A common misconception about self-care is that when we feel stressed, we need to just calm down. I truly believe that before we can calm down, we must first discharge the tension.
The principle I follow is that we must first meet the tension to release the tension and then we are able to calm or decrease the stress/threat response. To tell ourselves (or someone else) just to calm down can not only be invalidating, it can also be harmful.
Some common ways to discharge tension are:
Some common ways to calm the nervous system are:
If you found these tools helpful, feel free to check out my online course with lots of tips and tricks for increasing self-care and building resilience. To learn more, please visit: https://www.beccaodomwellness.com/self-care-for-social-workers.html
May we all love the life we live…
I had an old professor in graduate school talk about times we might “get slimed”. Getting slimed is anytime you leave an interaction with someone and even though they might feel great but you just feel...slimed.
As a highly sensitive and empathetic person, I have spent my entire life trying to navigate what to do when I feel like I have been slimed. My absolute favorite tool to use for these moments is an Energy Bath.
An Energy Bath comes from a Qi Gong technique that can be used to move and discharge energy from the body. This can be practiced in between sessions, after a stressful meeting or exchange with someone.
To me, if I am sensitive enough to pick up on something, I am sensitive enough to release it. This reframe has been incredibly empowering for me on my own healing journey and I hope you find it supportive. To practice this tool with me, please check out this video of an Energy Bath practice.
If you enjoyed this tool, feel free to check out my upcoming online course, Self-Care for Social Workers! I have included over 4 hours of yoga, breathwork, mediation and somatic exercises for self-care to prevent burnout and build resilience!
We know that stress can have a big impact on our ability to sleep. As we are currently moving through a highly stressful and uncertain time in our world right now, I wanted to share some resources and tips to help you sleep and feel better.
As many as 40% of adults in the U.S. experience some type of insomnia every year. When you don’t have a restful night's sleep, it can have an effect on your mood, health, longevity, family and even your job. Yoga facilitates sleep by reducing stress, anxiety, and arousal — all known causes of poor sleep.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School looked at how a daily yoga practice might affect sleep for people with insomnia and found broad improvements to measurements of sleep quality and quantity. These findings suggest that a regular yoga practice can improve multiple areas of your life at once. For example, yoga can help improve your sleep, which in turn gives you more energy and focus during your day. (Harvard Medical School)
Here is a free short video on one of my favorite yoga practices to do before going to sleep.
Relaxation techniques before bed have been shown to improve sleep quality and are another common technique used to treat insomnia. Creating a bedtime routine can help signal to the body and mind that all activity is done for the day and it is time to rest.
My top 3 sleep support tips are:
If you enjoyed these resources, check out my upcoming online course called Self-Care for Social Workers. In this course I dive deeper into sleep support tips, yoga videos, breathing practices and guided meditations for reducing stress, improving sleep and preventing burnout. The course starts September 18th and you can read more about the course by clicking here!
So, whether you are struggling with insomnia or you are simply looking to improve your sleep, I hope you found these resources helpful. Please share this with anyone you know who could use a little sleep support right now and I'd love to hear how these tools are working for you by commenting below!
May we all love the life we live...
Our breath is the one thing we have with us all the time. From the first breath we take when we come into this world until our last, it is our constant companion.
My favorite self-care tools are often the most subtle and sneaky. No one else needs to know that I am doing something different with my breathing to ground myself. It’s just important that I know I am doing something to support myself.
Breathing is the one process in our body that can both happen automatically, without thinking about it, and that we can also control when desired. Something beautiful can take our breath away. We can sigh when feeling frustrated or yawn when we are exhausted. It informs us about our world and can impact how we interpret the world around us.
Extending our exhales is one of the simplest things we can do to support our nervous system so that we feel safer in our bodies. My favorite breathing practice is to do some Ocean Breathing with an extended exhale.
To practice Ocean Breathing:
To practice Extended Exhales:
My favorite part about this is that no one needs to know that you are doing anything differently. Only you need to know that you are intentionally changing your breathing to change your physical and mental state.
I invite you to take a moment and try to breathe this way for a few minutes each day. Slowly building the muscle memory for these techniques before you actually go into a stressful situation makes it much more likely that you will be able to access these tools when you feel triggered, anxious, restless, bored or scared.
Feel free to check out this short video on Ocean Breathing and share it with anyone you know who might benefit from having some sneaky self-care in their life.
If you enjoyed these self-care tips and want to learn more, I am so excited to share that I will be launching my online course Self-Care for Social Workers on September 18th! This course is a step-by-step guide to building resiliency & creating your own home practice to help prevent burnout.
You will receive over 4 hours of:
To be the first to know when the course launches and to have access to the biggest discounts, join my newsletter here.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
May we all love the life we live…