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?