Safety: Taking care of self

Safety is a watchword these days, isn’t it? In times such as these, we may feel like the world is out of control and there is nothing that anyone, even you, can do about it. But you do have the power in your very hands to do something about the way youfeel and the way youhandle things.

The University of Michigan, at its website, features an article entitled, “10 Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health.” We’re going to talk about these things right now because there is a lot of stress and vitriol around us and we need to take care of Self in constructive ways to combat the enemies we face.

First, value yourself. It is so easy to fall into the negative self-talk mode. Nobody talks to me. I’m not important. I have no value to anyone. I can’t do anything right. You know how this works, right? You are unique. There is only one of you. You are valuable to someone in your life.

Take care of your body.Are you sitting too much? Worrying too much? Not eating right? Do you exercise enough? Drink enough water? Have you fallen back to relying on smoking to help you with your stress? Are you sleeping fitfully? Can you see what you need to be doing to take care of you because if you don’t take care of you, how will you take care of the people in your life that you feel responsible for?

Do you know that laughter truly is the best medicine? Laughing can actually give your immune system a boost. If you are having trouble with seeing the humorous side of life, perhaps you are hanging out with the wrong people, and their struggles are affecting your moods.

One of the things that can have a huge impact on your attitude, your moods, your well being, is giving to others. When you volunteer to help someone who can’t do for his or herself, there is a wonderful reward for you. If you haven’t ever done something like this, you are in for a surprise. In giving you will receive a gift back. You can have a lot of love but if you don’t give it away, what is it worth?

It is difficult, sometimes, to deal with stress because of coping skills. If you don’t have any or if you are so busy rolling with punches that you can’t look ahead or plan to respond rather than to react, how can you gain those valuable life skills you need to get through the rough patches?

Quiet your mind. The article recommends meditation, mindfulness and/or prayer. The day can be filled with chaos and demands but if you go to your quiet place and just focus on the moment, be in it and soak it in, calm, quiet, peaceful, you can improve your state of mind. My mother dealt with a lot of stress. She found calm and peace in music. She could play any musical instrument she picked up. She walked the perimeter of our property early in the morning as she spoke to God and began each day asking, “Well, Lord, what wonderful adventure will we take today?” I don’t know anyone who had a better outlook on life than that woman.

What are your goals? Realistic goals.What do you need to reach those goals and how can you meet those needs? You need to reach for the moon knowing that if you miss it, you will still land among the stars. Everyone needs goals. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” I’ve heard.

Break up the monotony. During the times of isolation what can we do to keep our brains functioning? It is so easy to just sit and be bored because you can’t do the things that are so vital to you. Have you ever followed behind a curious, young child who explores the world around him and has untapped energy and then wondered where all of that energy comes from? Sometimes, a child will lead us. What fuels your sense of curiosity in your world?

Alcohol and drugs are often used to self-medicate, but the fact is, they don’t help at all. They actually make everything worse. And who needs worse?

Getting help when you need it is a strength, not a weakness. When you just can’t cope anymore, you need to regain your perspectives, to regain your foothold in your life. The sooner you get what you need, the better. Don’t spend one more precious moment of your life foundering any longer than you have to.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. Visit the web site at www.familyrecovery.org. Family Recovery Center is funded in part by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.


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