07 Jun What is so important about Caring for our Mental Health? by Nikel Rogers-Wood, PHD
When it comes to caring for ourselves, what typically comes to mind? Perhaps you think about exercise, eating balanced meals, or annual visits with your physician. Where does your mental health factor into that? Does your mental health factor in at all?
Mental health has long been a neglected area of our overall health. Often, the thought is that if we can “keep going,” then everything should be fine. However, when we stop paying attention to our emotional wellbeing, we miss out on the opportunity to be fully present with ourselves and fully engaged with our lived experience. Additionally, poor mental health can have a negative impact on our physical health and our ability to keep up with our responsibilities. With that in mind, let’s consider some of the reasons we tend to neglect our mental health and what we can do about it.
- No time to check in with ourselves – Between work, school, home, and family responsibilities, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, let alone taking time to check in with ourselves. One solution to this challenge is shifting our self-care time to the start of the day. We often have more energy at the start of the day, so earmarking time before becoming engaged in our daily tasks can be helpful.
- Not sure what to do – Okay, you’ve set aside 10-15 minutes for self-care. What on earth do you do with that time? Remember, there is no one “right” way to check in with ourselves. When it comes to checking in, try different methods until you find a method or a handful of methods that work for you. Some examples of mindfulness activities are meditation, body scanning, progressive muscle relaxation, or grounding exercises.
- Need someone to talk things out with us – Sometimes we’d like to be able to explore our thoughts and feelings out loud and to have someone sort through it all with us. Talk therapy is an excellent way to care for your mental health. We need not be in crisis for therapy to have a positive impact. In fact, seeking services before you reach a crisis is often more helpful than waiting for your breaking point. When looking for a therapist it can be helpful to seek referrals from other medical or mental health professionals you know and trust. Keep in mind that many therapists offer a 10-15 minute “get-to-know-you” consultation. This is an excellent way to get a sense of whether a therapist will be a good fit for you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need in therapy.
Here at The Chrysalis Center, we are here to help you along on your journey. We offer a variety of services including community talks that are open to the public, as well as individual, family, and group therapy with the option to incorporate animal assisted therapy with certified therapy dogs. We also provide yoga, breathwork, and meditation to aid in self-care and help you along on your journey of personal growth. Please reach out if we can help.