Last month, Carol Williams and I discussed life balance, especially about how to recognize when you are out of balance. And what can you do about it? This month, we go deeper and begin to address “self-care.” That’s right, it’s all about YOU.
What comes to mind when you think “self-care” anyhow? Are you taking yourself to checkups? Are you working out? Are you taking your vitamins? Sleeping at night? We call all of the above “self-care,” and more; everyone’s definition will be different, but we have suggestions, of course.
Listen to our suggestions here >>> Self Care ………. or read our tips below.
So, when do you know you are NOT taking care of yourself?
Carol: My favorite example was when I was home with my first baby. It seemed like it took us FOREVER to get out the door. I truly could not understand how people made it outside before noon. Once, when he was a bit older and I was getting my routines down, I thought I was doing great. Everything was packed, everyone was dressed and ready, and we were headed out the door. Much to my dismay, I looked down and realized…..I was in my pajamas. I had truly forgotten about ME! That’s an extreme example, but indicative of what happens when we are in need of self care…we find ourselves putting EVERYONE ELSE FIRST, thereby cheating ourselves.
Sue: Our first tip is to start small. If you want to get back into shape for the spring and summer and have had a sedentary winter, take just 15 minutes to walk. Sure, you will increase that number over time, but if even 15 minutes seems “too much” it’s a great place to start. Just start.
Carol: Our second tip has two parts. First, Until you get “on top of” your self-care in ways you want to, here is a useful question to answer to get yourself through tough times. Make a list with two parts: Part one is … What gives you energy. What gives you peace. What brings you joy. A “list” can be on paper, on your pc, talking it out with a friend or coach or partner – but make it something you can add to and go back to when you need to. We also have an idea about index cards you might use … in our last tip. Sue, what’s part two of this tip?
Sue: Part 2 is … what takes away your energy; what drains you? See how you have both sides? So when you’re feeling out of control, go and FIND more of what GIVES you energy: client examples are: support groups, talking to a friend, taking a longer shower , having 10 minutes of silence at some point during the day, hugging your dog/cat/kids more than usual, closing your eyes and staying in the moment longer, getting outside. And also look at the other side: can you work 15 minutes less each day; not go out to dinner with that complainer of a friend. What are the ways you can protect yourself in this somewhat fragile state?
Carol: When you “want to change” many things, so many that you do nothing, and end up feeling paralyzed, do this: write out one of your “wants”, each one on a separate index card. Spread them all out on a table. Pick the one that speaks to you most loudly. Start there.
And remember from tip one, start small. Just one step. For example if you want to eat more healthfully, resolve to add one more serving of vegetables into your life each day. Just one.
As a reminder, you are reading and listening to a podcast series. We’d love your feedback. If you have a question you’d like answered, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or contact us through our blogs and websites:
Sue’s is www.OrganizeForAFreshStart.com
Carol’s is http://www.efficientproductivity.com/
If you found our advice valuable, please consider sharing our podcast or blog with colleagues and friends. Thanks so much and GOODBYE until next time!