Hey there, are you taking care of yourself?
This article authored by Mary Holmes, therapist at TGC.
Selfcare is a popular topic in wellness these days and with good reason. It’s become increasingly clear that in order to be live a balanced live, one must take intention steps to focus on meeting basic needs. With the ever increasing pace of our lives, running on empty in not an option. In order to live our best lives we must shift our focus from hyper-productivity to rest, rejuvenation, and fulfillment.
Selfcare can be thought of in layers. The most basic selfcare addresses biological needs. Are you sick often? How is your sleep? Are you eating well and enough? Do you get adequate physical activity? Another level addresses social needs. Do you have opportunities to connect with loved ones? Are your relationships healthy? Are you often lonely? Do you have friends or family with whom you can share your successes and challenges?
Meeting these basic needs can present a significant challenge to someone struggling with mental health and emotional wellness. For those suffering with depression or anxiety, a quick shower and getting out of the house for the day can be a monumental feet and an enormous achievement. Making and maintaining social connections is not walk in the park for someone struggling to simply make it through the day. Paradoxically, meeting these needs for oneself is the very foundation of recovery.
While it’s not necessary for you to be a total health nut or count calories, ensuring you eat adequately balanced meals each day contributes to wellness enormously, both physically and mentally. Do you find yourself skipping meals or binging at the end of a busy day? Have you fallen into a rut of convenience food and mindless consumption? Do you feel guilty after you’ve eaten? These are all indicators it may be time to focus in on this part of your self care routine.
Transformative Growth Pro Tips
TGC Pro Tip #1: Begin to alot one meal each week that you will prepare for yourself in your home. Plan it ahead of time, enjoy the time you take cook. Listen to music or your favorite podcast. Sit at a table and while you eat do nothing but eat, really tasting the food and enjoying the moment.
Sleep: How often do you wake feeling rested? Does you toss and turn at bedtime? Are you overcome with thoughts of your to do list? Or do you pass out as soon as you hit the pillow? Do you have a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up? Are you yawning throughout the day or loading up on caffeine to make it through? If so, now is the time to take extra care to improve your sleep quantity and quality.
TGC Pro tip #2: Shower or bathe no less than ninety minutes before bedtime, as the body needs to cool down to transition into a restful state. Limit screen time. If you find this challenging (you’re not alone) download a blue light filtering screen dimmer. Use a fan or white noise app to reduce disruptions. It takes most adults an average of fifteen minutes to fall asleep. If you find yourself tossing and turning for much longer, get out of bed and engage in a restful activity, such as reading, until you feel sleepy again. (These tips are not a substitute for medical advice. Some sleep problems should be addressed by a physician.)
Social: Whether introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, humans need contact and connection with other humans. Burnout and mental health struggles can lead to isolation, which in turn worsen burnout and mental health struggles. Reaching out to loved ones may be taxing, but social connection can be healing, uplifting, and comforting. Tip: Try emailing, texting, or calling one person each day. If you do not have many or any social contacts to connect with, attend a concert, play, or sporting event. Shared experiences meet deeply rooted human needs for connection, even with strangers.
Pause and check in with you. Start now. Start small. Are you taking care of yourself?
If you need help learning how to self care or balance life and work, school or family, Mary can help.