By Bronwyn Ison

What is your definition of taking care of you?  Guaranteed, each of us has a varied approach.  I will also venture to guess you may not truly understand the meaning of taking care of you.  You may be a fitness fanatic, as well as adopt a healthy lifestyle.  This would be considered external maintenance versus internal nurturing.

“Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent.  We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, then we can give from our surplus, our abundance.” Jennifer Louden

Your personal self-care may include a regular exercise schedule.  Of course this is an aspect of care for your self physically. Are you caring for your self mentally and emotionally.  Personal experience leads me to believe lack of self-care will only lead to a continuous destructive cycle.  It may sound dramatic but look closely at your life patterns that have been established.  I can assure you have instituted poor behavior.  This is a lack of self-care and confidence.

Those who are altruistic givers rarely create time to care for one self.  Why?  It is more comfortable to nurture others.  If you are struggling how to commence nurturing of self, here are a few ideas.

If it feels wrong don’t do it!  How many times have you heard the little voice tell you “no” but you did it anyway?  We’ve all been there.  Stop the cycle!

Express “exactly” what you mean.  As difficult as this may be, you will feel a sense of relief when you speak your mind.  You owe it to yourself to be candid.

Don’t be a people pleaser.  Most of us are guilty of pleasing others prior to ourselves. Don’t please others at your own expense.  You will find yourself frustrated, and it may result in resenting others.

Trust your instincts.  Stand convinced in what you are feeling.  You own your feelings.

Never speak depreciatingly about yourself.  You are beautiful and meant to be on the Earth.

Never abandon your dreams.  If you can see it, you can do it!  Do not allow anyone to get in your way.  Surround yourself with those who support you.

Don’t be afraid to say “No” and don’t fear saying “Yes.”  You are capable to decide what is right or wrong for you.

Be kind to yourself.  There is no other way.  Be kind, complimentary and nurturing to YOU!

Jettison what you can’t control.  If a circumstance is beyond your purview, decide to leave or stay.  You at least have this control.

Stay away from drama and negativity as much as possible. Be sure to leave behind anything potentially destructive.  It will only debilitate your performance in life.

Lastly, BE unapologetically to YOU.  When you care for you it also implies self-respect.  If you respect yourself, others will honor the person you are.

Bronwyn Ison is the owner of Evolve Yoga. 760.564.YOGA(9642)