Wellness Wednesday- Boundaries and Creating a Safe Space

Now, more than ever, it is important that we have a “safe space” to allow us to cope with our emotions and regulate them. In this sense, a safe space does not necessarily have to be a physical place; it can simply be having tools prepared to help you feel safe when handling challenging emotions and situations. Here are a few tips we have for setting up your safe space!

  • Set and maintain boundaries. By doing this we are being proactive and protecting ourselves by setting clear expectations with others regarding what is and is not okay. Boundaries can be physical (ex: “Knock before coming into my room”) or social/emotional (ex: “I am not in the emotional space to be able to help you with this problem right now”). It is important for everyone’s physical and emotional safety that we set boundaries and respect the boundaries of others.
  • Know when to take a break and what to do. We all need breaks to ensure that we are preserving our health. This may look like turning off your microphone and camera for a few minutes during a Zoom class to get up and stretch, calling a friend to rant, or even just taking a nap at some point in the day. It is important that we are able to not only identify when we need breaks, but also what we need to do to make these breaks beneficial.
  • Listen to and validate your emotions. Try checking in with yourself throughout the day to take note of your emotions. By doing this, it allows you to know when you may need to take a break or employ some sort of coping strategy to help you deal with said emotion. While there are many things out of our control, we can control how we honor and respond to our emotions. By validating and appropriately responding to our emotions, it is easier for us to feel in control and be able to handle each situation as it arises.

We hope that you find these tips helpful for creating your own “safe space”. If you have any further questions regarding setting boundaries or mental well-being, feel free to contact us via email at “hpw@depaul.edu” or by phone at (773) 325-7129!

Gender Based Violence Prevention Workshop Recap

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). To kick off our SAAM campaign, we invited Liz from Greenlight Counseling Service to tell us all about Gander Based Violence and prevention strategies. Here are some important learnings from the workshop.

What is Gender Based Violence (GBV)? 

  •  a general term used to capture any type of violence that is rooted in exploiting unequal power relationships between genders.
  • This can include gender norms and role expectations specific to a society as well as situational power imbalances and inequities.
  • GBV can impact anyone, and can include intimate partner and family violence, elder abuse, sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking.
  • GBV disproportionately impacts communities experiencing other forms of oppression – Race – Income – Sexual Orientation – Disability etc.

 

Let’s break GVB down to few different categories!

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) 

  • Domestic violence(also referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV), dating abuse, or relationship abuse)is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. (imag: “Power and Control Wheel”)
  • Types of abuse include physical, emotional, psychological, financial, sexual abuse
  • Specific dynamics of the college setting can make students more vulnerable to abuse and less able to access support
  • Psychological aggression is the most common form of dating violence among college students

Sexual Assault 

  • Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity or contact, including rape, that happens without your consent. Sexual assault can include non-contact activities, such as someone “flashing” you (exposing themselves to you) or forcing you to look at sexual images
  • Statistically, 50% of sexual assaults occur during a period called the Red Zone – from the start of the semester until Thanksgiving Break – First year students are especially vulnerable during this time due to lack of knowledge about campus and resources

 

What Can We Do Right Now???

  • Learning more about IPV and Consent! Send the request of training to HPW office
  • Attend Bystander Training.  Our next Vinny Vow Training is coming on April 15th and May 20th
  • Learning how to support survivors. Attend “Supporting Survivor” Workshop on April 22nd
  • Meet new Sexual and Relationship Violence Specialist on Insta live to ask any questions! April 13th, Tuesday at 3pm @healthydepaul

 

Click for more information about Greenlight Counseling

Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Study Habits

With finals approaching, many of us (me included!) are trying our best to get a head and start studying. However, it may be difficult with remaining assignments and classes. Soon we find ourselves not studying as effectively as we can or stressing out over finals. School is difficult and finding a way to study can be even more difficult especially if you’ve never nailed down a way to study that works for you.

 

While I won’t be telling you how to study, as everyone studies differently, I will be sharing some effective study habits that may help you find something that works for you! So the next time you decide you are able to dedicate some study time, try these 10 effective study hacks;

 

Choose specific times to study
A routine helps mental preparation for studying. Whether that’s in the morning, mid-day, the afternoon, or even at night. Figure out what works for you.

Set goals for each study period
This helps you stay focused and accomplish what you need to. For example, covering a specific topic or chapter in one sitting, or a time goal like studying uninterrupted for 25 minutes.

Stick to the plan
Procrastination only leads to more stress and can cause you to not do how you would like to. Try to stay focused on the plan you set forward to complete your work on time. Things like setting a timer and sticking to that and then taking a break may be helpful, but also recognizing when you might need to just step away for a bit especially if you are hungry, tired, etc. (paying attention to your needs) is important.

Tackle difficult assignments first
When mental energies are the highest do the most tasking assignments first then move on to the more medium in difficulty and end with the easiest assignments.

Review class notes
Be sure you understand the material, find ways to help you understand better, whether it’s highlighting, rewriting, or talking out loud!

Ask for help
When necessary, go to an SI session, or TA office hours, email your professor, or ask a question in class or lab. No question is a bad question. Often times if you have that question so do others in your class.

Take short breaks
Walk away for a moment to refresh your energy, have a snack, move, do whatever helps you re energize.

Plan on reviewing
It’s important to set time to review even if there isn’t an exam coming. Reviewing even just a little can be beneficial in the long run.

Study how you learn best
Everyone learns differently so do what works for you – draw charts, read the textbook, write notes etc.

Maintain a positive attitude
A positive mindset can make a difficult subject easier to learn. Perhaps doing brief meditation or deep breathing before tackling a subject might be of help, or saying a few positive affirmations such as “I am doing my best at this subject” or “I am actively working towards doing my best.” Even if it may not be something you’re excited about try to find ways to relate it to what you do enjoy.

 

Lastly, perhaps the most beneficial healthy study habit is to practice self-care. It can get pretty stressful sometimes but creating a self-care plan and being intentional with your self-care is important. Doing things like going outside, avoiding media overload, setting boundaries, and making time for your hobbies can help you get through finals without getting burnt out.

 

Recovery Student Spotlight- Ashantis

In honor of Eating Disorders Awareness Week this week, we will be highlighting stories from DePaul students in recovery from eating disorders.  In this post, we will be spotlighting Ashantis*, a 3rd year student in DePaul’s Masters in College Counseling and Student Affairs program.  They are also in recovery from an eating disorder and wanted to share their experiences and thoughts about eating disorder recovery. 

 

Help us debunk some myths about eating disorders and eating disorder recovery. 

The most important myth that Ashantis wanted to debunk is the myth that eating disorders have a specific “look”.  Anyone, regardless of body type can struggle with any eating disorder.  It is important to remember that everyone’s struggles with mental health disorders are valid struggles, regardless of what they look like.   

 

If you could give advice to anyone thinking about starting their eating disorder recovery journey, what would you tell them? 

Ashantis wanted to start by saying that eating disorder recovery is challenging.  One of the main reasons why she sees recovery as a challenge is because it is heavily focused on unlearning certain behaviors and relearning others.  However, she wanted to stress that recovery is worth the hard work.  They described how, after being on their recovery journey for several years, their mind is clearer and they are better able to focus on things such as school, work, and life.  While some days are harder than others in the process of recovery, the work is well worth it! 

What else do you want the world to know about eating disorders, eating disorder recovery or mental health? 

Ashantis wanted to use this section to speak on how eating disorder behaviors and thoughts are quite common in our everyday lives.  Diet culture, specifically, holds a place in society that makes many of us feel that we need to change our weight.  This just goes to show the importance of accepting and recognizing the beauty in bodies of all sizes. 

 

If you would like to learn more about Ashantis and her recovery journey, check out her Instagram (@iamashantis)! 

If you would like more information about resources and recovery at DePaul, feel free to email the Office of Health Promotion & Wellness at hpw@depaul.edu.  Happy Eating Disorders Awareness Week! 

 

*Name shared with permission 

Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Relationships & Boundaries

‘Tis the season to be chatting about healthy relationships! If you’re familiar with our work in HPW you know that we talk about how relationships come in many forms and might look different for everyone. Something that you feel is a red flag in a relationship may only be a “yellow” flag for someone else. It’s important to really consider your own values and what you’re looking for in a relationship. Before you’re able to really establish good needs and boundaries with others you need to know yourself. A good relationship with ourselves is the most valuable relationship we can have; while a little bit of self-care can go a long way. 

A key to sustaining healthy relationships with others is by setting boundaries and keeping open lines of communication. The earlier both of these can be established the better. These boundaries may be physical or emotional. If we’re talking about physical boundaries with others then it’s important to bring up consent as well. Consent is absolutely essential in all physical activity involving more than one person. If you’re speaking with a friend and observe your friend’s mood shift from good to bad you might ask if they want a hand to hold or a hug. This same principle applies to nearly all situations you come across. Whether it’s platonic, sexual, or anything in between, communication and consent still apply. 

Never make assumptions about what a person needs at any given moment. Having poor boundaries gives room for others to make assumptions about another’s thoughts, feelings, and needs. As with any kind of relationship – it’s a system of give and takes. Take what you need and give what you can. But we need to be careful not to let others take too much from us or us to give too much to them. By defining good boundaries, you will set the expectations for what kind of behavior you will accept from others and what kind of behavior you want. Emotional boundaries refer to the ability to separate one’s feelings from the feelings of another. The best example I have for this is letting one person’s feelings dictate your own. If you think your boundaries are being crossed then it’s important to examine your own feelings toward that person. Do you seem irritated or resentful around them? Emotionally drained? Maybe it’s the other way around. This can lead to losing parts of yourself to them – or them to you. What might have been a small disagreement has suddenly turned into something much bigger because it’s possible that emotional boundaries may not have been set and/or adhered to. Co-workers, friends, or romantic partners – this applies to all of them.

Communicating our expectations in a relationship beforehand leaves far less room for interpretation and misunderstanding. It’s never too late to inform others of your boundaries, and it’s never too late to adjust your boundaries. Maybe you feel that you have more to give now that classwork seems lighter, or maybe it’s the opposite – and you have less to give because you’re buried in classwork. Either way, your boundaries should be expressed and must be respected. Make a commitment to put yourself first. We preach, “Take Care of Yourself” all day long and hopefully it’s easy to see why! If you find yourself struggling with your emotional health we have professional staff in the office who would be happy to give you advice, be a listening ear, or connect you with other on-campus or off-campus resources. Email us at “hpw@depaul.edu” or call by phone at (773) 325-7129. Check out our social media pages on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @healthydepaul. Blue Demons, don’t forget to Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Others, and Take Care, DePaul!

 

 

Honoring Black History Month

Honoring Black History Month

To say that the last few months have been historical is an understatement. They will be forever remembered in American history and particularly for Black Americans. We’ve seen our first ever elected Black woman as Vice President, Kamala Harris and our first ever elected Black senator Rev. Raphael Warnock who is also the first Black Democrat to represent a southern state.

But, we have also seen the disproportionate effect of Black Americans experiencing death, job loss, continued police brutality and race-fueled attacks. As Black history month kicks off, there won’t be opportunities to collectively gather in one space but there are many ways to do this virtually, personally and within your own social circles. This month, think about the ways that you can honor, respect and support Black lives not just during this month but every day.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Read about Black History Month: There are many great resources on the internet but consider filtering your search to read specifically from the point of view of a Black person
  • Pick a book about racism, discrimination and other systems of oppression. Much of these issues stem from anti-Blackness culture.
  • Engage in respectful dialogue with active listening about the experiences of Black people and ask questions.
  • As you read articles, statistics and headlines, question everything including who is writing that piece from that perspective.
  • Ask yourself how you can support and respect Black communities more than you are doing right now

Get involved at Depaul by learning more about the Black Cultural Center here.

Also, Sankofa the Black Student Formation Program will be highlighting different aspects of the Black community / Black culture with various staff/faculty and organizations. Follow this campaign with #BlackisSankofa to learn more. You can find them on social media on Instagram @depaulsankofa, facebook.com/sankofadepaul and Twitter @sankofadpu.

Wellness Wednesday Guide: Sleep

You’ve heard us say it before – but we’ll say it again… sleep is super important and is a crucial support for a healthy body and mind! Let’s be real here for a second. I totally understand that it’s not always the easiest to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night, but that’s the number that the experts at the National Sleep Foundation recommend. (Yeah, alright so we know a lot about the topic of sleep and its importance, but there’s no way we could know more than the experts over there, that’s for sure! If you don’t want to take our word for it at least take theirs.) Sleep is often overlooked during times where we have a lot on our plate. Think midterms, finals, big papers, etc. Maybe this is a good opportunity to take a look at some of our previous articles on scheduling, planning, and effective time management so you can knock those assignments out of the park, or check our article on naps. Just an idea! Studies have shown that we need sleep in order to effectively retain all the knowledge we cram in our brains last minute. However, I’m sure you already know this! You’ve heard it time and time again, yet for some reason, we still overlook sleep and disregard it more often than we would like to admit. If you’re reading this at 3 AM and have been staring at a textbook or PDF’s for the last 7 hours take this as a sign to get some much-needed rest. If you’re still not convinced, let me try and throw some compelling points your way. If you join(ed) us for our Wellness Wednesday workshop you might recall: 

  • Proper sleep plays a huge role in supporting physical health (such as supporting the immune system and lowering the risk of certain diseases).
  • Proper sleep helps support positive mental health.
  • Proper sleep helps improve cognitive functioning, like memory retrieval and learning. (There’s that whole memory retrieval thing that I was telling you about!) 

If you’re anything like me then you’ll find yourself saying something along the lines of this. “Yeah yeah. Okay, I get that sleep is important. But so is endless scrolling on TikTok and Instagram in bed.” Or,  “what if I miss an important text?” Alright, maybe TikTok isn’t THAT important but I’ll still keep my phone by my bedside just in case. Big no! The key to proper sleep starts well before we even close our eyes. Since we’re in 2021 and it still needs to be said – it’s best to keep devices off and stored away from our bed. Think of bed as a place where we sleep and not a place where we should be scrolling social media. This might be upsetting for some (like myself, honestly), but I don’t make the rules – I’m just the messenger. Think about it though, if we condition ourselves to think of our bed as a place where we scroll social media or watch YouTube then it would make perfect sense that we might resort to that if we can’t sleep. Something as simple as a phone in bed has the potential to destroy any good sleep habits we’ve made! An effective sleep routine can do wonders and help us get the sound sleep our bodies deserve. Here’s an example of what works for me. 

  • First, I’ll set a reminder for a wind-down time at night and an alarm to wake up in the morning. Remember, I’m aiming for 7-9 hours! Eventually, my body will know this schedule and I won’t need any kind of alarms. 
  • I make sure to avoid all caffeine past 5 PM. I’m a coffee addict but I’ll switch to tea at night. I’ve found this helps tremendously.
  • I’ll try my best to avoid screens ~30 minutes before bedtime. (The blue light stimulates the brain and keeps me wired. No thanks. Though, I must confess… I’m not perfect at this.)
    • Putting down technology gives me a good chance to read that book I’ve started but never finished. The best part? No blue light from books! And a side note: E-Ink has no blue light. E-reader fans rejoice!
  • Lastly, Before I slide under the blanket I’ll put my phone to charge on my desk across the room.
    • 1. No distractions or temptation to indulge in endless scrolling on TikTok or Instagram. 
    • 2. When the alarm goes off in the morning I’ll have to get up and out of bed. Thus, reducing the chance of me slithering back under the covers. 

If for some reason I just can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes I’ll hop out of bed and do a little more reading under a light that’s a warmer color. The more orange the light output the better it will be on your eyes at night. It’s never good to lay in bed awake for more than 20 minutes, according to the experts.

If you’re looking for a little more help in improving your snooze we run a great program called Refresh Sleep. It’s a 7-week online program filled with a whole bunch of tips and tools for better sleep. Best of all, it’s free! 

If you have any other questions about sleep feel free to reach out to us in the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness! We’ll always have an answer to your questions (or point you in the right direction to find an answer). Never hesitate to contact us if you need anything. 

Office of Health Promotion and Wellness

Phone: (773) 325 – 7129

Email: hpw@depaul.edu

Social Media: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook: @healthydepaul

Do you enjoy our Wellness Wednesday articles? Subscribe to our blog for more!

Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Others, Take Care, DePaul!

Wellness Wednesday- Planning for a Successful Winter Quarter

HeBlue Demons! We hope that you are off to a great start to the Winter Quarter! While Winter Quarter brings a clean slate, both in the sense of a new year and new classes, many students will find the start of a new quarter to be stressful. Understandably so! Stress like this can come from things like pressure to succeed in classes, going back into routine of “sitting” in classes, or just making sure that you are getting all your assignments in on time. The good news is that there are so many things you can do to help combat these feelings and put yourself at ease a little bit. Here’s a couple to try: 

  • Find an effective way to plan. Everyone has their own preference of ways to plan their schedules and organize their academic assignments. If you do not know how you prefer to plan, or have never made a plan before, it’ll be a good idea to try out a few different methods and use what you find works best. Regardless of how you plan, having a strategy for this quarter might help you feel more organized and comfortable with what you have to get done and when you need it done by. 
  • Look ahead at your coursework and try to anticipate when you will have things like more challenging assignments and exams. If you know when to expect the bigger (and sometimes more difficult) assignments, it will be much easier to plan the things you need to prioritize and figure out how you will be able to successfully shift your schedule and get everything done that you need to.  
  • Be sure to schedule in time for self-care.  It is always important to make self-care a priority to help deal with stress. Try to have a few different go-to activities that help you take care of your physical, emotional, social, and/or environmental health. Consider this like your self-care toolbox. By having many tools in this toolbox, this ensures that you won’t find yourself without a backup plan. Make sure you are doing things every day that will help you take care of yourself – you might even have to pencil these breaks into your schedule! 

We hope these tips will help you find ways to feel a little more organizeda little more prepared, and a little more confident this quarter! 

Take Care of yourself. Take Care of Others. Take Care, DePaul! 

-HPW 

Creating Healthy Routines in Winter Quarter and Beyond!

There’s no question that the last year has been challenging for us all. As we enter into our third virtual quarter (not counting summer or December intersession!) it’s natural to be feeling the fatigue, disillusionment and challenges that come with virtual learning and virtual life. Creating healthy habits and routines can bring about some normalcy to each day and can help bolster our mental, emotional, spiritual and even physical health. Now while the idea of a routine may seem boring at first, bear with me, there truly are some great benefits to finding routines that work for you.

For starters, having a routine can free up some mental space. Without routines, each day becomes a bit more unpredictable. Your brain has to make a lot more decisions about when to do what and how to do it. Even a few simple routines like going to bed and waking up at the same time or set times to take breaks, eat or get outside can free up some of the mental power that would otherwise go to finding new times for each of these things. Additionally, while spontaneity and change can certainly be positive things, they can also create undue stress. By establishing a healthy routine, you may be able to eliminate some of the unnecessary stress that comes with spontaneity. Additionally, by making your routine flexible, small tweaks to it can reenergize the day-to-day structure and provide enough variation to avoid monotony. Establishing a routine can also help alleviate stress and anxiety, in part by allowing scheduled time in your day to pause and check-in with yourself. However, as great as routine can be, it can be difficult to establish one so here are some tips for building healthy routines and habits as we begin winter quarter!

  • Make a checklist: The tasks of a week, even a day, can often be overwhelming. We frequently have more to do in a day than we can reasonably be expected to keep straight in our head. Writing out the things we must accomplish in a day or a week can be an excellent way of ensuring everything gets done and is accounted for and it can clear up headspace leaving room for the more important and complex tasks at hand. It may also be useful to distinguish what must be done from what can be done. This will allow you to prioritize your day and more importantly, it will create space for you to be kind to yourself and give yourself a break when needed by letting go of the things on your list that may not be a priority that day.
  • Create a schedule that plays to your strengths: Some of us are most productive first thing in the morning, for others, their best work happens once the sun has set. Tune into your body and mind and observe when you focus and work best. When possible schedule your work in accordance with those times. If you’re able to work from home, now is a great opportunity to create a schedule that allows you to work when you want. Scheduling your work time and your non-work time will also allow you to be focused and productive for a set period of time each day. It will set clear boundaries for work and make it easier to step away when your scheduled work time is over.
  • Schedule in breaks: Scheduling in breaks is a great way to ensure that you maintain healthy boundaries between school, work and time for yourself. When we try to work straight through the day without breaking we are less productive than when we give ourselves the grace to step back for a minute. We all have different thresholds when it comes to the amount of time we can effectively focus for however, the bottom line is we all have a threshold. Once we reach that threshold taking a break will allow you to return rejuvenated and reenergized for your work.
  • Create a sleep routine: Sleep has one of the largest influences on our mental and physical health. This is also a great place to establish a routine! A sleep routine is a great place to start since you can flexible with it by aiming to go to sleep and wake up within a 30-minute window. This provides flexibility while also setting an expectation. The time before bed can also be a fantastic place to establish a pre-bedtime routine. This routine could be something as simple as reflecting on what you’re grateful for while you brush your teeth; or something longer, like taking time to meditate, or read and listen to music before you sleep. Think about things that might be helping your routine and things that might be hurting it. For instance, spending 20 minutes scrolling through Instagram is likely to negatively impact your sleep. On the other hand, an activity like reading a book or meditating will be more likely to improve your sleep and help calm your mind after a long day before resting.
  • Routines can be a great tool to add to your toolbox and try out in this quarter. With the challenges of online class, work, and the stessors or daily life, routines can be a valuable tool to help reduce stress and alleviate anxiety. Try establishing a new routine this quarter and let us know if it helps! Start small and build up. Give yourself freedom to adjust your routines as necessary so they work best for you. As always, the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness is here to support you in whatever you need. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!Allow for flexibility: While routines are a great way to alleviate stress, if you find a new routine simply isn’t working for you then it might be time to try a different routine! Routines are there to help guide you through your day and reduce overall stress. If routines become a source of stress then they become counterproductive. You are not beholden to your routines – they should be assets, not burdens!  

Office of Health Promotion and Wellness 

Phone: (773) 325 – 7129 

Email: hpw@depaul.edu 

Social Media: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook: @healthydepaul 

 

Do you enjoy our Wellness Wednesday articles? Subscribe to our blog for more!

 

Wellness Guide to Surviving the Holidays

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year for many but it can also be a time of sadness, grief and overwhelm. Traditionally, the holidays are a time to spend with family and loved ones. But, keep in mind we don’t all come from traditional families and not everyone has a family who understands and accepts who they are. This year especially, the holidays will look different for many as some of us decide to avoid traveling and large gatherings.

For those of us that are close with our families, I’m sure we can also empathize with those times where we’ve had our differences and where there might be strain and anxiety even with those that we love dearly. And for anyone who has lost someone close to them, the holidays are a time where we think fondly of those we miss and wish for them to be with us again. Additionally, for those that experience a mental illness or any mental health challenges, the holidays can surely be a time of overwhelm and anxiety inducing. This is a guide for everyone to remind you that no matter how you celebrate the holidays this season, remember to make time for yourself every day.

 

  1. Create a plan or schedule

Do you have to buy presents, plan the holiday meals, bake cookies, decorate, etc.? As with any project, create a timeline of when and how you will get everything done. This not only ensures that you won’t forget to do something but it also allows you to focus on the list in front of you and not the list swirling around in your head. Make sure to share this list with others and divvy up the responsibilities. Maybe make others the lead of some tasks so you don’t have to lead everything.


Image Courtesy of Eighteen 25

 

  1. Decide what you will and won’t discuss with others

Brené Brown says “We share with people who’ve earned the right to hear our story.” You get to choose who you want to tell and share your story with. Don’t feel obligated to share everything, only share what you want to share with others. If they pressure you, you can say something like: “I don’t want to share this, please respect my privacy and choice.”

Marble Jar Friends | Marble jar, Brene brown daring greatly, The gift of imperfection
Image Courtesy of Brené  Brown

 

  1. Reflect on what the holiday season means to you

Whether you have an identified spiritual practice or not, the holidays have some sort of meaning for all of us and we can surely identify happy and sad emotions with the season. Think about this year and what you want to focus on as you move through the holiday season. Decide how you will celebrate and remember this year. We have less than a month left of this very challenging year, ask yourself ‘what emotions do I want to feel and what experiences do I want to have?’

56386-pause-and-reflect-quotes - Wisdom-Trek ©
Image Courtesy of Wisdom Trek

 

  1. Identify your own needs

We all have daily basic needs as well as other unique needs that help us thrive and feel secure and happy. What do you need to feel secure and happy and to thrive this holiday season? Whatever it is, write it down and remind yourself of those needs every day. If you need to share them with others, do that too!

Types of Self-Care You Need to Know - Blessing Manifesting
Image Courtesy of Blessing Manifesting

 

  1. Give yourself what you need

After you have identified what you need to thrive, feel satisfied, secure and happy, — Give that to yourself every day.

We can’t get through each day without adequate rest, food, water and shelter. These basic needs many of us take for granted but we also forget to give them to ourselves quite often. Slow down and notice what you’re eating and drinking, take in your surroundings and ground yourself to the present. The holidays will be over before we know it, so identify what you need and make sure to give it to yourself every day. It’s not selfish but essential!!

Give yourself the same care & attention that you give to others and watch yourself bloom. #fresh_essay #attention #b… | Words quotes, Care quotes, Positive quotes
Image Courtesy of Pinterest

 

  1. Create an escape plan

Knowing your boundaries and understanding what is and is not acceptable will help you voice your needs and maintain your own balance. What will you do if you are pushed to your tipping point? How will you know when you’ve reached this point? Create a plan that includes how you might know when you get to this point and who you will call for help and support. And lastly, how you will recuperate and restore yourself.

Without a Plan, You Do What's Passive and Easy | by Thomas Oppong | Better Marketing | Medium
Image Courtesy of Medium

 

  1. Practice kindness and gratitude

Whether it’s giving it to yourself every day and/or to others. We can all use more kindness and gratitude. Take a deep breath and share what you are most grateful for and spread that kindness forward each day. Consider adding some deep breathing and mindfulness meditation to your days too! Here’s an introductory video to get you started.

Seven Ways to Cultivate Gratitude — Mindsoother Therapy Center
Image Courtesy of MindSoother Therapy Center

 

  1. Find Joy

Challenge yourself to find the joy in each day. Whether that’s a smile, a laugh or even a cry. There is joy to be found everywhere. Sometimes we just have to reframe our vision and sometimes we will find it in unexpected ways.

Arlington Animal Services Home 4 the Holidays Event: Dec. 5, 2015 - City of Arlington
Image Courtesy of Arlington Animal Services

 

The holidays are never easy, but if we take care of ourselves first and then others, it will be much more manageable.

 

Wishing you a very healthy, safe and joyous holiday season.

Take Care of yourself, Take Care of Each Other, Take Care DePaul

 

-HPW