Happy Tuesday! Today, I have some quick words on mindful self-care. The summer is approaching (or is already here, I might just be in denial), and that can mean opportunities for self-care and opportunities for burnout (I guess its like all the other seasons in that way!). There can be a lot of expectations, in addition to shifts in schedules or obligations, during the summer. Self-care is a huge trending topic right now; I want to encourage you to engage in self-care, however that looks, but I want to encourage you to do so mindfully! Here are three things to keep in mind (hah!) for mindful self-care.
1. Feel the feeling and Identify the Need
You need to be aware of where you are at emotionally and of what you are needing. This will take practice and time, but start to take notice of the mental, emotional, and physical signs that act as markers of how you are doing. The goal is that you are able to recognize your emotions as they build in intensity, rather than recognizing an emotional state only after being flooded and overwhelmed by the emotion.
Also begin to identify what you need in response to different emotional states. What do you need when you are beginning to feel overwhelmed? What do you need when you are experiencing sadness? What do you need in response to anger?
2. Meet your Need
Here is where your self-care comes in! Self-care comes in so many forms, so it is important to know what self-care means to you, and what types of self-care are most appropriate depending on your needs. It is very common to begin to use self-care mindlessly- we are not consciously walking through the process of identifying our emotion and our need; self-care can a lot of times end up looking like avoidance or numbing. There are certainly times when you might really need to “check out” before confronting an emotional need more directly, but be aware of when you are doing so. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I might automatically turn to scrolling through social media or putting on a show to watch. In the short-term, that might help me feel more relaxed; but in the long run, that typically doesn’t end up being my most effective self care- I have to follow it up with something that is more fulfilling to me.
3. Move Forward
When you are feeling grounded following self-care, explore whether there are any changes that you may need to make. Are there any mental or behavioral adjustments that you can make moving forward as a means of preventative self-care? Can you schedule in more consistent acts of self-care to support your emotional needs? This is a challenge for so many people- that’s ok! It is still a beneficial exercise, and is a process!
To learn more or to book an appointment, contact me via telephone or email.
Brenna Burke, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Valencia, CA. She provides individual psychotherapy and couples counseling. Information provided through this website is for informational purposes only. It does not create a therapist-client relationship and does not replace clinical assessment or professional consultation.