Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. ~Max Ehrmann
Are you taking care of your inner world?
At some point in all our lives, we are all confronted by obstacles that most people overcome or learn to accept. Some people however, continue to feel stuck.
It may be because of the death of a relative, the ending of a relationship, the loss of our youth at too early an age or maybe even the addiction of our child.
Like many, I have felt the bumps in the road of life. I tried to convince myself that I was strong, that I could handle it. I didn’t feel the need to express my feelings, nor did I feel the need to do the work to find out what my feelings really were. It was easier to just keep on dancing.
Sometimes we put on that happy face and turn the music up just a little faster, so no one is the wiser.
Life can be amazing and life can be challenging.
That is where self-care comes in.
Taking care of myself is what I finally realized was the important next step I needed to take. It allowed me to have something left to give back to others.
Taking care of oneself allows you to pull yourself back up into the world of the living. It allows you to find that place where compassion, love, healing and joy can rein free. It gives you back the most important relationship you can have – the relationship with yourself.
I decided to ask some amazing fellow bloggers who were kind enough to share their wisdom about how they take care of themselves. I asked them what they do to keep their life in balance, to create happiness and how they fill up their own personal fuel tanks.
This is what they had to say about their self-care.
1. Beth Wilson, B Here Today
Sometimes, the best I can do is simply think about the ways I want to take care of myself. Now, I’m careful during those times with my language, i.e., making sure I don’t use the dreaded “ou” words: would, should, could and ought. Then, during those days and weeks when I’m slammed, I do two things every day without fail. In the morning as soon as I open my eyes, I give myself a few moments to pray and express my gratitude for a new day. At night, before I close my eyes, I reach for the cell phone app that lets me post five things I’m grateful for along with a quote and a selected picture. Those are my two anchors for the day.
2. Betsy Henry, The Zen Mama’s Blog
Here are 5 things I do everyday to keep my life in balance:
1. Breathe. Andrew Weil has a great breathing technique called 4-7-8 that I got to learn from him in person. It helps me to relax and even go back to sleep at night.
2. Get up early in the morning. Then I never feel rushed on my way to work. The un-rushed feeling lasts all day.
3. Have a relaxing meal at night with my family. Cooking is a creative outlet for me.
4. Exercise – a walk is usually my everyday exercise.
5. Laugh and smile as much as possible.
3. David Stevens, David Stevens Life Coach
“Balance” is an interesting word. Is it 50/50 or something different? I endeavour to keep my life in a ‘healthy state’. For me, this means regular exercise, challenging my thoughts, writing what I love, helping my family and generally looking for the good. And a lot of smiling. “Balance” has a fine line, daring not to trip on to “the other side”. That’s why I prefer a “Healthy state”.
(I love how David always ends his emails or comments with “Be good to yourself”.)
4. Fran Sorin, Fran Sorin.com
Over several years, I’ve learned to keep myself in balance by doing things that give my soul nutrition. My morning routine of spiritual reading, meditating, being in the garden, and walking set the tone for the day. Physical exercise has always been an important element in my life –rowing and pilates are activities I do on a regular basis. Having a spiritual community gives me tremendous strength and insight. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude keep me grounded and present. And finally, having a sense of humor is a must. I can’t imagine a day without laughing.
5. Kyczy Hawk, Yoga and Recovery
Self Care Basket – CD with my own healing music (calm, sweet, affirmative music, with children’s music in the mix), a book of quotes, a book with blank pages, coloring book, colored pencils. Incense, other books I ‘plan to read” and lotion. Sometime I put other stuff in there – like kids clay or a movie I plan to see. It is really a bag, but if I had a basket I would use it.
6. Leslie Ferris, Phase 2 For You
I think the thing that I did best for myself during the worst of times was to have about 4 people who were just willing to listen without trying to solve anything. I had two other coaches that I talked to as well as a couple of friends who were invaluable. My local friends dragged me out every now and then, and that was really helpful too. I made sure I had those folks and that I talked it out enough. I need my peeps – and I feel lucky to have had them.
7. Lisa Frederiksen, BreakingTheCycles
Part of my self-care has been to explore new hobbies I’ve always wanted to try – rock climbing and fly fishing are my latest favorites. What I like best about these two is the opportunity to lose myself. And by this I mean, the way all my worries, fears and shoulds just disappear as I give in to the rhythm of the fly casting or the “reading” of a rock. Bliss!
8. Sandi Amorim, Deva Coaching
The one practice I have which transformed my idea of self-care is asking myself this one question, “What can I do to feel better?” It works because it keeps me present to what I need in the moment rather than relying on a routine. If I’m having a challenging day, the question helps me take a small step forward. If I’m having an already good day, it amplifies it. It also frees me up from the concept of balance, which I find limiting. Balance for me, is less about the present moment and more about some imagined experience in the future, and that has very little to do with caring for myself.
9. Sandy Swenson, Sandy Swenson.com
Right now I’m focusing on exercise, for both physical and mental health. So, every day I try to take a step in the right direction, walking or jogging, trying to get in 10,000 steps. I’m shooting for a 10K Turkey Trot in November. Whether I end up running, walking, or trotting, the goal is keeping me on a healthy path.
10. Tess Marshall, The Bold Life
My self-care consists of my morning ritual of sitting in silence, writing in my journal, reading a lesson from A Course In Miracles and practicing gratitude and forgiveness. I also either run or swim 5-7 days a week and consistently choose travel over work which sounds easier than it is sometimes;)
11. Victor Schueller, Victor Schueller.com
One of the best ways I have found to take care of myself and to maintain a life balance is to be mindful of how much I am helping meet the needs of those around me versus how much I am meeting my own needs. I always take time for myself. As far as balancing work and life, that is a bit trickier. One way I have found to carve more “life” out of my schedule is by becoming more efficient in my work. When I work, I work, with clear lists, goals, and objectives. This leaves me being more productive in less time, leaving more time for me to enjoy my family.
12. Vidya Sury, Vidya Sury.com
I begin my day with prayer starting with five minutes of gratitude for all I am blessed with, and a ten minute meditation. This is followed by cooking breakfast and lunch. Cooking from scratch is a major stress-reliever as it helps me focus and create, and brings the reward of appreciation from my family and friends. I have fun doing housework accompanied by music. Great mood-upper. I enjoy journalling and writing, both as my current and through blogging. We make it a point to walk on our terrace together and share the day’s events. Our home is blessed with a solid sense of humor and laughter is a big part of my day. I make it a point to give something away every day. The awareness that I am loved and supported in all that I do keeps me in a happy state.
Do you think self-care is important? What do you do to take care of yourself? Let us know in comments.
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