Self-care ideas

Ideas and inspiration about the need to care for ones self

Flexible Structure

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“Time blocking” is a Lioness term for time management.

Does making a plan feel like trying to put your head in a box? It may, especially if you are used to just putting out proverbial fires all day! While putting out fires can keep you hopping and give you a feeling of productivity, it’s mostly just a feeling of busy-ness. Running like that still keeps you at the mercy of unplanned events and other people’s unplanned events and actually creates emergencies instead of putting you in the driver’s seat by making proactive decisions about how to live your life.

I have used this method for about 15 years, and I have re-structured my days many, many times throughout those years! Every time the seasons change, the kids go back to school, or my husband’s schedule changes or when my responsibilities change, I redo my plan to suit our needs. So bear in mind that you are the designer, and you’re looking for ways to be proactive and decisive about when you will do what. A plan is something of your own creation that serves you, you don’t serve it, so no need to be afraid of putting a schedule to paper.

What I’ve found works best is to think of your time-blocking schedule as the skeleton or structure of your day. It’s the bare bones, the simply stated tasks that need to be done each day.

 

For example:

Monday’s schedule at my house includes, washing white clothes (drying, folding and putting away), watering the house plants and finishing any ironing I may have. Those are the items that I only do on Monday’s, along with the other everyday things like making the bed and doing dishes after each meal, etc. Having these tasks in a rotation helps me take care of my house without having to wonder what to do every day. All of the other things I do during the day help to keep things tidy, but the time-blocking jobs are actually taking care of things underneath so-to-speak.

So Tuesday’s extra jobs include cleaning the bathrooms and washing the sheets and towels. And on through each day, with it’s own specific tasks.

When creating your schedule, it’s important to list the things that are most important first, including self-care items like exercising and showering! (Remember, they’re the big rocks that go in the jar first. When put in order, much more fits, right?)

For instance; when I do my critical self-care items first thing in the morning, I am more stable and able to deal with the challenges of the day. For me, once the day is rolling, it is pretty difficult to find time to go back and plug those important things into the flow.

The real trick with time-blocking is make a structure that supports you but is also flexible. This is an art. And it takes practice. I’m still practicing.

You need to make sure that your plan is chunky, meaning that you’re not scheduling things too tightly. In family life, things change! But that’s also a balancing act. Sometimes it’s better to hold to the schedule and say no to a change. Other times it’s best to let go and skip something for a week, or until you have another opportunity to do that job. The over arching deal is getting in the rhythm of doing things when it is time (barring the unforeseen trip to the doctor) instead of waiting until we feel like doing it. 

If you go to an office every day, you do what needs to be done and you’re answerable to someone for accomplishing things in a timely way. If you treat your home with that same respect and diligence, you’ll be much happier with the state of things on most days!

For more thoughts on scheduling and time-blocking or prioritizing, see these previous blog posts:

Thoughts On Pulling Weeds 11-20-2012
Crazy-Less 1-19-2017
It’s A Daily Thing 2-19-2017
It’s About Time 2-21-2017
Begin With The End In Mind 3-30-2017
Surrounded By Decision 4-22-2017
Deciding Feels Fabulous Darling 5-20-2017

One last thought. I have found that I think I can do much more in a day than I truly can. And when I get over scheduled, I get over-taxed and that makes everything harder. We are all different, so maybe these issues aren’t the things that trip you, but for what it’s worth, part of my decision-making is deciding to do some things later. We don’t have to take on the whole world today! I’m much better off keeping my daily tasks very simple and then asking for help from our family members. When they know what needs to be done on any given day, they can pitch in or at least know that by taking care of their own messes, they won’t add to the work I have to do.

When things get crazy, take a day off and then just step back into your schedule when things calm down. Learn to bend and flex and look for the win/win’s that are all around.

I hope you will have success in creating a rhythm that supports a fluid, progressive and nurturing environment in your home.

Be well!

Jacque

P.S. If you are a Lioness client, remember that you can revisit your time-blocking worksheets anytime! If the current routine you have isn’t cutting it, ask yourself what is needed? Have you scheduled too much like I tend to do? Do you need more time for self-care? Do you need to let a few things go and focus on others that are higher priority? Prayerfully consider what it is that you need and start moving in that direction! Be kind, gentle and respectful in your self-talk, while also being firm as needed. You are doing wonderfully well! One day at a time.

 

 

 

Beautiful You

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Easy does it Girl.

Do you ever have the sense that everyone else knows something you don’t? That you’re the only one who didn’t catch on to the joke or the make the accomplishment or get the style or whatever it may be?

I think that everyone feels that from time to time.

We are designed to strive for belonging, so it’s not surprising that fitting in feels good.

But know that the ways we fit in are really important! And the real ways don’t include self-abusive thoughts or expectations.

Really fitting in or connecting with others doesn’t come because we’ve crossed every ‘t’ or dotted every ‘i’. It doesn’t come because we have it all together or have more purchasing power than someone else.

Real connections are made between imperfect people who are doing their best to be their best selves, to be kind and loving and inclusive.

Connections happen best when we can risk allowing others to see our true selves and trust that who we are is enough.

You are enough. The striving, serving, falling, rising, rejoicing, grieving, searching, giving and receiving, you.

If you’re feeling in a crunch in your mind, I hope you will take a deep breath, and let the stress and expectations and intensity go. All will be well. You’re much further along than you know.

I wish you the best Tuesday ever!

Love,

Jacque

“I love my life.”

“I am well.”

“I give and receive help and support.”

“I am valued and cherished.”

“My efforts are enough.”

“I am relaxed and happy.”

“My family feels my love.”

Say, “Stop!”

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When you recognize a negative thought running around in your mind, say stop! Don’t let it finish itself, stop it now! If it starts up again, stop it again and again, until you get so good at it that it can’t even really form into a sentence before you’ve shown it the door.

Feeling heavy in your body or spirit? Get the negativity out.

Feeling out of control or overwhelmed? Think back to the last internal conversation you had and turn it around.

It is your life. It is your mind. It is your choice.

One red flag to consider: When you feel yourself trying to control someone else, it is most likely a reaction to feeling out of control yourself. Take a break and have an honest chat with yourself. What is right in your life? What resources do you have? What positives can you draw upon? What expectations can you adjust or let go?

An hour at a time; a day at a time; that’s all we need to do.

Sending you much love,

Jacque

I Like Myself

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With your new or brushed-up validating skills, how are you treating yourself?

When you make a plan to take care of yourself, are you honoring that plan?

I was reminded recently that confidence is gained through keeping our commitments to ourselves. And that’s a life-long quest!

One of the most powerful mantras I’ve ever used, is simply saying, “I like myself.  I love myself.”

If you haven’t tried it, give it a shot.  You’ll know you need to employ this tool whenever you are feeling snappy or frustrated or down. Amazing how self-acceptance, or rather the lack of it, is most often at the root of all of our slow vibration moments.

If you want to prove the point to yourself, the next time you are angry or frustrated with someone else, take a quick look through your mental log and see what negative or cutting thing just crossed your mind about you. It’s as if you’re on the defense from a self-injurious thought or comment first, and then the blame gets shifted to whomever happens to be close by. Yes, it sounds too simple, but give it a go.  See what you discover. {If you are constantly down on yourself, you may not hear the put-downs right away. It may take some practice shining a light on your mental chatter. But once you tune into what you are actually doing to yourself, you will be in a position to make massive changes very quickly!}

You can immediately shift your feelings by saying these simple words, I like myself, I love myself. Say them until you feel the shift and then move on in your interactions with others.

It is so effective, it feels miraculous.

Be lovable. Be loved. And start with yourself.

All my best!

Jacque

Turn It Around

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When it comes to self-care, what is the biggest mental hurdle that gets in the way of your planning and accepting care?

I’m going to take a guess that it is the sense that amid your family responsibilities, you don’t feel that you have the time, or that you might be perceived as self-centered or, selfish if you make the time!

You’ve heard stories of mothers who have given everything in order to keep their children from starvation or some kind of peril. And on the other hand you’ve heard of mothers who abandon their children for another life.

Or, maybe you have felt abandoned yourself and decided that it’s the last thing you would ever want to do to your children.

So, there’s a balance to strike here.

First of all, you need to know what your goal is and that can be tricky. I don’t know how you would describe the outcome you want, but I think that for the most part, the ideal we are all trying to reach by making choices that will benefit our families, is that of intimacy, or said differently, a real connection to family members that is dynamic and real.  It’s creating the kind of connection where real sharing, listening, learning and teaching occurs. It’s a place of safety and freedom for each person to feel understood and to find joy in one another.

What I’ve come to recognize in my experiences, is that there are multiple ways to sabotage relationships. They’re not only dependent on your physical availability, but also on the ability to be engaged and feeling, the ability to forgive and move on and the desire of both parties to share, to name a few. All of which are crucial matters for family wellness.

And here’s the point: It’s very difficult to be in an emotionally available place when you are tired or bored or feeling uninterested in life!  {As I write that, I remember the fog caused from riding the hormone roller coaster of pregnancy and nursing and losing sleep to care for babies and then doing my best to function during the days! But, that stage passes, and life goes on in growing times and seasons as anyone who has given birth or is raising a child knows!}

But in general, self-care is the thing that helps you to be awake and alive and interesting and emotionally available to your people!

It is relationship preservation.

So, the next time you are tempted to discount your need for self-care, please consider the benefits your family will reap from your wellness, and jump in!

And give thanks!

All my best to you,

Jacque