Starting August 1, check back regularly for self-care hints, tips, and stories.
If you’re not familiar with the term, self-care is about how well you take care of yourself (and your family).
Here are several elements of self-care that we will be talking about in this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge:
- Getting enough sleep.
- Eating health enhancing foods.
- Getting enough exercise.
- Doing preventative self-checks.
- Getting age-appropriate preventive screening tests.
- Visiting a health care professional when you can’t solve a health problem on your own–when it’s too serious for self-care.
- Having positive self-talk.
- Minimizing or eliminating smoking and excessive drinking or other drug use.
- Taking care of your body and relaxing with a massage, pedicure, hot bath, etc.
- Taking time out just for you, just because.
- Balancing time alone and time with others.
- Balancing work and play.
- Having a positive self-image (or working towards it).
- Telling the truth (to yourself and to others).
- Acknowledging your innate gifts and talents.
- Being grateful for all that you are, all that you give, and all that you receive.
- Feeding your spirit.
So are you in? Want to get serious about your self-care? Subscribe by clicking the red button and you’ll get daily (or almost daily) inspiration to stay on track. And feel free to write a comment at the comment link below!one comment | Print This Post
Today I discovered a fabulous gold mine of information about personal development. Steve Pavlina has written hundreds of articles (all free to access) on a wide variety of topics you may find fascinating. He writes about being super productive, living according to your values, attracting what you most desire, and a wide variety of other things. Below, I’ve listed links to his series on boosting your productivity. These will get you started in exploring this wealth of information:
Do you know of other good personal development resources? Let us know by leaving a response below.Leave a comment | Print This Post
We had a great turnout for the first free teleclass of 2007. If you missed it, you can still get the goods. I’m posting both the audio of the teleclass and the worksheets so you can work through the theme generation exercises on your own.
Here are the worksheets.
Here is the audio:
Hey and at the comments box below, tell us what you thought of the program and what your 2007 theme is. We want to hear from you. CherylLeave a comment | Print This Post
At the start, over functioning isn’t a problem. You’re willing to spend untold hours (whatever it takes!) perfecting everything your family “expects” for the holidays – it’s even enjoyable. But when it comes to the end of several long days and your family is in turkey coma not having lifted a finger for three days, dirty dishes are everywhere, the glow of the holiday is dimmed for the over achiever. Suddenly it’s not OK.
When it’s late, the company has gone home, and you’re left with a disastrous homefront, you’re tempted to hate every last one of your family members and relatives. After you’ve slaved over every detail of the dinner, meticulously wrapped a mountain of gifts, shined the silverware and fine crystal, baked 20 kinds of cookies and fudge–only to have the locusts descend, give a nod to your perfectly presented table, and devour everything you’ve worked so hard to perfect. THEN they push away from the feast groaning about being stuffed as they flop down on the couch to watch the football games….like they’ve worked so hard and now it’s time to crash.
What an afront! The lazy louts. Lazy no good kids. Dirty rotten husband. Good for nothing relatives.
What most over achievers don’t realize is that there’s a big down side–an angry slippery slope–to over functioning. When we over function we have a vision of perfection. We want reality to match the perfection we can see in our mind’s eye. We really WANT it. The creative urge is tapped and we want to express everything that wants to be expressed. So we do our thing – ignoring that others aren’t helping. In fact, we’re glad that they aren’t pestering us. After all, it’s faster to just do it ourselves!
But when energies are spent, and all that remains is a dried up turkey carcas or naked hambone, it’s just AWFUL that people aren’t jumping up to clear the table, do the dishes, pick the meat off the bones, and pack up the leftovers. Makes you feel like nobody cares and “I have to do EVERYTHING around here!”
I don’t know about you but I’m happy to under function when somebody else over functions. It gives me a break from over functioning–which most of us do at one time or another. At last a chance to sit on my duff and do nothing! Yes! Life is good. And that’s how your spouse and children feel when you choose to do it all. They subconsciously give thanks that mom or dad is still willing to do everything while they revert to their selfish, childish selves–even if they are full grown or . . . middle aged.
So what do you do? You want your perfection . . . and you want some help and acknowledgement. Afterall, you do these things FOR your family and you want acknowledgement – big time. And after you lose steam, you want help. The problem is everybody else has lost steam too – even if they haven’t done anything. So at the end of the day, nobody is very likely to jump up and offer to help. They’re hoping that they can digest their turkey in peace while you forget that they exist.
Why don’t they help? As Dr Phil is famous for saying, “We teach people how to treat us.”
Here’s your secret weapon to turn all this around (if you want to). Create a Holiday Job Jar Game before the holiday hits. Creating a Holiday Job Jar Game can let you over function in some areas if you want to, but create a fun way to get help in other areas.
In brief, everyone in the family gets to choose several slips of paper from the Holiday Job Jar that are either a work task or a fun thing. Tasks might include washing dishes, clearing the table, or taking out the trash. Fun things or wild cards might include taking the afternoon off, taking a nap, doing whatever they want to do for the designated number of hours. If you want to over achieve on some tasks but not others, you can “load” the job jar according to your preferences.
If you have a fairly cooperative family, I recommend creating the Holiday Job Jar Game as a family. Everybody can brainstorm to see what “jobs” go into the jar and what fun “wild cards” get thrown in just to make it interesting. The wild cards give everybody a feeling that they can win total freedom. If all the slips to be drawn were work tasks, nobody would want to play. But if the players know their chances are pretty good of winning a fun thing or wild card (e.g., total freedom for 4 hours, a massage, or the afternoon off to do with as they wish), everybody will want to test their skill at choosing their slips. The ratio of work tasks to fun things should be about 4 o 1 so the odds of winning seem worth it to play.
Let the game begin! If you make it a game, everybody will want to play. On some level everybody thinks they’ll win–until they lose, and then they moan “I never win.” But we’re always hopeful that we’ll win. It must be hard wired. That explains the success of the lottery and of gambling. People love an opportunity to win. Give it to them by creating the Harmonious Holiday Job Jar Game!
When you download the worksheets (below) for the Job Jar Game, you’ll get instructions, a full sheet of tasks and fun things to jumpstart your thinking, and a blank sheet to fill in with your family. You can use my ideas, or you can create your own. I encourage you to get your family into the act of creating the game because they’ll be much more willing to play.
Does it sound like fun? Let me know how it goes – write your comments in the comments link below. Isn’t this a great way to get somebody else to do the dishes!
Get the Harmonious Holiday >>Job Jar Game instructions included
If you missed Part I of the Harmonious Holiday series >> read it here
Reduce Stress by Planning Your People Zones >> get the worksheetLeave a comment | Print This Post
If your holidays are imperfect, I invite you to use the Harmonious Holiday worksheets I created to help you take back the holidays. This month find out how to manage the people zones. Next month, I’ll share tips and worksheets for managing stress and holiday chores so that one person doesn’t get stuck with all of them.
These days I do what I want to do for the holidays. But it wasn’t always this way [fade to the 70’s]. For the most part during the 70’s, my family annoyed me. I could only visit for a short time before I’d start getting irritable or quiet. So I scheduled 3 day holidays–two days traveling (one on each end) and one day interacting. It was an expensive way to connect for a really brief time.
I was sort of a hippie, and I thought my parents were not cool. I used to wear flannel shirts and jeans. Period. My mother urged me to take better care of my skin and dress up. Of course, I rolled my eyes and bemoaned the material culture I was forced to co-exist with when I came for family visits. I felt like the cartoon below – the left-hand side.
And as you can guess, 30 years later I long to spend Thanksgiving with my family, and I wish I’d taken better care of my skin.
Spending holiday time with family can be stressful. Have you noticed that you lapse back into your childhood self – and so does everybody else! In my family, it doesn’t take long before we’re talking too loud, correcting each other, and sitting in a clump in the living room.
My holiday mood used to swing something like this: I looked forward to the visit >> I got annoyed with the visit >> I couldn’t wait to leave >> I’d miss them when I got home. What a shame!
Reflecting on each visit while flying or driving back home, I often wished I’d spent more time talking one-on-one with my brother and sisters, taking a walk with my dad, and talking with my mom. I realized that I hadn’t really BEEN with my family. I’d just existed in that space and time – kind of holding my breath to keep from hurting someone’s feelings or from getting hurt. Looking back on these imperfect visits always made me feel a little sad and sentimental – you know, that close, not close feeling?
Then it hit me. I could design a holiday visit that would be 10 times more enjoyable and nurturing. I’ll let you in on one of my secrets. Here it is……ready?
I divide my people time into zones. I have me time, me and you time, and me and us time. It kind of looks like the pyramid below.
In the me zone, I pull away from the group to download stress, get centered, and check in with myself. I might take a walk, go to bed early and read a book, take a hot bath, or volunteer to run an errand.
In the me and you zone, I spend time with just one person. There’s nothing like intimate time with one other person. You can share more deeply and really connect. Because I don’t tend to do this naturally in a group setting, I need to pre-plan my people zones. To get good one-on-one time, I plan ahead to discuss an article or book with my mother, I plan ahead to take at least one walk with my Dad, I look for opportunities to peel one person away to run for groceries or some other errand, and I make a quick connection with my brother when we make transitions to another room or activity. With my niece and nephew, I color, play dolls, or play a game–whatever seems fun at the time.
Then for the me and us zone, I just enjoy the energy of the group. We laugh, tell stories, watch a movie, take a walk, or watch my niece and nephew demonstrate karate, ballet, or some other entertaining silliness.
If I ever feel I’m spending too much time in one of the zones (usually the me and us zone), I switch it up and go off by myself or with another person. Again, I have to plan this ahead and keep it in mind, or I end up going with the flow and not getting the most out of the visit.
You can plan for a more relaxing, rewarding holiday visit by planning ahead for these three people zones. Use my little worksheet to plan your strategy
Next month I’ll show you how to get other people to do the dishes and set the table!Leave a comment | Print This Post
I love having a brand new fresh New Year. It’s like getting a chance to start over, to dream bigger, or to just have a clean slate to draw up some new plans.
What is one big thing you’d like to accomplish in 2006?
What is one big thing you’d like to stop doing?
Let us know in the comments section below……Leave a comment | Print This Post
Leave a comment | Print This Post
Here’s a great quote to ponder:
Those who don’t make time for wellness will be forced to take time for illness.
What does this quote mean for you and your life? Answer at the “comment” link below. We want to know what you think.