Self-Care Strategies, Part 3

Self-Care Strategies

The Behavioral Health Team, as we begin another week, would like to provide some extra support and education as we all continue to cope with the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused in our lives. In this time of heightened stress, self-care is vital for our well-being and can be a positive coping mechanism to help reduce stress. Taking care of your mental health can seem complicated when life gets busy with work or school. By scheduling time each day to care for your mental health, you can reduce your stress and improve your overall happiness.

This week we are going to focus on the mental aspects of self-care. Mental self-care involves activities that help de-clutter your mind and can be helpful during this time of uncertainty to feel more centered. In this time of heightened stress, it can impact us emotionally with mental fatigue, which could cause difficulty concentrating, we can feel preoccupied and inflexible.

Here are some tips to help with mental fatigue:

  • Set aside relaxation time
  • Set boundaries
  • Nourish your creative side
  • Take a daily break from technology
  • Organization
  • Reduce ruminating or negative thoughts
  • Keeping a note pad close to you to write things down or using an app on your phone to remember things


Below is a technique that could help to reduce ruminating or negative thoughts:

Do you ever find yourself having negative thoughts of worrying that you can’t seem to let go of? Perhaps you had an argument with your partner, and it is just going around and around in your mind, or there is an old story that you continuously ruminate about. Here is a technique that can help you when you find yourself looping with negative thoughts that are focused around a cognitive behavioral approach called “thought stopping.” Your brain is like a computer in some ways. What do we do with a computer when it is frozen or stuck? We switch it off and reboot. This technique allows us to do the same thing with our brain.

To start off, what you want to do is gently press the left temple, and when you are pressing that temple, you want to say to yourself very loudly, “STOP.” Command yourself to stop. You can say it out loud to yourself or in your mind. Either way, you want to say it in a way that brings your attention to the fact that you are looping with this particular thought.

Then, what you want to do is gently press your left thigh to permit yourself to delete that thought. To let go of it, erase it, get it out of your mind.

Then, what you want to do is gently press your right thigh, and what you do then replace that old negative thought with a more positive constructive affirming new one.

Once you have done that, what you want to do is gently press the right temple, and when you are pressing that temple, you want to create a positive affirmation that supports that new positive thought. Affirmations are very short, empowering statements that usually start with “I am,” “I can,” or “I will.” Some examples are, “I am now more confident in my situation,” “I can let go of that old story,” or “I will be able to survive this negative situation.”

So putting it all together it is: STOP, Delete, Reboot, Play.

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