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Weekly resource post #2: Permission Slips

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I’ve launched the SelfCare Backpack shop! There are a pack of resources there for pay what you want (use the code scb2020 to get the digital only ones for FREE and the physical copies for half price). Each week I’m going to do to a bit of an intro to one of the resources to give you a sneak peak of what to expect :)

This time: Permission slips!

I often find myself caught in ‘shoulds’. I ‘should’ do this or I ‘shouldn’t’ do that. I tend to use should for something I feel obliged to do but don’t need or want to do. Or something I feel like I shouldn’t need (there’s that word again), but I do.

Things I’ve given myself permission for recently:

  • Taking a day off work when ill
  • Cancelling some plans
  • Having another piece of chocolate
  • Taking a night off
  • Listening to my brain worry about something it doesn’t ‘need’ to worry about

All things that are acceptable, but that I instantly thought that I ‘shouldn’t’ do. I needed or wanted to do all of them, but I felt obliged to do something else. All of this pressure comes from within me, not externally. Nothing bad happened when I did all those things, and that’s the point.

I deal with my anxiety by testing it when I can and feel safe to do so. Challenging the assumptions my brain makes, especially when my inner monologue talks about ‘shoulds’. I think that’s why I enjoy the permission slips so much, it’s visualising a coping mechanism. And I find it powerful, in a way. My brain instantly snaps no at me, and I go ‘actually, I have a permission slip. From me.’.

I also talk a lot about writing and getting words out of your head onto paper as being really useful. Writing forces you to slow down, to force the whirl of thoughts and feelings into concepts and words to put on paper. Write down what you need permission to do, maybe you’ll find out something about what’s blocking you. (You might not, but hey, you’ve got a permission slip, that’s all you need).

These are also excellent to give other people! There are times when I don’t have the brain power or strength to give myself permission to do what I need to rather than what I ‘should’ and so I’ve been known to ask people to give me permission. I need to hear that my needs are reasonable from other people.

In the pack are a bunch of pre-filled permission slips as well as completely blank ones for you to fill in. Use them however you need.