Clinicians Spotlight: Self-Care Rituals
By: Genevieve May
Over the past few months, we have dedicated a lot of time to exploring self-care through the lens of a mind-body-spirit perspective on all of our social media. This is because we believe very strongly in a holistic approach to mental health and well-being, and that caring for the physical, emotional and spiritual parts of ourselves is crucial to maintaining a state of optimal balance and wellness as a whole.
However, we also acknowledge that 2020 has been full of challenges and turmoil for everyone, and self-care can be really challenging when you feel overwhelmed or are facing difficult life stressors. We understand that while it’s easy to talk about prioritizing self-care, it can be a lot harder to actually put it into practice! And even though we are experts in mind-body-spirit living, we are also human, and have experienced some challenges in implementing our own self-care plans this year too. Just like everyone else, we have to experiment, research and try different methods to find simple, accessible and cost-effective ways to stay well.
So we’re here to say -- we understand how hard it can be sometimes. There are a million things that can get in the way of practicing care for our minds, bodies and spirits. That’s why we’ve decided to spotlight each clinician's favorite self-care technique that they have found most helpful and most manageable in the year 2020, and share this list with you!
Be Your Best Self + Thrive Counseling’s favorite self-care techniques:
Genevieve: Mindful Cooking
"Making something to eat that feeds my family and makes me feel good is my favorite way to care for my body! My favorite easy and satisfying thing to make is a ‘Buddha bowl.’ Fill the bottom of a bowl with your base like rice or spinach, add a veggie like roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes, and top with a protein like grilled chicken or chickpeas. You can even make a homemade aioli with a little mayo, lime juice and garlic to top it with. Use all 5 of your senses and really focus on each ingredient as you prepare it for a mindful cooking experience!"
Kate: Grounding in nature
"Whenever I find myself feeling stressed or overwhelmed by life's obligations, I turn to grounding in nature. By grounding ourselves, in nature, we can experience what it feels like to be truly present in a moment. When we engage our 5 senses we train our bodies to come into a state of relaxation...the perfect defense to our bodies natural fight/flight response. Step outside and look around you. Name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and one thing you can taste to truly be in the moment."
Jamie: Find Your Breath
“The greatest tool you have in your toolbox is already within you - and that is your breath. Breathwork is such an overlooked yet powerful tool in the self-care toolkit. Your breath helps connect the unconscious to the conscious, therefore integrating the mind, body, and spirit. We can do SO much with our breath - we can balance our nervous system, increase oxygen flow, reduce anxiety, create more energy, improve sleep and digestion...the list goes on and on. Your breath is your guide - the length, intensity, and frequency of your breath can provide you so much information about your physical and emotional state, and you can use your breath to heal your body, mind and soul. If you are new to breathwork, I recommend starting with simple breathing exercises, which are incredibly easy yet also incredibly effective. Here’s a few to get you started!”
No matter what you choose to do, the important thing to remember is that self care is not selfish. It is not “me first”, but rather “me too.” We can’t pour from an empty cup, so we must fill our own cup so we can fill other’s. At Be Your Best Self + Thrive Counseling, we understand that life gets busy and our own needs often get pushed to the side. If you are struggling to take care of yourself and your mind, body, or spirit, we have counselors here who can help you find what works for you from a holistic, compassionate approach. To learn more about any of our counselors mentioned in this article, click here, or to book your free 15 minute session with one of them, click here.