“Just Do You”, a song released in 2013 and performed by India Arie is all about validating and being true to yourself, being your own champion; a dance-able injection of inspiration.

Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

I heard a voice that told me I’m essential

How all my fears are limiting my potential

Said it’s time to step into the light and

Use every bit of the power I have inside

Full disclaimer, I had to google “Just Do You” to discover that trickle of trivia. Know what surprised me most? This song isn’t current.

It surprises me because I keep hearing, “Just Do You.” I heard it, in fact, two days ago, from a mom sharing the challenges her daughter’s having while in recovery from an eating disorder – she compares herself to other girls in treatment.

“If you compare, you will despair.”

So mom told her, “Just do YOU, don’t worry about everyone else.”

And then I heard it somewhere else that I can’t remember, and then I dreamed about it – which means – WRITE IT INTO THE DAMN BLOG.

So I am.

It’s mid-January, in the midwest. I realize it’s not snowy and icy and cold and grey and dark everywhere, but given that most people everywhere crafted some type of resolution or goal exactly 19 days ago and are dealing with their own particular winter (hey, 40 degrees is shorts weather in Chicago, but in Florida, it’s winter, right?), I have a feeling the collective level of motivation may be waning right about now.

So the idea behind “Just Do You” is this:

In each area of your self-care practices, where do you need to adjust your comparison goggles so they’re focused on what YOU, and ONLY you need, can tolerate, and maintain?

Nutrition

“I should eat broccoli every day, but I HATE broccoli. They say it’s best for cancer prevention – I feel guilty when I order French fries instead.”

  • What cruciferous vegetable DO you like? Arugula? Cabbage? Brussels sprouts?

Fitness

“There’s this girl at my gym who is sooooo skinny. I’m NOT that skinny. Well, I used to be that skinny, and then I started taking my anti-cancer, post-treatment medications and my once galloping metabolism has trotted out to pasture; it’s NO match for the power that is pharma. I’m trying not to eat anything that isn’t a (non-starchy) vegetable or protein.”

  • You may need to adjust your diet and fitness routine, but deprivation isn’t an adjustment, it’s punishment.

Mindfulness

“They say you should meditate for 20 minutes EACH DAY. I can’t sit still that long, let alone find time to even consider meditating, plus, my thoughts terrify me. But they say it helps reduce cancer risk. . .I feel guilty because I’m not doing it.”

  • Rather than meditate, can you journal or draw? Can you meditate for 5 minutes? Can you go for a walk and think at the same time (moving meditation)?

Sleep

I should go to bed earlier, but I get caught in the net of Netflix, and then I get hungry so I eat, which makes it too uncomfortable to go to bed. They say sleeping more (and eating earlier) reduces cancer risk, but I simply can’t make myself head to bed at a decent hour.”

  • Try limiting your entertainment viewing to a specific amount of time (1 hour?) and going to bed 15 minutes earlier every few days. That snack? Are you hungry or bored?

Solitude

“I’m sooooo busy, I never have a moment to relax, read a book, see my friends. They say downtime is important, but bleh, who actually does that, anyway?”

  • You only find “me-time” when you make it non-negotiable and guard it like a secret.

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Want more self-care guidance and strategies?

I invite you to join me for a FULL day of education, inspiration and motivation at my

“DAM. MAD. About Breast Cancer. Inspiring ACTION Workshop.” 

March 8 and 9, 2018. 

Information + Registration!

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