Larry James' BLOG

Friday, July 12, 2013

Are You Taking Care of YOU?

You are #1!

Don’t feel that way? Perhaps you should take better care of you.

frazzledYou can begin by saying “no” to anything that is not important to you. You don’t have to give any excuses or defend yourself. Friends may expect you to give an excuse, but you don’t have to do it. Make your own choices. Assert your right to say, “No, and thanks for asking.”

We often get so wrapped up in our everyday life that we forget that if we don’t take care of ourselves, who is going to do that?

Things are piling up. You just don’t have enough time to do the things that must be done. Relax. It’s okay to ask for and accept help. It is easy to overlook what is probably the most important step that can ease the stress of a stressful life and that is: taking better care of you. Never neglect yourself. Take a nap in the middle of the day. Read a “good” self-help book.

You must accept that you can’t do or be it all. Everything is not always up to you. Eat your veggies. Get enough rest. Exercise.

You also must learn to do what makes you feel energized and happy. What makes you smile? Seek more of that.

“Mindfulness develops attention, concentration and the ability to simply be present with little or no future orientation, past orientation or goal orientation – choosing to be a human being rather than a human doing.” ~ Ian Gawler, Paul Bedson

We can all come up with excuses about why we are too busy to take care of ourselves. It’s time to rethink the reasons, not the excuses. Excuses let you off the hook. Often it seems like there is not enough time to meet all of life’s demands. Sometimes there may be an occasional moment when there is a legitimate reason, but your job – if you decide to accept it – is to stop coming up with excuses and stop looking for reasons not to take care of you and to turn that all around so that you can begin paying attention to “your” needs. This might seem easier said than done, but if you stay on the path you are on… well… let’s not go there!

Here are a few ideas that will help you break loose:

• Get enough sleep. Sleep has a big impact on mood disorders. Depression can set in. Not good.
• Take a long nature walk by yourself. Stop under a tree and just watch the squirrels. Hug a tree (when no one is looking).
• Lethargy be gone. Get moving. Being a couch potato and watching endless TV shows is not good for you. Just 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week can make a significant difference. Choose more active activities.
• Give up your toxic friends. You know, the ones that suck the life out of you. Make a choice to limit your exposure to people like that.
Woman getting a back massage in front of the white background• Make some new friends and stay connected with them. Join a health club or book club; something that will keep your interest. Intentionally go out of your way to meet new people.
• Go shopping for some new perfume.
• Eat right, choose fruit, a variety of veggies and whole-grain snacks whenever possible.
• Take a hot bath or shower. Focus of the feeling of the water on your body. Shake the tension loose.
• Meditate. Turn off your brain for 30 minutes. Can’t do 30 minutes? Do 15 minutes. Meditation helps you to quiet your mind and to separate you from your thoughts. Be aware of your breathing. Stop, breathe in for a count or 8, breathe out for a count of 8. Try it 8 times. You will feel a restoration of calm.
• Visit a landmark or memorial in your city and take notes. Discover more information about it by doing a Google search later.
• Educate yourself on something you would like to know more about. Look up a word in the dictionary that you’ve heard used but do not know the meaning.
• Everyday focus some time on laughter. Watch a funny video or TV show. Have lunch with a friend who will agree to a “laughing lunch;” one where you each bring 5 of the funniest jokes you can find and take turns making each other laugh. You could to this at a private picnic if you are afraid of looking silly to the lunch crowd. 😉
• Get a 2-hour massage or spa treatment. Yes, 2 hours! Massage can help you sleep better, increase your immunity, decrease pain, anxiety, PMS and depression. Plus, it causes you to feel real good.
• Attend a spiritual service.

“You can think of spirituality as connecting to whatever you consider meaningful and holy. You can find it in God, in yourself, in other people, in nature, art or kindness. Whatever you focus on, spirituality offers many possible benefits, including better mood, less anxiety and depression-and even fewer aches and illnesses.” ~ Jeff Levin, PhD, adjunct professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center and author of “God, Faith, and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection

eatingchocolate• Give up your lack of self care excuses. Make a “I’m taking care of me” daily list and keep to it.
• Eat some chocolate! 😉

This from my friend, Connie Kadansky, Sales Call Reluctance Coach: Take yourself on a “date” – just you – and do something that you have always wanted to do; hike a particular trail, go to a museum, simply go to the library for an hour, go eat food that you have never eaten before, go to a movie by yourself and eat all the popcorn you can eat, go to Costco and buy a dozen socks and a case of water then donate them to a homeless shelter. Have fun!

Choose one of more of the ideas above to focus on each day or make some up of your own. Create a sense of urgency to begin today! Making the decision to really take care of you is the hardest part. Once you’ve made the decision… the rest will fall into place. A daily self-nurturing item is simple in nature, and consists of creating a habit of devoting time daily to this important activity. It’s powerful and uplifting. Live your life well. When you feel good about the things that you are making happen in your life, you will feel motivated and full of energy.

And guess what? Everything around you – including your relationships – will appear to get better. The secret is, it’s always and only you that is changing. AND that affects everyone around you. Are you up for that?

BONUS Articles: 55 Gentle Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You’re Busy Busy Busy

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

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