Welcome to 2023! Let’s start the new year off with 3 ways to self-care for your mental health!
I hope you all had a wonderful and restful holiday season. Sometimes after the holidays, we feel like we need a vacation as it can be a very overwhelming, people-filled time. My hope is that you have had some time for yourself to unwind and relax. The beginning of the year can be quite daunting, as we often put pressure on ourselves to accomplish a lot of things in a small period of time.
I thought this blog would be a great starting point for us to focus on how we can incorporate self-care for the mind, body, and soul. Hopefully, you can take away a few of these self-care tips & tools to start you off this year.
Self-Care for the Mind
- Find your therapist – by that I mean find a therapist that you feel is right for you! Sometimes you may find a therapist who may not feel like the right fit, but that’s okay, that means you just need to find one that is a good fit for you.
- Journal – writing how we feel can feel overwhelming, or we feel we aren’t “good” at it. But journalling can start with the help of prompts (often found in our blogs), or just writing about how you feel. Journalling is a great place to offload what is going on for you, good or bad. It’s a safe space to write and connect with yourself.
- Turn off notifications – Social media and technology get in the way of how we connect with ourselves and others. I always suggest turning off your notifications about an hour before you go to bed. It’s a great way to check in with your partner, and wind down without distractions before you go to sleep.
- Set boundaries – This can be a tricky one. Similarly to turning off our notifications, setting boundaries around how often we are on our phones, such as putting them in another room when having dinner, or when kids are doing homework. Boundaries are also important when you are feeling like your social battery is empty, and you would rather just stay at home in your pajamas. Know when you have reached your limits, and respect yourself by setting boundaries. Boundaries are also important in conversation. Most of the time when we connect with others we talk about our day-to-day troubles, kids, work, etc. this can be very draining, as we are living this every day. Set boundaries around conversation, and try to talk about other things, such as things you enjoy doing, or a great movie you watched recently.
Self-Care for your Body
- Eat well – a lot of us have a difficult relationship with food. We feel guilty for eating those things that may not be the best for us, but once in a while, we are allowed to treat ourselves. It is also important to balance out what you’re eating with foods that are also good for you as well. Eating well also means making sure that you’re not skipping a lot of meals, especially breakfast.
- Pamper yourself – Get your hair done, get your nails done, go to your appointments, and do things that we often take for granted as part of our self-care. These are often the things that we enjoy doing and are willing to do for ourselves.
- Stay active – of course going to the gym is the obvious answer, but there are other healthy ways to stay active. For clients who are not comfortable going to the gym, I suggest going onto YouTube and finding a fun dance workout, yoga, or workout program that you may have fun and enjoy. There are also great yoga programs and spin classes available in different studios, and recreational centers. Or simply go for a walk around the block, a trail walk, or a hike. Fresh air is a necessity!
- Sleep – I know there are a lot of us who struggle to fall asleep or maintain a stable sleeping pattern. Sleep is so important to the functionality of our minds, and for emotional regulation. A consistent sleep schedule can be really helpful with our levels of productivity and overall well-being.
Self-Care for your Soul
I wanted to tap into our creative sides, as I feel they can be really impactful in all aspects of our lives.
- Art – Art is a great form of self-expression. It is a very broad entity, that can help us process our grief, trauma, sadness, happiness, and other emotions. Drawing, scribbling, and painting are a few examples of how my clients can express themselves, and provide opportunities for healing. Art is also how we can connect to others, and how others can feel connected to us. I have been to numerous art museums, and am in awe of some of the work that people create.
- Music – Music is an area that I feel extremely connected with. I feel that music has incredible healing components, and impacts us in so many ways. A great way to implement self-care through music is to develop playlists for certain emotions or moods (we have one for Eterna!). Music is also great for me to understand and connect with my clients, as their music choices can give me insight into how they are feeling. Music is also a great way to share their story, to express themselves when they do not always have the words to say. Next time you hear a song that you feel connected to, spend some time unpacking why.
- Writing – I mentioned earlier that journalling is a great way to self-care for the mind, but it is also a great way to take care of your soul. The struggles in our lives and successes in our lives are all part of our story. Writing gives you a chance to sit in stillness, and unpack how you really feel about the world without judgment, without an audience. It is a great way to stay connected with yourself, but as we have seen with a lot of authors, writing can be a great way to connect to others.
I challenge you to pick one aspect of self-care to practice and incorporate into your day-to-day life, and as you continue throughout the year, add another one, and another one. Your self-care is so important to the challenges you will face this year, as well as a great reminder of how important it is for us to take care of ourselves.
Happy New Year!