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Many people think self-care is all about massages, pedicures, and a warm bubble bath with essential oil and candles. While all of these things are quite nice, self-care is much more than this. Self-care addresses more than just physical needs, and more than emotional or mental needs as well. It fosters a healthy mind, body and spirit, in time leading to such benefits as improved productivity, a stronger immune system, a healthier body (inside and out), enhanced self-esteem, and a better understanding of who you are.

Below are 3 tips to help you implement a stronger, more effective self-care program:

1. Practice positive self-talk. Self-care includes how you interact with yourself all day, every day. Do you talk down to yourself? Do you find fault in everything you do? Do you compare yourself to others? Negative self-talk affects how you feel about yourself, which can cause anxiety and depression. Pay attention to where your head is, and how you talk to yourself. As the brilliant quotes goes… Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.” -Lisa M Hayes

2. Find a way to process your emotions. Self-care means processing your emotions in a way that helps you understand yourself better. For instance, if you’re stressed by deadlines or a tumultuous relationship, distractions like TV or video games may silence the discomfort for a little while but aren’t a long-term solution and stuff emotions under the rug. Instead, trying an activity like meditation or an online personal development course, or talking to a friend or colleague may be helpful. A therapist can also help you sort out emotions, whether due to present circumstances or stemming from childhood, that impact your current state of emotional well being.

3. Make exercise and physical health a high priority. Sure, in some instances self-care can be about nurturing hobbies and new interests—learning to rock climb, or joining a book club—but changing the simplest things in life might be all you need. Things like eating foods that are nourishing and nutritionally well-balanced, changing up your bedtime routine to promote better quality of sleep, or going for a short walk everyday can make a big difference in your physical health and mental well being.

Self-care doesn’t need to include major, life-altering changes. Rather, focusing on positive self-talk, finding a productive outlet for emotions, and engaging in a little exercise can go a long way.

Are you struggling with positive self-talk? Failing to process your emotions? Strung up with anxiety, or dealing with depression? You’re not alone.

Creative Counseling Center is here for you. Our counselors help people just like you with a variety of mental health struggles, from finding gratitude to mourning the loss of a loved one, relationship woes to overcoming past abuse, neglect or simply managing anxiety and depression…and everything in between. Request a free phone consultation today and get started on your journey to happiness and fulfillment.

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