COUNSELOR CORNER: 2020/21
Monica Mack, MSW, CC
St. Ann School Guidance Counselor
Fundamentals are key when life is changing rapidly.
This is for the parents: With all the changes happening on a weekly and daily basis around us, with protocols for Covid19, schedules, and outside influences of life, it can seem at times, overwhelming.
Here is the good news…When we focus on the things we Do have control over in life, we FEEL more in control of life.
What do we have control over? The fundamentals: Intention. Gratitude. Eating. Movement. Sleeping. Saying 'no' when needed.
Let's look at these through the lens of self-care because that is what we can control...
- Intentionally, choose the tone of the day by creating a morning routine, with quiet time-prayer, reading. This is a good time to tie in gratitude for all we have in our lives that is good, that is beautiful, and for which we would not trade anything in the world. Choose not to listen to news at the start of the day or before bed but, perhaps, at lunch so you have time to process.
- Eat nutritious food. Get daily exercise-moving your body, in nature, if possible. Being in nature decreases your heart rate. If you cannot get outside, open windows, sit on the porch, or look at a landscape or photograph of nature, and imagine it.
- Get some good sleep. Listen to your body. Find out what your sleep needs are and take care of them. Sleep is super important for managing stress. There is a massive correlation between sleep problems and depression. One of my favorite quotes is from sleep expert, Matthew Walker: "The bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep."
- Last, but not least- boundaries: Every time we say "yes" to something, we are saying "no" to something else. Put boundaries around your time, and say "no" to over committing.
The fundamentals are the essence of self-care. The irony is when life gets harder, we often let go of the exact thing that will help us. We let go of the fundamentals...
Take good care of yourself, and you will take good care of those who need you most.