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Toson: Mind Check: Show yourself some love
Chanel Toson

The most neglected individual in our lives is….you guessed it, yourself.  In this “love month,” the most important person to show some love to is you.  Too often we focus on how we can love on people and possessions and neglect to show love to ourselves.    Loving yourself is where it counts the most.  So let’s do some self-care.

Self-care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health.

Self-care, otherwise known as plain old TLC, benefits us by improving our mental and physical health through better self-esteem, less stress and overall wellbeing.  These behaviors help provide balance in an increasingly over-stimulating world.  Self-care makes up an essential part of a healthy lifestyle that keeps us healthy, happy and more in tune with our minds and bodies. 

3 easy self-care tips for parents:

1.   Be Still:  We live in such a rushed and over-stimulated society.  It’s good to just find a quiet place and become one with yourself. With social clubs, sports practice and homework, we can find there is little time in our days for peace and quiet. Create time to just be still. Find a park, go to the lake, or even find a quiet space in your home and just sit in quietness. Listen to the wind, the sounds of nature, or play some soft soothing music. Even if it’s just for five minutes. Being still is both relaxing and calming and can help reduce stress.  

2.     Find Balance: We’ve heard it said many times before - seek “work-life” balance. This is something that is sometimes easier said than done. It’s important to organize your schedule so that you can have time for others but also time for yourself.  Sometimes the hardest word to say is “no”- but limiting your commitments to others will increase your ability to commit to yourself, family, and close friends.

3.     Pamper yourself:  It’s no secret that we all could use some pampering.  Find activities you enjoy: painting, doing your nails, throwing a football, watching a movie, reading a book, crocheting, riding a bike, or going hiking. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be something you find enjoyable. 

3 easy self-care tips for kids:

1.     Go Outside:  Allow your kids to unleash all that energy by riding their bikes, going for a walk, or even playing on the playground.  It’s good to unplug from the gadgets and video games for a while as exercise is not just good for the body but also good for the mind.

2.     Learn Something New: Being able to learn and master a new skill, such as baking a cake, learning a new instrument, or trying a new hobby is good for the mind. Learning something new can keep your child’s brain cells active and allow kids to succeed in something new, as well as build self-esteem.

3.     Just be silly: Give space for plain old silly time.  This is something that your kids can do independently to relieve stress, but it’s also something you can do together. Be silly with your kids by taking silly pictures with them or just goofing around.  Being silly with your kids is not just fun but also a great way to bond with your kids.

Apply your skills:

Self-Care is important. Try these above-listed tips or find something that is unique to you. 

Since everyone has a different response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. Experiment with different techniques and strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.

Know when to seek additional help: speak to a minister or counselor; make an appointment with your doctor or mental health provider; call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor.

View Point Health has many resources in your local community that will service your mental health needs, including: outpatient family, group and individual counseling support; child and adolescent services; school-based services; veterans services, employment and substance abuse services.

For more information, please visit https://myviewpointhealth.org/.

Chanel Toson is the Program Manager for Strive Clubhouse with Viewpoint Health. She is a Carolina native and has been actively involved in providing mental health services in the community since moving to Georgia in 2012.