Are you a Horse or a Rabbit? Some of us are workhorses and some of us are rabbits, so we need different amounts and forms of self-care to maintain our highest level of service. We are all aiming for the same end goal with self-care: a feeling of fullness and inner strength that overflows onto our clients and others who receive our gifts and talents. We want to cultivate enough fullness to have energy left over for ourselves at the end of the day.
Take this quiz: Are you already getting enough self-care?
1. I am ready and feel good about facing my clients every day.
2. I maintain a pleasant mood most of the time (and I’m not faking it ☺ )
3. My body feels good, I am healthy and well.
4. After giving all day, I have energy left over for myself.
Results: Each Yes indicates fullness in (respectively) your mental/attitude level, your emotional level, your physical level, and your spiritual level. A Yes indicates you are doing well with self-care in that area. If you can answer Yes but not for every day of the week, you could benefit from more self-care, possibly of a different type.
If you answered No to some of these questions or have inconsistency, your patterns in that level (mental, emotional, physical or spiritual) may be draining your energy. If you have several Nos, start looking at the level that feels the heaviest and most run-down.
Here are some routines and patterns that can drain our energy:
Mental Level: Thought processes can take away our comfort. Grumping, griping, nagging and judging are constrictive thinking habits that slowly drain our energy, especially if self-directed. Try to tame these dragons of the mind.
Emotional Level: Staying in, or over-indulging in an emotion. Habitually favoring lower-energy emotions such as sadness, depression, irritability over lighter emotions such as playfulness, courage and optimism. Thoughts and emotions can trigger each other, either towards the depths or to the heights.
Physical Level: Staying up too late or in constant activity. Going too long without physical activity. Meals without any live foods such as fruits and veggies. The Physical level can play into our moods and thoughts, as exercise and good foods create endorphins.
Spiritual Level (aka inner strength): Treating others or yourself poorly. Being lazy with our personal development or responsibilities. Allowing your integrity to slip like forgetting a commitment.
I exposed these energy-draining patterns here because self-awareness is an important aspect of self-care. Making incremental changes can gradually build towards fullness and greater wellbeing. Then protect those changes (ie, maintain the new habit for 6-8 weeks). That’s when the new habits become unconscious and easy, which means sustainable!
In the next article I will give you ideas for taking small but meaningful steps towards greater self care quickly and easily.
Want to read the whole series? Here are the handy-dandy links:
Part 1: Self-Care Quiz: Are You REALLY worth it?