Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness. ~ Richard Carlson
This past week I was visiting with Erin, a 43 year-old client and self-employed consultant who is tired, burned out and noticing she’s beginning to take feedback way too personally.
Input from her clients is being viewed as criticism, small project snags feel like major train wrecks and she’s finding herself projecting her insecurities and feelings of inadequacy everywhere she turns.
Can you relate?
We all can. When we’re overworked and depleted, yes it’s important to remember to exercise, get good sleep and eat nutrient-dense foods. But, just as important as nurturing our physical well-being is the care and feeding of our hearts.
I can tell when my emotional well-being is out of whack. I’m too subjective and feel like I’m at the mercy of my thoughts and feelings—which are changing as fast as the Texas weather! And, I start to believe my happiness is dependent on “the next good thing” that may or may not come my way. Not a very grounded or balanced way to move through my week.
On the other end, when I take time to nurture my emotional health, I have strong boundaries and can deflect other people’s “stuff” easily, I don’t take things personally, I have a clear sense for what really matters and I don’t sweat the small stuff (particularly essential if you’re a parent!).
What enhances your emotional well-being? What keeps you calm, centered and operating from what I call “your wise self” as opposed to your reactionary self? For me, basic emotional self-care includes at a minimum:
- meditating each morning for 20 minutes
- experiencing daily soulful movement (as opposed to “rote” movement): hiking or walking around the lake or in nature, dancing with my Daring Divas and taking yoga classes
- not succumbing to “shoulds” and staying true to my gut (nothing makes me grouchy faster than over-committing, agreeing to attend an event I don’t resonate with, or volunteering for something I’m not fully committed to)
- being mindful about my “media diet”: what movies, books, magazines, newspapers and online sites am I ingesting each day? Do they feed me and make me feel alive and passionate or do they drain me or stimulate “monkey mind?”
- consciously deciding who I choose to spend time with-- in both the professional and personal arena (if in doubt, I ask, “After I leave their company, do I feel energized or drained?”)
- choosing to eat foods that support optimal brain functioning and hormonal balance (and as much as possible, staying away from things that make me feel moody and irritable)
- building in regular girlfriend time to have heart-to-heart connections with women I love and care about and who allow me to show up “warts and all”
February Emotional Self-Care Challenge: Be mindful of your state of being this month. Observe with compassion and curiosity how you’re feeling most of the time on a scale of one to ten (ten being complete equilibrium, one being completely out-of-sync emotionally). Does your mood change depending on who you’re with and what’s going on around you? Are you able to keep a sense of inner peace even when things on the outside appear to be “going wrong?” What things really nurture your heart, your emotional well-being? What practices or habits help you keep a grounded, spacious, big-picture perspective?
I attended a wonderful Kundalini of Sound Meditation Class this morning led by the amazing founders of Austin-based Yoga Yoga (my second home!). Coincidentally, their theme for the month is strengthening our emotional bodies.
The teacher shared that as humans, our natural state is happiness. He said it actually takes more energy to be unhappy than it does to relax into our innate state of well-being.
Happiness should be not be dependent on a sunny day, a success at work, a great meal, a warm fuzzy, feeling connected to your partner or child, or winning the lottery. It’s an inside-out job. (Stop by our Live Inside Out café and consider sharing what supports your emotional well-being on our Live Inside Out Facebook page.)
Ultimately, I believe the ability to be happy no matter what is what we’re all seeking. I know I sure am.
Let me know how February’s Self-Care Challenge goes. And I encourage you throughout this month to begin to explore how you can be more accepting and loving towards yourself and as author Byron Katie says, “Love the one you’re with …and that would be you.” (Read my blog post on this theme.)
I hope your month flows, no matter what the circumstances are around you. Sending you good thoughts. I’d love to see you at one of our women’s spring renewal retreats, our Feb. 24th Life Balance Teleclass Love the One You’re with (That’s You): Finding Self-Acceptance or another event.
Warmly—Renee and the RTA Team
Upcoming Events and Training:
February 8, Tuesday: 10 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Reclaim Your Life: Creating Balance from the Inside Out, a private women’s retreat in Fredericksburg. Click here to learn more about hiring Renee to create a customized retreat for your professional or civic group. Email email@example.com for more information.
February 18 Friday 9:00-1:00 p.m. 2011 Business Visioning/Planning Retreat for small business owners. Casa de Artistas, south Austin. Gain clarity and focus on your 2011 business goals, receive laser coaching/feedback, tap Renee’s favorite, most powerful exercises and tools, leave inspired, focused and ready to move into the New Year with renewed passion and clarity. Led by small business coach Renee Trudeau at a small, quiet, private retreat center in Austin. Limited to 8 people. Cost: $199. Details/register. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to check availability.
February 24 , Thursday: 7:30-8:30 p.m. CST Live Inside Out Life Balance Teleclass with Renee Trudeau *Free* Theme:
Love the One You’re with (That’s You!): Finding Self-Acceptance.
An interactive, women-only teleclass with Renee Trudeau and special guest author/intuition expert Dianna Amorde, president of Inspired Leap Consulting. Join women from around the world as we reconnect with who we are, cultivate self-compassion and learn to live more intentionally. Learn more and register here.
- March 4, Friday: 9:00- 3:30 p.m. Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: One Day Self-Renewal Retreat with Renee Trudeau at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa. Nurture and nourish yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Led by nationally-recognized career/life balance expert, coach and author Renee Trudeau. Ideal for women in career/life transition. For more details and to register click here.
- March 10 RISE (Resource & Information Series for Entrepreneurs) Austin Event/Women’s Track “Balance and Your Bottom Line: 4 Strategies to Help You Reclaim Your Life and Work Less and Make More” led by Renee Trudeau. FREE. Learn more and register at www.riseglobal.org.
- April 9 9- 5 p.m. First Annual Conference for Mothers of Special Needs Children, Austin, TX Renee to present “The Transformative Power of Self-Care” Register/learn more www.specialmomsheal.com
- April 29-May 1, Friday-Sunday: Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: A Women's Self-Renewal Retreat , Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, The Berkshires, MA. Nurture and nourish yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Tap the Transformative Power of Self-Care. Led by nationally-recognized career/life balance expert, coach and author Renee Trudeau at beautiful Kripalu. Ideal for women in career/life transition. Details here.
Are you a therapist, coach, doula or women's empowerment advocate who loves supporting women and helping them nurture their emotional well-being? Learn more about becoming a PRG Facilitator and join a national community of leaders who are changing women's lives through powerful life coaching groups centered around The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal.
Private Customized Retreats: Renee is masterful at creating/facilitating empowering half, full day or weekend workshops or retreats for companies, organizations and groups (her recent Lost Pines Self Renewal Retreat and her Kripalu retreat sold out and had a waiting list!). You can learn more about private retreats here or about her speaking/workshop topics, here. We’d love to help you schedule a spring or summer 2011 event. Email Sara Bogan, events manager at email@example.com or call 512-459-6700 to check Renee’s availability.
Visit our online calendar to learn about upcoming self-renewal retreats and events.
- You may reprint this newsletter in its entirety provided you include at the end: Renee Peterson Trudeau is a life balance coach/speaker and author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. You can download free book chapters, receive life balance tips or learn about upcoming events at www.ReneeTrudeau.com. Facebook: liveinsideout.