Self-Care in Crisis Mode

I got an early morning call from a family friend – my mom was not doing well.  While usually a trip to see her requires at least a week of preparation, I was on the road for the two-day drive by that afternoon.

We all have those times when we are called on to do more than we think we can do – a loved one needs more than we think we have to give.  But somehow we pull it out of ourselves.  We’re stretched as thin as we can go, and then a little bit more.  Sometimes the time-frame is a few hours, sometimes those hours can turn into days or weeks.  It’s important to keep your “toolkit” with you.  You won’t be able to use all of the tools, and there may be times when you can’t use any of them, but if you’re going to be of any use at all, you have to take care of yourself.  You can’t pour water for someone from an empty pitcher.

Nutrition

Even if you skip supplements most of the time, now is the time to be religious about taking them.  It takes a few seconds to swallow your favorite multi-vitamin.  Get a B complex and take that, too – stress depletes B vitamins.  Get a good calcium-magnesium supplement and take that to help you relax and sleep.  Order the salad instead of the milkshake at the fast-food drive-thru.  Grab a banana or an orange instead of a candy bar.  Believe me, I completely understand the therapeutic value of chocolate!  Make it good chocolate and not the crappy stuff that gets advertised on TV, and don’t make it breakfast, lunch, and dinner!  Do your best to limit sugar – it depletes your body of minerals you desperately need right now.

Sleep

Possibly the one thing you need the most and can get the least.  Get what you can.  Sure, maybe there will be a few hours when you won’t be available – so how much good can you do if you’re so foggy with fatigue you can’t think or see straight?  And you never know if there will be times when you are called upon to be awake and functioning for unreasonable amounts of time, so don’t deplete yourself if you have the opportunity to sleep.

I never recommend those over-the-counter energy drinks.  I believe they are harmful, and will end up damaging your system more than helping.  If you need a boost, find a Young Living distributor and order some NingXia Nitro.  It has about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, but the added nutrients in it help you stay on an even keel, and I’ve heard from people who normally can’t take caffeine and they say they can use NingXia Nitro without a problem.  If you don’t know a Young Living distributor, contact me if you would like to order some.  Or better yet, go here to get a membership and pay wholesale instead of retail: Sign Up Here.  This link will sign you up in my downline.

 

No-Sleep Revivers

So what about those no-sleep-possible times I mentioned?  If you have even a few minutes where you can sit and close your eyes, do it!  Here is where a regular meditation practice can be a big help.  Center yourself, having the intention of resting your body and mind as deeply as possible in as short a time as possible.  Breathe slowly and deeply, focusing on and extending the out-breath (this activates the para-sympathetic nervous system, which is calming).  Let go of the worries – they’ll return as soon as you turn your mind to them again, they’re not going anywhere, and you’ll be better able to address them if you’ve had a little break.

Some techniques I can recommend:

Centering Prayer or Mindfulness:   Even making the no-effort effort to do these practices gives your mind and body an access to healing.  Don’t make impossible demands of yourself – of course you’ll drift back to thoughts and worries.  Just notice that you have, and let them go again.  Make it a practice of letting go of thoughts and worries without blame, without stress.  If you’ve practiced these modalities before you’ll have the ability to do this more easily, so don’t wait until you’re in crisis mode to start – start now.

HeartMath: Beg, buy, or borrow a copy of The HeartMath Solution, and read it cover-to-cover and practice all the exercises.  These are great tools for keeping yourself centered, calm, and effective when the world around you is going crazy.  See http://www.heartmath.org/resources for more information, but in my opinion the book is the best guide.

Tapping, or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique):  This is something I’m just learning about.  The process is very simple, and surprisingly effective.  You use your fingertips to gently tap on points on your head and body – these points are the endpoints of energy pathways (called “meridians” ) in your body.  Tapping these points sends calming signals to your amygdala, the “fight or flight” part of your brain that senses possible danger and tries to keep you safe.  By calming the amygdala, you can reduce the amount of stress hormones that get released into your body, and that helps you stay more relaxed and effective.  See http://www.thetappingsolution.com for instructions and information on research done on this technique.  There are also numerous videos on YouTube – I especially like Brad Yates’ videos.

The Self-Mind Clearing technique: This is a Healing Touch technique anyone can learn.  Here is a video made by the person who developed the technique: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXaudcDbOXE.  This page has a link to a diagram of the hand positions: mandalahealingtouch.com/self-care-techniques/self-mind-clearing.

Friends and Family

You may be the point person; you may be the only one available to deal with whatever is going on (or you may not be – think about it!).  But friends and family can hold your hand through it all, even if it’s just long-distance over the phone or by email.  Call them.  Tell them your concerns.  Let them brainstorm solutions with you.  If you’re fortunate enough to have someone close by, let them bring you meals (good stuff, please!).  Let them take a shift or two with your loved one and you go back home or to your hotel room and get some sleep.

Pets

If you have your pets available, let them help you relax and heal.  Most animals will try to comfort you when they sense you’re upset.  Take 5 minutes to pet your cat or dog.

God’s Healing

The most important self-care thing of all.  Call on God.  Read your Bible.  It helps to have a Bible app on your phone.  (I like Olive Tree, because it downloads to my devices and I don’t have to have an internet connection to read the Bible.)  Pray unceasingly – yell at Him, cry to Him, until you know He’s there.  Read some of David’s psalms for inspiration.


 

Self-Care is something that needs to be a habit.  We’re called on daily to serve others, anyway, and we want to serve them the best we can.  But when you move into crisis mode it helps to not be depleted to start out, and having these tools as already-developed habits makes it much easier to use them when you really need them.

Mom and I have a long road ahead of us.  It’s still crisis-time here.  But I have a wonderful, supportive husband.  I have good friends.  I have my cat – my traveling companion – with me.  I finally got some sleep.  And I’m praying-praying-praying all the time.  I would welcome your prayers, too, for healing and for comfort for Mom and myself.

Blessings to all.

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Surrounded by Sunrise

One of the benefits of living on top of a mountain is the sunrise.  It starts in the east, yes, but soon spreads and you can turn 360 degrees and see sunrise wherever you look.  Pink and mauve, magenta, marigold orange turning to deep gold turning to rose gold turning to that bright, new-gold yellow.  And the sky – cobalt to royal to the deepest blue.

There were crows, of course, and the winter songbirds.  A dog barking down the hill.  Farther away I could hear the light traffic, one car at a time, on the highway a few miles away.  And the silly rooster crowing – he wouldn’t come out if I opened the coop now, but he’s awake and letting the world know it.

Yes, it was 15 degrees Fahrenheit next to the house, so probably a degree or two lower on the south porch.  Yes, I was wearing my before-I-get-dressed sweats and house slippers.  But I had to go outside and listen to the sunrise.  I carefully walked between the edge of the deck and the piles of snow that still haven’t melted so that I could see everything, hear everything, absorb the sunrise with my whole body.  360 degrees of sunrise colors and sounds and smells.

Another time I’ll talk about frequencies and vibrations, the stuff of life, and how your whole body listens all the time to everything that surrounds you.  But today I just want to bask in the sunrise.

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Self-Care: What NOT to do!

I had really hoped to have my first installment of the Self-Care series posted for you before now.  I’d really hoped to have a lot of things done before now this week.  But a number of OTHER things happened, including I caught a nasty cold.  I made three mistakes, so I thought I would share those with you, and what I should have done, and what I’m doing about it now.

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Mistake number one was eating too many Christmas cookies.   I make really good cookies.  And who could pass up these two cute cookie jars, just BEGGING you to take a cookie?  But I should have.  I’m not one that believes that any and all sugar is the devil to be driven away by making a cross with your fingers (although that WOULD have made it hard to eat cookies…).  I think a healthy person can certainly tolerate a moderate amount of high-quality sugar, and these cookies were made with organic sugar, organic molasses, organic flour, organic coconut oil and palm oil and butter, organic spices, well the nuts weren’t organic but the raisins were and the oatmeal, and the eggs are from our own chickens.  But too many cookies was too much sugar, and it did depress my immune system to a point where it was weaker than I believed it to be.  What I should have done was just put the cookies into the freezer and take a few minutes and make healthier snacks.  Crackers and cheese with veggies, an almond or peanut butter sandwich, yogurt and fruit, even eggs and toast are not hard to put together and would have given me some nutrition and not much sugar.

Mistake number two was a little touchier, for me anyway.  My dear husband had been suffering from a cold for days (he’d eaten too many cookies, too).  I can usually stay well even when he’s sick if I can be careful.  But one time – ONE TIME – he coughed on my hot tea and water.  He didn’t notice, and I didn’t want to embarrass him so I drank them anyway.  What I should have done is just wait until he’d left the room, then dump them and get fresh beverages in clean dishes. (This could translate into washing your hands frequently, and being careful around others who are sick.)   Because I didn’t, within a couple of days we were BOTH sick, because…

Mistake number three was not managing my energy field.  WHY do I read Facebook?  Yeah, there are a few cool things there, and I am discovering more, but it’s almost as upsetting as the TV news shows, with all the things people are upset or angry about.  And people get MEAN there!  I had two pretty nasty comments directed at me for no good reason, and it upset me and instantly I felt my field shift.  What I should have done is stop right there and balance my field – ground, do a Chakra Self-Connection, pray, SOMETHING that would have put me back in balance.  But I let the negative shift carry me, and – voila! – the next day I was coming down with the cold and by evening I couldn’t deny it anymore.

What I’m doing now is helping a lot!  I was pretty miserable for a couple of days, but am feeling much better now.  This is NOT a recommendation for you – it’s simply what I did that helped me.  You should consult your own healthcare provider for any health-related issue.  I used aspirin for my fever and aches – hardly ever take anything like that, but I feel pretty safe with small amounts of aspirin, and it helped.  I drank hot water with a slice of lemon, some honey, and a couple of drops of cinnamon oil in it.  That eased my sore throat and gave me some vitamin C.  I also took extra vitamin C – I’ve been told not to take vitamin C at the same time as aspirin because the cancel each other out.  I have no idea if that’s true or not, but I don’t take them together.  I took Ningxia Red and multi-vitamins.  I took capsules with oregano oil in them, and put rosemary oil on the bottoms of my feet at bedtime.  I diffused Thieves oil or eucalyptus oil.  Fortunately, the day before I got sick I had made some homemade chicken noodle soup, so we had chicken soup for a couple of meals, which was about all either of us felt like eating, anyway.

I used the Diamond Technique, which is a healing technique I hope to share with you soon.  You can download an article with directions from Energy Magazine here if you don’t want to wait for more detailed instructions.

AND I slept.  I rested when awake.  And I slept for about 10 hours night before last and yesterday started feeling better as the day went on.  Today I’d say I’m about 80%.  Still a little stuffy, still coughing some, still a little tired feeling, but I don’t feel sick anymore.

They'll just have to be mad.

They’ll just have to be mad.

So what’s the take-away here?  Don’t neglect things!  DO your self-care routine, ALL of it, ALL of the time.  Eat well, sleep well, and do what keeps you balanced energetically – walk outside, meditate, pray.  I’ll be covering all of these areas in the near future here.  I actually have an article started, but it’s turning into a book – a rather boring book – so I need to work on it some more.

And stay away from the cookie jar.

Blessings to you all, and Be Well!

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