Taking Time For Yourself… Because You Are Worth It!

By: Brittany Kepler, MS, NCC

Making time for taking care of oneself is easier said than done for most people.  Sometimes it can seem like there is not enough time in the day to accomplish everything you need to do; especially when it is taking a time out to care for yourself.  Self-care is essential to your overall physical and mental health.  When we do not take time to do the things that make us happy and love ourselves, it makes it challenging to handle the stress of our everyday lives as well as care for our loved ones.

Even though the thought can be daunting about how you are going to find the time to do something for yourself, even just taking 5-10 minutes out of the day to do something for you can be extremely uplifting and powerful.

  • Schedule yourself into your schedule: Whether it be early in the morning before others are up in the house or late at night when everyone else is asleep, take a few minutes for alone time.
  • Ask yourself “What are things that make me happy?”: Treat yourself to do an activity that brings you joy. Whether it be knitting, taking hikes, coloring, getting your nails done, watching a funny movie, or like me, sitting outside drinking a nice hot cup of coffee by myself before my day begins.
  • Surround yourself with positivity: Put the news feed down and spend time with close friends and family that uplift you.
  • Meditation: Allowing time to be mindful of yourself can increase your self-awareness and really can get you more in tune with yourself.  Research suggests that meditation is “associated with improvement in a variety of psychological areas, including stress and anxiety” and it also can “reduce blood pressure, pain response, stress hormone levels and even cellular health” (Melnick).
  • Try something new: Take a new class for fun or learn a new hobby that you have always wanted to try.
  • Splurge a bit: Treat yourself to eating something you love like that piece of chocolate cake you have avoided since you began that diet or enjoy a day at the spa where you can unwind by yourself.
  • Laugh: Laughter not only helps boost you physically through building up your immune system, but emotionally as well by increasing your mood and decreasing anxiety and stress (“Laughter Is The Best Medicine: The Health Benefits Of Humor And Laughter”).

The first step to taking time for yourself is making a list of things that make you feel good.  Find out what makes you happy and what gets your mind away from your daily routine of life.

Steve Marabol quotes that “The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.”  Which is so true!  So take an extra 5 minutes every day to listen to your favorite song, snuggle with your pet, or just sit and breathe.  If what you are doing is for you, then you will be in a much more positive and healthy place!

 

 

References

“Laughter Is The Best Medicine: The Health Benefits Of Humor And Laughter”. Helpguide.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Mar. 2017

Melnick, Meredith. “LOOK: Your Body On Meditation”. The Huffington Post. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Mar. 2017

 

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Spring Forward into Happiness!

happy-adults

Traditionally, psychologists have focused their attention on what makes depressed people depressed. Yet recently, a small group of scientists has turned the question on its head. Now they are asking: “What makes happy people happy?

Why Happiness?

According to a wide-ranging international study, depression is the most disabling disease in the world:

Nearly twenty percent of U.S. citizens experience some form of depression during their lifetime. Americans are taking so many antidepressants that, according to the New York Times, the water supplies of major U.S. cities are now contaminated with traces of these drugs.

The problem is not limited to adults. The American Psychological Association reports that “as many as 9% of children will experience a major depressive episode by the time they are 14 years old, and 20% will experience a major depressive episode before graduating from high school.”

Statistics show that children who have suffered from depression are more vulnerable to depression as adults.

Depression, anxiety, and other negative psychological experiences have been researched from almost every angle. So we know a lot about what causes negative psychological responses, but not a lot about what might cause positive psychological effects. Positive Psychology has shifted the focus toward such research.

What is Positive Psychology?

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.

If perspective is reality, then a positive perspective could be a game-changer. Research shows that engaging in techniques for positive growth and change can help:

Buffer against, manage and overcome problems
Improve your relationships
Enhance health and overall well-being

How Do I Get Happy?

Working with a licensed therapist can be beneficial in order to explore one’s life experiences more fully and from a trained clinical perspective. Below are some examples of techniques that can be done on your own to promote positive growth and change.

Clear Mind Procedure

  1. Write down everything that’s on your mind on one piece of paper (use more than one piece if you need).
  2. Create three columns on a second piece of paper, and label them: To Be Done; Maybe Later; and Delete. Sort all the items on the first piece of paper into the three columns on the second piece of paper.
  3. Take each item from the Delete column, send it off into space, and tell it never to return (with a corny little ceremony if that helps).
  4. Take the items from the Maybe Later column and put them on a Maybe Later list. (If you don’t keep one, start one).
  5. Take the items from the To Be Done column and put them into your planning system. (If you don’t have a planning system, get one).

Gratitude Moments

Gratitude journals can be extremely beneficial when attempting to shift one’s perspective; however, many clients find it a daunting task to journal at length and often do not follow through long enough to see real results.

Build in gratitude “moments” throughout the day:

    1. Recognize moments of joy, thankfulness, comfort, and peace.
    2. Acknowledge both the positive emotion and the positive effect.
    3. Say out loud a statement of gratitude. For example, “Thank you for this moment” or “I feel joyful” or “That was nice.”
    4. Repeat as often as possible.

Art Promotes Happiness Too!

Art and expressive therapy have also been shown to demonstrate healing and happiness. Stuckey and Nobel (2010) reported: Use of the arts in healing does not contradict the medical view in bringing emotional, somatic, artistic, and spiritual dimensions to learning. Rather, it complements the biomedical view by focusing on not only sickness and symptoms themselves but the holistic nature of the person. When people are invited to work with creative and artistic processes that affect more than their identity with illness, they are more able to create congruence between their affective states and their conceptual sense making. Through creativity and imagination, we find our identity and our reservoir of healing. The more we understand the relationship between creative expression and healing, the more we will discover the healing power of the arts.

At Art It Out, we believe in the positive impact art, color, and creativity can have on a person’s outlook and wellbeing.

How Do I Learn More?

Potential clients – Give us a call today to find out more about Art It Out and our therapeutic services. Reach us @ 770.726.9589 or www.artitout.com

 

Professionals – Join Janet Burr, LPC for her upcoming CEU seminar THE ART OF ENCOURAGEMENT: CREATIVE INTERVENTIONS FOR POSITIVE GROWTH AND CHANGE on Friday, March 17th at Art It Out Therapy Center http://www.artitout.com/workshops/ or on Friday, April 21st at Ridgeview Institute http://www.ridgeviewinstitute.com/hosp_info_calendar_prof.htm.

 

  1. WHO report,  Mental and Behavioral Disorders, 28.
  2. NYT, Drugs Are in the Water. Does It Matter?
  3. American Psychological Association, School-Based Program Teaches Skills That Stave Off Depression, October, 2003.
  4. Stuckey, H. L., & Nobel, J. (2010). The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature. American Journal of Public Health, 100(2), 254–263. http://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2008.156497