Intensive Self-Care: Allow Yourself to Rest Without Guilt

Self-Love Allow Yourself to Rest Without Guilt

After the car accident earlier this month, I’ve been taking extra time to rest, so that my body can heal and recover. Coincidentally, during a group coaching call the other day, the topic of rest and self-care came up. Several members in our group (all high-achieving woman entrepreneurs) have asked for support and guidance on getting more rest and self-care time for themselves. Some of us have a tough time setting boundaries around work. You know, when you are a high achiever working for yourself, it’s very tempting to work ALL the time. However, if you don’t have adequate rest and self-care, your health and your business simply won’t survive. Other people have a hard time unplugging from Internet and social media (myself included). It becomes a distraction and time suck that interfere with both work and family/personal time.

Apparently, taking time for rest and self-care is a common challenge among high achievers.

It’s no surprise to me. Self-Care Deficiency is a hidden epidemic among moms, caregivers, healthcare professionals, small business owners and other high-achievers, as I discussed in my book Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul: 7 Keys to Nurture Yourself While Caring for Others. So many women have a hard time ALLOWING themselves to rest — out of guilt, unworthiness, or because they are so wound up (mentally, physically, emotionally, or all of the above) that they simply cannot relax and rest . Can you relate?

I used to feel very guilty for sleeping in, especially when my kids were younger, and when it’s bright & sunny outside (that was an old programming from my childhood about not being lazy & wasting time). I often “override” my body’s signals with my strong will and my drive to achieve. The old programming that says if you rest & sleep in, it means you’re not a good mother or not working hard enough, used to bring up SO much guilt in me. I’d beat myself over and over.

Nowadays? NO GUILT. I honor and allow my body to rest when it needs to. The work will get done with more grace & ease, when I’m fully recharged.

How about you? Do you listen to your own body, and ALLOW yourself to rest without guilt? What old messages & beliefs get stirred up when you try to rest or do something nice for yourself?

Allowing yourself to rest is not being selfish or lazy. It’s an act of self-love. I love what my coach suggested — be “an overachiever for rest”. Let’s channel our overachieving energy into Intensive Self-Care. Let’s try it for a week, OK? Are you up for the challenge? :)

Tell me: What would you commit to do (or NOT do) today, in order to take better care of YOU? Please comment below and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

If you need support in creating a self-care practice and more time for YOU (minus the guilt), I invite you to book a complimentary 30-min consultation with me via phone or Skype, and we will explore how coaching with me can help you. You can schedule your appointment here

Take good care of yourself, because you are irreplaceable.

P.S. My book Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul is a PERFECT Mother’s Day gift — for yourself and/or for someone you really care about. You can order here.

 

About Hueina Su
Hueina Su is an internationally recognized expert in helping heart-centered, successful but exhausted high-achieving professional women break The Good Girl Spell, and find the missing PEACE and BALANCE in their stressful lives. She is an international keynote speaker, certified executive and life coach, best-selling author of Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul: 7 Keys to Nurture Yourself While Caring for Others, and a featured expert in the award-winning transformational movie The Keeper of the Keys along with Jack Canfield, John Gray and Marci Shimoff.

For more information about Hueina’s speaking, coaching, book and other products, visit www.HueinaSu.com

Share This Post

Feeling Overwhelmed? You Need to STOP, DROP & ROLL!

Overwhelmed businesswoman

Do you feel anxious, stressed and overwhelmed? Are you exhausted at the end of the day?

If so, you’re not alone. In fact, most of my clients felt that way when they first came to me for coaching.

Grace started coaching with me a few years ago. She is a dentist with two thriving dental offices, a mom of two adorable children below age six, a devoted Sunday school teacher and a loving wife. As you can imagine, it’s no small feat for her to manage her business, family life and balance everything. Before coaching with me, she often felt stressed when her life throws her a curve ball.

One time when she called me, she was overwhelmed by the constant bickering of her staff. “It’s like I’m always trying to put out fires!” She said with a sigh, “Sometimes I feel like I’m on fire too!” I jokingly replied, “If you are on fire, perhaps you should stop, drop and roll.” And we both laughed.

That got me thinking. When my clients feel overwhelmed and stressed, their survival instinct is to try to “put out the fire” by frantically working harder and faster, hoping to cross off more items from their ever-growing to-do list. They bury themselves in the tasks, forego “non-essential” activity such as self-care and leisure time with friends and family… until they either successfully resolve the crisis, or run themselves down. If you have ever come down with a nasty flu or other illnesses after completing a major project, you know what I’m talking about.

So, what can you do instead? I suggest that you try my STOP, DROP and ROLL approach.

STOP
When you are stressed and overwhelmed, stop, and take stock of the situation. Assess your stress level and acknowledge your feelings of overwhelm. This is important, since suppressed emotions don’t go away. They only get buried in your body and will show up someday as a physical dis-ease.

Identify the source of your stress. Is it from external circumstances (such as job, relationship, finance, illness), or internal sources (such as unrealistic expectations or perfectionism)? Evaluate your situation carefully. What are the things you can control? What’s out of your control? What are you willing to let go and release in order to have peace?

Take a few minutes to breathe deeply and center yourself. This is a perfect time to take a break for Intensive Self-Care. Do something to pamper your body, mind and spirit.

DROP
Now that you are calm, take a look at your to-do list. Use The 3-D Principle (Do it, Delegate it, Dump it) to assess each and every task on your list. Dump whatever is not aligned with your long-term goals and core values. Delegate the ones that can be done by others, and only perform the tasks that are aligned with your goals, core values, or can only be done by you.

ROLL
Now that you have pared down your to-do list, let’s roll out an action plan to get things done! I suggest you break down each task on your to-do list to the smallest action step possible. This will give you a flowchart of action steps and a more accurate estimate of time needed to complete each task. Once you have all the action steps determined and know how much time you need, plug them into your calendar.

Occasionally, things don’t go as planned. In order to achieve your goal without stressing yourself out, you need to be willing to roll with the punches. Be flexible about how things get done. When you are totally open and detached from the outcome, sometimes things work out in a way that you would never have imagined.

P.S. “Stop, Drop & Roll Out of Overwhelm” is key #1 in Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul: 7 Keys to Nurture Yourself While Caring for Others written by Hueina Su. This article is adapted from the book. You can order the book here or on Amazon.

P.P.S. Watch Hueina talk about this STOP, DROP & ROLL concept during her keynote speech at an international medical conference in Asia.

About Hueina Su
Hueina Su is an internationally recognized expert in helping heart-centered, successful but exhausted high-achieving professional women break The Good Girl Spell, and find the missing PEACE and BALANCE in their stressful lives. She is an international keynote speaker, certified executive and life coach, best-selling author of Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul: 7 Keys to Nurture Yourself While Caring for Others, and a featured expert in the award-winning transformational movie The Keeper of the Keys along with Jack Canfield, John Gray and Marci Shimoff.

For more information about Hueina’s speaking, coaching, book and other products, visit www.HueinaSu.com

Share This Post

Are You Black And Blue from Beating Yourself Up?

Not Good Enough

If you’re on any social media, you might recall that back in February, #TheDress became arguably the most viral story in the history of viral Internet stories. It was a picture of a dress that in some lighting looked black and blue, and in other times appeared to be white and gold. The silly debates and viral meme aside, one good thing came out of it… The Salvation Army in South Africa used the viral sensation to create an ad campaign for domestic violence awareness. One in six women are victims of abuse, according to Salvation Army’s tweet. The ad copy reads “Why is it so hard to see black and blue? The only illusion is if you think it was her choice.”

Salvation Army Black and Blue Ad 599x229
Domestic violence is an important and serious issue. However, I’d argue that there’s another kind of violence against women (and men too) that is just as serious but often overlooked. What I’m referring to is violence against ourselves. 

As you know, oftentimes we are our own biggest critic and worst enemy. As high achievers, we tend to be so hard on ourselves. Do you beat yourself up? A little? A lot? All the time?

Are you honoring your own core values and priorities? Are you honoring your SELF? Are you treating yourself and your loved ones with love, respect, compassion, and tender loving care?

OR… Are you often “black and blue” from beating yourself up? How often do you deny yourself your own heart’s desires and the TLC you deserve?

Maybe you have incredibly high (or unrealistic) standards and expectations for yourself, and nothing you do is ever good enough. Maybe you keep picking on yourself about your “not-enoughness” such as “I’m not good enough, thin enough, smart enough, pretty enough or (fill in the blank) enough”, “I didn’t try hard enough”, “I didn’t give/care/help enough”, “I’m not a good enough mom/wife/daughter”, etc. You get the idea.

Maybe you keep beating yourself up for what you have or have not done in the past. Maybe you keep telling yourself that you’ll never achieve your goal, find your soul mate, realize your dreams, because there’s something fundamentally wrong with you and you don’t deserve the good things in life.

Perhaps every time you look in the mirror, all you can see is all the flaws and imperfections on your face and body. Instead of appreciating your own unique beauty, and what your body has done for you, all you can think of is more reasons to put yourself down or beat yourself up.

Tell me: Can you see the black and blue from all this beating you’ve done on yourself?

Whoever said “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was WAY off base. Words — whether spoken words, written words, or words in your head — DO hurt, and the injuries they inflict are often more serious and long-lasting than those caused by sticks and stones. 

Last weekend, my husband and I got into a car accident, and I was rushed to ER. Fortunately, no bones were broken, but I suffered soft tissue injuries to my neck and back. Those injuries don’t show up on the X-ray, and they are not visible to the naked eye, but, it doesn’t mean that they are not there or not serious.

By the same token, the kind of violence and injuries we inflict on ourselves with our words and thoughts are not visible, but, the traumas are usually deep and long-lasting.

If you make a point to pay attention to what you say to yourself throughout the day, you might feel surprised, shocked and/or really sad. Seriously, some of the words we say to ourselves, we probably would NEVER say to anyone else, because they are so unkind, mean or downright abusive. Only bullies would say those things to their victims!

So, if you are black and blue from beating yourself up, what can you do? There are many ways to cultivate self-love, self-compassion and self-acceptance. Here are 3 ideas for you to try:

1. Set up self-love reminders. To change your perpetual habit of criticizing and judging yourself, and cultivate the new habit of loving and accepting yourself, you need a LOT of practice and reminders. You can post affirmations and reminders such as “I love and accept myself completely”, “I am whole and complete just the way I am”, “Be kind to yourself” all over your house and/or office. If you use a smart phone, you can set these up as reminders to show up on your phone every day at a certain time (or multiple times a day). Or, use them as your computer’s screen saver.

2. Pay attention to your self-talk. Every time you catch yourself saying critical words to yourself, STOP, and replace those critical words/thoughts with loving, compassionate words toward yourself.

3. Talk to your Inner Child. If you make a mistake or fail to meet your own (or someone else’s) expectations, instead of beating yourself up, immediately tell yourself, “It’s okay. I still love you. I will always love you, no matter what.” It’s even more effective if you imagine you are saying this to your Inner Child and comforting her, telling her that you will always love her, accept her and protect her, no matter what. You can visualize your younger self and imagine you are speaking to her and giving her a hug. I have one of my favorite childhood pictures as my iPhone’s screen saver. So, I always have a visual reference of my Inner Child, and a constant reminder to be kind to her. Alternatively, you can stand in front of a mirror, look into your own eyes while you say these words to yourself with as much love as possible. At first you might feel very awkward. That’s normal. With practice, it will get easier to look at yourself with love and compassion, and you WILL feel a difference.

ADVANCED TIP: Instead of trying to silence your Inner Critic or Inner Bully (which doesn’t work very well, as you’ve probably found out by yourself), there is a process to coach your Inner Critic and transform her/him into your ally. This is something we can work on during our coaching sessions. I can guide you through this process.

Louise Hay self-love quote stop criticizing yourself start approving of yourself
Louise Hay said, “You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.

Are you willing to give it a try? Is this the year you FINALLY put your health and Intensive Self-Care on top of your list, and learn to LOVE and ACCEPT yourself no matter what?

If you are READY and WILLING to make some positive changes in your life, in your self-care, and in cultivating self-love & self-compassion, I invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with me by phone or Skype, and let’s explore how coaching with me can be the right support for YOU.

 

About Hueina Su
Hueina Su is an internationally recognized expert in helping heart-centered, successful but exhausted high-achieving professional women break The Good Girl Spell, and find the missing PEACE and BALANCE in their stressful lives. She is an international keynote speaker, certified executive and life coach, best-selling author of Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul: 7 Keys to Nurture Yourself While Caring for Others, and a featured expert in the award-winning transformational movie The Keeper of the Keys along with Jack Canfield, John Gray and Marci Shimoff.

For more information about Hueina’s speaking, coaching, book and other products, visit www.HueinaSu.com

Share This Post

Feeling Anxious, Restless & Lost? The Resistance Before Transformation

Buddha-Change-is-never-painful-Only-resistance-to-change-is-painful

Change is definitely in the air. Every day, I talk to coaching clients, colleagues, family and friends who are going through change and transitions in their personal, family and/or professional lives. Some of these changes are unexpected, dramatic or even traumatic. It can leave you feeling very anxious, restless, overwhelmed, fearful or utterly lost.

Sometimes when we are going through a radical transformation, we consciously or unconsciously resist the process, which makes it much harder for ourselves. Can you relate?

We all go through many cycles of Metamorphosis (aka radical transformations, spiritual awakening, dark night of the soul, etc) in our lifetime. The question is not whether you will go through change. The question is how well you can cope with and thrive in the face of change. Do you have the right tools and support to help you ride the waves of change, instead of being wiped out by the waves?

A few days ago, I was coaching someone who has been feeling very anxious, restless, unmotivated and kind of lost. She is a super high achiever who has accomplished SO much in her personal life, professional life and always gives generously to charities. However, she was lamenting that she felt as if she was not contributing enough. She kept trying to start new projects, but then not feeling motivated to carry them out. This is SO uncharacteristic of her, an extremely driven high achiever with a proven track record of success. She felt puzzled and very frustrated.

I recognized the signs right away, as I’ve been there myself not long ago. My client is going through another cycle of Metamorphosis, like so many of my clients, friends and colleagues have been through, or are going through right now. This wave of Metamorphosis, that’s been going on for the last 3 years or so, is extremely powerful. If you are not self-aware enough, or have the right guide to support you through your Metamorphosis, it can easily sweep you off your feet and make you feel completely overwhelmed, fearful and lost. 

Here is the butterfly story I shared with my client. I’m sharing it with you, because I think it will give you some food for thought and encouragement as it did for my client.

Hueina Su & Monarch Butterfly cropped

My very first encounter with Monarch Butterfly

 

Four years ago, I had an enchanted encounter with Monarch butterflies. I fell madly in love with Monarch and all other butterflies, and even raised a bunch of them at home and in my garden in the last few summers. Do you know that right before caterpillars turn into chrysalises, they would become VERY restless? I’ve raised many of them — 3 different kinds of butterflies — and they all do the same thing. They’d wander all over the butterfly cage, crawling up and down and all around it. Some of them acted so restless that l was afraid they’d hurt themselves! One Black Swallowtail caterpillar kept climbing all the way up to the ceiling of the cage, only to fall all the way to the bottom of the cage (that’s like falling several stories of height for them)!! I thought he was done for, but, he recovered, crawled all the way up there again, and to my horror, fell down AGAIN!

They all eventually settle down, find a spot and prepare to morph into chrysalises. For Monarch butterfly caterpillars, the telltale sign is the signature J position. The Monarch caterpillars would spin a silky thread and hang themselves upside down in a letter J shape. Sometimes they stay in that position for hours or a few days, before morphing into a chrysalis.

Monarch butterfly caterpillar and chrysalis

Monarch Butterfly caterpillar hanging in J position (right) and the chrysalis it turned into (left)

I often marvel at the courage and faith these caterpillars have. To hang in the J position requires total surrender to the Divine. Once they commit to the process, “glue” themselves (literally) in the J position, there is no turning back. While they are hanging in that position, they are utterly and completely vulnerable. Any predator can come and make an easy meal out of them (that’s why in the wild, they only have about 5% survival rate).

However, these caterpillars are so determined to find the right spot and fearlessly commit to their own Metamorphosis. There is absolutely no guarantee that they can make it as a butterfly, but, they do it anyway! They’ve taught me so much about courage, faith, commitment and what true surrender looks like. 

Why am I telling you all this? If you are also going through some kind of transition(s) — personal or professional or both — and you’ve been feeling very anxious, restless, unmotivated, stuck, lost, or creatively blocked, please take heart. You are going through a Metamorphosis like I did (remember the story I shared?), and you’re about to enter the Chrysalis Stage but not quite ready. There may be some lessons to complete — that belongs in the Caterpillar Stage (shedding old skins, healing old wounds & learning the lessons from the past). You are getting restless, just like the caterpillars being restless right before they get ready to morph into chrysalises. Don’t worry. It’s a natural part of the transformational process.

When I was going through this stage, I was VERY restless, anxious and lost. I had no direction and no desire to work on my business or projects, felt incredibly guilty for not “producing” or contributing enough, and felt horrible because I didn’t know how long it was going to last. But, whatever you resists, persists. When I finally stopped resisting, stopped trying to push myself or figure it out with my head, and instead learned to connect & surrender to the Divine, I was able to start getting some divine guidance and start feeling better.

The Chrysalis Stage is where the most radical changes happen. Once the caterpillars morph into chrysalises, it requires them to completely dissolve themselves and re-create themselves into butterflies. If that’s not considered radical transformation, I don’t know what is. And, it all happens WITHIN. On the outside, you can’t see much movement (actions) at all.

How long do they stay inside the dark chrysalis? It depends on each butterfly. Most take 10-20 days, but some MUCH longer. Right now, I have 5 Black Swallowtail butterfly chrysalises that have been “overwintering” (hibernating) in my garage since last October. Every year, the last generation of their kind goes into hibernation in the chrysalis form, and they will emerge as butterflies in the Spring.

You cannot rush transformation. It will all unfold in Divine timing.

HueinaSu_CSC_8383-Monarch-Butterfly-on-Butterfly-Bush

If you are feeling restless, anxious and lost right now, if you can resonate with what I’ve written, please be very patient and compassionate with yourself. We overachievers are so hard on ourselves, aren’t we? This is the time to be EXTRA gentle and loving toward yourself. This is also a time for DEEP REST and Intensive Self-Care. Staying well while you go through your Metamorphosis will definitely help with the process. What’s the most loving thing you can do for yourself? Do that.

Stop trying to figure it out with your head (that’s a form of resistance), and start tuning in to your heart and inner wisdom. Make time to connect with your True Self and the Divine every day, through deep breathing, meditation, yoga, journaling or spending time in nature. Be still enough so you can hear that small, still voice within. Learn to surrender to Divine Order — do your best to accept what is, find the blessings in disguise, and allow things to unfold in divine timing.


“Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings. Move within,
But don’t move the way fear makes you move.”
~ Rumi

Creating a vision is good, if you feel called to do so. Just make sure to hold the vision “lightly” so that you can allow the Divine plan to unfold, instead of forcing your own vision. Take actions when you feel inspired and guided to do so. Don’t move out of fear or just for the sake of wanting to do something.

As Buddha said, “Change is never painful. Only resistance to change is painful.” Stop resisting. Let go and hang in there (pun intended)! :) All will unfold in Divine timing. I promise.

I’m here for you if you’d like some support. Having a great coach, especially someone who’s been there herself, is immensely valuable, when you are going through a major transformation. Why would you want to suffer through the process alone, when you can have someone guide you and support you every step of the way? Contact me for a complimentary consultation to explore whether coaching with me is the right next step for you.

About Hueina Su
Hueina Su is an internationally recognized expert in helping heart-centered, successful but exhausted high-achieving professional women break The Good Girl Spell, and find the missing PEACE and BALANCE in their stressful lives. She is an international keynote speaker, certified executive and life coach, best-selling author of Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul: 7 Keys to Nurture Yourself While Caring for Others, and a featured expert in the award-winning transformational movie The Keeper of the Keys along with Jack Canfield, John Gray and Marci Shimoff.

For more information about Hueina’s speaking, coaching, book and other products, visit www.HueinaSu.com

Share This Post

%d bloggers like this: