care for self

Taking Care of Yourself

Taking care of your body

Give yourself the proper amount of food and sleep. If you deprive your body of these necessities, it will be hard to care for yourself emotionally and mentally.

Listen to your body. It is okay to say “no” to invitations or activities if your body needs to rest.

Find ways to relax your body and mind. Take a bubble bath, go for a walk or practice meditation breathing. (**See the directions below)

** Sit or stand comfortably, with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Place one hand over your belly button. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose and let your stomach expand as you inhale. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth, sighing as you breathe out. Concentrate on relaxing your stomach muscles as you breathe in. When you are doing this exercise correctly, you will feel your stomach rise and fall about an inch as you breathe in and out. Try to keep the rest of your body relaxed—your shoulders should not rise and fall as you breathe! Slowly count to 4 as you inhale and to 4 again as you exhale. At the end of the exhalation, take another deep breath. After 3-4 cycles of breathing you should begin to feel the calming effects.

Taking care of your mind

Set boundaries with people in your life who dismiss your feelings or belittle your experience. This doesn’t mean cutting them out of your life, but choose how and when you will spend time with them.

Make spending time with people who care about you and make you feel good about yourself a priority.

Keep a journal. Writing down what you are thinking and how you are feeling can help you to manage your emotions.

Rethink negative thoughts about yourself and about the future. It is normal to feel ashamed, and blame yourself for what happened. It is important to remember that NOTHING about you caused this to happen, and it does not diminish your worth as a person.

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