Take Care : Boundaries

Happy Monday,
Let's start our week off right shall we?

OK- so as  promised how is the whole sleep thing going? Well, while I did manage to do all three tips I talked about at least once last week. my sleep has still been all over the place. On the days I worked out for the most part I slept well. One day this week I went to a  late movie and didn't get to bed until two hours past my usual bed time but amazingly I woke up "right as rain" the next morning...go figure. . The electronic free bedroom nights were awesome so that will continue. This week I will continue consistently making my sleep a priority and let you know how it's going. What's new with your self-care needs? How are your goals going? I would love to hear from you.  We are in this together and if there's anyway I can help I would be more than happy too.

Now that we have the formalities out the way, I really wanted to talk to you about boundaries. These are very important and very specific to your individual needs. You see in order to truly take care, you must know your limits. For some this may be easy for others not so much. Yesterday, at church taught me so much about my blurred boundaries...for instance you find  out who truly cares for you when times are rough. I'm sure you already knew this but work with me.  Also you can only truly help someone willing and able to help themselves. Doing the work for the person does not help; it only hinders them..sometimes I get myself into trouble with this because I want to help..again sure you already knew this. Lastly..no one and I mean no one can fault you for taking care of yourself. Some will try  but you should not feel guilty for protecting yourself. We cannot be all things to all people that's whats God is for, something I learned at church previously and  yesterday.

The point is boundaries re: your time, energy, effort, money, and love/devotion will determine if you end up feeling drained at the end of the day or refreshed and ready for more. I give you permission in case you needed it to take care of yourself. We must care for self before others. It is not wrong! In fact it is selfish not too because when people are truly depending on you for your help you will not have anything left to give from your depleted reserves.  Along the way I have learned a thing or two about boundaries that help me make my health spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and financially a priority . And while this is easier said than done  I strive to do it everyday. I hope this information helps you in some way.

Self-care boundaries:

1. Say no and mean it. A concept I learned from this book. There's nothing worst then saying no and then going back on your word. You loose because not only did you not want to participate in the activity in the first place it's more than likely taking time away from some enjoyable self-care activity.

2. "Automate the important" Our Pastor Bruce Moore introduced this concept one Sunday in-relation to tithes and offerings and I didn't get it until I had a a million and one "deadlines" real and imagined and the concept popped back into my head. If there is a way that your bills or tithing in our churches case can be automated, Do it! It will take the stress and the guess work out of something important to you. How many times have you woken up in the middle of the night thinking did I pay that bill or in my case did I move the tithe money into the account?

3. Plan and keep time to reflect/ rest. Sometimes you just need to unplug..its hard but Facebook is really a time suck and your health is more important then the latest tweet that you can easily look up. You owe it to yourself to keep the appointments/ dates you make with you. If  you're not keeping your appointments with you ...how will you keep appointments with others? Another concept learned from Pastor Moore.

4. Make sure those in your inner circle are on board. When I have spa day the whole house is put on notice what , when, how,and the duration of my self- care activities. This avoids my husband for instance saying "What's for dinner" in the middle of my pedicure.

5. Do not always be readily accessible/available. I'm not saying live on  a remote island where you never talk to family or friends but I am saying listen to your body and yourself and don't feel obligated to respond to every facebook message, text, call, or email until you're ready. This is a hard one for me to learn ...until I realized that those I connect with are doing it too.. In fact it allows you time to think and be genuine in what you say when you do respond.  And if someone has a problem with it..tough, you might want to reevaluate the relationship because anyone who cares for you will understand that sometimes you need your space. Confusion does not equal clarity. Be still and listen- Psalm 46:10.

How do you set boundaries that make your self-care needs a priority? I invite you to email me or leave  a message in the comments.

Take Care,

~ Raqui


Raqui Thursdays

Happy Thursday People! For those of us who grind Monday- Friday it's almost the weekend.  Hallelujah!!!  And for everyone else I hope your weekend treats you well. I originally was going to post a playlist for this week, but when inspiration hits you .... you gotta write.

Today I went to Zumba and I ran into a old familiar face. It was great catching up with her and I left feeling refreshed, blessed, and at peace. I can't explain it but her very presence and willingness to let her blessed life exuded from her allowed/reminded me to be free. Anyways.. my point is everything happens for a reason so this Thursday as you enjoy time away from your daily activities, I invite you to reflect on if you're living your authentic life. If things are going well then let the whole world know and if there not then share with those who are close to you. Either way isolation is not an option. Embrace whatever is going on  as they say live in the moment.

Take Care, Be Blessed, Enjoy your life's sound track



Take Care:Take Stock Results: Sleep, Posture, Hydration

And above these three is sleep. God is so funny. While working on the Take Care series this summer, I got to thinking/writing and well the three things I need / want to focus on this summer as the title entails are sleep, posture, and hydration.  Last week, we talked about taking stock and I must let you in on a little secret: I already knew what I needed to work on which sometimes happens but it was defiantly confirmed this week in ways I couldn’t imagine. How did taking a fresh look at your self –care needs go this week?

Sleep has eluded me at times and has been good at times. In fact last night it rained and I slept well besides some weird dreams. But dreaming is good.  I defiantly see a difference when I don’t go to bed at my normal time even for one night. It’s like it throws my whole week off!!! Yikes! So, it’s fitting a few weeks ago the Today Show did a segment on sleep. OK God I’m listening :)
 First order of business is to really look at my sleeping patterns and implement new ways to get a better night’s sleep. I already do the usual we have all heard before of going to bed and waking up the same time each day… even on weekends…Ugh!,  making sure my bedroom is just that a place to sleep not plan, write, read, or watch TV…this does not always work and  lastly,  try not to drink anything about 1-2 hours before bed so I get continuous sleep.
This week I will be doing three things to improve my sleep. How about you? Is sleep something you struggle with? Or is there another self-care issue you’re going to tackle first? What do you do to get a good night’s rest?

Sleep Tips This Week:
  1. Exercise
  2.  Note when I go to bed, how long it takes me to fall asleep, what time I wake up, and how I feel in the morning
  3. Phone Free bedroom

Okay, that’s it for now. I’ll be back next week to let you know how it goes.

Take Care,



Taking Care: Taking Stock

Awe summer: fresh air, showers, cookouts, beaches…let’s just drink it all in shall we? OK back to business!

By far, one of my most popular post to date has been Taking Care. Personally I believe this is because often times we get in the routine of taking care of ourselves last.

As you know I truly believe in order to be an effective and functioning person in this life you must care for self-first. I have seen and personally experienced what not taking care of yourself can do and I’m sure you have too. So, I propose over the next six weeks we take a long hard look into our self-care techniques, strengths, areas for improvement, and do some experimenting…who ‘s with me??!!!!

Here’s how it will work: each week I will post an aspect of self-care we can explore together; sharing our triumphs and supporting each other's bloopers along the way .Trust me I’m the queen of them. So thankful for God’s Grace.
This first week we will take stock. Write down what you do this week, such as when you wake up, go to bed, eat, sleep, exercise, read, anything that is a part of your routine, a good rule of thumb I have learned from various sources is to at least record  three consecutive days of activities to see established patterns. If you can’t? Just write what you can. The point of the exercise is to see where you are currently at in your self-care journey. Once that’s done take some time not to even look at your routine and then come back to it. What one or two areas stand out that you would like to reboot this summer?  Next week we share our insights.

I would love to hear from you so leave a comment below about your self -care journey  and/or topics you would like covered during this series . To connect on a more intimate level feel free to email me at raquiwardrn@gmail.com

Take Care, you deserve it!

~ Raqui 

P.S.  If your wonder where I came up with Taking Care look no further than Drake's song "Take Care" ft. Rihanna. There's a line in the song when she says "I'll take care of you" which inspired me/ got me thinking. And while I don't agree with most of the music these artists produce, this one in particular made me think of my own self -care needs. What music inspires you?