How to Care
for Self First…Three Steps to Self-Empowerment
By Pat Heydlauff
Is “taking care of self” number one on your to-do list, not
the very last thing? When you do take care of yourself, do you do it
only if there is time and energy left to do so? In this case, caring
for self is not the same as being selfish but rather a new way of
looking at living your life.
Only if you take care of self first will you be able to
perform well at work, properly care for children, nurture a spouse,
have rewarding equal relationships or have enough energy left to do
what you want to do, not just have to do.
for self first” provides you a more energetic way of living and
self first” develops new positive energy habits that will reward
you at the end of the day with more energy left to enjoy your
family and social commitments with friends
self first” helps you be more efficient, effective and
self first” creates a less stressful environment.
Invigorate You by
Eliminating Some of your Surroundings:
There are no magic cures when it comes to reducing stress in
your life, being more productive and energizing self. However, there
are a few simple steps you can follow that will help energize you
and create a supportive personal environment while reducing some of
the stress in your world.
Step one, unclutter your world. Go through your home room by
room and get rid of everything that does not fit, is broken, doesn’t
look right in your current home or is simply stacks of “stuff” that
you really do not want or need. The more uncluttering you do the
simpler your life becomes and the easier it is to take care of what
In fact, the things that are left should be only things you
really love because those are the things that provide you supportive
positive energy. Do you really need four dozen pictures of glowing
sunsets or twenty pictures of each of your children all at age three
shoved into shoe boxes? Will you ever again wear half of the clothes
in your closet that are either a size too small or went out of style
five years ago? Get rid of all of those things. The rule of thumb
for clothing is “if it doesn’t fit, is out of style or you don’t
feel great in it, get rid of it.”
Are You at the Top
of Your To-Do List?
Next, learn to work
with daily lists of things to-do. At the very top of your list place
at least one thing each day that you will do to care for yourself.
It can be something as simple as quietly sitting in the sun by
yourself for 10 minutes just relaxing; or, listening to soothing
music and allowing your mind to go completely blank for 20 minutes –
no phone, no television, no talk radio, no interruptions. Only when
you allow your mind to go completely blank can you remove stressful
thoughts and be filled with new positive energy and new ideas.
On the remainder of the list place the things you have to do
and the things you want to do. Number them in order of importance
and do number one first so you always get the most important thing
done and reduce stress but only after you’ve done at least one thing
for you to energize you. Doing number one on your list will remove
much unnecessary stress from your life. If you do the little things
or the fastest things first you will still have the stress of the
most important thing looming over your head.
Clean Out the
unclutter your mind. The mind stores forever all of the negative
things that have happened to you over your lifetime. Most people
never remember all of the good things that have happened to them but
always manage to hold onto all of the hurts and painful experiences.
The more bad memories, hurtful experiences and
no-longer-relevant thinking you hold onto the more negative energy
you carry with you every day. No wonder you do not have enough
energy left at the end of the day. Think of how you would feel at
days end if you carried around a 10 pound bag of potatoes tied to
your wait. That’s exactly what you are doing to your mind by
carrying around years of negative thinking.
The easiest way to get rid of negative thinking it to simply
say to yourself, “I no longer need to hold onto _______ (your
specific negative thought); I have learned all I need to learn from
that experience and now I send it away forever.” The more you
follow this simple procedure the more room you make for positive
energy to enter your life so it can replace the old.
An alternative way to get rid of your past mental cobwebs is
to write lines and lines of free flowing negative thoughts, ideas
and conversations you’ve had onto a yellow tablet or just scraps of
paper and shred them as soon as you are done. Then follow the same
procedure above as you are shredding them.
When you feel overwhelmed, hopeless or need an energy boost,
reflect on whether you’ve neglected taking care of yourself. Put
yourself at the top of your daily to-do list then get rid of all of
those negative thoughts which will set you free. These few changes
in your lifestyle will help create balance in your life, lower your
stress, be more productive, provide you lots more positive energy -
and are extremely self-empowering.
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