“Self-care is possessing enough self-awareness to invoke repeated patterns of being, that harmoniously correct the behaviors of over-functioning for others while under-functioning for yourself.”
LaShaun Middlebrooks Collier
How do you gauge what’s important to you?
Do you consider each opportunity and action before taking a step, or do you run on automatic pilot?
Can your daily life be summarized as hitting the snooze button seven times before you drag yourself to the bathroom to blurrily get yourself presentable, then drive impatiently through rush hour traffic hitting the local latte purveyor on your way so you can caffeinate, before arriving at the office? Then your goal is simply to get through the day, so you can get back into the rush hour traffic and slowly drag yourself home, and collapse in relief that it is done? Then do the whole thing again tomorrow.
Or is each day a new adventure, with a hunger to explore and learn? Do you wake up before the alarm, or catch it just as it announces the beginning of a new day, and you take stock of your value and success in who you are, give thanks for so much before enjoying the wakeup refreshment of the shower and the bright and fresh day that presents itself to you? Then you plan your goals and intentions for the day, inviting and embracing the support of all around you, as you remember who you are before each thing you do. As you go through the day, you accumulate more gratitude, more love and more joy, as you fulfill your desire to be more loving each day, and are more effective at serving better than you were yesterday. Or do you wish you did this?
We have choice in every moment, in our attitude, in our intentions (if we don’t set them, we get the default of our automatic ones), and how we respond and react to everything that meets us during our days.
It takes awareness to even be aware of that which embraces and impacts us each day. That first step is transformational, and if you have not yet opened up to see with real eyes, then I invite you to take perhaps the simplest and most profound step your sneakers have ever taken!
Taking that first step is by no means a guarantee of achievement, as this world makes it very easy to fall asleep once more and become an active participant in the inactivity around you. It takes diligence and willingness to be an active conspirator in the raising of our world’s vibration. There are simple things you can do to be and stay awake:
Take care of yourself, FIRST! One of the biggest lessons I learned many years ago (and have re-learned it more than once since then!), is to take care of my own needs first, so I could more effectively be present to, and take care of, others. The airlines advise passengers to put the oxygen mask on themselves first, before assisting their children. It’s the wisest choice (and the best choice to ensure survival!). You benefit and everyone else does too. There is no dignity in sacrificing your needs for others. That statement may really upset some mothers out there, and if so, I have a coaching associate I highly recommend who can teach you how to have a balanced and healthy life while still effectively taking care of your family!
Take better care of your physical self
This may be as simple as drinking more water, eating more salads, consuming less fats, becoming vegan or raw if that’s what calls you, getting more exercise, whether walking, jogging, playing sports, going to the gym, practicing yoga, dance or sex, getting regular check-ups with a holistic or allopathic doctor as your preference dictates.
Take better care of your mental self
Affirmations are like mental exercises. Saying positive things to yourself is mental care. Taking mental health days to play and let go of all the usual thinking, having someone to talk things out with also works, whether a coach, counselor, guide, friend or pet. Improving your mental clarity by meditation (it helps here as well as in your spiritual self-care) or other exercises improves your attitude, responsiveness, effectiveness and success. If you don’t know how to accomplish this on your own, trust the aid of a great coach (yes, I do offer that service!).
Take better care of your spiritual self
Not that your spiritual self needs any care, it does benefit you to be better connected to it. Meditation, yoga, prayer, service, fellowship, listening to inspirational music or talks all contribute. Seeking the counsel and support of a spiritual counselor is highly recommended. And yes, I am a licensed Agape Practitioner, so I know from whence I speak!
Take better care of your emotional self
With a car engine, if you don’t change the oil with some frequency, sludge and toxins will increase in the engine, and its performance and life span is negatively impacted. Upsets can happen to you (more accurately, you can trigger an upset in response to something external), and like the car engine, if you don’t take some constructive, curative action to relieve and release it, the accumulation can be very toxic and will cause negative impact on your health (there are studies linking anger to cancer, happiness to endorphin production, and other emotional/physical correlations). Be conscious of times when you get upset or triggered by something, external or internal, and take curative action, whether with the aid of a counselor, therapist, minister, practitioner, etc., or with the application of self-administered healing (which doesn’t mean chemical or alcoholic aid!), such as finding a constructive way to vent or release anger by punching a pillow.
A day without hugging someone is a low day in life. There are studies and reports about the positive effects on premature babies with touch and hugging, and yet we seem to think it alien and unnecessary when we become adults. If anything, in this society, hugging is more essential than ever. Hug your lover, hug your siblings, hug your parents, hug your kids, hug your pets, hug your clients, hug your employees, hug your employers, hug your vendors, hug strangers, hug to uplift and to share love and joy.
Spend some time first thing in the morning and last thing at night to write down at least 10 things you are grateful for. Every day.
Doing it alone is perhaps the most wasteful use of your time, and the slowest and hardest road to success. Being supported, educated and heard by a truly dedicated and wise coach is one of the smartest choices. Whether individually coached or group coaching or in a seminar or workshop, being a committed learner and student is a healthy choice (I speak from my own valuable experience!). I do offer all three options, and if you like what I bring, get in touch!
There are many aspects to taking care of yourself that I have barely touched on here, and there are plenty of how-to books, so take your own steps to learn better ways of taking care of yourself. Your unique skills and talents are needed now more than ever, and the better you take care of yourself, the more positive an impact you can contribute to the greater good for all of us.
This is just an overview of ways you can make your own self the most important part of your life. Most, if not all of these I practice myself with varying degrees of success! And I am called to serve and coach those who want to take their lives to the next level of quality of life, whether in relationships, mission and purpose, spiritual understanding, and beyond. I have my own book, that is specific to relationships and romance, yet secretly teaches you powerful tools to take care of yourself while you are single, and while you are in relationship. Check it out for yourself.
I love what I do and what I am gifted to contribute. Do you?
Live, Laugh and Love With Passion