Borrow books in a library
Order books from a library
- Do-it-yourself books
Go to art exhibitions
Go to the theatre
Go to the movies
Listen to the radio
Look for work
Take some time off and do what you have been dreaming of doing
Ask for a pay raise
Suggest or demand improvements at your workplace
Speak your mind to someone
Think about 10 things that make you happy
Design plans to improve something you are not satisfied with
Say no to things you find meaningless, and do something you want to do instead
Re-sew old clothes
Mend damaged clothes
Modelling in clay
Make Christmas presents
Make your own Christmas cards
Re-paper a room
Re-paint a room
Build a model railway
Making Christmas decorations
Making Easter decorations
Do a jig-saw puzzle
Make an excursion
Have a picnic
Go on a boat excursion or cruise
Go to a homestead museum
Walk in the park
Play table tennis
Long distance skating
Join a gymnastics group
Home gymnastics with music
Ride a bike to work
Take bike excursions
Exercise with an exercise bike
Take a bike holiday
Jog every morning
Walk in the forest
Go out canoeing
Swim in a lake
Swim in a pool
Take a sauna
Test all public swimming pools
Organize your household to make it work easier
Demand that all household members do their share of the work
Throw away old things
Tidy up at home
Re-arrange the furniture
Take your dirty laundry to the dry cleaners
Make a list of things to do
Fix broken objects
Lay the table nicely
Put things straight and clean up
Call the job centre and order assistance for your thorough house-cleaning
Listen to music while doing housework
Iron while listening to the radio
Tidy up the cellar
Clean the mirrors
Work in the garden
Have potted plants
Tend the potted plants
Have flowers on the balcony
Plant garden cress
Go out in the countryside and botanize
Argue in favour of someone or something
Say something in praise of someone
Do something funny with your or one of your friendsâ€™ kids
Play hide-and-seek in the dark
Read fairy tales
Find a babysitter and do something you like
Be nice and understanding to someone
Show your affection to someone you like
Make a phone call
Write a letter
Take care of an infant
Visit old people
Talk to friends
Visit a sick person
Sponsor a child from a developing country
Be a Sunday parent to a child
Plan for a birthday
Make somebody happy
Seduce your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend
Observe other peopleâ€™s behaviour
Get aquarium fishes
Walk somebodyâ€™s dog
Get a dog
Get a cat
Ride a horse
Cut your hair
Roll up your hair
Wash your hair
Take a footbath
Take a bath with bath salts and oil
Take a bubble bath
Put on make-up
Have a manicure
Have a pedicure
Try some clothes on at home
Try some clothes on in a shop
Quiet and tranquillity
Take a shower
Get some sleep
Lie down and rest
Go to bed early
Plan your weekends
Plan a party
Cook and deepfreeze your food
Plan a weekly menu
Plan a dinner menu
Shop by phone
Shop for food at a market hall
Drink herbal tea
Eat a melon
Chew sugarless or xylitol chewing gum
Cook something new and exotic
Attend cooking course about healthy food
Go out camping
Look at old pictures
Prepare a budget
Make an appointment with the dentist
Look at interesting buildings
Take a walk the countryside
Listening to music:
- Popular music
- Folk music
- Pop music
- Classical music
- Rhythm & Blues
- Country & Western
Play an instrument
Listen to a record and dance alone
Arrange a dance evening at home
Go out dancing
Dance to folk dances
Dance an old-time dance
Dance jazz ballet
Sing in a choir
Sing with a songbook
Plan a journey somewhere
Solve a crossword puzzle
Solve a mathematical problem
Reflect on how something works
Learn something new
Join a study c***le
Join a political association
Visit a church
Study some language
Take a double-decker bus and sit on the upper level
Choose just one really good TV-show and watch it; avoid sitting the whole night in front of the TV without paying much attention
Undertake a difficult task
Learning to love and nurture yourself
(Excerpt from Triumph over darkness by Wendy Ann Wood, p 243)
Self-care is hard for a survivor. We often feel as though we do not deserve to be taken care of because we are "awful," "bad," or "rotten." However, self-care is a skill you must learn early if your recovery process is to progress. The reality is, if you did not get healthy emotional or physical care as a child, no one is going to be able to meet your true inner needs now except YOU. No one -- not a lover, spouse, friend, neighbour or even a therapist -- is going to meet your needs the way you need them to be met. Others can help you in this process, but all will fall short of your needs and expectations.
The goal is to do one or two caring things for yourself every day. In the beginning this may seem foreign, but it soon becomes rote, and you begin to care for yourself -- because you are someone special and you deserve it. The following is a list of self-care suggestions. Some of these ideas may not be right for you because they may contain triggers, so be sure to make your own list.
Take a long, hot bubble bath; listen to classical music, or light candles.
Read a special book -- not one for school, work, parenting or therapy -- one just for you.
Watch old movies, eat popcorn, and drink warm tea.
Play with your animals; they give unconditional love.
Reduce your expectations of yourself.
Invest in relationships when you feel most like withdrawing.
Focus on the present. You cannot cope with the burden of the past and the fear of the future all the time.
Listen to special music selected just for your self-care time
Spend an entire day doing just what you want.
Allow yourself to cry when you need to.
Accept that you can't control everything.
Take a nap.
Go to the ocean and walk on the beach.
Get a massage. When that is too hard, get a manicure or a pedicure.
Go window shopping.
Allow yourself to verbalise your anger in a way that will not be destructive to yourself or others.
Set the table with your best dishes, linen, and silver when you are having dinner by yourself.
Write special letters to long-lost friends. Use a special pen and stationery for this.
Lie on the couch curled up with a warm blankey, a favorite stuffed animal, and soft music.
Eat and sleep according to a regular schedule.
People who are suicidal are suffering intense emotional pain. They want it to stop. Within the community, depression is usually thought of in terms of sadness, lethargy, hopelessness and withdrawal. This is not always the case. Children and adolescents may show their depression by restlessness, outbursts of anger, fighting or drug and alcohol use.
Some relaxation ideas
Stretch up to the ceiling, as far as you can, up on the tips of the toes. Hold for some seconds, and then flop down from the waist. Repeat. Then come up gradually, one vertebra at a time. Roll head from side to side. Roll shoulders forward then backwards. Roll arms in large c***les, forwards then backwards.
Scrunch yourself up really tightly into a ball, squeezing your whole body. Hold for some seconds, and then release. Repeat 2 or 3 times.
Lie on the floor or bed, or sit comfortably. Relax your body and place one hand on the stomach just below navel to feel rhythm of breathing - breathe in deeply and out, feeling the rhythmic flow of your breath. Breathe evenly. As you inhale and exhale think:
- My feet feel heavy and warm.
- My legs feel heavy and warm.
- My trunk feels heavy and warm.
- My shoulders are sinking into the floor or chair, and feel heavy and warm.
- My neck feels heavy and warm.
- My face feels heavy and my forehead is calm
- My eyes are closed.
Gently come back into the present, by focusing on the breathing, and becoming aware of the room around you.
Lie, stand or sit with feet apart and hands not touching. Close your eyes and slow yourself down for a few minutes, by breathing a little more deeply and slowly than usual.
- Be conscious of the tension in your whole body, through your toes, fee, calves, thighs, abdomen, chest, back fingers, arms, shoulders, neck, head, scalp and face.
- Now each time you breathe out, allow some of the tension to go out of these areas. Let all your muscles slowly relax and enjoy the feeling of peace and calm.
- Let your mind relax for a while, thinking of something pleasant and enjoyable. Say to yourself 'relax'
- Open your eyes, stretch slowly, and return to your day, feeling refreshed and full of energy.
Am I in tune with myself?
Ask yourself these questions:
What exercise do you do in your leisure time?
What physical signs do you experience when you are overtaxing your body?
Do you have a balanced diet?
What do you need to change in your diet?
Do you get enough sleep?
When did you last 'veg out' with a book, or do something creative?
How did it feel?
Who or what emotionally nourishes you?
Who constitutes your support system?
Are you able to express your emotions freely, either verbally or in writing?
When did you last have fun in a social setting?
What is your 'soul food'?
How does nourishing yourself spiritually help you?
Tips for being in tune with yourself
Feel your feelings, talk about them and then act on them if appropriate.
Identify your needs and seek to satisfy them.
Trust your own senses.
Have lots of fun. Life is for playing, too.
Tell the truth. Honesty creates trust.
Know your limits. Delay gratification sometimes.
Balance your responsibilities. Take responsibility for yourself.
Allow yourself to make mistakes. They help you to learn, to ask for help and to be spontaneous.
Respect others. Accept the consequences of your actions. Love, value and accept yourself and others as they are.
Resolve your problems and conflicts. They are a part of life. Resolution enables us to grow.
Create a list of things that nurture you
Consider the following questions and then create a list of things that nurture you - your personal self-care kit.
What makes up the physical self?
What things drain us physically?
What things nurture us physically?
What makes up the emotional self?
What things drain us emotionally?
What things nurture us emotionally?
What makes up the intellectual self?
What things drain us intellectually?
What things nurture us intellectually?
What makes up the spiritual self?
â€¢What things drain us spiritually?
What things nurture us spiritually?
Create a list of things that nurture you: your personal self care kit.
Suggestions for ways to nurture yourself
Going to a concert
Walking on the beach
Doing craft work
Going to the theatre
Asking for a cuddle
Going on a trip to a fun fair
Writing to friends or writing poems
Walking the dog
Being in the country
Playing a musical instrument
Giving a party
Playing a sport
Having a facial, make-up etc.
Going to a restaurant
Wearing something that feels good
Taking regular moderate exercise
Having takeaway food, so you don't need to cook
Being with children
Taking a course for pleasure
Being with animals
Rearranging your room
Making presents for friends
Redecorating your house
Going to the library
Taking a long bath
Sitting in the sun
Watching TV or a good movie
Baking/cooking a supply of food
Just sitting and thinking outside
Taking a holiday
Being with friends
Going to the zoo
Staying at home
Having a rest during the day
Going to a park or gardens
Getting enough sleep
Doing your hair
Having a glass of good wine
Being around positive people
Playing some music
Listening to the radio
Having a massage
Learning a language
Inviting friends over
Doing a yoga or tai chi class
Tidying your wardrobe
Nurturing your spirit
Looking through magazines
Cleaning your shoes
Emailing a friend
Going for a drive
Buying food you like
Buying a poster or picture you like
Having the children minded to give yourself some leisure time
Doing a course
Going to the museum or art gallery
Planning something good for the future
Solving a crossword, puzzle etc.
Having a shower
Going to bed early
Completing a task
Ringing a friend
Going camping, bush walking
Going to the movies
Sleeping in late.
Meditation is the state achieved from intense concentration on a single object until all other thoughts vanish and all that is left is an intense
awareness of the object.
For some traditions, that's all there is to it. In yoga, however, the ultimate goal is a bit more ambitious. James Hewitt, in The Complete Book of
Yoga defines the goal of yoga meditation like this: 'meditation means sense withdrawal (pratyahara) and concentration (dharana), sustained into contemplation (dhyana), with the aim of triggering a super-conscious state
(samadhi), which is one of intuitive realization of the identity of the individual soul or spirit and the cosmic soul or spirit.'
There are lots of other benefits to be had along by meditating. Meditation helps reduce stress and
anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve concentration, clarity and creativity.
However, meditation is not always easy. The
"fluctuations of the mind" do not like to be calmed. It's amazing how many thoughts, how many stories, how many little movies can run through your head in the space between two breaths -- especially when you're trying to
Whether your goal is enlightenment, revelation, relaxation, simple clarity or low blood pressure, the process of mediation puts you in touch with
something good and quietly profound.
A simple meditation
Sit in a comfortable position, either in a chair or on the floor, with your back and head straight.
You can "warm up" with a couple of deep breaths.
Close your eyes. Breathe through your nose.
Focus on your breath - cool air in, warm air out. If the mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath.
That's it. Start with a 5-10 minute meditation and work your way up to 15, 20, 30 minutes or more.
A variation that may make things a little easier at the beginning is to count your breaths. Count up to four and then repeat, over and over. You can
add an "and" between counts to fill up the space between breaths.
It goes like this: inhale (1) - exhale (and) - inhale (2) - exhale (and) and so on up to four.
Adapted from section on mediation www.yogasite.com/postures.html
Normal breathing is slow, effortless, regular, fluid, and quiet with virtually no movement above the diaphragm. Some master breathing retraining quite rapidly, while others may require months of practice. The goals are to change from erratic breathing to slow regular, rhythmic abdominal breathing and to make this kind of breathing automatic. This shift in breathing results in long-term changes in the nervous system and anxiety symptoms. Here are the steps:
Loosen your clothing (belts, ties, collars, clothing around waist and abdomen). Remove contact lenses or glasses if you wish.
Lie on your back or in the half-lying position with pillows under your back and knees to relax your abdominal muscles.
Relax your entire body. Especially warm and relax the abdomen. Also release tension in the chest, shoulders, neck, face, and jaw. Using the upper bodyâ€™s muscles to breathe wastes energy.
Place a telephone book over the abdomen (the area below the diaphragm down to the pelvis. Practically, this means putting the book below the ribs and over the navel). The book provides resistance to strengthen the diaphragm and encourages abdominal movement.
Bring your lips together. Breathe comfortably and rhythmically, not deeply, through your nose. As you breathe in, let your stomach rise slowly, gradually and quietly. Think of your stomach as a balloon easily filling gently with air. Move smoothly into the exhalation without pause. Expiration is quiet, passive and relaxed. The in-breath and out-breath are approximately equivalent in time, the out-breath perhaps a little longer. Transition smoothly between the out-breath and the in-breath, with little pause between phases. Keep all of your body above your diaphragm relaxed and still, moving only your abdomen. Youâ€™ll see the book gently rise as you breathe in and fall as you breathe out, while the upper body remains still.
6. Practice. It might take a few weeks until abdominal breathing becomes automatic. Here are the suggested guidelines:
Practice twice a day or more, for five to ten minutes each time.
For the first few days, just breathe at your regular rate. If at any point you feel dizzy or faint, or if your diaphragm cramps, stop immediately. You might need to build up gradually to five to ten minutes over the course of days or weeks, beginning with only a few seconds of practice. Generally, dizziness and faintness result from improper breathing. These symptoms will disappear if you get up and walk (eg. up stairs) to increase the bodyâ€™s carbon dioxide production. When you resume practice, be sure that you are not breathing fast or deeply, only slowly and regularly.
After about a week, begin to gradually slow your breathing rate. Perhaps youâ€™ll eventually reach a rate of six to ten breaths per minute (ie. about six to ten seconds for each complete breath cycle). However, donâ€™t worry about the rate. Focus on achieving a rate that feels comfortable.
After the second week, progress to the seated position, then to standing and leaning against a wall, standing unsupported, slow walking, and fast walking. Remember, first relax your entire body, warm and relax your abdomen, then breathe slowly, regularly and abdominally.
Try re-breathing in a variety of situations (eg. in bed as you wake up or before sleeping, walking down the hall, jogging, watching TV or on the train)
As you gain confidence, try consciously re-breathing in slightly stressful situations before anxiety symptoms appear (eg. in a traffic slowdown). Then try it in situations where anxiety symptoms have already begun to appear. Just notice the symptoms. Think to yourself: 'My breathing is causing this. Iâ€™m not going mad or having a heart attack. These symptoms are harmless and reversible. I know how to breathe.' Then relax your body, warm your abdomen and breathe slowly and regularly. Watch your symptoms come and watch them subside, like a scientist watching an experiment.
Do not attempt breathing retraining without first discussing this with your doctor if you have diabetes, kidney disease, or other disorders which might cause metabolic acidosis. In such cases, breathing may have become rapid to normalise the metabolic acidosis, and slowing down your breathing could be dangerous.
From 'The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Source Book', Glenn Schiraldi
1. Allow yourself some private time each day, even if it is only a half hour.
2. Take a long walk.
3. Buy a bouquet of flowers for yourself.
4. Begin to develop an intimate c***le of friends and family.
5. Turn off the phone and allow your answering machine to pick up your calls.
6. Put on your favorite music, turn it up loud and dance.
7. Call your best friend and settle in with a hot cup of tea, for a good long talk.
8. Snuggle up in bed with a good book.
9. Sink into your tub for a long, luxurious soak at the end of the day.
10. Indulge in getting (or giving) a massage.
11. Snack on your favorite "comfort food."
12. Remember how you felt when you fell in love with your partner and allow yourself to recreate that feeling.
13. Write a love letter (to your partner, children, parents, friends...)
14. Treat yourself to a manicure and a pedicure.
15. Rent a great video.
16. Start a gratitude journal and express your thanks on a daily basis.
17. Go to the beach. Delight and bask in the warming rays of the sun.
18. Visit your favorite bookstore (the one with comfortable chairs and a coffee shop) and spend the afternoon.
50 Ways to Nurture Yourself
By: Helene Rothschild
It is important to be able to do what you can to feel good on a daily basis. Then you are not dependent on others because you can nurture yourself. When you are self-caring you are not being selfish. In fact when you feel fulfilled, you then have more to give to others. The following suggestions will help you become aware of healthy ways you can give to yourself.
Put a check next to the things you would like to do to nurture yourself.
___ 1. Take a bubble bath
___ 2. Buy myself roses
___ 3. Take a sauna
___ 4. Get a massage
___ 5. Take a bath by candlelight
___ 6. Have breakfast in bed
___ 7. Go to the pet store and play with the animals
___ 8. Visit the zoo
___ 9. Walk on a scenic path
___ 10. Stop and smell the flowers
___ 11. Have a manicure or pedicure
___ 12. Wake up early and watch the sunrise
___ 13. Watch the sunset
___ 14. Relax with a good book and/or soothing music
___ 15. Light the fireplace for myself
___ 16. Play my favorite music and dance to it by myself
___ 17. Go to bed early
___ 18. Sleep outside under the stars
___ 19. Stay in bed all day when I'm well
___ 20. Fix a special dinner just for me and eat by candlelight
___ 21. Participate in my favorite sport
___ 22. Go for a walk
___ 23. Take a walk in the rain
___ 24. Run on the beach
___ 25. Take a scenic drive
___ 26. Meditate
___ 27. Buy new underpants
___ 28. Browse in a book or record store for as long as I want
___ 29. Buy myself a cuddly stuffed animal
___ 30. Write myself a love letter and mail it
___ 31. Ask a special person to nurture me (examples: feed, cuddle, read to me)
___ 32. Buy myself something special that I can afford
___ 33. Go see a good film or show
___ 34. Go to the park and feed the ducks, swing on the swings, etc.
___ 35. Visit a museum or other interesting place
___ 36. Go to the harbor and listen to the boats
___ 37. Have a facial
___ 38. Give myself a facial
___ 39. Go into a hot tub or Jacuzzi
___ 40. Record an affirmation tape
___ 41. Write down my goals
___ 42 Call an old friend
___ 43. Bake or cook something special
___ 44. Go window shopping
___ 45. Buy a meditation tape
___ 46. Listen to a positive, motivation tape
___ 47. Write in my special book all my wins for the day
___ 48. Gently apply a fragrant lotion all over my body
___ 49. Call a new, supportive friend
___ 50. Tell myself all the things I appreciate and love about me, and give myself a big hug.
Now that you know what you like to do, plan in your schedule specifically when you will do the things that you checked off. You deserve to feel good!
Article Source: http://www.ApprovedArticles.com
Copyright 2007 by Helene Rothschild, MS, MA, MFT, a Marriage, Family Therapist, intuitive counselor, speaker, and author. Her newest book is, "ALL YOU NEED IS HART!â€. She offers phone sessions, teleclasses, books, e-books, MP3 audios, tapes, posters, independent studies, and a free newsletter. www.lovetopeace.com , 1-888-639-6390.
With love, peace and understanding,