Written by Coshandra Dillard, firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you OK? Have you taken care of your basic needs today? This week? These are seemingly simple questions, but it’s easy to lose focus of self.
You get busy at work and don’t have time – or forget – to eat. You’re too tired to exercise after work, so you crash on the couch.
As the new school year starts, parents are again shuffling kids to and from school and other activities, while the busyness of work and other responsibilities remain constant. It can exacerbate stress, which has an effect on weight, blood pressure and other body mechanisms.
And in our society, we are reminded almost daily of violence, specifically gun violence. It can become overwhelming.
Psychologists have studied collective trauma, or collective post-traumatic stress disorder for years. As a nation, we are probably more overwhelmed and affected by shootings and other violent events than we realize.
A 2014 study published in Current Psychiatry Report stated: “A review of the scientific literature from 2010 to early 2014 reveals that, at the individual level, mental health effects include psychological distress and clinically significant elevations in post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms in relation to the degree of physical exposure and social proximity to the shooting incident. Psychological repercussions extend to the surrounding affected community.”
While we should see, acknowledge and address what’s going on around us, there is a time to unplug, regroup and give self care.
Seeing a doctor, mental health provider, support group or a counselor are steps to take for complex issues, but you can make baby steps everyday to ensure you care for the mind, body and spirit.
This might include getting adequate sleep, eating regular meals, praying, meditating, yoga, exercising or deep breathing.
No one can take care of you better than you. You can’t be a great parent, friend, spouse, employer or fix social ills if everyone else’s needs come before your own. Don’t be afraid to put you first.
Find ways to provide self-care at this National Domestic Violence Hotline’s Pinterest page:www.pinterest.com/NDVHotline/self-care