR you can percolate on it over several days or even weeks. As you go about your daily life, some ideas may drift into your mind. Jot them down in your mobile devices, a journal, or even a big blank paper you have pasted on the wall.

It may also help to think of your ‘new’ self as someone else, a character you would create for a book or a movie, but someone whom you would admire and aspire to be. Here are some guiding questions:

Work

  • What does he/she do for a living?
  • Where does he/she live? Which country, what kind of home?

Relationships

  • What kind of relationships does he/she have?
  • Describe the love of his/her life — this person’s personality attributes and why this is a supportive relationship.

 

Life Makeover

Now think about your ‘new’ self. You can choose to work on this exercise and complete it at a go in one sitting.

OR you can percolate on it over several days or even weeks. As you go about your daily life, some ideas may drift into your mind. Jot them down in your mobile devices, a journal, or even a big blank paper you have pasted on the wall.

It may also help to think of your ‘new’ self as someone else, a character you would create for a book or a movie, but someone whom you would admire and aspire to be. Here are some guiding questions:

Work

  • What does he/she do for a living?
  • Where does he/she live? Which country, what kind of home?

Relationships

  • What kind of relationships does he/she have?
  • Describe the love of his/her life — this person’s personality attributes and why this is a supportive relationship.

Interests/Passions

  • What are his/her interests and passions?
  • What does he/she do at the end of each weekday?
  • What does he/she do on the weekends?
  • What kind of holidays does he/she like? Where would he/she go? What would he/she do?
  • What kind of movies does he/she like? Name a few favourite movies.
  • What kind of books does he/she like? Name a few favourite books.

Aspirations

  • Are you doing what you love in your life right now? What would you rather be doing?
  • What are your dreams and goals?

Spirituality

  • What are your personal values (what do you consider important in life)?
  • What is the purpose of your life?
  • How could you best contribute your gifts to the betterment of society?
  • If you were lying on your deathbed, what would you wished you had accomplished?

If you have most of the answers to these questions, insert them in a table like the following and print it out.

Now that you have mapped out your vision of your future life, it’s time to get into action. Check out Life Coping Skills.

  • Adapted from: The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan, Penguin Group, 1992 (ISBN 978-1-58542-146-4)
  • Choo Kah Ying, Author of Five Little White Pills… And Then There Were None (Armour Publishing, 2009, ISBN 13:978-981-4222-80-8 OR ISBN 10:981-4222-80-1)