Take Care of Yourself This Year — Remember Self-Care

How do you plan to take care of yourself this year? This may include physical ideas like diet and exercise, but think about how you take care ofTake a break yourself emotionally and mentally too. What do you include in your schedule for self-care? First of all, yes, you must plan for it. In our busy lives we often forget about ourselves as we take care of others in our lives, whether that includes parents, children or spouse. Before we know it another day is over and we sit numbly watching television because we are too tired to do anything else and fall into bed exhausted. So schedule some self-care into the calendar with the kid activities and grocery shopping. See the picture “50 Ways to Take a Break” for some ideas to look after yourself. Self-care may also include an energy treatment, a naturopath visit or spending time with friends or reading a book.

 

We need to take care of ourselves emotionally. Don’t do things that don’t feel right as mentioned in the picture “12 Steps to Self-Care”. Also speak your mind in a positive manner so that your feelings don’t stay submerged and eat away at you. Emotions and thoughts are energy and if you don’t release the emotions that cause you harm they may cause health concerns later on. And as the old saying goes, what goes around comes around. Radiate happiness, love, gratitude and joy to continually receive. The word radiate reminds me of Jack Johnson’s song by the same name. Check out the lyrics.

self care 

Affirmation TreeSo instead of making a resolution that may be hard to keep, perhaps make an affirmation such as those found in the affirmation tree by Paul Foreman. See his website for more mindmap ideas for happiness or relaxation. Whether you call it an affirmation or inspiration or aspiration, keep yourself in mind and remember your self-care. Enjoy some quotes about self-care and especially read the poem about why you need to take care of yourself.

 

“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

– Lucille Ball

 

He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.

– Arabian Proverb

“Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you.”

– Karl Lagerfeld

 

”Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.”

– Christopher Germer

 

A Blessing for One Who Is Exhaunsted

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The ride you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learned to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

                                                                    — John O’Donohue (1954 – 2008)

 

 

How to Be Assertive Without Alienating Others

How to Be Assertive Without Alienating Others

 

Asking for what you want and need—and setting boundaries around what you don’t want—is a key life skill. But sometimes in our enthusiasm to practice this skill, we over-do our own assertiveness and end up with a partner, family member or friend who shuts down, gets angry or feels resentful. Don’t let the stress of the holidays cause issues. Here are four tips for developing your assertiveness in a way that will actually strengthen, deepen and enrich your relationship—thus avoiding the “alienation trap”:

 

  1. Get Clear.

Being assertive starts with knowing what you are—and aren’t—willing to be, do, or have. For many of us, coming to this knowledge is a real task unto itself. Here, it may be useful to ask: “In an ideal world, what would I like to happen?” Focusing on an ideal outcome opens our minds, prevents us from falling into passivity or “victim-thinking,” and helps us get really clear on what we want and don’t want.

 

  1. Set Boundaries.

Once you know what outcome you need (or want), share it with your family/friend. Pay attention to the way stating your boundary feels in your body. With practice, you can actually sense when you’re hitting the “sweet spot.” It can feel really pleasurable, even exhilarating, to express your needs or desires out loud. Phrases like “such and such doesn’t work for me” are simple ways of being assertive while maintaining connection with the other person.

 

  1. Make a Regular Habit of Stating Your Needs and Desires.

You can build your assertiveness the same way you build any muscle: exercise. Practice speaking up about your needs, big or small, on a daily basis.  When you speak up about things that are less controversial—such as where to go to dinner, requesting help unloading the dishwasher or what TV program to watch—both you and your family get used to your assertiveness. It becomes easier for you to practice and for your partner to hear. Also, when bigger issues come along, you and your family will have a healthy process in place for dealing with differences in needs, and you’ll have greater confidence in the resilience of your relationship.

 

  1. Give as Much as You Get.

Assertiveness is a two-way street. If you want your boundaries to be respected, you must return the courtesy to the other person. When it comes to following through on a person’s reasonable request, actions really do speak louder than words. Please respect each other. 

 Author’s content used under license, © 2011 Claire Communications

 

And here are some more ideas to keep in mind this holiday season.

Happiness Comes From Love & Gratitude

 

happiness travelEvery day, people buy too much stuff, eat too much food, and waste away their hours chasing after happiness…to no avail. They may find excitement or satiation, but TRUE HAPPINESS still eludes them.

 

Fortunately, happiness is really inexpensive and pretty simple to find, but that doesn’t mean that it comes easily. However, if you’re bold, and truly willing to commit to a few simple steps, happiness will be yours in just a short while.

 1.      Quit Complaining.

The first step to finding happiness is to stop trying to find what’s wrong with the world around you. There’s plenty to complain about, but if you focus all of your attention there, you’ll never see the good stuff.

 2.      Choose To Live In Love.

Falling in love with the world (and people) around you is a sure step toward happiness…and it’s easy. Simply accept people for who they are, and choose to see the good in them. Don’t expect it…CHOOSE it…then express it.

 3.      Appreciate Everything.

Start expressing your gratitude every day. If you’d like, keep a gratitude journal and write down at least 3 things you’re grateful for every morning. Before long, you’ll have more things to appreciate than you can count.

 

Becoming happy may mean “looking like a fool” or changing A LOT of your current habits, but I promise you…it sure beats the alternative.

 

What can YOU do to create more happiness in your life TODAY?

 

Autumn is Bittersweet and Soothing for the Soul

Autumn is Bittersweet and Soothing for the Soul

Autumn is a bittersweet time for gardeners. We have celebrated the magnificent bounty from our gardens, whether that is flowers or vegetables, but now have to say goodnight to our garden as we prepare it for winter. Working in the garden is very healing for the soul and a great stress reducer. Here are top 15 tips to help you clean up your garden and put it to bed for the winter to make it ready for a prosperous following year.

  1. Do a final good weeding and remove any weeds that are going to seed.
  2. Continue to harvest vegetables such as carrots, garlic, leeks, parsnips, radishes, turnips and squash.
  3. Bring in any annual plants you plan to winter over. Keep an eye on those frost warnings.
  4. Remove any diseased and dead plant material to create healthier plants.  After perennials die back after a hard frost, cut dead material away ready for spring growth.
  5. Remember to tag any necessary plants in case you need to remember what is what.
  6. Remember to leave some plants for winter interest (think about what plants would look great with snow on them) and leave some for the birds to nestle in on a cold day.
  7. Continue to water plants is the season is dry.
  8. Fall is great time to transplant perennials.  Think about how to make your garden even better by dividing larger clumps or adding new plants.
  9. Plant new shrubs and trees. Remember to water them well.
  10. Gently till the soil to expose any insects that planned to over winter.
  11. Add a layer of compost, leaves or manure and gently till into the soil or plan on mixing in when the spring season arrives.
  12. Protect small trees or sensitive plants from drying out by wrapping in burlap or protect them from animals with wire fencing.
  13. Prune any shrubs (ones that need pruning in fall) or roses properly and mulch when necessary.
  14. Wash and store any pots and planters you plan to use next season.
  15. Take care of your tools by cleaning and sharpening them.

Last of all, once all the chores are done, sit back, relax and plan and dream about what your garden will look like next year.

What are You Celebrating?

What are you celebrating?

rtf.com
Celebrate

 

 

Everyone likes a celebration and the opportunity to show their pleasure and excitement for an event or accomplishment. Whether it is a birthday, a wedding or a graduation, all events are worth celebrating. How do you celebrate such an event? Usually gatherings with other people help mark celebrations. This week I am grateful to be able to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary with friends and family. But celebrations don’t have to be just for milestones.

 

 

 

 

 

 “If you think positively

Sound becomes Music

Movement Becomes Dance

Smile Becomes Laughter

Mind Becomes Meditation

And Life Becomes a Celebration….” 

Do you celebrate your life daily? Do you appreciate the small things in your life? Celebrations don’t have to be big events and parties. People are able to think well of themselves, praise themselves and celebrate at any time.

”The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”

Oprah Winfrey 

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.”

Thomas J. Peters

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!”

Barbara Hoffman

I thought this piece was worth considering.  

“People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state–it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle…. Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one’s actions.”
Abraham Joshua Heschel

Are you one to act in the state of celebration or one that waits to receive?

“Put yourself in a state of mind where you say to yourself, “Here is an opportunity for you to celebrate like never before, my own power, my own ability to get myself to do whatever is necessary.”

Anthony Robbins

Celebrating your life every day is about creating your own miracles.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein

“Loving ourselves creates miracles in our lives.”

Louise Hay

“Life is a celebration of awakenings, of new beginnings, and wonderful surprises that enlighten the soul.”

Cielo 

Many times I have been reminded of 4 universal practices for life.  We need to sing, dance, commune with nature and sit in sweet silence. When did we stop? When are we going to start again?

So don’t wait until you’ve reached some big milestone before you take the time to celebrate and rejoice. Create more joy in your life every day.

 

 

What is Stress?

What is Stress?

Stress is something that everyone feels they have to deal with in everyday life. Stress is defined as an organism’s response to a stressor, whether that stressor is environmental such as being in a traffic jam or physical such as running a marathon. What we think as stress is really how each individual reacts to stressors and how that impacts a person’s health. Common reactions to stress may include feelings of anxiety or sleep issues or lethargy. If these reactions are constant and continually build in intensity, a person’s physical health may be affected, such as an increase in blood pressure or muscle aches and pains or disease.

A major influence of how someone reacts to stress is where and how often stress occurs and whether that person has some “down time” to reenergize and release any pent up tension. If the origin of stress occurs at work due to what feels like looming deadlines and constant assignments, hopefully that individual has time at home to relax. However, if that person is dealing with aging parents or emotional trauma such as divorce, he/she may not have the opportunity to destress at home and be continually in the stress cycle. Work/Life Balance is important for a person’s well being and health, this including both physical health and mental health.

Each person needs to have strategies to cope with the stressors in life as they arise to ensure a balanced life style. In addition to good nutrition, exercise and appropriate amount of sleep, I encourage people to take good care of their energy bodies for good health.