Self Care: Questions to Ask Yourself

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Sometimes we’re in such a state that it’s difficult to figure out if we’re indulging ourselves or if we’re caring for ourselves.

When we feel ourselves feeling out of sorts or discombobulated, it’s because we’re out of balance:  we have too much of one thing and not enough of another.  Usually, we have too much of the world and Life pushing us, prodding us, and making us feel not enough and that we have to rush, rush, rush to try to catch up.  On top of that, we don’t have enough of feeling good about ourselves, feeling capable and competent, and that we’re enough just as we are.

Self-care is the key to getting ourselves back on solid ground.  To do this we need to pause, check in with ourselves, and identify what’s causing the imbalance.

Here are a few questions to ask ourselves so we can nurture and nourish ourselves in a way that will comfort and soothe us now as well as sustain us going forward:

 

What do I have too much of right now?

What do I have too little of right now?

When was the last time I laughed, or even smiled?

When was the last time I did something just for the pleasure of it?

What am I resenting or angry about in my life right now?

What is making me sad right now?

What am I starving for?

What am I yearning for?

What do I wish I had right now?

 

 

These questions are a starting point.  You might come up with questions that are more tailored to your needs and circumstances, and that’s perfect.

Take the time to ask yourself these questions, listen to your answers, and FOLLOW THROUGH WITH ACTION—doing something about it!

You can do it; I believe in you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Self Care: Golden Wisdom

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Sometimes it seems as if we have nothing to learn from those who have gone before us:  their times were much different than ours today; they lived a simpler life and had less to worry about; people were more polite and kind; life for them wasn’t frenetic with rushing here and there; they didn’t have to deal with downsizing and layoffs from work; there wasn’t the pressure to “keep up with the Joneses”.

The truth is that none of this is true.

Back in The Day, those who’ve gone before us were just as worried, stressed, frustrated, sleepy, lazy, selfish, sad; just as happy, optimistic, active, forward-thinking, kind, generous, achievement-oriented as we are today.

There’s very little difference, really.

Even the socio-economic and political landscapes are similar.  There has always been strife and upheavals and, as long as there are still human beings around, there will always be strife and upheavals.  But so there were—and there always will be—progress, breakthroughs, achievements, kindnesses, goodness in all forms, and celebrations.

The loved ones and the others who have gone before us still do have something to offer because they see through the “baloney” of Life to that which is True and Lasting.

 

Here are a few nuggets of Golden Wisdom:

~This, too, shall pass;

~Let it go;

~Relax, “smell the roses”;

~Believe in yourself; you can do it;

~I love you, Sweetheart;

~Vaya con Dios!

 

To all who have gone before:  Thank you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Self-Care: The Difference Between Self Care and Self Indulgence

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People often confuse self-care with self-indulgence. People think treating themselves to chocolate or ice cream or cookies is a form of self-care. They think skipping their session at the gym is self-care. Or, they may convince themselves that staying out late with their friends, getting drunk or high or zoning out in front of the TV are forms of self-care.

These aren’t.

All of these are self-indulgence.

The difference between self-care and self-indulgence is that self-care helps balance the effects of emotional, physical, and mental stressors in every day life. The effects of self-care are long lasting.

Self-indulgence is a quick fix for stressors and the effects are very short-lived.

Self-care is doing things such as eating nutritious food, getting plenty of sleep, making sure you have quiet time for meditation and contemplation, including exercise and movement in your day, regularly engaging in activities that are enjoyable, and spending time with people who celebrate you.

Self-care is all about balance, moderation, and thoughtfully choosing what to do–how best to soothe and comfort yourself.

What are some things you do to care for yourself? I watch the sunrise or sunset and I enjoy blowing bubbles. How about you? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Self Care: Quick and Easy Tips

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I found this article on self care on the Internet and I thought it was timely and practical: The 5-Step Guide to Self Care for Busy People

Here is a summary of the steps in the article:

~Start with your needs first–what you need most at that particular moment.

If you can pinpoint what is bothering you or stressing you out then you can go straight to the self-care technique.

 

~Schedule it.

This sounds silly to schedule self-care, but it’s so easy to dismiss your need for comfort and support. If you schedule regular sessions of caring for yourself, then you won’t always be in crisis.

 

~Prioritize.

Give yourself the honor and respect that you give others by sticking to the schedule you’ve devised for yourself regarding self-care.

 

~Be assertive about setting your boundaries.

Your self-care needs are vitally important. Your needs are just as important as anyone else’s. You are entitled to take care of yourself.

 

~Focus on little and often.

It’s better to do self-care things that take a short while, and do them frequently, than to do a big chunk of a self-care activity only once in a while. For instance, it’s better to give yourself a manicure once each week, every week, than to do a day at the spa once a year or every other year.

 

Which of these steps did you find most surprising or enlightening or doable? I liked the last step the best: doing a little bit for yourself as often as you can. I also liked the second step of scheduling this bit of regular self-care.

Do you already have some form of a regular self-care practice? Until I read this article, I didn’t realize that I actually do have a regular self-care routine. Two mornings each week, I leave early to get to two different clients’ offices. I do this primarily to miss the traffic. The added benefit is that I have plenty of time to sit in a scenic area and watch the sunrise. Often, I take pictures and text them to my loved ones. I enjoy doing this, it gives me such a great feeling and I’m buoyed all day long.

What’s your self-care practice? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Self Care: Nine Inspiring Quotations

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This week we’ll be talking about caring for ourselves.  Here are a few quotes to ponder today.

Enjoy!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.  ~Joel Osteen

 

It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there’s nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.  ~Wayne Dyer

 

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.  – William James

 

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.  – Thich Nhat Hanh

 

We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.  – Mary Dunbar

 

My guiding principles in life are to be honest, genuine, thoughtful and caring.  ~Prince William

 

Dedicating some time to meditation is a meaningful expression of caring for yourself that can help you move through the mire of feeling unworthy of recovery. As your mind grows quieter and more spacious, you can begin to see self-defeating thought patterns for what they are, and open up to other, more positive options.  ~Sharon Salzberg

 

We emphasize negativity and violence in the media because that’s what grabs everybody’s attention, but in the real world, it’s mostly people being very cooperative and caring and connected and kind. That’s the norm of human experience. And yet, what gets our attention is the very opposite.   ~Richard Linklater

 

I know from personal experience how fear and low self-worth can cripple one’s ability to succeed in life. But with a little support, caring and inspiration, miracles can happen.  ~Richard Hatch

 

Have a great week!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Back by Popular Demand: Quotes to Inspire You

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Need some inspiration? Here are a few quotes:

 

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. ~Confucius

 

Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it. ~David Star Jordan

 

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ~Helen Keller

 

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. ~Stephen King

 

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It isn’t what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently. ~Tony Robbins

 

Defeat my serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out. ~Edwin Markham

 

Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do. ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

 

Use what talent you possess; the woods would be very quiet if no birds sang except those that sang best. ~Henry van Dyke

 

Why should you continue to go after your dreams? Because seeing the look on the faces of the people who said you couldn’t do it, will be…priceless! ~Kevin Ngo

 

Which quote(s) did you like best?

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Spirituality: Happy Friday the 13th with 13 Inspiring Spiritual Quotations to Celebrate!

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A cherished friend of mine is a graduate of Colgate University. The number thirteen is a lucky one for all people connected to Colgate University and every Friday the Thirteenth is a celebration day for them.

In honor of my friend’s achievement of graduating from Colgate University, and to join in the celebration of the number thirteen, here are thirteen inspirational quotes about spirituality.

Being on a spiritual path does not prevent you from facing times of darkness; it teaches you how to use the darkness as a tool to grow. ~Unknown

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle that shines or the mirror that reflects it. ~Edith Wharton

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road does not mean they are lost. ~Dalai Lama

A Spiritual Badass: sends out love to strangers; is always seeking the lesson; knows that happiness is a choice. ~Unknown

The candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. ~Italian Proverb

Maybe the journey isn’t about becoming something but rather unbecoming everything that isn’t really you so that you can be who you were meant to be in the first place. ~Unknown

Throw kindness around like confetti. ~Unknown

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened. ~Buddha

Someday we’ll forget the hurt, the reason we cried, and who caused us pain. We will finally realize that the secret of being free is not revenge but letting things unfold in their own way and own time. After all, what matters is not the first but the last chapter of our life, which shows how well we ran the race. So smile, laugh, forgive, believe, and love all over again. ~Unknown

Three years from now make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it. ~Unknown

Sometimes when you don’t know what to say, a hug says enough. ~Unknown

It is well with my soul. ~Horatio Spafford

Be kind when it is possible; it is always possible. ~Dalai Lama

 

I think each of these are filled with simple wisdom and timely reminders; I hope they are as meaningful for you as they are for me.

 

Enjoy!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Crafting a soul-prospering life.