Like many practitioners across the country, I have transitioned to virtual counseling and have been helping clients adapt to their new schedules and integrate healthy ways to manage daily stress.
Self-care is a majority priority right now so that we can make our feelings and responses to stress more manageable. The activities "What is Self-Care?
" and "How Do You Self-Care?
" have been two great ways to introduce the concept of self-care and explore a variety of ways to take care of the body and mind.
When introducing "What is Self-Care?
", I have clients use their own words to describe what self-care means to them. Quite often clients share physical ways to recharge like playing a sport, deep breathing or even yoga. "What is Self-Care?
" encourages clients to expand their idea of self-care to include checking in with their feelings (the good and challenging!) and ways to distract or declutter the mind. Physical Self-Care
Taking care of your body through exercise, stretching, or other outlets to let out energy and release stress. Emotional Self-Care
Acknowledging that you may be experiencing many emotions during the day – it’s ok! Mental Self-Care
Engaging in activities that help alleviate stress like listening to music, completing puzzles, or being creative.
Next, I follow this activity with "How Do You Self-Care?
" as a way to explore new ideas and share preferences with others. Caregivers, clients and clinicians can join in, writing down answers to the self-care preferences; then sharing their preferences with each other and highlighting the similarities and any new ideas or activities to try. These activities are just as helpful for adults as they are for children.
Self-care strategies are necessary to help the body and mind recharge so that we can continue to handle whatever life throws at us.