we people with strong work ethics need help.
We don’t need help to reach our goals; we handle that nicely. We need
help to be reminded that we can get overworked and under-comforted without
realizing its aging effects. Luckily, when this happens, one’s face
clearly yells SOS (Signs of Stress):
• Forehead frown wrinkles that look like Venetian blinds
due to one’s
brain constantly squeezing out intense thoughts
• Lip shrinkage from increased whining and criticizing
• An eerie sound like cement cracking when one smiles due to
underused facial muscles and a reduced sense of humor
• Bags under the eyes over-packed with sleep-interrupting anxiety
• Hair that either turns silver or turns up on your pillow as
Toxic comforts include:
• Too much alcohol (can be tracked either by slurring or the
joining of more than two wine clubs)
• Too much food or too much junk food (if you don’t know
the difference, get tested for diabetes immediately)
• Too much time numbing out in front of a TV or computer screen (also detected
by a “sink hole” in your chair or couch)
• Too little socializing (earmarked by your friends thinking you’ve moved
when you haven’t)
• Too little vacationing (can be defined as turning cell phone
• Too little exercising/activity (placing you on the “lose it” end
of the equation “use it or lose it”)
Take note: If you have two or more of all the above signs, you are in serious
danger of rapid aging – and there is nothing mature about it. Maturity
is the act of getting wiser, not older, so if you want to be spared the fate
of turning into that sour-faced, sarcastic, joyless Aunt Alice or Uncle William
you always hid from as a kid at the family gatherings, read on.
Understand that you WILL comfort yourself no matter what. You end up becoming
vulnerable to overdoing it when you do it mindlessly.
Eventually, there will be a repercussion, whether it’s new frown lines
from taking responsibility for the world, or carpal tunnel of your eyelids
from using your precious sleep time for three straight hours of Spider Solitaire,
or your family and friends deciding not to invite you when they get together
for your birthday because you’re never available anyway.
When you comfort yourself consciously, you embrace your mere humanness, let
go of the illusion that there’s a giant “S” on your chest,
and deal more proactively with the increasing effects of Kryptonite (clinically
The result of choosing your comforts instead of letting them choose you will
be – TA DA! – more balance, more joy, more creativity and more
heart to give to people you love or help. In other words, you will melt your
Fortress of Solitude into a racy ice sculpture and invite everyone over for
ANTI-AGING PERSCRIPTION: HEALTHY SELF-COMFORTING
I’m giving you permission to comfort yourself mindfully, consciously,
thoughtfully, and even on purpose.
There are three completely different areas of your living being that require
comfort: mind, body and spirit. Comforting only one or two of these areas
will still leave you as unbalanced as a house on a pogo stick. Consider what
be a comfort to you in each of these “rooms.”
• Create Positive Anticipation. Get out your calendar and plan some places
to go and people to see. Think once a day, week, month and year. Book it!
• Cultivate a Hobby. Golf? Crocheting? Book club? Something that expands your
abilities/knowledge while engaging your passion. It’s called “fun.”
• Commit to Self-Care. This has three undisputable elements: nutritional
food, enough sleep, and physical activity. These are not negotiable.
• Renew Your Connection with the Earth. Find your local parks, hiking trails,
botanical gardens – anyplace with beauty and no cement underfoot.
• Combine Self-Compassion with Action. Make a Guilt List of everything
that is haunting you, from the mundane to the serious. Address something on it
whether it is a note of apology, an overdue phone call or a task. Now forgive
• Count Your Blessings. Refocus your attitude on gratitude by creating
a Blessing Box or Board and writing down your blessings weekly. If it is a Box,
on Thanksgiving to remind yourself exactly how blessed you are.
The result: oodles of comfort, no repercussions – you get wiser instead
of just older looking!
speaker and clarity
coach, is co-author with Michael Burgos of The
Book of Comforts: Simple, Powerful Ways to Comfort Your Spirit,
Body & Soul.
A professional writer and journalist for 30 years,
she now teaches people how to live to their fullest potential by helping
them develop healthy strategies
for dealing with stress while creating more joy. She is establishing herself
as one of the country’s leading authorities on self-care and comfort.
She can be contacted at (805) 479-7778, or by email at www.bookofcomforts.com
you can also register
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