LIVING AN "ILLUSION"

You’re no good to no one if you’re not good to yourself first. Living any other way is simply and illusion.


We’re all so busy with the ‘doing’ of life that we forget about ourselves. Many of us have daily to-do lists that are a mile long. We have so much to do that it seems impossible to imagine taking a minute from our busy schedules to focus on ourselves. There’s never enough time for that!


Sadly for the majority of us, it sometimes takes a big life jolt to wake us up to the importance of self-care. For some it’s a sudden illness that gives us no choice but to slow down. For others it’s losing a friend to cancer, or a stress induced heart attack. Sometimes, it’s simply feeling so overwhelmed that you can’t even get yourself out of bed to face the day.


No matter how you get there, at some point, you’ll come to the understanding that in order to live your best life, you have to start treating yourself better.


Most of us already understand how important it is to nourish our body, mind, and soul – so why is it so difficult to do consistently? Is it really just about not having enough time for it? Or is it more about not making time for ourselves? More about putting the needs of others above our own, or about not thinking we deserve it?


Many of us put our children, our parents, our partners, our pets, our jobs….. before ourselves. Throughout our day to day activities and commitments, we continuously put the needs of others above our own until we end up exhausted, or worse ill.


Where do you rank on your priority list? Are you even on the list at all? I’m willing to bet that for most of us, if we even make the list, we are very near the bottom.


When we consistently neglect ourselves, it affects us in many unexpected ways. I don’t know about you, but for me my ‘fuse’ definitely gets shorter. My patience is reduced to almost non-existent levels. I get snippy and quick, and certainly have less empathy and understanding when interacting with others.


Lack of self-care most often leads to feelings of

• Overwhelm and burnout

• Hopelessness and less motivation

• Less energy and reduced productivity

• Increased tension headaches

• Lack of proper sleep

• Binge eating certain foods a.k.a. chocolate, chips, and soda

• Less enthusiasm to engage socially


I could go on, but there’s probably no need. Lack of self-care makes me cranky and tired, and messes up my mind, body and soul mojo. Period.


MAKING A CHANGE


Changing old habits takes time, and can be difficult, but it can be done.


I know you’re sitting there thinking - well, maybe if I had an extra hour in the day I’d go get my nails done!


Listen girl, we’d all love to be able to run off to an hour-long spa massage or a nail pedicure once a week, but for most of us that’s not possible. And it doesn’t have to be.


You can make these activities part of your self-care program, but if you really want to incorporate new positive habits, keep it simple.


The first step is understanding, but more importantly BELIEVING that you and your well-being are worth it.


It takes less than a minute to take three concentrated deep breaths – that’s self-care. It calms your nervous system, slows your heart rate, and decreases your stress level almost instantaneously.


Take small daily steps towards increasing self-care. Start small with these ‘breath’ moments throughout the day. Try it for a week and see how it changes things.


Start infusing other small ‘self-moments’ throughout your day, remembering to keep things as simple as possible.


Here are a few ideas:

• As soon as your wake in the morning, say (or think) 2-3 things you’re grateful for. Really feel the gratitude wash over you from head to toe

• Take an extra minute in the shower and let the hot water ease the tension in your neck and shoulders

• Listen to a song you love on your way to work – really listen. Let it fill up your heart.

• Go for a 10-minute walk on your lunch break – or just move around. Get away from your workspace and spend a few quiet moments just with yourself.

• Turn off your phone for 30 minutes sometime throughout your day – you choose when.

• Light a candle – take in its scent and warm glow – really look at it and feel how calming its flicker can be

• Take 5 minutes before you turn off your nightlight and list 5 things you are grateful for


These are just some simple examples. How many you can incorporate into your life? It matters a lot because YOU matter a lot.


Take care of you first. When you are brimming over with goodness, it will spill out into every other area of your life and that will fill you up even more.


As in the message of my song “Illusion” (click to hear song) - always remember that you’re no good to no one if you’re not good to yourself first.

"Amidst the noice and the confusion

I walk inside the illusion

Of being everything to everyone

And nothing to no one"


So, treat yourself well by taking care of YOU a little more each day, and I promise your life will overflow with abundance because you deserve it.


For more about "Illusion" and other original songs, see "Stepping Stones" Memoir and "Songs from the Song Series" album on ammoartworks.com


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