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May 3, 2024

5 Things I Did this Morning to Take Care of Myself (That you can do Too).

{*Did you know you can write on Elephant? Here’s how—big changes: How to Write & Make Money or at least Be of Benefit on Elephant. ~ Waylon}

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Spoiler alert: nothing earth-shattering here, merely proven techniques one can deploy to care for oneself.

Let’s face it, life is hard. The demands on you are like hits that keep on coming.

I woke up at 5:25 a.m. this morning and started my side hustle as a short order cook for my kids. One of my top customers (my son) even got a little upset that his scrambled eggs were not properly salted to his liking. He gave me excellent feedback that I can use to better my product and better reach my customer when he said, “Just so you know, I don’t ever want my eggs without salt.”

Then the mad rush to pack snacks, fill water bottles, and find missing uniform pieces. We then continued our dash by completing a few homework assignments that had been left undone when we finally called it quits the night before.

My wife generously offered to drive the kids to school so I could stay home and clean up the messy kitchen and do a few chores around the house. Once everyone was gone and my morning tasks were completed, I had the space for a self-care regimen to rebuild my energy.

This is how it looked today.

First:

Immediately upon waking up, I downed 16 ounces of water with sodium, potassium, and magnesium. This sets the tone for me to charge up my body and mind throughout the day. Call me crazy, but I’ll take this cocktail over breakfast any day.

Second:

After my family departed for the day, I booked an 8:30 yoga class. It was listed as heated vinyasa. That’s not necessarily my jam, but hey, it’s yoga; just go do it and modify as necessary.

I walked into the studio and saw one of my favorite teachers who greeted me with a big smile and hug but not before she proclaimed, “No way,’’ as if to say, “It’s so great that you’re here.” She then introduced me to a cool yogi named Austin who I instantly felt connected to. We were able to take a few minutes to visit and meet each other. I felt a sense of community and calm and class hadn’t even started yet.

The class was magical and left me feeling grounded and spacey all at the same time. After class, we all sat around and talked about life. Some about challenges and some about celebration. I left feeling so connected to this world that I wanted to hug everything and everyone. Namaste.

Third: 

I drove the short distance through a nice calming rain shower to my local gym for a cold plunge. It was positively excruciating. If you’ve done much cold plunge work, you know what comes next. An increase in endorphins and everything in your body feeling so very good. This is a hard practice for me to do. I always seem to run away from pain and discomfort. Plunging myself into discomfort is a challenge. The first five minutes are a pain of swords into my aging bones, but then the heavens awake and take me to nirvana. I’m committed to the plunge as a way to help myself heal.

Fourth: 

I then went to a small coffee shop, ordered a cappuccino, and began to journal. It took me a long time to embrace the benefits of journaling. It’s a New Year’s resolution for me, so I’m somewhat new to this practice, but I can tell you that so far, it’s all about clearing out blocks. Leaving things that do or do not serve you in a good place.

Turns out your old notebook is one of the better therapists. It listens well and somehow can read your thoughts. When I think about the benefits of journaling, I can’t help but think about a popular saying, “Everything you need is already in you.”

Fifth:

Went to meet a friend for lunch at a local farm to table restaurant. I choose my lunch dates carefully these days. If I spend the time and money to eat lunch out, I want a stimulating conversation. I want conversation about mindfulness, spirituality, adventure, or fatherhood. I want to listen and be heard.

I ended up with just the right friend today and we had a great conversation about all of the above. We’ve known each other for nearly 40 years now and seem to be on similar paths. Lots to talk about and the hour went by like 10 minutes. I feel like we will be able to continue to support each other and hold each other accountable for growth. He has been a big advocate for many of the positive changes I’ve had in my life. Gratitude only scratches the surface of how I feel about him and our friendship. I left that lunch and conversation with a full belly and heart.

Having deployed these five simple practices, I am recharged and ready to go pick up my kids from their school. I trust that I’ve done the work to be ready to support them in whatever they need. I know I’ll be a calming and supportive father no matter what’s to come. The best version of myself today.

As you can see, nothing here is a magical new technique to get you to enlightenment. It’s just a handful of proven techniques that can help you when it’s time for self-care. What is important is simply to recognize you need self-care and go do something about it.

I hope this list was of benefit to you.

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