Showing Self Care was the solution to my issues


I had a very tough summer this year. The weather was very hot and humid, and I hate both humidity and hot weather 🙂. I am currently establishing my coaching business; I tried to work from home but I couldn’t as it was the summer vacation and with the kids at home I could never focus on anything. I had shared an office with other people and before actually starting with my clients they apologized and asked to cancel the contract because they had to leave the apartment to the owner.  I found another place but it had to be furnished and that meant more time and additional expenses. My best friend was on a trip all summer long and I felt so lonely. I didn’t go out with my friends or do anything to enjoy myself during almost three long months. I was working with my coach on my relationships. I was stuck and turning in circles. I couldn’t find any way out for my issues. I was desperate and unhappy.
I was really astonished about how stuck I was in my relationships and why I couldn’t find a way out. There was nothing new; they were the same issues I experienced every now and then. Why was my response this time so rough? Why couldn’t I cope with the situation as sometimes I was able to do? Why couldn’t I be accepting? Acceptance was all I needed I think. For almost three months I was struggling with many issues but I never realized that my main issue was with myself. Yes, it was all about me. I didn’t take care of myself. There was something very important missing in my life; that was SELF CARE. I felt lonely and missing my best friend, I avoided going out because of the hot weather and the bad traffic, I spent all my time just doing housework and all I need to do for my new business, I was committed to my younger son workouts, but I didn’t notice that I was not taking care of myself. For long weeks I didn’t do anything to enjoy myself except working out two or three times a week.
I realized from my work with my coach that lack of self care was the main cause of my unhappiness, but I always thought that it was anything else. I was extremely nervous, aggressive and angry most of the time. I believed that the weather, my sons’ behavior, traffic, my husband, the maid’s absence and many other reasons were the cause of feeling upset and angry. The only enjoyable thing I did during these three months is spending time with my sons, every now and then, listening to their jokes and laughing with them. It is true that I love spending time with my sons but I love and need to spend time with my friends and with myself. I needed to show more self care. I was always repeating to my friends that to be able to take care of others we need to learn to take care of ourselves first. It seems that I forgot my own advice 🙂.
Self care doesn’t need to be time and money consuming as we may think; it can be just spending quality time with a dear friend, listening to music, relaxing in nature or in our favorite place, watching a good movie or reading an inspiring book. It can be playing and laughing with our children. Self care means honoring ourselves and showing love for ourselves by having our needs met. It is showing respect to our own needs as we show respect to others needs. What is really important is to make it regular and a lifestyle; not just doing it when we have nothing else to do. 

It is so important to add our self care appointment to our calendar as we do with our other important appointments. We need to give our self care appointments a high priority as we give to our business appointments. The self care appointments we commit to today will help us to get the energy for our business appointments we have to commit to tomorrow. Have your own self care program. Build your own enjoyable activity list and go for one activity daily and as much as the activity is new and adventurous it will bring you more excitement, satisfaction and energy. Your life will not be the same anymore.
I would like that you share with me the activities you do to show self care and how often you do them weekly.
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10 tips to help you replace negative thoughts with more positive ones

“The World is what we think it is. If we can change our thoughts, we can change the world.” ~H.M. Tomlinson

So to change your world, to make your life happier and to make the world a better place to live in you need to change your own thoughts. You may think it is hard to control your thoughts, I don’t say it is easy but it is not impossible. It is doable through practice, all you need is to keep practicing, to be persistent and patient and surely you will do it.

In my previous post (Our thoughts shape our life) I shared with you how my negative thoughts made me feel in a certain situation and how the positive ones totally changed my feelings in another situation while the difference in time between the two situations did not exceed 30 minutes. On this post I share with you some tips to help you replace your negative thoughts by more positive ones.
  1. Prayers and asking support and strength from Allah brings peace, and the feeling of being protected and supported. 
  2. Question the cost of your negative thoughts and attitude. Ask yourself what are the negative thoughts and attitude are costing you and how it is influencing your life? Physically, emotionally, and spiritually and compare it to the benefit you get when you have more positive thoughts and attitude.
  3. Repeat positive affirmations  daily  every morning  (affirmation is a written or oral statement that confirms something is true ). It is so helpful to bring more positive energy into your day. In tough situations when you feel un-confident or fearful start repeating affirmations about how confident  and   strong  you are. One of the affirmations I like to use is “Whatever happens I will handle it” it brings me a lot of confidence in my ability to handle any situation so I feel more peaceful and secure.
  4. Keep a journal of the situations where you kept a positive attitude, how did you feel? What thoughts did you have? How did it influence you and what outcomes did you get? to remind yourself of  that experience and what to learn from it to apply this learning in the future.
  5. Surround yourself with positive friends and people, they will help you keep a positive attitude.
  6. Stick inspiring quotes everywhere at home, at the office, in your car; or you may collect inspiring quotes in a small copy book and refer back to them daily and whenever you feel thinking negatively.
  7. Journal about your negative thoughts and feelings and write down several arguments to counter it. 
  8. Keep a gratitude journal and write  daily  5 things you are grateful for to remind yourself of all the blessings you have and to help you shift your focus from what is missing in your life to what you already have.
  9. Detach yourself from the surrounding environment and don’t allow negativity of others impact you. Remind yourself  that if others are anxious or nervous or fearful this has nothing to do with you, it’s their feelings and their thoughts not yours and you don’t have to feel or think the same. You have the power over your feelings and your thoughts.
  10. Live in the moment, forget about the past and don’t worry for the future. You have a moment to live and you have the choice to make it a happy or a painful one, which choice you will make?
What other tips did you use to shift from a negative attitude to a positive one? Please share them with us.

What does self-love mean to you?

When we love someone we forget everything and anything; our main focus becomes the person we love. We become so caring and so tender. We think only of how to please them, how to make them happy, comfortable and satisfied. We may forget our own needs but we will never forget their needs. It’s easy for us to love our parents, our spouses, our kids, our friends, our neighbors or whomever we may know but we think it’s very difficult to love ourselves.
Self-love is one of the things that many of us may find extremely challenging. I remember when I heard the term self-love for the first time, it sounded weird to me. The word self-love is related to selfishness, it’s someone who loves themselves and don’t think about others. We are not taught how to love ourselves. So strange! When we don’t love someone we neglect, under value, disrespect, and are not willing to forgive them. So if you don’t love yourself you will neglect, under value, disrespect and not be willing to forgive yourself. This is typically what is happening to many of us. We are so harsh to ourselves, although we can forgive others for their mistakes, we don’t forgive ourselves for our mistakes. Although we can be kind to others we can’t be kind to ourselves. We can be patient with others but we can’t be patient with ourselves. We do our best to make others happy while we don’t even know what makes us happy. We extremely care about others needs while we don’t care about our own needs. It’s unfair. 
The above was a part of the post I was trying to write a few days ago about self-love but I couldn’t go further. Although I found the topic so interesting, I didn’t find anything else to say but yesterday I went through a negative experience that made me feel frustrated, down and started to blame myself. I felt so stressed out, but after giving it some thought, I asked myself why I was so harsh to myself, I have done nothing wrong, it is normal that sometimes things don’t go the way I wanted. Would I blame myself this way if I had enough self-love, self-acceptance and self-trust?  I think not. When we have enough self-love and self-acceptance, we are kinder and tenderer to ourselves. We acknowledge, appreciate, and value whatever we do even when the results are not as we expected. We believe we did our best; we acknowledge our effort and even reward ourselves. Since I believed that I have done my best, I decided to acknowledge myself for the work I have done so far, reward myself and take a day off. I intend to relax and meet some friends and enjoy my day with them. I invite you to do the same if you have worked hard for the past few days; just reward and acknowledge yourself for what you have done so far. 
“Love yourself, for if you don’t, how can you expect anybody else to love you?”
Absolutely true! I think it is logical. If we don’t know how to love ourselves how can others love us or how will we be able to love others? If we don’t know how to be happy, how will others be able to make us happy or how will we be able to make others happy? It’s not that hard to love and value yourself but if you don’t know how to do it; just become yourself your best friend and think how you would treat your best friend. You will immediately know how to treat yourself and how to love yourself.

Gratitude, the way to happiness


Another post from my blog My happiness journey



     Gratitude is to be content and thankful in every moment of your day.  It is to accept genuinely, thankfully, peacefully and with contentment whatever happens. A state of mind that could bring satisfaction and peace. When I try to visualize how my life will look like if I could live in gratitude, I see a life full of serenity, peace and bliss. It’ s heaven.

      I remember the first time my coach asked me to start a gratitude journal to help me shift my focus from what, I think, is missing in my life to what I already have and how helpful it was. I noticed again many graces I used to take for granted. The gratitude journal was one of the tools that helped me to improve my relationship with my mother. In my gratitude journal I mentioned that I am grateful for having my both parents alive and how supportive they  are to me. Then when I thought what I am thankful for them for, I realized that I am thankful for them for many things and my mother’s criticism and interference in my life were just a way to show her interest and care. Since then my relationship with my mother has totally changed and improved due to my gratitude perspective and journal. 

      Living with a gratitude feeling in all aspects of your life is not easy and needs practice to make it deep and  ingrained. Gratitude for things that you take for granted is helpful to notice the gifts  you keep receiving in every moment of your life. To realize the value of the things you take for granted just imagine your life without it. You never noticed that the pure fresh water is a grace because you find it whenever you need it, but imagine how your life would look like if you had to make great effort to have a glass of water. Imagine that all the things that you take for granted like water, air, sunlight, your senses, your home, your family, your health …etc are gone. How your life will  look like? Then think how will you feel when they come back one by one again. Sure you will eventually realize how valuable they are.

       To start living with a gratitude perspective you need to give up complaining. Complaining is a sign of lack of gratitude. So to strengthen your sense of gratitude you need to observe yourself and consciously make the right choice, either gratitude and gain the satisfaction and positive energy it brings or complaining and accept its negative energy in addition to the harm it brings to your health and your life.