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Self-Care: A simple enough word, with a straightforward definition: care of self.
That is, until we try to put it in practice. I know in years past, alright– who am I kidding- even months past, self-care would be the first thing I would sacrifice when life became too crazy.
Sleep? That's alright. I'll work 'til late in the night to meet these deadlines. Exercise? Who has time when I only have 6 kid-free hours during the day to get all of this done? Diet? Let me just grab something small and hustle constantly. Time with friends? Fun? Just being present to my awesome kids? Who has time for that?
And you know what? It never turned out well. Because I was depleting myself of the things that made me feel energized, centered, and happy and ready to take on all of the craziness I said yes to in the first place.
Life becomes busy from time to time, it’s true. But if we’re always willing to discard our investment in ourselves – in the things that make us feel our best--we’re not living our own lives at all.
Hence, the need for self-care non-negotiables.
Non-negotiables are simply the things you don’t negotiate on when you’re deciding how much to accept in your life and how to spend your day. You keep the self-care, no matter what. Non-negotiable. What your non-negotiables look like when life is full and busy compared to when it’s full of time and space may be vastly different. But the key is they always meet your minimum threshold.
The key to a good non-negotiable is knowing yourself and what you need. For me, non-negotiables usually involve sleep, meditation, movement, connection and fun. With those things in my life in adequate amounts and consistency, I am the Best Version of Myself.
What about you? What self-care non-negotiables do you need to create to make space for your best self to shine?
Not sure where to start? Here are ten ideas for self-care done right. Pick a few that speak to you or give your own ideas a try. The key isn’t coming up with a whole new list of things to do…but rather a way to tap into what you deserve and desire for yourself. Start with one and add more as your self-care muscle builds!
1. Move daily. This may mean a heavy lifting session, yoga, a walk or run, stretches, or perhaps something as simple as a game of tag with your children (warning: that game isn’t child’s play, prepare for a serious heart rate accelerator!). The best part of deciding you will move daily, and not if you will move, is that you can ask yourself a better question: How would I like to move today and what does my body need?
2. Sleep > 6 hours per day. For years I tried to tell myself I could get by on less sleep. It’s simply not true. These days this is my bottom limit – and most days I need way more. You may need more or less. Dawn’s non-negotiable is closer to 8 hours. She’s also protected that amount over the past year by not settling for less. Trust us, this can be done, folks!
3. Pre-planning at least 1 nourishing meal per day. This means you spend time thinking about and determining how you will feed your body at least once per day. Maybe the other meals are more conveniently oriented – maybe they’re planned as well….but the goal is to make sure you’re not just haphazardly eating throughout the day without some involvement or thought. Because let’s face it – the quality difference between those two scenarios is night and day.
4. One body treatment per month. Mani, pedi, massage, reiki, facial, blowout, you name it. Indulge in something that feels like you are treating yourself and taking care of yourself in a special way - because you deserve it!
5. Spontaneous fun at least once per week. I love the idea of spur of the moment fun that happens when you keep your attitude light and your options open. Everyone’s definition of fun is different – so dial in to what lights you up and see what you can create!
6. Spending Time in Nature Daily. Maybe it’s eating lunch outside or going for a walk or simply spending 5 minutes barefoot with your feet in the grass, feeling the solid ground underneath you. Being outside and surrounded by living things is a great way to remember you have that gift right now, too.
7. Meditate Daily. Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting cross legged on a cushion for minutes on end. My non-negotiable is that I take some time, any time to be mindful of my breath and to quiet my mind. I can do that in the shower, at a stop light or if time allows for a longer period in silence.
8. Tap Into Creativity Daily. It feels good to create something that never existed before. But we can also appreciate other creative things around us. We can write, sing, dance, arrange, discover in whatever way speaks best to us.
9. Conscious Connection. It’s easy to get caught up in life, to the point we are not even aware of how we are spending the moments in our life. Conscious connection means we make the decision to connect to someone else within our day in a conscious way: present, aware and with 100% care and attention.
10. Kindness to Others. When we’re good to others, it feels good. It takes the burden, the experience off of us and allows us to see no matter how busy life is, or how much we have to do, taking care of someone else – a loved one, a stranger, a friend, is always possible. Just as taking care of ourselves, is a possible act of kindness as well.
Where can you make room for self-care? In what ways and magnitude would make a difference in your life?
It’s time to stop negotiating.
Dr. Kara Mohr, PhD is an internationally known educator in the area of weight management, mindset and exercise and is co-owner of Mohr Results, Inc.
Every Mother's Day I always have a tough time finding that perfect gift for my Mom. Normally, when asking friends and other family members, they usually state the same tired cliche of "it doesn't matter, it's the thought that counts." Though letting your mother know how you feel is important through words and gestures, it is always nice to get her something she wasn't totally expecting.
Normally, I would buy flowers, a card, and chocolate. Instead, here comes my plug, I'm going to sign her up for a Master It Class of her choosing. The reason why? I want to get her a gift where we can actually spend time together as mother and daughter. How often is it that we buy our loved ones tangible gifts and feel that it is enough? The older I get the more I realize, spending time with friends, family, and people I care about are much more important than a card.
Take your mother out this Mother's Day and do something that is unique, fun, and out of the norm. Sign up to take a class and watch how much she enjoys learning about a cool topic but more importantly, spending time with her son, daughter, or husband.
Click here: www.instagram.com/amoresalute/ to check out my page to learn more about me and what I'm passionate about!
Danielle Fanelli is a designer at an architecture firm along with a health & wellness blogger, fitness addict, and a lover or trying new things.
Master It brings fun and activities to your life! Don't know what to do on weekends? Tired of doing the same stuff? Simply want to change up your routine? Master It is the perfect forum!
Master It brings people together to have fun, socialize, and learn about new and interesting topics. Whether you are looking for something new to do, meet new people, or learn a new skill, take a Master It class!
Master It classes range from pure entertainment to classes that can actually save lives. With a wide array of different topics, you will never be bored again!
New topics, fun events, and unique classes are constantly being posted on our site. Classes include “Restorative Yoga, First Aid and CPR, Salads in a Jar, Healthy Grocery Shopping, Responsible Pet Ownership, How to Buy a Car, and much more!
We look forward to meeting all of you (future Master It particpants) and introducing you to a fun, new way of socializing and learning.
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I have taught a Fundamentals of Financial and Tax Planning course at Eastern Illinois University for the past six years. One topic that I cover in the course is regulation of brokers and investment advisers. My students stare at me in disbelief when I explain that investment advisers are required to act as fiduciaries for their clients–that is, work in the best interests of their clients–while brokers are salespeople who must merely recommend investment products that are suitable for their clients.
Inevitably, a student in the class will ask, “If this is true, why would anyone hire a broker?”
My answer: People hire brokers because they cannot differentiate them from investment advisers.
Brokers (and others selling financial products) use many of the same titles used by investment advisers, such as “financial adviser,” “wealth manager” or “financial planner.” None of those titles are regulated and none of them require adherence to the fiduciary standard.
But based on my research, conducted with Leisa Flynn and G. Wayne Kelly of the University of Southern Mississippi, it is clear that many customers are in the dark when it comes to titles and responsibilities. Our research shows that 55% of our survey participants incorrectly believed that a financial adviser is held to a fiduciary standard; 29% had the same mistaken belief about investment sales representatives.
These results are especially timely given the current debate regarding the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule that would require brokers to act as a fiduciary for their clients. Last week, the Labor Department proposed delaying the April 10 implementation of the rule by 60 days to give the department time to re-evaluate it. Last month, President Trump ordered a review of the rule’s economic impact on business and investors.
All of this leads me to believe that there is a simpler solution than requiring brokers to act as fiduciaries, albeit one that would likely not fall within the authority of the Labor Department. This solution would be to regulate the job titles that brokers and investment advisers may use so that consumers know whom they are hiring to manage their money. Prohibit brokers from using any title other than investment sales representative. If someone is duly licensed as a broker and an investment adviser, require them to list both titles in their marketing material, with the term “investment sales representative” listed first.
That way, people would immediately know they were hiring somebody who is not bound by the fiduciary rule. With such a clear and simple rule about titles, you would no longer have large chunks of investors believing that “financial advisers” or “wealth managers” are bound by the fiduciary rule.
Opponents of the fiduciary rule have argued that such a rule is unworkable, expensive and would eliminate access to advice for investors with small investment portfolios. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association has estimated that it would initially cost brokerage firms $4.7 billion to comply with this rule, with ongoing costs of $1.1 billion.
While I cannot estimate what the cost would be for brokerage firms to change the job titles of their brokers, the ongoing costs would be zero, as firms would simply need to list newly hired brokers as investment sales representatives rather than financial advisers in their marketing material. Furthermore, regulating job titles used by brokers would not prevent anyone from accessing advice.
While I agree with the spirit of the fiduciary rule, I do not think the government should regulate a firm’s business model. Instead, I think the government should regulate transparency and let consumers make an informed decision regarding who should manage their money.
Patrick Lach (@lachfinancial) is an associate professor of finance at Eastern Illinois University and founder of Lach Financial in Louisville, Ky.
Various authors contribute to the Master It blog to share ideas and information on interesting topics that others can learn from.