A New Kind of Self-Care — The Practical Side
Do any of these statements sound familiar:
“I need a vacation!”
“I need to start working out at least 5 days a week.”
“I want to start [insert new hobby here] because I think it will help me lower my stress level.”
All of these are great ideas, but they are also what I consider lofty goals. Or, to put it more clinically, these ideas are what therapists call macro self-care. Macro self-care reduces stress, but also tends to require large amounts of time and energy, not to mention money.
Macro self-care is important, helpful and should be utilized whenever possible to cope with the stressors of daily life. I mean, who is against having more vacations, days off or time spent doing what we love?! However, in fast-paced, crazy busy American society the reality is that there is not a lot of macro self-care taking place—not as much as we want, and definitely not as much as we need. Even when we have the money and energy, we often don’t have the time to do the things that refresh us. Others may have plenty of time but no resources. You get the picture. One solution to our inability to engage in more macro self-care practices is what is called micro self-care.
Micro self-care is appointing small amounts of time daily and/or weekly to care for oneself in an ongoing effort to maintain positive mental health. Micro self-care helps to prevent burnout, mental and emotional fatigue and other negative emotional states.
Some examples of micro self-care include:
–spending five minutes three times a day meditating before meals
–getting up twenty minutes earlier twice a week to take a walk
—writing in a journal for fifteen minutes twice a week
–having a cup of coffee or tea at the same time every day and thinking of one thing you are grateful for
–making a bi-weekly or monthly standing dinner date with a supportive friend
Micro self-care is a wonderful way to engage in self-care and reduce stress, because it does not require vast amounts of time, energy, money or even an extensive support system. It is self-care that can be done virtually anywhere any time.
If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, depressed or anxious an Orlando mental health counselor can assist you. She can provide the clinical experience and expertise you need to identify and implement both micro and macro self-care techniques. Whether you are feeling stressed at home, school, work or in a relationship, one of our trained mental health specialists can help you. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment. It will be a “micro-step” on your path to reducing stress and negativity in your life and living your best life now.