The Art of Extreme Self Care ~ Cheryl Richardson

I am fascinated by self-care because I was so bad at it for so many years. Instead, I was good at working and doing, taking great pride in all I had to do.

Yet how can I be happy and make my dreams come true when I’m busy being busy? When I’m afraid to say No because you may not like me? When I’m so tired that there’s no room for a creative thought?

At one point I was juggling a full-time job, part-time job, new puppy, part-time studying for master’s, first house, and renovations. Talk about setting myself up for illness, crankiness, and unhappiness. But I still thought I should be able to do it all and well.

Today though I realize that I always have choices, even when it doesn’t feel like it. When I need to remember what these choices are, I return to Cheryl Richardson’s book The Art of Extreme Self-Care. When I do self-care workshops or talks, I use the same message. I cannot change your life. I do not have your answers. I can only ask the questions, and leave you to decide. That is what Cheryl’s book does for me in her loving, straightforward style.

Her book provides 12 practical strategies for extreme self-care — one per month — to change your behaviour. It is an easy read, like Cheryl is sitting beside you talking. I love the names of some of her chapters… Let me disappoint you. The absolute No list. Does that anger taste good?

Cheryl talks about setting yourself up to succeed. I love this excerpt from chapter one which is called End the Legacy of Deprivation:

When you catch yourself saying things such as, “I never have time to do what I want to do,” what you’re really saying is: “I don’t take time for my needs.”

When you insist, “I always end up doing everything myself, “the truth of what you’re really saying is: “I don’t ask for help.”

When you hear yourself complaining, “no one appreciates the things I do,” what you most likely mean is: “I take on way too much, hoping that someone will notice and tell me how good I am or how grateful they are.”

Cheryl’s message about extreme self-care offers a wake-up call. If you’re tired, overwhelmed, or facing a crisis at home, I strongly suggest you read her book. Simple things can truly make your life richer.

What one change are you making this week to take better care of you and practice extreme self-care?


  1. Marilyn on May 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

    We all need to stop being human doings and just be… just be human BEings. Thank you for the book suggestion

  2. Shari on May 13, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I’ll definitely look for this book. For me it was an act of extreme self-care to celebrate Mother’s Day the way I really wanted to, not the way I’m “supposed” to want to! 🙂

  3. Martha Giffen on May 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    What a great message! And, I LOVE the questions to ask when we are complaining. What an eye-opener! Thanks for sharing how much you got out of that book. Looks like another good one for me to put on my “to read” list!

  4. Angela on May 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I am going to read a book this week.

  5. Alexandra McAllister on May 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    WOW! This sounds like a book I’d love to read! What a great message! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Barbara Becker on May 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I agree. Self defeating statements don’t help us, they hinder our growth and how we touch the world with our beauty.

  7. Tom Holmberg on May 13, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    I love how you say “When you catch yourself saying things such as, “I never have time to do what I want to do,” what you’re really saying is: “I don’t take time for my needs.” This is what I need to focus on

  8. Meryl Hershey Beck on May 13, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    What a great message. Self-care is critical to maintaining health and happiness. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Sharon O'Day on May 13, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    I wasn’t aware of the book; looks like something worthy of going on my reading list. Thanks for the heads up, Catherine!

  10. Kathy Robinson on May 14, 2013 at 5:33 am

    At the grand young age of 63 I am finally starting to care for myself. I allow myself to wake naturally and if it’s 10am, that’s fine by me. While I still care for my hubby and the kids when they’re home, I now add myself into that mix.

  11. Daniele Holmberg on May 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    It sounds like a great book! It is so very importanty that we take care of ourselves, mentally, physically and emotionally. There are never enough hours in the day, but it is important to make ME time!

  12. Pat Moon on May 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    We just had lunch last week with a dear friend, her daughter, & husband. My friend had a stroke several years ago plus it was discovered that she has Parkinson’s. She requires 24/7 care now so her single early 40’s daughter has dedicated her life to caring for her mother as well as doing all the cooking & most of the housework. Personally I believe my friend’s husband could be more help. None-the-less, the last thing I said to the daughter when we left was “Do not forget to take care of yourself.”

  13. Moira Hutchison on May 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I love this book and I agree that self care is absolutely essential to success – it’s important to get out of that old paradigm of to get ahead you have to work harder!

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge