Living Self-Care Challenge Contest Winners!

We appreciate your patience this week as we have worked to wrap up last week’s Living Self-Care Challenge Contest. As you know, we practiced what we preached and took some time for self-care this week. Last week was a blast and we thoroughly enjoyed every comment, tweet, and new fan at our Facebook Page.

Now, on to the important stuff! The winners!

Last week’s Living Self-Care Challenge was accompanied by a contest featuring prizes donated by our Challenge Champions. In order to win, you had to subscribe to our blog by 11:59pm on May 6, 2011. This past week we drew winners and are thrilled to share them with you!

Our winners are:

tetlak75(@)yahoo.com – $50 amazon gift certificate from Pregnancy.org

haaron10(@)yahoo.com – Gift Certificate to Massage Envy via Baby Kids Expo

lwaugh(@)vpvp.com – $25 Shutterfly Gift Certificate via Working Moms Against Guilt

shauna_mondello(@)yahoo.com – Book and 1 hour of coaching from Darline Turner-Lee of Mamas on Bedrest

thistleandlavender(@)yahoo.com – Happy Family clothing & PSI Educational DVD via Postpartum Support International

kiciaw(@)sunflower.com – Spa eye pillow & Neck Pillow via Postpartum Progress

marybeth.waite(@)gmail.com – Jewelry set via Mother to Mother Support

trejojuil(@)aol.com – Great Mom Book via Minutes to Moments

jessica.pupillo(@)gmail.com – Deluxe Prize Basket from Real Mom Experts

Congratulations to all our winners! You’ll be contacted via email with additional details regarding how to claim your prizes.

Thank you again to all the wonderful Challenge Champions including St.Louis Kid’s Magazine for their support and generous donation of wonderful prizes. We could not have had such a successful week without your participation!

Woo-hoo Contest Winners Announced Today

We’ve chosen the winners.  We’ve awarded the prizes.  Now, we just need to post it.  Look for our announcement today at 5pm CT (central time) to see if you’ve won.  Good luck to all.

In the meantime, please register for our new Facebook fan page.   Our livingselfcare FB group page will be archived within the next few months and we don’t want to lose touch with you.  Also, please send ideas about aspects of self-care you’d like to see addressed.  You can also check out “7 Sanity Tips for Moms” by Dr.Sanford at BabyCenter’s Momformation blog center.  Let us know what you think.

Our Mother’s Day Gift To You

We don’t usually post on Saturday but I wanted to share this very special video with all of you for Mother’s Day.  It was made for our Missouri phone support program, Mother to Mother  by students from Ladue High School in St.Louis  and words can’t describe how touching it is.  So, get the kleenex out and for all you do, this is for you.

Click on “What Is A Mother” to see this amazing video.  A true gift to moms.

Wrapping Up Our Self-Care Contest/Challenge: Last Day to Enter and Win

Living Self-Care: Body-Mind-Heart&Soul

 To make self-care a lasting habit, we must redefine our priorities shifting our attention from what’s urgent to what’s truly important. 

In Beyond the Eighth Habit, Steven Covey discusses four paths which correspond to the four aspects of health essential to self-care: body-to live; mind-to learn; heart-to love; and soul-to leave a legacy.  If we devote time and attention to these,  we will create optimal health, happiness, and life satisfaction, enhancing the lives of everyone around us. 

Summary Suggestions:

1.      Make your health and well-being a priority

2.      Nourish your body with food, sleep, activity and rest.

3.      Manage stress wisely.

4.      Be a positive thinker.

5.      Don’t make assumptions.

6.      Accept yourself and others wholly.

7.      Trust your inner guidance.

8.      Nourish relationships with family and friends.

9.      Respect yourself and others.

10.  Do what makes your heart sing.

11.  Practice compassion, kindness and forgiveness.

12.  Connect with spirit through gratitude, service, and intention.

While we can’t control everything, we can create a life filled with health, happiness and purpose if we align our actions and thoughts with living self-care body, mind, heart and soul.  Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Make it count!

Today is the final day of the Mother’s Day Self-Care Contest/Challenge.  If you haven’t subscribed to our blog yet, register by 11:59 CT tonight t win our fabulous prizes.  Thanks for joining us.  Hope you’ll stay with us and keep Living Self-Care.

Feed Your Soul; Fuel Your Life

Living Self-Care: Our Souls

Living self-care wouldn’t be complete without discussing how to nourish our souls.  Whether your higher power is God, the universe or nature, having a soul connection is essential to health and well-being.

Soul Care for health and vitality:

  1. Express Gratitude: “Each morning we are born again; it is what we do today that matters most.”  Each day is a gift.  Express thanks for all your blessings-health, family, friends; food, clothes, a comfortable home.  Stay connected with life’s abundance.
  2. Service to Others:  Remember that a smile, kind word or friendly response can brighten someone’s day.   Lend a helping hand or listen to those in need.  Volunteer for causes you believe in.  Take part in making the world a better place for all.
  3. Forgiveness:  Accept that while we may be created in the image of God/divinity, we are still imperfect and make mistakes.  If someone has wronged you, address the situation if possible, and then let it go.  Holding grudges only poisons your spirit with toxic feelings.
  4. Connect with Nature:  Enjoy the beauty and splendor nature offers.  Find places outdoors which speak to your soul and savor how they pleasure and enliven your senses.  Soak up the joy of being present.
  5. Consciousness: Be mindful of your thoughts and actions.  Consciousness unfolds one person at a time.  As Ghandi said, “Become the change you want to see in the world.”  Practice kindness, compassion and respect.  Shape our shared reality with the intentions of peace, healing and love

Have You Hugged Yourself Today?

Living Self-Care: Our Hearts

Living a heart-healthy life means taking good care of our emotional health and relationships.  In short, it is loving ourselves and others unconditionally.

Heart-Healthy Habits:

1.      Prioritize Emotional Health: This involves making time for self-care but more important believing we deserve self-love.  It means saying “yes” to what makes our heart sing and “no” when it’s too much. 

2.      Trust Inner Guidance: This is trusting what our “gut” is telling us.  While our inner voice isn’t 100% accurate, it’s often signaling questions or issues we need to consider.  Don’t drown it out with others’ need but listen to what’s coming up.

3.      Self-Acceptance:  One of the hardest habits is learning to love ourselves wholly with our strengths and limitations.  As Melissa Etheridge sings, “There’s no love from someone else if I can’t love myself.”  Practice unconditional self-love for optimal emotional and relationship health.

4.       Communicate Assertively:  Express both positive and negative feelings openly and directly.  Don’t  attack the other person or passively withdraw.  Address problems as they occur.  Be respectful and expect the same.  If the situation deteriorates, wait until later.

5.       Prioritize Relationships:  Nurture relationships with time, energy and attention.   How often do you stop when you’re busy doing what needs to get done to listen to your child or spouse?  Nothing is more important.  Relationships are flowers in the garden of life.  If you nourish them, they’ll bring much delight.  Neglected, they’ll whither.

Win this prize

Tuesday’s Tip: End Stinking Thinking

Living Self-Care: Our Minds

Equally important to nourishing our bodies, is thinking  that promotes health and well-being.  As it says in the Bible, “As a man thinketh, so doth he become.”

 Healthy Thinking strategies include:

  1.  Monitor Self-Talk: Be aware of your internal dialogue.  Research shows that the more negative your thinking about yourself and your life, the worse you’ll feel.  Because your mind and body is connected, chronic negative thinking often leads to emotional and physical health problems.
  2. Don’t Take Things Personally: This suggestion comes from Don Miguel Ruiz’es The Four Agreements and is frequently the root of feeling bad.  Realize that most of the time other people’s sour moods and unkind actions are not because of you but because of what they’re going through.  You are not to blame so don’t dwell on it.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions: This is also from The Four Agreements.  How many times have you felt hurt or angry imagining what you thought someone said or intended and it’s not what they meant?   Stop assuming and ask for clarification.
  4. Release Self-Criticism: Women are frequently harder on themselves than anyone else.  Be-friend yourself instead.  Notice your successes and strengths.  If you make a mistake, forgive yourself like you would a friend.
  5. Stop Worrying: In the words of the Dali Lama, “No good comes from worrying.  If there’s something you can do about a situation, do it.  If there’s nothing you can do about, worrying will only make you feel bad.”

It’s Monday. Let the Challenge Begin!

Living Self-Care: Our Bodies

The first step in practicing self-care is making our health and well-being a priority.  To start, make certain that your body is well-nourished and well-rested to supply you with energy needed for daily living. 

Body Basics for physical health and vitality:

  1. Nutrition.  Eat at regular intervals to keep your body fueled.  Substitute more frequent healthy snacks if there isn’t time for a full meal.   Consume food mindfully for optimal nourishment without distractions like TV, cell-phones, etc.  Eat healthy 75% of the time.
  2. Sleep.  Research shows that adults need 8-9 hours of sleep a night to stay sharp mentally and maintain strong immunity.  It is equally important to make time before bed to quiet your mind rather than working until your head hits the pillow.  Lack of restful sleep intensifies many physical and emotional health conditions.
  3. Physical Activity.  Recent studies indicate there are many successful ways to achieve this.  Depending on preference, you can exercise 15-20 minutes daily or for an hour 3-4 times a week.  A combination of cardio, strength, and flexibility is best but any movement is better than none.
  4. Rest.  Take breaks.  Periods of activity/energy expenditure require periods of recuperation.  Our bodies aren’t designed to run full-tilt 24/7.
  5. Stress. Be aware of physical signs of stress: muscle tension, headaches, and GI symptoms.  If these occur, do something restorative-nap, workout, read, jounal, or whatever soothes you.  Prevent stress from compromising and ultimately ruining your health before symptoms get worse.      

    Visit our contest and challenge champion pages.

Mother’s Day Contest/Challenge Starts May 2

It’s Friday.  Only 3 days until the Mother’s Day Self-Care Contest/Challenge begins but we couldn’t wait to get the party started.  So today, we have more exciting news.

First, about the book Life Will Never Be the Same: The Real Mom’s Postpartum Survival Guide which inspired the contest.  Starting today, we will donate $1 of each book sold now through May 6 to Postpartum Support International (PSI) to support their work with new moms and families.  The book can be ordered/previewed at realmomexperts.com and is filled with advice on how to survive and thrive in new motherhood and beyond.

Second, we’re welcoming two new challenge champions: Mother to Mother Telephone Support of St.Louis and My Postpartum Voice.  Both  organizations offer peer support to pregnant and post-birth moms who are struggling and need someone to listen.  My Postpartum Voice hosts #PPDChat Mondays at1pm and  8:30pm ET and will be discussing self-care  Monday, May 2.

Next, take a “sneak peak” at our blog with updated features which include a new Contest Page where we’ll reveal our fabulous prizes, additional resources for our Beyond Self-Care section, Mother’s Day Challenge Champions page with links to their services, and improved navigation.  Send us your comments and suggestions.  Meeting your needs while providing meaningful info and inspiration is our #1 goal.

Finally, we thought it would be fun to have a theme song for the contest so listen now by clicking on this link for “The Princess Who Saved Herself.”   Also, follow us on Twitter and Facebook this weekend for more contest/challenge announcements.  Here’s to LIVING Self-Care!

Read All About Self-Care Contest/Challenge

Win this prize!

Only 5 days until the Mother’s Day Self-Care Contest/Challenge  May 2-6.  Whether you’ve been following us for months or just beginning, we’d like to congratulate you on making self-care a priority in your life.  In our eyes, you’re already a winner but since it’s fun to be rewarded for a job well done,  we’ve added prizes to our self-care challenge.

Now, to introduce you to our fabulous featured challenge champions who’ll be providing inspiration and incentives (prizes) to cheer you along.  They are: pregnancy.orgBabyKid Expo;Working Moms Against Guilt (WMAG); Postpartum Support International (PSI); Postpartum Progress; St.Louis Kid’s Magazine; MamasOnBedrest; Minutes to Moments and us.  Prizes include a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com, a free massage at Massage Envy, a $25 gift certificate to  Shutterfly.com, and a deluxe gift basket filled with self-care goodies and a copy of Life Will Never Be the Same: The Real Mom’s Postpartum Survival Guide.

You don’t have to be a mom to enter, but you’ll need to subscribe to livingselfcare.com by 11:59 CT Friday May 6 to win our prizes.  This Friday April 29, we’ll reveal our blog’s new look with expanded features and resources .  Wednesday evening May 4 at 9pm ET at #MEChat we’ll host the self-care contest/challenge twitter party with more prizes and fun.

This Saturday April 30th, if you live in the Lou (St.Louis), Dr. Diane Sanford will be offering “speed therapy” at the BabyKid Expo at the St.Charles Convention Center.  Visit her in The Pamper Me Mom’s Zone for advice and self-care.  Babysitting will be provided.  See you there.