Are You Taking Good Care of Yourself?

With our busy lives, taking care of ourselves is more important than ever—yet it’s often the last thing on our minds. We have to meet that deadline, use break time to run errands, accomplish all the items on our list. We all know the negative impact on our health that stress can have. Let’s find some balance and consider how well you are taking care of yourself.
 
What do you do when you are upset or feeling hopeless? Talking about the situation with a friend, family member or even a therapist can help put things into perspective. Listen to and respect your feelings.
 
Do you always try to control things? Perhaps it is time to let go of the way things used to be and accept the way things are. Put your energy into things that will benefit you. Don’t demand perfection in everything that you do.
 
Every day do something physical even if it’s just a walk around the block, getting up from your desk to stretch or a 15-minute workout.
 
Eating healthfully is a good basic self-care activity. Take the time to enjoy your meals and don’t eat on the run. Set aside work, driving and other activities while eating.
 
Think positively. View problems as opportunities and obstacles as challenges.
 
Say no when you need or want to. Improve your life by not letting others guilt you into doing things you don’t want to do or have time for.
 
Remember to breathe. Deep slow breaths. Find different breathing techniques on the internet to practice.
 
If experiencing physical symptoms, go to the appropriate health care professional. Don’t ignore symptoms nor stress about them until it is determined what the issue might be.
 
Get enough sleep most nights. Avoid screens before bedtime.
 
Choose healthy ways to relieve stress. Don’t rely on crutches such as smoking, drinking and overeating. Explore methods to help you relieve stress such as meditation or yoga. Self-care is a form of stress management. Find something that will help you relax and let go of the tensions in your body. Perhaps an Energy session would help?
 
Clear the physical clutter to help clear emotional clutter. It’s amazing how much space opens up in your life and in your brain after some tidying.
 
Recognize the importance of breaks during the day, as well as vacations. Take a technology break. Perhaps listen to music. Taking breaks helps you avoid burnout, gain new fresh perspectives on things and improves your mental health.
 
Remember to practice self-care and your body and mind will thank you. What new self-care practices can you begin? Or perhaps you’ve gotten busy and gotten out of the habit of self-care. Take the time to renew your relationship with self-care. You deserve to treat yourself in this holiday season. 

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?