Pandemic or not, we need to take moments to invest in ourselves. And with this, invest in our mental health through reflection and exercise (in this case mental exercise). There are many methods (and no right or wrong way to practice wellness) but here are some tips from a therapeutic point-of-view that may help.
1. Bracket time for personal growth. Whether from a friend, family member, or therapist; I am sure you have heard this one before. Yet, still worth the mention. This includes self-care, therapy, retreats, journaling, meditation, calm time, reflection, etc.
If you do not prioritize personal growth, your body will. It keeps score. It will say enough is enough, and you will have no choice.
2. Know who is in your corner. These are the people who offer you empathy and compassion. They have earned your trust. How can you tell?
They will cheer you on when you rock. They will also call you out when your decisions do not align with your values.
Who is NOT in your corner?
1.The one-upper: “Oh, really? Well, wait until you hear what happened to me...”
2. The sympathy-giver: “I see you over there, especially from over here where that shit doesn’t happen”
3. The man-upper: “get over it”
Keep in mind, we all have the above tendencies. Be weary of those that occur in high frequency. If it is tough to identify your people, that is okay too. Proceed to step 4.
3. Practice Gratitude. Everyday. There is tons of inspo online!
4. Write permission slips. Give yourself permission every day to do or feel what you need to (this can be especially hard when we are more comfortable giving then taking)
My favourites are: (1) permission to feel whatever I feel (2) permission to not know (3) permission to learn. Let’s pave way for compassion.
5. Ask for what you need. Cliché much. In a culture where saying “no” is scarce and difficult. Practice asking for what you need whether you are the one asking or the one saying “yes”.
Try to give and receive (from your kids, partner, siblings, parent, and yourself) without attaching judgement.
6. Mantras are your friend. I love mantras. They can be easy. Create small short phrases that remind you of your values. After all, our values are our anchor and our way through the storm. Some examples: I WILL GET THERE --- I AM ENOUGH --- I GOT THIS.
Remember, there is no Limitless pill or handbook with all the answers. But these tips will get you started in investing in yourself. And that, is an investment worth every minute.