A little over three years ago, my life as I knew it changed forever.
I woke up one morning knowing my internal operating system had crashed. I laid in bed with the most extreme digestive distress I had ever experienced. The pain rushed through my whole body and went on for days. And days.
I thought I had eaten something that disagreed with my body. So I adjusted my diet. Nothing helped, though. I continued to feel worse and worse. I felt like a broken down machine, oozing out everywhere like Jabba the Hutt.
I was once able to eat anything – spicy, ethnic, and everything in between. To say my diet is still currently limited and my life is different than it was back then is the understatement of the century. However, as crazy and cliché, as it sounds, I wouldn’t give up what I went through for anything.
Thanks to my body’s total distress, I know what it means to truly love yourself.
My circumstances forced me into getting quiet and actually dealing with my stuff. I was guilty of being an emotional eater. I had a habit of numbing out my feelings with food. And I had to address that and fix it.
Instead of dealing with a relationship that I had to leave, I would cope with a box of cereal, or a pint of ice cream, or candy bars. “Salty, sweet, crunchy – what’s my fix for tonight?” I’d ask myself on my way home from a night out with friends. I was stuck in this really bad habit of checking in with myself to see what I needed in order to cope with what I was about to walk into at home.
I exchanged my old habits with new ways to cope and work through my new way of life. I found yoga and meditation classes. I found them to be very helpful techniques to assist in going inside for the answers my body was craving.
Through all the ups and downs, I’ve received so many gifts and life lessons to reboot my life. I continue to glean an incredibly long list of insights and ways to improve my quality of life, which I like to refer to as giving myself extreme self-care (ESC).
And I went through a total ESC reboot. Take my lead here, ladies and press yours.
What does pressing the ESC key look like?
1. Identify what your ESC needs are.
How do you do that? It’s simple but – it’s not easy. You’ve got to get really quiet and feel everything. You need to take notice on how the people, places and things in your life are affecting you in order to determine your needs.
Once you’ve figured out the areas in your life that are causing you anything but joy and peace, it’s time to start doing something about them.
2. Take action
For me, it was things like establishing boundaries with friends, family, clients and virtually anyone I came in contact with to ensure I was taking my needs into consideration and practicing putting my needs first.
I also did a relationship audit to see who I was choosing to spend my time with and how being with them made me feel.
From there, I found the courage to make the necessary changes to limit time and, in some cases, end friendships and also a very unhealthy long-term romantic relationship, to ensure that I wasn’t spending too much time with toxic people.
I built a team of individuals who continue to support me on my journey, from coaches to nutritionists to close friends and everyone in between. I was helpful to have others to share different perspectives with and support me along the way. They helped me recognize unhealthy patterns and assisted me as I made new choices to gain new, healthier, more productive results.
Related content: You’ll Never Know if You Don’t Let Go
3. Nurture yourself
I made a list of ways I could take care of myself each day and most importantly – I worked the list. Some of the things I do regularly include exercising, sleeping, massage and bodywork, spending time in nature, taking classes, reading an actual book or magazine, dancing, listening to music and singing at the top of my lungs. Doing more of what you love is truly the foundation to ESC.
For those Oprah fans out there, you’ve certainly heard her talk about the Universe (aka your intuition) whispering in your ear to get your attention. My hope is that you will consider pressing your own ESC Key now, so you don’t have to experience an epic system-wide crash to get your attention like I did.
Okay – so … are you ready? Put down your phone or tablet or step away from your computer, press your ESC key and start taking care of YOU!
Susan Kricun is more than just an advocate of self-love, she’s a self-love activist. A coach, a writer, a teacher, a speaker … a doer. Susan lives a motto of “peace under pressure” and is inspiring others to do the same. www.SusanKricun.com