calming self care scene

Self Care Tips

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I wanted to share a few self care tips today about how to handle stress, anxiety and everything that’s going on right now in terms of our world. Here’s quite a few tips.

Get ready. You may want to take some notes.

The first self care tip is super important. We want to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves in every way possible. If that’s taking up a new hobby and ordering supplies on Amazon for how to knit or crochet, do it.

If it’s using a face mask or trying a new recipe, try something new. Spice it up, do something that takes care of you.

Another self care tip is to talk to someone. Obviously, we can’t be in person at this time, but we can definitely do video chats, phone calls, Facetime, etc. There are so many different free video services at this point.

Talk to someone, don’t go through this alone. Have someone that you can really share all of your fears, your concerns, your stressors, and then some of the funny things that have happened through this whole stressful situation, it’s worth it.

The next thing is to do some sort of exercise. If that’s yoga or trying high intensity interval training. Or perhaps trying an at home workout on YouTube, there’s so many different free things going on right now. Take advantage of it.

Sunshine. You’ve got to get some sunshine. Vitamin D. We’ve got to make sure that we are getting fresh air while we are staying inside of our homes. We have to change things up a little bit, change the scenery. It’s going to help, I promise.

Another self care option, speak with a therapist, whether you talk me or someone else. If you happen to not live in Georgia, there’s other options all across the nation and the world. You can find a lot of great therapists online right now.

The best places to look would be Psychology Today or another therapist directory. Or try a Google search for therapists in your area.

This would be a great time to process what has happened in the past few months. Explore your emotions, thoughts and fears without feeling any judgment whatsoever.

Another self care tip would be to try journaling. This is not a “dear diary” moment by any means. This is something like “Everything that’s in my head, I’m tired of it being up here and I want it to be on paper. I just want to find a way to get out of my head and breathe.”

Another tip is laughing. Find something funny on YouTube, TikTok, or another app. There are so many video services that have comedy specials. Maybe you like pictures of cute kittens and puppies running around. You can find something funny. 

The next self care tip, would be to know what we can control and what we cannot control. Things that we cannot control, might be, we cannot control other people.

As much as we may want to, we cannot control them. In terms of things that we can control, we can control our social distancing.

We can take care of our health. We can take care of our thoughts and emotions. If we get into a negative thought loop, we have got to get ourselves out of that. 

Speaking of negative thought loops. We want to check our thoughts. If we are having trouble with worst case scenario kinds of thoughts (feeling like the world’s going to end).

Then that’s going to affect our physical and mental health because all of our aspects of health are all tied together.  It may be helpful to categorize our thoughts with categories like worst case scenario or personalizing the situation when it’s not really something that affects us. There’s a ton of different categories out there.

Let’s look at ways to work on our negative thoughts and add some positive spins to them. There are five steps.

This is something you definitely want to write down.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

1. Specific thought

2. Categorize your thought

3. Identify the situation

4. Identify any emotions tied to the thought

5. Add a positive spin

First, we come up with a specific thought and from there we categorize it. If we came up with an example of a negative thought “My friend doesn’t want to talk to me because I didn’t answer her back late last night.”

Okay. Pretty specific thought. The category would be personalization. We’re taking it personally. We don’t know what’s really going on for the friend, right?

The situation, sometime last night maybe, you were probably in your room because we’re all in our homes at this time. The emotion, explore any emotions tied to it. Maybe some fear: “Why is my friend not talking to me?”

Perhaps disappointment because you want somebody to talk to. Then add a positive spin, this is the important part. With the positive spin, we want to make sure that we’re taking that original thought and add a positive spin, something more realistic.

Something that gives you grace: “Okay, Maybe my friend’s not mad at me. Maybe she’s just busy and she went out for a walk. She’ll talk to me soon.” 

Another self care tip, I’m giving you so many, I hope you’re taking notes, is something called grounding or 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

So what you do, is you have five senses, right? We have sight touch, hearing, smelling, tasting. What we do is we come up with five things we can see.

Look around the room. Then four things that we can hear. Then three things that we can touch. Then two things that we can smell. Lastly, one thing that we can taste.

If you have more things you can taste, than you can smell, then you can switch up the numbers. We’re being more mindful and present of the situation. This can be helpful if we feel anxious.

We want to make sure that we can find a way to breathe, calm down and identify things around us. That will help ground you and deal with the situation at hand.

5 things you can see

4 things you can hear

3 things you can touch

2 things you can smell

1 thing you can taste

And then the last self care tip, this is probably my favorite one. Whether you are anxious, depressed, stressed out or just ended a fight.

Deep breathing is so helpful. Something that we can do is to breathe in for, let’s say breathe in for four, hold for four, and out for six. Numbers don’t really matter.

As long as the exhale is longer than the inhale. Practice breathing with our stomachs, with our diaphragm breathing. We’re going to breathe in (1, 2, 3, 4) hold (1, 2, 3, 4) and breathe out (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Try that for maybe five cycles.

If you’re having trouble with finding a way to relax. Check out Learn to Relax : A Practical Guide to Easing Tension and Conquering Stress

Bonus Goodie! I’ve got a discount code for $5 off the Anti Anxiety Notebook. Use code rbcounseling5.  This notebook keeps me sane with my busy schedule. The notebook has prompts to break down describe the situation you’re in, describe your thoughts, note the intensity, identify thought patterns, challenge your unhelpful thinking, and gives you room to do some extra journaling. It prompts you every step of the way. Obviously, I’m loving it. Check it out for yourself here

If you have any questions whatsoever, please reach out to me. To discuss how therapy and self care could help you during this season of your life, please contact me or schedule your free 15 minute consultation.

 

Want to read more? Here are a few of my related blog posts you may be interested in checking out!

– “Anxiety and Covid-19″

– “How to Be Single and Date During Covid-19″

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