By Jane S. Schreiner
For this post, let’s look at choosing self-care as a guiding principle in your life. This is about living as though you value yourself as much as you value others. The idea here is that by looking out for our own wellbeing first, we will be the best that we can be. From that point, we have more to contribute to those around us as well as the world in general. There’s more smiling, more patience, more active caring. Imagine everyone bringing that to their everyday. That would be a powerful force for good at large in the world!
If everyone adopted this as a guiding principle in their lives, it would look like this: time for oneself would be honored and accepted as normal. Time to be quiet and breathe, time to exercise, time to laugh and smile because of doing things that bring pleasure and joy. As a culture that would mean more balance in each individual life, i.e. equal time for self, work, giving to family and loved ones. It begins with each one of us honoring and living this idea, and then the ripple effect takes over. One person shares what they’re doing with someone and that person brings it into their lives, and so on. Then we begin to feel the shift of more people slowing down, practicing Happiness Skills and truly making our world a more pleasant place to live each day.
How do you make this a reality in your life? Start with this, make a list of 3 – 5 things that you believe would contribute to your wellbeing. These may be things you have been wanting to do, but haven’t made the time for because you didn’t really see how to put yourself at the top of the important things to do list. Well, now is the time. Pull out your journal and let’s make the list. Title it something like this:
“Things I Am Going To Do To Be A Happier Me Everyday”
OR, ”Things I Am Going To Do So I Can Smile and Have More Fun”
Once you have your heading, write the following line next:
"I commit to doing the things on the following list for the next 4 weeks, beginning today. At the end of that time, I will recommit for the following 4 weeks, and so on until I notice a shift in how much better I feel in my life."
Ok, now put things on your list such as:
*look online and find where I can go for guitar lessons, contact them, and sign up and GO!
*walk for 20 minutes everyday
*read for 15 minutes on my lunch break each day
*take time to meditate and just be each morning for 10 minutes before I begin the day
*take a full water bottle with me each day and drink it all before I get home
*call a friend and have lunch at a great place every other week
You know what to put on this list. These are things that you know will serve your wellbeing and bring balance to your life. This isn’t about you deserving it or about indulging yourself. This is about a foundational principle for being your best self. You will be better in all of the roles in your life, such as Mother, Child, Husband, Employee, Friend, Student, Sibling, all the many roles you inhabit in your life. Once you embrace this principle of valuing yourself, the practice becomes clear and easier.
Jane S. Schreiner is the author of the Happiness Is A Skill curriculum, which teaches how to live in happiness through practice and intention. She coaches individuals, speaks to groups and teaches workshops about how to live happily as a lifestyle and sustain happiness each day. Jane is also the author of Growing Home, a popular fable about a young girl living with haunting questions about her life, and how she grows into the answers. Available on Amazon.com
Jane has four children and a daughter-in-law living within a 3 hour radius of her home in Denver. She loves the Colorado lifestyle along with her 2 dogs, Bella and Maggie.
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