Ten Tips for Self-care in Difficult Times
I was recently asked to give a talk on self-care at The Women’s March on Colorado Summit in Denver, CO. It’s no secret that stress is at an all time high.
All you have to do is pick up a newspaper or turn on the news to feel fear, grief and a loss of control. In all my years as a therapist and life coach in private practice, I haven’t seen people more stressed and disillusioned.
I will post the text to my talk in a separate post. Here is a list of ten strategies for self-care that I gave as a handout.
1. Acknowledge your pain. You can’t heal what you don’t feel. Let yourself feel your fear, fatigue, anger, doubt, disconnection, emptiness, hopelessness, loneliness, etc., Whatever you are feeling is OK.
2. Be vulnerable. Speak the truth to at least one other person about what you are feeling and experiencing. It is strong to be vulnerable.
3. Seek balance. Burnout is not noble. We need you to bring your best game to the table. This means you need to know your limits and say no to more than you can handle.
4. Set healthy boundaries. Taking on more than you can handle leads to anger, resentment, martyrdom and loss of self. You serve no one by losing yourself in the process.
5. Practice non-judgement for self and others. We need discernment to know what to rise up against and change, but self-righteous judgment can become toxic, draining and dangerous.
6. Practice compassion for self and others. When we bring compassion to ourselves and our pain it softens the energy, decreases our resistance to what is and allows for healing to occur.
7. Create community. We live in a society full of isolation, disconnection and loneliness. 40% of the population reports feeling lonely. Loneliness increases your risk of dying by 45%. Humans are by nature collaborative and communal. Make time for connection and friendship.
8. Express gratitude. In a time of increasing fear, grief and loss, take time to acknowledge all that you are grateful for in your life. It will help enhance your sense of peace and well-being.
9. Seek solitude. We live in a world full of noise and constant stimulation. Without peace and quiet you cannot hear your inner voice and find you own center. Sit in silence, meditate, walk in nature. Spend some time alone to regroup and recharge.
10. Connect with what brings you pleasure. Without pleasure we become parched, dry, grumpy and depleted. Enjoy the simple things in life. Slow down, play with your kids, your pets, get a massage, take a bath, cook a good meal for yourself…find your joy.