I used to diagram an accident scene for my public speaking students when we discussed perspective. It was an eye-opener for most of them.
I drew an intersection and two cars that collided. Then I strategically placed several witnesses and the driver of each vehicle. Person “A” was the driver of the hit car and “B” was the driver who caused the accident. Witness “A” stood on the corner nearest the crash but had been more focused on his girlfriend. Witness “B” sat in the passenger seat behind the hit car. Witness “C” was the homeless guy on the opposite side of the crossroad walking up the line of traffic in hopes of a couple of bucks.
When the police questioned the drivers and the witnesses, they got 5 different stories. Each story depended on where the person stood in relation to the accident, what they were doing or focusing on at the time, and their past experiences.
The same is true regarding your perspective about your life. Do you look at your past experiences negatively or positively? Is your plate of responsibilities half full or half empty? Do you have so much to do your head spins or too little to do that you are bored? Do you sometimes feel at your wit’s end or do you have the patience to face one more event, no matter how small?
No matter whether you are a caregiver to an aging parent or a parent to young, or for that matter teenage, children; no matter if you are struggling yourself or helping another through struggles,
YOU need to start taking a look at your glass.
It is not half full. It is not half empty.
It is refillable.
Don’t wait for your health, mind, or soul to be completely depleted. That can result in disaster: a short temper, your own health issues, depression, broken relationships. The list could go on.
5 Things to do to refill your glass and practice self-care.
- In a notebook, identify three things that you are grateful for each day. They can be little things like the traffic was light on the way to work, your teen volunteered to do the dishes without asking, or you were able to get a 30-minute walk in. Find something to be grateful for each day. It’s difficult at first, but as you continue to do this – finding at least three things you are grateful for in a given day – you start to see things differently.
- One thing my mother taught me that always helps me feel like I am taking care of myself is to dress for the day. Even if you are staying home, take time to change from PJs to an outfit for the day, put on jewelry, and makeup, if you wear it.
- Take as little as 15 minutes to participate in something that brings you joy: reading a novel, meditating, listening to music, or working on a craft for the sheer pleasure of creating.
- Brain dump your frustrations, anger, and anxiety into a journal. Write with stream-of-consciousness – in other words, write what comes to your mind as it comes to your mind without editing or pausing.
- Go to bed earlier or take a power nap. One of the most important self-care practices is to get enough sleep. Sleep recharges your patience and your mood.
- BONUS: Unplug. That’s right. Set your phone down. Turn off the television. Get away from the computer screen. Take some deep breaths and be in the present.
Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and questions in the comment section below.
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As you move through your day, please remember to
Live Life –
Keep Things Simple –
Look for the Positive –