Brought to you by Ed Negron, a former drug user, turned gangbanger, turned drug dealer, turned own best customer, turned addict, turned recovering addict (still there), turned activist, turned business manager, turned student, turned Substance Abuse Counselor, turned better and happier person, turned someone who can love and be loved (Love you Patrick), turned blogger. Check out Ed's own blog here.
Featured Every Thursday on LifeLube --- check out all of Ed's "Work-In's" here.
We hear this all the time, “Make sure you take care of yourself.” We do try to take care of ourselves, but are we just taking care of part of ourselves or our whole self? Some of us may not even know how to take care of ourselves because we are too fixed on taking care of other people or on everything else. If we don’t take time to care for ourselves, we won’t be any good to others. We will find ourselves burnt out more often than not.
Here is a good list of some things we can do to take care of ourselves. I’m sure you may have already heard of these suggestions, but sometimes it’s good to see things written in black and white for it to sink in. What I like to do is write (ok type, who writes anymore?) each suggestion on a separate piece of paper, then stick them up in different places where I can see them. Doing this is just a good reminder for me. You can get creative with it. Put a different one on your daily “To Do” list; or you can make funky cards on Word or Photoshop so that they will standout and catch your attention during a hectic day. Have fun with it.
In the words of Project Runway’s Tim Gunn “Make it work.”
1. Learn to air your feelings. Don't keep them bottled up inside you. Share your sorrows and disappointments with someone you trust. Remember, expressed feelings are changed feelings.
2. Avoid comparing yourself with others by admiring their gifts and ignoring your gifts. This kind of envy causes self-disgust. Put no one's head higher than your own.
3. Form a small group of people you can call on for emotional support. Agree to "be there" for each other. Offer advice only when it is asked for. Listen without interrupting. Take turns talking and listening.
4. Take time to play. Remember that play is any activity that you do just because it feels good. Remind yourself that you deserve to take time to play.
5. Don't forget to laugh, especially at yourself. Look for the humor in things around you. Let your hair down more often. Do something silly and totally unexpected from time to time.
6. Learn to relax. You can find books, tapes, programs, classes, instructors and other materials to teach you how to relax. Relaxation improves the mind, helps the body heal, and feels so much better than stress and tension.
7. Protect your right to be human. Don't let others put you on a pedestal. When people put you on a pedestal, they expect you to be perfect and feel angry when you let them down.
8. Learn to say no. As you become comfortable saying no to the unreasonable expectations, requests or demands of others you will discover that you have more compassion. When you do say yes to others, you will feel better about yourself and the people you're responding to.
9. Change jobs if you are miserable at work. First, try to figure out if the job is wrong for you or if certain people are causing you to feel miserable at work. Try paying more attention to the things you enjoy about your job and less attention to the things that annoy you. Remember that all jobs have some unpleasant aspects.
10. Stretch your muscles. Break a sweat. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Park farther from the door. Take the stairs. You don't need fancy clothes, club memberships or expensive equipment to add exercise to your daily life.
11. Practice being a positive, encouraging person. Each time you give others a word of encouragement you not only feel better, but you build up your best self.
12. Pay attention to your spiritual life. Slow down. Practice sitting quietly. Listen to your inner voice. Spend time thinking about the things which bring peace, beauty and serenity to your life. Find the courage to follow your own spiritual path if a traditional religion has not been helpful for you.
(Usual disclaimer applies: The suggestions on this blog are just that “SUGGESTIONS.” My words cannot heal your pain and or addictions. Nor can I change your life. Only you can.)
“Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness." -- Shakti Gawain
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
- President Barack Obama - 44th President of the United States of America 2009