As I begin to talk openly to more and more women these days, through my work, coaching or sharing doTERRA essential oils, there seems to be one reoccurring theme that keeps coming up. No it is not sex, dieting, exercise, sleep, eating better or more time. These are the issues that "start" the conversation, but in the end, when we start to do a deep dive into what they are really feeling, most women admit to feeling overwhelmed, depressed, anxious or all three.
I recently attended a wonderful personal development seminar called Heart & Hustle by the amazing Tiffany Peterson. While it was a specific course for doTERRA Wellness Advocates, 80% of the content could be applied to your everyday life. Tiffany is a breast cancer survivor and worked for Franklin Covey the 7 Habits for Highly Effective People, Jack Canfield the author of the Success Principles and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and for Robert Kiyosaki the author of Rich Dad Pour Dad. She is a personal development Queen! During her course I learned several valuable nuggets to make my life more beautiful and I want to share some of them with you along with my own personal routine for self-care.
As part of the course, we spent one hour talking about self-care. This seems to be the buzz word of the moment for women, much like the word "growth mindset" in school settings and certain circles of personal developemt. There is a reason the topic of self-care for women keeps coming up over and over again in blogs, seminars, and articles.
Today women have taken it all on - we wanted it all and we got it, except for equal pay but I digress...We are bombarded with so much information, unrealistic images on social media, running kids here and there, woking all day then working all night at home, not enough time, too little sleep, to much sugar, alcohol, and unhealthy food, no time to exercise. We have an overwhelming need to try to "control" everything. We lack the skills to set healthy boundaries, always saying yes when we want to say no AND we have a a failing health care system that feeds us drug after drug to numb our pain. We are George Jetson on the treadmill yelling loudly "Jane stop this crazy thing" yet no one is coming to our rescue. And I hate to break it to you, no one will but you.
Don't get me wrong, life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows, pain and pleasure. But I challenge you all today to really ask yourself what are you seeking? The only way to answer that questions to take some time for yourself and do a few simple exercises. I want you to take one hour over this holiday season and sneak away to a quiet place, sit in front of the tree after everyone is in bed or get up before everyone does, go to a coffee shop, have lunch by yourself and do the following things.
1. Create a Joy List - Write dow 10 things that you do to bring you joy then make sure you do one of those things a week.
2. Curate a morning ritual - For me this is waking up 30 mins early to read my daily devotional book called Simple Abundance. My Aunt Susan gave it to me years ago but it is so relevant today. Google Daily Devotional books on Amazon and you will find one just for you. Before you do anything in the morning and I mean ANYTHING, get your coffee or tea and take 10 minutes to read your book by yourself with no distractions. This is your gift to you and it will ground you for what ever is in store for you in your day ahead.
3. Develop a regular nighttime routine - Go to bed at the same time overnight if you can. Your body needs 7-8 hours of good sleep. You will be amazed what you can do the next day with a good nights sleep. I like to visualize and meditate right before I go to sleep.There are great free guided meditations from the Chopra Center. Also if you are in need of answers, ask the Universe, God, the Spirit, Source Power or whatever works for you with assistance before you go to sleep. Trust me it will come to you the next morning. Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. This works but you have to ask!! It make not come right away but if you ask it will happen.
4. Let go of trying to control everything. Control is a sexy seductress in our lives. We think that if we can control everything in our lives we will have peace and joy and nothing bad will happen because we are managing it all. Things may go along smoothly for a while but this is just an illusion. You cannot control anything but yourself. We make think we can control others behaviors, thoughts, feelings and outcomes but we cannot. All this leads to is disappointment, and remember that whatever we try to have control over actually has control over us. So as Elisa from Frozen would say "Let it go, Let it go."
5. Create a Vision Board - What do you want in your life? What are your desires, dreams and cravings? Cut out images of these things and create a vision board that you look at several times a day. Mine is in my bedroom. I look at it while I brush my teeth. It is crazy what I put on my board in January and throughout the year that actually has happened and in very unexpected ways. If you need to better understand the law of attraction, watch the movie The Secret. I watch it every New Year's Eve.
6. Read the book You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero - This is one of the best personal development books for women and it is peppered with self-care tips and tricks. Also it is super funny and if you like audio books, it is even better because Jen is the one reading it herself so you get a better feel for her personality. You will laugh and you will cry but you will be a better person after reading it. Order it today!!
7. Learn Self-Love - This one is the hardest for all of us and you know it! Get in front of a mirror and tell yourself that you love the woman you see. We are always focused on our flaws. We live in a world of social media with perfect Instagram images flying our way all day. THAT IS NOT REAL LIFE! It is just a snapshot of a moment in time. And people want us to see their fake perfect life. Everybody and I mean everybody has their own shit so I ask that you start to focus on your strengths and not your shortcomings. Say it to yourself as you look in the mirror. "I love you for your beauty and strength and keeping the whole household together" and whatever else it is you rock at. Do it morning and night. Want some more assistance with this? Read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.
I am going to stop here for two reasons. One, I do not want to overwhelm you on your self-care journey and two, 7 is my lucky number! Please, please please remember that this is the season of joy and celebration. We all have had so much personal pain and tragedy in our lives, our country and the world this year. It is time for each and everyone of you to take the time and curate your personal ritual for a respite from your daily life. Do this and you will be greatly rewarded.