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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Mental Health Awareness Month: Prioritizing self

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Waking up to care for children, going to work, coming home to fulfill household duties, making time to participate in social activities, maybe engaging in religious/spiritual practices and the many other tasks that we assume on a daily basis can be overwhelming. There is an expectation that each of these obligations are to be met continuously and occasionally, simultaneously. Being ever so cumbersome with the requirements of our day-to-day roles and responsibilities, it is easy to get lost in the duty of those expectations.

 As we become entangled in meeting these expectations, we occasionally cause ourselves suffering by failing to examine our level of self-care. Self-care is the attention that one gives to creating balance in the various roles and responsibilities that define life. Physical, psychological, professional/career, emotional, spiritual, financial and social are common themes of self-care. When we neglect ourselves in these areas, we may suffer negativity, mood disturbance, fatigue, low self-esteem, disconnect in our interpersonal relationships, lack of performance and physiological issues. So how do you work on improving your self-care? Follow the steps below begin the process:

  1. Self-care questionnaire: Assess current self-care practices that you are employing.
  2. Create a plan: Develop a plan that lists additional activities that you can utilize toward increasing balance. Some ideas are:
  3. Get regular exercise: Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your mood and improve your health.
  4. Make sleep a priority: A sleep schedule enhances productivity by improving memory, attention and performance.
  5. Try a relaxing activity: Recreational activities offer and promote physical and psychological wellness.
  6. Action: Commit to exercising one of these activities daily.
  7. Reassess:Make sure that you assess the efficacy of such activities, implementing new and removing old as you find necessary.

Why is it important to practice self-care?

Engaging in a self-care routine positively influences your quality of life. Self-care practices are clinically linked to lessened or eliminated mood instability, lowered levels of stress, heightened feelings and experiences of happiness, better physical health and improved performance. Ultimately, regular practice of self-care adds to living a longer and healthier life.

Chineze Martinez is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Addiction Professional. Contact Chineze Martinez at jkmclinical@gmail.com or on Facebook at Just Keep Moving Clinical Services, LLC.

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