Self-Care

What are you doing for yourself? What is on your schedule right this very minute? What do you have planned and in place this week to take care of yourself? Have we chatted about adaptive energy yet?  Adaptive energy is the energy that allows you to keep going.  It’s your gas tank.  How are you filling up? Are you with Jackson Browne always running on empty?  It’s a great song but not a good idea for you and your body.

Because I have more recently become very good at filling up my gas tank, remember it’s a practice, I want to share with you what I have in place for my self-care.  It’s my hope that my plan will spark a little something in you to make you think about how you can make the same SHIFT in your schedule.

I have intentionally put more things in place for myself since I realize it’s nothing to feel guilty about, and something that is a necessity in order for me to function at my greatest potential.  As a mother, a wife, an educator, a friend, sister, daughter, aunt, neighbor, workshop facilitator, I honor each and every one of those roles and it’s very important for me to fulfill them to the best of my ability.  But guess what?  If I am not taking care of me first, I have nothing left to give.  You have to stop allowing yourself to feel guilty about putting yourself first.  Even in an airplane emergency you’re directed to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before assisting others aren’t you?

Most recently, I have bumped up my massages to once a month.  Is it a luxury? Yes it is.  Is it a necessity?  Yes it is.  For me, it absolutely is.  I schedule a very active life for myself and massage is one of the stops I have in place to fill up my gas tank.  Originally, massages were scheduled every 8 weeks.  They quickly moved to every six, and in the back of my head I had planned to move them to once a month as soon as I was financially able.  There are plenty of things you are able to cut back on if you are looking for ways to pay for that expense.  The sacrifice is well worth the reward.  Cut back on some junk food and you’ll have money for your massage in no time!

A-C-U-P-U-N-C-T-U-R-E….is the second stop to fill up my gas tank.  Find someone in your area that has a happy and healthy following and see them as soon as you are able! Most insurance companies will cover acupuncture and if yours does not, talk to your accountant about a health care write off at the end of the year.  I am not an accountant so don’t take my word for it, ask your accountant for this advice.

What I can tell you about my experiences with acupuncture is that they are magical.  Before my treatment, which does not cause any pain or uncomfortableness, I chat a bit with my practitioner who is lovely, patient and a very good listener, about what’s going on in my world. We talk about how I am feeling, and what I am in need of.  Once our chat is over and I’m lying on the massage like table, covered with soft cushiony blankets and pillows that are often heated, I’m good to go.  The atmosphere is so calming and relaxing I don’t even need the needles. Just stopping for that moment with my head and knees propped up, I’m good!

Then the needles come and what happens to my body and mind next should be experienced by everyone in the entire universe.  Boy, would the world be a better place. After thirty minutes, and the best rest of my life, I’m up off the table (sometimes with a little sniff of lemon oil to bring be back to earth so I’m safe to drive) and I am mentally, emotionally, and spiritually ready to conquer whatever comes my way. Acupuncture is great for physical ailments, and it’s also amazing for centering, focusing, calming, energizing, clarity, creativity, whatever your needs are just ask and ye shall receive.

These two treatments are very purposefully scheduled on my calendar each month so I can reap the benefits of each long enough to last me the whole month before it’s time for more treatments.  Acupuncture is always the first week of the month and massage is the third.  Scheduling this way allows the effects of acupuncture to last long enough before it’s time for my massage.  Between the weeks of acupuncture and massage, I may schedule a pedicure for the second week and my hair appointment is always the last week of the month.  Yes, I get my hair cut once a month; you have to when it’s this short. And trust me, once a month is pushing it, twenty days is ideal so I make do for ten days.

My schedule works for me.  I have created a little self-care treat wrapped up in each week to look forward to.  Peppered throughout those weeks is meditation, yoga, walking, reading, a good movie, a little HGTV, and whatever else makes me happy.  The care of my family, friends, students, colleagues, neighbors and workshop participants is effortless when I stick to my plan and honor what I have in place for myself.  I am a better person when I take care of myself and I never allow myself to feel guilty for doing so.

Make a plan today to figure out how you can fill up your gas tank.  Honor your adaptive energy.  Without it, you’re no good to yourself or those around you.  Give acupuncture a try and the next time someone asks you what you want for your birthday or a special treat, don’t be afraid to tell them a massage!  Enjoy!

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