Practicing Self-Care…Like A Rockstar

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Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I can practice more self-care while I continue to heal and learn from my divorce.   I don’t know about you, but when you find yourself on your own, the only person who can take care of you is you.  Self-care is not an option, a luxury, or some “woo-woo” thing.  It’s the real deal and necessary if you want to survive.  Self-care is for everyone who is living, breathing, and has a pulse; so yes, that means you.

It doesn’t mean spending a lot of money but instead, it’s about paying attention to your needs and what makes you feel good by putting yourself first.  This is not a selfish act, because if you plan on taking care of others such as your kids or loved ones, you need to take care of yourself first because it’s just like the oxygen mask theory on the plane.  When you have what you need, you have something to give.  Just as you recharge your iPhone, you need to recharge your life.

Take a time out for yourself.

Let go of the “disease to please” others.  Sometimes you need a wall, not a door or a bridge.  We need to get comfortable with disappointing others for our own health and well-being, knowing and expressing what works and doesn’t work for us. That’s self-respect and possibly another blog.

This blog a collective group effort to share thoughts, ideas, and ways that other people practice self-care so we can all learn from one another.  The response has been outstanding and fun by amazing men and women in all walks of life.  It’s an honor to write this blog, no names are mentioned except one who offered and is happy to do so.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who participated and contributed, I am eternally grateful and inspired!

So grab a snack, drink, and blanket, and curl up somewhere comfy because this blog will give you something to ponder for awhile.  Let’s see what these rockstars said in their own words about what self-care means to them!!

“Self-care for me is this very struggle I have at 7:28 am right now. How it takes me to scroll through social media to leave the bed and get going for the day. Somedays are like that. Somedays, it’s easier. I decide to wake up go for a run, shower, cook my breakfast and work is set in motion. Self-care is unfollowing that particular person who no longer provides any constructive drama to my life, who may be negative in a way. Self-care would be not always obliging to everyone’s notions and once in a while say fuck it and do what I need to do. Self-care would be sleeping until I am tired of sleeping, watching Netflix until the series gets over, giving in to 2 am burger cravings. Sometimes it’s heart over mind, sometimes mind over heart. Whatever helps me get through the day, frowning or laughing”

“I believe in taking days off every now and then to recharge and reset. If you do a repetitive job you have a greater chance of burnout. A three-day weekend can help”

“Making myself important”

“Taking a nice walk, with or without my little dog”

“The healing power of listening, making, and moving to music…3 part series”

“For me, self-care is all the little things we do on a daily basis to take care of us, the body, mind, and soul. As simple as brushing our teeth, taking a shower, drinking water, eating the right food and having a laugh”

“Self-care to me is when I purposefully check out mentally, remove all of the «titles» that define me on a daily basis (mom, wife, manager, sister, daughter, etc.) and do something that will make ME happy in that specific moment. It is when I am just me, in my essence, and listen to my needs”

“Being at one with nature. Walking the dog, biking, paddleboarding, just about anything outside that doesn’t include a phone or computer”

“By going to LIME”

“Going to read at the British café, drinking tea, going for walks and doing home spa nights. All things I do alone”

“Working a four day week, exercise, taking walks, eating well! I think we do a better job as we get older and come to terms with what things we should embrace and those to avoid. Also having school-aged children frees up some time I didn’t have before!”

“Long baths. Playing with my dog. Singing at the top of my lungs and dancing around the house”

“Surrounding myself with positive supportive people and monthly massage!”

“Reading an inspirational book by a certain local author:)”

“Love to sing at the top of my lungs in my car when alone. Lying in bed doing some breathing exercises. Play with my doggy”

“I do three things…..Xbox (fabulous escape from reality), needle felt and walk”

“Self-care for me is body, mind, and soul. Meditation is my biggest self-care go to! I am a certified crystal and energy healer so I tend to work with Crystal’s a lot”

“Hot tub + wine + a good book, gardening, walking my dog, long phone calls with my mom, and anything that gets me laughing. Oh! And kayaking!”

“Yoga, dragon boat, weight training, massages, pedicures”

“While I try to actually do something that sounds more cool or effortful, sometimes my self-care is simply snuggling up to watch a few episodes of my tv shows with a drink in-hand –> without the risk of being disturbed. I never skip that one”

“Learning new dance styles ( Right now learning Kizomba ) to exercise the brain. I go for an acupuncture session and a massage once a month. I try to make better choices for my diet as I am getting older. All of this is important to my self-care!”

“Some days it’s simply eating nourishing food and getting 8 hours of sleep. If I’m particularly stressed it involves things like yoga, meditation, deep breathing. Self-care means whatever I need at that moment to support my mind, body, and soul”

“Naps. Beach. Boundaries (in all areas of my life). Positive Affirmations. Netflix and chill”

“I’m really bad at it. But getting better. I have started running with a group of ladies who have never run before. Its great all starting at the begging together. Plus there is the talking afterward. I also do Zumba. My personal favorite though is I invite friends over once the kids are in bed and drink wine and chat. I am a social butterfly. If I don’t talk I go crazy!”

“Self-care for me is doing more things that I want to do, things that interest me, inspire me. Its also being more aware of my inner critical voice so that I am kinder to myself”

“Time for yoga and meditation rewires the brain and produces dopamine naturally – the feel-good hormone”

“Self-care for me is taking the time to meditate, spend time in nature or have a salt bath”

“I say “no”… a lot. I have learned that knowing my limits, and not over-committing is the best thing I can do for me. Also, massage & chiro. If my body isn’t functioning, it makes everything more difficult physically, emotionally and mentally”

“To me self-care is … Tuning out the “noise” and tuning into my divinity and creativity through meditative practice. This has many forms, including meditation, being in nature, yoga, and art”

“Combination of Reiki, nature, coffee shop chats and doing something creative”

“Mindfulness taught by the heart institute, a hot coffee, good book quiet time in my crappy garden, jack pine trail to feed the chickadees, and biggest (and toughest of all) saying no. Just no.”

“Participating in spiritual development through meditation, prayer, volunteering, being in nature, practicing yoga etc”

“Kickboxing, BJJ, tea and a good book”

“Yoga, pick up soccer and receiving craniosacral therapy!”

“Yoga once a week, biking a few times a week, reading, going for a daily walk and having a personal training”

“I run. It’s moving meditation for me”

“So happy you asked this. I need to do more of this. I go for a walk near the river or walk my dog”

“Volunteering. Putting others needs ahead of my own helps to center me”

“Giving attention and love to womb. Connecting to sexual energy and vitalizing body with tantric breathing techniques”

“So many things! I absolutely love what I do for a living, I work out 5 days a week, I meet up with people I adore for lunch often, I spend time with my teens, I volunteer my time and donate back into organizations I believe in, I do things that make me feel good! I feel very lucky to be at the place I am today!”

“Yoga, Saltastic, and sleep”

“Sunscreen – for my future self”

“Read. Garden. Lunch with Friends”

“ I do things that make me happy. Take time for exercise, go to the spa, indulge in my favorite food, sleep, take time for me, spend time with friends, spend time with my dog, cry (releases feel-good hormones and actually makes you feel better!). Basically, I do me”

“5 min facial & 10 min pedicure at home. Perfect for the busy momma’s”

“Hula hooping to my favorite tunes!  As a busy mama & entrepreneur, I love knowing that I can easily grab my hoop any time. Even as little as 5 min in my hoop can completely shift my energy & my headspace. It takes me out of my head, raises my vibrations, releases tension, relaxes muscles, lifts my heart… I feel like a new woman after being in my flow for a bit!”

“ I bought an infrared sauna for my house, why – because I’m worth it to have time to recharge myself through reading or music, or just enjoying the sweat”

“Taking quiet time to connect with my heart – last night that meant sitting in my little urban garden with chai tea taking in the scents of the flowers and the lush beauty of all things green”

“Gardening. Short story..Once upon a time, I told my children gardening was soothing to my soul. They were both very young, grade 1 or grade 2. One morning I was driving them to school, backed out of the driveway, and just stopped in front of the house and said to them “oh look at the garden”.  My daughter, who is 4 years younger than her older brother, said “What’s the big deal about the garden mom?”, and my son turned to her, and said: “Emerald, you know it is soothing to her soul”  Heart melt.”

“Daily morning meditation, practice and teach yoga, writing, listening and chanting my favorite mantras”

“Face masks, saying no and journaling”

“Morning run and exercise, good nutrition, regular sex, meeting with friends, weekly massage and acupuncture, Epsom salt baths. I live with chronic anxiety and depression. I’m am very aware of this and self-heal. I thank the people around me for keeping my mental health in check”

“I bake and share the reapings of it. I read my Bible and pray. I take my meds. I have friends”

“By taking one hour for myself when I wake up to follow this routine: 10 minutes of meditation; 10 minutes of reading; 10 minutes of visualization; 10 minutes of reciting positive affirmations; 10 minutes of exercise; and ten minutes of journaling. To me, self-care is about always meeting yourself at the level of consciousness at which you want other people to meet you.  It’s about not being afraid to set boundaries with others and treating yourself like a queen”

“I am now addicted to taking time for myself when I wake up. No one can rush me and my family knows and respects my Queendom”

“I find time to relax and treat myself – foot/hand spa with shellac pedicure/ manicure, bubble bath in bathtub with relaxing music, eat my favourite food, relax watch movies at home eating ice cream, popcorn and others while watching with your loved ones then take a nap Wow, nice life without any kids with me just me and my darling”

“I’ve learned to enjoy the little things each day. Like for instance I’m currently exhausted and have a ton of house/pets/business work to do today but I’m laying down writing this while my pet bird is semi-sleeping beside me giving me kisses. I prioritize sleep and I make sure every day I am contributing to some hobby of mine I enjoy to do like crafting, painting, hiking, knitting, writing”

“Swimming laps or calling a friend”

“Sipping wine in my high heels.  It feels great and you look good too!”

“Reiki, QiGong, strength training, lots of time in nature, dancing, bodywork, prayer, journaling, blogging, self-inquiry, therapy, keeping old friends across time and space, learning from teachers that I admire, doing Shadow work, and doing work that matters to me”

“Knitting can be so relaxing”

“Investing in myself; being more self-aware of my needs and how I can reach goals with a soul and be happy on my own”

“Walking away from relationships that are a one-way street.  Nobody deserves to be disrespected.  Allow yourself to heal, take a break from dating and date yourself instead”

“Watching Super Soul Sunday makes me feel inspired every week”

“By helping others who are in need”

“Nurturing friendships, spending time with my kids doing something fun and crazy like ziplining”

“Eliminating negativity from my life for my own mental and emotional health”

“Solo travel, or travel of any sort.  It fills my soul and I need this”

“For me, it’s taking time with people that are important to me that makes me feel good”

“Knowing when it’s time to walk away from a job/relationship for your own health and well-being. Hire a life coach and make the switch. I’m worth it”

“Meditation. Yoga. Exercise. Sleep”

“Knitting, sewing, aquafit, yoga, guitar playing, painting, gardening, walking”

“Walking somewhere new in nature and taking photos of everything beautiful”

“Writing, Zumba, PiYo and Salsa Dancing”

“Playing the drums, listening to music, playing football outside with my friends”

“Listening to music, playing video games and sports, spending time with friends”

“Self-care is made of the two most basic and simple words but the implementation of it is not that simple or that basic.  I say this because no one teaches us this.  No one tells us that we have to take care of ourselves first.  We’re always asked and expected to care for others and put others before us.  This distracts us from the fact that we gotta take care of ourselves first to take care of others.  So, we learn this simple thing the hard way and the tough way, by seeing ourselves injured and hurt mentally over and over again, till it struck us.  And then once we know this simple rule of self-care, we become a matured and wise person with each passing day.  We take decisions with confidence and are ready to face difficulties and tell NO when we don’t feel like saying YES for the sake of others. This is the change in our thinking and this is the change which we as a society needs; to make everyone feel at home with themselves.”  ~Darshith Badiyani, Bangalore, India, age 27

After reading so many loving thoughts and ideas, I hope you feel inspired to practice self-care…like a rockstar.  It just goes to show there are several ways of doing one thing, we just need to look within and make time for ourselves because we count too.  Many thanks again to everyone who contributed, you are all AWESOME!

Much Love and Gratitude ❤

Jen
XO

 

PS:  If you are new here and would like to follow my blog, please click the “Follow” button in the bottom right-hand corner, enter your email and every time I post, the blogs will show up in your inbox so you can read it!  Welcome aboard!

My book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” is available at online bookstores worldwide and at FriesenPress online bookstore.

~ Dare to live courageously…

 

 

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LIME: Lifestyle Improvements Made Easy

Lime Fitness Logo

For those of you who are already fitness experts, I’m sure you can relate to the time when you first started working out and how energized you felt after.   For the rest who are contemplating starting or have only just begun, let me tell you….it can be very motivating and addicting in a really great way!

I never thought I would hear myself say those words because ever since I graduated high school years ago, my sporting days kind of ended there.  I managed to stay in okay shape because of the career I chose working as a nurse and running all over the place for the past 19 years, but it wasn’t enough.  Allow me to explain why.

The last thing I wanted to do with my aching legs after running around all day was to go and do more physical activity.  My couch was looking so good after every shift and it welcomed me with open arms, literally.  Laying there felt good and my body was so relaxed.  However, my mind could not stop racing and sometimes as a nurse emotions cannot turn off that easily either.  Any helping professional can understand where I am coming from.  People who take care of others seem to have a hard time taking care of themselves or putting themselves first.

Things began to change when I took a step back from nursing and decided to become a Health and Wellness Life Coach which I know is another helping profession but it not only helps others, it helped me a great deal too.  Now I work in both fields and I love it.  My favorite quote is “Put your oxygen mask on first, caring for others requires taking care of yourself first.”  It’s the oxygen mask theory from the flights we’ve all been on.  It’s the same rule in life and no, it’s not selfish.

I made a decision that I wanted to feel healthier by eating well and exercising at least three days a week.  I love walking and I love music.  Luckily I found my old iPod with so many songs I completely forgot about, I charged it, laced up my shoes and went outside in nature.  I thought I would walk for maybe half an hour but because of the music, I went further and walked one full hour seeing flowers bloom in spring, a heron bird with her nest and even a deer crossing my path.  All just steps away from my big comfy couch.  The feelings I had after being outside and walking to all my favorite songs was so motivating and fun, I suddenly realized what a calm mind I had and how happy I was!   Not only was I doing my body a favor physically, but I finally understood why people love exercise so much.  It also keeps your mind and emotions healthy too.  It makes sense why some people who seriously do not need to work out are doing it for other reasons.   I managed to walk ten kilometers a day four times a week until the snow came.  It was official, I was addicted to my exercise routine, I felt great, lost weight and I was so much happier.  Who knew?  Prior to the unforgiving Canadian winter, I became proactive in seeking out a fitness centre that I could go to during the freezing cold months.  In the Ottawa/Gatineau region there is an amazing place called Lime Fitness which stands for Lifestyle Improvement Made Easy.   Not only is the name perfect but so is the team that runs it.  Maggie, Gina, Sylvie and Kelly are four incredible women who run this energizing business and practice what they preach by either running or attending the class right along with us.  The positive energy that is constantly exchanged in each and every class is outstanding and contagious.  Smiles, laughter, encouragement and support make it feel like a family having one big party!  Their mission is simple, “To help you achieve your greater good so that you can live your life unlimited.”  To me, that’s fantastic and was exactly what I was looking for, not to mention the music is very motivating and fun!  They offer classes such as Zumba, PiYo, Cardioboxing, Bellyfit, Kettlebells and one called Insanity!  Each class will bust your stress, lift your mood and make you dance like nobody’s watchin’!  Anyone can join, there is no competition and yes everyone including me is uncoordinated when they try their first Zumba class but who cares?  You will get the hang of it.  Nobody is looking at you because they are too busy looking at themselves and we’re all in our own invisible bubble so not to worry.  You will have so much fun you won’t notice it’s been an hour, this I know for sure.  It’s been five months since I joined, I met new people, I do three classes a week and I can honestly say the staff at LIME have definitely contributed to my lifestyle improvements made easy.   I’m motivated and addicted in a really great way because I put my oxygen mask on first so now I am able to take care of others more effectively.   Thank you LIME!!

I encourage you to visit their website, grab a friend and take them along to Lime Fitness…..you will both be truly amazed!  See you there!

http://limelifestyle.com/

Jennifer Juneau
Jennifer.juneau1@gmail.com

 

How To Say “No” With Grace and Love

Creating-Healthy-Boundaries

For many women and some men, just the thought of having to say “no” to someone or set a boundary can create the sweaty palms, a racing heart and feelings of shame.

I recently attended an event that a friend of mine created and I was honoured to be one of her guest speakers.  My topic was centered on how to take care of yourself while taking care of your business.  We always take care of our clients and colleagues only to find out later that we forgot to take care of ourselves along the way too.  Why do we do that?  Maybe we were just brought up that way, we don’t want to disappoint others because we know how bad it feels, or is it because we don’t have the right words to let someone down with grace and love?  On the other hand, is taking care of yourself before taking care of others a selfish act?  One thing I do know is that I’ve been there and I’ve learned from my mistakes.  I am a helping professional on two levels, a life coach and a nurse.  Saying “no” is usually not part of my vocabulary but over the years, I realized it can be and asking for help is a sign of strength, contrary to popular belief.  If you ignore your boundaries, you are headed for burnout.

In order to have a more well-balanced life, something’s gotta give.  Where do we draw that blurred line?  A great place to start is with the oxygen mask theory by putting your own oxygen mask on first because caring for others requires taking care of yourself first.  You can only give the oxygen in your tank so you must monitor it at all times so you have enough to give to others. It is about creating a healthy boundary for you.

Cheryl Richardson, a guest on the Oprah Show and author of The Art of Extreme Self-Care says “when we all care deeply for ourselves we naturally begin to care for others, our work, friends and family in a healthier, more effective way.  We tell the truth.  We make choices from love instead of guilt and obligation.”  My favourite chapter in her book is called “Let Me Disappoint You” which is about mastering the art of disappointing people, learning ways on how to manage their disappointment by not taking it personally and by setting some boundaries by saying “no” out of respect for ourselves.  Clearly, there will be times in your life where a “no” is inappropriate but when you have a real choice, consider your options before jumping in and saying “yes!”

So how do we end the madness?

*Buy some time…when someone asks a request of you take your time to give your response.  You could even say “I need to check with someone before I commit” (even if that someone is you).  Prepare the other person that you might not be able to commit upfront so they can consider other options if needed.

*Absolute yes or no…is this request something you absolutely need to do or not do?  When you use the word absolute, it changes the importance and urgency of the request just a tad which can be helpful in making a decision.

*Tell the truth with grace and love.  You can say “I feel bad about letting you down but I need to, my plate is full.”  Don’t leave the door open when you need a lock.  There is no need to over explain which is what most of us tend to do because we feel guilty.

One of the hardest things to do is say “no” to someone you care about and having to manage their disappointment.  However, what’s even harder is saying “yes” to someone you care about when you really want to say “no” then having to manage your anger and resentment towards them long term.  Think about what drains you and what replenishes you.  After all, this is your life and you are in charge of it.  Remember, you are not responsible for everyone’s happiness or sadness for that matter.  You are most responsible for your own.

Take good care of yourself…and live an authentic, meaningful life.

Much Grace and Love,

Jennifer