Saturday, September 23, 2017

If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It


I just did it!  I finished my 10k!  And I made my goal - I  finished in under 2 hours!!  1 hour and 53 minutes to be exact.  I wish I could relate to you the sense of accomplishment and awe and joy (and relief!) that I was experiencing at the moment this photo was taken.  When they read my name as I came across the finish line I started crying.  It was just all so amazing!  

I have been working towards this day for months.  My sister-in-law, who ran the half-marathon at this same race, reminded me that it was just a year ago when I did my first 5k.  After that race, I felt like I could do anything, and it just motivated me to keep my body moving.

I hit the road and walked my miles nearly every morning.  I walked more miles on the weekends.  I walked on the treadmill when it was too dark to walk outside alone.  Did I want to walk every day?  Absolutely not.  But did I do it anyway?  Mostly yes, because let's be honest here, some days, no matter how much better I knew I would feel if I would just walk those first couple of blocks, I simply couldn't get up for it.  And that's okay.  Because the net outcome of all of those days and miles was that photo above.  I finished my first 10k.  

I know there are people who see a fat, middle-aged woman in this photo.  But let me tell you what I see.  I see perseverance.  I see strength.  I see determination and grit.  Mostly, I see a beautiful body that carried me 6.2 miles along the Columbia River.  I see a fierce woman with fire in her soul.  I see a woman who doesn't give up, whose left foot is blistered, who has possibly a loose toenail on her right foot, who is thirsty and stinky and sweaty...and who is happy as hell and having the time of her life!  She is a goddess, she is a warrior, she is strong.  

She finished her first 10k!!!

And though she's just crossed the finish line, she is by no means finished.  Not by a long shot.

  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How to Practice Radical Self-Care Like a Boss






So.  I’ve got a Radical Self-Care Plan.  Now what?

Once I pulled my plan together, I sat there at my desk, stared at it, and uttered those words aloud.  

I wanted to get this into play just as soon as I could, so I did a lot of noodling around on the internet, read a stack of books, and have discovered - am still discovering - some amazing practices that are helping me establish my self-care routine, carving out the me-time I need, and catapulting me towards the creative life I dream about living.

I’ve been incorporating a lot of new tools into my daily routine, some work, some don’t, it’s all trial and error.  As I go through this process of trying new practices to support myself and establish a self-care routine, I find my priorities shifting and my perspective clearing.  It’s hard to explain here, but I can feel myself going through a very powerful transition and it’s really, really exciting!

Let me first say that the beginning and end of my day really influences what goes on for me in between.  So, those beginnings and endings are very important and I’ve learned to protect them fiercely.  

And it’s so simple, really!  I’ve read about it, heard about it, poo-poo’d it in the past.  But my friends, let me tell you, I have drunk the Kool-Aid!  You may already know where I’m headed here - because I’m certain you’re far more evolved than I am.

Yup.  I begin and end my days in gratitude.

I’ve heard so many teachers and writers speak of it: before they even get out of bed in the morning they practice gratitude.  Wayne Dyer’s practice was quite simple - before setting his feet on the floor, he would sit on the edge of the bed and simply say, “thank you, thank you, thank you”.  Other teachers state a few specific things - health, happiness, home - plans for the coming day, or the people in their lives they are grateful for each morning.  I tried a few different ways to go about my morning gratitude, but in the end a reverent “thank you” three times with a full heart has become my favorite way to start the day, and I find that the rest of my day takes on that energy.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m finding myself more mindful, slowing down, becoming an observer.

At the end of the day, before I close my eyes, I review my day.  What were the high points for me?  What were the obstacles?  And then I express my gratitude for all of that - the highlights and the challenges because all of it is what makes up my little corner of the world.  It’s all what is making me grow personally.  Doesn’t mean I’m crazy about all of it, but I own it and fall asleep much more grounded and at peace than I have in a long, long time.  Maybe ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m neither grateful nor peaceful all the time.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  (Just ask my partner.  We have a schtick that goes something like this:
Me:  Honey, it’s not easy being me.
Her: Honey, it’s not easy being with you.
And we laugh hysterically at how humorous we are.  

Anyway, life does get in the way.  A self-care plan doesn’t always take top billing.  What I will tell you though, is that my self-care plan is now on my radar, it’s in my planner and it does get the attention it deserves, I deserve.  No, sometimes I don’t want to get my miles in.  Yes, sometimes I’d rather have a slice of chocolate cake and a glass of pinot noir for dinner instead of something more sensible.  Sometimes I’m too worked up about something (likely trivial or out of my control) to even think about my self-care plan, or doodling, or purging on the page, or a long bubble bath, or whatever.  But those are just hiccups.  And sometimes those hiccups count as self-care.  Maybe I don’t feel like getting my miles in because my body is tired.  So, I don’t do my miles.  Maybe cake and wine isn’t a sensible dinner, but maybe I need a little decadence that evening.  The important thing for me is to get back to my healthier choices as soon as possible.  Like, the next day, or that evening, or after cake.  

You see where I’m going with this.  I am in control of my self-care plan.  No one is grading me on my self-care activities.  No one is judging me on my choices (and if they are, who cares?  Not me.)  If chocolate cake and pinot noir feel more like self-care that moment than walking three miles then hey, that’s what self-care looks like that night.  The important thing is to get back to the activities that are supporting me in a healthier, more sustainable way.  I have a huge list of self-care activities that I can easily access  whenever I need some self-care inspiration.  Here are some of my faves:

  • Go outside – move, breathe in fresh air, take a walk – not a power walk, not a training walk, just a walk, paddle a canoe, take a hike, breathe in fresh mountain air, dip my toes in the ocean.
  • Hydrate - with water, not pinot noir – amazing how throwing back a huge glass of water can set a girl right again. 
  • People watch – go to the mall, a museum, the airport, a park, any place where people gather…then observe humanity.
  • Artist date – one of my favorite takeaways from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way – go to an art supply store and buy new pens and a sketch book, go to a museum (again!), grab a camera and go on a photo safari, take an art class, be a tourist in my own town, and the list is limited only by my imagination.
  • Journal someplace other than at home – a coffee house, the library (mine has some cozy chairs by a fireplace), a hotel lobby (also an excellent spot for people watching), anywhere that feels comfy and quiet and conducive to writing a little bit.

And that is how I practice radical self-care like a boss.  I have a plan.  I have a back-up plan.  And when all else fails, I have chocolate layer cake and pinot noir.


Until next time friends, be good to yourselves!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

From Blah to Aha



If you read my last post, you know I've uncovered some pretty big stuff that needed attention.  Next, I needed to find a solution.  I needed to get creative.  I needed to lose “I can’t” and “There’s no time / money for this”.  Because thinking this way has sabotaged my efforts in the past, and blocked my ability to create solutions.  Those thoughts also give lots of room for that negative self-talk to take up residence.

When coming up with my plan, I took another look at those areas that I wanted to support.  What does it feel like when I don’t move my body, take time to be quiet with my higher self, write it out?  I went there for a few seconds to let myself feel it.  Uncomfortable, yes.  But then, I imagined the polar opposite.  I was high on post-walk endorphins, inspired by being “in spirit”, and had a clear head ready for creative thoughts.  THAT is how I want to feel all the time.  THOSE are the feelings I want access to 24/7/365.  Now, how can I readily access those feelings?  What simple activities could transport me from blah to aha? 

For example, those days I can’t find my inspiration, my muse, I’m muse-less - this is one of the areas I often need to support.  When I’m uninspired, it’s nearly impossible to even think of writing something of substance, playing in my art journal, painting something.  And the longer my muse eludes me, the more miserable I become.  It’s a terrible spiral.  So, my go-to activity to get me out of that funk is to get out my journal and just write.  Purge on the page.  I don't have to have anything important to say, I just need to write.it.out.  Just putting my pen to the pages of my journal starts to wake up that muse of mine who’s been out collecting seashells or baking cookies or whatever it is she does when she’s not inspiring me.

And there I go, from blah to aha in about 30 minutes.  It’s awesome.

It’s incredibly important to have a plan.  Believe me, I learned this the hard way, over many, many years.  It's taken me a long time to get here, and a lot of frustration and tears.  But here I am, bruised and battered and all the better for it.  The huge aha for me is that I must actively plan my radical self-care rather than just hope it happens. It’s an active choice, and I’ve got to treat it that way.  I book it on my calendar and I tell people in my life that I’m on this journey in order to increase my commitment.  Then, I actively seek out opportunities to practice my radical self-care plan.




As you begin to create your own plan, remember this: radical self-care is a highly personal journey, so be sure to choose those activities that truly flip your skirt.

Unlike ordinary self-care (taking a bubble bath, heading to the beach for a weekend), radical self-care does more than just feel awesome in the moment.  It transforms us.  It transforms the way we view ourselves.  It increases our capacity to handle future stress, and it opens our minds and hearts to possibilities we couldn’t see before.

I know, right?  This is RADICAL!

Radical self-care is all about establishing habits and thought processes that will empower us and make us feel more in control of our lives.  It’s changing my life every single day.  And if any of this is inspiring you to make the commitment to putting yourself first, to embarking on your own journey of radical self-care, think about downloading my Radical Self-Care Plan template and getting started.

This may be a huge paradigm shift for you.  I know it was for me.  This is a lifestyle change.  This is about creating the life of your dreams and living it today.  Yes, today.  It is waiting for you.  Your Radical Self-Care Plan can’t wait to meet you!


This is my plan.  I’ve got sub-steps to each of these categories that I carry along with me all the time in my planner.  I haven’t integrated all of it yet, baby steps, but I’m making progress and I know I’m on the right path.  It’s a journey.  A delicious journey that is all mine.  

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What do you think?  Are you ready to start your journey to Radical Self-Care?  You can grab a journal and start writing out what your Radical Self-Care Plan might look like.  If you like, download my Radical Self-Care planning template.  I’ve also created a ginormous list of Radical Self-Care activities and ideas to get you started and your creative juices flowing.  You can download it here.

Oh, I just can’t wait to hear how this goes for you.  Please check in from time to time and let me know about your journey towards Radical Self-Care.  I’ll do the same.  This is big.  This is important.  And it is so, so good to have cheerleaders, supporters, and partners in crime.  Sending you lots of good juju as you get started.  Enjoy, enjoy.  Yay you!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Planning for the Plan



Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer of the hot bubble bath.  Nothing like it to soak away the tension of a busy or stressful day.  I’m all for it.

But when I talk about Radical Self-Care, I’m envisioning a lifestyle.  I’m talking about radically changing my life to put myself first in order to take care of the people I love, do the job I’m meant to do, and give myself every opportunity to live the life I dream about.

And I can’t get that from a bubble bath.  At least, not for longer than 20 minutes.  Any longer than that and I just turn into a prune.

Understanding what’s good for me doesn’t necessarily translate into actual behaviors.  I get that.  In fact, I struggle with it every day, believe me.

Radical Self-Care is not the easy choice.  That’s why I have to have a plan.  



Once I sat down to put a plan together though, I didn't know where to start.  There were so many areas in my life I wanted to address.  Where did I want to focus first?  What was most important to me in terms of self-care?  How did I want to approach the new way I wanted to live in my world?  I felt like I was at a trailhead with all of those gazillion signs on one post, each leading in a different direction.

To begin with, I knew I needed to stick to the basics. 

First, I decided to define what I need, put a name on it.  I took a lot of self-care assessments similar to those I posted here and uncovered where I could use the most Radical Self-Care.   I knew this was important work, so I took my time with it.  I wrote about it.  I meditated on it.  I chewed on it.  I slept on it.  All those areas in my life that needed some attention, I decided to give them room to stretch and put their feet up.  I decided to stop fighting them.  I invited them in.  

And here’s what I discovered:  I wanted to take a more holistic approach and support myself in body, mind, and spirit - all at the same time.  For example: I’ve decided to focus on starting a meditation practice, completing my first 10K, and writing something every day.  These are the areas where I want to improve and enrich my life.  This is how I want to go about living my life in vivid color and not backing away from all that potential.




It’s definitely a work in progress and what I’m learning is this:  even Radical Self-Care won’t eradicate roadblocks, setbacks, or frustrations from my life.  But, what Radical Self-Care will do is support me when those obstacles get in my way and threaten to throw me off course, when the gray skies get to me and the color seems to have disappeared into gray tones.  With a plan, I can say to those barricades and to the dreary gray skies, “Oh hey, there you are, I’ve been expecting you.  Come on in if you like, but I’ve got bigger fish to fry than to pay attention to you.  I’ve got this big thing I’m working on that is far more important than whatever you’ve got to hand out.  So you just sit over there and hang out, stay as long as you like, but don’t get in my way.” 


















Friday, September 1, 2017

Who Knew? September is National Self-Help Month


September is National Self-Improvement Month!  It's completely on accident that I know this.  I'm not even sure where I heard it, so I Googled it right before posting this to confirm I wasn't making it up.  It's true.  We now have an entire month we can dedicate to self-improvement. 

Since I’m on a perpetual course of self-improvement, the designation for September as a stand-alone month dedicated to that is not really relevant.  However, it did give me pause to consider some of my favorite self-improvement, self-help, self-care resources, so I thought I’d share them with you.  You may already be familiar with a lot of these, but I hope some will be new places for you to discover.  

Here is my go-to list, and some new-to-me resources, in no particular order:

If you have favorites not listed here, by all means leave them in the comments section and I will include them on the list.  Let's help each other get the most we can from ourselves, and our experiences.

Happy September everyone!

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Beyond the Bubble Bath

(Photo courtesy of Decorating Your Small Space)

I am a writer.

I am a lot of other things, too, but at my very core, I am a writer, a storyteller, a sharer of thoughts.

This declaration, I am a writer, is perhaps the most exquisite thing to come from my radical self-care journey so far.

What I'm discovering is this: not only do I have a lot to say, but I get to say it.  In fact, I'm sort of obligated to say it.  Listen, here's what I think: we all have gifts within us, some we haven't discovered yet, others we may know are there but for whatever reason we haven't fully explored.  

This is where I have been stuck.  In fact, I was so stuck, I didn't even know I was stuck!  Does that make sense?  I embarked on my journey of radical self-care because I needed to get back to myself.  I needed to get healthy.  I needed to move my body, eat healthy, think good thoughts.  That's where I needed to start because without that foundation I couldn't have gotten to where I find myself this morning.

I am here.

I am right here at this point in my journey on this morning.  Elizabeth Gilbert refers to this point as "possessing a fierce sense of entitlement" in her book Big Magic.  Poet David Whyte calls it "an arrogant sense of belonging".  I realize all the negative connotations around both of those phrases, but let me offer a different way of looking at it.  It's about my feeling empowered to at least try to create a life where I am free to explore my unique gifts and to put them out there.  It's about feeling brave, while at the same time vulnerable, and embracing all of that.  It's about being a hot mess and having my shit together all in one glorious moment.

It's about losing the fear and taking advantage of it at the same time.  And my radical self-care journey has gone way beyond a long hot bubble bath.

I am a writer.

Writing those words, putting it out there scares the shit out of me.  But I don't want to be afraid of that part of me.  I don't want to hide that side of me because I'm afraid that saying it out loud will in some way hold me accountable.  In fact, I want to be held accountable.  I want to be expected to put forth my thoughts and feelings and anxieties and emotions in a way that will cleanse me, freshen me up, then open me up to all the richness and wonderfulness and abundance that the Universe has to offer.

I want to live my life in living color.  I want to tell stories about the things that make me feel alive and make my heart sing. I want to shut down my nasty inner critic that tells me constantly that I have no business whatsoever doing any of this.  And I want to encourage my muse to take up residence whenever and for however long she'd like to hang out here.  I want to write, write, write until the words won't come anymore and my brain is fried, but in oh such a good way.  Like sore muscles after an intense workout. I want to design a creative life where that creativity is the center of my universe instead of something I do in my spare time.  

There.  I said it.

I want a lot of things.  And now I want to go after them with a vengeance, with a full heart and a spring in my step.

I am a writer.  I am here.  I am ready.
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Thursday, August 24, 2017

15 Reasons You Need Radical Self-Care


Self-Care and Wellness



I don’t know about you, but when life gets crazy busy any attempt at self-care, radical or otherwise, is the first thing to be sacrificed.  Ironically, it’s at those busiest times when I need self-care the most.  It just seems like more of an indulgence than a necessity.  Do you find that too?  

Self-care is not selfish.  It is self-full.


This is my mantra.  I have it on a sticky note in my day planner, on a second sticky note on my computer, and on a third sticky note on the front of the fridge.  Those are three places I’m in front of every day.  So, when the day starts to spin out of control, I’m scurrying about like a whirling dervish, and late to everything, at some point I will be in my day planner, at my computer, or looking in the refrigerator for a snack (or, let’s get real, a big glug of wine) and, voila, there will be my reminder: 

Slow down, T.  Fill your cup.  Self-care is self-full.  

And that’s when I take three deep breaths to slow my heart rate a little bit.  I replace the bottle of wine (for now) with an apple.  And I sit in my garden for a minute.  Or I go for a walk around the block.  Or I listen to a podcast or read a chapter in my trashy novel.  I fill my cup.  Then, I’m better able to move on to the next thing that needs my attention.


Self-Care and Wellness

Here’s what happens when we don’t make time for self-care: b-u-r-n-o-u-t.

Burnout, excessive or prolonged stress, reduces productivity, zaps your energy, and if ignored, can lead to physical and emotional concerns.  Who needs that?

What I’ve learned is that when I take time for my self-care plan, I actually have more energy to carry me through my to do list.  Just like we’ve got to put gas in the car, we need to refuel our bodies, minds, and spirits with self-care.  A radical idea, I know.  But trust me, bringing more balance to your daily routine will help you be more productive and more resilient to stressors.


Self-Care and Wellness


How do you know you’re in need of some radical self-care?  See if any of these resonate for you:

  1. You are burning the candle at both ends
  2. You think putting yourself first is selfish
  3. You can’t relax; things feel like they’re spinning out of control
  4. You’re the Queen of Negative Self-Talk
  5. You can’t delegate because no one lives up to your perfectionist standards
  6. Fast food is on your list of the basic food groups
  7. You can’t find time to exercise
  8. You don’t get enough sleep
  9. You get too much sleep
  10. You don’t listen to your body; you don’t even know it’s talking to you
  11. You constantly feel overwhelmed
  12. You’ve become extremely critical of yourself
  13. You can’t remember the last time you did nothing
  14. You get annoyed easily or have less patience than usual
  15. Me time?  What’s that? (‘Nuf said.)
Self-Care and Wellness


Scoring:
Give yourself point for each "yes".  
8 points or more - Congratulations, you are a Radical Self-Caretaker!  
3-7 points - You are well on your way to Radical Self-Care.  Keep up the good work, and see where you can add even more jewels to your Radical Self-Care tiara.
0-2 points - All is not lost, sweet thing.  There are plenty of ways to get your Radical Self-Care groove on.  Watch for future posts with a gazillion ideas to get your Radical Self-Caretaking groove on!

If you want to dig a little deeper, visit my Start Here page for a free download.

Well, how did you do?  Are you a Radical Self-Caretaker?  Ready to fill your cup with a little more Radical Self-Care?  Or is it time to get your Radical Self-Care groove on, sister?  What did you find out about yourself?  What changes could you make today to improve your score?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Totality




I decided at the last minute to head into the Totality Zone yesterday for the Great American Eclipse.

Wow.  What an experience.

My partner had been planning all along to drive the 20 or so miles from our house into the zone to see the eclipse.  I was back and forth in making my decision.  I'm not sure why I wasn't all in from the get go, but it wasn't until about half an hour before she was leaving that I decided to go.  I woke up with the song Aquarius playing in my head, where it stayed all day long thank you very much.  But that was sign enough for me from the cosmos that I needed to be there to witness it.


I am so glad that I made the decision to go.  If you've ever experienced a total eclipse of the sun, you know what I'm talking about.  It's just an amazing thing to see the moon's silhouette pass in front of the sun, blotting out all but that beautiful solar corona for a minute or so.  When I removed my goofy glasses and took that in, I involuntarily gasped at the beauty and profoundness of what I was seeing.  Absolutely breathtaking.  And then the moon began to slip away from it's position in front of our sun, glasses were put back on.  It was over.

I could have looked at that for another 20 minutes.

In the moments leading up to totality, the small crowd gathered with us grew quieter.  As everyone took their glasses off, there were quiet "oh my God"s,  whoops of appreciation, clapping, cheering, even tears - and I could hear it from the people around me, but also all throughout the distance as I realized there were people all along the highway for miles.  It was amazing.


What I wasn't prepared for was the drop in temperature, the suddenly intense smell of the grass in the field where we were sitting as the day turned to twilight, and especially how I was going to feel at totality.  I felt as though a cosmic force had hit my reset button.  Everything felt fresh and new and wondrous.

My goal is to carry that feeling with me always - that a feeling of wonder and awe and fresh perspective.  I'm going to carry that experience always tucked into a little corner of my heart to return to again and again.

And I've added Aquarius to my playlist.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

How to Get Some Radical Self-Care Today


After chatting about what I think of when I think Radical Self-Care, I realized I wanted a daily reminder for myself.  Since I'm on my computer every day, and I'm inspired by photos of places I've been or things I've done, I thought a great way to remind myself to "fill my cup" would be to create some desktop wallpaper that will be a reminder every time I turn on your computer!

I loved the way it turned out so much, I thought you might like to have it, too.

Just click the image to download to your computer, then save as desktop wallpaper.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Radial Self-Care: This Shit is the Real Deal


As you know, I recently had a Radical Self-Care epiphany.  Here's my take on Radical Self-Care - what it is and what it isn’t.

Here’s the thing, as women, we are hardwired to nurture.  We constantly take care of the people we love, putting their needs before our own.  It’s a generous and loving act.  Nothing wrong with it.  Until we run out of gas.  

There’s a reason the flight attendant instructs you to put your own mask on before assisting someone else:  you can’t take care of anyone else until you take care of yourself.  Period.  It’s like pouring from an empty cup.  

Enter Radical Self-Care.

Radical self-care is about putting yourself first, not just by developing new habits, but by changing your whole approach to making decisions about what is truly important.  It’s a whole new mindset.  It’s a radical idea.

Wikipedia defines self-care as maintenance of one’s personal well-being and health.  The word radical comes from the latin “radix” which means root.  So, it tends to follow that Radical self-care is tending to your own roots.  It's a bold act.  It’s a very active and powerful choice to gain or maintain an optimal level of overall health, and not just physical health, but intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual health as well.  Radical self-care is about taking care of the whole of you - body, mind, and spirit.

Wow, you may be thinking.  That’s a lot to take on.

Well, it is and it isn’t.  Radical self-care is vital to a balanced, vibrant life.  It demands we take our own needs into consideration and act upon them.  It’s about filling your own cup first, then giving to others from all that spills over.  Make no mistake, radical self-care is “something that fuels us, rather than takes from us,” says Dr. Agnes Wainman, PhD, C. Psych, founder of London Psychological Services.

When we come to radical self-care from that perspective, it is a little less overwhelming isn’t it?  

“Radical self-care is quantum, and radiates out into the atmosphere, like a little fresh air.  It is a huge gift to the world.  When people respond by saying, ‘well, isn’t she full of herself,’ smile obliquely, like Mona Lisa, and make both of you a nice cup of tea.”  Anne Lamott

Radical self-care is learned, purposeful, continuous.  It is a true knowledge of self.  It is a holistic approach to well-being.

Radical self-care is not a selfish act.  It is self-full.  It’s fulfilling your needs first in order to fulfill the needs of the people you love and care for.  Again, it’s filling your cup before attempting to fill everyone else’s.  If you attempt to care for everyone else, not devoting enough time to your own self-care, believe me, you’ll wind up wiped out.  And bitter.

So, let’s break it down.  I mentioned earlier some areas where we can focus our own radical self-care.  Let’s take a look at those.



Body
Let’s get in 75-150 minutes of physical activity this week, and every week.  It increases serotonin - the runner’s high - which improves your mood and energy.  Who doesn’t want that?  And, no, you do not have to buy running shoes to accomplish this.  Try gardening, walking the dog, taking the stairs, parking further away from the door, cleaning house.  The point is, choose exercise you will enjoy and stick with it.  Also, get 7-9 hours of sleep, drink your water, and follow-up with medical care (get that mammogram, have a wellness check with your doctor, or update your eyeglass frames).  With radical self-care, you can enjoy a higher quality of life, perhaps even extend your life.  You can reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.  Radical self-care will boost your energy and ease pain and stiffness in your body.  This is good stuff!


Mind
Improve your mind with radical self-care.  Start a jigsaw puzzle habit.  Add some creative activities to your week - my favorites are creating journals and making jewelry.  Listen to podcasts on subjects that interest you.  Watch TED Talks.  Take yourself on a date to the art museum or historical society.  Learn a new language.  Read books.  Read more books.  Write about the books you read.  Write your own book.  You’ll begin to observe details you didn’t notice before.  You’ll question things, then go a little bit crazy until you find an answer.  Spend time alone, enjoy the peace and quiet.  Practice meditation or relaxation exercises.  And watch that negative self-talk; reprogram it to a more positive message.  Radical self-care feeds your mind and makes life more interesting.  


Spirit
Religion, making time for communal worship in a religious setting, is only one aspect of radical spiritual self-care.  It’s also about reading about religious or spiritual practices that intrigue you.  Other areas which will nourish your spirit include volunteering to help others in need, hiking, biking, or canoeing to connect with nature.  Go on a long walk to contemplate purpose and meaning.  Spend time in prayer or meditation.  Walk a labyrinth.  You can also boost your spirit having fun with the people you love - do this now, life is uncertain.  Call your best friend and meet for coffee.  Plan date night with your partner.  If you’re having conflict with someone, talk it out.  Research shows that spiritual vitality positively impacts health outcomes.  That’s radical self-care.  Amen.

The goal of radical self-care is to live in a perpetual state of wellness in body, mind, and spirit.  That means reducing stress, meeting your emotional needs, maintaining relationships with your friends, family, and partners or spouses.  Radical self-care is finding balance between your personal and academic or professional life.  

Radical self-care is a bold move, a new perspective about putting yourself first in order to take care of the people you love.




Don’t put radical self-care off until you have more time.  You’ll never have more time.  Make the powerful choice to do it now.  Layer into your days and weeks the activities you know will increase your overall physical, mental, and spiritual health.  Take time to figure out how to integrate radical self-care into your day.  You won’t be sorry.

Here’s a radical question:  What can you do this week to take care of yourself?  Leave your thoughts in the comments section as a bold setting of intention.  You so deserve it.