Sep 23, 2020

The importance of self-care

a woman wearing a sweater holds a white mug
a headshot of a man in a suit. the words Dr. Thaddeus J. Nestheide HCDDS Supervising Psychologist are below the image
We’ve all heard the instruction on an airplane—put your own oxygen mask on first, then proceed to help others. The idea is that if we’re able to care for ourselves, we will be better able to care for others.

We are living in an extraordinary time that has caused us unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. It’s more important now than it has ever been to give ourselves permission and time to prioritize our health and well-being. Self-care doesn’t have to involve yoga classes, a gym membership, or lots of time. The key is to understand what brings you a moment of peace and allows you to reconnect with yourself and the world around you. That might mean taking a brief walk, talking with family or friends, journaling, deep breathing, jogging, creating art, engaging in religious or spiritual practice, reading, listening to music, or just sitting quietly for a few minutes. In fact, allowing yourself the time and attention for self-care is more important than the activity you choose.

In addition to the usual sources of stress in our lives, 2020 has brought us a global pandemic, uglier-than-usual politics, the challenges of remote work and remote schooling, and limitations on our activities and interactions. It’s important to remember that every one of us is experiencing these stressors, so, asking for help and taking time for yourself should be allowed and encouraged. Don’t hesitate to use employee health programs, support groups, or other benefits available to you. If you feel your stress or anxiety is too extreme to handle, please call your doctor, talk to a trusted friend, or reach out to community services for assistance.

None of us can care for others unless we take a moment to secure our own oxygen mask first. By caring for ourselves we can better do the important work of helping and caring for others. 

If you feel you need more support, try the following resources:

 

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