If you are a client of mine, you are guaranteed to hear the words "self-care" during a session. In fact, I discuss it regarding myself daily, as well. Self-care is vital for self-exploration and treatment of depression, anxiety, and/or stress. It is our investment in ourselves and without it we are unable to adequately give to others. I work with children, teenagers, and adults, and I have seen a trend of self-care neglect at an early age. For children, free play is replaced with structured sports and musical activities. For teenagers, AP classes are becoming the norm, and it is not uncommon for a high school student to have an extracurricular activity almost every evening. This is a good time for parents to teach their children what self-care looks like. That means allowing your child or teenager to relax in the way that works for them. For instance, extraverts often need to time to text or socialize with their friends. Introverts might need time alone to listen to music, play video games, or read a book. Allowing your children and teenagers the freedom and space for self-care when they go to school all day, work on homework, and do extracurricular activities is vital for their mental health.
Adults, we are just as guilty for neglecting self-care. Life can often feel like one big race without a finish line. Deadlines, dirty diapers, cooking meals, paying bills, carpools etc. No matter what stage of life you are in, the responsibilities do not end. I often meet clients in counseling who report depression, feeling like they cannot find meaning or purpose in life, or just being in a constant state of anxiety. Often, self-care is a missing piece of the balancing act. Here are a few ideas for self-care. I recommend a minimum of 20 minutes a day of self-care to help achieve the balance you need.
- Adult coloring- Research suggests that coloring mandalas (adult coloring) significantly decreases anxiety. Adult coloring is a type of mindfulness that allows the mind to be in the moment.
- Bubble Bath- A bubble bath is a time to unplug and let your body take in the senses. Try using scented soaps, hot water, and relaxing music to help you take in the moment through multiple senses.
- Exercise- Many studies have shown that exercise can boost mood, reduce anxiety, and be an overall health benefit. Take a walk, lift weights, or play some tennis.
- Drink wine- Everything in moderation, right? Different studies have suggested that red wine in moderation can help with memory, heart health, and even to lose weight. A glass of red wine on occasion can be part of your self-care routine!
- Socialize- Many parents report they have limited time to socialize, or they express guilt regarding being away from their kids. However, socializing is a great way to practice self-care and research suggests that socializing is linked to individuals reporting better mental health. Don’t forget to reach out to your friends.
Written by: Amy Rollo, M.A., LSSP, LPC-S
Amy Rollo is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and the Clinical Director at Cy-Hope Counseling. Amy has been practicing for over ten years. She has doctoral level training in the areas of child and adolescent counseling, marriage and family therapy, and adult counseling. Amy Rollo provides counseling and evaluation services in the Cypress, Texas and surrounding areas. Amy’s goal in counseling is to journey with her clients in order to foster positive changes and growth in their lives. Read more about Amy counseling style by visitinghttp://www.amyrollotherapy.com/about/