As a Therapist, one of the main themes discussed with my clients is how they can put themselves first in terms of Self-Care. Often times we are so busy trying to help others that we put our own needs on the back burner. Before you know it, what could have been easily maintained has now become a growing crisis and begins to boil over into our personal lives. Just like doing the dishes, laundry, dusting or maintaining our vehicles, we need to stay on top of our mental health by making Self-Care an absolute priority. Trying to incorporate these seven steps into your daily routine will undoubtedly begin to bring a greater sense peace and wellbeing back into your life.
1. Obliterate Overthinking - This keeps you stuck in your head and isolated from reality. If you’re having trouble stopping repetitive thoughts, try transferring them to paper to get a different perspective. Meditation can also help you learn to manage your thoughts.
2. Embrace your Imperfections - You are unique! Embrace those qualities and learn to have compassion for yourself and your individuality.
3. Unplug - Turn off your phone, your TV, you tablet and reduce the amount of distractions keeping you from enjoying what is truly beautiful and rare in your life. Connect with the outdoors and live a little!
4. Express Gratitude - Look for something to be grateful for in every situation. Start a gratitude journal and learn to take inventory of your blessings on a daily basis.
5. Take time for YOU - Spend at least 20 minutes a day doing something that brings you peace and relaxation. Whether that be reading a good book, taking a hot bath, meditating, taking a walk or just resting. We all need time to recharge, make it a habit.
6. Allow Yourself to Feel - By numbing and ignoring painful or difficult feelings, we only prolong the inevitable and create an overabundance of negative feelings. Learn to feel emotions as they come up and instead of putting up a wall, try writing those feelings down, talking about them or finding another creative way to deal with and release that energy from your mind and body.
7. Forgive - Learn to forgive yourself and others. Holding onto anger, hurt, negativity and resentment only causes you harm and toxicity in the long run. Don’t let the behavior of others control your own. Learn to let go and move forward.
If you need more guidance on how to achieve an effective Self-Care routine, contact an Elttila Counselor today!
Written by Michelle Meyers, MS, NCC.