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Self-care is imperative to achieving emotional and physical health. However, you and I both know that amid the hullabaloo of everyday life, self-care often takes a backseat to the laundry list of things that need to get done - the intention is there, but we fall short of execution. Sometimes we forgo self-care to the point we don’t even realize how badly our needs have been neglected until we find ourselves cursing obscenities at the chair on which we just stubbed our toe. At this point, it's time to take a breather.

Self-care is, essentially, any action that fosters the maintenance of personal health and well-being and it is different for everyone. For some, a massage or pedicure does the trick. For others, gardening, reading, or a nice evening stroll will do. I have a client who marches herself right down to the local shooting range, unloads a couple barrels and is back by dinner time – she’s reset, recharged, and ready to take on homework and bedtime rituals. It works for her and she's better for it. So is her family.

Self-care is not a hippie-dippie notion either, healthcare professional are unanimous in recommending one take time out of their day to tend to their emotional and physical needs. Even the airlines advocate self-care when, in the event of an emergency, they direct us to put our own oxygen masks on first before assisting others.

Thankfully the human mind-body was designed to alert us when it’s time to press pause and tend to our forsaken selves. The following are 6 signs that your mind-body is in need of some TLC:

1. If your fuse starts to burn short and you feel yourself becoming irritable, distractible, anxious, or spacey.

2. If you find yourself turning inward and compulsively ruminating about every little thing under the sun.

3. If you start to displace your frustration, anxiety, and anger onto others (or the chair).

4. If you become somewhat obsessive about your regular self-soothing activities, yet they never seem to do the trick.

5. If you begin to feel disconnected from others or a strong urge to check out and self-isolate.

6. If asking for help becomes difficult or you become resentful and angry with others for not anticipating your needs and coming to your aid.

Remember, Self-Care is an essential component to mindful, balanced living. Make yourself a priority, it’s the best way you can love the one’s you love, including yourself.

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