Between the beginning of the school year and the continuation of COVID, self-care may not be the first priority on your mind. In times of increased stress, self-care plays many important roles that can help with prevention and management of that stress.
Why is Self-Care important?
Self-Care acts as both a prevention of stress as well as an effective way to manage stress in your life. 2020 has brought many additional stressors to individuals and upticks in anxiety and depression are being seen.
When stress is high, individuals are at a higher risk of developing anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, school and work difficulties, or behavioral concerns.
This is where self-care comes in. Self-care acts as a protective factor to these risks by helping to prevent their onset. For those who are already struggling with stress or mental health concerns, it helps promote wellness and relief from these concerns.
Additionally, these practices can be beneficial to individuals of all ages. Children, adolescents, and adults can all benefit from these self-care tips to help manage the increased stress we are all experiencing.
5 Tips for Self-Care
1. Acknowledge what you are feeling
I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I don’t know why I am feeling this way. What am I feeling?
These are phrases that we have all probably said at least once. When we ignore or try to push down emotions, we are no longer in touch with what we are truly feeling about a situation. Try acknowledging and validating the way you or your family feels. By becoming in tune with what you are feeling, you are then able to start finding ways to manage those feelings or create better solutions to the stress in your life.
2. Take care of your physical health
Physical and mental health are linked. If you are not taking care of your physical health, your mental health will be affected. If you are neglecting your mental health, it can be seen in your physical health. Take a walk, during some water, eat meals. If you are feeling sick or tired, that is a sign you may need a break… both mentally and physically.
3. Take breaks
If our minds are constantly running, worrying, or processing, it can be hard to stay in tuned to how we are feeling. Whether that break is 5 minutes to step away from a difficult situation, or a week to reset, make time for yourself to step away from your stressors so that you can come back more refreshed and able to handle what is ahead of you.
4. Stay Connected
Now that we are 6 months into COVID, many people are starting to feel the impacts even stronger of not being connected with other people. More people are feeling disconnected, lonely, and isolated. Prioritize time to spend connecting with family and friends either virtually or using safe measures.
5. Set Realistic Expectations
There is nothing more of a guaranteed disappointment than setting unrealistic expectations. We tend to gauge or happiness, success or well being by comparing ourselves to our own expectations. When your expectations are unreasonable, you are going to fall short. When it comes to navigating the school year, or planning for the future, be real with yourself and adjust your expectations accordingly.
In need of services? Request an appointment with one of our clinicians at Brighter Hope Wellness Center.