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  • Writer's picturelizzy-ann


We all have a jar to fill up that pours out into others.  What we fill it with impacts our lives and what spills over into others' lives.  What are you filling your jar with today?Toxic relationships and toxic activities impact not only our own lives but also what we give to others.  One of the most common answers to cleaning up toxicity in our lives is the common theology that we strive to complete a list of certain self-care tasks.  These practices are beyond the most basic daily things.  It looks like this:

1.    Going to bed earlier to wake earlier to fit it all in

2.    Drink water first thing before breakfast

3.    Have breakfast within 30 min of rising

4.    Journal

5.    Read a self-help book

6.    Yoga or Pilates

7.    Meditation

8.    Practice manifesting what you want to happen in life and at work

9.    Pick a corner of the house to clean before work

10.  Workday

11.  At lunch, do breathing exercises

12.  Work out after getting home from work.  Or going to the gym after you finish working at home (either way)

13.  After dinner pick another area of your home to clean, and don’t forget the laundry in addition to cleaning

14.  Spend time reading your self-help book

15.  Stretch and meditate

16.  Go to bed early

Many teach that it must mean this long list of all the things, and you try harder the next day to get it right.  We must work on ourselves and get ourselves right.  We must read self-help books, and we must do yoga and chant and do all the things, or we can’t show up at a higher state of perfection and effectiveness for serving others.  The pressure is always on us to do more, be more, and try for perfection.

Is it wrong to grow as individuals?  No!  However, there must be a sanity check when it comes to trying to achieve all the things and thinking we aren’t good enough or can’t show up as productive, helpful individuals if we don’t do all the things every day.  I remember talking to a friend who was sharing about doing all the self-care things and how she was honestly exhausted by it all and never could get it right or complete everything.  However, many in her industry and her peers were striving to do everything and teach her that this is how it's done, so she was going to keep striving to do better.

I believe at some point growing as an individual, means coming to terms with seeing ourselves as perfect just as we are.  From there, we make tweaks.  A mentor once taught me the 1% rule.  You focus on where you’d like to improve by just 1% improvement per day.  Within one year, you’ve improved in that area by 365%. It’s not a matter of science but the concept that you don’t have to complete a certain self-care list in order to be more and do more!  Focus on the 1%  Make tweaks, but realize you are perfect.  You are unique and there’s nobody like you.  You have something to offer, no, nobody else does, and it’s not because you have followed the self-care checklist.

Sometimes, to reduce toxicity, we may need to let go of a relationship that isn’t healthy for us.  Other things might include changing what we watch or turning it off and doing a different activity.  Not enough energy?  Look at where you’re spending your energy so you might have more in the evening to work on a puzzle, play a game, or meet up with someone at a coffee shop.  Remember when we used to connect with people in person before we traded it for relationships with cell phones?  Look at what is draining you, exhausting you, and start making shifts.  Focus on the 1% instead of tackling some list all at once.  Get back to the basics.   Studies show we all need the following basics:

-human interaction

-physical touch (through hugs or holding a hand)



This is the list we could all benefit more from if we try following.  I find it interesting with self-care that 99% of it is done in isolation, and by doing all the things all day long in isolation in order to better ourselves so we can better serve others, we don’t have time for the things we need the most to thrive: Human connection; physical touch; air and nature. So call up a friend and go for a nature walk. Coordinate with a group of friends to go for a coffee one night, and instead of working through your lunch hour, eat outside. Human connection whether it be a phone call or in person does more than checking off a laundry list of "self-care" that leaves us with no time for connection.

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