As part of WA Mental Health Week that runs until Sunday 14 October 2018, our Mental Health Support Services are recommending these four easy techniques to make sure you’re looking after yourself.
Self-care is essential
If you are struggling, you deserve to make self-care a priority.
Whether that means lying in bed, accepting comfort from others, crying, sleeping, rescheduling plans, reading a book, noticing your frame of mind, watching your favourite shows, or doing nothing at all, give yourself permission to put your healing first.
Quiet the ‘influence’ that is telling you to do more, be more, and today — whatever you do — let it be enough.
Feel your feelings, breathe, ground yourself and be gentle with yourself. Acknowledge that you are doing the best you can to cope.
Trust that this is enough today, that you are enough.
Use grounding techniques
Grounding techniques can be very useful when we feel distressed, particularly when the distress makes us feel very unreal or detached, or it feels like we are in a different situation to where we really are.
Grounding techniques help to bring us back to the ‘here and now’, with an awareness of our own bodies.
Practise them, and learn what works best for you — whether it is a mental strategy like telling yourself you are safe now, or maybe doing something more physical. The aim is to turn your focus away from the past or current distress, and into the here and now of reality and safety.
1. Look around
Where are you? Notice the colours, the people, and the shapes of things. This is to help make things more real.
Really notice the sounds around you: the traffic, voices, washing machine, music, etc.
3. Notice your body
Notice your skin, how your clothes feel on your skin, movement in your hair as you move your head, really feel the chair or floor supporting you — how that feels in your feet, your legs, your body.
4. Grip yourself
That feeling is in the now, the things you are re-experiencing happened in the past. That was then, and this is now.
For more information on Mental Health Week events and resources, head to the WA Association for Mental Health website.