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"You have taught me to believe in myself and to take things slowly, one step at a time, keep sight of my goals, both short term and long term.

Your coaching style was both nuturing and motivating, you seemed to intuitively know some days what I needed most. Your caring and understanding was so appreciated and it came from the heart."

-Holly C.

I would recommend the Simplicity Course as an easy, practical way to start simplifying one's life. I especially liked the segments on Tolerations, Wardrobe, and Office and Paperwork.

Each day focuses on only one task, which is helpful to people who feel overwhelmed by the complexities of modern life and hardly know where to begin downshifting.

-Joan, New York

Beth has an uncanny way of, "reading between the lines" to see a person's heart. I appreciate how genuine she is.

I have already begun implementing her suggestions, and am dumbstruck at how well they are working. I am feeling so much more secure, and feel I am finally put onto a life path that will bring me joy for many years to come."

-Sue Halpern

I feel more focused and have an objective instead of aimlessly filling up the day.

-Shelli Segura



December 2004 Newsletter

Making self-care a priority

Creating a saner, simpler life


December 2004

Welcome to Encouraging Words monthly newsletter. You have subscribed because you want encouragement to create a saner, simpler life. Please pass it along to friends who could use this tips.

I am happy to introduce the new 2005 Simplicity Calendar. Every day you can read a simplifying idea to implement. It also includes planning ideas, so things like your vacation or Memorial Day weekend don't just pop out at you. You can get a glimpse at it here: http://www.encouragingcoach.com/programs-simplicity-calendar.htm


"If you aren't good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you'll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren't even giving to yourself. " ~ Barbara De Angelis, relationship expert.


Making Self-Care a Priority

"The strongest oak tree of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It's the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun." ~Napoleon Hill

Do you have the strength to handle all that life gives you? Are you up to the task of living out your purpose? Are you as positive, healthy and calm as you can be for your family and friends?

Self-care is not about being selfish. It is about caring for yourself as you would care for anything else given to you. You care for your things, your family, your friends, strangers, your car. You don't want things and relationships breaking down, so you spend time with maintenance. You make the phone call, you change the oil, you dust the piano.

You need to take time to care for yourself, because you also need maintenance to be the best you can be. Everyone benefits when you make self-care a priority. You treat others with more kindness, you don't act like a martyr, you are healthier for physical tasks, and your joy radiates to others.

Don't let the three biggest obstacles: guilt, time and money, deprive you of your self-care time.


When I am coaching clients, I have found the biggest obstacle to people's self care is not time or money, but the guilt. People don't feel worthy of the time or money. They feel guilty for doing something for themselves when they could be cooking, cleaning, volunteering, meeting hubby's needs, making money, saving money and a million other things.

My goal is to get you to look at self-care is a stewardship, rather than a luxury. You were given this body, mind and soul. It is up to you to take care of what you have been given.

How different would you behave if you were well-rested and energetic? How much more could you get done? How much better would your relationships be if you cut out the martyr routine and responded with love and joy instead? How would your work improve if you took breaks and took care of your stress so you could focus? How much better would your house look if you thought of cleaning as self-care and a nurturing of yourself through your environment?

Are you seeing that self-care is a necessity, not a luxury?


Now that you know the importance, when are you going to find the time? If you haven't been taking regular time outs, you may not even know how you got so busy. So grab some time from the time wasters like TV or surfing the internet. Get out a notebook or a journal and start writing. Write about how quiet time feels. Write about how anxious you are feeling when you are not "doing." Ask yourself about some of your activities. Why are you doing them? Are they important to you? Are they the best use of your time? Decide what to cut out to make more time to take care of yourself.

If you can't find time for yourself, then you are doing too much. It is that simple. You wouldn't expect the car to work at optimum if you never changed the oil. You wouldn't expect your kids to go from the time they wake up till the time they went to bed. You can't expect yourself to be your best without the necessities for your mind, body and soul.


Taking care of yourself doesn't mean spend lots of money on yourself. In fact, being financially responsible is part of your self-care. Taking a walk, reading a library book, or having a morning prayer time don't cost money. In fact most self-care is free.

But, you shouldn't be stingy with yourself either. If you constantly buy gifts for others and never for yourself you might want to ask yourself why. Try coming up with a few creative ideas for building a self-care fund for haircuts, massages, classes or little presents. Maybe you can save the money from couponing, or save your change every day, or sell some things you want declutter. Maybe you can barter and trade services.

I have posed the three biggest obstacles to self-care, now it's time to take care of those obstacles in your own life.


Action Plan

1. Take the self-care quiz

2. Ask yourself what your obstacles to self-care are.

3. Write about how you would feel and what you would do if you were taking care of yourself.

4. Find time to do at least one thing each for your body, mind and soul this week.

5. Start your own self-care fund.


Self-Renewal Ideas

Silent Night

Coping with Christmas jounalling prompts to help you take care of yourself during this season

Holiday Survival Guide

Why Caregivers Don't Take Time For Themselves



101 Self-improvement Experts Book: An ebook I have enjoyed that tells about the experts, what they have written, their philosophy and helpful ideas



Self-Care Tips for December:

         Watch your expectations

         Take a few minutes of quiet time every morning

         Make sure you have at least one evening a week at home

         Remember you don't have to do it all

"Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin As self-neglecting." ~William Shakespeare, Henry V


Relationship Ideas for December:

         Accept help

         Ask what you can bring

         Deliver declutterd toys to Goodwill with your kids

         Accept your family for who they are and don't expect them to change

I define comfort as self-acceptance. When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others. " ~Jennifer Louden

I encourage you this month to take some time for yourself, give lots of hugs and remember the meaning of it all.


Beth Dargis
The Encouraging Coach


A Note About My Recommendations: I provide links in this newsletter to products and services I am offering or I have personally found valuable. I have an affiliate agreement with some of the products I like. If you are ever disappointed with one of these recommendations, please let them and me know. If they don't make it right, I will.

Copyright (c) 2004 Beth Dargis, Zeeland, Michigan. All rights reserved. Feel free to use these articles on your website and newsletters as long as the footer is included. Permission is granted to reproduce, copy or distribute this e-letter so long as this copyright notice and full information attributing Beth Dargis is attached.

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PO Box 233 Zeeland MI 49464 Beth Dargis