Self-care is an essential lesson for our physical, emotional and social well-being. Orientation magazine

A new year has come and there is already a new month. With them also comes the desire and courage to take care of those matters which we have left neglected for a long time for different reasons. Many would agree that one of those issues is Mental and emotional health care.

Some writers and philosophers call this practice connecting or reconnecting with yourself, which is a great ally for personal well-being. “It is part of Eastern philosophy, but it is not a separate term in psychology,” admits the neuropsychologist. Jose Rivadeneira, doctor Neuroscience Institute of Guayaquil.

According to the expert, this concept encompasses three pillars. “First of all, have the ability to know yourself, because many times we live on autopilot and this is a reality, we act intuitively and do not sit down to consider what we are doing. It’s about self-knowledge, knowing myself, my thoughts, my feelings, my actions.

Another component is Human Relations. “In knowing myself I also know others, just as I accept my own thoughts and feelings, I understand and accept the feelings and thoughts of others, validating them and being fully aware of That’s what I can control and what I can’t control.” The last aspect is personal development, which is accomplished by the previous two. “It’s about becoming, as much as possible, a better person.”

Being aware of these assumptions undoubtedly has short and long-term benefits. Not doing so would instead be inviting disease. “Because when a person cannot express what he feels or what he thinks, he becomes ill and psychological disorders arise associated with these emotional burdens that cannot be channeled and which affect us at the physical level. Also causes illness.”

For example, says the coordinator of the AnimaC project, they come Disorders like body pain and somatization. “They’re ways our body tells us ‘Pay more attention to what’s going on in your mind.'”

Activities for Emotional Health

Routine is important for creating emotional, mental and social well-being, as these aspects go hand in hand. Silvana Astudillo, clinical psychologist at the Hospital de los VallesProposes learning to pay attention to our emotions and recognize the way we react to certain external stimuli: work situations, family, public places.

According to Dr. Jose Rivadeneira, it is also essential to learn to organize. This allows us to evaluate what types of activities our time is spent on and whether we are really investing it in an activity that provides us with well-being, such as exercising or reading, and to social networks. To limit.

How to take care of yourself? Through mental health routines that start with Stop repeating phrases like ‘I can’t’ or ‘I don’t have time’ when it comes to serving us. In fact, we need to take time and gather resources to do what is good for us.

Actions we can take for our emotional health:

  • Give priority to sleep. Sleep at your scheduled time and turn away from electronic devices half an hour earlier.
  • Practice mindful and slow breathing. Take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale through your mouth, repeating up to three times.
  • Have a support network. It is made up of people with whom you can talk about your daily experiences and feelings.
  • Identify one or more wellness spacesWhere you can feel good and enjoy those moments of breathing, talking or relaxing.
  • Avoid taking psychoactive substancesLike drugs, cigarettes or alcohol, because they depress the nervous system.
  • Don’t neglect social relationships. Being a part of groups is very important to take care of mental health. This especially helps people with depressive symptoms, try not to isolate yourself.
  • You should exercise throughout the day. Physical activity activates the secretion of dopamine, the famous “hormone of happiness”.
  • Don’t just focus on cardio or weights, you can also stretch to relieve stress. Here are two suggestions. First: Fix your vision on a distant point. Think about colors and textures. Stay away from pressure or urgency. The second proposal is to reduce muscle tension. Sitting down, squeeze your toes as hard as you can, then slowly release. Continue the exercise with the muscles of the legs, abdomen, arms until you reach the eyes, nose and mouth. End with a sharp inhale, breathing in through your nose and suddenly releasing air through your mouth.
  • Physical health also means having enough nutritionWith a balanced diet that includes all food groups.

Importance of support groups

“There are people who are not used to talking every day about how they feel and what happened in their day, because they do not have support and they do not like to talk, they do not know that their feelings How to let go. He accumulates them without understanding them. And he fills himself with assumptions, predicting situations, thinking that everything is going to be bad and there is no way out,” Astudillo explains. It can become Anxiety or depression.

Although you can’t force someone to talk about what they feel, A good practice is to write down both the good experiences and what we didn’t like and write down different ways to respond next time.

Psychologists also recommend paying attention to signs of discomfort that sometimes go unnoticed, such as a feeling of emptiness, which is not necessarily associated with problems at home or at work. “I don’t want to do anything, everything bores me, I stop doing things I used to like, I no longer get pleasure from seeing the people I used to hang out with. Thoughts come again and again and I see everything negative and dull in the future. I feel like I always do the same thing. “I feel like crying without knowing why.” Responding badly to others or not reacting at all are behaviors that indicate that something is happening inside us.

A good way to connect with yourself and a good sign of mental health is to enjoy what we do, Whether it’s going for a walk, going to the gym, going out with friends, developing some art, “and we can add the spirituality part to it.”

Psychological support to prevent

If we often go to the dentist, like other doctors who take care of other parts of the body, we should also go to the specialist who helps us take care of the mind, that is, our thoughts and emotions. What revolves around me?

“Sometimes it’s easy to hide what’s going on in our mind so we don’t pay attention to it,” warns Rivadeneira. This can lead to mental disorders and eventually lead to conditions that cannot be reversed, such as suicidal,

That’s why the expert remembers its importance Seek psychological help, both as an act of prevention and also as a self-care strategy. “Remember that psychologists exist to accompany people in the process of self-knowledge, problem solving, and not necessarily when there is severe depression, generalized anxiety or post-traumatic stress. “We also work in the preventive phase to prevent this from happening.”

Clinical Perspective: Stop Being a Patient to Take Care of Your Health

For the World Health Organization, self-care goes further, it is one of the strategies to face future labor shortages in the sector, something that requires individuals, families and communities to actively participate Is. In promotion, one can also learn the prevention and maintenance of health, and skills to cope with illness and disability. some examples:

  • women can get tested HPV (Human Papillomavirus) And thus helps in reducing the death rate from cervical cancer.
  • It is also possible to get tested at home for sexually transmitted diseases HIV.
  • Another test that does not require medical attention is blood pressure and glucose monitoring, once the person learns how to do it.
  • Self-injectable contraceptives can reduce unintended pregnancies.
  • Health promotion can reduce individual risk factors such as sedentary lifestyle tobacco consumption, To avoid heart disease. (F)

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