Description: In this episode, Melissa and Maribeth (from ADD Professionals) explain how to take better care of ourselves.
In our stressful world, we often take care of everyone else but ourselves. However, if we are to continue to be there for our careers and our families, we must also learn to take care of ourselves too, and no one can do it for us. There are many ways to take care of yourself. The important this is that you learn how to do as many as possible. You are worth it, and your career and your family will gain from it! Here are a couple of ideas.
Reduce Overall Anxiety and Stress: One of the most important parts of self care is reducing anxiety and stress. We know that anxiety is first and foremost a body thing. Our amygdala is the part of our brain that senses threat. It is there to protect us and keep us safe, but it is not really very smart. It can't tell the difference between reality and a thought, so it causes us lots of unnecessary stress. When it senses a threat - even from a negative thought - it goes off, every cell is flooded with adrenalin, our heart races, we breathe fast & the logical part of our brain shuts down.
So the first step in self care is learning to calm your body down with relaxation, meditation, prayer or breathing techniques. Then, your logical brain can show up again, you can tell yourself the truth and you can be your best self. Check out our 3 minute strategies on "Coping with Anxiety", "Mindfulness", "Overcoming the Cycle of Overwhelm", "Your Brain on Overwhelm", "Relaxation", and "Temper". They will help you reduce your anxiety and stress.
Indulge in Things that Comfort You: Another strategy I like to use is right at your fingertips. This exercise is called “My Comfort Zones”
This has to do with getting into the present, “In the NOW,” being mindful that you are OK right now and that at this moment you have everything you need. In fact, the clues are right at your fingertips. Stop for a moment and trace around your hand with a pencil onto a piece of paper.
In the fingertips write your five senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smell. In the palm, draw a heart.
One of these fingers - one of these senses - is really important to you, which one of these senses gives you comfort, love, energy, focus etc…
Now look at your hand and think about……and write down…….
What do you see that gives you comfort?
What do you love to hear that gives you comfort?
What do you love to taste that gives you comfort?
What do you touch that gives you comfort?
What do you enjoy smelling that gives you comfort?
Now that you have your very own list of what gives you comfort, use this information when you need to take care of yourself. Indulge yourself in your favorite sensations. Take note of your "Comfort Zones". They are right at your fingertips.
Finally, what about the heart in the middle? That is about connection. In order to take care of ourselves we must stay in connection with people. Write down the people you want to stay connected with. They are very important to your self care as well!
So, in order to take good care of yourself, reduce your overall stress and anxiety, and indulge in the things and people that comfort you. When we take care of ourselves, we calm down our bodies, enjoy life and can be our best selves.