Posts tagged #emotional wellness

3 Ways to Accept Yourself and Live a Happier Life

Social media is a breeding ground for epically low self-esteem, comparisonitis and basically wishing you were anyone else. Being bombarded on a daily basis by the supermodel instagrammers, the jetsetters who globetrot with their entourage of cats and funny memes and even your colleague with the new blindingly white smile, it’s a wonder we can even get up in the morning.

How do we accept ourselves when everyone else seems to be skinnier, happier and richer or spending time with someone who is skinnier, happier and richer than they are?

Self-acceptance is a magical force—the more we lean into it, the more we flourish and flower and thrive.

Here are 3 ways to start accepting yourself (so you can stop feeling bad by what everyone else is doing) and feel happier in your own skin!

1.       Let go of resistance to what is. Resistance looks like wishing, hoping, denying, criticizing, cursing, raging against, forcing, ridiculing, belittling, shaming, ignoring, depriving and disconnecting. The things about you that you can’t change are: height, age, race, orientation and past experiences. Not a long list is it? Sit with those aspects of yourself and say: I accept that I am ….. and read out these aspects. Spend every day accepting and acknowledging these aspects of yourself. When you feel comfortable with that, you can move into: I love that I am … read out the same aspects.
 

2.       Ask yourself what you’re unhappy with. Is it your weight? Your income? Your relationship status? All these things you can change. BUT FIRST YOU HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND ACCEPT THEM THE WAY THEY ARE RIGHT NOW. Ok, so I’m 180 lbs right now. I’m making $40,000 per year. I’m single. Say these things out loud. This is where the saying “say it like it is” comes in. You have to look at your life with an honest lens. You have to accept what is.
 

3.       Release the emotional charge around the sticky points. If you’ve always had a problem with your weight or if you can’t find a healthy relationship then there are a lot of emotions tied up in that experience. In order to change anything, you have to clear the barriers in the way of making change: negative emotions and beliefs. Use tapping (tap on one point and tell the story of that experience until you have a release) to let go of the emotions surrounding your weight, relationship status and income situation. From there you can actually move forward and start making changes.

One last point about all the fabulous, beautiful and fancy free people on social media. They deserve to be happy too don’t they? If they become unhappy or suddenly aren’t as beautiful as they were or lose all their money, would all that goodness transfer to your life? No. So stay in your own lane, but wave and blow kisses to all those beside you. They all want what you want: to live a happy and fulfilling life. Let’s cheer each other on.

For more resources on how to be who you’re meant to be while surrounded by other high-vibing truth seekers, join my Facebook group: Heal Your Emotions, Heal Your Body

Five Ways to Feel Like Yourself Again

Just can’t shake that feeling of being totally “off”?

Maybe it’s been a weird day … or week … or most of your thirties bit the big one.

If it seems like you’ve drifted away from who you are … only to find yourself on a desert island of WTF: don’t worry! There is a raft heading your way right now.

First, we need to look at the root cause of why we feel off in the first place. Like how did we end up here with our tattered shirt wrapped around our head, trying to spear fish with our house key?

How did we end up feeling like a completely unrecognizable version of ourselves?

1. What are you doing to throw yourself off?

Take a long hard look at what you’ve been doing in the past few months and weeks (or years) leading up to this lost-self-scenario.

My example would be that I used to take on every project I’d ever wanted to do ALL AT ONCE and proceed to give myself a deadline of yesterday. Time waits for no one I used to tell myself. A couple weeks into this self-imposed boot camp I’m bedridden—binge watching Netflix and wearing the same clothes from last week.

The point is that the patterns are easy to spot once we look for them. Can you say warning signs?!

2. Are you pushing yourself too hard?

Throwing yourself off meet pushing yourself too hard. I’m sure you two will get along great. You have so much in common.

We all know that pushing leads to collapse or burnout or collapse and burnout. Even inanimate objects experience this. As an example, did you know that if you push a coffee maker too hard and make it pump out cup after cup without a break that it will eventually start projectile vomiting water across your kitchen counter? Or, so I’ve heard.

Anyway, we all know that pushing ourselves too hard is a recipe for disaster. Look at what you can do in pieces, one after the other.

How can you space projects out so that you have time to breathe in between?

When can you take time off even if it’s just an afternoon to spend in the park?

Awareness is key so make sure to be on alert for when you’re pushing yourself as opposed to having a healthy motivation for your schedule.

3. Are you asking for help?

Our society can no longer worship the individual. The individual is part of the whole. The individual is part of the group and community that we need so much.

We need that collaboration and support.

We need to feel connected to others as we go for our dreams in life.

Collaboration, community and relationships are the most important principles in life today—aside from sharing love. Without our community behind or with us, we are always going to feel lost or off.

Find your people—whether it’s a social group, exercise group, political group or spiritual group—stay connected. Ask for help. Reach out and do things with others who have a common goal.

4. Getting that desperate feeling

Sometimes we start to panic and feel really out of it. Maybe we’ve gone so far that we can’t really find our way back home to ourselves. Its ok, we’ve all been there. The way back is to reconnect to our True Self.

Find time in the morning or at night to breathe deeply and envision roots growing from your feet into the centre of the earth.

Spend time with your eyes closed and feel the communion with your True Self. Do this regularly so that you always maintain that connection. The source of most anxiety and feeling of confusion is due to the fact that we’ve disconnected from who we really are.

5. What do you love?

What you love is who you are.

What you love is an expression of your life.

When you connect to that, you are connected to your True Self, your core.

This is the quickest way to feel like yourself again:

Reaffirm what you love.

Make a list.

Tell someone.

Make plans to express what you love in the world.

You can’t feel out of it when you are doing or being what you love—it is impossible.

Try to use these five tips as a maintenance tool or a sign post—when you start to feel wobbly go back to one of these steps. And the thing to remember is that no matter how off you may feel, you are never far from your True Self.

Remember: YOU are home.

I would love to hear how you connect to yourself or what you love. Share below in the comments!

Peace at Last? Body vs Mind

One summer afternoon, Mind and Body watch the sun dance on the water.

Although the scenery is peaceful and lovely, Mind is irritated with Body, as usual.

“You’re getting quite hefty,” Mind observes, sweeping her eyes over Body disapprovingly.

“What would you know? You’ve never been anything more than a bunch of thoughts. You don’t understand the physical. You’re all up in your head all the time.”

“A big FAT head, you’re right about that,” Mind shoots back.

Body folds her arms and turns away from Mind. Her stomach tightens. Ice cream would be good right now. Anything to override this tension.  

What does Mind know anyway? It’s not easy being flesh and blood.

Mind can’t handle a fifth of the nasty shit Body puts up with on the regular.
 

Body remarks coldly, “You’ve never felt anything in your life. You just THINK you have.” Body chuckles at her cleverness. 

Mind stews over this for an hour and a half. She unpacks each sentence and replays the words, making note of every nuance and tone Body used.

Her conclusion is that Body hates her and wants to destroy Mind.

Mind begins to plot her revenge.

“Next time you go out on the town be sure to wear your tight purple dress—the one that shows off all your bulges … I mean curves.” Mind sits back, proud of her Machiavellian style attack.

Mind feels triumphant: Body can’t take anyone criticizing her size!
 

But to Mind’s surprise, Body pulls herself up to full height.

And begins to dance. And twirl and twirl.

She flings her arms out, feeling the wind in her fingers and the song in her heart.

Each twirl fills Body with more and more joy.

Mind yells, “Stop this stupidity!”

Body twirls and twirls.

 

Mind wails, “The neighbours will laugh!”

Body sways and jumps, blood pulsating through her veins.

Mind stops yelling.

Mind stops everything. 

This is kinda cool she thinks grudgingly.

And she falls silent.

And Body dances and dances and dances.

 

Have you ever felt as if your mind and body were battling it out? Share your comments and stories below.

WHY AM I STILL FEELING AWFUL?

I used to think that I would literally never find relief from my longterm health issues: skin, digestive pain/imbalance and massive anxiety.

At one point I seriously thought I’d spend the rest of my life like a vegetable on medication, completely dysfunctional and of no use to anyone.
 

I had tried everything to make my symptoms go away.

I had put all my energy into “getting rid of the problem.”

Nothing was working: I was at my wit’s end.

I still felt awful and I accepted that I would probably always feel awful.


THERE WAS NO WAY OUT


We can paint ourselves into a corner sometimes.

We are not able to see the solution.

We really don’t even know what the problem is.

 

Here is a truth bomb that changed everything for me:

OUR SYMPTOMS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM, WE ARE THE PROBLEM
 

Your perspective of the problem is off.

Your solutions aren’t addressing the cause of the problem.

Your actions are not healing the ACTUAL CAUSES OF YOUR HEALTH PROBLEMS.

I know this all sounds harsh but you need a wake-up call so you don’t spend twenty years figuring things out (like I did).
 

HOW TO SHIFT

1.       Ask your health issue what it is trying to tell you. Journal about it. Meditate on it. Listen.

2.       Get in touch with your body everyday—ask what your body needs, how you’re feeling, spend time tuning in physically to your body.

3.       Look at your life patterns emotionally: what is your dominant experience to life? (ex. Disappointment, resentment, anger, fear of being criticized). Journal about it. Meditate on it. Listen.

THESE THREE TECHNIQUES WILL PROFOUNDLY SHIFT YOUR LIFE AND GET YOU IN TOUCH WITH WHO YOU REALLY ARE: YOUR TRUE SELF. YOUR TRUE SELF KNOWS ALL THE ANSWERS AND IS PATIENTLY WAITING FOR YOU TO EMBRACE YOUR TRANSFORMATION.

Comment below with your ahas!

The Key to Healing Chronic Acne That No One is Talking About

Are you ready to finally feel good about yourself? 

Then you'll want to learn what The Key to Healing Chronic Acne That No One is Talking About

So happy to have my article in the amazing and spectacular Spiritual Badass Magazine created by the original sparkly and glittery badass--Amethyst Mahoney! Tons of informative and fun information for the badasses out there changing the world.

Click here to watch the interview

Click here for the article

Posted on January 19, 2018 and filed under adult acne.

Emotional Factory Settings

My life is upside down. If upside down means right side up that is.

In other words, my life is traveling speedily down a road I like to call “awesome”! Just flying down the open road with my hair blowing in the breeze…metaphorically for now, but I’m ready for actual windblown hair at any time! All is right with the world. Now let’s go back a couple of weeks.

My life was upside down. Upside down with no opposite talk, just upside down. I was not driving along the road called awesome, I was careening down the highway to hell (yes, I can hear AC/DC too).

The difference between an upside down life and an upside down life that’s really right side up is this: emotional factory settings.

These are your knee-jerk, spastic, unconscious responses to life that we’ve hopefully managed to meditate, downward dog, transmute and clear away—for the most part. Until we find ourselves under extreme pressure. The pressure could be happy experiences like moving to a seaside hut in Costa Rica with your devoted and sensitive poetry—writing warrior/lover or it could mean finding out your new boss is the person who relentlessly bullied you in high school. Pressure is pressure; both bring out our emotional factory settings.

Our body has slipped into such as state of stress that it must operate on factory settings. There is no extra energy or awareness available to act in a conscious way in every moment. You must know me well enough by now…I would never agree with that!

Of course you can turn things around! So, how do you reset back to your calm, conscious, customized Self?
 

Try these tips:

  1. Prevent emotional explosions. 
    I built up such a powder keg of nervous energy that when someone poked the bear...I was exploding all over the place. And all over the poor unsuspecting person in front of me. The key is to let out the nervous energy. If you feel tense go for a walk, go to the gym, yell into a pillow, hurl rocks into the water, run to a friend’s house or jump up and down. The real point is to release that nervous, pent up energy.
     
  2. Communicate your feelings. 
    This is a tough one for me so I’m not saying this lightly. If you feel an icky feeling in your gut—someone hurt your feelings or you felt cast aside-acknowledge those feelings. Try to name them and write them down or say it out loud. Then if you want to tell the person directly, do that. Maybe it’s just a matter of relaying the event to a friend. Remember to frame it in a way that the person you’re telling is a sounding board, not a gossiping partner. The key here is to release the emotion once it’s acknowledged.
     
  3. Relax yourself.
    Take a bath. Put lavender under your nostrils. Take rescue remedy. Go for a massage. Take a nap. Read a lighthearted book. Pet your animal. Gaze at a body of water or fire. Breathe deep cleansing breaths.
     
  4. Eat regularly. 
    Keep your energy steady in the body so that your blood sugar isn’t all over the place. Going long periods of time without eating only serves to throw your emotions, hormones and general calmness out of whack! Don’t go more than three hours without eating—even if it’s a snack. A handful of nuts, some crackers and humous or a piece of fruit with almond butter will do the trick.

Try these techniques to unplug the emotional factory settings doing you no good whatsoever, so that you can return to your evolved and customized settings—the real YOU!
 

Stuck at the Kids Table

Do you remember sitting at a rickety fold-out table, with the other outcasts, also known as children, at holiday meal time? I’m talking about the kids table. I always felt that being forced to sit with other ostracized children was not my idea of holiday like behaviour. But who has a say when you’re eight?

Which brings me to my point: always sitting at the kids table. This is of course, a metaphorical, not literal situation and addresses my past feelings of being a child in adult form.

From the age of eighteen, I felt very uncomfortable and unprepared to live my life as an adult. I felt like a fraud. I’d somehow grown up physically, but I was completely unequipped and unprepared psychologically. Maybe you can relate…

As you know when you feel insecure inside, you somehow want to prove that you don’t. So, I set out to prove that I wasn’t a helpless little girl. My inner warrior went full tilt and I kicked things into turbo gear. Oh yeah, I’ll show you! I’m not some incapable female… I’ll just go to Africa all by myself. That did not end well by the way. It was a “learning experience” (the phrase used for complete disasters).

The first problem with rebellion is that it’s painfully unsustainable. The second problem with rebellion is that you waste a lot of time rebelling against an idea of yourself. In other words, you are trying to prove yourself, to yourself.

There I was recreating situations in which I would be taken care of, while simultaneously rebelling against being taken care of. I was gallivanting off to different corners of the earth to disprove my self-imposed identity and secretly wishing I didn’t have to. Can you see the turmoil and conflict this situation creates?
 

When your Identity Doesn’t Fit Anymore

After years of playing identity tennis, I was wrung out. From pure exhaustion I dropped my rebellious cape and began to emerge as my True Self. I started to embrace the positive side of being young at heart. I acknowledged all the good things that go along with being young minded, young spirited and young looking (I’ll milk this one until my friends and family start to get embarrassed for me). I decided that being a little girl was fun but didn’t suit me anymore in its limitations. I couldn’t expand and live my dreams while playing the little girl; I was tired of dress-up time.

The good news is that your True Self is not limited: it has many facets. We can tap into our inner child, our feminine self, our masculine self, our teacher and our parent, just to name a few. I wanted to embrace them all and give them full access to come forward.

So I experimented. I became a Reiki teacher. I got a toolbox. I bought a little black dress. I mentored youth. If I felt that creepy sensation of being a little girl in grown-up clothes, I became still and asked what my inner child was trying to tell me. Most times I was just frightened because of a new experience or I felt vulnerable. So I would nurture my inner child by colouring one of the princesses or I would put heart stickers all over my computer. Afterwards, I felt more like an adult than ever—go figure! Try these steps and exercises-they did me a world of good as a woman-child.
 

Action Steps

Acknowledge your inner child. Colour, draw, splash around in puddles, climb trees (no one has to see you!), build a fort, hang out with your kids or other people’s kids.

Acknowledge your self-sufficient side. When you accomplish something celebrate it! For instance, if you went outside your comfort zone and drove a far distance alone or if you showed up at a new club without a companion…congratulate yourself! Anytime you do something that normally feels like a bit of a challenge, acknowledge it. Each time will get easier and you’ll feel more comfortable doing it. Then you’ll have the CHOICE as to whether you accept another’s help or not.

Honour your rebellious side—let your inner warrior come out and play. Instead of traipsing off to a war torn country for some good old fashioned danger, try some smaller challenges. Join a bootcamp. Try mountain climbing. Take up karate. Do “risky” things in small doses more frequently and you won’t end up like a shaken up bottle of pop.
 

Exercise: Little Girl Persona

  1. Write down all the nicknames people have called you and pick out the most little girlish ones. Circle them.
    How did you feel when someone called you those nicknames? Did you rise to the occasion and act more like a little girl? Or did you become resentful and rebellious?

     
  2. Make up three empowered nicknames for your True Self.
    What would your true nature love to be called? Once you have your favourite one, call yourself by the nickname (in your head) at any point when you feel that a pattern has taken hold of you. Repeat it in your mind as many times as you want throughout the day—“I AM_____ (insert nickname). I allow my true self to direct my thoughts and actions.” Mine is: Truly Me (you’re welcome to use that one)!

     

Adapted from Chapter Two of my soon to be launched book:

“What Would Little Red Riding Hood Do? 7 Ways to Face Your Wolf and Live Happily Ever After”

 

You Spin me Right Round, Baby Right Round...

Like a record baby….

Do your thoughts spin through your brain like a demented merry-go-round? If you’re anything like me this week, you’ll need a walker just to stand upright.

Examples of my thought process over the last few days:

I better get going on my presentation, it’s next week. What if I charged too much…I doubt people will come anyway…but what if they show up and I don’t have anything good to say? They won’t come back! I’ll damage my reputation. Concentrate. Stop. Find your notes and get started…I don’t even like this topic. What if some know-it-all in the audience asks me questions to put me on the spot?

“So, where’s the scientific proof of any of this? I’ve heard this is all a bunch of bs anyway. Where did you get your information?”

“Sir, I’d be happy to email you some of the references I have at home” (How’d you get such a lumpy head just bad luck being so bald isn’t it??)

At this point my mind completely takes over in various dramatic versions of being confronted and each time I swiftly make mincemeat of the guy. In public. Then I spend a few minutes thinking how cool that would be and then a few more minutes feeling bad about being so mean to someone when I should be calm and focused and zen-like at all times…because of course my life is supposed to set an example for others.

See? You spin me right round baby right round like a record baby….

Then I spent two hours pretending to be a computer technician by installing and uninstalling all kinds of random programs so that I could read my external hard drive data. It still looks like this:

*^£”}{@:@:}{}{}{

My brain at this point is pumping out hundreds of useless sentences strung together to spell out I’M GOING OUT OF MY MIND LIKE JACK NICHOLSON IN THE SHINING.

At this point, I took a few sips of coconut water, a few deep breaths and took stock of myself. Ok, you’re having one of those days. What you’re going to do is go to yoga and calm down. My mind complained that it was so darn hot in there and I said, yes, it’s hot yoga. It’s hot in there, but you’re still going.

When I finally dragged myself kicking and screaming to yoga class they told me my pass expired but if I bought a package right then and there it would be 25% percent off. Which would’ve been great if I had brought my wallet.

So I went for a walk through the park near my house for 30 minutes and tried to convince myself that the workout value was pretty comparable. Something like walking your way to becoming a triathlete.

Then I wrote this blog and I feel better! I got out my frustrations, put things into perspective, wrote silly things and reflected on some points and here I am. Feeling pretty good about myself again. Jack Nicholson thankfully left.

When the brain starts whipping you round and round that merry-go-round: grab it by the tail and wrestle it down. Sit on top of it and tell it what’s what. There are times to be firm and times to be gentle and compassionate. When you’re having a mind-trip type of day like I was, it’s time for some serious hand to hand combat.

And you could try some of these things also:
Watch some comedy
Take a bath
Pet your dog/cat
Call a friend
Look up future travel destinations/adventures you’d like to go on
And remember that we all have our days…

Five Quick Ways to Rebalance Yourself, Anytime, Anywhere

Sometimes as I go about my day, I suddenly realize, the sidewalk is lifting up to meet my face. In other words, I’m woozy, fuzzy and completely off balance. How does this happen?

A number of ways—maybe I didn’t eat enough breakfast, get enough sleep or stand in the shower long enough…those all need to be looked into. Body care comes first.

If you’re still seeing double and couldn’t care less what anyone says to you, just get me off this whirling merry-go-round, then you’re probably energetically off balance. I don’t mean dizzy. There is a difference. Feeling energetically off balance is like watching yourself in a movie—you’re removed, you’re unclear, you’re unconnected.
 

You may experience any of the following:

  • Bone-weary tired like you’d be happy to sleep for a week as a nap before you sleep for another week
  • People really irritate you
  • You feel overwhelmed with your daily tasks
  • You just want to hide under the covers—go back to number one here
  • Emotional—you want to rip your neighbours head off for waving at you or cry like a baby because someone opened the door for you (yes men go through this too!)

Being energetically off balance is nothing to be scared of—you just need some ways to right yourself-anytime, anywhere. Like straightening a picture. Obviously if you are committed to some deep healing work, you would go to a qualified practitioner to help you through the stages of healing. I’m talking about giving yourself a hand throughout the day so that you can function.

All these can be done without anyone knowing what you’re doing or why. It’s none of their business anyway. If you feel shy—that’s the great thing! All of this is completely private and internal.

  1. Breathe.
    Go into a public washroom somewhere and take 5 huge deep breaths and let them out slowly. Control the breathing-this is not Lamaz class or Rocky pre-training pump up. In slowly and controlled-out slowly and controlled. Look at yourself in the mirror and smile (you can leave that out if there is no mirror or if people are around or if you want someone to cock an eyebrow, go ahead!)
     
  2. This is great at work or in a meeting.
    Put your thumb and pinky finger together on the same hand for both hands, so they are touching. This grounds your energy quickly and brings you back to present. It’s amazingly simple!
     
  3. Drink a large glass of water.
    Energetically this is very helpful. Anytime you’re trying to replenish or clear your energy, you need water. This makes sense as the human body is made up mostly of water. You can even bless your water before you drink. The First Nations people did this all the time-ask the energy of the water to heal and balance you before you drink it. Give thanks. Again this is all internal-no one has to know. To everyone else at the office or at home, you’re standing there drinking a glass of water.
     
  4. Protect yourself energetically.
    This can be done in any denomination—this is not a religious act. If you feel comfortable using the word God or Angels or Spirit or the Universe—whatever you call it ask for protection from other people’s energy fields. There are people who even unbeknownst to them, are sucking all the energy out of you. If you feel completely tired and drained after talking to someone and they bounce away feeling great-guess what, you’ve found yourself an energy sucker. Just visualize a light around you holding you in the highest good for all those involved…you will still give positive love and energy to everyone throughout the day, but any negative energies will go elsewhere. This will keep your energy field up and you’ll feel great no matter whose around you.
     
  5. Sometimes in a tense situation, I start repeating an affirmation or positive thought in my mind over and over with amazing results.
    Either the situation resolves itself or the person walks away or something shifts the energy. Thoughts are energy so if you put a loving thought out into the world, things shift around you. Believe me you’ll be amazed!! Some of my usuals are: “All is well” or “I’m complete and whole as I was created” or “I can’t wait to see the good that comes of this”. You don’t have to feel embarrassed that they sound hokey because only you can hear them! Once they start working for you, you will only have positive feelings about them. They have to be repeated though—usually once is not enough. All the affirmations I’ve used come either from Dr Wayne Dyer or Louise L Hay.

There you have it! Easy and quick ways to privately shift the energy around you to reposition yourself standing tall and walking confidently through your day.
 

How my Cat Barney Taught Me to Meditate

At times in our life, we need to look around and see what or whom is influencing us. We may be surprised…

Recently, I realized that one of my biggest influences in my life is my cat Barney. Before you start rolling your eyes and feeling sorry for the poor girl with no life, hear me out. I’m talking about how Barney models perfect behaviour for self-care and relaxation. Not only that—he is the perfect teacher of meditation.

At the tender age of kittenhood, he was dropped off at a farm in the middle of winter, basically to fight it out in survival of the fittest mode. With great revenge to the inhumane individual who did this to him, he thrives today. So, with his relaxed attitude to life’s ups and downs, he continues to teach me—don’t sweat it lady.

For instance, each time I walk in the door, Barney is either chilling at the window, stretched full length on the couch or sitting casually by his food bowl. He doesn’t get uptight. He doesn’t get bent out of shape. He’s cool.
 

I attribute his gift for flow—living to his regular practice of meditation.

Every 2-3 days, I find Barney either on the couch or in the corner on my bedroom floor, in full meditation pose (cat style). He lays on his back with his paws curled into his chest, his head to one side and his lower body turned to the right. His eyes are partially open (this is the creepy part until I got used to it) and rolled back into his head. His mouth is open part way with his mouth in a strange trance-like grin. He does this for about 20 minutes and then rolls off his back, shakes his head, meows confusedly and walks away. Note: I know the difference between when a cat is sleeping and what Barney is doing—big difference!

So, every time I see Barney doing this, I think—meditation. I need to meditate more. Then I will sit and meditate or just close my eyes and breathe. I feel more relaxed, I feel less stressed, I feel more connected to my inner self.
He is a constant reminder to go with the flow and go within to balance, centre and refocus myself.
Thanks Barney—I’ll remember this article the next time you scratch my couch to shreds.
 

Add Yourself to the To-Do List

Do you find yourself so caught up in others or helping people that you forget to care for yourself? Do you lose sleep? Forget to eat? Skip meals and go without breaks?

I’ve talked to clients about this and it really is a common spiral that leads you into the realm of breakdown, burn out. I’ve been there. I’ve gone into the obsessive dark side of helping others so much that it was really to my own detriment. I learned this the very hard way.

So, what do you do when you focus too much on others? First, of all I’m not saying that we can’t help people and friends/families-of course being helpful and supportive is what makes the world a wonderful place. Another point—being a parent of course involves doing a lot for your children and making sacrifices. This is needed to raise healthy, happy children, but there needs to be a balance—parent time and/or relationship time. So, overall, there is a limit and we need to see the line in the sand.
 

Take this little quiz to see where you are on the scale:

  1. How many times per week do you skip lunch and/or dinner to run around for people, either at their request, or worse, of your own volition?
  2. How many times per week do you feel resentful of others for not appreciating what you do for them?
  3. How many times per week do you feel exhausted from a chaotic day filled with errands, tasks and jobs that have to do with others and are not in any way supportive of the things you like to do?
  4. How many people do you care for, not including children and spouses/partners?
  5. How often do you find yourself thinking about other people’s problems and dilemmas? Do you lose sleep over them?

If you spend 4-5 days per week on numbers 1-3, then you have definitely left yourself out of the equation.
If you answered the same to number 5 then your time is spent focusing on others to your own detriment.
Number 4 is just to give you an idea of the extent of your responsibilities…that may turn into a burden.
 

What can you do to turn things around?

Here are some things that I do to remind myself that I’m very important and special and without my health, vitality and wellness, there is nothing. I can’t do anything for others unless I have a solid foundation.

  1. Put time into your agenda
    to do some of your favourite silly things that have nothing at all to do with responsibility or obligation (Mine is either: reading an Archie comic, going for a walk in the park beside my house, listening to Hayhouse radio, baking cookies, going to bootcamp)
     
  2. Focus on pampering.
    (Mine are: bath with epsom salt or lavender essential oil, give myself a pedicure & paint my toenails)
     
  3. Take a nap.
    (I love to nap on my days off or in the evening when I get home after a long, stressful day—you can set the alarm if you’re worried about sleeping too long)
     
  4. Stop and assess how you feel.
    (Pick a time in the day-for example at 2pm in the afternoon in the middle of the work day. Go into the bathroom or somewhere private and breathe for a minute and then ask yourself silently, How do I feel? How is my day going? Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Pay attention and do what your body or emotional self is asking for. Maybe it means go outside and sit in the sun for 10 minutes or head to the cafe for a latte/tea)
     
  5. Be easy on yourself.
    (Write down at the end of the day—What did I do really well today? What am I proud of that I’ve done for myself today? Give an example of what you did to make your life easier that day…for example, Did I take the scenic route home? Did I voice my opinion in the board meeting?)
     

Try these suggestions for 2 weeks and see how you feel! Focus on the idea that without you, there is nothing. You are the centre of your own universe. You are the most important person to look after and when you do, others will benefit the most.

If this sounds simplistic, it is. Life is not meant to be a struggle. Let’s all keep this in mind as we go about our day, being helpful and supportive (as a balanced, whole person).

 

Photo credit: Brooklyn Morgan