I woke up this morning with a killer headache. I have no medical training, however after some scholarly googling, I think I was able to identify it was a mixed headache - some combination of a tension headache and a migraine. Whatever it was, I strongly believe that this headache was my body’s way of telling me that it is STRESSED and that I need to do something about it. Now, as a mental health professional, I put a lot of pressure on myself to just be able to manage stress really well naturally. But occasionally, it sneaks up on me and smacks me in the face. I constantly have to remind myself that I am human and no amount of education, training or experience makes me a superhero. I still need to make a conscious effort to manage stress DAILY. A few days of going through the motions of life and being lackadaisical about taking care of myself, and I can quickly get thrown into a state of tension and unrest, and sometimes become ill. The major message here: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
A term we mental health professionals throw around like it’s common knowledge to the world is Self Care. Really there’s no magical definition or explanation. It means what it suggests. Taking care of yourself. However it goes way deeper than the obvious ways one might take care of oneself. More on that another day. The obvious ways to engage in “self care” might be… eating foods that your body likes and needs, drinking plenty of water so that your body and brain can function, getting adequate sleep, getting some level of exercise, getting fresh air and sunshine when you can, taking breaks and vacations when you can (the vacation doesn’t have to cost anything, by the way; more on that another day), spending quality time with yourself, spending quality time with those that love you, listening to music, reading, relaxing, meditating, just sitting and taking deep breaths, taking a bath, talking out life’s challenges with someone you trust, and many many more. The reality is that these are all fairly obvious things, and you already KNOW how to take care of yourself. It’s more a matter of making it a priority - of believing you’re WORTH being taken care of.
SO, we'd love to hear what you do to take care of yourself. Comment here, head to The Basically Happy Tribe on Facebook, or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Now go take care of yourself! Do it! Now! :)
xoxo Allison and Sam