First, a review of Splat. Talking Splat acknowledges that every day, those of us with chronic illnesses and/or mental health diagnoses feel like we’ve been run over by something. It’s just by a different vehicle on different days. We communicate how we’re feeling based on what vehicle, or “Splatus” we’re at on a given day. The vehicles, from lightest to heaviest, are:
OK, an asteroid isn’t exactly a vehicle, but it came about when I asked, “What can I be hit by that’s heavier than a freight train.” And feeling like I’m little more than a squashed thing in a crater some days feels pretty authentic.
So, it’s kind of like the pain scale, except it doesn’t have those morose faces and it acknowledges the essential fact that yes, there’s always something with us. (Check out the full descriptions of the vehicles here.)
There are a TON of reasons and applications to Splat, which is why I wrote a book about it. But today, I want to focus on my favorite thing to use Splat for, and that’s the…
The Impact Map is a guide for Splatties (that’s those of us with the chronic stuff) to:
- (Finally!) establish a routine
- Put a stop to guilt
- Prevent making excuses
All it is, is a table that you can draw (or print out my template) that determines what you’re going to get accomplished each day. Along the left, you label rows to account for the different Splatus vehicles. I lump mine together so there’s a moped-Eurocar-sedan (M-E-S) row, a pickup-truck-tractor-trailer (P-T) row, and a freight-train-asteroid (F-A) row. Then label the columns with categories that are important to your every day life, like meal prep, work tasks, progress on your sculpture, house cleaning, and gym routine. Do yourself a favor and make one column about self care, where the worse you feel, the more you do for yourself.
I always start with the P-T row and fill in exactly what I want to get done. Then I fill in the M-E-S row where I go above-and-beyond on my better days. Finally, I fill in the F-A row, where I include only what I need to keep my life from imploding (navigating one crater is more than enough).
What’s essential as you do it is to make it as specific as possible, and where you can, include exact quantities, whether it be number of things, or duration of time. Because the point is to decide on all this ahead of time so you’re not putting yourself on the spot every day to figure out what you’ll do. You need only know your Splatus and follow the map. But if the map isn’t specific, that puts you right back in the hot seat of deciding, “OK, what’s a little bit? OK, what does ‘some’ mean?”
You might want a column for your hygiene routine, which includes brushing your hair and taking a shower, or anything else you have to remind yourself to do.
How often should you make an Impact Map? I make one a week. It’s part of my Monday morning week-prep. You can even make yours a daily calendar where you list specific chores to get done each day. Make it however you like! It’s your Impact Map!
If you have Splattie friends, consider setting up an accountability group where you make and share with each other your Impact Maps every other week or so. Again, whatever helps you be successful.
Now, here’s something brand new that I designed as I’m working on my next book. It’s for Splatvocates, who are Splattie advocates! (Here’s my glossary if you need it.) I call it the…
It’s for your partner, parent, roomie, bestie, or whomever is in your daily life helping you along. It’s a powerful communication tool where you can get the help you crave and alleviate your partner’s confusion and feeling of helplessness. Like I say, specifics are essential!
The Splatvocate Map has the same rows as the Impact Map. This time, the columns are
- what it feels like to me
- what I need
- what might help
- what not to do
- what to do for yourself
I made a template for you of this, too, that you can download here if you like.
Ideally, you’ll fill this out together and agree on the items. It’s super empowering for you both!
I pretended to have a boyfriend and made this example:
And there you have it! May these maps show your road to peace, joy, and prosperity, as they have for me.
Get more Splat at TalkingSplat.com.
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