Looking after yourself

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Cats know how to rest and play.  Be more cat.  Photo by Mikhail Vasilyev on Unsplash

This is a very simple article.  It’s just a reminder to take time to look after yourself, with a few suggestions on keeping up the good work.

I’ve divided it into five rules which may help you stay on track.

RULE 1: BE YOUR OWN KIND BOSS

Sometimes you are the very last person you help.  A good way of checking in on yourself, is to pretend that you are your own kind boss, making sure that you are taking care of yourself.  Give yourself permission to take breaks (and then actually make yourself take them).  Ask yourself how you are, and what you need to help you keep going.  Essentially, do everything you would wish a kind boss to do for you.

RULE 2: DO MORE OF NOTHING

When you were a child, you spent some time every day simply wandering around not doing very much.  You fiddled with things aimlessly; you picked things up and put them down again; you asked other people what they were doing; you played.  Now you are an adult you can get out of that healthy habit.  So make sure that you spend plenty of time being just a little bit aimless.  Don’t always beat yourself up with the obligation to complete tasks.

RULE 3: SLOW DOWN

Very little in our lives is truly urgent.  We just behave as if a lot of things were.  Your body needs balance, and you function better if you are operating at a variety of speeds, not just one fast speed.  When pressurised, instead of reacting with more urgent action, take time out.  It really works.

RULE 4: TAKE A WARM-HEARTED INTEREST IN OTHERS

If you are one of those people who is constantly trying to impress others, I have news for you.  Most people prefer your quiet care and attention, rather than your showing off.  So instead of demanding that everyone around you performs to the highest level of productivity… try, instead, being a place of rest for others, where they can come for peace.  The hard work will take care of itself.  What most people need is peace.

RULE 5: BE FLUID

Much anxiety is caused by the inability to roll with the waves.  If you are spending a lot of time pining about the past, or resenting others’ mistreatment of you, then try to drop it.  You are letting things affect you twice: once when they happen, and once when you remember them.  Try to be forgetful of problems, and mindful of things to be grateful for.  It’s a very restful habit if you learn it.

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SUMMARY

As part of your self-care:

  1. Be your own kind boss
  2. Do more of nothing
  3. Slow down
  4. Take a warmhearted interest in others
  5. Be fluid
I know life’s not that easy sometimes, but maybe we can make it easier with gentle practice.
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