Self-care is more than playing hooky.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Taking care of yourself

Self-care.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Don’t confuse self-care with trips to the spa or vegetating.

When you hear the term self-care, do you think pampering? There’s a lot more to self-care than scented candles or taking an extra day off. Human beings are complicated. We need to take care of both our physical bodies and our emotional lives. Examine the various aspects of your life and make sure you are including self-care in everything you do.

Car care doesn’t involve letting the car sit in the driveway. A car that isn’t driven slowly deteriorates. If you’re not challenging yourself, you’re not growing. Include forward motion, moving towards goals as part of your self-care. Self-care may also consist of a life makeover.

Self-care includes increasing your self-confidence by tackling challenges.

Self-care includes training for that marathon or writing that novel, maybe both. When people age, the major regrets they have are often for the things, they didn’t do. I’ve never heard anybody say they regretted not spending more days sitting on the couch. I have heard people say they always wanted to learn a foreign language or finish a college degree.

Self-care needs to include self-improvement.

Stretch yourself both physically and mentally. Join a gym or take up exercising. Take up a hobby. Sign up for that class whether it’s in person or online. Anything that requires effort on your part can also bring emotional rewards. Do things you can check off on your list of life goals. Look here for more information about making self-care a part of your self-improvement program. 

Do something at the edge of your comfort zone.

Avoiding things that make you uncomfortable may feel like you’re protecting yourself from anxiety, but if you avoid that anxiety for very long, your comfort zone will continue to shrink. Self-care can include challenging herself to do things that feel just a little uncomfortable or scary.

Self-care includes getting rid of things that are holding back.

Eliminate the things that are holding you down. Trying to do too many things results in not getting anything done. Self-care includes giving up activities that you’re doing because you “have to” not because you want to. Pulling out the weeds allows room for the plants to grow. Eliminating unnecessary activities allows you to grow.

Cut the toxic people out of your life.

Examine your relationships. If your relationships can be improved, put the work in. The people you spend time will influence the way you feel. If someone in your life is dealing with a mental health challenge, then encourage them to get help. Eliminate negative people from your life where possible. If there are negative people you absolutely must deal with, try to limit the time you spend with them.

Doing less accomplishes more.

Businesses periodically take an inventory, and they get rid of the things on the shelves that take up space but don’t contribute to making a profit. It’s a good practice to inventory your life periodically. Eliminate as many of those needless activities as possible so that you free up time to spend on the important things. Stop spending so much time reading emails and spend a little time unsubscribing to the mailing lists that don’t bring your life any benefits.

Reevaluating your goals is a part of self-care.

Don’t be the person lost in the woods wandering around in circles. Don’t waste your life pursuing goals that don’t matter. Time spent getting clear on your values and decided whether what you are doing is taking you towards the goals you really want to reach is time well spent. Don’t waste time pursuing goals that are no longer meaningful to you.

Self-care includes time spent maintaining your body.

Sleep is not a waste of time. It is an essential ingredient in self-care. Your body has a natural rhythm. While people vary slightly in their need for sleep if you’re not meeting your bodies need, your lack of sleep will increase negative emotions like depression, anxiety, and irritability. Getting plenty of sleep will make for a happier, healthier you.

Include a healthy diet in your self-care.

A healthy diet doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Occasional indulgence makes life more fun. Try to include a lot of healthy food in your diet, so the occasional splurge doesn’t become your regular diet.

How will you go about improving the self-care you do in every part of your life?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

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For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

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Ready for a life makeover?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Spring flowers

Spring is here.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Spring cleaning for your new life.

The winter season is coming to a close. Spring is approaching. Time for spring cleaning and getting the house and you spruced up for a new year. People often get makeovers for their looks and their clothing, sometimes for their places, but have you considered getting a makeover for your life?

Here are some things you may want to consider changing to create a new, clean and effective new you.

1. Clean out the toxic habits.

Take an inventory of your life. Are there habits that became a part of your life that are toxic? Do you smoke, drink to excess or do drugs? Would now be a good time to get rid of that habit before it becomes an addiction?

It is not just chemicals, drugs and alcohol, which may need ejecting from your life. Behaviors can be just as addicting, mentally and physically, as drugs. What behaviors have taken over your life uninvited?

Do you waste time complaining or gossiping, dwelling on personalities as some like to call it? Would now be a good time to resolve to work on issues rather than talk about people? Are there other habits that are harmful to your happy, productive life?

Have you settled for passive behaviors, watching sports instead of playing them? Are their activities that have become huge time wasters and which add nothing of values to your life? Get rid of the things that waste your time and spend that time on becoming a better happier you.

2. Update your friend’s list.

Do you have people in your life who are on the friend’s list, the electronic friends or associates you hang out with, that are bad for your emotional health? Consider if there are people you have been calling friends that are anything but a friend.

Is it time to work on making some new friends? Get yourself out there, say hi, put your hand out and start making new friends. You will begin to copy the people you hang out with. Show me your friends and this will tell us who you are.  Maybe your friends need an upgrade?

3. Shop for some new options – set new goals.

Has your life drifted into a rut? Are you aimlessly drifting along in life? It may be time to set new goals, rearrange your priorities and head off in a new direction.

Were there things that you said you will do someday? Have you done them? Do not wait to create your “bucket list” until you are too old and weak to carry a bucket. If you knew time was running out, what would you want to do? Why not start doing those someday thinks today?

4. Refurbish your career.

Do you have a job or do you have a career? Work on creating a job that you enjoy going to. Make it into a career. Find something to do that you feel good about and you will find work is less of a chore and more of a life mission. Why do unpleasant work when you can do something you love all day and get paid for it?

Has your career gotten shabby and worn? Does it fit who you have become? Is it time to start shopping for ways to rework that career? Get more training, look for more opportunities in the place you work or possibly launch out in a whole new direction.

In your lifetime you probably will need to move a bunch of times and if you are like most people you will end up changing jobs many times in your life. Start planning where you want to land when you leave where you are.

5. Get a new look.

Does your wardrobe need updating? Maybe just some outfits that are less shabby and worn? If you remember when you got that article of clothing, the decade, rather than where, it may be time for a change.

6. Fix up your nest.

You spend a lot of time where you live. Make it as comfy and cozy as possible. Most people have accumulated more stuff than they can use. Do you live in the land of clutter? Now is the time to part with the out of date, the things that you keep because you have them not because you want them.

Hang some new pictures, rearrange a few things. What in your living area says “I live here?”

7. Try on some new hobbies.

Is there something you always wanted to try? Is now the time to try out that activity? Take up a new skill. Learn to cook. Find a hobby or craft that suits your lifestyle.

8. Visit some new places.

Get out of the old rut. See some new places, travel a little. Even something as simple as taking a different route to work can spark some new ideas and new experiences.

If a tourist came to your hometown where would you take them? Have you taken yourself there? What wonders await you just around the bend? Seeing things in person is a far different experience than looking at the pictures on the internet. Ask yourself what you would like to see or experience first person.

Attend some festivals. Enjoy the pageantry.  There are annual events all around you. Historical reenactments abound.

9. Make some repairs to your relationship.

Does your relationship need some work? Has it become shabby and run down? Do some things to repair the cracks that have developed between you and your partner. Good relationships require maintenance. The best relationships are between people who, once they notice the relationship has some damage, drop their pride and work on making the repairs.

What areas of your life need remodeling or repair? Are you ready to start on some personal improvement?

For more on these topics see: Relationships,  Family ProblemsSelf-improvement   

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.