In this post of the Self Care Series, I'd like to share some of the things on my self care plan that covers mental health.
1. Meditation/Quiet time: This doesn't have to be a long time. Five minutes of meditation or stillness may be all you need. But if you need an hour, take it!
2. Journaling: This is something I've recently started again, as an off and on activity. I do it as a kind of "brain dump", when I have so much on my mind and having a hard time focusing, I just put it all in my journal. Writing until I feel less stress. You can write, create an art journal, make a "smash" book, or all of it in one. Whatever you need, since a journal is personal.
3. Massage: (of course!) It's known to relieve stress. Occasionally, some people experience what we call an "emotional release" on the table, where as the physical tensions are relief the barriers holding back emotions tied to that tension comes down as well. Which leads into....
4. Seeking professional help/Counsel: Seeing counselor or psychiatrist doesn't mean you are "crazy". They are there to offer a safe place to vent and help build coping skills, among other therapies and treatments.
I'm not a mental health professional, but sometimes it has come up when I would recommend clients to see a professional. As a doula or massage therapist, I know how important mental health care can be to overall well-being but it just isn't my place or scope to offer counseling. I can be an ear to listen at times, but it may be more than what I can offer ethically and legally. And with Maternal Mental Health, I am often on the look out for signs that a new mother may be a little TOO overwhelmed. In those instances, I do offer an ear, ALONG WITH resources and contacts for professionals.
So tell me, how do you take care of your Mental Health? Do you have ideas you're willing to share?