Self-Care 2.0

August 30, 2016

Our experiences and feelings are mainly related to our bodies and our minds. We know from our daily experiences that mental happiness is beneficial. For instance, even though two people face the same kind of problem situation, one person may face it more easily than the other due to his or her mental attitude. It is important to recognize how situations impact you and consequently how you respond.

You can really apply the above statement to team dynamics, organizational stressors and taking care of those we serve at work……Oh and let’s not forget our life stressors outside of work. It is human nature to want to be able to handle situations in the best way possible.  But how do we regulate our feelings and place the proper value on an individual stressor? What can we do to resolve and move unhealthy feelings and place them in our mental SPAM folder? How do we acquire and hone the power of re-framing experiences to move to a positive mental space?

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Believe it or not, we have immense powers of self-regulation as it relates to self-care. Below are some helpful tips that will put the odds in your favor.

Think Positive:  Think of what you want for the day ahead, rather than what you do not want as it relates to thoughts/emotions/outcomes. Take 10 minutes to prepare by deep breathing, meditation, or thinking of a funny joke or experience.   This will hopefully start your day off on a bright, positive note.

Be Proactive: In our field, many situations and stressors are very similar and have common themes. Learn from both successful history and failure.Over time you will be able to navigate situations in a more relaxed manner. Schedule 10 minutes of worry time and confront the “worst case scenario”. State your worry, why it worries you, and what’s the worst that can happen. After doing this, you will be able to see if there is a common theme with prior experiences that you can leverage.  You will also be able to take a proactive approach to the situation without a blind eye to the “worst case scenario.”

Pace Yourself: Pay attention to how fast you walk during the day. Slow down your pace, take a different route, and purposefully take time to engage others during your travel. Lily Tomlin, an actress and comedy legend, once said, “For fast acting relief, try slowing down.”  A slower pace may help you remain calm even during difficult situations.

Observe Positivity and Negativity: Always know your audience and shy away from negative people or those who like to make daily tasks more difficult. Connect with positive people who will bring healthy energy. Change the way you communicate and use strength based terms to counteract negative actions.  You will notice if you make this change that your own attitude towards situations will begin to change.

Breathe: Don’t forget to breathe. During times of stress, healthy breathing will provide many benefits including clarity. Clarity is often lost when we are not regulated properly or when we are bombarded with sensory overload.  Clarity is needed to approach situations and handle them in the best way possible.

Disconnect from Social Media: Studies indicate some mobile device owners check their phone every 6.5 minutes. Solitude is hard to find when you’re trolling social media threads.  This can also lead to moments of depression, fear, and/or anxiety. Take time to remember that life at its best is happening right in front of you.  Be sure to not miss out on the present.

Give Yourself Some Credit: Most of us do not take the time to praise ourselves. We must take time daily to acknowledge a job well done. The boost of confidence will pay off in dividends.

Create a Healthy Environment at Work: Your office is often times your home away from home. It’s very important to add your personal touch and create a space that reflects you and your personality. A personalized touch will help keep you grounded and focused. Create relaxing lighting, add soothing scents, or choose soothing white noise or music. You will be more relaxed in your work environment, and that will allow you to handle situations more easily.  Believe it or not, these small changes may even make you more productive at work.

Incorporating just a few of these suggestions into your daily routine will help you both in your personal as well as your professional life.  Self-care is very important.  Although many people put others first, you cannot forget about yourself. Remember that you will handle situations better when you have taken care of yourself and have a better mental attitude.