With our busy lives, paying attention to taking care of ourselves is more important than ever—yet it’s often the last thing on our minds. To accomplish everything on our to do lists, we work overtime to meet deadlines and use what should be down time to run errands. Long-term stress has a tremendous negative impact on our health—physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Your answers to the following quiz will help reveal opportunities to restore greater comfort and joy for yourself this holiday season by nurturing, encouraging and delighting yourself in healthier, more constructive ways. You’re worth the effort!
True or False?
- I find peace by relaxing into all that was, is and will be. I let go of the way things used to be. I accept the way things are.
- I foster optimism. I view challenges and obstacles as opportunities in disguise.
- I remember to stop and breathe. I pause throughout my day to recenter myself with stillness and mindful breathing.
- I practice good nutrition and take the time to enjoy my meals. I set aside work, driving and other activities while I eat.
- I do something physical every day even if it’s just a walk around the block or a 15-minute workout.
- I get enough uninterrupted sleep most nights. I pay attention to when I feel tired and make rest a priority.
- I neither deny symptoms of illness or injury nor panic about them. I take constructive action by consulting the appropriate health care professionals to support my wellbeing.
- I do not overcommit myself. I say no when it’s the best choice for me without guilt or shame.
- I can settle for “good enough.” I don’t demand perfection in everything that I do.
- I recognize the value of working in different gears. I know how to keep simple tasks easy so that I can build up my reserves for larger initiatives that will require greater energy.
- I recognize the importance of periodic breaks of various lengths for rest, reflection and play. I sprinkle breaks throughout each day and schedule longer vacations during each year.
- I appreciate my personal relationships and invest the time and energy to help them thrive and flourish.
- I acknowledge and respect my feelings. My emotions are valued messengers concerning where I’m out of alignment with my values and priorities.
- I choose healthy ways to relieve stress. I avoid overdoing coping mechanisms that provide temporary distractions at the price of even more difficult and dangerous long-term consequences.
- If I need help, I ask for it. When I’m upset or feeling discouraged, I seek support from a compassionate spiritual director, coach, therapist, friend or family member.
If you answered false to several of these, you may benefit from taking a closer look at the impact your choices are having on your wellbeing—physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Investments in taking better care of yourself always yield a lifetime of benefits.
Author’s content adapted under license, © 2009 Claire Communications
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