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« 6 Tips for Hiring a PO | 6 Reasons to Enlist Help »
Sunday
Aug142011

7 Ways to Help Self

@2011 Photo by Linda SamuelsThe past few weeks I’ve been writing and thinking about reasons and ways to enlist help from others. A few days ago, I was asked a question by business coach, Dr. Shannon Reece, which made me think about this from another perspective. For her upcoming blog, she asked entrepreneurs, “What is your single best personal and creative example of ‘ME time’ that you use regularly, which allows you to completely step away from your business and recharge?”

While it’s important to understand and identify when we should and need to ask for help, it’s just as essential to know how to be our own source of help. Here are some ideas to consider:

1. Re-Sync.  There are times when we feel like we’ve gotten off track. Our electronic devices might be in sync, but we aren’t. We may feel sad, agitated or anxious. How do you bring yourself back to center? Perhaps watching a comedy, writing in your journal, cooking a new recipe or riding your bike will work. Some like to keep a “Feel Good” file where they add encouraging letters, notes and inspirational quotes they’ve collected. When they need a lift, they pull out the file to shift their perspective.

2. Balance. A funny coincidence was that as I sat down to write this post with my cup of Yogi Tea, the hangtag on the tea bag was this quote, “Work, but don’t’ forget to live.” This is a great reminder that while each of us has our “work,” it’s important to develop other parts of our self for a better life balance.

3. Organize.  Creating perfect order is not necessarily what organizing is about.  Organizing means creating just enough organization to support your daily needs. Small changes can make a big difference. It might mean organizing your make-up drawer, folding and putting away the clean laundry, reviewing and prioritizing your “to do” list the night before or unloading the dishwasher. Reigning in some of that daily chaos and stress can have positive affects.

4. Review the Basics. This may seem obvious, but simple things like drinking enough water, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising and getting enough sleep are important ways to take care of you.  It’s essential to listen to your body. Getting the basics in balance is key. We all have challenges. Exercising regularly is one of mine, which I continue working on.

5. Declutter. Letting go can be difficult, but releasing clutter can be helpful. The clutter might be physical such as overflowing clothes closets, piles of magazines and catalogs or cabinets full of rarely used kitchen gadgets and appliances. The clutter could also appear in over scheduled calendars or too many thoughts running around our heads. Focus on simplifying your spaces, time and minds by allowing the unessential to be released. This is one of the most significant ways you can help yourself.

6. Reframe. There is a standard term used in the coaching industry, NCRW, which means Naturally Creative Resourceful and Whole. This concept encourages coaches to view their clients in this positive, proactive way. While the coach is there to help guide and ask questions, it’s the client and not the coach that is capable of discovering all the answers. Adopting this perspective shifts us away from trying to “fix” someone. If we start thinking about ourselves in this way, we become empowered to find our own solutions.

7. Rejuvenate. Going back to the where I began, let’s take another look at Dr. Shannon Reece’s idea of “ME time.” None of us have an unlimited supply of energy. We have to restore it or we’ll have nothing left for our family, friends, business, activities or self. There are many ways to help refresh. Maybe sleeping late, spending all day in your pajamas, walking in the woods, sitting by the river, enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee or tea helps you to get your energy back. Finding ways to restore your reserves is the best type of help you can give your self.

Please join in the conversation. Do any of these ideas resonate with you? What are your best ways to help yourself? I’d love to hear from you. 

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Reader Comments (10)

Dear Linda,

I love this article you wrote. I have been an advocate for "self care" for years. If I don't fill up my cup properly-I cannot properly give back to family, clients and just people in general. Exercise for me is like brushing my teeth. I need to do it in order to properly care for myself. I love the endorphin high and it's burns off the excess energy i have as well as keeps me in shape.

I try to be as humble as I can. I know I don't have all the answers for myself and others. I ask for help a lot. To me it gives me the freedom not to have to be perfect. Sometimes other people have answers and knowledge that I don't have. That's perfectly fine with me! I learn every day asking for help. It's a balance though once I ask for help I try to be confident in myself and go forward and do the task or whatever it is on my own. If I fail or don't hit the mark at least I have stretched out my rubberband (so to speak) and challenged myself just a bit. If need be, I will go back and ask for more help.

Thanks again, Lynne

August 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynne Palumbo

What a lovely response, Lynne. Thank you for joining in the conversation. I love the balance you've struck between taking care of self and enlisting help. I suppose that reaching out for help is another way that we care for ourselves. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts. Your commitment to exercising regularly is inspiring.

August 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda, Thank you for the important reminder to make self-care a priority! It is so easy to get completely absorbed in life that we lose the space to breathe in and out freely. We no longer have an excuse when you've provided 7 valuable and easily implementable tips to take back control. My favorite is "Review the Basics" -- if someone could just focus on that one alone, their life would be vastly improved, as those are the things we tend to sacrifice first. Thank you so much for the shout out to the Me Time post, and for taking this concept to a much-needed next level. :)

August 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Shannon Reece

What a great reminder for turning to the one who knows best - the self! More often than not, we choose to ignore the symptoms, our instincts and our common sense.
Time alone is what renews my spirit and my energy. Sitting still and breathing, getting to know and understand me, taking long walks, being in nature, writing, reading, daydreaming. Making time to be me, no should, would, could, no mask - just time to step out of character and just be.
It wasn't easy, initially; shutting down the voices of judgement, self-doubt and guilt; but practice makes perfect:-)
I remind myself that I'm not my thoughts or my feelings. I'm just a person in need of being! If I don't create time and space for being with me, eventually, I'll be of no use to myself and those who count on me.
Thank you for this great conversation, Linda!

August 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYota Schneider

Shannon, it was YOUR question that inspired this post. I appreciate that it led me to shift my perspective towards self-care. Making small adjustments can bring on huge results. As you said, reviewing the basics like our eating, sleeping and exercising habits is a great place to begin and build upon. Thank you for stopping by and for joining in the conversation.

August 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Yota- Thank you sharing your beautiful words and joining the conversation. I love your phrase, "I remind myself that I am not my thoughts or my feelings. I'm just a person in need of being!" Learning how to just be and quiet the negative thoughts takes practice. But as you said, allowing that quiet, gives us the time to renew our spirits so that we can have the energy for ourselves and others. This is such lovely wisdom. I appreciate the words you shared it with all of us.

August 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda, beautifully said.
The more I give myself, in terms of self-care, self-awareness and compassionate understanding (accepting my own less-than-perfect behaviors <g>), the stronger I become and the more I find I give my clients. It is difficult to hold others as NCRW if you don't believe you are! Because I believe I 'can' (in my unique way), I have no doubt but that my clients can be the people they want to be and accomplish the goals they truly desire. It is a process, but with the right mindset, support, skills, strategies and self-respect, an exciting and fulfilling journey!

August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Lasky

Susan- What you say is so true, on all accounts. To be a giver we need to care for ourselves. To see others as NCRW, we need to extend those thoughts to include us too. I appreciate that you stopped by to join the conversation. You always add so much.

August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

What a great reminder of the basics! By prioritizing these, we make a great baseline for our own care. Keeping on board with sleep, exercise, and protein in my diet help me be the best I can be, for myself and others. Thanks for all the reminders!

August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

As always, I appreciate you stopping by and sharing in the conversation, Ellen. It's so easy to forget about the basic things we need to function, especially when we are busy taking care of so many others. I'm glad to hear that you do a good job of taking care of yourself because I know you do a lot for so many others.

August 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

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