"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience." - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Up until last year, I thought my self-care routines were working pretty well. Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep some nights, perhaps my exercise goals were a bit behind my realities, and stress was a familiar companion… but overall, I was keeping things together and life was humming along.
And then I experienced a health challenge that changed my perspective on self-care entirely. I realized that significant changes were needed right away. It was time to upgrade my level of self-care from "maintenance" to "extreme"!
Every aspect of how I was taking care of myself was up for review – even how I think about my own health. So, I did a lot of exploring, starting with the basics – water, food and sleep. I took some time to educate myself on the many possibilities and choices available.
In the light of the new information I’d gathered, I started to understand just how energy-draining and unhelpful some my old habits actually were. Missing my morning vitamins had consequences that I would have ignored before. Paying attention to hydration was something I had never put deep thought into. Not skimping on sleep or meditation time became crucial to being able to get through the day with enough energy and less stress. Suddenly, my daily self-care routines that I usually allowed myself to be a bit lax about, needed to be integrated into my life right away.
But, here’s another challenge - I’m lazy! I admit it!! If there’s a distraction to avoid doing what I SHOULD be doing in relation to self-care, I will find it. In order for me to succeed at this – and there was no choice but to succeed – I knew I needed to find the “lazy way” to extreme self-care. For me, that meant two things:
1) Avoid feeling overwhelmed
2) Find the most effective short cuts as quickly as possible
Dial Down Overwhelm
Feeling overwhelmed is normal – we all feel it at times, and some of us deal with that feeling nearly all of the time! When you have a health challenge and don’t have the stamina you may be used to, feeling overwhelmed can be even more debilitating.
When I thought about what caused me to feel overwhelmed the most, I realized that I had way too many things on my To Do list, and felt a lot of pressure to get stuff done. I would feel demoralized at the end of the day when I didn’t make a dent in my list. Given that my energy level was impacted by my health, I understood I needed to make a change in this area first.
Laying the Groundwork
I pared my list down to the ONE most important thing to accomplish daily - the one thing that would support all of the other items on my To Do list. I call this very important step "laying the groundwork" for your goals. (I teach this useful technique in the LifeWorks Program – CLICK HERE for more info!)
At that moment, the most important groundwork item for me was getting enough sleep. Quality sleep is the body’s time to regenerate. It supports the immune system and speeds the healing process. Getting enough deep sleep became my primary goal, and I allowed all of the other items on my list to take a back seat to that one.
Finding Your Shortcuts
For anyone who’s struggled to get enough sleep, looking for solutions can be daunting. So, I implemented my second step: Find the most effective short cuts to your goal as quickly as possible. In order to accomplish that, I had to be willing to try… everything!
I began researching supplements, therapies, sleep programs… and tried some of everything that made sense to me. Having medical intuitive skills was helpful, of course - but everyone can do this. The most important information comes from your own body – it will tell you what is working and what is not.
Within a short time, I found a combination of supplements and isochronic tones that worked very well. I learned new “sleep hygiene” techniques to listen to and honor my body’s signals, and stopped letting myself get over-tired.
If all that research and trying different things sounds like the opposite of “lazy”, trust me – it’s not! Re-prioritizing my energy to focus only on solutions to sleeplessness was the fastest shortcut to get my health back on track… and it worked! I hope this helps you find your own practical path to “extreme” self-care.
Until next time – stay inspired!