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Refill Your Cup with Self-Care

Genuine, sustained self-care is an art.
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Maintaining Center

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

With the busy time of year upon us, I thought it was a good time to write about the concept of maintaining center. I know for me personally, with the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the year drawing to a close, this is always an exceptionally challenging time for me to uphold a sense of calm. This center I'm referring to is a feeling of contentment that we strive to maintain no ma...

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Self-Compassion - Part 2

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

I hope you have had the opportunity since last post to reflect on how and when you may or may not be self-compassionate. Studies show 80 percent of us treat others with more compassion and kindness than we offer to ourselves. When our friends have a bad day or are struggling, we jump in to support them in any way we can; when it's our own self who is having a bad day, or has failed at something...

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Self-Compassion - Part 1

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

First of all, let me say thank you for your patience with me in the gap between blog posts. I took on some extra professional responsibilities this summer, and while I'm proud to say I managed to keep up with my personal practice of self-care; I'm sorry that my self-care blog did indeed get put on the back burner. Needless to say, I thought it was good timing to write about self-compassion....

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Self-Awareness

Personal Good

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

In keeping with the theme of self-awareness, I would like to share an activity called Personal Good. I learned this activity from a Communities in Schools Chicago social/emotional training with local expert Caryn Curry. I appreciate this activity for it provides space to reflect on our bigger picture, things which may get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It sheds light on many as...

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Self-Awareness

Cultivating Self-Awareness

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

In the self-care classes I teach, we always take some time to reflect on self-awareness. I share with my students that while it takes a certain amount of self-awareness to practice self-care, the practice itself also builds self-awareness. So, what words come to your mind when you hear the word self-awareness? Responses I've received in class include understanding your:...

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The Power of Affirmations

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

Often when I talk to adults about self-care the conversation leads to changes people want to make in their life. These changes may be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. This seems natural as taking the time to recognize where we do and don't take care of ourselves builds self-awareness and from awareness blossoms evolution (a.k.a. change). Many have probably rea...

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Journaling as Self-Care

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

How many of you have kept a journal at some point in your life? A journal can take many forms including a diary, a gratitude journal, daily affirmations, or simply a space to work through life challenges or celebrate success . Committing to writing in a journal on a regular basis can be a great way to practice self-care as journaling encourages self-awareness, mindfulness, self-confidenc...

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Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

Back in December when I posted about the four elements of self-care I briefly mentioned stepping outside of your comfort zone as a means of promoting competence. I would like to further explore this idea. First of all, what do I mean by "comfort zone"? A comfort zone, while not a physical place, is the space where we feel familiar, safe and secure. We may feel this psyc...

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Accomplishment

How Do You Give Yourself Praise?

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back or acknowledged a job you did well? Giving self-praise can be challenging at best, and can even feel egotistical at worst . All human beings have a strong inherent need to be recognized and valued. The truth is, we all need a balance between being able to acknowledge ourselves and needing acknowledgement from others....

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The Art of Saying

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

How easy is it for you to say "no" to others? I often hear people who are stressed out or over-committed admit, "I have a hard time saying no". Few would argue that uttering this little, two-letter word is more difficult for some than others. Saying "no" when necessary, is a tool we all need in our self-care toolbox. As we prioritize time for ourselves, it is inevitabl...

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Putting Yourself at the Top of Your To-Do List

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

If I asked you to take a look at your to-do list, how many of you would have self-care, or "take time for me" on that list? If you do, congratulations! Most often, I find there are three scenarios that exist around scheduling time for self-care: We don't schedule time for self-care We schedule self-care and stick to the schedule...

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Building and Sustaining Boundaries

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

Boundaries are a vital aspect of self-care. Establishing boundaries can help one manage stress, accomplish goals, get enough sleep, and enjoy a healthy personal and professional life. For some of us, setting and maintaining boundaries is much easier said than done! I don’t know about you, but I personally didn’t have a ‘boundary 101’ class in school....

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Creating a Personal Mission Statement

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

Happy 2017! This is the time of year when many of us make new year's resolutions. While new year's resolutions are a great way to start off the new year feeling our best, research shows that while about 50% of Americans make new year's resolutions, only 8% actually achieve them. This new year, I invite you to consider creating something differen...

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Self-care Tag

Elements of Self-Care

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

There are many different elements, or facets to self-care. When I think of self-care, I immediately think of taking care of myself physically. I know for me personally, part of practicing self-care is eating right and getting some physical activity every day. I appreciate Kristin Souers' model of what she calls the "Top Four Components of Self-Care" which include health, love, c...

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Time for Myself

Is Caring for Oneself Self-Indulgent?

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

One of my favorite quotes about self-care comes from poet laureate Audre Lorde – "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation." Personally, I was raised with the belief that putting oneself first was considered being selfish. As an adult, I realize how this deep seated belief has shaped my relationship with self-c...

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Feet with Heart

What is Self-Care and Why is it so Important?

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

What do you think of when you hear the words self-care? These words may invoke images of a beach vacation, getting a massage, or taking time to indulge in curling up with your favorite book. These are all indeed ways we might take a little time for ourselves to recharge our battery so to speak. Self-care however, is not exclusive of pampering oneself. In fact , s...

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Welcome!

Posted by Michele Crawford - Health

Welcome to the Refill Your Cup with Self-Care blog! I'm Michele Crawford, and I'm a Community Health Educator with Cook County Extension. Over the past few years I've become increasingly interested in and more aware of the importance of the practice of self-care. In my role as health educator I often work with caregivers: teachers, health care professio...

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