What is Extreme Self-Care?
You know the distinction between self-care and extreme self-care by the lengths of your efforts. Taking a bubble bath may reflect self-care, but going away for a weekend retreat and working with a coach or psychologist can be about extreme self-care.
Self-care is not the same thing as getting our needs met. Extreme self-care is commonly recognized and understood as practicing “mindfulness meditation” and “emotional intelligence,” knowing how to recognize and react healthfully to our and others’ emotions.
Mindfulness, is a psychological state of focused awareness on our own and others’ emotions, and maintaining an organized and integrated mind. Getting the right amount of sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly is essential. Still, we must benefit from our actions and be part of encouraging and supportive relationships.
Necessity of Self-care
I am a sort of writer. Every day, I sit in my favorite comfy chair by a sunny window and write about my thoughts, feelings, ideas, experiences, and personal and professional experiences as a Psychologist. My writing reflects a journey—a transformative journey at that. And writing is the tool that I wield, hoping it will help me evolve through this journey to experience my own personal masterpiece. Writing is also therapeutic, and I believe it is more potent than any therapy you’ll find. But hang on. Don’t discount the power of relationships.
Though I might hate to admit it, there was a time I felt isolated and alone, like Charlie Brown; I had a dark cloud follow me around. Worse yet, I escaped incarceration by a narrow margin for holding a recreational drug that is now legal. Although commonplace, this was considered by many to be a mental health issue—a behavioral problem. And I’m not even sure how it happened.
As a young teen, my life felt chaotic and unaligned; one action provided me with a briefly positive outcome, only to morph and expand into more significant, more troubling issues. As a young man, I decided to leave the so-called support of my family and friends to move into the brighter lights of a larger city and escape the looming tragedy that seemed to be hunting me down. It seemed to be the obvious and correct decision at the time. But later, it turned out to be problematic anyway. My situation might have made me fearful, but by taking a narrow view and only considering myself, I marginalized myself from others by my lack of consideration for their feelings.
Not All Change is Good
My move improved my life in many ways, yet my lack of empathy for others due to my attitude of entitlement had a negative ripple effect that was impossible for me to anticipate.
Regardless of where we live, we routinely pull away from our families at a certain age. We need to assert a higher degree of freedom and autonomy in our lives, but “don’t do it alone,” a financially successful yet emotionally parched client once warned me.
At that time, I had more concern for myself than empathy for others. My primary concern was to escape from what felt like the invisible clutches of an egocentric, controlling, yet deceptively enigmatic force – my dad. Perhaps my desire is understandable, but in retrospect, I could have made the transition to my new home more palatable for everyone. My transformation might have been more successful with the reflective assistance of extreme self-care.
To reiterate, done differently, demonstrating more concern for family and friends may have made things easier for me, but I didn’t realize it at the time. I couldn’t see beyond the smoke and mirrors of my life. The more I examine my past, the greater the clarity and confusion. They come together, you know, as a pair, not only one at a time.
Extreme self-care encompasses self-care and is also about how well we treat others; it includes preparation and reflection. It includes caring for those closest to us. When they are hurt, we will feel it too. But significant life changes often leave someone fallen and hurt in their wake. It’s unavoidable. I urge you to develop a broader sense of who you see yourself as – your “identity.” Problems are not a reflection on you; they, too, are unavoidable, but how we handle ourselves and our problems reflects us and our story.
Self-care, of course, is critical to anyone’s success. Our goal may be to feel happier and more confident and reduce unwanted feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression. Even if our mission is more aspirational, don’t neglect yourself or those around you. Practicing extreme self-care will increase the probability of accomplishing your desires and meeting your needs.
Meditation is an essential component of my self-care routine. It allows me greater control of my thoughts and mind. Add professional consultations to your life; we now have “extreme self-care.” Consultations will likely include emotional exploration, supportive strategy sessions, and psychological assessments. They will illuminate your strengths and unveil opportunities. They will also provide us with fresh new potential for creating an enhanced life vision, which will undoubtedly include others.
First, self-care does not imply dropping all your responsibilities and focusing on yourself exclusively. It doesn’t mean you have to practice an unusually high number of “other-focused” activities, without balance or consideration for yourself. Self-care does not necessarily refer to ensuring that you are working hard. It does not naturally mean you hang out with your friends several times a week.
Spending some time reflecting or meditating upon the number of responsibilities you’ve taken is helpful. Also, reflect on the percentage of your week spent on fun and meaningful activities. Then focus on how much support you experience from family and friends, plus how much support you provide to them. These are all essential.
Also essential is cultivating a new degree of depth to your thinking. Concern yourself with your goals. Have an “ideal vision” for your future. Aim to achieve “what’s important to you” – such as a peaceful existence, love, and harmony – and not merely money, material wealth, gluttony, or power as a substitution. As long as you’re reflecting, consider “your purpose” and “your passions.” Meditation can assist you with these.
Dialogue with a Professional
Balancing your various interests is valuable, of course. Managing your thoughts, beliefs, expectations, and a general understanding of your roles, goals and objectives is even more crucial. Consider the emotional states that exerting effort toward each of these generates. This is definitely where working with a senior Psychologist will prove invaluable.
A Dynamic Process & Self-care Practices
Consider more than just your most immediate goal. Self-care is a dynamic process, more complicated than just having a bubble bath, letting yourself go fishing on Saturday, or even pulling an all-nighter. The choices that we have and the decisions we make require guidance. We need a rudder or a vision that we allow to direct our decision-making process.
You Deserve to Have a Vision
Have a plan or focus on a bigger picture that can be assembled over time. Little by little, we bring into life an ideal situation by utilizing our imagination and efforts. Practice emotional intelligence skills, such as empathy for ourselves and others.
Here’s a valuable exercise. Recall an exceptional moment in time you’ve experienced. Alternatively, imagine one. With those same remarkable feelings awakened, apply them to your current goals and projects.
Often one of the most significant hurdles we need to learn to overcome lives within our minds. Self-confidence is vital to all of us. Perhaps we have not yet realized our strength and power. Do you see yourself as a responsible contributor to your interpersonal environment? Or do you see yourself as a tourist? One perspective is empowering. The other leads you down the road to victimhood.
Selfcare Routine Ingredients
Think of your mind as similar to a cake you want to bake. It is reasonable to assume that you have endured and suffered enough over the years. You have paid for any mistakes you’ve made early on in life. You have learned from your experiences. Don’t wait for energy and good feelings to land in your lap; prepare yourself and allow life to come to you.
Next, design your personal strategy for your life, for this cake you want to bake. It should be founded on the knowledge of both your strengths and limitations. What have your experiences led you to believe about the meaning of your life? Add what you are good at and allows you to feel good. Eliminate the rest. Build-in action plans to address your specific tastes and the tastes of those you want to share life with. This may just be what it means to be “on point” emotionally.
Balancing the Ingredients of Life
None of us are perfect. We all struggle with balancing the ingredients of life, and our unique desires mean our balance with be different from other peoples’ balance. Encountering our own inner argumentative dialogue that says “this is who we are, so don’t try and change me” might be missing the point. Life is always changing and we’re continuously evolving, so take charge of your life, lead with your strengths, and ensure you’re contributing the world around you.
Life is Turning Around for Us
We need to make our thoughts, beliefs, and expectations work for us, not against us. Use meditation to see yourself in a new way. Consult your counselor. Start to feel robust and capable of extreme self-care. Then life can begin to turn in your favor.
Start to see your personal evolution. Notice how your career has evolved. Recognize that you are respected. Make a note of your capabilities. Begin a victory list and review it daily. Identify meaningful things that you are involved in. Make a list of your family, social circle, clubs, or organizations. Cultivate the missing link to your happiness and your accomplishments. These activities also represent the process of extreme self-care.
Taking Care of Yourself? Where to Begin?
I’ve been considering for many years now my “inner leader,” “inner child,” and even my “inner therapist.” Using our minds to review our thoughts – not just think them – may be a somewhat new concept for a few. In psychology we refer to this process as “meta-cognition” – thinking about thinking. However, how we feel and the ideas that run through our minds are not solely neutral. They are not just a course of nature or a reflection of our biology. Realize that it’s our inner minds that hold power for us, not our neurons.
Through extreme self-care, we come to know ourselves. We learn to realize the power we have to cultivate how we think, and ultimately the quality of life we lead. Examine your beliefs, expectations, the actions you take, and their impact on others. Ultimately, how you feel is in your control. Your emotional zone can give rise to your best.
Learning about self-care and extreme self-care has been an essential aspect of my personal journey in life. It ultimately addresses and has created a solution for my feeling isolated and alone. From time to time, I still forget myself and it causes me pain and discomfort again. At other times, I ignore those most important to me, which causes me pain and discomfort. Then I remember to practice extreme self-care again.
The Right Decision
Extreme self-care is not merely a set of skills. They’re not to be memorized and forgotten but are an inherently valuable part of personal discipline. For me, it has been an issue of creating a new, fresh lifestyle. One that assists me to balance my inner drives with my emotional needs, and with the needs and emotions of those I love. The skills of self-care reflect my daily discipline of meditation, journaling, and exercise.
Consider starting today and making extreme self-care work for you, too. The results can last forever. Perfect the process of extreme self-care. Engage with your Psychologist and introduce your desires and your needs to the power of your personal strengths.
An enhanced life vision evolves from a strong and cohesive identity. We generate a strong life through the process of extreme self-care. It develops from our ability to empathize with others, from creativity, having a sense of humor and our imagination’s efforts at discovering or coming to realize our purpose. Our super-state, as I define it, is a sweet spot.
What we value intersects with our passions, beliefs, and what’s best for all of us – the greater good. But this “super-state” must involve texturing our mind. It must bolster our efforts to develop what’s significant and meaningful to us and cultivate the Good Life. Exercise, writing, and meditation continue to be a foundational part of my process. But nothing can substitute for high quality, empathically understanding relationships.