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Posts Tagged ‘practicing self care’

This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Thanks for reading!

By the way, I am now offering self-care coaching. I have a website which is still under development (but I launched it anyway), so if you visit, pardon the mess! It still needs a lot of work, so I anticipate it being several weeks before it looks moderately solid. On the site you can purchase coaching sessions. It is at http://www.mkirbymoore.com You can also click on the link at the top of the list to the right.

In this post, practicing self care by consciously taking the time to notice what our pace of life actually is. Show of hands: Who works at a fast paced job? I kind of expect most of my few readers’ hands to go up, and just to let you know, my hand would have to go up in answer to that. With that in mind, what is the pace of your life outside of work?

If we have never taken the time to slow down, whether through spending time in nature, gardening, meditating, volunteering with animals or children (this might not seem like going slow, but our egos are forced to slow down to meet these beings where they are), receiving process-oriented bodywork, doing yoga, etc etc… then how could we possibly expect to work at a fast paced job and somehow lead a peaceful, serene life at home? To steal a line from the movie The Princess Bride: “Inconceivable!”

So if you are reading this… yes, you knew this was coming… pause. Right now. Take a deep breath. Notice your body, take another breath. notice your posture, take another pause, are you hydrated or not? All of this takes time and effort and awareness. So just noticing is the beginning of excellent self-care! Now pat yourself on the back for a job well done! And if just this is making your head swim or giving you a funny sensation in your head (like a potential head ache) or something else unusual is happening, then it is a time for a nap. Come back and read the rest of this post later. If after practicing these little suggestions, your head is still clear, then please continue reading.

What are some ways that we can slow down, even if our jobs are demanding and stressful? Well, first, we must make time to do so. Okay, so our jobs are a drag. Well, what are going to do about it? It is what it is. I love how the I Ching tells me that I have two choices when I encounter natural, unavoidable phenomena – I can either sit there, moaning and groaning; or I can put on the music and dance in spite of everything. What do I want to cultivate within myself?

If we have any free time at all, or maybe just five minutes after we get home from whatever stressful activities we are “forced” to partake in, then take a few minutes to take stock of your life. Where are we distracted easily? Where are we really mindful, if at all? Where are we rushing around at a frenetic pace? Where are we numbing out, avoiding all of the above?

If we feel comfortable at home, maybe just this once, we can delay turning on the TV or computer (Facebook is mighty appealing sometimes!), and instead, we can contemplate our day, and contemplate our pace throughout that day. Where could we easily slow down? Where do we need to slow down? No judgment here! Be gentle. Be kind. Simply notice.

Just this noticing will start to create a shift. Just by noticing our breath, we will start to move toward states of relaxed awareness. So if we work at a hectic job, or have to spend time with people who really stress us out, then where is our sanctuary? Where do we really feel comfortable to let go and just relax? If nothing comes to mind, how can we create this space?

In the very least, perhaps we can take three or five minutes after getting home from work and just sit down. Don’t do much else besides consciously slowing down. Maybe brew some relaxing tea (probably non-caffeinated herbal tea would fit this description) or drink some delicious, pure water. I’m not saying you need to meditate. I’m not suggesting that you do anything at all really besides contemplate the pace of life. And then decide what, if anything, needs to change. And try to be as gentle as possible.

If you are like me and your mind desires distractions and wants to move at a fast pace all the time, then make the choice of the more calming, the more relaxing of two options. For instance, do I read an informative magazine or check my email (for the 8th time that day)? Should I watch this soccer game or read the Wall Street Journal? Do I watch TV or go for a walk on a nice nature trail? Do I eat one Twinkie or three? 🙂

We have to start somewhere. And it might as well be with ourselves. But above all else, please remember to go slow, to be as gentle as possible with yourself without beating yourself up and to recognize that changing any kind of habit at all takes lots of time.

I hope you have enjoyed this post.

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This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Thanks for visiting!

Disclaimer: The author of this post is not a licensed health care provider, so he does not profess to be able to cure, treat, diagnose or prevent any health issues. If you have a medical question or concern, you should speak with a licensed practitioner. Now enjoy this post! 🙂

Okay, again, good to get that out of the way. So in this post: preventing cold sores and fever blisters before they ever get started. Which of course, prevents any need to treat them if they ain’t ever coming up.

Like I mentioned in the previous post, there are some supplements that help the immune system (Vitamin C, Zinc, Lysine, etc). [Speak to your doctor or a licensed dietician before changing your diet and / or supplement intake.] But again, those are just supplements, it would be ideal if we can practice self-care on a regular basis such that we don’t need many supplements. So how can we prevent cold sores from forming? By practicing self-care. So what is self-care?

There are several layers of self-care in my opinion: physical, energetic, emotional / psychological / mental, spiritual.

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Depending on where we are on our individual (spiritual) paths, each of these levels may be slightly more or slightly less important than the others. And sorry to do this so abruptly, but I just realized that it might take many words to elaborate on these various self-care subjects, so look forward to further posts. In the rest of this post, I will continue on the topic at hand (fever blister prevention).

What is the fastest way to get a cold sore? To allow the immune system to get run down and then have a trigger occur. What does trigger mean in this case? Different triggers are: getting a lot of extra sun (sun burns can do it), having a cold or flu, being shocked by a new situation or circumstance, in other words, stress can do it too. For example, one trigger can be eating extra sugar (cheesecake / cookies / ice cream) – because sugar wears down the immune system, so if we are already taxed or stressed, and we go to a get-together and indulge in the many lovely desserts… well don’t be surprised if, the next morning, there is a little visitor on your lip. Then you want to see my previous post 🙂

How are other ways that we get run down? And this will tie in to my next posts on self-care by the way. One of the fastest ways to run down our immune system is to not listen to messages from our body. In other words, by doing an activity which is depleting, and then continuing in that activity long after it was healthy to do so, will sap the immune system. If we are tired, we should try to rest as soon as possible. Even just a five to ten minute power “nap” can help to restore tissue tonicity and optimal function.

What are some ways that we deplete ourselves? Being on the computer for too many hours – I’m pretty sure (don’t quote me or take my word for it) that being on the computer for many hours on end causes the body to become more acidic (Ph issues). Being more alkaline is healthier, where as being more acidic allows viruses and other “baddies” to grow and thrive. [See my next post on physical self-care techniques] What if we can’t help it? Well break up the computer time – go for a walk once or twice a day in the healthy sunshine, take a short yoga or stretching break, take a five minute pause to sit and just rest the eyes and the body.

Are there other ways that we deplete our selves? Drinking alcohol on occasion can be good for us (apparently). However, drinking on a regular basis depletes the system – the liver (and kidneys) never has time to rest and restore itself if it is constantly stressed by needing to clear toxins from the blood. Another way that we deplete ourselves, if we are in a male body, is by too frequent ejaculation. The definition of “too frequent” here is very subjective and it has to do with age, diet, constitution, etc, but there are definitely times when the body says, “Hey man, we need to rest these gonads!” Ejaculation lowers the kidney jing (that would be the subtle energy of the kidneys from a Chinese medicine perspective). [Again see my next post on physical self-care techniques] So it would be good to determine a healthy balance here, or figure out how to enjoy sex without ejaculating. See books by David Deida or books on Taoist sex secrets, etc for more on this complex and it-will-take-some-effort-and-diligence subject.

We can also deplete ourselves by sticking with a toxic relationship. Yes, there are some people we must be around occasionally – whether at work, in our family, housemates, etc. But take time to establish appropriate boundaries and speak your truth and your needs (psychological self-care). We don’t want to allow ourselves to be sapped. And don’t try to blame the other person either as this just continues the chains of suffering – rather, figure out how we are judging them, or how are we letting them get to us, or how we can relax just a little bit more in their presence, such that they no longer tax us. This can take years, so do be gentle (spiritual / psychological self-care).

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And of course, there are many many ways in which we allow ourselves to become depleted. And yes, there are circumstances where cannot help it. That is okay! If we are stuck in a toxic job or a long-term situation that is very stressful, then we are stuck! No use spending lots of time wishing things were different when they can’t be. But how can we work to find equanimity even in the midst of stress? Where can we lighten up just a little bit more? How can we introduce more playfulness and humor into our lives?

So, back to the title of this post, how do we prevent cold sores? By attempting to take good care of ourselves. How do we start this process? By determining where in our lives we need to relieve some pressure – where in our life are we allowing ourselves to become depleted? First work to “fix” the grossest levels of self-care violation, and then slowly slowly work to ease in new techniques for all-round self-care.

If I have time, I will elaborate on further levels of self-care. Stay tuned. Thank you for reading.

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