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The First 10 Steps to take back Control of your Life

Can you relate to this?

Too tired to care about kids homework and school events

Spending most of the weekends, never moving from the couch because you don’t have the brain power to think of something more interesting to do,

Or spending it working, so that you never even get the chance to see your family, or spend any intimate time with your significant other.


Have you lost control of your life?

I definitely know how you are feeling!  I walked in these shoes just a few years ago.  I was waking early, living on chocolate and soda, and sleeping less than four hours a day.  I was always sick, but I still went to work.  I crashed through at least two potentially good relationships.  And thank goodness my kids are independently like me and had each other, or I might be telling you a sadder story.


How did we get here?

Well I know how I got to the place and I suspect that the situation is very similar for you as well.  After a lot of soul searching, I got to the core of what was wrong in my heart and soul.  I was feeling that I was always competing with myself to be better and better that I needed to prove something to someone(most times I wasn’t sure what or who)and at the time, I thought that meant climbing the corporate ladder.  That was not for me.  Now I am not saying that if you have chosen that path you should leave it.  What I am saying is that you should be doing it on your own terms.

You should be standing up for yourself, you should know in your heart that you are capable and determined and whatever it is you choose to do, you can be successful following your own path.


So where do we go wrong?

I believe that we forget.  We forget that there are many sides to us that make us who we are, that define how we will interact with the world.  Whether you are a business person, a stay at home parent, a professional or a solopreneur you need to make sure that you are balancing your needs with everything else.

While you and I were forgetting, we were getting sick from work such long hours, we were growing distant from our family and friends and we were losing the connection to our inner self.


How do we fix it?

There are some really simple steps to lead you back to that work and life balance that you are craving.  But it is not easy.  It takes conscious effort to make changes. You need to get completely honest with yourself and face the fear and the excuses that are standing in your way.  You need to reconnect with your authentic self and allow your inner self to guide you.

You need to practice some Extreme Self Care!  What is this you ask?  Extreme Self Care is the practice of fully committing to a nurturing lifestyle.  It req

uires connecting to yourself on a daily basis, deciding what you need and then following through to make it happen.


Let’s break down step by step

Step 1Nourishing Morning Ritual – Nourishing to your soul and body. Some simple things that help, pick an alarm clock that has a nice sound or use the radio so that you wake up to music. I give myself a few extra minutes in the morning, this allows me to wake up and stretch my way awake, without feeling the rush, rush of the day. I have made it a practice to get up with enough time to get myself up, showered and ready before it was necessary to get the kids up.

My morning goes something like this, I spend about 15 minutes lying in bed just letting myself wake up and stretching, you know like cats. I head for the shower, lots of time and lots of hot water, in our house that is definitely a consideration.

Step 2 – Drinking 8 glasses of water – Our bodies need water, simple as that, we don’t give it enough. We drink, juice, coffee, soda, all with sugar and many other extras.

Pure water is the goal! I don’t mind admitting this one is hard for me, I would prefer juice or soda. But water is what our bodies need.

I like to keep a 1 litre bottle on my desk at work, drink 2 of these during the work day; I try for one before lunch and one after lunch. This is the minimum requirement for the day; any other water you drink at home before or after work is a bonus.

Step 3 – Eat Well – I am not a Health Care Professional, but there are some simple facts of life here. We need to eat to provide energy for our bodies. The food we eat needs to be quality food that will regulate and fuel our bodies efficiently.

You need to find a system that works well for your body, your belief system, your lifestyle. Take care to visit a professional and do your research; don’t leave your health to chance. Take care of your health that same way you would take care of your child or your partner.

Step 4 – Laugh a Lot! – Scientists have found that laughter is a form of internal jogging that exercises the body and stimulates the release of beneficial brain neurotransmitters and hormones. Positive outlook and laughter is actually good for our health!

Adults laugh approximately 15 times per day, while children laugh about 400 times a day! When we grew up, somehow we lost a few hundred laughs a day. B

y learning to smile and laugh again, more easily and often, we could have a profound and positive effect on our health and wellbeing.

The new science of psychoneuroimmunology is the study of how our state of mind affects our health. More than ever, scientific evidence suggests that laughter really is one of the best medicines. by Drs. Gael Crystal & Patrick Flanagan

Step 5 – Exercise your body – I am not a Health Care Professional, but there are some simple facts of life here. (deja vue 😉 ) Our bodies need to move to stay functioning well. Visit your Health Care Professional and do your research, pick the method that works with your lifestyle.

Step 6 -Exercise your brain – In a recent study, researchers set out to improve the brain function in older people.

  • They focused on: Memory training. The subjects did brain teasers and crossword puzzles several times a day.
  • Exercise. They stretched and walked each day.
  • Diet. They ate five meals a day to maintain balanced blood sugar, and their meals included plenty of omega-3 fats and antioxidants.
  • Stress. In addition to stretching, the subjects did relaxation exercises.

At the end of two weeks, all of the subjects showed marked improvement on their brain scans … and they performed better on the cognitive tests. A control group showed no changes. Like the rest of your body, you have to give your brain the right fuel, adequate rest, and regular exercise for it to work properly. So take a break here and there to do a crossword puzzle. Or pull out that game of Scrabble and enjoy an evening with some friends. It’ll do your brain some good.

Step 7 – Write in a journal – This is a practice that some people do naturally, they may have started as kids and continued it on from there. For us adults that have never used journaling it can feel very imposing when first starting out. Keep a couple of things in mind. Definitely write with a paper and pen, it is all about the mental and emotional fulfillment that comes with actually writing in your own hand writing.

No one is going to read these, so do not write to please other people. Write things that are on your mind, no matter how insignificant that you feel they are. Write the good stuff and the not so good stuff. Writing allows you to clear your subconscious of things that you are worrying about. It allows you to voice things that you are grateful for and it allows you to work through issues with other people.

Step 8 – Positive Mental Attitude – Another decision needs to be made here… You need to make up your mind that you will always be positive. Some days are harder than others I know, but once you realize you have slipped into a negative frame of mind. Refocus and get back to being positive.

Positive Mental Attitude creates a whole aura around you, people enjoy your company, and you are able to accomplish what you set out to. It affects all other areas of your life.

Step 9 – Smile every day – Even if have to force yourself in the beginning to smile, just smile. You soon will believe it and your body will start to do it without even ha

ving to think about it. Like laughter is it infectious, you smile and other people around you will smile.

Step 10 – Relaxing Evening Ritual – Just as with the Morning Ritual a Evening ritual is needed, the routine of specific items allows our bodies to know it is the time to sleep. Just as we do with children we need to do for ourselves. Find the methods that work for you! Some find a hot shower or bath, reading a book, writing in your journal, practicing mediation, listening to quiet music.

As little as 30 minutes of relaxation before bed can impact the quality of our sleep. Chores can wait, have a power nap, go to bed 30 minutes earlier, plan our evening rituals so that the sleep that you do get is quality sleep. There are many ways to improve your sleep.


The time is now!

These daily activities will turn into daily habits if you want them to…. The hardest part of that is having a support system that holds you up, that supports you in your weakest moments.  You can find that easily you just need to open yourself up to the possibilities.

You can succeed, you can change your life, and you can become more powerful, you can take care of yourself, you can create time for energizing, for empowerment, for life giving extreme self care.


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Photo Credit:By HidingHeart

36 thoughts on “The First 10 Steps to take back Control of your Life

  1. Some great tips Lori – and you are so right that we do lose control of our life from time to time. Especially mothers, who are trying to fulfil so many different roles – as mother, partner, employee, cook, cleaner, chauffeur and many more – we forget that our main role in life is to be ourselves, and look after ourselves first and foremost . If we skimp on the self-care, we end up tired, frustrated and often depressed, which then means that we can’t perform our other roles to the high standard that we want to.

    1. I really like the comparison to the flight instructions:

      in the event of a crash, put on your oxygen mask FIRST then assist your companions.

      To me self care is the oxygen we need to live and we need to do it first so that we are able to be there for others.

  2. Lori – this is great – and yes, it should be an E-Book, for sure! I felt like I was moving through your day with you, step by step, in your head – I have very similar rituals but reading this got me thinking – I could certainly tighten up on the discipline reigns – it certainly wouldn’t kill me! Lol !!

  3. 🙂 one of the reasons that I continue to write and teach self care after all these years is to remind me to do the work.

    I am definitely a type A personality and there are many days when I am torn between being at my computer writing and spending time outside or exercising, or just laughing at a good movie.

    but it is part of the journey of life and more days I am successful following then I am not and I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that this has saved me from stress filled life.

  4. No kidding Coach. This one has manifesto written all over it!

    From the heading at the end labeled “The time is now!” to the resources offered at the end, this has some flourish to it.

  5. I have spoken with many, many women who have told the same story (myself included) at one time or another in their life. This would make a great ebook and believe many people need to hear the message. I might add another tip…ask for help. Women often feel the need to do it all while others in their families coast. Kids need to help with housework, husband/partner too, run errands, do dinner dishes and give Mom a full day break once in awhile. Women often do not like to ask for help but since we’ve all there at some point, we would love to take the kids, or treat you to a spa day. Great article.

    1. sooo true! I truly believe it is one of those self limiting beliefs, not a real thing. Most of our loved ones would be HAPPY to help us find some quality “me” time.

  6. A great list Lori. Over the past few years, one by one, I have brought all 10 steps into my life. With these 10 steps to take back control external events may destabilize me but no longer send me reeling out of control.

    1. That is great to hear Priska. I agree I think it is a journey and you just keep deciding every day that you are going to make better choices that include more self care. And eventually you will create life long habits.

  7. Fantastic tips Lori, I think a lot of us have been on the same journey and have used some (if not all of these tips) They work, there are the things that take us from ordinary to extraordinary or from helpless to happy. I agree with Jane asking for help is a big one for women also for me clearing the clutter was the first step in my transformation. Finally I could think straight! Go for the eBook it’s a definite winner

  8. Hey Lori, great post! So glad to have stumbled across your blog.

    I’ve got a lot of mastery with these things, except for a couple (journaling and laughing, and thanks, I’ll work on those!). Here’s one of my terms: Exquisite self-care. And I want to share this: I’ve started a new practice of smiling every time I see my reflection in a mirror. So powerful! I even find myself smiling even when I’m not looking in a mirror. So softening! As delicious a balm to my heart and spirit as my meditation practice.

    Thanks again.


  9. Great post!
    Amazing that I have come to same conclusions and try to stick to most of the points you mentioned. It definitely requires self disicpline in the beginning but once they become part of your life and a usual habit you end up feeling uncomfortable without those. So the key is to keep going in the beginning before it requires no more effort and becomes smooth and easy!

  10. I love the simplicity of these tips! A morning ritual – it can be anything that creates a bit of space to prepare for the day – so much easier to follow then some sort of rigid prescription! And I believe 8 & 9 are absolutely key to living a more fulfilled life. And 9 (smiling a lot) can make 8 (mental attitude) so much easier! I try to keep a positive attitude but have to admit sometimes I slip out of the present and into worry/regret, etc. That’s when I notice I’m not smiling anymore. Simply giving myself a smile can shift those thoughts right around. And then I not only help myself feel better – I start spreading some of that ‘feel better’ energy to others as well!

    1. We are human after all it is, as long as we stay aware and then shift to our “smiling” attitude as soon as we notice. It is awesome feeling when you smile at someone and they smile back!

  11. Beautiful suggestions!

    Except for the water, I’m already there, and loving it. Especially the laughter. Adding some random laughs into my routine has really made a difference. Now, to see if I can nudge my more grumpy peers into following suit…

  12. Such wonderful guidelines to living a healthy, happy life! I love your advice about doing loving self-care for your brain, too. And the advice for laughter is worth gold. Thanks for reminding us that the best things in life come from simplicity.

  13. These are wonderful tips, Lori. I have found that people naturally develop the urge to engage in such activities when their awareness of themselves shifts. As long as we keep looking at our bodies as mere chores, we’ll keep harming them.

    Too often, people complain about their bodies, their minds, their lives. They only notice their muscles when something’s hurting. They only notice their thoughts when they’re completely neurotic. They only notice the people in their lives when they risk losing them.

    I think the key to sustaining these habits is, first, developing a spiritual self-awareness. That would require an attitude of respect towards our bodies and an attitude of respect for our lives.

    Look at this body! It is a vehicle for powerful, beautiful, eternal energy. Look at this mind! It is my operating system throughout this beautiful, magical existence.

    That, I believe, is the secret to self-control – self-knowledge.

    Thank you for sharing, my friend. Lots of love to you.

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