We talk to our clients a lot about the importance of balance in our lives in order for us as individuals to be happy and function effectively. Self-care is a crucial component in finding that balance. What does self-care look like? Well, self-care looks different for everyone and can often depend on personality. In order for it apply to all populations, though, the analogy that I give is this:
“When was the last time you took a trip somewhere and flew on a plane? Picture yourself on that airplane, getting ready for take-off. You fasten your seat belt, and the flight attendant (or a video of a flight attendant) directs your attention to the exits, asks for the aisles to be clear, and the flight attendant says if for some reason the oxygen masks come down…”
WHO DO YOU PUT THE OXYGEN MASK ON FIRST?
More often than not, people will say “the person next to you.” The actual answer is, YOURSELF. You put the oxygen mask on yourself first. How can you take care of others if you are running out of air? This is also true with life in general.
When I encourage a client to incorporate more self-care in his/her life, I ask them about their current daily routine and talk to them about The Trinity of Health:
1) Getting enough sleep
2) Being mindful of what you eat
Examining one’s current level of functioning includes determining if that individual is getting enough sleep, figuring out what kind of food an individual is putting into his or her body (and eating habits), and determining if they are exercising or moving with purpose. Once this has been examined and discussed, we can set individualized goals to help clients include more self-care into their busy lives. Because the reality is, we can be busy and also still take care of ourselves. We need and deserve it.
Lately, I have had several clients ask me: “What do you do for self-care? After helping us through our challenges all day, you must need some time for you.”
It would be unfair for me NOT to practice what I preach. Yes, therapists are human too and we also need time to decompress…time for self-care.
My self-care routine includes, but is not limited to:
1) Following the Trinity
2) Participating in yoga to reduce stress
3) Paint-by-numbers (see photo above!)
5) Getting a massage
6) Meditating (the Calm app is great for this)
If you are feeling particularly stressed and overwhelmed, please don’t hesitate to call and schedule an appointment with us: 847-854-4333. We can help you to take a look at what you’re currently doing and figure out a way to insert self-care into your busy routine so you can feel better and function more effectively. You’re worth it!