Self Care Is Essential - Part Two

The following are then second ten ideas for self-care.  I felt very inspired writing all 20 of these self-care tips.  I hope you will be also. 

1.     A key to self-care is self-acceptance.  If we feel ok about ourselves then we are willing to care for ourselves.  If we are judgmental and critical of self then we will tend to not take compassionate care of ourselves.  Self-acceptance is not complicated.  It begins with having an open heart to who we are and appreciating our uniqueness.  This self-appreciation is possible if we shrink our inner critic and make sure our self-talk is positive and supportive.  There is no real reason to reject who we are except that our thinking has gone off in the wrong direction.  In this moment and every moment we are: brimming with potential; equipped with a heart that can love without limits; have a mind that can achieve anything it can conceive; and have a spirit that is simply divine.
    2.    Expressing our own uniqueness is what life is about and essential to caring for self.  There never was nor will there ever be someone just like us in the history of humanity.  We come with all we need inside.  We can create our life and our expression in unlimited ways.  The universe is waiting for us to express ourselves and it will aligned its vast resources to support our unique expression.  Our creativity, in whatever form it takes, was meant to be a gift for all those who inhabit our planet.  To be less than we are is to settle for mediocrity and it will short change all our fellow humankind.   Our purposeful expression is here right now in us waiting to be more and more fully realized.
    3.    Leaving work at work is big part of being healthy and staying healthy.  If our work is our passion it is a wonderful gift to us and the rest of the world.   We still however need to set boundaries so that we have time away, time for renewal, time to recharge.  If we work in intense careers the "leaving work at work" is essential to our survival and long-term resilience.   Pay particular attention to any worrying, problems solving or obsessing about work and then refocus our brains on our interests outside of work.  If there are no other interests then it is time to develop some.  If we have families then building relationships with our partner and children is a great place to focus our energy when not at work.  Self-care can also be a productive focus away from work.   There is so much of interest about life so there is no shortage of new adventures to explore.
    4.    Finding our way socially when feeling the intensity of work can be a perplexing challenge at times.  If our work is deeply involved with people then we may need time to ourselves, we may withdraw socially, or we may seek ways to numb out.  That may not work very well.  It is best to hang out with people who understand your work, people who are supportive and positive, people who are willing to listen, and/or people who share common interests.  We are social beings and need the contact with others.  There are times when being quiet and alone is necessary.  After that alone time is taken, social interactions will seem more comfortable.  Isolating won't work nor will it meet our needs so make sure there is time for play set aside with others.
    5.    Sometimes we have to speak up for ourselves.  This means saying, "no" to what isn't working and saying, "yes" to positive opportunities.  Setting limits can be difficult but very important.  We must learn to say "no" to situations that are not healthy for us for example: negative and draining friends, unrealistic expectations, unhealthy activities etc.  Saying "yes" to what you really would love to do, what excites us, what pushes us out of our comfort zone are where our energy needs to go.   If you don't take good care of our needs, our ability to be of service to others will be compromised. 
    6.    There is no failure, just feedback, so why not go for life with passion, be willing to take risks, stretch ourself toward more and more personal freedom.  Failure is an invention of our school system and a poor one at that.  There really is no failure because whatever we do our best at is not a failure.  Not winning the Super Bowl, the World Series, The US Open is not failure, it is dam good to be even playing at the level.  The same is true about life, we all show up and do our best and oftentimes with an open mind and heart we can learn to get better.  No one is a failure, we are all doing the best we know how and the level of success we achieve will vary over time.  We can see ourselves as a successful person if we: learn to love, make a living, do acts of kindness, listen well, care about others, find peace of mind, be creative, find joy, forgive, have a real smile, continue to grow, learn how to course correct, raise healthy children, live purposefully, and so much more.
    7.    Patience is a wonderful quality in a world on speed.  Everything seems to need to happen right now but that isn't necessary.  Getting caught in traffic can be no problem if we have patience.  Trust in our child-rearing skills, add 10 years after school, plus a large dose of patience and we will feel like we did a good job.  Being patient enough to really listen will resolve almost all relationship issues.  Patience with those we love will endear us them.  Patience with ourselves will mean we will have adequate time to fully grow into our potential.  Patience with our mind will allow us to live a more mindful life.  Patience with our heart will allow us to expand our compassion for others and grow in love for ourselves and for those we truly care about.

    8.    Shrinking the inner critic is key to self-care.  Yes the inner critic is highly trained and most of the time off the radar of our conscious mind.  We learn from early on to be very judgmental and to cut ourselves and others no slack.  Just because we learned it doesn't make it right or healthy.  The inner critic doesn't make you and I better people, it just makes us bitter and dissatisfied.  If being the best we can be is our goal then we need to eliminate the critic and instead employ an inner dialogue of support and encouragement.  If we put the inner critic out of a job, we will be more creative, loving, joyous, free, healthy and peaceful.  Shrinking the inner critic is as easy as paying attention to our thoughts.  As critical thoughts come up, replace those thoughts with love, acceptance, kindness and compassion.
    9.    Being Present is really the only place there is.  There is no past except in the memories of the now.  There is no future, except in the hopes we have today.  When we are present we are open to the endless opportunities of the now.  When we are distracted about the past, worried about the future and elsewhere in our thinking, we miss out on the gift (present) of the now.  Being present allows us to drop the baggage of the past and the anxiety about what is next.  Being present means living fully in the moment, free to be just who we are and to fully enjoy the now.
    10.    If we want to live a good life the first question might be are we happy?  Are we open to feel the joy that wants to flow through us at all times?   A sense of humor is a positive indicator of living joyously.  Humor that is sarcastic misses the point of happiness as the goal.  If we have happiness that is clear sign that something is working out well.   Always move toward people places and things that make us happy and move away from people, place and things that are not working for us.  Laughter is a great partner in this journey we are on, plus it can be very healing to the mind, body and heart.  The desire to be happy is a very powerful and positive force within that can be a wonderful guide to an amazing life.

Please let me know how these 20 ideas benefit you and your life.