5 “New Rules” for Exceptional Self-Care

The following practices are deceptively powerful. Life changing, really.  While I certainly have not mastered these (yet!), I am fully committed to them and invite you to join me.Lettuce supersize

#1. Don’t Have Rules — Rules lock us into stagnant ways of operating. How to spot a rule: it usually begins with the thought (or attitude) of Should, Have to, Must, Can’t, Never! There is a lack of choice.   Instead of rules, we  can create commitments that will support what we want, for now.  For example: rather than having a rule of “No sugar! Ever!” I might have a commitment to paying attention to what my body really needs and then honoring that need.  Burn that rulebook!

#2. Repeat After Me: “My Body Is My Friend” — Seriously, it literally supports your every move. When we slow down enough to hear what it needs and follow its guidance, we dramatically reduce stress and increase peace, happiness and all around wellbeing.  (Tweet This Hot Tip: listening to what your body actually needs is not the same thing as listening to your opinion of what your body should need.)  

#3. Repeat After Me: “No” — Many of us love to give and contribute to others.  This is a beautiful quality, usually.  But sometimes we waaaaay overdo it and over-commit leading to resentment, self-loathing, illness, spiritual blackmail (a “loving” person would say yes…), etc. Learning to say No can be one of the most powerful and loving skills to master, for yourself and others.

#4. Do At Least One Thing You Love, Everyday — Don’t allow your to-do list to run (ruin) your life. Stop believing the Inner Slave Driver who says you can only enjoy your life AFTER  you get ALL of your work done….which never happens, have you noticed? Right now pause and make a list of 20 things you love to do — big or small.  Do something from the list each and every day.  This is an incredibly fun, fulfilling and potentially outrageous way to live.  (Hot Tip: if something on the list seems impossible…like Walking on the beach in Southern France ..meanwhile, you live in Chicago, then do something related to it.  Perhaps you start planning a trip to the Riviera.  Or you close your eyes and imagine being on the beach right now…. hearing the surf, feeling the gentle warm breeze….)

#5. Schedule #4 (above) In Your Daily Planner — Decide how much time you will give to an activity that you love and then make daily appointments in your calendar.  Then treat these appointments as nonnegotiable.  This is a tough one, I know!  But hey, you’re up for a challenge, aren’t you?  Imagine loving yourself enough to honor time for pure joy.  You can have this.  It’s a choice.