THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE
Art therapy is one way of taking care of yourself. Any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health is considered Self Care. Good self care is a challenge for many people. Many of us tend to put other's needs before our own. While this is admirable, our own well being must also be a priority. We cannot help others if we neglect our own needs.
Experts acknowledge that to counteract the stress we encounter in everyday life, it is important to come up with a routine or ritual to care for not only our bodies, but for our mind and emotional and spiritual well-being.
Art therapy enables us to slow down and be mindful. It offers the possibility for taking time to go inward and find inspiration, and then to express outwardly in our own unique way. Creating Art allows us to be seen, acknowledged, understood and heard, all of which are important for well-being.
TOP TEN STRATEGIES FOR OVERALL STRESS REDUCTION
0=Never 1=Rarely 2=Occasionally 3=Sometimes 4=Often 5=Almost Always
____Get Enough Sleep (Adults 7-9 hours)
____Maintain Proper Nutrition. (Plan ahead, Cook ahead, Keep it Simple)
____Exercise Regularly (Start with a 15 minute walk and build up from there.)
____Maintain social support (Cultivate supportive friends, Expand your social circle.)
____Find hobbies to "stay in the moment."
____Pamper yourself (Give yourself a massage, Take a bath, Light a scented candle)
____Keep your mind sharp (Do a Puzzle, Learn a new skill, Read)
____Have the Right Attitude. (Be optimistic; Try positive affirmations)
____Process your Emotions (Keep a Journal, Engage in Therapy, Confide in a Friend)
____Maintain a Spiritual Practice (Spend time in Nature, Practice Prayer or Meditation)
Small changes lead to big results. At first, pay attention to any areas above that you have marked with a "0" or "1" and consider whether you can make one small change in that area.