EP — 16 Boundaries and Self-care

Protect amethyst from bright sunlight and tanning beds to avoid fading

EP—16 Self-Care

Appreciation moments:

  • Thank you to Liz Tolsma @LizTolsma for retweeting about my Christmas-themed book, The Debutante Queen. It’s just released on twitter as a single, first in the Montana Beginnings series, but it’s also due to release by Thanksgiving on Audible. Very exciting! Here’s the clickable cover on the left.
  • Thank you to Cat’s Books on Twitter for tweeting about my book, The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection releasing Jan. 1st 2016 from Barbour Publishing. Your review on your blog, is very appreciated! (My book in that collection is called Bridal Whispers and is a retelling of my grandparents’ romance. No kidding! They married because of town gossip! But without that gossip forcing them to marry, I wouldn’t be here today.)
  • Thank you to April McGowan @aprilkmcgowan for retweeting my article on @mtlmagazine. It’s about dealing with being overwhelmed. I can’t think of a better article to refer to as we head into today’s show!
  • Part 3 of our 4 part series on boundaries has to do with recognizing our need for self-care. As we start, let me tell you about a couple of misperceptions.
  • The amethyst is an interesting gem. Daylight can rob the amethyst of its natural color as can tanning beds. Quick changes from hot to cold is also risky.
  • Caring for ourselves is like that stone. If we don’t make sure to protect from overexposure in relationships, we can quickly fade. But when we ignore the need for alone time or respite or prayer, we become extremely fragile and can emotionally crack.
  • I’m sure you’ve heard the flight attendant say to first put on your own oxygen mask and then assist your child or someone else. You’ve probably heard that referenced in other talks. But let me help you to catch the vivid reality of why…
  • Becoming a flight attendant, I had to go through safety training. We watched a video of 2 military trainee pilots experience oxygen deprivation. Everyone else wore oxygen masks, but the 2 trainees removed theirs in the simulator. Within seconds the men lost the ability to concentrate. They couldn’t perform a simple clapping game or remember how. Everyone erupted into laughter as the grown men flailed around and showed signs of fatigue. Then they were asked to apply siren red lipstick using a mirror. Very carefully the men drew lines all around their mouths and up around their eyes. Mirrors were taken away. When they were hooked back up to oxygen, they discussed the experience. The men looked at each other and laughed. Then they were given mirrors to look at themselves. Stunned, the trainees were flabbergasted to see their own reflections. Contrary to our auto response, we are supposed to take care of ourselves first. Not out of selfishness. But so that we can avoid a disaster…which neither pilot could spell correctly without oxygen.
  • Does stress sometimes deprive you of “oxygen”?
  • Has that kind of constant stress become normal to you?
  • Do you live on adrenaline, caffeine, or feed on stress?
  • Would you want to see yourself in a video during a recent stressful situation?
  • Have you asked for help lately or are you afraid to be vulnerable?
  • Raising six kids, working full time, caring for my mentally ill mother, working at the church I attended, I needed to withdraw and recuperate. I stumbled on my coping mechanism, cocooning, by accident. The only place I could go and not interact with anyone (or be seen by anyone) was the movie theater. The movie was a comedy. I’d asked others and no one wanted to see it. I’d never attended a movie by myself. But I needed a break from the constant demands. I could sit alone in the dark for 2 hours in the air conditioning — and I might laugh. Why not?
  • Going to the movies by myself, in secret, became my cocoon for years until one day my son switched shifts and caught me. Every now and then, I still go.
  • Cocooning (private time) isn’t about being antisocial. It’s about pulling away from the crowds and the demands to give your emotions, body, and mind a break.
  • Often abused people are not allowed privacy. It’s about power and control for the abuser. That’s crossing boundaries. You have a right to alone time, privacy, closed doors when you close them, time to rest. If you’re not getting that, if your abuser won’t respect that you need privacy there’s a lot bigger issue at stake. Please visit your local YWCA or at least take a look online at the Power and Abuse Wheel. Your private time is your emotional oxygen. Without it, without the chance to simply be with God, you’re going to make disastrous decisions just like those pilot trainees — and you won’t even be aware of it.
  • Where can you cocoon? Try the movies, a café, a library, your house if it’s safe and comfortable, a walk in nature, read a book…anything that allows you to decompress.
  • There’s no right way to cocoon. A cocoon time is a way to wrap your soul in a safe place in order to refill energy and a sense of self. Add a prayer. Connect to peace while you disconnect from chaos. It doesn’t matter where. It just needs to happen.
  • Then reemerge into the world again, refreshed and ready to spread your wings.
  • Does knowing that other people need time to recharge help you to recognize that need is real? What would you do if you had 2 hours tomorrow to cocoon? A whole day? A weekend?
  • Take an honest look at your schedule. Jot in cocooning. No excuses, even Jesus needed it.

Luke 5: 16, CEV “But Jesus would often go to some place where he could be alone and pray.”

Are we really any better? Let’s take the example Jesus set and get alone to take care of ourselves.

Did you miss an episode? Here’s the first 2 parts of Boundaries:

Boundaries Episode 14: Shining Inside

Boundaries Episode 15: Proactive versus Reactive

Want to start at the very beginning? Welcome to Grace Under Pressure Radio

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