A good friend of mine is a social worker at a mental health facility. Sometimes she counsels me (thank goodness!)
Today I told her I was a bit overwhelmed. In her wisdom she said “if you can’t answer the big questions (like how to get back in balance), answer the small ones.” That works for me!
Have you ever noticed that the more stressed you are, the more you lay big fat questions on yourself – like “What’s wrong with my life!” or “Where did I go wrong?” We tend to catastrophize under stress.
So if you can’t answer, “How can I fix my life” you may be able to answer, “What can I fix for dinner.” Big difference. Smart woman.
Not only do I have one friend who is a counselor–I have two! That’s an important element of self-care: surrounding yourself with friends and other people who elevate you and your thinking. Do your friends lift you up when you need it? Or do they bring you down? If they bring you down on a regular basis, develop new relationships with people who raise your vibration. Phase out the low vibes.Leave a comment | Print This Post
Tell everyone you know:
My happiness depends on me, so you’re off the hook. And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they’re doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel and then, you’ll love them all. Because the only reason you don’t love them, is because you’re using them as your excuse to not feel good. ~ABRAHAM-HicksLeave a comment | Print This Post
When it comes to self-care, do you need to reorient your thinking–shift your priorities? How would you organize the following list–with #1 being the most important:
Notice that your health and well-being is at the bottom of the list. I think that’s where it is for most people. Are YOU most people?2 comments | Print This Post
Much of Lifestyle Change is Overcoming Procrastination
There are many ways to avoid the important things you wish to accomplish in life. Stop smoking, achieving a healthy weight, and doing a better job at managing all those stressors in your life are a few examples. As human beings, many of us are very reluctant to make lifestyle changes. Our habits are something we can count on, and they give us a sense of security and certainty about life. Attempting to break a bad habit or acquire a new one, even if it’s for the better, can make us feel uncomfortable and lead us back to the familiar.
One of the most sure-fire ways to avoid those changes we know we should make is procrastination. Procrastinators consistently sabotage themselves. They constantly put obstacles in their own path.
“Many people don’t realize procrastination is an automatic habit pattern they use to avoid tension,” says William Knaus, Ed.D, a psychologist and author of “The Procrastination Workbook.” “It’s kicked off by some form of discomfort, such as feeling uncertain or insecure about something. These habit patterns are the barriers to overcoming procrastination.”
Dr. Knaus divides these patterns into the following three diversions.
The Five-Minute System
Commit to the change for five minutes. For example, tell yourself, “I’ll work for the next five minutes on gathering the information for making this change.” At the end of that five minutes, decide whether you’ll commit for another five. Continue this pattern until you complete the task, run out of time or have a good reason to stop. “By doing the task for at least five minutes, you’re already living through the frustrations that are a part of the change, and you’re making a series of forward-moving decisions,” says Dr. Knaus.
Plan in Reverse
Many people set goals to make changes in their life, but don’t have a plan. To create a clear, directed and purposeful plan: First, visualize your goal as a target and imagine shooting an arrow into the target’s center. Imagine the arrow’s trajectory as you pull it back, release and hit the center. In other words, visualize your outcome first, then work back from there. Where do you want to end up? What do you do just before that, and before that? By doing this, you’re automatically creating a plan at the same time you’re reminding yourself the plan is a series of small parts.
Building Frustration Tolerance
If you can develop a higher frustration tolerance, you’ll achieve more in life because fewer things will burden your mind. By persistently tackling challenging tasks until you complete them, you build frustration tolerance.
“Even if you don’t overcome the discomfort, you’ve lived through the frustration, which creates this powerful message: You can organize and direct your activities for a productive result, and you do have control over yourself,” says Dr. Knaus. “It’s better to recognize that doing reasonable things, in a reasonable way, within a reasonable time, gets things done–and you end up doing rather than stewing.”
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Self-Care Challenge – Part II (Day 4)
Delay is increasingly expensive. Take care of yourself today!
Self-care isn’t just about taking care of your body. It’s also about taking care of your mind and your spirit, and everything else that encompasses your life.
Tomorrow morning Toby and I are headed out to Cincinnati to join up with my two sisters and other family members. We’re each bringing equipment, gadgets, potions, and notions for our spa day–probably Saturday.
No doubt my niece will manage the spa activities. She’s a natural entrepreneur and all around fun being. She’ll set up the equipment, take our orders, write up a price sheet, and take great care of us. We’ll gab and chat and give her a tip.
We’ll ask the guys to join us….and we know they won’t!
I’m going to load Toby up in the back of my Vibe and head on out first thing in the morning. What fun. Speaking of fun, do you have enough fun? If you don’t, I highly recommend it. It’s good for just about anything that ails you.
How about having some fun this weekend? Tell us about it at the comment link below.Leave a comment | Print This Post
Putting together your health care team (notice I didn’t say medical team)
I must say for the past couple of years I’ve slacked off getting my annual check ups. But since I’m doing this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge, I’ve gotten back on track. I’ve now gotten my well-woman checkup including blood work, renewed my tetanus shot, and have scheduled a mammogram. I feel good about this.
When it comes to my health, I tend to have more faith in my ability to access the appropriate members of my “health team” than I do in running to the doctor for my every need.
Having a good doctor who listens to you, considers you a partner in your health care plan, and who respects your choices for healing is very important. They’re skilled in treating sickness and doing surgery–both important things when you need these skills. But who are the best choices for your medical team when you’re not in need of sickness care or surgery… when you simply want to stay well? I look for doctors and other health care professions who are open to alternative (or complimentary medicine), but they’re often hard to find.
Recently, I have been trouble shooting a knee problem. My chiropractor has been very open, he listens well to me, and he has tried a variety of things to get me back to normal. I appreciated his approach very much. Feeling that I needed a little more of a “look inside” my knee, I made an appointment for an ex-ray and a visit with a physical therapist. He cared more about interacting with his clipboard than he did with me. I felt that he perceived himself as the expert and that I didn’t know anything–big him, little me–as is sadly so common in the medical model. I found the experience awkward, embarrassing, and unsatisfactory–and in a later conversation with him when he called to schedule physical therapy with me–I told him of my unsatisfactory experience.
Next, I went to a physician group that specializes in orthopedic injuries, rehabilitation, and surgery. The doctor who saw me was young and I was hopeful that he would have an open mind about health care. So I told him about the positive effects I had received from chiropractic and an herbal tonic I had been rubbing on my knee. During my visit, his demeanor felt stern, unfriendly, critical. In that short visit he gave me a lecture about the knee tonic saying that my positive experience was the placebo effect and that it couldn’t possibly have helped me because herbs and supplements are not regulated by the FDA, etc. Next, he gave me a lecture about chiropractors saying they were only trained in the spine and that they wouldn’t know anything about knees. He knows this because he had visited chiropractic web sites! I didn’t bother to argue with him except to repeat that I had gotten very good care with my chiropractor.
This PT and MD were so old school I couldn’t believe it. Don’t they get it that they have competition in the natural healing arena that is growing by leaps and bounds in popularity? And if they continue to cut the patient out of the conversation, they won’t get very far with healing. After all, the patient lives in their body–they know it better than any so-called expert could ever know it. And it’s up to each one of us to be the best possible caretaker of our bodies–it’s one of our main responsibilities if we want to live a healthy, happy life.
I recommend putting together a strong health care team that you can access when you need help and advice about your physical health. Select professionals who consider you an equal partner in your health care. Your team might consist of the following professionals:
Don’t wait until you have a health event. Get your health care team lined up and develop good rapport with them. They can help you stay well.Leave a comment | Print This Post
Do what it takes!
Even though I’m an exercise physiologist, I don’t really enjoy strength training. You’ve heard me whine about this before in the 30-Day discipline experiment. And yes, I know how to lift weights, and why I should lift weights, but….I don’t do it.
So I decided to “do what it takes.” I hired a personal trainer and had my first session tonight. It was great. She loves strength training and I’m hoping it will rub off. When I got home, I did 10 squats, 10 crunches, and 10 back extensions just to get my calisthenics muscles in gear. I like the idea of lifting my own body weight.
And then I had a healthy Mexican Chopped Salad. I’ll give you the recipe for that soon–maybe tomorrow.
If you want to reach a goal and you’re struggling to succeed, think about what would help you succeed–and then do what it takes!Leave a comment | Print This Post
The benefits of trimming back…..
I received the following email today from a colleague describing precautions a popular speaker in the EveryDay Qi speaker series is taking to prepare for Hurricane Fay. I think it’s great self-care advice.
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Dr. Sears is preparing for tropical storm Fay, which could well reach Category 1 hurricane status by the time she reaches the Florida coast…
Now Dr. Sears is no stranger to the destruction these storms can bring, as he lost some 200 trees on his property over two years and three storms…
What did he do to prepare this time…?
He trimmed and pruned all of the 65 species of trees and shrubs on his property, piling up branches as high as his house…
How exactly will this help…?
By trimming back all that foliage, Dr. Sears reduced the amount of surface that could serve as a wind trap, reducing the chance for damage from high winds…
Let me ask you this…
What can YOU trim back in your life that might serve as a trap for destructive winds that could come your way?
How about trimming back on letting
negative emotions control your thinking or cutting back on the amount of unhealthy snacks you are consuming…
Pruning just one or two negative things from your life can potentially save you from a bad storm down the road…
But there’s only ONE catch…
Be sure to start trimming well
before the storm arrives at your door!
Do you get enough deep, high quality sleep? If you don’t you’re more likely to overeat, get sick, be crabby, and be accident prone.
One of the biggest challenges my clients have with sleep is getting to bed early enough. They want to stay up late to get things done. Or they want a little time to themselves after everyone else is asleep.
Have you noticed, though, that once you stay up beyond 10:30 or so, you start having the munchies and you get a second wind and can’t fall asleep? That’s because, according to Ayurvedic medicine, your digestive fires heat up again. Getting on a regular sleep schedule helps bring the body in balance.
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How do you get good sleep?
Over time I’ve figured out several things that help me get good sleep:
- Go to sleep at about the same time every night.
- Make getting to sleep a priority.
- Wear an eye mask to block out any light. You can purchase these in the pharmacy section of any discount store.
- Make sure the room temperature is comfortable. I use a small fan to keep the air circulating so I don’t get too warm.
- Wear ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper. They won’t block out noises that you need to hear.
- Don’t work or watch TV right up until bedtime. Your brain needs quiet time to “download” events that occurred during the day. If you go to bed without allowing this down time, your brain will start this processing while you’re trying to sleep. One way or another, your brain needs time to process the day’s events–why not make it while you’re awake?
- Don’t rely on sleeping pills. Occasional use won’t hurt, but if you regularly can’t sleep, get to the heart of the problem. Sleeping pills are powerful drugs, and they can have side effects, including changing the kind and quality of sleep you get. My mother fell and broke her leg after getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. She was still under the influence of a sleeping pill and got disoriented. She has vowed to stay off them.
- As you start to wind down in the evening, take a hot bath or shower, or sip a cup of Sleepy Time tea with camomile. It will help your body and brain slow down. Camomile is an herb, and there are no negative side effects.
- I read something inspirational for 20-30 minutes before bed and that almost always gets me in the mood to sleep peacefully.
If you’d like to get more sleep, create a comfortable evening sleep routine. Routines help us stay in balance.
I know I’ve just scratched the surface of ways to get a good night’s sleep. What can you add to my list?