He estado trabajando en el campo de la salud mental durante 11 años. Tropecé en el campo de la psicología por accidente. Los planes originales eran la escuela de medicina. Sin embargo, una vez que aprendí lo caro que era estudiar medicina (!) decidí tomar un descanso por el momento. Empecé a trabajar en Florida trabajando con jóvenes adjudicados y mis objetivos profesionales cambiaron rápidamente. Me facino la psicología y el proceso de asesoramiento. Disfruté escuchar historias y trabajando con las familias en el restablecer la confianza, el respeto y la creación de nuevos patrones de interacción.
Después de 2 años, regresé a mi estado natal de Nueva Jersey y comencé a trabajar con familias que recibían servicios en el hogar; Rápidamente solicité un programa de maestría en Filadelfia, centrándome en los sistemas familiares. A medida que aprendí más sobre sistemas y trabajo familiar, comencé a trabajar con adultos que sufren una enfermedad mental grave. Finalmente me gradué y comencé a trabajar con individuos y familias en un ambiente hogareño.
Hace cinco años, comencé mi práctica privada. Aprendimos mucho y seguido prosperando en la práctica. Como resultado de mi diligencia y trabajo, me ofrecieron charlas y oportunidades de dar talleres en la comunidad.
Actualmente, tengo el gran placer de trabajar con individuos y parejas en la práctica privada. Además, facilitó grupos. He ganado muchas oportunidades para hablar y ofrecer psicoeducación en una variedad de temas de salud mental y a menudo, colaboró con otros propietarios de pequeñas empresas para terminar con el estigma (con la salud mental) y trabajar con mujeres para que se sientan empoderadas.
En mis años de práctica, he visto mucho y he aprendido mucho. El aprendizaje es una búsqueda para toda la vida, una que nunca me cansará. Soy muy apasionada de lo que hago y continuaré haciéndolo durante todo el tiempo que pueda.
We are addicted to being busy. People often say how busy they are (all the time and everyday) that they do not have time to do anything fun. I would challenge that. Although many of us are busy: career, home, relationships (romantic and not), children, etc we can find at least 10 minutes in our day to do one simple act for ourselves.
I observe as people go through the motions every single day without taking time to slow down. As a result I see people stressed, overwhelmed, complaining a lot and quite frankly really unhappy. The concept of self-care has completely gotten away from us.
Self-care is now defined by money and having TONS of time. When in fact, self-care is crucial to our well being. It does not (need) involve money nor is it necessary to have lots of time.
So, I have listed 15 ways I engage in self-care. I hope you find them helpful and give them a try!
- Take a bubble bath.
- Read a good book (on days I am particularly busy I set my timer for 10 minutes!)
- Read a fun magazine
- Listen to music
- List 10 things you’re grateful for
- Play with dogs
- Take three deep breaths
- Unfollow negative people on social media
- Unplug from technology for an hour
- Take a nap (this is a new habit. Prior to mommy-hood I was not a napper. Now it is amazing!)
- Watch a funny movie or TV show (My go-to: The Golden Girls)
- Wear your pajamas all day
- Find a hobby (volunteering, book club, walking club, learn a new language, etc)
During trying times we make attempts to distract and mask what we are feeling. We live in a time, where feelings are categorized are good or bad. We repress the “bad”. Feelings are neither good or bad, they can be desirable or undesirable. However, emotional understanding is key in self-understanding, self-soothing, and healing.
When we are going through difficult moments we can rely on external coping skills. Although these can be a great tool (one of which I often advocate), I recognize that sometimes it is not enough. Other times, we turn to unhealthy habits that lead us to feeling worse. Today I would like to suggest practicing self-compassion.
First, what is compassion? Compassion is defined as the concern of the hurting in others. How seemingly easy it is to show compassion to another going through a difficult time (understandably so!) and yet we are intolerant to our own plight.
The next time you are feeling like you are hurt, pained, overwhelmed, (etc) may I suggest the following:
- Check in with your body. Be aware of how it feels and where you are holding that particular emotion. A quick body scan is a great exercise for this.
- Acknowledge nonjudgmental that emotion. As much as we dislike feeling “bad”, there are situations that warrant that emotion. It is OK to not feel 100% all of the time. Do not judge yourself for feeling sad, angered, betrayed, etc.
- Now that you know where you body houses that emotion, you have accepted what you feel in that moment: treat yourself as you would a friend going through a similar situation. Comfort yourself. If you would take a friend out to coffee, then do that for yourself. IF you would tell a friend to go nap. Then do that!
- Finally, take a deep breath and say good bye to that emotion. Find a ritual of some sort, I suggest writing and then ripping the paper. You can get dissolving paper , write you message and place the paper in a water bottle: watch the message disappear. Show yourself kindness.
This is self-care. This is self-love. Having a practice of self-compassion can be trans- formative. Rather than impatient and judgmental with yourself, in time, you will be more patience and understanding with yourself.
Depression has a way of sapping our energy. It consumes our mind and bodies. Depression recovery is possible. It may take some time. But on the other side lies a life full of vigor waiting for you. Depression is a liar that whispers (maybe even yells) you are inadequate. As a result, your sense of self is tarnished. If you are suffering from depression I urge you to seek help! The following tips do not replace quality mental health care however when applied in combination with therapy, they can be beneficial.
1. Get into the habit of challenging your thinking – especially when it falls into the same old repeated, negative patterns.
2. Keep a journal – and deliberately look for the good things in your life.
3. Spend time with people who can see your strengths, and who make you feel good about yourself.
4. Keep pictures or a collage of things you enjoy and love. For years, I had a passion board in my office as a reminder of all the things that bring joy to my life. It a daily reminder of all the things I love and inspire me.
5. Leave positive notes and quotes around your room, or inside your wallet, or on your desk, or phone.
6. See “failure” a lesson. So, take the time to brainstorm, all of the lessons learned from something that did not work out. .
7. Deliberately nurture and care for yourself – and see this as essential, and a top priority.
Finally, give yourself the time and the grace you need.
We are not taught how to be in a relationship. This is something we learn by doing. It is trial and error. Sometimes a lot of errors. In my experience, both professionally and personally I have learned some things along the way.
1. Take the time to really get to know each other. Ask the good questions and get into a really good dialogue.
2. Be mindful of your reactions. I am refer to the impulsive reactions that tend to get us in trouble. The overreactions, the assumptions or being harsh and critical will crumble what you are trying to build. Instead, take a deep breath, acknowledge how you feel, and TALK to your partner about it !
3. Appreciate the little things the other person does. Don’t overlook their efforts.
4. Enjoy the ways you’re different . Of course you will have something in common and that is great. Differences makes things interesting (and creates healthy space). My husband and I are extremely different and yet he has introduced to me things that I now enjoy. We share what we each enjoy and give each other the space to do those things.
5. Do not allow yourself to get into a rut. Try something different, or keep trying something new. Listen, I know life gets busy but do not sleep on your relationship. Make it a priority to do something fun together. It does not have to be outside of the home either. Have a cook night, bake, play chess! There really is lots of opportunities for enjoying quality time together.
6. Listen to understand not to defend. Really listen.
7. Be loyal and committed, so trust can be established – that helps you both feel safe, and it will grow a strong, deep love.
Healthy relationships exist. They take conscious and intentional actions. They do not take work. Work is taxing. Work is demanding. Relationships are not that. Relationships, the healthy ones, add immense value to our life.