15/10/20 BLOG 19: MIND MAPS – MY MIND MAP OF ME
This week, I want to take a look at a tool that some people use for planning, brainstorming and organising thoughts: mind maps. A woman working on Together Alone as part of Your Voice with CLiCK made the lovely suggestion of adding mind maps to the Together Alone Toolkit, so I wanted to explore mind maps as a tool for self-care on our blog.
Self-care isn’t just about doing something for yourself in the here and now – it’s also about putting in some planning and preparation for when you might be finding things a bit more difficult. This could look like finding exercises to help with anxiety, creating a comfort box of things that remind you of happy memories for when you’re feeling low, or curating a special pick-me-up playlist. Self-care activities such as this can then have a dual benefit - both the act of creating them and then referring back to them as and when you need them can be acts of self-care.
Personally, I LOVE a mind map, (some could even say too much…!) I use them as a creative tool to help get my thoughts out of my brain, working through something in depth and then sometimes creating a plan around it. I really enjoy the process, using it as an opportunity to doodle (I may or may not have a special pencil case of sharpies that I save just for this purpose…!) and have some free-flow thinking time. There’s something for me about the physical act of getting something out on the page that I find really useful for ordering my thoughts, particularly if I am feeling stuck, anxious or worried.
When it comes to purpose and style, mind maps are quite personal – over time you will decide which style suits you best. One thing I really like about them is how individual they are - you are the only one who will fully understand everything that you have put down on the page.
Here’s a great article that talks more about different uses for mind maps.
Here are some examples of how to get really creative with a mind map.
Mind maps can also be used to foster positive feelings about yourself. The suggestion made by a woman for our Together Alone Toolkit focuses on this – she suggested creating a mind-map of you. This involves using the creative tool to think about who you are, what you enjoy and the things you like about yourself. This will be easier to do on some days than others so it’s up to you if you choose to do it on a day that you feel good about yourself, or on a day where you could do with a boost.
Making this mind map will help foster self-compassion and care in the moment and give you something to refer to when you’re not feeling great. It will act as a reminder of all of your positive qualities, traits and capabilities.
So where to start? Here’s a mini mind map masterclass to get you going!
And that is “My Mind Map of Me!” I’ve really enjoyed having the space to think about positive aspects of my life, as well as enjoyed creating something colourful.
Although I’ve shown examples of some of the categories here, I think I’ll keep the rest of this mind map just for me to look at when I’m feeling unsure, lost or down. It’s important that we all know that we are allowed to set boundaries around what we share with others, especially now that self-care is such a popular, instagrammable concept. It is OK to keep things just for you, not to feel like we have to share every aspect of ourselves and our lives on social media. I’ve made my Anna mind map bright and colourful to cheer myself up when I look at it in the future.
I hope this blog has inspired you to try out a wee mind map of your own. In case you want to explore it further, here is a short video that talks you through how to do a simple mind map here
We would love to hear from you about how you got on with it. You can contact us here. Can’t wait to hear from you!