Lisa Dahl, Intuitive Eating Health and Wellness Coach with our Lexington/Winchester and Westborough, MA Hubs, provides guidance on the importance of self-care in the highlighted blog below, Self Care: Where Does it Fit in?
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Self Care: Where Does it Fit in?
By Lisa Dahl
Self-care is always important, and given the current state of our world, now is the time to make an intentional choice to start taking care of you. The word self-care used to make me uncomfortable due to my flawed thinking that it was selfish. I was far more comfortable using the word self-preservation. As much as I now believe in self-care and what it means, we are in a battle of keeping ourselves afloat, and perhaps, for now, self-preservation is the better word.
For many of us, the outside world has crept into our homes and has a far more significant impact on our mental health than it has in years. From politics to the pandemic, global warming to racial injustice, the never-ending news that dramatizes the negativity around us ending with only a snippet of a feel-good story.
Add in your accumulating fatigue of managing kids, homework, work, laundry, and life you may be feeling physically, emotionally, and mentally drained. I am guessing you are supporting everyone around you and finding yourself last on the list. Is that you?
You are not alone; it’s more than COVID fatigue, it is LIFE fatigue, and it’s real!
The good news is, it’s up to you to take the first pause to ask yourself the question, “what do I need?” It’s time to check in with you.
“What do I need right now?” Yes, I hear you, and I’m sorry I can’t deliver the remote tropical island with piña coladas; I want to go there too! Let’s try again, “What do I need right now?” You are the expert on you; it’s not for me to tell you what you need. Part of self-care is the discovery.
No one will do it for you, and the first self-care tip is my number one tip, Ask for Help! After you identify what you need, it’s time to Ask for Help!
We all think we can, should, or have to do it ourselves; is that really true? As working women, we build our business networks; but do we spend the time to develop our at-home support networks too?
A couple of ideas to consider is to trade time and meal swap. Consider working with another family who practices similar COVID protocols of social distancing. Is there another family that you can swap child care a couple of days a week to take turns supporting them with distance learning? The switching of days would give all of you some time and a break from the frantic routine that has become the new normal.
Can you meal swap with a friend or two to make meal planning a little bit easier? Perhaps once a week, you cook meals for a friend, and they return the favor the following week. Imagine having three families as part of this plan. It may be more time consuming on one day, and the return is you get a break on two other days. A win for everyone!
When you create the What Do You Need List, you can then discover who is in your network to ask for help. We all have friends, family, and spouses that are great at something; what are you great at, and how can you trade your expertise for something in return?
Are you alone and feeling isolated?
Reach out and let us help you get connected!
Tip number two and next on my list is from the words of author Sonya Renee Taylor; The Body Is Not an Apology. It’s time to Dump the Junk! How and what are you absorbing all day? Is it the news, information overload, or how you feel about yourself and your body? What is draining for you?
Create a list of what is bringing you down, and then ask yourself, how can I reduce the noise that is feeling so heavy and draining? Do you need to unfriend a few people because your social media feed is zapping your energy? Are 5 minutes of the news enough to keep you current vs. the 24 hours news feed on CNN?
“Dump the Junk” can also show up at the check out line in the grocery store. What are you looking at when you are in line? Do the covers of the “rich and famous” make you smile or feel less than? Does the vision of other people’s images make you think that you are missing out? Do you wonder how you compare? Let it go and “Dump the Junk.”
Create your self-care/self-preservation cocoon to how you want to feel. You created what’s around you today, now is the time to pause. You have the power to shift it, to make it better, and raise your vibration to surround yourself with images, things, or people that bring you joy.
Tip number 3 is Progress, not Perfection! This tip refers to “Ask for Help” and “Dump the Junk.” Remove the binary thinking of all or nothing and feel the joy of the small changes you can celebrate. The goal is NOT another to-do list.
For example, if you can’t walk for an hour, 5 minutes is good enough! It’s a step, and all those 5-minute steps add up vs. all the wasted 5 minutes that get you no-where. If you ate donuts for breakfast, offer yourself compassion, ask yourself what you need, and move on. Change your lens from judgment to curiosity.
My last tip is Gratitude or Living Gratefully. As a facilitator of Gratefulness Gatherings for Gratefulness.org, a quote that always catches my attention is, “It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy.”
Below is an excerpt from Gratitude: A Radical Approach to Life by Kristi Nelson, Executive director of Gratefulness.org
“Grateful living reminds us that life is a gift and that there are infinite gifts within this gift. Its invitation is to:
Live as if nothing is promised you.
Look around you. Look inside yourself.
Appreciate the ordinary as extraordinary.
Notice beauty. Nourish love.
Be surprised. Be in awe. Be in wonder.
Recognize your privileges.
Open your heart.
Share your blessings.
It helps us see opportunities and gifts, even in our most challenging times”.
Are you willing to take that first step? If yes, it’s time to pause and ask yourself, “What do I need?” and use tip number one, ask for help!
If you would like more support and want to speak with one of our team members here at Vesta: A New Vision for Divorce, please contact us today at 877-355-7649. We will be with you every step of the way.