Mental Health Matters: Self-care is essential
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
–Novelist Anne Lamott once said, “
Self-care is critically important when it comes to your health and well-being, but that does not mean it comes naturally to everyone. Fortunately, there are many ways to be kind to yourself and unplug even if it’s just for a few minutes. Create a self-care kit with these tips from Lifeworks, the company that manages the district’s Employee Assistance Program.
- Do a simple stretching routine. Even taking a minute to relax your jaw, neck and shoulders can make a big difference.
- Find a piece of art you love and look for more works by the same artist. You may end up with a new favorite song, book or show!
- Reflect on the hobbies you loved as a child and see if you can rekindle that same sense of wonder and fun by giving them another try.
- Switch off your phone—or at least your access to it—for an hour. Try moving it to another room or turning on “airplane mode” or “do not disturb.”
- Make a playlist of cheerful songs and hit play whenever you could use a pick-me-up.
- Budget for an extra adventure. Setting aside as little as $10 a month can lead to a treat.
- List out your work accomplishments and appreciate how much effort you have put into your growth and development. You should be proud!
- Take yourself on a date. Make time for an item on your bucket list, and go explore your community.
- Get in touch with a friend you have not seen for a while. They will be thrilled to hear from you.
- Organize a friend or family game night and bring out all your favorite board games and video games.
- When you break for lunch during the work day, take the time to eat mindfully. Focus on each flavor and appreciate when you are full.
- Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Schedule a day off. We all need rest to avoid burnout.
- Carry around a water bottle, and make sure to stay hydrated when you find yourself struggling to concentrate or are feeling extra tired.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Not only will you appreciate all the little things around you more, but you can also give yourself the credit you deserve for showing up every day.
- Start a new podcast on a topic that has always interested you or pick up your favorite comfort book.
- Browse your favorite meals and choose a new recipe to try. You could even experiment with a beloved family favorite.
- Do some spring cleaning and clear out the clutter around your home or desk. If you have a hard time getting started, play an upbeat song and dance as you go.
- Transform your home into a spa by taking a long bath and lighting up your best scented candle.
- Practice meditation. Whether you follow a short video on YouTube or do some deep breathing, you will feel more relaxed and at peace.
- Be gentle with yourself, especially on your hardest days. Pick out a few self-affirmations and speak to yourself with the same care you would show your friends and family.
- Set boundaries with your schedule. When you are off the clock, put away your work phone and turn off any email notifications you may receive.
- Research restaurants in your area and enjoy some delicious new food. If you want to be spontaneous, check out that diner or coffee shop you have seen a thousand times but have not tried yet.
- Play with your pets more often. We all know you wanted to anyway, so here is your excuse!
- Spend time outside every day. Even if you only have the energy for a few minutes, the fresh air will do you good.
- Every time someone compliments you, make a note in a journal or on your computer. On bad days, their words will lift your spirits.
You matter and so does your health and well-being! If you are struggling, help is available. Dallas ISD’s Employee Assistance Program by LifeWorks has countless online resources, including on-call counselors and practical tips to manage a variety of mental health concerns. The confidential, secure platform requires no contributions, so you can easily get the support you need today.
Reach out to LifeWorks at (972) 925-4000 or visit www.dallasisd.org/benefits and click on Benefits Resources to access online EAP information.