When life gets real, our self-care needs do too. The challenge is that engaging in self-care when you are going through hard stuff is well...hard! Neuroscience tells us there is actually a brain-based reason for that.

You see stress, trauma, illness, grief, and some forms of neurodivergence all inhibit our brain's pre-frontal cortex, which is where many executive functions are based. Executive functions include the cognitive processes and skills we use to plan, monitor, and execute actions. Executive functions also include self-awareness, inhibition, emotional regulation, motivation, problem-solving and working memory. Executive functions are what help us to manage life, including our self care. So, in order to cultivate our resilience we need to understand where our brain and nervous system is at. 

You see, to me resilience isn't what a lot of people think it is. It's not about "bouncing back" to where we were before stress, trauma, illness, or loss entered our life, for when you go through a life-changing experience it's just that - life-changing. And it's definitely not about trying to change ourselves to function more like a neurotypical person when we aren't one. Resilience is about bouncing forward with self-acceptance and self-compassion by being aware of our unique support needs and taking aligned action.

Every human on the planet has support needs. When our capacity for coping is smaller due to hard human stuff or neurodivergence, these support needs look different than when our capacity is bigger. That is normal! One thing we can do to cultivate our resilience is to give ourselves accommodations to meet our executive functioning where it is at. This self care guide and planner can help us to do just that!


1. An introduction to the impact of overwhelm on our brain's executive functioning (aka where our brain plans, initiates action, follows through, motivates, regulates emotions, and remembers tasks and commitments)

2. A self assessment of your real self care needs

3. An example list of possible real self care actions we can take to support our needs

4. Several variations of the planner, including a daily/weekly/monthly overview option, a daily/weekly option, a daily option, and a monthly option