Self-care ideas

Ideas and inspiration about the need to care for ones self

That’s A Wrap!

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We finished our last group meeting for the 7 Steps to Family Wellness Seminar today and I was so happy with the experience! {Every year has been a delight with wonderful ladies coming together to support each other, and this year was no exception.}

It never ceases to amaze me how different we each are and what wonderful things we learn from hearing about each person’s perspective and experiences. It’s healthy and broadening to be a part of a group of people striving to learn together. Synergy is awesome!

So here’s a bug in your ear:
if you haven’t lately, put your feelers out and tap into a group who are interested in learning some of the things you want to learn, whether that be oil painting or writing or swimming or budgeting or dancing or time-management or nutrition! Then join in!

This year in seminar, we were privileged to have Lionesses from seminar’s past to introduce and speak about each step and what they have learned and then incorporated into their lives. It was enlightening to hear their words and their experiences! I was inspired by them as they added layers of understanding and depth to topics I have taught many times. Their perspectives were unique and wonderful!

When I was in college as a non-traditional student, the traditional students {those young enough to be my children almost!} taught me so much. When I had a technology question, they answered it every time!

What is it that you want to learn next?

I hope you will be able to find a “tribe” of those who are moving in your direction so that you can gain from the synergy of a shared group experience and also that of each individual’s experience too as you share with one another.

I hope you are well! Please take good care of yourself this weekend.

Love,

Jacque

 

 

 

On Self-Care

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“Where has God gone? Why has He gone away? Why has He let this happen? Why won’t He help? Why has He abandoned me?”

“God hasn’t abandoned us. We abandoned ourselves. He’s there, and He cares.

But He expects us to cooperate by caring for ourselves.”

Melodie Beattie, Codependent No More

Friends, our people are counting on us to care for ourselves so that we can care for them in healthy ways.

So go ahead and take a break, feel the sun on your face and give thanks for all of your gifts and the beauty of life.

Love,

Jacque

 

 

 

Our Time

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Time when we are young is simple and slow–remember the last five minutes before recess going by soooo slowly?

Later in life, there doesn’t seem to be nearly enough time to do all that we want to do!

But, instead of lamenting over all of the things it seems we may never get to do, have faith that the things you are meant to do, those that are most important to your personal mission, will come into being when the time is right.

Meanwhile, practice being where you are. Practice turning your attention back and back and back from past problems or future concerns to the ever-living present. {Thank heaven our children and grand children will always bring us there or meet us there and show us how it is done!}

How can you continue to sharpen your mind? What are you interested in learning? Why are you drawn to the things that interest you?

Life is full of opportunity and rich with possibility! What win/win equations can you make that will help you to grow while being in the present with your present responsibilities? Pray for the knowledge of those equations and write them down as they come to you.

I pray that you will feel whole and blessed and supported at this stage of your journey.

No one else can do what you are doing for the people in your life.

You mean the world to them. Please take good care of yourself and gather reasons to feel joyful!

Love and best wishes,

Jacque

Pay Your Dues

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Ever played the game where you’re supposed to share something that no one would know about you and then sometimes the game morphs into taking turns telling the most embarrassing moments we can remember?

I have. And it seems that over time {thank heaven!} those embarrassing memories fade and aren’t as important or earth-shattering as they once were.

But that’s because as time goes by, we learn from our experiences and become more mature in our approach to life and our relationships. The great news is that we’re in good company, because everyone has to go through their own “growing-up” stages to earn that maturity.

As far as relationships go, it doesn’t matter if you marry at 18 or 22 or 32 or 42, you must pay your dues and pass through the experiences that grow you as a couple. Granted, personal growth and confidence can put you in a good position for relationship growth, but even the most successful, educated and confident people have to go through growing pains. In fact, what we think of as our strengths and advantages, can sometimes be our stumbling blocks! We may feel disappointed in the fact that yes, there are still dues to pay!

That is life. We grow so gradually most of the time that it can be imperceptible. So grows our relationships too. Little by little, we add baby steps of knowing and understanding and acceptance.  When we keep going and keep trying, those tiny, incremental steps can take us far beyond where we thought we could go!

So, my challenge for you is to see the strides you’re making and give yourself credit for the hard work you’ve done! If you have a journal, take a quick look at your life a year ago or even five years ago and see how far you’ve come.

We don’t need to be perfect at anything, just willing to try. And then, to dust ourselves off when we fall short, and try again.

I hope you’re being kind to yourself. You’re doing so well!

Love,

Jacque

Prioritizing Motherhood

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I just read an article about a new book that has people excited and happy, and some excited and upset!

The book’s author discusses the neurological  importance of mothers being with their children, most critically,  for the first three years of life. (Thank you for the head’s up Shanna!)

The book is, Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters, by Erica Komisar.

The Wall Street Journal article is mostly about the political reactions people are having to the science it reports and what it means for the conflict that many women feel about the demands of motherhood and the choice of simultaneously pursuing a career.

I would like to simply say that over a dozen years ago, I sat in a research class

and heard researchers report on the work they were doing then. One I remember in particular, was a project in which researchers were looking at stress responses in baby monkeys. Samples of the babies saliva were taken and tested for levels of the stress hormone, cortisol in different situations regarding the relationship between the mother and baby.

The scientists reported that monkey mothers who could calm and regulate their emotions, served as a calming and protective neurological and hormonal influence on their babies. When something in the environment was threatening or just new and unknown to the babies, the mothers would pull the babies close to them and the little monkeys stress response (measured by the level of cortisol in the saliva) calmed down quickly.

On the other hand, monkey mothers who had missed that calming influence in their infancy, did not instinctively know how to calm their babies and their own stress hormones were being kicked up in novel situations.

At the end of their presentation, the researchers were very careful to say that studies with monkeys can’t be generalized to human mothers and babies.

The memories of this conference were going through my mind as I read the WSJ article where Dr. Komisar reports on the cortisol levels in human babies and their response to their mothers. And now with human trials, it looks as if the mothers do serve as a central nervous system for their babies as they are developing.

The major take away, as I see it, particularly for anyone who is already committed to being at home with their children, is the fact that not only is it vital to be physically present for our children but emotionally well and present too.

Life is full of change and diverse situations that can try even the most stable parents! Mothers who are single or struggle financially, or experience any number of life changes can have increased loads of strain and stress. I don’t think it is realistic to think that any of us will always do right by our children in every situation. But the point here is to understand the why of doing our best to work things out to favor the healthy growth of our children. None of us are perfect, but having the ideal as a guide can help us to keep our priorities clearer and inform our most important decisions.

I remember an acquaintance whose husband announced that he was leaving the family and completely stunned her and their small children with his decision. She said she quickly felt grateful to have kept up her teaching certification current so that she could return to work to support her children, now as a single mother. She felt that being self-sufficient was the right thing to do. But when she prayed about the option of leaving her little people during the day, the prompting she felt was that she needed to accept assistance from her church and stay with her kids for the time being. As I read this article, I thought about her courageous decision to humble herself and follow the feeling that her children still needed her full attention, no matter how she thought others might perceive her choice.

We are all living with change and constant choices and no two situations are the same. Thankfully, we can pray for guidance and assistance when it comes to our biggest priorities and do our best to be available to our children because we understand that they need us.

If you need help in being present, not just physically, but also emotionally, don’t wait, find a way to get that help. Generations will be blessed for your efforts to be the healthiest version of yourself that you can possibly be. If you have kids, and you are struggling with your own emotional health, now is the time to get well!

It’s actually self-care that is vital to the functioning of your family. Absolutely vital.

If you think health coaching could be the support you need, please contact me! If you feel that a therapist is in order, please reach out to one today!

I’m cheering for your family’s success!

Be well.

Jacque