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I woke up in the middle of the night and was compelled to write this down to share – "You must take care of you first! If you are in anger, jealousy, disappointment ... you can't see anything but anger, jealousy, disappointment... and cannot be of help to anyone else." I fell right back to sleep, but awoke with a clear mission to talk about SELF Care.

Well by now if you've been reading my blogs you know I start with the basics, three deep breaths and definitions! Let’s take three deep breaths together so we can be present right here and right now. (Psst, by the way – that's self-care....) SELF – a person's essential being that distinguishes them from others. Care – the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance and protection of someone or something. Selfish - lacking consideration for others, concerned chiefly with one's own pleasure or profit.

Wow! Look at those definitions, they speak to that statement I woke up to last night! It's been a lifelong lesson for me to recognize that my physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual well-being directly affect my interactions with others. As I started to look around, I found I was not alone; that it was true for almost everyone around me! Even for those who worked out regularly, who went to yoga, and got massages.

What I noticed was when they, and I, fell into the spaces of being too Hungry, too Angry, too Lonely, too Tired, (HALT), that all kinds of less than favorable character behaviors started showing up (yelling, huffing, eye rolling, nagging, snarky comments, cold shoulder, aggressive driving, impatience.......). Not a pretty scene for anyone and definitely an opportunity to do something different. Remembering the word HALT allows us to pause and to take a look at what is really happening for us and how we can put in place new actions to take care of ourselves and those around us.

After HALT has allowed us to pause it can then help remind us how we can change direction by using simple- self-care behaviors:

Help – ask for it so you can get some food, rest or just feel less lonely.

Accept - a situation as is, letting go of the expectation so the anger can dissolve.

Love – yourself enough to take care of your own basic needs, so you can show up more Lovingly.

Trust – that the universe has your back and things are showing up the way they need to for you.

So, if self-care HALT's those less than favorable characteristics, and we can then interact and help others in a much more effective way, I'm going to say that is not considered selfish! When I talk about self-care I am talking about the day to day basics of learning how to take care of ourselves in mind, spirit, and body, so that we show up as the person we want to be and have the type of positive relationships we desire. That's why I call it Me First Self Care.

The state of body, mind and soul we are in directly affects how we show up and interact with others. So, we women who love to put everyone else – children, spouses, parents, co-workers, etc.- first are not always doing them a favor. Why? Because it's a set up for disaster. Just like they tell you about the oxygen mask on the airplane – you put yours on first, then you can help children - (so you don't pass out and leave the youngster all alone to figure it all out!).

Seriously this is no different. The acronym HALT – is a good reminder to PAUSE and take a moment to consider if we need the oxygen mask, a snack, a nap, a deep breath, a moment alone, help, an attitude adjustment or to reach out to a support buddy.

Me First Self Care does not have to be overwhelming, time consuming or difficult when you understand what drives your actions and how to personalize it for your life. Self Care is not selfish. It can actually be the most caring, loving, and empowering thing you do for yourself and others in your life.

I'll be sharing more about Me First Self Care and self-empowerment activities at my upcoming three-day "Powerful Living: Love Your Life Again" live event on October 6, 7 & 8 in Hampton NJ at Hunterdon Shared Space. If you want more information please give me a call at 908-303-3574.

I hope you have found this informative and helpful and continue to follow me on this empowered journey to a stress free, appreciated life that you love! If you are new, please go back and take a look at some of the other blog posts and sign up to follow me here on this blog, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In, but definitely come back for my next post on happiness in a crazy world. Til then, enjoy the journey!

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