General

Reevaluating How We Work and Live

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about productivity and reevaluating how I work. In the past few months I've been feeling burnt out. A lot of that, I've realized, has to do with trying to be someone I'm not.

(How fascinating that how we do one thing often mirrors how we do everything else. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to be someone I'm not in so many areas, in so many ways.)

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Body Image

Taking Exquisite Care of Ourselves

The last few days I've  been cleaning my house. Vigorously. Our family is visiting from up north, more family is coming over this weekend, and our house is being appraised. I've been getting on my hands and knees scrubbing the spots off the tiles. I've been sweeping up teeny tiny crumbs. I've paid attention to the smallest of details, to the smallest piece of dirt, to the thinnest layer of dust.

In other words, we've been taking exquisite care in cleaning our home. We're proud of our place, and we want it to show. And it feels good to tend to it. To express care for something meaningful to both of us.

This level of care got me thinking. How often do we take such exquisite care of ourselves?

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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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Body Image

Self-Care Sunday Links 5.31.15

It's been a while since I've shared a list of self-care links. With today being the last day of May (wow, this month flew by!), it seems like a fitting time for a round-up of posts around the blogosphere. Below, you'll find links on everything from embracing your reflection to building a work/life balance to signs it might be time to see a therapist. I hope you're enjoying a wonderful Sunday!

Excellent tips and insights on taking mirror selfies and actually liking what we see.

Consider doing a word-of-the-year check-in. If you never picked a word-of-the-year, maybe you'd like to pick one now.

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General

Your Unmet Needs May Be Hiding; Find Them Here

This week I wrote an article about what to do if you're falling for your therapist. In short, you share this with your therapist (as awkward as it is). That's because your feelings for your therapist often reveal your unmet needs. A woman who imagines her therapist as the ideal husband, because he's patient and understanding, wants those qualities in her own marriage. A man who loves his therapist because she's nurturing may be missing this nurturing in his own life.

Together, the clinician and client explore the unmet needs that underlie these feelings. Then they work on finding healthy ways to met these needs (since a romantic relationship with the therapist, of course, is off limits).

I think this applies to all of us.

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Body Image

What We Want to Remember

I recently discovered a new-to-me blog by Karina Bania. This post in particular struck me. In it Bania wonders what she'll remember about today:

"Will it be the eight am beach-combing and ocean swim? The almost running out of gas on the deserted road, or the ten am piña colada that accompanied the epic wave watching laziness. Will it be the five year-old attitude and the endless sibling fighting that defined the afternoon?

...

Or maybe the only memory will be this sunset swim. The one where summer and fall and my girls growing selves meet. Where seasons change subtly, days blur into one another, and so many beautiful moments in life are blown into the wind."
This made me think of a journal prompt we can explore every day, something simple, in the evening:

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Body Image

Self-Care Sunday: Weekly Check-in

When we're busy, we tend to go on autopilot (or in survival mode) and barrel through our days. We don't really pay much attention to how we're doing. Instead, we hyperfocus on tasks and chores. We may forget to tune into our thoughts and feelings, to check in with the happenings of our hearts.

That's why it's important to schedule a special time in the week that's dedicated to checking in with yourself. Just you, and your journal. Pick any day you like as your check-in, such as Sunday. Block it out in your planner. Carve out 5 or 10 minutes (more if you have it) to sit and reflect on how you're doing.

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Body Image

Writing Lists for a Better Body Image, Self-Care and Well-Being

In the book Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful, and Less Stressed, author Paula Rizzo talks about the many helpful lists we can make.* For Rizzo lists have been a life-saver, helping her do everything from finding an apartment in Manhattan to navigating her busy days as a TV producer.

I make a lot of lists, too, because they help me organize the random racing thoughts preoccupying my mind. They help me break down messy, complicated things into feasible smaller steps. They help me feel less overwhelmed. They help me create a plan of action. They give my life structure. And lists even give me insights into who I am.

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