Healthy boundaries are so important in a relationship, yet it’s so confusing as to what they actually are! I recently contributed to this article. I hope it helps clarify some confusion on this topic…
I recently contributed to this column on dealing with a man who has been hurt in his past relationships. Men can often be more sensitive than we realize and may need extra care in handling this aspect of getting to know them. Hope these tips help if you are dealing with this.
Ten Tips for Self-care in Difficult Times
I was recently asked to give a talk on self-care at The Women’s March on Colorado Summit in Denver, CO. It’s no secret that stress is at an all time high.
All you have to do is pick up a newspaper or turn on the news to feel fear, grief and a loss of control. In all my years as a therapist and life coach in private practice, I haven’t seen people more stressed and disillusioned.
I will post the text to my talk in a separate post. Here is a list of ten strategies for self-care that I gave as a handout.
1. Acknowledge your pain. You can’t heal what you don’t feel. Let yourself feel your fear, fatigue, anger, doubt, disconnection, emptiness, hopelessness, loneliness, etc., Whatever you are feeling is OK.
2. Be vulnerable. Speak the truth to at least one other person about what you are feeling and experiencing. It is strong to be vulnerable.
3. Seek balance. Burnout is not noble. We need you to bring your best game to the table. This means you need to know your limits and say no to more than you can handle.
4. Set healthy boundaries. Taking on more than you can handle leads to anger, resentment, martyrdom and loss of self. You serve no one by losing yourself in the process.
5. Practice non-judgement for self and others. We need discernment to know what to rise up against and change, but self-righteous judgment can become toxic, draining and dangerous.
6. Practice compassion for self and others. When we bring compassion to ourselves and our pain it softens the energy, decreases our resistance to what is and allows for healing to occur.
7. Create community. We live in a society full of isolation, disconnection and loneliness. 40% of the population reports feeling lonely. Loneliness increases your risk of dying by 45%. Humans are by nature collaborative and communal. Make time for connection and friendship.
8. Express gratitude. In a time of increasing fear, grief and loss, take time to acknowledge all that you are grateful for in your life. It will help enhance your sense of peace and well-being.
9. Seek solitude. We live in a world full of noise and constant stimulation. Without peace and quiet you cannot hear your inner voice and find you own center. Sit in silence, meditate, walk in nature. Spend some time alone to regroup and recharge.
10. Connect with what brings you pleasure. Without pleasure we become parched, dry, grumpy and depleted. Enjoy the simple things in life. Slow down, play with your kids, your pets, get a massage, take a bath, cook a good meal for yourself…find your joy.
Has anyone else noticed that the world we are living in appears to be on the verge of a collective nervous breakdown? You’d have to be living in a cave or avoiding the news altogether to not be aware of the extreme levels of stress most of us are experiencing.
We all have the usual stuff to contend with; the family responsibilities, the bills to pay, the health challenges, relationship crises, etc. The list goes on and on.
Add to that, the stress in our country, the political infighting, the fractured relationships with friends and family due to the most contentious election in our lives. And now, the very real concern of an escalation of tempers that could lead to our ultimate demise through nuclear annihilation. Yes, these are challenging times.
My morning today started like most people’s mornings. I took yesterday off due to the holiday. Today I awoke to a flurry of emails, text messages and phone calls. While fielding these necessities, I was preparing my last minute documents for my appointment with my accountant tomorrow to do my taxes. As a self-employed person, tax prep, for me, is complex, stressful and time-consuming. On top of that, I am fighting off the flu.
By 11:00 am I felt kind of fried. I could have kept pushing through, but instead I decided to stop. I shut off my phone and meditated for 30 minutes. I know what you are thinking, “I don’t have time to do that!” Actually, you don’t have time to not do that.
It took me many years to realize that life is a series of one major transition after another. Just when you get through one big challenge and think you can coast for awhile, there is another thing to contend with. However, I have been on the planet long enough to know that the intensity and frequency of the challenges we are now facing is increasing like never before.
What is going on out there? And why is our personal stuff getting triggered so relentlessly? Can’t we just have a break?
Most of you reading this probably know we are going through a major transition and spiritual awakening on the planet. We are being asked to shift our consciousness, to wake up and realize who we truly are. For too many years we have not challenged the status quo, we have blindly followed authority like sheep and simply bought what we were being told.
This pattern has gotten so out of control that we are now being lied to on a fairly regular basis by the powers that be. Part of the reason this is happening is because we have collectively given our power away. It took this much to get us to pay attention.
They now have our attention. Millions of women and men took to the streets all over the world this past Saturday to march for human rights and to send a clear message to our new president. The turn out across the world was unprecedented and unexpected. It was also remarkably non-violent, with no arrests that I have heard of, given the huge number of people involved.
(The picture above is from the Denver Women’s March.)