You need to take care of yourself.
I am saying this not because you don't know but because everyone needs to be reminded - constantly. You would think that it would be easy enough to do but for countless reasons, we cast aside our own wellbeing. It may be that you are caring so much for other people that you don't leave time for yourself. Or maybe you are busy in your career, racing for a finish line and you are willing to sacrifice your health in the meantime.
Self-care is very important and a great place to start is your mental health. Here are some resources to get you started.
Mentally healthy people know that it is important to understand your emotions and the important part they place in your life. If you haven't seen this movie yet you are missing out and if you have seen it, watch it again. Also, sitting down to watch a movie is a get step towards self-care.
In this conversation Dr. Clarke talks about how many of us were raised in ways that taught us mistruths about our emotions. He talks about five of the basic emotions: joy, sadness, fear, anger and disgust (now you really have to watch Inside Out). He also touches on the difference between emotions, feelings, and thoughts.
I know for me that it is hard to describe my emotions beyond joy, sadness, fear, anger and disgust (and that’s an improvement thanks to inside Out. REALLY. You should watch Inside Out). This feelings wheel breaks down the basic emotions into other emotions that can really help people process what they are feeling.
Brett Ullman did a series of videos on mental health and COVID-19. There are 20 short (under 2 minutes) videos talk about things from breathing, to sleep, to reading and listening to music. All of these are ways to help you focus on your mental health during this season (and for other seasons as well).
Mike Foster is known as the "Mr. Rogers of self-development". He has written a simple guide to help you have a calmer, clearer and uncluttered mind. Using three areas:
He guides you through the process of adding one thing to your routine and removing one thing from your routine each day for seven days.
If you are a leader of a team then check out this conversation with Brett Ullman, Dr. Merry Lin and Dr. Josh Kruse. This webinar has already happened but you can watch the recording anytime. They discuss things like: How does the human mind cope with a prolonged crisis? How to know what you’re really feeling and what to do about it? Can you program your mind to overcome negative thoughts and emotions? Compassion fatigue – Why Leaders and Pastors may be running on ’empty’.
Al is the pastoral care specialist for the ABNWT district for the PAOC. He is witting regular articles on self-care for pastors and leaders.