This week’s focus is on extreme self-care, the kind that most people find uncomfortable with as they don’t like to put themselves at the top of their own priority list.
Most of us get so used to putting our own needs on the back burner that we feel guilty if we take the time to answer our own soul’s calling.
There was a time when I did this non-stop and paid the price for it in various ways, much of it resulting in various stress related illnesses. Several years ago I realized this had to stop. I was not benefiting anyone else, least of all myself, with a tired worn out body and resentful attitude. By taking more mindful steps, I have pulled myself away from my own self-destructiveness…to an extent. Some things take more time than others.
The point is, it doesn’t matter where you start as long as you start.
I don’t remember the exact steps I took to start moving myself up the list, I just know I worked really hard at stopping the negative mind chatter and insulting backtalk. I also don’t remember how long it took to achieve that goal. All I know is when I reread my journals from several years ago, I can notice a marked difference in the way I think about myself now and surprise that I ever felt that way about me then.
I guess you could say I have grown, or matured, but since I am almost 50, I think those are not the best terms to use. Maybe it would be best to say that I have learned to treat myself kinder with a gentleness I didn’t have in my twenties or thirties. Reading these chapters and working on the challenges, I am a bit pleased that much of it I already do, which tells me I am on the right track.
Extreme self-care? I got this.
The author has a list that she identifies with as a way to tell if she is slacking in the self-care department. She outlines the things that indicate she is getting a bit frayed at the edges and heading for trouble. We all have a list in our heads that let us know the warning signs, and what may not be anything to set you off could be a trigger point for others.
There is not one thing on her list that would trigger me. But my own list, depending on the day, could be a few items or miles long.
Narrowing it down, I know when I start Googling symptoms of diseases I am sure I have, makes it to the top. I am getting better at not doing this, but I still find myself slipping and it takes extra effort to convince myself that I am not dying just yet.
When I start snapping at little things, or I feel restless for no reason. Those are my triggers.
This week’s homework is to identify your triggers and then look for ways to preemptively strike them out before they become an issue.
I named a few already and now the preventative measures are as follows.
What will help me when I get into these states and make a list of your self care measures?
1 I have a great support team in place that encourage me when I am feeling ill at ease and tell me to stop Googling. They remind me I am not dying and the better ones are able to joke with me about it to make me laugh at my own dis-ease because they know that usually snaps me out of it.
2 When I am restless, I will make sure I have extra time alone to recharge, nap if I need to and pursue some creative outlet that helps me to get my soul onto the right path.
It always helps to plan ahead and if it’s possible, stop the monsters in their tracks before it becomes an out of control issue.
My extreme Self-Care To Do list is very brief. Do nothing...and enjoy it.
I am two weeks into an online course on Buddhism and Philosophy…loving it.
I finally finished week 5’s painting.
Will be looking for an at home exercise program.
The clothes shopping is on hold for financial reasons but it too will work itself out in its own time…as most things tend to do.