Self-care is important to ensure we are functioning at our best and therefore able to better serve others. Just as we know how to take care of our physical health— good nutrition, exercise, water, rest—so must we take care of our mental health.
Restoring balance to the nervous system
The Sympathetic Nervous System, or “fight-or-flight” state, describes your body’s response to a dangerous or stressful situation. So how does your brain differentiate between perceived risks — life-threatening dangers or life-annoying stresses? The problem is that, really, it doesn’t. This two-part series looks at ways of self-calming to restore balance.
Part 1: Understanding the role of the autonomic nervous system
Part 2: Self-care tips and exercises to help restore balance to the nervous system
Self-care tips for home
- Be still and observe
- Do breathing exercises
- Practise yoga or other types of fitness/mobility online
- Pay attention to the mechanics of your body
- Eat mindfully and actually taste your food
- Cook beautiful meals: smell, taste, look, listen, feel
- Read, write, make, craft. Everyone is creative!
- Learn a new skill
- Listen to others’ stories and ideas (in person, phone, video chat)
- Play! Puzzles, chess, board games, solitaire, hide-and-seek
- Go for a walk if you’re able to leave the house: smell, look, listen, feel
- When worry gets the better of you, refocus your attention to your surroundings
- Declutter your space. BUT… A word from the wise: do it one drawer/cupboard/shelf at a time otherwise it can be a very daunting task.
Self-care tips for uncertain times
In times of uncertainty and instability, do you feel lonely, disconnected, anxious or fearful? These short practices can help to ground your energy, calm your nervous system, and refocus your attention. It’s important to take care of yourself, keep up your practices and little routines that make you feel good. Depending on your intentions, self-care is not indulgent or something to feel guilty about. It can help to refocus your attention towards others and look for ways to help those who are in need because people don’t always ask for help. Stay safe, stay well and be sensible. Embrace yourself!