November Self Care Calendar
“It’s common to reject or punish yourself when you’ve been rejected by others. When you experience disappointment from the way your family or others treat you, that’s the time to take special care of yourself. What are you doing to nurture yourself? What are you doing to protect yourself? Find a healthy way to express your pain.” ― Christina Enevoldsen
Try the 30 day self-care and kindness challenge.
|Nothing external to you has any power over you. – RWE Waldo Emerson|
|Write a personal mission statement||Meditate for 5 minutes||Schedule a physical if you haven’t had one recently.||Post an affirmation on your bathroom mirror||Reach out to someone you can count on to be kind)
|List 3 things you want to accomplish before 2017||Sign up for a free class at coursera.org||Offer another woman a sincere compliment||Meditate for 5 minutes||Take a walk or spend five minutes stretching||Look into your eyes in a mirror for at least 30 seconds||Eat 5 fruits/veggies
|Go to bed early||Know your status. Get an HIV test||Read something that inspires you||Meditate for 8 minutes||Laugh||Take two deep breaths every time you wash your hands||Offer a random act of kindness|
|Get rid of clutter in your room and purse or bookbag||Remember to floss||Volunteer||Meditate for 8 minutes||Write a gratitude list||Skip the soda and nourish yourself with water||Pause for five seconds before you speak|
|Write down all your expenses||List ten things you like about you||Say you’re sorry or clear the air of a past offense.||Meditate for 10 minutes|
|“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” – Etty Hillesum||“The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.” – Steve Maraboli||“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James||“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” – CJB||“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu||The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb|
Being with your anger
When we are angry, we are not usually inclined to return to ourselves. We want to think about the person who is making us angry, to think about his hateful aspects – his rudeness, dishonesty, cruelty, maliciousness, and so on. The more we think about him, listen to him, or look at him, the more our anger flares. His dishonesty and hatefulness may be real, imaginary, or exaggerated, but, in fact, the root of the problem is the anger itself, and we have to come back and look first of all inside ourselves. It is best if we do not listen to or look at the person whom we consider to be the cause of our anger. Like a fireman, we have to pour water on the blaze first and not waste time looking for the one who set the house on fire. “Breathing in, I know that I am angry. Breathing out, I know I must put all my energy into caring for my anger.” So we avoid thinking about the other person, and we refrain from doing or saying anything as long as our anger persists. If we put all our mind into observing our anger, we will avoid doing any damage that we may later regret.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
Celebrate the uniqueness of you
You are a unique combination of experiences, perspectives, values, talents and strengths. Of all the people in the world, there is not one person exactly like you. You are a rare and valuable gem. Flaws, faults, failures and all. You are still special. Just the fact that you are still standing, still trying, still fighting for your dreams and goals, still finding joy in big things and small, still seeking out things to strive for and laugh about…in spite of everything. That’s your evidence. Remember that when tapes of old stories play in your head and consume you with worry that you should give up because of every real and imagined thing you think is wrong with you and your life. You are worth fighting for, no matter what has happened in your past. No matter what comes your way remember that there is nothing common about you. You are special and you are equal to any challenge. It matters not what anybody else around you has accomplished. You are uniquely you. You may have to stop, rest, get help and regroup to get through but you are equal to the challenge and get through is what you will do. And so it is.
Care for yourself
Care for yourself at least as well as you care for your cell phone. Plug into a source that restores you every day. People need to be recharged, too.
Know your money motivation
What motivates you to save? What moves you to spend? Use these values to make and meet short and long-term financial goals….after all, sometimes it isn’t so much what you earn as it is how you spend it. Don’t believe me? Read this…
Oseola McCarty was an African-American woman born in Mississippi in 1908. She never earned a high wage during the decades she spent doing laundry. That’s what makes her gift so surprising. In 1995 just four years before her death, McCarty announced that she would fund a scholarship for financially disadvantaged students attending the University of Southern Mississippi.
The fund amount she gifted was $150,000.00. McCarty, an amazing saver with a 6th grade education, lived without any extravagance and few conveniences. She had no car, and for many years, no cable or even air conditioning. In total, she saved $280,000.00. In addition to the scholarship fund McCarty left money to her church and family.
McCarty started saving as an 8 year old. She put away money earned from ironing and eventually went to the bank and opened an account. Maybe we can’t all be as frugal but we can learn from Ms. McCarty that saving is less about how much we earn than it is about how we choose to spend. What was her secret? In an interview printed by the Philanthropy Roundtable, McCarty says she saved money, made deposits but no withdrawals.
Think about it
How are the lessons you have learned about money mirrored in your present day money interactions? What do you believe about money? What role has money played in your life? In what ways would you like to change your relationship to, or habits with, money?
A research study involving fourth and fifth grade students in Vancouver, Canada found that cultivating kindness in kids helps them to be more accepting of others, more positive in their outlook and more popular among peers, too.
Is this important? Increasingly, yes. Mass murder, bullying and other acts of unkindness have become increasingly common. There isn’t one magic bullet solution, but cultivating empathy, kindness and compassion is almost certainly some part of the answer. Each of these is learned, just as violence is learned. We can choose.
Maybe the world isn’t a meaner place. It has been suggested that the 24-hour news cycle only makes us feel it is. But in spite of globalization one could argue that the world is at least a more isolated and disconnected place. Such isolation can make it tough for many to feel a sense of belonging and responsibility to the larger community.
Cultivating kindness in kids, and nurturing it in adults, builds connection and reduces isolation. We learn through this connection to imagine what it feels like to stand in someone else’s shoes, and to care. We learn that we all matter. We learn to feel compassion for ourselves and for others.
As we approach another New Year it seems the perfect time to reflect on the kind of people we want to be and the kind of world we want to live in. Many of us will resolve to reduce debt or our waist lines. Let us also consider cultivating kindness. Show concern before tragedy or heartbreak. Tell kids, and remind adults, that kindness counts.
So many painful tragedies. What if, in addition to mourning, people everywhere changed their attitudes and practiced compassion in every action? What if we changed our question from why to what can I do to be sure this doesn’t happen again?
Keep New Year’s Resolutions
We are coming up on another round of New Year’s resolutions. Maybe the annual ritual of hopefulness doesn’t feel so hopeful because it reminds you of all the times you’ve promised to get in shape (save more money or some other goal) – but didn’t. Don’t fret, it is okay to feel hopeful in spite of past failures. This is a brand new year, give yourself a break. Besides, you are unlikely to do better by making yourself feel worse. Instead, forgive yourself for past failures; set small, measurable goals and begin again. You can do this.
Daring as self care
Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps. David Lloyd George quoted in Do One Thing Everyday That Scares You – A Journal.
In other words…go ahead and leap for your dreams. Go for your goals. Throw off the burden of unrealized potential, it is too heavy to carry indefinitely.
Learning how to say no
Why does it feel so hard to say no? Some common reasons are:
- It makes me feel strong, proud and important when others turn to me.
- I am afraid of starting a conflict or hurting the other person’s feelings if I say no.
- I worry that I might lose the relationship if I say no.
- I am embarrassed to say I don’t have the money if I can’t afford to lend it.
- I don’t feel like I have the right to refuse.
- I want to help.
- I always say yes, I can’t just start saying no now.
- I feel guilty when I say no.
If any of those reasons sounds like you, here are some suggestions for learning to say no.
- Practice letting yourself feel uncomfortable. Saying yes to someone else only because you feel guilty is a way of saying no to yourself, your goals and your needs.
- Establish short and long-term goals that you share with others. If no is not yet a complete sentence for you, it may be easier to refuse with a reason that points to your goals so it is clear you are being purposeful rather than mean.
- Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t. For example, I can’t loan you money but I can help you brainstorm alternative solutions or explore other resources.
- Especially if you feel pressured, delay your response until you’ve had a chance to review the situation.
- Remember that you don’t have to rescue or save everyone all the time. Sometimes, deciding why your needs are important is the priority.
- Offer a compassionate no. Acknowledge the need and express regret that you are unable to help in the way requested.
- Remind yourself that your value lies not in what you are able to do for someone or give to someone. You are valuable just because you are you.