The Price of NOT Practicing Good Self Care

by Krylyn on October 12, 2011

Feeling run down? Not quite yourself? Stressed to the point you don’t even recognize yourself or your life? Sure, many of us have been there. Life has regular ups and downs and sometimes we get lost among the many obligations, responsibilities, and expectations.

We can forget the most important part of being able to handle stress effectively is to prevent those pesky symptoms from piling up in the first place. In the case of good self care, prevention really is key. If we don’t take the time and energy to take good care of ourselves, it can lead to lots of different kinds of symptoms that affect our mind, body, and spirit. Here’s just a small sampling of things we might experience when we’re on perpetual overload:

  • Physical Symptoms:
    • feeling tired most of the time
    • tense muscles
    • lack of energy
  • Emotional Symptoms (feelings):
    • irritability
    • excessive worry
    • fear
  • The Words We Use:
    • should / shouldn’t – shame, guilt
    • can’t
    • try
  • Behavioral Symptoms (what we do):
    • eating too much or too little
    • sleeping too much or too little
    • working too many hours
  • Cognitive Symptoms (how we think / how our brain works):
    • difficulty concentrating
    • losing or misplacing things
    • negative thoughts about ourselves and the world
  • Medical Issues
    • excess weight
    • high blood pressure
    • addictions – food, alcohol, drug

Does any of this sound familiar? It probably does. Managing what life throws at us is a constant balancing act. Some days we’re better at good self care than others. And some days, it takes every ounce of energy just to plow through our day of never-ending, obligatory tasks.

But there is hope. The first step to change is always recognizing that a change is needed, or at least wanted, in order to be more at ease, and centered. The next step is taking inventory of where you are now (i.e. identifying how poor self care is affecting you) so that once you start making changes, you can tell if they’re making a positive difference. Then the next step is making a plan for change. Pick one change you want to make (or one symptom you want to work on), then figure out one small task you can do on a consistent basis to help move you toward that change. For example, let’s say you often lose and misplace things and have difficulty finding your car keys every single morning as you leave your house. One small change you might work on is designating a place for your keys and making a commitment that when you walk in your house, the keys go from your hand to only that one place.

Practicing good (or at least better) self care is the best gift you can give yourself (and the people around you). Because if you aren’t taking good care of yourself, then who else will?

If you’d like to learn more about practicing exquisite self care, I invite you to sign up for a FREE recording of a talk I recently gave titled “How to Take Better Care of Yourself By Being Creative.” You can sign up by going HERE, then entering your name and email address in the box that says “Sign up for the FREE PREVIEW CALL.”

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