In just a couple of weeks, our Fitness Chapter will be wrapping up our series on Mental health, in learning how to protect your mental health. We are certainly living in a time where we can be overwhelmed with information, good and bad news, social media, a decline of personal health or those we love. Simply, it can be hard, and it can be hard to be kind to ourselves.
Self-care is a concept that’s becoming more and impressed upon and encouraged. What does that look like for you? Everyone has different ways they can de-stress, so of course, self-care is going to take on many different forms for each individual. Not one way will work, and it may take time, not just one 10 min activity.
First, be kind to yourself. Practice appreciating what your body has done for you and does on a daily basis. Appreciate what you have to offer, and how you are different and stronger than others. So often we play the comparison game and in turn put ourselves down for what we can’t do, what we struggle with and how we are not measuring up to what we see filtered on social media. Instead of comparing, try complimenting your strengths and differences.
Second, take care of yourself physically. Eat the rainbow, and that doesn’t mean skittles (quoted from Dr. Gowin), eat fruits and vegetables, and find new ways to cook foods. Get enough sleep, exercise and opt to be outside when possible.
Third, give of yourself. Find someone that could use some service, kind words or support. Participate in support groups and chapter events that you can help others you have something in common. Being a support to others can help lift your burdens and others feel supported, finding ways to give back. Not just in supporting and providing support, but surround yourself with uplifting people.
Fourth, try new things. Routine and structure are vital in work and accomplishing goals, however, having too much structure can feel monotonous. Get out to a new restaurant, take a road trip, change up your run or walk route. Small changes can breathe a little fresh perspective when we feel run down.
Lastly, but certainly not least, get help when you need it. Talking to someone about how you feel, what you’re going through can be cathartic in your healing. Seeing a therapist can be part of your health team that you have supporting you, and help you add tools in your box of how to cope, get through stressful times and change your thought process as you face challenges.
Just like taking medications, going to the dr, and having specialists for your body there are steps for protecting and taking care of your mental health. As always, exercise is one of my top ways to help break out of a funk and take care of not just my physical but mental and emotional health.
Please join us at our August Fitness Chapter event, as we have invited Susan Ash-Lee to speak to our group about how we can best improve our emotional health and patterns of thinking.
about the author
Linnley joined HealthTree in January 2020 as the Fitness Events Manager. Her husband is a childhood cancer survivor as well as a cancer biologist. Finding a cure, better treatments, and balance through treatments is what drives their family. Linnley is an Advanced Cancer Exercise Specialist and focuses on finding what you can do rather than can't.