#14 Self-Care

Mar 29, 2015

What do you have planned and in place this week to take care of yourself?  What is on your schedule right this very minute? Have we even chatted about adaptive energy yet?  Adaptive energy is the energy that allows you to keep going.  It’s your gas tank.  So my question for you is: 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. I share this with you because I've had to learn the hard way and I want something different for you.

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 realized putting my health and wellness first is nothing to feel guilty about.  If anything,  it's a necessity in order for me to function at my greatest potential as a mother, a wife, an educator, a friend, sister, daughter, aunt, and neighbor. 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 myself first, I have nothing to give anyone, especially myself.  If you're still working on allowing yourself to put yourself first guilt-free, you better snap to it! Even in an airplane emergency, you’re directed to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before assisting other people.  Without the main life support for yourself, you're not good to anyone.

Massages are something my husband and I indulge in as often as possible, both for the relaxation of it as well as the health benefits.  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 the health benefits in your life.  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 prepare for my pins as I lay on the soft cushiony heated blankets and  I’m off to la-la land.  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!

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 if everyone was able to experience acupuncture? I'm certain it's what heaven is like. 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 me 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, clarifying, and 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, a great magazine, and whatever else makes me happy.  The care of my family, friends, students, colleagues, neighbors, doctors, nurses, technicians, and healers 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 or any other service that brings you joy!