Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ways I Take Care Of Myself

Who's the most important person to take care of? Whatever your answer is, you can't argue with the fact that if the caretaker isn't at his or her best, then the care he or she will give won't be the best. If you don't take good care of yourself you can't take good care of others. The healthier and happier you are, the better you will be able to care for yourself and for others.

Imagine yourself sick and in bed, how are you going to take care of anyone? Until you get better you can't. Imagine yourself tired and angry, how are you going to take care of anyone? Imagine yourself fat and depressed, how are you going to take care of anyone? Imagine yourself ignorant and confused, how are you going to take care of anyone? The bottom line is this: the most important person to care for is yourself.

That said, I came up with the idea of writing out ways in which I like to care for myself so that I can take good care of others... here's a list (I'm sure I'll forget stuff)...

- I meditate
- I go out for walks
- I take naps and get comfortable
- I read good books and consume good information
- I sing for fun
- I eat good food
- I take long showers
- I go to the gym
- I go in the sauna and steam room
- I get pedicures
- I call a good friend
- I talk nicely to myself in my head
- I go to the park and enjoy nature
- I brush and floss my teeth daily
- I light natural scented candles
- I caress myself and tell myself nice things
- I keep in touch with supportive, positive and successful people
- I go to therapy and/or therapeutic gatherings
- I take voice lessons
- I write
- I dance
- I practice my social skills with strangers that seem inviting and gentle
- I stay away from negative, sensationalized information
- I stretch
- I establish boundaries in all of my relationships
- I say no and don't feel ashamed of it
- I keep my thoughts balanced, I avoid sensationalizing, exaggerating or dramatizing things
- I practice spiritual rituals and I keep this very private in order to avoid being criticized
- I practice deep breathing
- I listen to healthy, smart and supportive and loving talks
- I relax
- I trust my instincts
- I nurture my passions
- I avoid working too much
- I avoid overeating and oversleeping
- I tell the truth to myself and others
- I trust myself
- I get massages
- I go swimming
- I go to the beach
- I hangout with good friends
- I work to make my relationship healthy and strong
- I encourage myself and empower myself inside
- I take it easy
- I do not place great expectations on myself, and if I catch myself doing it, I stop
- I keep giving myself the love and support that is my birthright
- I go on vacation
- I save money

This is a pretty short list, there are many more practical and concrete things that I do. Mostly, I think what is most important is to seek BALANCE. Setting boundaries is very important, not overdoing anything is a great one for me since I tend to be an overachiever and since I tend to try and overcompensate for everything due to insecurities that are deep within. I know this because I study myself closely and I seek to provide myself with what I need in order to heal and recover myself. I have noticed that most people do not take good care of themselves, including me at times, for example when I smoke cigarettes in an attempt to avoid my emotions. I also tell myself mean things in my head sometimes because that is what I was taught to do. But these things can be kept in check if one has the intention of caring for oneself. I notice that when I care for myself successfully I am more productive, more creative and more at peace. I also notice that I am more efficient and that I can accomplish a lot more with a lot less work.

One important thing is staying out of denial and not making excuses for why one doesn't care for oneself. We have a million reasons to neglect ourselves and treat ourselves like garbage and we can even justify our crappy lifestyles and pretend like they are actually great when they are not. We do this because we fear exposing our truth. Hiding though, is not a healthy way to live and is very destructive and negligent. We have a responsibility to care for ourselves and love ourselves because that is the only way that we are going to accomplish what we were put on earth for. We don't have to love ourselves but this just makes life a lot more unpleasant and is a lot harsher on ourselves and on others. Living to love oneself and others is the best way of self-care... and if you think this is corny or bullshit then that's a perfect indication that you are filled with self-loathing and self-rejection probably because that's a lot of what you got as a child. Call that child and tell him or her that it's time for a new perspective and time for a new attitude. Without self-love there is no fulfillment. Care for yourself and the life that you want will unfold right before your eyes... SLOWLY. That's a huge key, patience. Growth and healing happen SLOWLY. There is no magic solution. Believing in fast progress or in magic is a form of self-abuse, because it is a fantasy that does not exist.

All the best!

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