New Castle News

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June 26, 2014

Lori Brothers: Remind yourself to restore, renew and rejuvenate

NEW CASTLE — I actually have a quote written on a sticky note on my mirror that reminds me, “Take care of yourself as if you are a precious object.”

I often write important notes like this to myself and post them around the busiest places in my life.

Too often it can be easy to slip into an unconscious mode of doing. If that demanding routine doesn’t include self-care, the results may be impacting your physical health, and your emotional and mental well-being.

“Growing into your future with health and grace and beauty doesn’t have to take all your time. It rather requires a dedication to caring for yourself as if you were rare and precious, which you are, and regarding all life around you as equally so, which it is,” says Victoria Moran in her book, “Younger by the Day: 365 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body and Revitalize Your Spirit.”

Victoria’s observations reflect my own, and if you need the reminder to take care of yourself, please post a loving note to yourself. Make a true effort to create either the randomness or the ritual, whatever time allows, to recover for your personality and your spirit the enjoyment of your life.

Besides making time to appreciate the people and things you love, which I certainly feel is a form of self-care, it is essential to discover which activities, foods and specialty products restore and rejuvenate you. I like salt scrubs, taking my supplements to balance a healthy diet, and I’ve started drinking a glass red wine several evenings through the week. These things help me slow down and participate in my refinement (which is what I call aging) in a positive way.

There was a time when Handel’s watermelon ice was extremely restorative and refreshing to me. I still sometimes pursue this treat for its delicious, yet nonfat benefits.

I love early morning walks. That is when the beauty of nature seems to be at a high point and it triggers my sense of connection and gratitude to life. I also practice yoga regularly, which I call the time for me to meet myself. How am I feeling?  How am I breathing?  These are inquiries that matter to me, along with how much strength, flexibility and peace of mind I can connect with and maintain each day.

The words restore, renew and rejuvenate tend to be linked to women because commercials and ads prevalent in our culture focus on the activity of pampering to sell self-care to women. Remember the slogan, “Calgon take me away.”  Who has time for a luxurious bath these days — boy how times have changed. And that’s the point, not really.

Self-care is more than a luxury. It is imperative to choose and structure time to rejuvenate. You charge your cell phone.

Make sure you charge your cells.

So this is me waving a red flag at you. Stop and consider that self-care is not pampering. No matter what your gender or age, in our fast-paced and social-media driven culture self-care is the necessity that anchors balance into our busy lives. Men, this includes you.

And that is exactly why I write notes to myself, to make sure that I remember that I am a priority along with everything and everyone else.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities,” said Dr. Stephen R. Covey, one of my favorite authors and motivational speakers.

Covey also observed, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

So begin to denote how much urgency is in your life. You can put on the breaks and stop racing from one obligation to the next. Devise a plan. It may be in small increments. Small is good. Begin to shift to the inclusivity of yourself in your own life.

If it doesn’t start with you meeting up with yourself, you’ll never know the treasure of including yourself more. The appreciation for all of those other people and things will deepen.

Make a date with yourself for at least one half hour per week. Stop and be quiet for five minutes each day to appreciate yourself.

Treating yourself like a precious object is a springboard metaphor that gives you permission to polish your shine.

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