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When Racing Thoughts Hamper Self-Care

Some days I have a hard time relaxing. I'm vegging out on the couch, or reading the powerful words of a particular book. And then the thoughts, like rows of soldiers, march in. Some days I can't get to sleep. My mind, unfortunately, never came with a pause button, and on those nights, it decides to keep going.

My mind plays the same tracks on repeat: This long list of stuff needs to be done. Yesterday. Don't forget about the dishes in the sink. And the 8,000 unanswered emails. And the dirty floors. And the thank-you cards. And that thing you were wanting to organize. A year ago. Don't forget that your book isn't good enough. Oh, and everything that can go wrong, in general, will likely go wrong. Rinse. Repeat.


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Body Image

Embracing Your Flaws

For years I had an overpowering all-or-nothing mindset. If I couldn't do it perfectly, then I'd failed. If I didn't look pretty all the time, then I wasn't pretty at all. If I didn't have a flat stomach, then I couldn't like my body. If I didn't ace every test, then I wasn't smart. I had a very hard time accepting that imperfections are natural (and make me me). I had a hard time accepting that being flawed didn't mean being doomed or undeserving or unworthy.

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Body Image

Helpful Ways to Shift Your Perspective

All of us experience hard times. So it helps to have a toolbox of healthy strategies we can turn to. In fact, it helps to have a toolbox for navigating every day. Because so much of life is how we look at it. This might be anything from dealing with a difficult situation to tackling our to-do lists.

One helpful strategy is shifting our perspective. This doesn't mean glossing over our feelings. Because feeling our feelings is vital (and healthy). And it doesn't mean pretending that things are rosy, when they're clearly painful and hard or overwhelming or super busy (and overwhelming).

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Body Image

Reframing How We See Our Bodies

Last weekend I was browsing through the book Unexpected Art: Serendipitous Installations, Site-Specific Works, and Surprising Interventions. One artist's words -- Tomoko Konoike -- especially struck me: "I consider my body not as an object, but first and foremost as a 'place' for internal experience. I think of my artwork, then, as a sort of tool for shifting myself from this inner world of my body to another world..."
This made me wonder: What if we, too, saw our bodies as the places for our internal experience? As the containers of our ideas, questions, compassion, wonder, love? How might we treat them differently then?
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Books

When You’re Thinking “Why Me??” This Can Help



Perception matters. A lot. How we perceive a situation will likely dictate our behavior. How we perceive ourselves will likely dictate certain decisions.

We will likely make very different decisions if we see a mistake as a failure versus as an opportunity for growth. We'll likely make very different decisions if we think "This always happens to me! What's the point of trying? I'll just lose or mess up anyway."

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Books

Self-Care Sunday: Decluttering to Create Meaningful Spaces

On Friday I shared valuable insights from Lauren Rosenfeld and Dr. Melva Green's book Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home. Because decluttering is a powerful way to practice self-care.

This might seem surprising. But as I mentioned in the previous post, our homes are where we meet a lot of our needs. In our homes we meet our need for sleep, relaxation, nourishment, support, solitude and reflection, among others.

So it's important for our homes to become sanctuaries. It's important for them to reflect the things we need and the things that serve us.

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Books

Decluttering Our Inner and Outer Spaces

I've mentioned before that self-care can sometimes be surprising. That is, sometimes, self-care isn't blissful or relaxing in the moment. Sometimes, it feels like work. Sometimes, it's even decluttering. Because what we surround ourselves with has a powerful effect on our well-being, on our psychological and physical health.
For instance, I spend a lot of time at home. I work from home. Naturally, it's where I relax. It's where I spend quality time with my husband. For me it's important to have a relatively organized, clean and inspiring space. For my work. And my life. How my home feels affects my mood and perspective.
I'm realizing that the state of my home is a big part of my self-care, because I meet my needs in this environment. I meet needs such as sleep, rest, nourishment, connection, curiosity and growth.
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Body Image

Digging for Your Deepest Fear

When I was in the midst of dieting, of worrying about my weight, of trying to lose weight, it had very little, of course, to do with losing weight or trying to be "healthy," or trying to look a certain way. It had nothing to do with any of these things.

Instead, what it did have to do with was self-worth. Somehow my biggest fear became that I wasn't inherently worthy of good things. So I had to earn my worth, as though I were an empty bank account. And every time I lost weight or skipped dessert, I deposited some money.

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