Self care is an important aspect of our life, yet it is the most neglected one. We tend to go through our days completing one task after another without taking, or even thinking about a little ‘me’ time. Practicing self care is not just a simple indulgence, it is a necessity. The need for it these days is obvious now, more than ever, due to coronavirus.
However, practicing self care can be challenging sometimes. We have an entire series on self care being written by our Chairman and Mentor Selvan, as you read this. You can access it here. We also asked our therapists at Pause for Perspective for simple ways of practicing self care and here is what they recommend.
- READ A BOOK:
Many recommended reading to relax. Sitting down with a book even for twenty minutes does wonders for one’s mental health. It lowers stress and promotes relaxation and it is an easy, effective and inexpensive way to take a mental vacation. It is a great way to get more insight about your emotions.
Here’s a list of books recommended by our psychologists –
“The Body Keeps The Score” by Bessel Van Der Kolk, recommended by Estelle, says “It really enriches our understanding of trauma and stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the way our brains are hardwired and how trauma and its resulting stress harms us through physiological changes to the body and the brain”.
“Self-Compassion” by Kristin Neff, shows the reader how to let go of their persistent, impairing self-judgement and learn to be kind to themselves. With the help of empirical research, personal stories and humour, this book shows how to heal the wounds of the past;
“One Minute Minfulness” by Donald Altman and “How To Train A Wild Elephant And Other Adventures In Mindfulness”, recommended by Srivalli, says “It’s nice and comforting to read. The concepts like anxiety, anger and so on are addressed in such experiential and beautiful manner”.
- WATCHING YOUR FAVOURITE SHOW:
In stressful times like these, who doesn’t want to take solace from all the worries and just simply enjoy watching our favourite shows. With a variety of streaming apps and a range of shows to choose from, it has become easier to gain access to our preferred sitcoms from anywhere and anytime.
Some of the sitcoms recommended by our therapist, Pooja Gupta, are Mom, Friends, Modern Family and One Day At A Time. She uses sitcoms as a part of her self-care sessions.
As soon as the term ‘journaling’ is heard, a girl from a teen show comes to mind who is shown either writing about her crush or the high school drama. While it could be helpful for this reason, journaling is more than this. It is a form of self expression that can empower us to understand our complex emotions. Our founder, Aarathi Selvan, recommends it for she practices the art of journaling herself.
Swetha recommends journaling to her clients for anxiety and says that she asks them to just take three pieces of paper and write down what they are feeling and feel like they want to speak up to someone. Once they are done with that, and if there is more space, she asks them to write down more about a specific event or a person they want to perceive deeper.
- A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP:
Another recommendation given by our founder, Aarathi Selvan. Attaining a sufficient amount of sleep is vital for both our mind and body, even if we are cooped up inside our home all day. To keep our mind healthy, we need to take care of our body as well. So, don’t muddle up the sleep schedule just because your classes are being conducted online or your work is done from home.
- LAUGH OUT LOUD:
An amazing recommendation by Dr. Mahima Sukhwal is humour. There is nothing a good laugh can’t cure. Whether you are guffawing while watching a sitcom or chuckling while reading a comic stirp or just remembering a silly joke your friend cracked, laughter is a great form of stress relief. When the world around you is teeming with problems, it has become essential to incorporate humour in our daily lives, a great way to distract yourself, even if it is for a little while. Here is a video shared by one of our therapists. Hope you enjoy it!
- RELAXING TECHNIQUES:
There are several techniques one can use to relax themselves. A great recommendation by Sridevi Mannara, is practicing mindfulness. She uses Mindfulness Based Symptom Management techniques in her sessions.
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your body, mind and feelings, a way of paying attention to a particular moment, without interpretation or judgement, to create a feeling of calm.
Aishwarya Dattani, on other hand, recommends Diaphragmatic Breathing for when you feel hyper aroused or even as something that can be practiced on a regular basis.
Diaphragmatic Breathing also known as ‘belly breathing’ or ‘deep breathing’, is a method of breathing which involves contracting the diaphragm.
- SEIZE THE DAY:
Another way of practicing self care is by just pausing and being present in the moment. Everyday we are rushing, rushing to be somewhere, to complete a certain task, that we are losing touch with our present moment. It’s the small things that can make a huge difference.
Our counselor, Tina Fernandes recommends, the
Savour The Moment Technique, for living in the moment:
- MINDFUL CONSUMPTION:
With so much content out there to keep us looped in with what is going on in the world, sometimes it can become a bit too much to handle. Scrolling through Instagram or Snapchat or twitter, can trigger anxiety and create a feeling of hopelessness. For that we need anchors as a way to bring us back. Being mindful of the amount of content we consume allows us to create a safe space.
“Diverting our attention towards specific forms of content becomes a way to care for ourselves”, is what Nida Mir suggests.
Meenakshi Moorjani Kasturi recommends certain websites for when we feel disconnected with our emotions and want to come back to ourselves;
APA Guidelines to Mental Health, Psychology Today, TED Talks, and even our own Pause for Perspective sound cloud.
Practicing self care can help us cope better with the daily stressors, to unwind and slow down. Self care isn’t just about bubble baths and going for massages, it is also checking in with yourself daily and asking yourself how you are doing and what your body is asking for.
“It is a personal choice and it is unique to all of us. The felt sense of care is individual”, says Madhuri Sampath.
Whatever your definition of self-care is, engaging in it regularly can help you put your best foot forward.
We hope that you liked our list of recommendations and if you want to know more about self-care, this article series would be the perfect place to look.
We hope that this list has been helpful. Let us know on Instagram if you have tried any of our recommendations!!!