It came up twice this week and I thought it warranted a blog post on its own.

Self-care.

It’s not just a buzz-word, generating it’s own kind of pop culture heat. The reality is that it’s an important ingredient in keeping yourself in your best shape. Whether we want to believe it or not, it impacts everything and the way we take care of ourselves is often a great indication of how we’ll take care of others in romance or friendship.

Given that it’s September and the start of a new season, it may serve you well to make some of these and yourself in the process, a priority.

Cheryl Costello- Monarch Butterfly

1.) Leave your phone outside the bedroom or at the very least far away from your bed.
Some days, I can get up to 50 e-mails and that’s not even counting work. The quickest way to erode my sanity and break down my well-being is to believe that I have to be accessible 24/7. There’s a concept from “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” which states that your inbox will never be empty, and speaking from experience it will drive you crazy
trying to empty it, so make peace with the fact that the only time it empties is when you’re no longer on this Earth. Make peace with that and life is going to be smooth sailing from that point forward.

2.) Keep things in your home that are beautiful and that remind of you positive things.

There is something so freeing about knowing that most of the decorative items which surround you are there with intention. It took me a while to understand the power and the connection between the items I displayed and the way I felt about certain spaces. There were some rooms I hated going into and couldn’t figure out why. It really dawned
on me when a friend suggested that in one room I hang only photos I’ve taken that I love and have a great memory of, so that every time I enter that space I’m surrounded by joy. What’s the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning? Make it something beautiful and life-giving.

3.) Make it a point to set aside some part of your day to spend in wonder.
Get outside, notice something that exists outside the realm of your control and think about yourself in relationship to it. Go on YouTube and watch videos about news stories or conversations about random acts of kindness. Contemplate and focus on the parts of this life that make it possible for you to stare at the night sky like you do when you’re sitting around a summer campfire with nothing to distract you other than the wide open skies around you.

4.) Explore the local sights and play tourist on a day off.
I couldn’t always make like a hipster’s Instagram page and just go on a road trip whenever, or drive out of town to go for a hike to a remote coffee shop. What I could do though is look at life locally from an entirely new lens. I didn’t know that there was a tea shop near where I live with the BEST chai you’ll ever find. Moreover, I wouldn’t have known that there was a fantastic Mexican restaurant literally 15 minutes away from me that’s locally owned and as authentic as my ex-wife’s Mom’s home cooking. It’s so stressful to look at where you’re at and think about why you can’t be on that huge vacation yet. Give yourself a break and play tourist. Make it fun. You might just find your
new hangout.

Cheryl Costello- LocalSights


5.) Get down with your spiritual self.

It doesn’t matter what your religion is as long as you’re respecting others and not hurting them or their rights. It’s so important to stay connected to that part of you. It’s taken me a while to get comfortable with being vocal about my spirituality, but once I realized how much more I could impact the world by coming from an authentic, vulnerable place, I couldn’t help but talk if people asked. It’s not just for something fancy to say either, because staying in tune with that part of you and that concept of something bigger than us and the problems we face helps you become just that- bigger than a lot of your problems.

6.) Stop the guilt trips.
No, you can’t do everything and no, you won’t be able to win everyone over. I had to learn the hard way that no amount of worrying is going to stop some people from being really cruel, nor will it stop the worst things from happening, but what can it do? It can stop really amazing things from happening and it can stop really amazing people from coming into your life, because you’re too busy worrying to notice the incredible things happening right before your eyes. Sure, you may do something differently about any number of situations in the past, but that’s just it- they’re in the past. You weren’t put here to be the buoy that keeps others afloat, and no amount of guilt ever helped another person. You’re safe to experience happiness and joy. That’s your birthright. Own it and settle for nothing less than that from those in your life.

7.) Make sure that wherever you can, you’re taking advantage of your physical health.
I know that not everyone has access to benefits or great doctors, but there’s something really empowering about reading up on how food fuels my body and feeling that deliciousness of my body moving when I work out, dance, run or move in intentional ways. I think of this as self-care, because it’s not something that just happens. We have to make time for ourselves to do this and to be healthy in many ways. It’s a deliberate decision and one that feels so good to know you’re making.

8.) Courageously communicate your boundaries
Sometimes, telling someone plainly, “I cant talk about this anymore,” or “Look I’m so drained from the day and have nothing left for this conversation, but I’m happy to continue another time,” is the most courageous act of self-love and care there is. It also tells you pretty quickly who you want in your life and who you don’t, because those
who listen with compassion are the ones worth keeping in your life.

9.) Disconnect from all technology for one entire weekend each month.

There is something so beautiful about being connected only to the present moment and committing yourself to enjoying it with those around you, rather than through your phone or camera. I’m just as guilty as teenagers sometimes, though not for texting, but photographing all the beauty I can find in the world around me. The best experiences I’ve had though, had so little to do with my phone. It’s safe to put it down and even turn it off from time-to-time.

10.) Make time for family and friends.
They’re there, until they’re gone and sometimes that’s how our understanding of these relationships work. The one thing I will never be sorry about is doing those things for family and friends who have become family. I was reminded of the importance of this while watching family members battle cancer and come out the other side of it, and with friends I watched drift and spent more time wishing I’d said x,y and z. Life doesn’t have a rewind button and this isn’t the movies, though there are some pretty amazing movie-like moments in each of our lives. We only get one and I’m grateful to realize now that life is rich, because of the investments we make in ourselves, and also in the time we invest in the people who matter. Make sure you’re investing wisely and for the highest growth possible.

Cheryl Costello waterlily

Love, light and miracles,

~Cheryl~

About the Author

Cheryl Costello is the founder of The Finding Hearts Project, also writes for the Brampton Focus and formerly wrote at The Loving Instant. She has also worked with Fortune 500 and Financial Post 500 companies to bring greater attention, awareness and action for LGBTQ+ issues, giving the community a powerful voice. She has conducted workshops for LGBTQ+ students on the power of reclaiming their power through owning the stories they tell and was also a Keynote speaker at a Toronto World Pride event in 2014. If she isn’t writing or organizing in the community, she’s out with her camera, wandering a bookstore or out hiking among trees and water. Have a question you want to see answered on the blog? Stop by her page on Instagram, join in the good vibes and send her a message: @cherylalisoncostello