In my recent Friday morning blog posts and Chi Insight videos (posted on Facebook and YouTube on Wednesday afternoons) I’ve mentioned meditation, exercise, good nutrition, and getting enough sound sleep as ways to care for yourself. Another important way to practice self-care is to make sure your environment at home and work supports you by enhancing the flow of Chi, or life force. As a certified Feng Shui practitioner for over 20 years, I’ve helped thousands of people adjust their environments to make them more relaxing and peaceful, conducive to productive work, and welcoming and nurturing to relationships. There are so many small ways we can take care of ourselves, that offer huge rewards. We just have to make the self-care time a priority.
The following checklist from “Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World” (www.LucilleZimmerman.com) is a wonderful tool for checking in with yourself to see if you’re providing consistent self-care. Put a check next to each of the statements that apply to you and see where most of your check-marks can be found. In the first half of the list, or the second half? This exercise will help you see how you’re truly feeling and whether or not you’re practicing adequate self-care.
___ Overspend, Overeat, and overindulge
___ Expect others to read your mind and meet your needs
___ Withhold success from yourself
___ Ignore your deepest desires, but seek to fulfill the desires of others
___ Ignore your real emotions and put on a “happy” face
___ Allow others to emotionally, physically, or sexually abuse you
___ Deflect compliments
___ Say “yes” because you can’t say “no”
___ Avoid time along
___ Over-exhaust yourself because of your need to feel important, needed, or worthy
___ Fear emotional intimacy
___ Try to do it all yourself, never asking for help
___ Try to appear perfect
OR, do you...
___ Take time for yourself
___ Allow yourself to make mistakes and to be open about your weaknesses
___ Spend time with friends
___ Eat well
___ Spend money wisely
___ Pursue your dreams
___ Share honestly with others
___ Enjoy and make time to enjoy and be intimate with those you love
___ Allow others to be disappointed in you
___ Appropriately express emotions, including anger and sadness
___ Tell others what they mean to you
___ Be present for your children
___ Receive love from others
___ Say “yes” and “no”
___ Create a powerful support system for yourself
___ Celebrate accomplishments big and small
Once you begin to practice consistent self-care, you’ll find yourself in contact with others who also take the time to care for themselves. Maybe you’ll strike up a conversation with someone you see walking regularly in the park at the same time you walk, or you’ll meet someone in a meditation group. Perhaps when you visit the local farmers market to purchase quality vegetables, you’ll share a recipe with another market regular. That’s how communities are built. Before you know it, you’ll have a supportive self-care community. I’ll talk more about community during the month of July.