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Basics of Self-Care: I-den-ti-fy!!

Welcome to the second installment in our Blog Series- “The Basics of Self-Care”. Last time we looked at the overall idea of self-care and the different parts. This week we begin at the top and think about how to identify when self-care is needed.

So, the biggest warning sign is when you start to notice that something is “off”.  This can take many forms. So, let’s break it down. Let’s look at the different areas of your life. We want to do this in a way that’s constructive and informative. Try not to turn this into a free-for-all bash fest. I feel you, internal critic, but stay in your own lane! You are trying to do something about how you are feeling and need to try to do this from a place of kindness, not beat yourself up. Basically, you are the architect of your life looking at ways to make improvements. This is a good thing.

Let’s take a look at the different areas you have going on in your life. Keeping with the architect theme let’s look at your “blueprints”. These represent the different areas you have in your life. The purpose is to help you be able to see what’s going on by breaking it down into chunks. That way you can pinpoint the issue. So, for example, let’s say we break it down into work, emotions and health “blueprints”. You can add more or less. Just do what works for you.

Let’s look at work. Are tasks seeming to take you longer than normal? Is concentration an issue? Are you calling out more, or coming in late more? We are looking at changes. Now if you’ve always hated your job, no amount of self-care is going to change that, and that’s a conversation for a different day. However, if you’ve started to notice a shift to the negative take a look at that.

Hey there emotions. How are you? Ah, don’t let this “blueprint” freak you out. You are not simply your emotions, so once again let’s gag that internal critic and take a gander at what’s going on. Are you more irritable? Are you crying at every dog adoption commercial that comes on? Does your anger feel way out of proportion with the cause?  Are you finding yourself on a murderous rampage because someone used wire hangers?  Once again this represents a shift from your “normal”. If you are having a difficult time deciphering this, a good way to start examining your emotions is journaling. That way you have a record of how you are feeling and can see if things start to dip into the red zone more and more frequently.

Health. This area gets forgotten pretty often, but it’s the engine that let’s us do the things we do. Typically, if you are in good health this goes doubly for you.  We can take our health for granted until something major happens, like a health scare or an illness. Prevention is the key. We want to keep those preventable stressors from building up and putting too much strain on our system. Have you been getting sick more often? Are you finding yourself with more aches and pains? Is your skin looking tired or breaking out more? These can all be signs that something is going on. Take heed, my friend.

 A good way to look at these areas (especially emotions and health) is to do a body scan. This is a brief way to do a check in, to see how your system is running.  Take a look at this video and see what you think.

Next week we look at sleep and the impact it can have on, well, everything. See you then, brave companions!

Barbara ColemanComment