Whether you’re a left behind spouse or in midlife crisis, there is a common theme of “taking care of you” that gets talked about frequently and for good reason. Unfortunately when we are in the middle of crisis in our lives, the concept gets absolutely lost in the daily stress.

Often people ask “what does that really mean,” so I wanted to open up some discussion on what people understand it to mean for THEM, and what has worked.

I believe its an incredibly important topic where we can ALL share insight and tools to make it through the days.

For me, taking care of myself means doing things that are for MY well being, with concentration on NO ONE and NOTHING else but me. Sound selfish? GREAT! It should, because without a little selfishness, we often are giving out of an empty pot, running on empty, drowning in details and damaging ourselves emotionally as well as physically.

Believe me, Im not an expert and this concept is new to me as well, but when I’m doing a good job at it, it’s amazing how much brighter the world appears to be.

Here are some ideas that work for me…

  • Journaling my feelings, ideas, thoughts, dreams, plans
  • Taking vitamines, especially the B-complex
  • Eating a better diet with more fruits, less refines sugars and cutting down on caffeine.
  • Ok, I reall suck at this one but it feels good to try
  • Getting an exercise routine started, telling yourself that this is for YOUR health and stress reduction. (Yup… suck at this too but I can definately see the benefits).
  • GET OUT of your house and around people. Call a friend, go shopping, to a movie, a coffee shop and start up a conversation with a stranger. Open the door for an elder.
  • Buy yourself some new music and let it speak to you.
  • Sit STILL for just 15 minutes and try to clear your head. If you can’t, journal what wont stop bugging you.
  • Throw on a upbeat CD and grab your hairbrush/mic just like when you were younger.
  • Find an outlet for your stress through creativity, art or even exercize.
  • Learn to say NO to the things you really dont want to do, and YES to things that might feel a bit self indulgent, realizing that other people will not fall apart if you aren’t there for their every demand at every minute they request.

Most imporantly, put these things as a TOP priority before you try and give to anyone else because giving from a dry well only builds resentments and the feelings of being taken advantage of. The good news is that NO ONE can take advantage of you if YOU become your own best friend and advocate.

Posted on the Midlife Club Forum by forum member RotorWashed. All rights reserved.