Photo Credit: Alisa Anton, Unsplash.com

Ah, extraordinary self-care, #10 of my 10 Beautiful New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s unpack it further. Because it’s actually rigorous stuff for the creatively obsessed, requiring ongoing self-examination toward clarity about energy investments.

And more: it’s about understanding motivations or beliefs that may be causing us to drive ourselves around like used cars that we don’t maintain. It’s about reflecting on passions that we may pursue in balanced ways, or not. It’s about healthy foods, fresh air, and exercise. And how about downtime? All that.

Are you in on the truth that extraordinary self-care matters, and is, in fact, a discipline? On that note, take a memo from my 83-year-old dad. He likes to joke people into clarity with his ever-ready,

If I’d known I was gonna live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”

So, to begin the year powerfully, check out my extraordinary self-care priorities. Let me know what you think. Whether they feel like a fit. What’s missing that matters to you?

Be present to the beauty of life.

Really. This may seem too abstract but stay with me here. This is big, big picture about how you do life. Toward extraordinary self-care, work at taking things in stride on the wild, wonderful journey. After all, it’s all quite fascinating. Be fascinated. Be intrigued! I call this “the 10,000 ft. view.” Way beyond sweating the small stuff. Try living in this kind of internal space to be awed by the simple beauty of being alive.

Pay attention to what energizes you and makes you happy.

I’m talking life path here. Again, big, big picture. What’s most essential to you on this journey if you’re gonna be you? Is it healthy? Does it allow you to also want the best for others and applaud it in them? Are you ready to take responsibility for it? If so, trust it. Live that journey. Get present to that life, both inside you and out in the beautiful world that you co-create by acting on your most essential dreams and goals.

Now for some nuts and bolts:

Eat well. I mean really.

Fresh, local, whole foods make a difference. You know it and you deserve it. Eat less rather than more, which helps in affording quality. After all, food is pleasure as well as fuel. Choose your food pleasures as fine, precious bites, considering that a diet under what many of us generally consume in daily calories promotes longevity. And in the process of all that deliciousness: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Get regular fresh air, sunshine, and exercise.

And not in a nebulous way. Schedule it like your other priorities. Consider it extraordinary self-care rather than something you should do that’s supposed to perfect you in some way. How we think about exercise matters.

It’s for us, toward everything we want and deserve. And don’t over-do it. The point’s to feel amazing and productive, not to pursue some ideal in ways that hijack your energy (Then there’s no wonder you resist it, right?). You’re already a beautiful being. Now get moving in ways that appeal to you. You’re worth it.

Rest. Sleep. Sleep in.

Close the blinds. Get a blackout curtain if you need one. Then take some real time to renew your energy. More and more research tells us that nothing we’re doing is more important than getting the sleep we need. Remember that used-car-that-we-don’t-maintain image above? Figure it out. Get creative. Sleep. Get the good stuff, regularly. It’ll jack up your productivity.

Give up what doesn’t work. Learn to say no as needed.

Ready for some truth? Many of us are inclined to be rather masochistic, “looking for love in all the wrong places.” Check your motivations. Why say yes? If it ain’t healthy for you, if your energy and your gut and your deepest, wisest inner voice all say no, that’s your cue. And no need to be mean, you can be sweet and clear–true to you and inspiring to hear. This may take support until you get the hang of it. Get yourself a coach. You deserve it.

Prioritize your pleasures as self-renewal.

Does that include woodworking for you? Live music or dancing? Basketball? Taking an amazing photograph? Gardening? Being an aunt or uncle? Massage? Yoga? Reading? Writing? Hiking in nature? Home decor? Travel?

Whatever your pleasures are, schedule and revel in them. And not someday. Regularly. Remember the 10,000 ft. view. Decades from now, the stuff you love doing is what you’ll be pleased to remember. Not how you never made time for what makes you happy.

Don’t substitute stuff for what you really want.

Get curious about recurring cravings, thirsts, and obsessions. What might they be trying to turn you onto that you’ll love discovering? What kind of sweetness do you need? Chocolate lava cake, or the passion project you tabled? What’s that recurring thirst for, really? Tequila, or a brand new exploration off into the Great Unknown? You get to choose. Choose as consciously as possible. For support, you guessed it: get yourself a coach.

And really love the people you love.

Express yourself. Let ’em know. Create that rich reality as one satisfying way of being you in the world. You’re modeling. Inspiring. Being fully you. And the folks in your life who get and value and nourish and love you? Wow. Cherish the gift that they are to you. Take in their care. Let it energize you as you gift it right back to them.

So, all in all, I say extraordinary self-care’s about putting on your oxygen mask first. Then you can rock on out in the world with that superpower.

Now, think about what extraordinary self-care means to you, given everything you want to create. Ready to commit to it toward an amazing year? As you reflect on that, try to pin down and articulate whatever tends to get in the way. Then reach out for the expert support you deserve.

xo,
Teresa

Photo Credit: Alisa Anton, Unsplash.com