Choosing Me Now

Choosing Me Now – While You Care for Everyone Else, Who is Caring for You?

If you understand the value of self-care but fail to do it consistently, then it’s time to create a system of wholistic, strategic self-care. We all need to practice self-care, especially those of us who are always busy doing for others, constantly striving for success or experiencing trauma and its aftermath. These activities pile stressors in our lives that self-care can mitigate. Most literature surrounding self-care speaks only to the physical-eat healthy, get enough rest and exercise daily-but you need to care for your mental and spiritual well-being in a way that address your unique need-strength profile. That’s what wholistic, strategic self-care involves.

In Choosing Me Now, you’ll discover:

It seems that everyone loves talking about how important it is to practice self-care, but no one is offering a strategy. Sure, people talk about the physical aspects of self-care—getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising—but it stops there. What about a wholistic approach with a focus on physical, mental and spiritual self-care? Going to bed earlier won’t help you if all you are doing is lying awake worrying about things you have no control over. Eating healthy won’t feel good when you’ve banned yourself from ever indulging in those unhealthy foods you love. Exercising could be stressful when you tend to slack on other responsibilities to fit it into your schedule.

Not everyone’s self-care journey is the same, so a one-size-fits-all strategy will simply not work. You need to have a personalized plan that addresses your specific challenges, but how do you develop this plan?

Choosing Me Now will help you understand yourself and why you do the things you do. Determining your specific need-strength profile is the first step. Every one of us has five genetically-programmed basic human needs, but the ones that are strongest in you may not be the ones that are strongest in others, including those that are close to you.
Before you can practice self-care, you need to know yourself. This is what I have termed Strategic Self-Care. Practicing Strategic Self-Care means learning what you need most and targeting that area first to get the most mileage from your efforts.
My name is Kim Olver and I am a licensed clinical professional counselor, nationally certified counselor and a board-certified coach. I have made it my mission to help people get along better with the important people in their lives, including themselves, at home and at work. This huge, encompassing mission allows me to work with different people on different challenges and goals every day.
Even though I absolutely love the work I do, about three years ago, I noticed people began asking if I was taking care of myself. I found it an odd question because my goal was taking care of everyone else and I was pretty good at it. What did it mean, anyway, “taking care of myself”? Then I became a bit self-conscious, wondering what I must look like for people to keep asking me that question. I figured, of course, I was taking care of myself. No one else was doing it so I must have been, right?
I was alive and happy, but maybe not as healthy as I could be. I had just pulled myself from a deep debt in a way I was very proud of. I was only getting about four hours of sleep each night and very little exercise. I used to say my weight training was lifting heavy suitcases into my trunk and overhead compartments on planes; almost weekly, I got my steps in by walking through airports. The only thing I drank was unsweetened tea, all day long. My stress-reliever was chocolate and lunch and dinners with friends.
None of this sounds horrible. I wasn’t addicted to anything and wasn’t doing anything self-destructive, but I recognized there was something underlying what people must have been sensing from me. I wasn’t practicing Strategic Self-Care. I didn’t even know what that was.
In my futile search to find some information, I decided to go to what I know best. I took my knowledge of Choice Theory psychology and applied it to the relationship I have with myself. Looking at the relationship we have with ourselves through a Choice Theory lens provides a perfect roadmap to strengthening the relationship, once you know how to read it. Determine your unique need-strength profile and assess which needs are being satisfied and which are not. Decide where you want to direct your attention and make changes—big or small—to begin, or continue, your journey of self-care.
Practicing the readily available health tips will bring you physical health, but it doesn’t necessarily bring you mental and spiritual health. Similarly, practicing great mental health habits doesn’t translate into great physical care. Strategic Self-Care looks at the whole person—mind, body and spirit—to determine and provide a path you can travel for the rest of your life. In this practice, you will maximize your potential by fine-tuning all areas of your life in order to best satisfy your unique personal set of priorities, all without the guilt of not following what society believes constitutes good self-care
As I wrote Choosing Me Now, I was happy to apply what I learned in my own life, starting with what was most important to me. I began with my need for Freedom. I needed to get out of debt and I accomplished that without damaging my credit score. Next was my need for Connection. I began instituting special days with each of my eight grandchildren individually. I spend more time with my sons and their families. I ended a long-term relationship with a man who didn’t want the same things I wanted. Now, I am focusing on Safety & Security; since writing the book, I am happy to report I have lost 25 pounds and still counting.
When your life isn’t working the way you’d like and you are ready to make some changes, Choosing Me Now can help you develop your plan to get your life in balance again.

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