“I have to grab fast food on the way,” said my client, an ambitious, professional mother. “Many of my meetings are in restaurants, and the menu is often full of fried food.”
“I really need my sleep,” said Barbara. “After finishing grad school, and helping my two children have their babies, I’m just exhausted.”
“I don’t want people to see how fat I am,” said Linda, I can’t go to the gym til I lose weight.
“I can’t control my eating,” said Sylvia. “I love exercise, but I only get it in once a week.”
“I can’t take the stress of this project,” shared Sue. I’ve done everything possible, and I almost quit 5 times. Now, I’ve just had it!”
The amount of stress that women deal with in demanding jobs, plus managing children, a spouse, grandchildren, or aging parents is just off the chart! I know three young women running for office, AND managing families with young children! Their calendars are jam-packed.
At some point, the high stress catches up with us. A physical break-down, emotional breakdown, break up in the marriage, or excessive weight gain….somehow our bodies/minds and spirits rebel.
Exquisite self-care needs to take place in four areas of our lives: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Let’s explore some options that you might incorporate into your life in these areas:
- How much sleep do you need?
- How much water would be good for you to drink?
- How do you need to be responsible regarding food?
- What kind of exercise do you enjoy on a regular basis?
- Do you need a mammogram, dental check up, or vision check up?
- What are you reading that stimulates your thinking?
- What else can you do? Listen to Ted talks? Watch documentaries?
- Who do you have stimulating conversations with?
- Do you ever attend lectures? Self study?
3. Emotional Well-Being
- Do you have an affectionate pet?
- How do you enjoy time with children or grandchildren?
- How can you schedule special time with your spouse, significant other, or best friend?
- What group do you trust, that you can celebrate transitions of life with?
4. Spiritual Well-Being
- How do renew your spirit?
- Do you spend time in the mountains or at the beach?
- Do you walk alone in a nature setting?
- Meditate? Journal?
- Do you have a faith community?
- What inspires and comforts you?
Putting a plan together for your weekly, daily and quarterly self-care is crucial for managing stress and good health, as well as for generating ideas and solutions.
What are you willing to add to your life for the summer? Maybe one new goal in each area? I’m tracking calories, entering a 5 K, reading a great book, and spending time cuddling my affectionate new dog. Now, I need to meditate, a habit that I dropped when life got busy. I miss it.
Tip: Take on one or two new habits, then be compassionate with yourself. Give yourself rewards! Have an accountability partner! Participate with a group!
What will you take on to create a stronger, calmer, more effective YOU? You will be surprised at the results that await you: feeling like a million, new ideas and insights, a deeper calm, and even new friends!
“Every patient carries his or her own doctor inside.” Albert Schweitzer