By Holly Numan
Everywhere you go, you hear someone say something like “treat yourself” “you deserve this” and “you have to take of yourself too.” As I’m typing this out now, the radio just told me go ahead and treat myself. Most of the time this refers to buying a new dress, ordering a decadent dessert, or going on vacation. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself something that you really want, or you do deserve, but are there other ways to practice self-care?
Going to grad school, one thing that I hear in almost every class is the concept of self-care. Between the tests, the papers, the presentations, there is always an underlying message about making time for yourself and engage in self-care activities. Most of the time, it is referred to having a relaxing period, however you relax, but it is never thought of as doing things for yourself that you may truly need help with.
In my last post, I talked about how minds are like gardens, and they need to be cared for the in the same way. All the self-care time and relaxing will be for naught if there are underlying issues that need to be address. Can you enjoy buying that new dress, even though you deserve it, when you are worried about things at home? Can you book that vacation without getting anxious that you may be forgetting an important step along the way, that ultimately holds you back now from even going?
Self-care does include all the things previously mentioned, but it also refers to taking care of your mental health. Think of why it feels good to eat that amazing chocolate cake or buy that super cute outfit you’ve been eyeing up for weeks. You are rewarding yourself with things, which makes you feel good inside for a little bit. You then find yourself buying more outfits, things for the home you don’t need, or eating that chocolate cake every day to feel those feel-good feelings. But think of how good it would feel to, instead of buying or eating something all the time, you got to unpack, and unload worries that have been plaguing you for years. Maybe working out some problems that you never knew could be worked out or just having someone listen to you without telling you, you’re fine or to get over it. And once the mind is cared for more, you can enjoy that vacation, treat to its full potential and soak it all in.
Self-care of the mind starts with mental health. Whether you struggle with anxious thoughts, depressive moods, addictions to substances that you use to force the good feelings, WADC can help. At WADC, we help you treat your mind for longer lasting results. Instead of one new outfit for self-care, getting treatment for your mental heath will feel like getting a whole new wardrobe. Call or email WADC to take your first step in treating yourself, inside and out.
Andrew Bailey has been practicing psychotherapy for over a decade. He has worked with patients of all ages, and at all levels of care. He specializes in the treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders, but treat co-occurring disorders as well.
Holly Numan is an intern at WADC working on her Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Having years of work experience at different levels of care and with different populations, she is able to apply that knowledge and bring her insight into working with clients.