By Eugenia Tripputi
Family, friends, work, and recreation sound like a few areas
of our lives that take up most of our time. We go from one to another,
filling up our days, weeks, months, and perhaps years. Oftentimes,
in the process, we forget about a crucial part: taking care of ourselves!
If you were raised in a guilt-ridden conservative environment, this
was, and may still be, a foreign concept. However, I began to learn
the importance of it from the wise words of my grandmother: â€œIf
you are going to hire help when you grow up, you must first learn
to how to keep up your own house in perfect order.â€
Little did I know that life would present me with more challenges
that, at times, I felt I could handle. A chronic disability, moving
to another country, pursuing an education while raising a family,
lay offs, divorceâ€¦ and the list goes on. Through the trials and
tribulations of life, I became part of the infamous rat race, the
put downs of difficult bosses and people, and the feeling of giving
up because the physical pain becoming too much to bear on a daily
basis. Consequently, and soon enough, the external noise of â€œmaking
itâ€ became deafening and began to cover up the beautiful music inside
Then, one day, listening to one of my favorite inspirational
gurus, Dr. Wayne Dyer, I took note of something he said: â€œDonâ€™t
die with music still left inside youâ€¦â€ Those words stopped me on
my tracks! â€œWhat do you mean?...I still have something inside to
offer in spite all thatâ€™s happened?,â€ I rhetorically and quietly
asked him in my mind. And, to my surprise, I heard a loud inner
â€œYes!â€ Over the next few weeks, I embarked on a journey to remind
myself of the things I used to do to keep that music going, in-tune,
and loud enough to frequently inspire others. If this scenario sounds
familiar to you, here are a few things I found helpful to turn up
my volume again which might assist you as well in the process of
Practice positive self-talk. No matter what
others say, oneâ€™s worth is not dependent on the circumstances or
their perceptions. Find several key phrases that speak to you, write
them down on sticky notes or index cards, if needed, and reinforce
these thoughts every day. In this case, our brains do not know the
difference between what is â€œrealâ€ and what is not. To our brain,
it just â€œis.â€ And, as many experts say, we manifest what we put
thinking energy into!
Be gentle and patient with yourself. Take one
day at a time. Sometimes one hour is the most you might be able
to handle. The point is that, no matter what you do, the present
is all you have control over. I have to remind myself that I do
not have super-powers neither can I dominate over what is happening
to me or foresee what will happen in the future.
Be kind to someone for no reason. As I continued
my inner questioning, I noticed that I had even forgotten how to
smile! So, I make a point to each day incorporate the basics of
common â€œbeing humanâ€: say please, thank, smile, and do not take
out your frustration onto others. If you do, apologize. Additionally,
if I see a person in need, I offer to help. I found that shifting
the energy from oneself to another personâ€™s needs for a short while
can do miracles.
Every day, spend at least a few minutes checking-in with
your loved ones. Time flies, and trust me â€” particularly
that teenager who is sitting in front of the computer chatting with
his friends right now will be gone in no timeâ€¦ and you will actually
Practice physical self-care. Exercise accordingly
to what your body will allow, eat well (whatever that means to you),
and indulge in a little chocolate, if thatâ€™s what it takes to put
some sweetness into your day.
Practice emotional self-care. Ask for a hug,
if you are fortunate to have a loved one around, or pick up the
phone and call your best friend. If you are pressed for time, put
a timer on and let her/him knowâ€¦ but keep in touch with others.
Isolation is the worst â€œinner silencer.â€
Every day, do one fun thing just for-the-fun-of-it!
My first response to this one was: â€œWhat do you mean? I barely have
enough hours to get some sleep in!â€ Remember, it does not have to
be an involved activity. A 15-minute walk, meditation or visualization,
a manicure, a bubble bath, a facialâ€¦ anything! The key is to do
it with the intention of telling your inner self that you matter.
Find time for a hobby. This suggestion comes
from someone whoâ€™s tried quite a few and gave up on most of them
because the cleanup, such as for oil painting, took longer than
the enjoyable part of it. Yet, to the amusement and sometimes embarrassment
of my grown children, I found that singing karaoke is very therapeutic
for me. So, donâ€™t be shy and be creative! Singing also brings me
to elaborate on the added benefit in my next point.
Breath! Think about acoustic instruments: no
air, no music! Same goes for humans. You cannot sing with any passion
or beauty unless the air is coming in and out the right way. Singing,
yelling (appropriately and not at people), and simply releasing
built up inner pressure has amazing power. Donâ€™t forget that there
is a correct way of breathing to get our brains properly oxygenated.
The air needs to go in through the nose, into the stomach (diaphragm),
and out through the mouth. If you are moving your shoulders, you
need to work on it because it is your stomach (put your vanity aside
for a second) the one that should expand.
Put your worries asideâ€”literally. On my nightstand,
I have what I call my â€œangel box.â€ When I find myself obsessing
or cannot get rid of a particular thought, I write my concerns down
and put them in my box. I ritually give my worries to my angels.
There is therapeutic power in physically cleansing our internal
issues through the process of handwriting them down and delegating
the worrying to a trusted beingâ€” you can choose your preferred one,
as long as he, she, or it matters to you.
After a few weeks of reconnecting with these practices, not only
I started hearing my inner music again, but the magic went beyond
to show me that there is hope for maintaining my core philosophy
of seeing problems only as challenges. Furthermore, I feel more
peaceful and proud of having been able to find my Self again, the
one who I like and enjoy being around. After all, we are the only
humans we can count on being with for sure 24x7!
For almost 20 years, Eugenia has held several leadership
and managerial positions creating and heading training, professional
development, and human resources programs as well as has consulted
for Fortune 500 corporations and non-profit agencies in the
United States and Latin America. Her educational foundation
includes a Masters degree in Counseling from Seattle University
and a Bachelorâ€™s from California State University, Hayward,
with a degree in Human Development.