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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Take Care

Take care of yourself. Yes, you need to take care of yourself. You won't be able to take care of anyone else if you don't take care of yourself first.
Like the instructions on an airplane tell you, if you don't put the oxygen mask on before you put one on your child, you'll be no good for the child either. Or anyone else, for that matter.

It's easy to put off taking care of yourself with so many other responsibilities begging for your active participation. The kids always have something needing immediate attention. Teens often see their problems as emergencies.

But when was the last time you saw your own needs as an emergency? Do you wait until you're so exhausted that your immune system breaks down, leaving you feeling lousy and spent? Or do you take time to do things you enjoy, just because?

There's no need to feel guilty about taking time for yourself. A time of refreshment is essential to well being. Whether it's reading a good book (a library or book store are treasure troves), taking a class you've always wanted to take (to stimulate those learning vibes, when finances permit, of course), going for a walk, hike, bike ride or swim (making exercise more enjoyable), or spending time writing in a journal or scrapbooking (creative outlets are therapeutic).

Perhaps you need spiritual rejuvenation through prayer and meditation. Simply writing down all the things you are grateful for can help give you a fresh perspective.

Or maybe you could just benefit from a decadent piece of chocolate or other favorite dessert. How about a fresh glass of cold ice water or lemonade?

Often it's the little things that count. Little refreshments add up to big refreshments over time, especially if you're consistent with taking care of yourself.
And you're the one who knows best what works for you; go with what you enjoy most or what benefits you the greatest. Whatever can help you recharge and renew.

Take the time to take care of yourself. Be Refreshed! You'll be glad you did.

Now, don't you feel much better?

© by Dawn Herring

9 comments:

Wiccan13 said...

Dawn you are so right on about us both men and women not taking time for ourselves. I often think of doing something just for me and then I hear some little voice in my head say that I am being selfish, inconsiderate or just plain lazy. Over the years I have slowly learned that to take time out for myself is the most important part of taking care of my family, friends and even my outside job. Thank for putting these words of wisdom out in the virtual airwaves for others to know and see that it is okay to think of just me.

Dawn Herring said...

Thanks so much for your comment; I'm glad this message resonated with you so strongly.
Thanks for taking the time to read it; have a refreshing weekend. :)

Dawn

info said...

Great perspective Dawn! I can tell that you take great care of you... Thank you for the insights...
Brightest Blessings
Joyce Lee

Peggy Frezon said...

I like the idea of a Gratefulness Journal. Thanks for the good reminders to take care of ourselves.

Donna Carrick said...

Dawn, right on with this post. I used to feel guilty, for example, about my passion for writing. I adore my children & hubby and do everything I can for them, when I'm not busy with my full time job, that is. In the past I would look at other people's immaculate homes and perfectly turned out children & I would feel like a monster for doing 'less' for my family.

Now I understand they want me exactly as I am-what a relief! They are proud of my writing accomplishments and they are relieved not to be living in a plastic doll house. I sometimes have to remind them, but they really don't mind helping.

Even with all this great support, I still don't manage to squeeze in much quiet time. I will try harder now that you've reminded me! ;=)
Best in writing,
Donna

Sally Johnson said...

Nice one. Always so important to recognize. I am shameless about my selfishness in this area, more than any I know. But even I wonder what is wrong with me that I am the only mother I know without this guilt. Maybe this should be my next blog... If I can make it eloquent, I'll credit you with inspiring it!

Leigh KC said...

If you look back three or four decades, to our parents and grandparents, their lives were so much simpler. We're overloaded today and because there is so much information available, everyone feels the pressure to do and achieve more.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a sense that my life was speeding out of control, so I did as you suggest. I stopped, re-prioritized, and accepted that everything does not have to be done right now. We have to make time for ourselves and the people we love because life is fleeting.

Dawn Herring said...

Leigh,
You are so right; life today is so much more complicated and busy than it was a generation ago. Glad to know you were able to take time for yourself. It really does make all the difference in the world.
Dawn

Ami said...

I couldn't agree more, Dawn. And I really needed to hear it during this crazy month of writing along with holiday prep and the stress that always comes once the days get shorter...

Thanks for a great post!

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Three Steps Toward Accountability...to Yourself (as published in SFC Newsletter, Dec 08 edition)

Accountability: to give a reckoning or explanation for one’s actions, responsible.

When most people think of accountability, they often negatively associate it with answering to others, such as a spouse, a friend, a mentor, or, in most cases, a boss. As a writer, you are your own boss, which is one of the reasons that you need to be accountable to yourself. And it can be a positive experience rather than a negative one.

The first step in being accountable to yourself as a writer is setting goals for your writing and keeping track of projects you want to finish. Incurring a deadline for yourself can help
motivate you in this area. This step can also include daily writing goals. Some authors plan how many words or pages per day they will write.
I’ve set goals for myself as a writer by making them reachable and attainable. This year I have set a goal to write at least one scene for my novel per week and at least one other piece,
whether it be memoir or essay, per week. That can mean just making notes, writing a first draft, or revising a draft.
As long as your goals keep you moving forward and you’re making progress, then you know you’re headed in the right direction.

Once you have your goals set, the next step in accountability to yourself is writing down what you accomplish each day. You can use a daily calendar just for writing or keep track of your
daily accomplishments on your computer. I designed a custom monthly writing calendar. It helps me track what I write daily, whether or not I’ve met my goal for the week, and it has
space for ideas for future writing pieces. I also have a spot to keep track of books I’m reading for that month. I use abbreviations to keep the daily writing easier and to save space. As I review each completed month, I can go back to see what I’ve accomplished and keep track of when I wrote each piece.
Whether you use something pre-made or customize something for yourself, use whatever works for you and helps you stay accountable to yourself.

A third, and perhaps most important, aspect in accountability in your writing is taking care of yourself as a writer. Than can mean giving yourself space and not being hard on yourself if
you don’t reach your goals each day or each week.
Flexibility and refreshment are paramount to your health as a writer. It also frees up your creativity and can actually help you produce more quality writing in the long run.
I enjoy writing in my journal, reading fiction or memoir, and watching a good movie with my family. Taking a walk, listening to music, talking with your family members, and just taking time to sit and enjoy life are all ways you can be good to
yourself—and ultimately accountable—as a writer.

Learn to celebrate your accomplishments and your uniqueness as a writer. That’s one of the best ways to be accountable—to yourself!