Easy Self Care

"How do you take care of yourself?" is a question I'm always asking my clients, and more often then not, they don't really know the answer. While self care may be different for each individual, what's universal is the pure and simple fact that it's something we all need. Over the years I've discovered that there are a handful of basic self care techniques that my clients and I return to (that don't include setting an exercise routine). They are easy enough that almost anyone can do them and at any time.

Check out our list and then try one for yourself!...


: Routines can be great, but sometimes doing something different is just what you need to help you gain new perspective, shake off some stress or change your mood. Doing something different doesn't have to be huge, you can simply taking new route home, walking instead of driving, talking to someone new, or reading a book instead of watching tv. You can also check out Do Something Different for a regular text or email "Do."

: If you're a parent, a student, a human, you probably find yourself quite busy each day. It's easy to forget about ourselves and our own needs while we're working a 9-5 job or chasing little ones. That's why I encourage each of my clients to take just 5 minutes a day and make it all their own. And the rules are simple, do something, all alone, just for yourself, for 5 minutes. You could read a few pages from a book, take a short walk, sit and stare off into space, have a cup of tea, exercise. really the possibilities are endless. Why 5 minutes? Because almost anyone has 5 minutes to spare, even in a busy work day, I promise. 5 minutes to yourself can help you recharge and if you find 5 minutes isn't enough, you can build your way up to 10, 20, 30 even an hour of "me" time.

: Journaling, the go to homework assignment for most therapists, isn't for everyone, but expressing yourself creatively can be an important and useful therapeutic tool. You might enjoy drawing, doodling, painting, dancing, drama, writing, scrap booking, etc., whatever it is, do it. I try to encourage all of my clients to try a little bit of everything if they aren't sure what they like. The focus doesn't have to be on your issues either, the topic of your piece, that's up to you.

: Have you ever heard the phrase "good fences make good neighbors"? Like good fences, good boundaries can help you have healthier relationships in all aspects of your life and increase your feelings of self worth. Boundary setting is not an uncommon need, in fact it's a repeat theme with many of my counseling clients. If you're not sure how to set good boundaries, here's a good article to get you started.

: Sometimes it may feel like you're all alone in your struggles, but the truth is you often have more resources and support than you thought. Friends and family, even co-workers and neighbors can provide support in times of need. There are also professionals like counselors, doctors, nurses, teachers, who can help if you feel like friends and family aren't available. In addition you can seek out community services and online support groups for extra self care. If you're curious about finding local support check out 211.org.

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