SELF CARE IN STRESSFUL TIMES
What do you think about when you hear the phrase “Self-Care”? Exercise? Good. Meditation? Excellent. What about meditation or massage? Fantastic. All of these are important methods of self care. But have you ever considered the kind of self care that focuses on your mind?
What if I told you that having a regulated mind is at the root of self care? May is Mental Health Awareness Month and what better time to focus on getting your mind right? With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, now more than ever, your mind may be tested to withstand unprecedented stresses. The truth is, unless you develop good mental hygiene you may be setting yourself up for unnecessary risk.
So what does it mean to give yourself good mental self care? Some of this will seem familiar but if you’re feeling persistently stressed out you may want to take another look at what you're doing to help yourself get through tough times.
Here's a few tips on things you can do to make your self care mental health focused.
1. Take a new look at meditation. Most people assume that spending time in meditation is a good way to clear your mind of stressful or negative happenings in the day, and they wouldn’t be wrong. Getting still and quiet is a great way to check in with yourself and begin to process through the thoughts that come racing in. But did you know that practicing meditation is not just a reaction to things gone bad. It’s actually a preparation for maintaining the kind of self control that lends to peace. It is a training ground of sorts. It gives you the mental tools to absorb some of the negative impact and keep standing. Training your mind to be steady and stable is of far more use to you in stressful situations than in times of calm. The next time you take the opportunity to pause, meditate on what’s good and pleasant in your life with gratitude. It will give you something to draw upon when the stress meter goes up.
2. Take charge of your emotional environment. If you're the kind of person who is secretly terrified of rejection then this tip is for you. Maybe you let others impress their wishes and opinions upon you because you don't want to risk disagreement. For you, disagreement means emotional separation. This is not just for romantic relationships but also for friends, co-workers and relatives. You don’t want to risk losing them or the image you believe they have of you. Well here’s a newsflash; you're already losing. Giving your integrity and autonomy to your significant other, a pushy relative or that overbearing coworker just to buy ‘likes’ is selling yourself short. It’s ultimately a losing game. No one wins at life being inauthentic and to truly care for yourself you have to honor yourself. Honor your beliefs, honor what’s important to you, and set the necessary boundaries with people that you have in your life. Self care isn’t just what you do, it’s what you allow.
3. Become familiar with your own triggers. Sometimes you react to things without even knowing that caused the reaction. Stop and think about what emotional reaction you had and why you had such a strong reaction. Become familiar with emotions. If you find it hard to articulate what you are feeling beyond happy, sad and mad it’s time to look at the full gamut of things we humans can feel. Trust me, the list is long. Not being able to clearly pinpoint what you are feeling will only leave you feeling stuck, frustrated and misunderstood.
4. Finally, never take something out of your hand without replacing it with something better. After you've figured out what you want to clear out of your emotional space, figure out what brings you joy. Not sure what that is? That could be an indication that you are under a lot of stress and have some significant mental cleansing to do. Seeking a professionals’ guidance in doing so is not only a good idea but it’s healthy and is imperative to your mental growth.
So the next time you think about taking that “me time” consider taking strategic action for your mind. Be well.
Nneka (pronounced ‘N’ - neck - ah) Anderson is the CEO and Founder of Spring Into Being . She’s a Mindset Transformation Strategist with a passion for helping high-achieving women transform mindset habits to push through negative self-talk, overwhelming people pleasing behaviors and self-sabotaging fear to design the lives they crave. Using her signature system, she’s helped women expand their businesses, increase their income and take their relationships to higher heights. If you’re frustrated with where you are in your business, career or relationships; fearful about taking the next steps and can’t seem to get out of your own way; or need help taking action toward the life you know you were meant to live, Connect with Nneka at (916) 713-2844 for a free discovery call.