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10 Self Care Tools for Living

Does "treating yourself like your own best friend" or "nurturing the garden
within" sound selfish, impossible, hard to do, or all of the above? Would
you like to "roll with the punches, let life's issues roll off of your back
like the water off of a duck's back, and feel less stressed and more peaceful?
When you are "sick and tired of being sick and tired," maybe you might like to
consider learning some new tools for your stress hardiness tool box.

The following is a list of 10 SELF CARE TOOLS. These tools contain the path to
maturity, to healing, to peace of mind--a journey that will lead you to

1. BALANCED LIFE: There are 9 ingredients to a balanced life. When you have
something going on in most of the 9 areas, your life is in balance and the
world starts to look, sound, feel, and taste better. The 9 areas are:
family, friends, relationship, hobby, volunteering, Higher Power, leisure,
personal growth, and career. Notice that work is 1/9 of a balanced life.
Notice that a relationship is 1/9 of a balanced life. Read "Feel the Fear and
Do It Anyway." by Susan Jeffers

2. POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS: Erasing the old negative tapes that lead to
reduced self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and self-defeating behavior. Some
people tend to have an abundance of "must, should, could have, ought to, have
to" tapes in their head that puts them in a "no-win situation." Positive
statements help to erase the old messages and to plant new messages in the
fertile garden of your mind. A good book to start with is "Self Talk Solution
by Helmstetter.

3. BLESSINGS: To bless means to expand. Send someone that you are
experiencing difficulty with Blessings and, if you have to, ask your Higher
Power to help you mean it. Sending Blessings is like taking a zipper to
Heaven and the "good stuff" falls out of Heaven on you and the other person.

4. MASTER MIND GROUP: The bible says "Where two or more of like minds are
gathered together, God hears our prayers and answers them." Meet weekly or
monthly and pray the same prayer for each person in the group. Then everyday,
each person prays for the other members of the group. Add at the end of the
prayer, "Or something better, thy will be done." This gives God the
opportunity to give you the highest good. This is from Master Mind
Publishing. Warren, Michigan.

5. NATURE: We are closest to our Higher Power in Nature. Literally
grounding yourself to the "Presence of Nature" helps you to feel that
closeness. Nature is God's tranquilizer.

6. SHADOW SIDE: We are all a composite of "opposites." When we can own the
appropriate and inappropriate in ourselves, we can accept the appropriate and
inappropriate in others. We can change from black and white thinking or all
or nothing thinking to wholeness (thinking like God). The next time you get
upset with someone, ask yourself "What about them am I denying in myself?"

7. EXAMINE YOUR ENERGY LEAKS: What drains your energy and what gives you
energy? Journaling over time will help you examine this question plus paying
attention to your "feelings." Negative feelings are "energy leaks." Positive
feelings are adding to your energy. Spend your time with people and
activities that are energy boosters rather than energy drains.

8. FORGIVENESS: Forgiveness is for the person that has been hurt.
Unforgiveness is a "drain clog" in our system. Forgiveness is a "Drano" that
unclogs the "garbage" in your life so that your Higher Power can work in your
life. You can chose to say a "70 times 7" forgiveness pattern. For 70 days you
can say 7 times a day, "I forgive _____________ for any wrong doings done to
me intentional or otherwise." Then, you can make a list of things that you
appreciate about that person so that you can help your Higher Power help you
forgive that person.

9. RELAXATION RESPONSE AND MEDITATION: No exercise clothes, no club
membership fee. All you need is a quiet space and a block of time to do
diaphragmatic breathing and focusing on a single word, phrase, or peace and
serenity scene, with a passive observance of intruding thoughts. (The
Relaxation Response was developed by Dr. Herbert Benson from Harvard Medical
School in 1975. There is an example of the Relaxation Response on side 2 of
the audio tape, Nurture the Garden Within.)

10. STRESS HARDINESS: The four characteristics of a stress hardy person are:
Commitment vs. Alienation, Control vs. Powerlessness, Challenge vs. Threat,
and Closeness vs. Emptiness. Commit to a "Journey Within: to know yourself,
take control of your life by using these tools, and look at aggravation as a
pop quiz and a challenge.


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