As it is mental health month, and I’m a Psychologist and Mental Health Ambassador, what else would I be talking about this month that psychological self-care. So far in our self-care series, we have talked about the things you can do, and add into your life, to enrich it and build strong and healthy practices. This month, I want you to do the complete opposite. I want you to stop doing things. Specifically, I want you to stop doing these three things:
Saying ‘yes’. You do not have to do ‘all the things’ all of the time. How often do you catch yourself saying ‘yes’ to something, or someone, even if you don’t actually want to do it, or don’t have the time or energy? You do not need to make others happy constantly. It is not your job. You do not have control over what others do, think, or feel.
Not having boundaries. This can be hard one, especially if those boundaries need to be with people close to you, such as family members. If being around someone, and their behaviours, is detrimental to your mental health, you are absolutely allowed to prioritise yourself. This separation does not have to be mean or nasty. Simple, clear language is the best approach. A family member is rude to you? An appropriate response would be “that was hurtful and inappropriate. Please don’t speak to me like that again.”
Being disrespectful to yourself. Just as we need to stop letting others disrespect us, this needs to apply to our own self-talk too. Too often we find our inner voice being one that is negative and downright mean. Ever caught yourself saying things like “I’m such an idiot” or “I’m so ugly”? Ask yourself the question; would you let someone speak to your partner, children or friends like that? No? Then you shouldn’t let yourself be spoken to like that, especially from yourself.
Self-care isn’t just about what we need to add into our lives in a conscious way to promote our health and wellbeing. Sometimes we need to also look at what we need to remove to truly look after our physical and mental health. What could you reduce or stop doing this month that would be good for you?
If you would like further information about self-care, or to organise a customised training session for professional development in Trauma-Informed practices, head to our Contact Us page to send through a request or register your interest.