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“Enthusiasm has an almost magical path to a happy and successful life.”
“The passion of genuine enthusiasm is an energy you can generate yourself. How? Simple: by focusing your time, effort, and energy on those ideas, activities and pursuits that get you excited.”
“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.”
#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.
I treasure the moments of my New Life.
Self-care is an active part of practicing Statement #11. Self-care is not selfish; in fact, self-neglect would be the opposite. Before sobriety and recovery, neglect was commonplace. Self-care is also multi-faceted; we can apply it physically, emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually.
Initially, I thought self-care was all about massages and manicures. While those two activities can definitely be something to look forward to, identifying basic needs leads the way toward taking care of self. What are our basic needs? If you look at Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” it begins with survival such as air, water, food, shelter, and sleep, then progresses to security and safety, next is the need to belong, followed by the need for esteem (self-worth, respect, competence, etc.), and lastly the need for self-actualization: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
Sobriety is the beginning of self-care and when basic needs are met, treasuring our New Life feels natural. In our WFS Program booklet, it states “Enthusiasm adds fire to life and provides the energy for accomplishment.” Some days Statement #11 is a feeling of immense wonder at the world, other days it is the smallest of gestures that catch my eye or heart. Either way, it is a feeling of contentment infused with joy that flows from daily self-care. This week, identify ways to practice self-care. Here are 4 ways to jump into caring for ourselves:
1. Recovery: Read the 13 WFS Statements each morning, and choose one to focus on each week. What can you do to insure your sobriety? Create a 5-point plan to prepare.
2. Sleep: Watch screen time and caffeine, both of which can interrupt sleep. Create a comfy nighttime routine to train your mind and body that it is time to rest.
3. Meals: Sugar can cause cravings and make it difficult to relax. Eat protein, and focus on balanced meals.
4. Connection: Isolation can be dangerous to sobriety. We need connection in our New Life, the newly updated WFS Online Forum is available 24/7.
Hi 4C Women,
Feeling enthusiastic can be challenging for some, especially at this time of the year. When I was married, I was the person who made the holidays happen. As a single woman, that responsibility hasn’t changed. However, I still get excited when I start decorating as it creates such fun and loving memories. It is the added overwhelming tasks that accompany the everyday tasks that can take an emotional and physical toll.
Several years ago, I decided to reduce activities that no longer gave me that wonderful feeling of enthusiasm. The first to go was baking cookies as it really wasn’t joyful for me. I felt guilty at first because this was a huge tradition in my family. Each year, I felt so much better and my enthusiasm grew for doing the things I enjoyed. This is pure self-care. The next was sending cards to people I saw every day. Just that one additional change gave me time to write a personal note to those not close by that I cared about and missed. I began to think of enthusiasm as being grateful – grateful that I am in charge of making choices that bring me that enthusiastic joy.
I agree with Karen’s initial impression of self-care and how she began to realize that it was about feeling contentment infused with joy. Since I keep my tree up all year, I have learned that joy comes with each change of season decorating. It makes those necessary and added tasks more bearable. I am also learning that it’s okay when I feel less than enthusiastic. It’s a temporary feeling which means for me that I may feel this way for an hour, a day, or a few days but it will not stay as it did in my drinking days. It stayed way too long and controlled me rather than me looking for solutions, a joyful distraction. Thank goodness for this Statement that alerts me to the need for a positive change.
I once read an article on enthusiasm and it said to be yourself! Pretending is so draining. This is why I acknowledge my authentic feelings. Those feelings are telling me something and I am learning to listen. This has evolved at times to give me a purpose, a reason to put a smile on my face and make a difference in my attitude – back to gratefulness.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or drained of energy doing what is “expected” of you, perhaps think about giving up one task that takes away your enthusiasm, your joy in doing. What would that be? With more “you” time and energy, what activity would you enhance or do that you’ve been wanting to do?
Bonded in self-care, gratitude, and feeling enthusiastic in the process, Dee
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