Many of the clients that I meet with come in with overwhelming amounts of anxiety. Whether the anxiety be about work, relationships, children, managing a household and so on, it is no doubt distressing and can feel like a thinking trap you are unable to escape from. In the world we live in, there is so much to be anxious about, and always so much going on- if not in our lives, then in our community, government, media…the list goes on. I am often asked how to help rid clients of their overwhelming, all-consuming anxious thoughts. Although there are many different exercises and modules of therapy that can address anxiety and thinking patterns directly, I always find it so imperative to first educate others on the importance of self-care.
It can be easy to put ourselves to the side when work, family or relationships call (which they always seem to do!). We can be so easily consumed by what is going on around us that we forget to take a moment, and check inwards. No matter the level of anxiety you are experiencing, be it smaller or more extreme, self-care is absolutely crucial. It is important to tune in and find what helps you to relax. Self-care does not have to mean a week long trip to Hawaii. It could be a breath of fresh air outside, a walk in nature, a warm bath at the end of a long day, a manicure, a massage or time with a loved one. It could also be something as simple as taking the time to wash your face, brush your hair and put on your most comfy clothes before cozying up and reading a book. When we can slow down and take the time to put us first and do something that makes us feel soothed, it can do wonders for our brain and body.
In therapy, I always take time to explore with the client what makes them feel relaxed and taken care of. If you haven’t ever thought about this for yourself, I encourage you to take time to reflect on this. PsychologyToday, a great resource for finding therapists, psychiatrists and group therapy, has a list of self care ideas for parents, that translates to all of us, parents or not. Click here to learn more: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/joyful-parenting/201708/25-simple-self-care-tools-parents