7 SMALL STEPS TO MAKE SELF-CARE A BIG PART OF YOUR LIFE by Jamie Durner

If you’re juggling the typical modern brew of work, household chores, relationships, and kid activities, you know that finding time for self care in today’s fast paced world can be a challenge. However, following these simple steps to help create your unique self care plan will help you continue to live a full, diverse life but with more energy and less stress.

· Make self care a priority.

Finding time to support yourself is critical for your mental and physical health. You must recognize and acknowledge that taking care of your self is important and has value. When I invest in a small amount of daily self time, I find that I snap at my children less, am less resentful of household chores, get my projects done more efficiently and, in general, feel happier. My happiness filters over to my family and suddenly there is less fighting and more harmony which further decreases my stress. It is a win-win situation for everyone. What are the benefits you and your family receive from taking care of yourself?

· Follow your natural rhythms.

Assess and recognize your natural rhythms, tendencies, and likes. If you are a night owl, don’t try to get up at 5 am in order to squeeze in exercise. If you hate exercise, explore a fun way to move that feels more like play and less like work…belly or ballroom dancing anyone? Play with your strengths and the inner truth of who you are and be creative.

· Chose activities that nurture your soul.

Identify what pieces of self care give you the stress relief and satisfaction that you are looking for. For me, as long as I am able to do some exercise, yoga and reading each day, I am content. Household chores become more enjoyable if I do them while listening to a book on tape! What are the activities that you need to feel nurtured so that you can give to your family or job with a light heart?

· Start small.

An easy pitfall when starting a new pattern is to channel your excitement and good intentions into a grand scale plan. The problem is that your life may not have the time and regularity to achieve big goals daily. Instead of aiming for forty-five minutes of yoga a day, start with ten to fifteen minutes a day. By starting small and doing something daily, you will succeed! And remember, 10 minutes every day is actually more effective than 60 minutes once a week.

· Stay consistent.

As you honor your self commitment daily, it will build more quickly into an automatic habit. Staying consistent also means you avoid excessive build up and overload. Since you build stress and tension everyday, by releasing some of that tension daily, you have less chance of it becoming a more severe problem.

· Find a buddy, a partner or a coach.

Face it, doing it alone is often more challenging. Tap into the support around you. This might be a neighbor with whom to walk, a friend with whom to take a yoga class, someone with whom to have a 15 minute daily phone decompression session, or a professional coach to give you that neutral perspective. Having morale support and shared energy can make a big difference in keeping you consistent and on track…especially on the days you’re dragging.

· Make it fun.

This is self explanatory. If something feels like drudgery, you aren’t going to want to do. On the other hand, if you set up self care to be a social event or an anticipated pampering event, follow through will be a piece of cake.

©Jamie Durner, 2009

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Jamie Durner, Holistic Wellness Coach and wellness educator, holds multiple certifications across the health disciplines including Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and CranioSacral Therapist, Registered Kundalini Yoga Teacher, and Credentialed Life Coach. Her goal is to assist individuals in developing the awareness, resources and confidence to take care of themselves in order to enjoy greater health and harmony in their lives and their bodies.

She is the creator of the Total Self Mastery empowered self-care program and publishes “Healing and Harmony” monthly Ezine and blog with easy-to-use, FREE tips to move beyond chronic imbalance and into optimal health and offers classes, workshops, corporate health programs, and keynote speeches throughout the greater Milwaukee area and world-wide through teleclass formats. She is a nationally published author in the book “Yoga in America”, HealthWise Magazine, Ezine Articles, and HealthyWomanGuide.com, and serves as the yoga expert for Your Health Professional online professional exercise program. Find out more about her products, services, and programs at http://www.jamiedurner.com/.