The Self-Care, Self Assessment

Self-care is no longer a luxury for our busy, stressful lives. It is a necessity! Use this self-care self-assessment on how well you are taking care of yourself. The examples here can be used as ideas, but you are not limited to this list…work to be consistent with your self-care plan and/or add new ideas to keep things fresh.

Taking care of yourself better is not only important to you but also to everyone around you. When you aren’t practicing self-care daily, you are probably not as healthy as you could be. This means you aren’t at your best, and you aren’t able to help others much.

To help you optimize and/or increase your self-care, fill in each section of this self-care assessment sheet to give you an idea of what you need to work on to feel better yourself, and to be there for others. 

For each of the following, rate how well you rate each item. Use the number system with 1 being poor and 5 being the best. Write your score in the line by the item. Then total up the numbers in each section and put it on the total score line by the section title.

Physical Self-Care – Total Score ________

___ I exercise 3-5 times a week.

___ I eat 3 healthy meals daily.

___ I eat healthy snacks.

___ I follow a healthy sleep routine.

___ I avoid eating at fast food restaurants.

___ I visit my family doctor regularly.

___ I visit my dentist regularly.

___ I drink water for better hydration.

___ I incorporate weights in my exercises.

___ I take medications as prescribed.

I want/need to build/enhance these qualities:

Mental Self-Care – Total Score ________

___ I write in a journal regularly.

___ I keep up with current news & events.

___ I play cognitive games that challenge me.

___ I engage in at least one hobby a week.

___ I listen to relaxing music.

___ I call or write to keep in touch with people I care for.

___ I volunteer regularly.

___ I visit places that I enjoy at least twice a week.

___ I learn to do something new each week.

___ I practice self-compassion and acceptance.

I want/need to build/enhance these qualities:

Emotional Self-Care – Total Score ________

___ I journal about things that bother/worry me.

___ I talk about troubling thoughts with a trusted friend.

___ I make it a point to be kind to others.

___ I don’t take hurtful things to heart.

___ I listen to upbeat or sad music as needed.

___ I watch inspiring or funny movies/shows to cheer up.

___ I don’t allow my anger or frustration to affect others.

___ I read the news or books to keep my thoughts in perspective.

___ I tell people what I really think, in appropriate ways.

___ I effectively limit the time I spend with toxic people.

I want/need to build/enhance these qualities:

Social Self-Care – Total Score ________

___ I schedule one-on-one time each person in my immediate family. 

___ I participate in community events regularly.

___ I am part of several community groups.

___ I encourage my family and friends to try new things.

___ I check on my friends/family regularly.

___ I tell my friends and family why I appreciate them.

___ I effectively balance the time I need for myself and with others.

___ I ask for help when needed.

___ I offer help when I see another’s unfulfilled need.

___ I make new people feel welcome and valued.

I want/need to build/enhance these qualities:

Business Self-Care

___ I arrive/begin work on time.

___ I work with a peer-support group.

___ I work with others a team-player.

___ I compliment others on their work.

___ I follow the rules/instructions set for my job.

___ I read industry-related information regularly.

___ I regularly build and enhance my job skills. 

___ I keep my desk/office clean and organized.

___ I take time off only when needed.

___ I take 15-minute breaks as needed.

I want/need to build/enhance these qualities:

Have a Power-FULL Morning!

Did you wake up in a mood today? We often wake up thinking about the problems we have to face today. We rehearse the past memories and circumstances that create a hyper state of arousal, using the natural cortisol levels of the morning to increase anxiety, fear, irritability, and anger.

Before your feet hit the floor, use gratitudes to change how you think and feel. Use the natural energy of cortisol to direct your thoughts and behaviors in the morning. Engage in meditation and focus for the day and be more productive and creative with using that cortisol. Make today better than yesterday. Make your inspiration greater than your suffering!

Use your cortisol to have a power-full morning!

Let Ron Huxley help you find more power in your life by scheduling a session today or using the power-full tools at FamilyHealer.tv

5 Beliefs That Keep You from Attacking Your Goals

Everyone has dreams, but not everyone makes their dreams into goals. You may have a few of these too. What are the reasons you tell yourself late at night to put the shutdown on making them a reality? These reasons are beliefs that you have, but that doesn’t mean they are valid reasons.

  1. Not Enough Time

Everyone is busy these days. When someone asks how you are doing, you probably respond with “Busy.” But that might not be the truth. Everyone has the same twenty-four hours in the day. For a week or maybe two, keep a time ladder of how you spent your time. This includes sleeping, preparing and eating meals, social media, getting ready for work, cleaning your house. Take a good look at how your time is spent, and you might realize you have more time than you realize.

  1. I Don’t Have ‘X’ Talent

It doesn’t matter if you want to write a book or paint a picture, you have as much talent as you are willing to work for. You may not have been born with the natural ability to paint, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn and practice. 

  1. After ‘X’ I Will Do It

“Once I get through this (insert tough project at work), I will start training for that marathon.” “After I lose twenty pounds, I will take a salsa dancing class.” Why are you waiting? Maybe that marathon training will help you work through the stress of that project at work. Perhaps salsa dancing lessons will allow you realize that no matter your weight, your body is worthy of fun and sexy movement. If you have a goal, go for it now.

  1. I’m Not Good Enough

What ruler are you using to measure your “good enough”? You are always good enough to go after your own dreams and goals. If this is an internal dialogue, then you need to work on liking and loving yourself first. If this belief is coming from external sources, then consider those sources and if they are holding you back.

  1. ‘X’ Person Has it Easier

The grass is greener where you water it. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. There are many sayings that sum up that you really don’t know what someone else is going through. So do not assume that someone has it easier, and therefore can achieve their goals while you cannot. That person may think you have it easier or better.

Self-limiting beliefs can be a slippery slope. They can also keep you from even trying to reach your goals. Take time to examine your reasoning and come up with better beliefs to counter the negative ones.

Let Ron Huxley help you today. Schedule a session or take a free course at FamilyHealer.tv

Reprogram Your Nervous System

  1. Focus on a safe, comforting image or memory of attachment. It could be your partner, child, or interaction with God. 
  2. Close your eyes, focus on this image or memory, and breathe slowly and deeply.
  3. Let your breath be long, holding it for a second or two at the top of the inhale and bottom of the exhale. 
  4. Allow whatever emotion to come up without judgment or interpretation. 
  5. Open your eyes and do a “body scan” from the top of your head to your feet. Notice what is going on in your body. Place a hand in that area, adjust your position and repeat the steps above. 
  6. Do this as many times as you need or want to…the more you practice this, the stronger your nervous system becomes. I call this NeuroResilience. 

Schedule an appointment today with Ron Huxley and learn this an other important life skills today!

Why Self-Improvement Should Be a Priority

As children, many people were taught that focusing on yourself was seen as being selfish and they believed it. It’s understandable that they believed it because ‘self’ is part of the word selfish. The latter word means, “…lacking consideration for others.” The good news is that self-improvement is not selfish. On the contrary, self-improvement is good for you and society

Self-discovery, development, and improvement need to be a rite of passage for all adults simply because it’s so helpful and, simply put, develops valuable people. Plus, the benefits of continuous lifelong self-improvement are all the reasons you need to prioritize self-improvement. 

Clarify Your Vision 

As you plan your personal development, it helps to envision what you want your future to look like. Some people find it helpful to write their obituary and mention each area of their life, as they want it to be. They need to think of it as if they got everything they ever wanted, and all their dreams came true. 

Part of documenting your plan requires explaining the missing elements to arrive at the goal. For example, if your vision includes being happy and in good health; however, you eat burgers every day and you never exercise. You need to be realistic to be effective. 

Enhance Your Strengths

An effective self-development plan focuses on strengths over weaknesses. It’s not that you will ignore your weaknesses. You won’t. You can outsource, delegate, automate, and learn anything you want to learn. However, it’s far more efficient to focus on what you’re naturally good at and like to do. 

Your personal development plan requires you to perform a SWOT analysis for each area of your life to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that may exist. Therefore, if you focus on your strengths, you’ll be far more successful because it feels so good. 

Find Your Purpose 

As you set goals and determine why you desire that goal, the process will lead you to discover your purpose. It may not be your life purpose because that may change as you learn and grow. However, it can supply you with a reason to keep looking for your life purpose. The continued search gives you the energy to keep going. Of course, your reasons may differ at each stage of life and area of your life. The principal factor is that the planning will explain why as you take each step toward the goal. 

Improve Your Mental Health

It feels good to understand yourself. For example, knowing why you are afraid of loud sounds can help you deal with the feelings when you hear loud sounds. Being self-aware enough to note problems with your mental health will also make it more likely that you stay healthy because you will be more likely to seek professional help if you need it. If there is one thing personal development does well is to keep you self-aware. 

Create Strong Relationships 

Learning what your thoughts and feelings mean to you and how your actions affect others goes a long way toward building super-strong relationships. Whether friends or family managing your emotions and moderating your behavior turns you into someone viewed as safe and stable. In addition, being someone trustworthy helps others bond with you more. 

Make Every Moment Count 

Finally, just knowing for sure what you want and how you’ll get it makes all the difference when you get it. It’s so much easier to schedule your life in a balanced way when you’re honest about what it takes to do the things you’ve scheduled yourself to do. 

Claiming these benefits is as easy as starting on your self-improvement journey today by setting your intention by beginning creating your self-development plan. The sooner you begin your journey of self-discovery, the sooner you can start taking massive action on realizing all your dreams. 

4 Ways to Get Clear on Why You Care So Much 

Caring is an important quality in one’s life. What would the world be like if we didn’t have caring people? Too much caring can create problems, however. Overcaring can cause fatigue, burnout, or secondary trauma, enabling addictive behaviors, preventing healthy child independence, rejection and estrangement from loved ones, and so much more. Finding a healthy balance is essential to living a healthier, happier life. The first step in this process is learning WHY you care so much so that you can find that balance.

Here are four ways to help you get clear on why you care so much that you can use:

Reading

Sounds too simple, right? The truth is that it is that simple…mostly! There are a lot of books and devotionals for people who care too much. Melodie Beattie is one of my favorite authors. She wrote the books Codepency No More, The Language of Letting Go, and Codepence Guilt to the 12 steps. Another classic is Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. I regularly recommend this book to families. Of course, there are other great reads, such as Women Who Do Too Much, Raising Empowered Children, Keeping Your Love On, Caregivers Survival Guide, The Heart of the Caregiver, and so many more.

In addition to books, there are YouTube videos and online courses that you can take to learn healthier caregiving lifestyles. Try one now at FamilyHealer.tv

Journaling 

You can use your computer, buy a specialized journal, or you can simply use a notebook you have created to journal. It’s up to you what type of system you use and whether it’s modern or analog. 

The important part is that you try to use your journal to express your thoughts, emotions, and stream of consciousness about a problem you’re trying to solve or a feeling you’re trying to explore without judgment or censoring. 

Write in your journal every day when you’re trying to understand why you care so much. You may end up discovering your life purpose or a new reason for getting up each day that you had not realized before. 

Become a Patron Sponsor of FamilyHealer.tv and get free journals and many more tools for living a happier life at FamilyHealer.tv

Meditation 

Before you use your journal, it can help to clear your mind using meditation. Meditation practice is all about not thinking and not judging your thoughts or feelings even as they still happen during the meditation. 

Each time you meditate, you can have a purpose of self-discovery or have a goal to clear your mind and relax. To practice this type of meditation, you’ll want to find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lay down. Then concentrate on your goals for the meditation, close your eyes, and start focusing on your breathing. 

Think about the situation you’re trying to understand for a moment, then clear your mind. If any intrusive thoughts come in, brush them aside by refocusing on your breathing. You mustn’t allow any outside information or sensation to distract you during this time. 

Try using an app, like Headspace, Calm, 10% Happier, Stop Breath Think, or Abide.

Therapy 

These days you’re so fortunate because you can get psychological therapy from the comfort of your home using your computer or smartphone. Numerous companies offer this service and varying price points, but you can expect to pay $60 or more per hour to get therapy. In addition, many insurance companies include several sessions as part of your benefits.

If you seek therapy, make sure you find someone experienced working with you on overcoming people-pleasing and putting yourself last in life. Remember, your wants and needs matter too. Most therapists can guide you through the self-discovery process to finally know what you want and feel good about it regardless of the reactions from other people. 

Any or all three of these methods help you become crystal clear regarding your motivations to seek approval from others and even help you stop doing it. Remember, what you want from life is important too, and following someone else’s dreams will never get you what you want and need to feel successful and, more importantly, satisfied and content in your life. 

Let Ron Huxley help you today by scheduling a therapy session online. Just click here to start!

Had any assumptions shattered lately?

The last two years have been one of daily uncertainty and fear, but a crisis is also a great revealer of the myths and idols we hold. It “knocks us off our thrones” and breaks our “assumptive worlds.” Our assumptions are the beliefs we hold about who we are and the world we live in…at times, like these, they don’t hold up. In fact, they can shatter into thousands of meaningless thoughts.

In social psychology, shattered assumptions theory proposes that traumatic events can change how victims and survivors view themselves and the world. We all have three inherent assumptions including “overall benevolence, the meaningfulness of the world, and self-worth.” They are the bedrock of our conceptual system, and as such, they are the ones we are least aware of and least likely to challenge. We become confident in our beliefs and use them to plan and act in daily living. If nothing challenges them they allow our lives to move along smoothly.

Sadly, traumatic life events shatter core assumptions, and coping with them requires a new effort to construct more realistic and viable assumptions. We have to rebuild our belief systems to fit the new world we live in.

Core Beliefs:

The world is benevolent

The world is meaningful

The self is worthy

This can be painful for people of faith who end up questioning their faith. When our assumptive worlds shatter, it causes believers to questions the goodness of God. They might “assume” that God is silent or uncaring. The promises they believed must be wrong since things didn’t work out the way they “believed.” Trying to reconcile a good God to their adverse life situations may turn some to question themselves, wondering if they ever heard God speak into their lives or if some sin or trauma from the past has made them unworthy of mercy.

I mean, if God never changes, then the problem must be ourselves, right? Christians believe that when they become followers they are “new creations.” New creations have to have renewed minds to find new beliefs about God’s goodness and nature in their lives. Renewal is exactly what we need when our assumptions become shattered. Neurologists called this neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to restructure itself through training and practice, thereby creating new neuropathways in the human nervous system. Neuroplasticity, renewed minds, and rebuilt belief systems are about personal growth that is sometimes only possible after trauma.

The reason that believers feel peace after giving their lives to follow the Christian faith is that new neuropathways are being created. Transformation or growth is occurring. From a more secular viewpoint, life has a way of creating maturity in our thinking. The trick is how to not become bitter and negative afterwords.

There is a favorite verse of mine that goes: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  –Philippians 4:6-7 (NRSV)” Prayer and meditation increase brain neuroplasticity and makes renewal possible. Allowing our minds to let go of distractions and slow down helps us focus on what we control and let go of what we cannot. In Alcoholics Anonymous, this is the path to serenity.

After a shattering event, people are able to discover strength they didn’t know that had in them. They also find new purposes and seek out deeper connections than before. Faith also grows in people after difficulty. They start to see deeper meaning and value in their life. This is called Post-Traumatic Growth in contrast to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Would you like assistance recovering from a shattering event or trauma? Need new tools for your organization or group? Contact Ron Huxley today!

This is the Year of Letting Go of Resentments

Resentments are defined as the “bitter indignation at being mistreated.” It is a hard feeling that creates discontent, hostility, bitterness, and an inability to trust others.

It is destructive to relationships because it is a hook to the traumatic events of the past. When we are tied to our histories, we cannot fully enjoy the present, and the future feels like a painful rerun. We make vows that we will never let anyone hurt us like we were hurt before. Unfortunately, these vows isolate and insulate us from loving relationships.

Resentment is connected to our ego. Our ego needs to be correct, and it needs to be good. When we experience trauma, it can strip away our dignity, causing us to get needs met in unhealthy ways or won’t allow anyone else to help meet those needs. We believe that “I can do it all by myself” but it feels safer when we are alone. Unfortunately, cutting others out of our lives is a very lonely life.

Resentment can also keep us stuck in a victim role. Victims need abusers to maintain this position. Therefore, our ego will fault others, reinforce the belief that people “can’t be trusted”, and only see the negative in the circumstances. We will gravitate to rescuers to make us feel good and validate our victim-mindedness.

WRITE BRAIN/RIGHT BRAIN:

Write about ways resentment keeps you stuck in the past. What are the struggles you have experienced that make trusting others difficult? Have you chosen to be right over having a relationship? Journal about ways to select connections first. Visualize what the world of your ego looks like, who lives there, and what beliefs you take as truth in your ego world.

How can you imagine a new, different world where you feel safe and secure? How would you do it this time if you could do a situation over? Have a chat with your “ego” and offer it comfort and seek what it needs to care for it healthily?

Explore your resiliency. You didn’t want to go through tough times, but you got through them. What strengths did you discover about yourself? How did this challenging experience change your priorities? Celebrate how you have grown instead of feeding the monster of resentment.

10 Ways To Implement Self-Care In Your Life

Self-care is often overlooked and pushed aside for more important, more pressing commitments. The truth is that self-care should be a priority. Without it, we cannot function at our optimum and therefore different areas of our life may be detrimentally impacted. The modern lifestyle is a busy one, with individuals often rushing between commitments, however, there are still ways you can implement self-care in your life. Here are ten ways you can add self-care to your routine so that you can maintain your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com
  1. Identify what self-care is to you
    We all have different needs and different ways of unwinding. Identify what self-care is the most effective for you. It may be taking a walk and getting outdoors, or curling up by the fire with a good book. It may be surrounding yourself with good friends, taking a bike ride or soaking in a long, hot bath. Whatever it is, learn to define self-care for you as an individual so that you can better take care of yourself.
  2. Establish a routine
    Once you understand what self-care works for you, add it to your routine. Commit to engaging the activity regularly until it becomes a habit, something that is simply a normal part of your life.
  3. Get regular, good quality sleep
    Establish a sleep routine so that you are getting enough high-quality sleep. Sleep is a critical part of maintaining good health and should not be underestimated. By implementing a sleep routine, you can ensure that you are getting enough rest and are therefore optimally prepared to perform at your best.
  4. Eat a balanced diet
    Diet is an important part of self-care and has a significant impact on your health. Make sure to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, avoiding soft drink and processed foods.
  5. Exercise regularly
    Exercise if great for physical, mental and emotional health and should be a part of any self-care routine.
  6. Learn to say no
    The ability to establish boundaries can be important to self-care. Rather than simply saying yes to everything until things become unbearable or seemingly impossible, learn to say no when you are busy or feeling under pressure.
  7. Get organised
    A little organisation can go a long way in regard to your self-care. Implementing strategies to be more organised can really help reduce your stress and improve your mental health.
  8. De-clutter your environment
    Get rid of the rubbish and excess goods in your house; a cleaner, less cluttered space is great for your mental health as it will help to reduce stress levels.
  9. Schedule time to yourself
    It can often feel like we are being pulled in a million different directions. Make sure to schedule time for your self-care and donít allow this to be interrupted.
  10. Take a break
    If things are getting too much, take a break. It might be taking a few days off work, getting a away for the weekend or taking a longer vacation; regardless of the length, sometime simply stepping out of the environment can be great for perspective and self-care.

Schedule training on self for your organization today by contacting Ron Huxley, LMFT at rehuxley@gmail.com

Do you have burnout? Learn the signs and symptoms!

Are You Burned Out?

Burnout feels just like it sounds. You are exhausted and tired more days than not. You can’t get motivated or interested in doing what you usually enjoy and start to withdraw from your family, friends, and work.

Burnout is a common problem for modern families

Burnout is something that you likely have experienced or will at some point. It is common to feel burnt out. It is “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.”

Take this simple quiz * to see if you are suffering burnout: 

  1. I feel run down and drained of physical or emotional energy.
  2. I have negative thoughts about my job.
  3. I am harder and less sympathetic with people than perhaps they deserve.
  4. I am easily irritated by minor problems or my co-workers and team.
  5. I feel misunderstood or unappreciated by my co-workers.
  6. I feel that I have no one to talk to.
  7. I feel that I am achieving less than I should.
  8. I feel under an unpleasant level of pressure to succeed.
  9. I am not getting what I want out of my job.
  10. I feel that I am in the wrong organization or the wrong profession.
  11. I am frustrated with parts of my career.
  12. I feel that organizational politics or bureaucracy hinder my ability to do a good job.
  13. I feel that there is more work to do than I practically can do.
  14. I do not have time to do many of the essential things to do a good quality job.
  15. I do not have time to plan as much as I would like to.

Count the number of times you said “yes” to these questions. The more times, the greater the chance you are experiencing burnout. Now, let’s look more closely at the signs and symptoms.

Physical Signs

Physical signs to look out for are “Feeling tired and drained all the time, frequent illnesses, headaches, or muscle pain, and change in appetite, sleep, or habits.” 

Maybe you are usually a person who rarely gets sick, but recently, you constantly feel run down or ill. When burnt out, your body has low energy, and you don’t feel 100%. Perhaps you complain that you are tired all the time!

This can make it hard for your body to fight off illnesses and keep you healthy. Changes in everyday healthy habits or appetite can be a good indicator of burnout. Keep an eye out for a change that might indicate an underlying problem. 

Emotional Symptoms

Some of the emotional symptoms are “Sense of failure, feeling helpless, detachment, loss of motivations, increasingly cynical, and decreased sense of accomplishment.” Even though you are feeling your emotions constantly, it can be hard to recognize when changes occur. 

You might not notice as you slip into a more negative state of mind or as you start to detach from the world. The best way to catch these changes is to involve the people around you. Make sure that you are talking with your close friends and family. 

They will likely notice emotional changes in you before you catch them in yourself. If you start to feel or notice the difference, check in with them and see if they have noticed it as well. They will likely feel relieved that you noticed and want to discuss it with you.

Behavioral Signs Are Also Indicative Of Burnout

A few of those are “Withdrawing from responsibilities, isolating yourself, procrastinating, using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope, taking out your frustrations on others, or skipping work.” 

Behavioral symptoms should be the easiest to notice. You start doing things that aren’t like you. Maybe you take extra-long lunch breaks or begin to leave work early when you were always on time before. 

You could start a new habit of drinking multiple beers or glasses of wine every night. Maybe you stop hanging out with your friends, or you never start on your projects until they need to be finished. While your friends and family might be a little hesitant to tell you about emotional changes they see in you, they are more likely to talk about the behavioral ones. 

This might be them constantly asking when you will come over or picking on you for avoiding them. They may not notice an underlying problem, but they will most likely see the change in your everyday behavior.

Final Thoughts

Overall, many of these symptoms could mean other things or point to other illnesses and problems. Make sure to always stay in tune with your body to help determine what the signs are pointing towards. 

Be sure to listen to the people around you when they notice things. They aren’t dealing with burnout, but they will see the changes in you as you deal with it. It can be hard to detect these changes in yourself, but the sooner you do, the sooner you can do something about being burnt out and getting back to your usual self. 

What to do about burnout?

If you resonate with the signs and symptoms in this blog article, get a medical check-up, start implementing a self-care routine, and find a good therapist. You can schedule a time now with Ron Huxley, LMFT, by clicking here. Get more helpful tools and courses to find healing at FamilyHealer.tv

  • Quiz adapted from Mindtools.com