How do you define self-care?

CatIs self-care a dirty word? Growing up, I was told to care for my siblings, my mother, then my husband and children. Being a caretaker, it was effortless to love on those around me. Fast forward to 20 years later….exhausted on every level. The well was dry. I had to learn to to make myself a priority.

This was counter-intuitive. My head was willed with messages on why this was not okay. So many people are struggling and I am being selfish by not running to their rescue. I had to redefine self-care to fit. In my value system. Running on empty did not serve myself or family. It made me tired, hungry, moody and quite frankly resentful that no one noticed. I made a choice. That I would fill my well, energize my battery first. It changed my life in the most wonderful way. I became happier, centered, calmer, thinner, playful and felt joy. I was still able to love on my family but I determined the criteria. I communicated my love to those around me and openly stated my new definition of self-care. It was a turning point in my life. I invite you to commit to making you a priority. Read this series, follow my tweets and take a step toward a healthier you from the inside out.

Follow me on www.twitter.com/mindoverplatter

Pamper you

Pamper yourself as part of your journey. Living healthy is not only eating healthy. It includes an overall regimen of treating yourself well.

I recently spoke on this topic for the Rochester Area Administrators of Volunteer Service, (RAAVS) for their annual conference. Caretakers are so focused on the people around them.

They know the needs, preferences and values of everyone they spend time with. They usually don’t tune into their own needs, wants and desires. Why? It isn’t because they don’t know how. They are experts at making people comfortable. They are nurturing and loving with exact precision to every detail.

I think self-care is rarely an afterthought because the list of people to take care of is long. Caretakers will wait until everyone has been served. Then they will realized they are drained and crash only to do it all over again.

Don’t fall into the trap of postponing self-care until everyone around you is happy. Make this your season! Time for you to love, honor and nurture you!

This series is on self-care. What it means, how to do it and creating a healthy you from the inside out.

Follow me on www.twitter.com/mindoverplatter

Summer Slimdown

The heat and sunshine create a spence of urgency for weight loss. It is time to change over the wardrobe. This can be a rude awakening when the clothes don’t fit or weight has been redistributed.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Pull out your summer clothes. Try everything on and get a reality check. You still have time to drop a size or two. You might be at a place of contentment with your size. Then donate all of the clothes that you no longer wear and go shopping.

Feel good in your body! There are plenty of great gently used clothing stores like Plato’s Closet, Clothes Mentor, etc. You can have a new summer wardrobe without spending a lot of money. This is a wonderful solution for you to dress trendily while changing your body.

Call in the groups to assist you with weight loss

Assemble your team to help you succeed. You are not on your journey alone. Losing weight, eating healthy and working out takes a lot of energy. Making changes takes time. People want instant gratification which is not realistic in most cases. A faster way to create change is what I call “stacking the deck in your favor.” That means you seek out ways to succeed in an effortless way. This includes not testing your ability to overcome obstacles.

If you want to lose weight but routinely go into a bakery for coffee, it is only a matter of time and you will eventually add a dessert. Then you will feel guilty and remorseful. Why put yourself through that? Stack the deck in your favor, make coffee at home instead. If you do have to pick up desserts, have someone else stop at the bakery. It is okay to play to win, especially when the prize is your health!

Reprogram your habits with self hypnosis

A fast and effective way to transform negative beliefs into positive is with self hypnosis. Your mind is a sponge and will absorb what it is exposed to. As you clarify what you want in life ask yourself what this looks and feels like. Get an image and feeling to support your goal. Then spend 5-10 minutes again visualizing this as your reality. This will naturally induce a light hypnotic trance. The subconscious mind responds well to self hypnosis. It is relaxing and expedites change because it bypasses the critical part of your conscious mind. You will want to do this daily.

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