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4 Simple and Free Self-Care Practices that will also Improve Your Relationships

Practice Self Care

We’ve all heard the golden rule. Did you know that it also works in reverse? Treat yourself as you want others to treat you.

How we treat ourselves is how we invite others to treat us. It is our boundary threshold. If we are unkind in our internal monologue toward ourself, we then permit the same unkindness from others. If we take little-to-no time out for personal care, we show others that it’s acceptable to devalue us as well.

If you want to improve how others treat you, start treating yourself with more patience, kindness, love, respect and appreciation. Show yourself that your time is valuable by spending it on activities that tend to your wellbeing.

This is your one and precious life. Show your body and your mind that you value and respect it. Here are some suggestions for simple and free self-care:

  1. Say “I love you.”
    …to yourself. Find a mirror, look into your own eyes and say those three impactful words – out loud. Then tell yourself all the qualities and characteristics about yourself that you love. Find ten new gems each day to tell yourself – again, out loud – that you love.
  2. Give yourself undivided attention.
    Spend solo time with yourself to notice your thoughts and behavior, reflect on your day, visualize the future you want to create, and set intentions for your day and life. This is time where the phone, computer, TV and other distractions are off and put away. Learn to be comfortable with yourself and the stillness. If you can enjoy your own company, so will others.
  3. Love your body.
    Care for it as tenderly as you would a newborn child. Nourish and strengthen it through food and exercise so that it can keep all its automatic functions running smoothly inside you. Tend to its aches and pains rather than “pushing through.” Give it ample rest. Allow it to experience the pleasure of touch, whether that is through hugging loved ones or maybe receiving a foot and shoulder massage.
  4. Make time for play and rest.
    As the adage goes, no one gets to the end of their life wishing they had worked more and harder. Aside from the pleasure factor, which in itself is enough (and kinda the point of life, just sayin’), play is how we become our most creative, problem-solving selves. If we could turn our jobs into a game, or if it involved our true-passions, our success and impact would be exponentially increased. When we balance that play with rest, we not only recharge our one, precious body, but we also give our subconscious, higher-self the space to do its most loving and best work.

You’ll find that incorporating these simple, yet highly beneficial practices into your day will add joy, improve your overall health and shift the dynamic of your professional and personal relationships.

 

If you find these practices difficult, or a strong voice inside that tells you it’s selfish, coaching can help. Let’s talk!

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Forgiveness: A Survival Guide for Suicide Loss

El Calafate Glacier Cave

You’re about to head down a dark, wallowing hole into the icy waters of grief. It’s frigid there and the air is thick and heavy, making it hard to inhale and even harder to swim. This forced slowness enables the process to take the time it needs to.

You’ll wade through a series of pools called Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and an extra for us chosen ones: Guilt. Each one is deeper than the next until you’re treading water in the last pool, which is filled with Shame and Regret.

Swim forward until you feel the rocky bottom and then pull your weary body out on to the pebble beach of Acceptance. Lie there for a moment and catch your breath. Breathe into this surrender.

Once you can breath steadily again, find a rugged stone to hold and join the other travelers on the beach. Share the scariest parts of your story with them and remember to also listen to theirs. This community bond will light a flame in your heart to remind you that you still have one.

Notice when you have worn down the sharp edges of your story stone and it has become smooth. Be careful not to get stuck here. The more you rub it, the deeper the groove and the more it molds to your hand. Although the pity it holds is soft and inviting, there is no warmth in that stone. It is not capable of love.

Now build yourself a fire of Forgiveness.

Understand that you are not responsible for anyone but yourself. Not anyone else’s thoughts, and especially not their actions. You have as much control over others’ journeys as you do on the tide. For as powerful as you are, you are not the moon.

Sink into your inner wisdom that knows there is no amount of penance you can pay, nor level of sustained pain, that will change her decision or the finality of her death. This will be your kindling.

Give yourself what she could not. And then forgive her as well. Notice who else you may be blaming and judging – and forgive them, too. This is your spark.

Now connect to the deepest part of yourself that knows you are Love. Root into that wellspring of Love through Gratitude and Self-compassion and light your fire!

Warm yourself with Gratitude for the people, lessons and the gifts that float into your life on the wind to fan the flames (and they will come). Find Compassion for the younger you that didn’t know what you know now.

You’re ready – Ignite your torch in these flames and come on out!