I firmly believe there is something in each of us that wants to reach inward and take the best of what we can possibly be and extend it outward to make our world a little better. It’s in our nature to want to improve ouselves and our world. Every person possesses a talent – a gift unique to only them – the gift that is waiting to be offered to the world. So many of us ignore our gifts and drone on into the life that we’re told to live, and eventually we stop exploring and seeking to understand just what our gift is. How many talents go wasted and covered up in this life! I heard the saying that a graveyard is the richest place in the world because of all the unexplored talents and potential that dies with the body.
You were meant to find your gift, and to foster it toward maturity and growth so that the world can benefit from its special inherent value. Nothing comes of your ignorance or your unwillingness to share it. Those that either refuse to find or realize what their gift was, or those that have given up on finding it will not feel fulfilled or happy becuase they have settled far too soon in this life which was designed to be lived fully with zeal and fervor. It’s like seeing a beautiful sunset for only the shadows that it casts on the rocks at your feet instead of looking up and experiencing the grandeur of hues that fill the whole sky above you.
If you do not know what your gift is, don’t ever give up searching for it. If you do know, don’t deny it. Use it to step out of the shadows and brighten the world around you and those whose lives you touch. It was not given to you to be ignored and to wither from neglect…there is purpose in your talent and the world calmly waits to be bettered from it.
“The world believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.” ~Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty
It’s not the biggest leap of logic to understand the importance of self-care in life. Life tears us apart both from the outside and the inside, and the most fundamental way of making sure we’re able to stand up eight times after falling down seven (Chinese proverb) is to take care of ourselves physically and emotionally. If life’s current special of the day continues to be a bowl of lemons, the least we can do is arm ourselves with basic health and nurturing.
I found a simple breakdown of what taking care of ourselves should look like.
Self Care IS:
Eating right, getting proper nutrition, and drinking enough water. Just a 2% dip in body dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and depression, as well as a 20% loss in energy!
Enjoying some form of physical activity every day. A morning (or evening) walk is all it takes.
Monitoring one’s emotional bank account, ensuring that one is making ample emotional deposits to cover the daily withdrawals of life, so that one does not become emotionally “overdrawn.”
Knowing one’s limits; it is important to know how much one is able to effectively do in a day or a week without becoming over exhausted, over emotional, or overwhelmed.
Being self aware of internal pain and using it as an impetus for growth. Rather than attempting to ignore it or anesthetizing it with food, TV, more work etc., addressing the pain is very self-nurturing. Relevant self-help books, support groups, and therapy are all excellent ways to accomplish this.
Not allowing oneself to become cut off from others, but being in consistent healthy relationships with like-minded women (extroverts need more of this than introverts do). ((I’d counter-argue that introverts like me tend to isolate even more so and need community and connections as much as extroverts.))
Spending enough alone time to recuperate and recollect one’s thoughts (introverts need more of this than extroverts do).
My own addition: TAKE YOUR VITAMINS! If nothing else, you know that your body is getting basic and good nutrition it desperately needs in trying times.
Self Care is NOT:
The same as comfort, which may include comfort foods, TV, pedicures, or shopping sprees. Although these are all great, an excess of these can actually elevate one’s stress level.
Some final thoughts of Self Care:
While the comforts mentioned above are good in moderation, remember not to substitute comfort for self care; doing so will damage us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Use moderation with comforts, including TV (your brain is less active when you are watching TV than when you are asleep—mental activity actually helps us reprocess stress, thus helping us recuperate).
Do something creative everyday (even if for only 20 minutes). You will be surprised how much this one thing will refresh you.
I found this at: Self Care for Women: Taking Care of Yourself 101 | Suite101.com
Other self-care tips
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank
I continue to be astonished at the wisdom Anne Frank had at such a young age. Even if her thought above materializes in baby steps, nothing but good can come from it. Opportunities present themselves every day to make the world a little better. Smiling and saying hello as you pass someone instead of simply looking away. Holding the door for the person behind you. Giving up your bus seat for an older person. Saying, “bless you” to a stranger’s sneeze. Whatever the situation, there is a choice between engagement with the world and isolation from it. Change starts small, then works itself into bigger and bigger chunks – all the greats acknowledge that pattern. Today is a chance to make small contributions to a better self and a better world. A big step or a little step is still a step! (You can quote me on that one!)
I stumbled across a great website: Network For Good. It shows all sorts of current, local volunteer opportunities.
“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!” ~Anne Frank