Taking care of your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health is essential. I have created a list of various techniques, and explore them for you here:
1. Self-compassion visualisation: This technique involves imagining someone close to you, like a child or friend, going through the same situation as you. By considering how you would talk to them with kindness and understanding, you can then apply the same compassionate approach to yourself. This can help combat negative self-talk and self-criticism.
2. Kind self-talk: Similar to the self-compassion visualisation, and when you're in the midst of a stressful moment, simply offering yourself some kind words can be very beneficial. Acknowledging that things are tough and being compassionate to yourself can help alleviate stress and anxiety. eg: Amanda, it's going to be ok. You have managed and worked through worse situations that this. You CAN do this and the result will be magnificent.
3. Third-person self-talk: This is an interesting one that until I did some research, had not occurred to me! Shifting from first-person to third-person self-talk can create some emotional distance from your problems. This distancing can reduce feelings of stress, shame, and anxiety. It's a cognitive technique that can lead to better decision-making and increased self-compassion. It is weird to begin with - I understand - but I've been trying it lately and it has certainly created the distance to see things more rationally (very hard for me!). eg: Amanda, this situation is temporary and there are tools and strategies to manage through it.
4. Journaling positive qualities: Maintaining a journal where you write down five things you like about yourself each day can be a helpful practice for building self-esteem and self-compassion. Over time, you'll accumulate a reservoir of positive thoughts that you can turn to during stressful times. For those of you who have read my book, you'll know that journalling my feelings and pepping myself up through the emotional turmoil was mandatory for my mental health. It's an incredibly powerful tool that I continue to come back to (just not as book number 2!)
5. Embrace Self-Care Rituals: Women often find solace in self-care activities - I know I certainly do! - but we don't often prioritise ourself. But, it's so important to set aside time for rituals that make you feel good, whether it's taking a long bath, practicing yoga, or enjoying a warm cup of herbal tea. These moments of self-indulgence can be powerful in reducing stress and enhancing your overall mental well-being. And FYI, they really work best if done often, eg: daily.
6. Nurture Your Social Connections: Women tend to place a stronger emphasis than men on social relationships. And I truly believe it's key to our health and longevity (we know by all the statistics that women live longer). So by cultivating meaningful connections with friends and family, and by sharing your thoughts and feelings with trusted confidantes, your social connections can provide emotional support and create a sense of belonging, which is crucial for mental health. I know for sure that the last few years would have been very different and much more difficult if I didn't have my band of women who I adore and whom I can be completely honest and real with!
7. Set Realistic Boundaries: Oh, this is a big one - as my reinvention clients know!!! We often juggle multiple roles and responsibilities and the mental load (along with the physical, emotional, and spiritual load) can become overwhelming. The anectode to this is to recognise it's essential to set realistic boundaries and learn to say no when necessary. Overcommitting can lead to stress and burnout, so prioritise your time and energy for the activities that truly matter to you. And remember, NO is a full sentence :)
8. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation: Mindfulness and meditation techniques can be especially beneficial for women. These practices help you stay grounded, reduce anxiety, and improve emotional regulation. Dedicate time to mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing or guided meditation, to help you find mental clarity and inner peace.
I have made it my mission to walk every day in nature. Sometimes the beach calls me (not today, it's unusually cold!) or a bush walk . And I've also relaxed in the way that it doesn't always have to be a 'power walk' - a bush walk at a relaxed pace is often more restorative. So pop a walking meditation on your headphones and get the best of both worlds!
9. Seek Professional Help When Needed: Women sometimes feel pressured to shoulder the emotional burdens of those around them. Remember that it's perfectly okay to seek professional help when dealing with mental health challenges. Therapy or counseling can provide valuable insights and coping strategies. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so don't hesitate to reach out when necessary.
Incorporating these strategies into your daily routine can empower you to better manage stress, boost self-compassion, and support your mental health as a woman.
Remember that self-care is not selfish; it's an essential component of overall well-being. It's important to note that everyone's journey to self-compassion and stress management is unique. These practices can be tailored to fit your personal preferences and needs. Consistently incorporating self-compassion techniques into your daily routine can contribute to better mental health and overall well-being.
I wish you peace and happiness. I'm here if you need me.