Self-Care for Fall/Winter 2020

"Self-care is giving the world the best of you" - Katie Reed

Holiday Self-Care

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With the upcoming winter season and accompanying holidays, stress levels can often feel unmanageable. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress and practicing self-care is more important now than ever. Stress can be described as the degree to which one feels overwhelmed or unable to cope with life experiences and pressures. While one might think this is describing mostly a mental and emotional process, it is important to remember that our minds and our bodies are inextricably linked and stress lives in the body. So, we need to make a consistent commitment to not only work with our thought patterns and behaviors, but also consciously discharge the stress energy from our bodies in order to survive and even thrive during uncertain times. Here are three tips for taking extra care of yourself, adults and teens alike, throughout the holiday season:

1. Work with Your Expectations: It is admirable to strive to give 100% to all that you do. However, it is important to remember that your 100% in incredibly challenging times is probably going to look different than your 100% in times when life is smooth sailing. Oftentimes the stress we feel is because we have created completely unrealistic and unattainable expectations for ourselves and others. It’s ok to lower your expectations a little. This holiday traditions may need to look a little different. Cut yourself and others some slack. Be ok with pairing down, cutting back, getting creative, and embracing simplicity.

2. Focus on Simple Pleasures: Simple pleasures are positive experiences that emerge in the every day for little to no cost. They differ by person; however, in order to enjoy simple pleasures, one must be paying attention. Paying attention can help keep us in the present moment and the present moment is the gateway to experiencing more peace in life. So, create a challenge with yourself and family to discover and savor simple pleasures: perhaps it’s sipping a hot cup of tea, listening to a certain genre of music, watching your pets sleep, feeling the sun on your face while you walk, texting a funny meme to a friend, truly tasting a dark piece of chocolate...the options are endless. Make it a priority to focus on finding simple pleasures each day during this holiday season.

3. Prioritize Play: Playing provides so many benefits to people of all ages. Beyond relieving stress and boosting creativity and joy, play is a great way to deepen relationships and connections and spend quality time with those you love. Have a game night, host a zoom game activity with family you aren’t able to be with in person, go to the park and play on the equipment or with a Frisbee, do a puzzle, turn on music and have a family dance party where each person gets to play DJ and choose a song. Teens are the true masters at having fun. Let them take the lead. Playing is an incredibly necessary and healthy way for our bodies to release stored up tension and stress—and it’s important for adults to remember it’s not just for kids.

Hopefully these tips are helpful and feel possible for you and your family during this time!

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Counseling Resources

This year has been especially hard for many of us! If you or a loved one needs additional support, please check-out the resources below!

Individual & Group Counseling (free or accepting insurance; in-person & telehealth)

For Immediate Crises

  • Compass Health Network – (888) 237-4567
  • Burrell Behavioral Health – (800) 395-2132
  • Missouri Psychiatric Center – (573) 884-1300
  • CenterPointe Hospital – (855) 623-7016
  • Missouri Crisis Line – (888) 761-4357 or text HAND to 839-863
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – (800) 273-8255