I have a friend and colleague who took almost a full year to build his dream cabin on his property right down the hill from his home. Everything was well thought out, planned for, chopped down, bought and designed in order to make it happen. He posted progress and setbacks on Facebook and recorded delightful signs of near completion until it was finally ready. He is a close friend so I have been fortunate to visit both him and the cabin from time to time. Each time there is some new addition that lends to both the convenience and the fulfillment of the dream.

It has been about six years now since it was first completed and I was up on a quiet morning sitting with him on the porch looking out at the quiet river and feeling pretty envious about the life he was leading. It was one of those moments when one sighs and says, “ah this is the life.” He sighed too and said, “I don’t get to be here much at all. I wish I could have days like this, I am just too busy working.”

How many of us can relate as we look at that bicycle that we wanted to ride more or that gift certificate for a massage that we have yet to take advantage of or that yoga class or Zumba class that we just never seem to get to or even that afternoon walk that never comes because of the onset of evening?

Conflict happens to us or touches us pretty much every day. It takes a lot of time and energy to take it all in and even more energy to consistently work to resolve it. With all my own talk of the need for us to actively listen more and ask clarifying questions and deliver I-statements and paraphrase and assert and practice all of the helpful techniques during conflict, there is one technique that seldom gets talked about and it makes all the difference. Self-Care.

How we are feeling and how we manage our emotions have a big influence on how we handle conflict. Many of us seem to have grasped that part of conflict resolution, but seldom venture to the next step, engaging in meaningful, regular self-care. In order to allow ourselves to be in a mental, physical, emotional and spiritual place from which we can make our best decisions and access all of the conflict resolution techniques and strategies that we have been taught, we have to actually make a continuous effort to spend time with ourselves.

My guess is that we all know what self-care is and even what works or could work for us. So, I won’t spend time there. Instead, I will ask a few questions that can help you explore why self-care is not a priority and how to make it one in your life.

  • What are the top three things that I am allowing to get in the way of taking care of myself?
  • How do I feel when I am taking care of myself and how is that different from how I feel lately?
  • Why have I decided that everything and everyone else in my life is a higher priority than my self-care? When did this thinking start?
  • What is one thing that I can do for 5 minutes every day to take care of myself?
  • Will I make and keep a promise to myself to read Lynne’s next blog which will help me make a self-care plan?

My colleague / friend is starting to look at how he can get more quiet days in his beloved cabin. He is thinking that it might quite frankly have to wait a few more years when his sons finish college. That’s what we all think isn’t it? It will have to wait. But let me ask you one more question, the same one I asked him.

What if you could start now?

I’m here to help….

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