Five Things For Self-Care
An essential part of mental health many advocates discuss is self-care. Simplistic in its approach, self-care can be much more challenging to accomplish when your mind is telling you, “You aren’t worth it.” The question we often struggle to answer is, what do you do when you’re struggling with that voice in your head?
There is an approach my therapist speaks highly of, a method used by many. I’ve discussed with others who struggle with mental health on how this approach helps them as well. This will aid with easing one into a place where self-care may be possible. It’s also an excellent technique to help with lessening depressive episodes or anxiety (panic) attacks. I’ve heard it called many things by different people; the first time it was explained to me it was called “Five Things.”
When to use this might vary for individuals, but I think it would be beneficial for any time, one is struggling to get and getting their mindset back to that sense of Self. As many who fight through the battlefield of mental health know, the concept of “Self” is what helps to lead us back from tight gripped hands of depression, anxiety, or any of the many more types of “holds” our brains have to offer. “Five Things” aids in bringing us to a place of self-soothing. It helps to recalibrate our minds to listen to the little stable voice instead of the more prominent emotionally driven voice.
What is “Five Things?” Simply it’s:
5. things you can see
4. things you can touch
3. things you can hear
2. things you can smell
1. thing you can taste
Something versatile about “Five Things” is it can be done anywhere. It can be as simplistic or as involved as the person would like or need it to be. Do you enjoy writing? Put your things in your journal. How about art or drawing? Then tuck them away on your sketch pad. Don’t have anything but your hands available? Tick them off on your fingers. Are you standing in line at the grocery store? Think about them silently.
This technique can be used as a jumping off point for other self-care activities. This can be accomplished by using the things seen, touched, heard, smelled, and tasted like something more to research, or learn about, or find a new hobby that fills and adds meaning to one’s time. Or it can be treated as nothing more than a one-time activity focusing on the senses. The point isn’t how it’s used but it’s used.
Regardless of what the voice is saying/shouting/repeating; YOU ARE WORTH taking time out for “Five Things” and more.