Help for the Professional Helpers:

Help for the Professional Helpers:

BY Camille Gallinger, CN Monday, 18 April 2016

4 Ways to be Intentional About YOUR Self-Care

As a problem-solver of health & wellness issues and/or a family nurturer, it is easy to get caught up in over-giving and neglect your own self-care.  Consider starting with these 4 suggestions to establish the wise habit of self-care: 

1. Regularly take the weekends (or a designated couple of days) off to regenerate.Maintain a boundary around these two days so that you can focus on your time with God, your own rest and fun, your family and true friends, and self-discipline.  During this time, resist allowing your work to invade your restorative nurturing time. Do not make yourself available for client needs but rather serve as an example of wise self-care and tend to to your own personal needs.  If you have a client or associate who immediately challenges or disrespects this boundary when you set it, consider that you may be dealing with one who has a sense of entitlement. This is a red flag. If you do not intentionally set your boundary for self-care and give in to their demand, you will likely find yourself paving the way for burnout to set in because you did not say NO. Being intentional about self-care means having a support system of people and habits that do not hinder you from the place where you are fully alive and can work from a full tank! You lead your journey to vitality by not allowing unhealthy habits or people to disregard your own self-care.  
2. Reduce your digital engagement.  For a short time, reduce your connection time to  social media, internet surfing, news feeds and constant emails.  Chris Kresser, L. Ac and a big fan of technology, convincingly shared the tenets of his “digital detox” in his latest “Let's Take Back Your Health” post.  After extensive research about the relationship between excessive internet use and health conditions like anxiety, depression, obesity and cardiovascular disease, he is being intentional about disconnecting from electronic devices for a period of time so that he can clear his mind and reconnect and strengthen his relationships to people and his environment.  I think it's a wonderful idea.  I encourage Healthcare professionals, caregivers and those experiencing compassion-fatigue to start small with a reduced time from laptops, smartphones, TVs, and tablets if it is too difficult give up digital devices completely for a few days.  
3. Start  working to conquer sugar cravings now!  Excessive sugar is going to exact a toll on your emotional and  physical energy over time.  If you are craving, there is already an imbalance somewhere in your body.  Ways to fight sugar cravings is such an extensive topic, it will be addressed in a separate post but for now, think about supplements that healthfully address imbalances such as cravings or key mineral insufficiciencies. Don't forget to drink more water and, for a popular sugar cravings cure,  add 2 Tbsps of Apple Cider Vinegar to one of your daily glasses of water. (If the taste is still too strong, consider adding a touch of local raw honey or ceylon cinnamon to this sugar craving conqueror).
4. Refresh both your digestive and mental energy, by addressing your most prevalent type of stress. Is it physical – are you too sedentary or do you travel excessively?, emotional– are you tolerating someone who continues to hurt you intentionally; are you struggling with unforgiveness, even towards yourself, mental – are you dealing with perfectionism or noticing you have problems focusing and concentrating or spiritual – Are you feeling empty or lost from day to day?  Locate the worst tension and apply a wise lifestyle strategy to begin reducing that stress. 

Wisdom Source:  Commit yourself to instruction; listen carefully to words of knowledge

 Proverbs 23:12

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