By Shona Royce, LCPA | Clinician at Mindsight Behavioral Group
Are you a clinician that feels drained at the end of the day? Are you a parent that is exhausted after a long day of work, caring for the children and household duties? Are you a student that is fatigued and struggling to stay afloat? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then I’m talking to you. We as adults struggle with the chaos of work, family and even school every day. We focus on others and often neglect our own self-care.
What's the big deal about focusing on your Self-Care?
Self -care reduces incidents of illness. If you take better care of yourself, then you are less likely to get sick and have a better immune system.
Self-care gives you an opportunity to reduce stress from the day.
Self-Care assists you in the development of healthy coping strategies.
If you practiced good self-care you become more productive.
How do I make time for self-care and what self-care strategies should I use?
First, it is important that you set aside a set amount of time per day for self-care. Try as hard as possible to keep your set time. Self-care is more effective if you complete it every day. Whether you have to set an alarm or put it on your calendar, designated time for self care just like you designate time to eat or sleep.
What are some effective self -care techniques?
Exercise. I personally set aside 1 hour each night after work to go to the gym in an effort to reduce stress from the day. Other forms of exercise include: walking, treadmill, bike riding, sports and hiking to name a few. Exercise increases mood while decreasing stress and anxiety. It helps with weight loss. Exercise increases brain and memory health. Lastly, exercise helps with reducing high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Hot bath/bubble bath. A hot bath often assists with the reduction of tense muscles and stress.
Journaling/Sketching. Journaling and/or sketching assists is an activity that can assist with the reduction of anxiety or stress.
Listening to calm music. Music helps to soothe the soul and to reduce tension and stress.
Going to a concert, a community event, or just staying home and watching a calm movie or playing a game.
I know we all struggle finding time for ourselves each day. But self-care is so essential in maintaining our physical and mental health. Good self-care not only helps you, but the benefits are felt by your family, friends and co-workers. We only get one body, be good to it!