Celebrating the Month of Love: Our Experts Talk On Extreme Self-Care!
Written by Lisa Montanaro | February 14, 2013

Check out this collaborative blog post all about extreme self care (with a contribution from yours truly about journaling).

With February being the month of Valentine’s Day, I was excited about the opportunity there to open up the conversation about Extreme Self-Care and loving yourself first.

Have you ever run around like a mad dog on this holiday trying to find just the right gift to prove to someone that you really love them?

valentineI think we all have. I also think many of us have run around ragged on many occasions, not just Valentine’s Day, doing everything for everyone as we watch ourselves slowly melt away or fade into the background.

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.

Ahh, the Golden Rule we all want to live by, but first we ought to know what that really means.

There is an assumption in the Golden Rule, which is that you already love yourself. You cannot love anyone from a place of truth unless you love yourself first, otherwise it is not real, honest, aligned and authentic love.

It is time we take back ourselves, so the work we do each and everyday comes from a place of meaning.

Extreme Self-Care is not about doing radical things to overly pamper yourself. NO! Extreme Self-Care is about you being radical about your decision to take care of you and put yourself first so that you are healthy and awake as you connect with others. It involves not thinking of yourself more highly than you ought to, sure, but that doesn’t mean you place yourself on the bottom either. You cannot be any good for others if you are weak, sick, underpowered, used-up, stuck, unhappy, overworked, or walking in daily discouragement.

As a rational, loving human being you would never consider abusing another person, or an animal, or anything really. Yet so many great people abuse themselves. Somehow we think that’s OK, that it is not abuse if you do it to yourself, and it is not abuse if it’s the result of simply not paying attention.

If you wouldn’t do it to someone else, don’t do it to yourself.

Extreme Self-Care is simple. Extreme Self-Care means being extreme about embracing your responsibility to care for the only one you have total control over, and the only one you have been charged with caring for every minute of every day.

Extreme Self-Care is really about gentleness and simplicity, and loving yourself first.

I asked 25 experts (including myself) at the top of their game to share their thoughts on Extreme Self-Care, or on one aspect of it as a tribute to you on Valentine’s day and as a impetus and motivating charge to you to take care of you so you will be there on may more occasions to love and encourage others!

So now let’s take a look at what these inspirational mentors, coaches, success experts, and thought-leaders want you to know to about Extreme Self-Care!

by Margo DeGange

Here’s my article:

Journal Writing as a Form of Self-Care

To me, journal writing is one of the best forms of self-care. My journal has always been a safe haven to work through my desires, dreams, problems, obstacles, challenges, and goals. Journaling is a great way to dialogue with yourself, and often leads to powerful breakthroughs. There is something magical that happens when you put words down on paper. Words are powerful in and of themselves. But writing down words is even more powerful! I received my first journal as a gift when I was eight years old. I have filled countless journals since then, and the act of journaling remains an important one to me up until this day. So think of a journal as a gift to yourself.

For years, I wrote daily. But now I write whenever I want, for however long I want, and in whichever format I want (see a pattern here?). Julia Cameron advocates writing “morning pages” in her book The Artists Way. I did morning pages for years, and liked how it seemed to help me look forward in my writing, as opposed to when I wrote in the evenings, which felt more like I was looking backward and reporting on past events. But you should write whenever it is convenient for you to carve out the time.

In fact, as you have probably surmised by now, everything about my journal writing experience is positive. There is no Must or Should – no rules to follow. I give myself permission to let it flow when I want and how I want. In this regard, my journal writing has always been a release for me. If you keep a journal, I hope you continue to enjoy the process. If you haven’t tried journal writing yet, give it a chance. You may love it. I know I do. And it is a wonderful gift of self-care to give to yourself. You deserve it.

Read the other articles on Self-Care here

Meet the Author

Helping others be the best versions of themselves gets me jazzed!

I’ve worn many hats in my lifetime—often at the same time—while enjoying fulfilling careers. I’ve been a performer, teacher, sign language instructor, lawyer, career counselor, law professor, coach, consultant, mediator, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, writer, and author. 

I’m an eternal optimist and life-long learner, constantly researching ways to improve personal and professional effectiveness. And it brings me great joy to then pass on the results of that persistent curiosity to my clients and audiences. 

Of all the career hats I’ve been privileged to wear, my favorite is owner of this business since 2002. Why? Because it provides me the opportunity to work with wonderful organizational and individual clients. On any given day, I get to connect deeply with audiences, work with dedicated teams, improve workplaces, watch clients have a-ha moments, and know I’ve made a difference in their lives and careers. And that is very satisfying.