Stress, Anxiety, and Self Care

11 Dec

Written by Donald Goodman, LCSW

Understanding the importance of self care is paramount in the helping profession despite the poor performance in this area.

Unfortunately, the rest of society generally does even worse. Last month, when meeting with a successful CEO who was suffering from anxiety and stress because he was struggling to balance work and caring for his aging mother, I asked him how good his self-care was and he looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. Career people aren’t the only one’s who suffer from poor self care. No one is worse than stay home mothers. Their kids come first, then their husbands, then their families, next their friends, and finally, if there’s time, they will take care of themselves.

What must be understood is as we age our minds and bodies become more and more limited, which includes our ability to handle stress and anxiety. I once was able to work all day and evening only to walk through the front door, plop down on the couch and fall asleep for the night without any need to decompress. Now, an entire ritual is necessary to create a restful, satisfying sleep. Unfortunately, despite this reminder, most people will not permanently change their behavior and start practicing consistent good self-care. Instead something awful will need to happen first such as heart disease, excessive weight gain, addiction, panic or anxiety attack, or just overall poor functioning in some area(s) of your life.

While it’s possible that you need more than this short article to start taking better care of yourself, below is a few guiding principles that may help you stay focused and improve your self care.

  1. Self care is not a choice, it’s a necessity.
  2. You always have time no matter what, it’s just a matter of priority.
  3. When you are running on empty you can’t give what you don’t have.
  4. If you’re not happy, those around you won’t be happy either.

If nothing is working and you need professional help then contact us today for your first free session with one of our outstanding therapists.