My 1-2-3 Guide to Getting More out of Self-Care

Pinterest I can’t even tell you how often I ask people this question: “What do you want?”  It may sound like the simplest question ever, but it inevitably brings about the most complex responses in people, and oh so often…. crickets. We tend to spend so much time thinking about, defining, and avoiding what we don’t want, that when asked, “what do you want?” we freeze, can’t answer, and actually don’t know what we want.

Why Self-Care

One of the most straightforward places to start learning what we do want is through Self-Care.  Figuring out, defining, and practicing some soul filling self-care activities benefits us, and our self-worth, in numerous many ways. It teaches us who we are, what we like, what we do want. It also shows us ways to cope with, recover from, and survive trying times. It allows us to feel full, connected to ourselves, and worth-it no matter what is going on in life. It enables us to detach ourselves from a problem, situation or person and see our individual value, and the big picture, separate from what is going on in a moment.  This space helps to remind us, “This too will pass.” Sound good?

Getting the Most out of your Self-Care

So, how do we go about getting the right Self-Care for us?  It may sound complicated, or like a crapshoot, but really, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! Start by dividing Self-Care into 3 categories Category 1- things that bring immediate satisfaction with very little effort. Simple things like taking a bath, having a glass of wine, reading a good book, listening to music, watching a favorite TV show/movie, painting toenails, at home facials… Things that you can do at home, in your pj’s, totally on your own. Category 2- things that require minimal effort, but bring about big rewards. These are things like getting a massage, acupuncture, haircuts, mani/pedi’s.  In other words, things that you have to leave the house for, and help you relax and reconnect with yourself, but you don’t have to be all glammed up for, or coordinate with other people’s scheduling, timing, desires. And, category 3- things that take more effort but make ya feel fabulous! These are things like lunch dates, happy hour with friends, night’s out on the town, hosting parties, road trips.  In other words, things that require effort but totally change up the  monotony of your everyday life and make you feel alive. Pretty simple so far, right? Now, spend some time figuring out what activities fit into each of these categories for you. There isn’t a one-size-fit’s-all for this.  There isn’t a right or wrong for this.  There is only what feels good to you!

Here’s How

Start by review your schedule for the previous two weeks and the upcoming two weeks. What do you notice? Do you see any trends?  Are you looking forward to, or dreading the upcoming weeks? What are you looking forward to, and what is causing you dread? Which weeks have you been the happiest and most balanced? What did you do those weeks? All of this information, all of these answers, will help you to build your own categories, and see the areas you can influence in your upcoming weeks. For example:
  • Maybe you’ve got a killer meeting, or an event you’ve got to work, but if you know that a mani/pedi makes ya feel wonderful then you can schedule one before and/or after the event to help make the event more tolerable.
  • Or, maybe you’ve got company coming to town, so planning in some quite or down time after they leave will help you rebound and feel rested again.
  • Or, maybe you’ve got endless alone time on the books so scheduling a coffee date, happy hour, or event out of the house is what you need to break up the silence.

Creating Balance with 1-2-3

Hopefully by this point you can see how we can use the 1,2,3 categories to create a balanced schedule! By looking for holes in our schedule and filling in with categories that are lacking, or saying “no” to areas that are already overloaded, or reorganize our to-do’s to create more down-time, we are able to ensure that we have a schedule that feels balanced for us. The more balanced we feel, the more worth-it we feel, the more soul-filled we are, the more effort we put into keeping these feelings.  Imagine how much easier the effort is if we already know what makes us feel balanced?!  

Self-Care: A Helpful Path to Self-Worth

  Pinterest So, as you can tell, lately I’ve been neglecting my poor blog!  Not because I don’t have things to say, but because I have so many things to say I can’t seem to stick with and finish a topic.  The downfall of having your passion, be your work! ;-) As I blocked out time in my upcoming weekend to tackle a few posts and get organized it got me thinking about self-care, and how it relates to self-esteem.

Self-Care or Selfish?

I know for some people “self care” is a four-letter word (two of them, in fact), but really self-care is a great way to strengthen our self-worth.  I often talk to clients and friends who say putting aside time for themselves feels “selfish” and therefore never do it.  They have a sense of pride that comes from working themselves to the bone on a regular basis.  What’s interesting to me, is these same people tend to have crisis after crisis in their lives and always feel rundown, unorganized, and totally anxious. It’s not coincidence that this is how their lives unfold.  Never taking time for ourselves is a recipe to living life this way- anxious, stressed out, tired, cranky. Usually when we explore this concept together they begin to see the pattern and realize that it’s actually their lack of self-worth that keeps them for self-care routines.  In other words, they don’t feel worth the time attention pampering and relaxation that self-care provides.  Sound familiar?

Changing This Pattern

The simplest most direct to begin altering this thought pattern and belief is by changing our intention around self-care. Instead of doing self-care rituals because we feel worth-it, do them because we want to feel worth-it. If you feel shaky, nervous, or undeserving while brainstorming, scheduling, and/or doing self-care acts remind yourself, “I am doing this so that I will feel better about myself.  This is my path to better self-esteem.” Also, remember it’s important to take baby steps in setting up self-care routines for yourself, especially if you are new to self-care. And, self-care can be done through the simplest things…
  • Splurge on a wine that’s a touch more expensive than you usually spend
  • Take time to make yourself a yummy cup of tea
  • Relax in a bath with your favorite expensive bath salts
  • Say “no” to just one thing this week.
  • Turn off your computer 20 minutes earlier than usual at night
  • Schedule a massage, acupuncture, mani/pedi
  • Take a long walk WITHOUT your cell phone
  • Treat yourself to a new book, album, movie
It doesn’t matter which you do, as long as you do something, and remind yourself when it feels selfish, “I am doing this to be a better me.  I will have more to give, I will feel better, I will feel worth-it if I do this for myself.”

My Plan

As for me, I am still going to work on some blog posts this weekend BUT I am going to set a timer, and only spend the 2 hours I set aside each day on writing.  With my other 22 hours I am going to walk, picnic, hang with my hubby, grill, sleep, maybe catch a movie and relax so I am refreshed and my best me, for me, and for my clients, next week!

Savvy Self-Esteem Lessons From J.K. Rowling

Pinterest

“It’s our choices that show what we really are far more than our abilities do.” ~J.K. Rowling

Last week we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary! In honor of our 8 years of marriage we had a date night to see the 8th Harry Potter movie. Seemed fitting, no?!

Harry Potter, and J.K. Rowling, have been interests of mine for years.  I’ve always thought J.K.’s story was amazing.  For me, she’s a testament to what hard work, self-compassion, faith and living authentically can accomplish. Lately, I have been totally re-inspired by J.K. Rowling as a person. Specifically many of her interviews and quotes unrelated to Harry Potter have expanded my view of her.  She, my friends, is a glowing example of what Savvy Self-Esteem looks like!

What is Savvy Self-Esteem?

“It’s important to remember we all have a little magic inside us.”  ~J.K. Rowling Savvy Self-Esteem is just that, self-esteem know-how.  Self-Esteem doesn’t magically appear.  Nor is it created by wishing alone.  Self-Esteem comes from getting in there, rolling up our sleeves, and uncovering who we are.  This includes what we can do, how we handle things, what feels congruent for us, what we do have, and what we actually want. Savvy Self-Esteem is understanding and learning the process, or method, for developing self-esteem.  It’s not focusing on the outcome, or basing our definition on how others define self-worth.  Savvy Self-Esteem is learning how to connect with our core-self and determine if something fits for us.  If it’s congruent for us.  If it’s right for us. Learning the process, or how-to of this, is what empowers us- it shows us where our unique magic is and how to use it. What do I mean by the process?  Math is a good example of process.  Ultimately, we find our mathematical brawn from learning how to add, not by memorizing 2 + 2 = 4.  When we learn how to add then it doesn’t matter how the numbers change, we always know how to solve the equation because we know the process. Savvy Self-Esteem is learning the process for developing and strengthening self-esteem.  When we grasp that there is a process for self-esteem, and begin to understand it, suddenly we know how to handle life’s curve balls AND how to use them to increase our Self-Worth. Savvy Self-Esteem is learning to celebrate our struggles “It’s impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case you fail by default.” ~J.K. Rowling The biggest lesson in Savvy Self-Esteem is learning to celebrate our struggles. They are how we learn.  They are how we grow.  They would not be happening if we weren’t trying something new.  They are the very definition of being alive and personal growth. Just like working out, or learning a new skill, we have to push past our comfort zone to see improvement, to see growth.  This is what our struggles are.  Now, are they comfortable? No.  Are they fun? No.  Do we have to spend expended periods of time in them? No. But, we have to face them, in order to get unstuck, move forward, and create self-confidence. Learning to celebrate our struggles means we learn to see them as “mile markers” or signs that we’ve gone farther than we ever have before.  When we define struggles this way, we are able to look forward to them, and be excited by them, because they equal growth.  Once this mental shift happens, and we embrace the struggle, we, not the struggle, have all the power! Savvy Self-Esteem is learning to focus on what IS instead of what isn’t “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” ~J.K. Rowling I love this quote!  So often when we feel we are at rock bottom it’s because we are focusing on what isn’t there.  What we’ve lost, how we hurt, what’s missing is generally how we define rock bottom.  When we learn to see rock bottom for what it is- a blank slate to rebuild from, self-esteem can’t do anything but grow. Picture rock bottom as a vacant lot that we want to build a house on.  The first step is examining the lot to figure out create the best plan.  Emotional rock bottom is the same way!  We have to focus on what is there, what do we feel, what do we believe, what do we want in order to rebuild. I find, rock bottom gets us out of what we”should want” and into what we “actually want” if we let it.  Instead of focusing on “not loosing” or “keeping what we already have” rock bottom allows us to start fresh and figure out what we do want and build a life we actually cherish. Savvy Self-Esteem is about finding your inner Hermiones not how you look in shorts “I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do.  Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls.” – J.K. Rowling My wish for each of you is to discover your inner Hermione. To discover your process, your magic, what’s congruent for you, and how you are a shining example of Savvy Self-Esteem! You may not know it yet if you’re using old definitions for self-esteem, but if you apply J.K.’s thoughts on self-esteem, and redefine your perspective of self-worth, I bet you’re a much brighter example of Savvy Self-Esteem than you ever imagined… (And, when your inner Pansy Parkeinson pops up, which is will- remember to embrace it, celebrate it, say to it, “Yeah, I see you.  I know you are here because I am growing, and I’ve gone farther today than I’ve ever gone before.  Thank you for reminding me of this.  Thank you for showing me my growth.”)