“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” ~Herophilus
Mindful words from an early Greek physician. There’s an African proverb that also speaks volumes: “Heal yourself first before you heal others.” For many people just taking care of themselves is often a challenge. With life’s constant demands it’s difficult to take such good care of yourself that you don’t get depleted. By integrating extreme self-care into one’s daily life, we accept responsibility to begin taking exceptional care of ourselves.
Extreme self-care is about putting yourself first and expanding yourself by doing what you need to and want to do to be healthy and happy in all areas of your life. This is what you want, isn’t it?
Initially, some people think that extreme self-care is selfish. In reality, it’s the opposite. It enables us to be more present and of service to those in our lives. And while it may seem like a paradox, the best way to care for others is to take extreme care of us first. This is evidenced when a flight attendant instructs us to put on our oxygen mask first so we can be in a position to help those around us.
Extreme self-care can be seen as fully committing to a nurturing regimen. It’s more than a “just enough” practice of self-care. Extreme self-care requires connecting with yourself on a daily basis, deciding what you need, and then following through to make it happen. This concept requires, for many, a radical – or extreme – shift in one’s attitude. Like the aged Extreme Makeover (reality show) participant, one must believe, “I am worth it.” And like the Extreme Sports competitor, we must proclaim, “I am going to achieve this.”
Extreme self-care also means caring for our emotional, physical and spiritual health – feeding ourselves nutritious food, exercising our bodies regularly, and surrounding ourselves with supportive, like-minded people who are also committed to improving the quality of their lives.
The best way to experience the benefits of extreme self-care is to put it into practice. Distinct from the word selfish, being “Self-ish” involves self-care and self-appreciation. It also means that before you can be nice to others, you’d better be sure that you’re nice to yourself. So for starters, here are five ways to contribute “Self-ishness” to your life:
Just say no. “No” is, by far, the smallest yet most difficult-to-utter word in the English language. Consider changing your thinking so you perceive the word “no” as an opportunity to be good to yourself instead of something evil or negative.
- Go on a date – alone. Treat yourself like someone you value. Someone you want to spend time with. If you don’t enjoy being alone, why would anyone else want to be with you either? Treating yourself like someone special is the first step to believing you are.
- Volunteer. There’s nothing more uplifting than doing something for someone else. Take yourself out of your head for a few hours and feel the gratitude of helping others. You have a lot to give; not just to your Self but to others. What you’ll get in return is immeasurable.
- Say something! If something doesn’t sit well with you, speak up. Assert yourself, and see what happens. If you kindly but firmly explain how the situation has affected you, the results you’re after are yours for the taking. Sitting and stewing is good for prunes. Appreciate and protect your boundaries.
- Write it down. Sometimes it can help to record our thoughts and feelings on paper. It gets them out there and out of our head and when put into black and white it can take some of the emotion out or put them into perspective.
Extreme self-care is an act of self-respect. It’s not a luxury but rather a non-negotiable, essential practice for your overall well-being. You can do things to improve your life quality right now. Consider making this a priority!