Book Review · Books · Self Care

Find Your Awesome

I’m a sucker for self-help books. When I saw the cute artwork on the cover I couldn’t resist requesting the appropriately titled Find Your Awesome. This short book has 30 different ideas on ways that you can learn how to start loving yourself. Some of the suggestions that stood out to me the most were:

* Rocking my life list

I need to make a life bucket list, so I have goals I am always reaching on meeting.

* Hold a burning ceremony

There are things about my past and myself I need to let go of, but my OCD reparative thoughts like to dwell on those things anyway. A burning ceremony of letting go would be acknowledging these things, but then physically letting them go by burning away their hold on me.

* List 10 people you are grateful for

Writing down 10 people I’m grateful for helps me stay focused on the important people in my life who help influence and shape me in who I’ve become through the years.

* Organize something

Organizing is something I like to do briefly, then my piles start up again. Going through my things and only keeping what is essential is therapeutic. I need to do more of it so there is more room in my life for things I truly need, plus I will feel less claustrophobic.

* Unplug

Unplugging from social media occasionally is important and something I want to do more often. It’s never a dire emergency to check notifications. If it’s an emergency the person will call me and leave a voicemail.

* Be unapologetic

I am a classic apology case. I apologize often to where it even annoys myself. I need to stop apologizing, especially when I’m not truly sorry. It’s a bad form of coming across humble and selfless when in reality you aren’t wanting to own your true feelings about something.

* Write your personal manifesto

Writing my own manifesto on how I want to live my life is something I need to do. It’s a way for me to have a nice, firm reminder of what I believe in, stand for and want to accomplish with my existence.

* Decide what matters

Deciding what matters can be a tough exercise.

* Write yourself a love letter

I don’t like being the center of attention, so the idea of writing myself a love letter sounds egotistical, but I need to honestly love me for me and writing it down will help cement it in my mind.

* Design a book cover for your life story

Some day I do want to publish. A memoir might be a tad strange, but to design a unique book cover for it would satisfy my creative side.

These suggestions each speak to me in that they are ways I can uncover who I am down to my core.

What would your answers be to these different suggestions on how we can love and care for ourselves more?

I think with social media when can get so caught up in following other’s lives that we forget to be ourselves, to be our own unique selves. These suggestions help peel off the layers of fitting in, so that we can love ourselves for who we are. I know I don’t always like what I see when I peel back my protective layers, but it’s important for me to truly like myself, even the scary parts of me (body parts, personality, habits).

If you need a uplifting pick me up, go find a copy of this short book. The artwork alone is sweet and inspiring. I received my free digital ARC of Find Your Awesome by Judy Clement Wall care of NetGalley from HCI Books in exchange for my honest feedback. Thank you Judy for an easy to use self-help book that will help society get their life balance back.

Personal · Self Care

No Words

Sometimes you aren’t prepared. This morning my partner mentioned someone had died. I was trying to guess who it might have been. I was not ready for what he showed me.

When he showed me the news headline I immediately cried out, “What? Nooo.” I instantly burst into ugly sobs. I rarely sob. Sobbing at 5AM is not a fun way to ring in a Friday. No, I didn’t know Anthony Bourdain personally. I watched his shows “No Reservations,” and “Parts Unknown”. I’ve watched them many times.

Tony’s shows are funny, heartfelt, snarky at times and make you want to travel the world. He is blunt in his verbiage, but has a heart for people. Tony won’t be forgotten.

It was hard to concentrate at work earlier today because I kept thinking of Tony and wondering why. Why choose to bow out when what ever was ailing him could be resolved with time and patience? I know so many of us struggle with depression. We keep moving forward with smiles plastered on, not letting everyone see behind our perfect looking masks. I don’t know the reasons. We may never know. His own daughter may never know why her dad chose to leave early. I can’t fathom her heartache today.

One thing I do know is Anthony is loved by so many and respected as a chef, author, travel host, Dad, boyfriend, friend, etc. He was a big life figure in the culinary and travel industry.

Part of me wants to curl up in a ball and just sob. This untimely death has hit me hard. I cried more over James Gandolfini. It took me months before I could watch or hear the theme intro song to, “Sopranos.” I usually don’t get this emotional over a celebrity, but these two figures made a giant impact on our world and their passing have left holes in our hearts.

We may not know how we impact others lives, but we do. Even someone we just smile at in passing. That one act of positivity could make someone’s day, it could let them know they are seen and loved.

I hope you are resting in peace Tony. You are loved and admired by many. I am just sad you choose to leave early when you had so much more life to live. You blessed more people than you’ll ever know.

Personal · Self Care

Self-Care

Lately I’ve been thinking about self-care and what that means to me. What entails me taking care of myself? There is physical self care, mental self care and spiritual self care. How do I give myself care in these different areas of my life?

Physical self-care to me is eating healthy, but occasionally indulging in a treat every now and then. My weakness is coffee. I start my day off with it and sometimes indulge in an evening cup. Obviously I don’t want to OD on it. Physical also entails getting plenty of rest. I’m an old lady in that I like to get to bed on a week night somewhere between 8:30-9pm. Five in the morning arrives too, fast otherwise. On the weekends I might be ‘wild’ and stay up till 10. As for exercising that’s the one self care area I need to work on. I sit for my job, so by the time work ends mentally I am ready to relax and exercise sounds like the last thing I want to do. Another area of self care I need to work on is pampering myself. I’m not a high maintenance woman. I rarely get a pedi or manicure. I need to see it as a small way I can self care once a month as a way to feel more pretty, confident and feminine. And it doesn’t have to break my bank. Shaving is another self care that’s a pain in the rear, but helps me not be a scary beast. Not that I wear shorts.

Mental self-care can be tricky. It seems every time I pass by a TV there is a new antidepressant being showcased. Not that they can’t be life saving, but the possible side effects can be more deadly than going to a therapist or trusted friend to talk things out. No, I am not depressed, but life happens and things can seem overwhelming. Personally I am not a fan of medication. Yes, even Advil or Tylenol. I’ll take them if I really have to, but they aren’t my first course of action. One way I like to self care in this department is not to watch horror movies. I’m a sensitive soul who isn’t fond of blood and gut movies, or spirituality dark movies. What we put in our mind is there for us to reply 24/7, so make it something worthwhile and pleasant.

Spiritual self-care is an area of my life I’ve been avoiding like the plague. I am somewhere between Christian and Agnostic. I own a few Bibles, but haven’t opened one in a long time. I think I go in cycles of wanting to be a good Christian and read my Bible, Christian nonfiction, etc and other times I feel like it’s just the teacher from Peanuts taking. Ever since I came out to my family and friends my faith has taken a back seat. I had to get over my fear of Hell to come out. Yes, I could have stuffed it down, ignored it, prayed it away, but it would end popping back up. I’ve already gotten the worried Hell speech once by an online friend. They mean well, but don’t tout Christianese and say you’ll only be there for me as a friend if I stop living my ‘lifestyle’. To me that’s not unconditional love that’s I’ll love you if. No thank you!  I’ve read a number of outside the typical Christian genre that might be deemed scandalous, but has made quite a lot of sense. Conversations With God anyone? I need to attend to my spiritual self care. I just have to figure out what I truly believe.

How do you self-care? Any suggestions you can provide? If so, please feel free to comment below.