Take Care of YOU …

Posted on by leapforward

How do YOU take care of YOU? Do you intentionally care for yourself, regularly, occasionally, or not at all? Self care plays an important role in your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

When you intentionally take care of your body, your mind, and your spirit, you will reap the benefits of greater vitality and resilience. Experiment with these tips and tools and follow these simple steps to a more purposeful and fulfilling life.

Warmly,

Melanie Ott

Inspirational Thought

It is health which is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. (Mahatma) Gandhi

Don’t Forget … To Take Care of Yourself

The Many Faces of Self Care

Self care can take many forms. You may have a friend who cares for herself by practicing yoga … but you’re a runner who isn’t into “ohms.” Or your mom swears by the power of cooking to calm and center her … but you’d rather get take-out and relax on the couch. Maybe a bubble bath is your ultimate form of pampering. Just as you don’t care for every family member or each of your friends in the same way, realize your version of self care may look different from others’.

Woman Reading on the Couch

Be Intentional

“Sure,” you think, “I should take more walks/listen to soothing music/read poetry/take up a new hobby.” But without creating a plan and taking concrete action, self care can easily become just another thing to feel guilty about not doing. Great self care requires you to commit to a few, daily self care habits and then pursue them faithfully and enthusiastically.

An easy way to be intentional about self care is to create a list of five to ten items (like “go for a walk,” “eat a healthy dinner,” “get a pedicure,” “write in a journal,” or “read an inspirational quote”) — things that require minimal effort but leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Then input them into your calendar, just as you would any other important appointment. Take these self care steps frequently to make them lifetime habits.

Cultivate Positive Habits

Look out for potentially destructive habits that may pose as self care. For example, you might consider a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate the ultimate expression of self care. But be wary of allowing tiny rituals to become daily overindulgences. Choose expressions of self care that are nurturing and helpful. Remember the basics: eat well, sleep well, and exercise regularly.

And Most Importantly

While self care is important, making it just another stressful item on your to-do list will have the opposite of the intended effect. Savor the little moments that offer an opportunity to calm, center, and grow yourself. View self care as an investment in yourself — you are worth it!

So … How Do You Care For Yourself, Anyway?

It’s easy to say, “I should take better care of myself!” But what does that mean, practically speaking? “Real” self-care doesn’t have to be meditation or an expensive and time-consuming trip to a spa.

  • Put yourself first. Instead of instinctively basing reactions on the needs of others, practice taking a step back and ask yourself, “How does this make me feel? How will this benefit me in the long run? How does this align with my life purpose and vision?” Just like the airlines’ pre-flight safety instructions tell you, “Make sure that your oxygen mask is on first before attempting to help others.” This important instruction is essential not only in airplane emergencies, but in life. Take care of yourself first.
  • Take an assessment. We can usually recite our spouses’, children’s, friends’, and coworkers’ needs, but struggle to pinpoint our own needs. Tools like self care assessments or the Wheel of Life pie chart can create a greater awareness of your own needs. Assess your current self-care habits in different areas of your life — physical, emotional, and spiritual.
  • Be proactive. A harsh but telling statement is, “If you don’t take care of yourself, the undertaker will overtake that responsibility for you.” While you won’t necessarily die from lack of self care, by neglecting yourself you’re opening yourself to fear, anxiety, guilt, stress, and mental chaos. Being proactive about self awareness can be a powerful life support.
  • Say “No.” Setting boundaries is vital to your well-being. In October, we discussed taking control of your life by saying no. Often when we over commit it’s because we feel guilty and put others’ needs before our own. When you take on a project or task for someone else, you tacitly acknowledge that their time is more important than yours. View your time as crucial to your mental, spiritual, and emotional health. Choose to spend time on things that bring you joy and make decisions based on your needs.
  • Reach out for support. Sometimes our greatest untapped resource for self care and well-being are the people in our lives. Create a list of all the people who provide you with support and encouragement and be sure to regularly acknowledge and reach out to them.
  • Focus on the Future …

    At Leap Forward Coaching we have a process that will guide you on the path of self care, reminding you of the importance of meeting your needs, to help you move bravely and boldly towards a more fulfilling, successful, and rewarding life.

    Complimentary Coaching Meeting

    If I have piqued your curiosity about the value of coaching for you or someone you know, please contact me for a complimentary coaching meeting to explore what coaching can do for you. Explore what coaching can do for you!

    © 2013, Leap Forward Coaching

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