Ever finish a big celebratory event like a family party or fundraiser feeling amazing, but then the next day, you feel like you got run over by a truck?

Or have you had the experience of setting up a conversation with a difficult person, which feels important but afterward, you’re exhausted?

These moments can take us by surprise and feel like setbacks, but they’re often actually really predictable.

If you’re going to the beach, you plan for what you’ll need while there- – towels, some snacks, sunscreen, ice water…AND you plan for what you’ll need after you’re done — dry clothes, aloe, a hairbrush, etc.

We prepare ahead of time for physical excursions…

But what about planning ahead for our EMOTIONAL adventures?


cartoon showing a person closing her suitcase with glee

Credit: Sarah Andersen


For example, I have a client whose life feels changed by the simple act of preparing a wet face cloth and some essential oils for our sessions. She knows we often get into something difficult that brings up her emotions, so she plans ahead for her Future Self’s comfort.

What would it feel like for you to prepare a soft landing for yourself after encounters that affect you emotionally, like the come down after a big event or the fatigue after handling a difficult conversation?

How can you plan ahead to make your emotional recovery easier?

If you have a big event, try scheduling the following day off for play or relaxation. Don’t try to be productive or efficient on that day.

If you’re gonna have a difficult conversation with someone, prepare ahead of time to get more emotional support and to talk it out with a friend or have some scheduled quiet time to meditate or journal, rather than just flinging yourself off into more busy life with no time to process.

gif of a person standing in a field of tall grass with their eyes closed and their hair blowing gently in the breeze


When you pre-plan your personal aftercare before doing something hard, it’s like taking care of your Future Self. Then when you live into that Future Self, you’ll feel grateful to your Past Self for the thoughtfulness and love.

That’s been my experience.

Past Rachel wishes your Future Self so much love.


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