Help Me Out PLEASE

Things are still really hard right now, right? I say “still” of course because at this point, the pandemic is not new, We at DBT of SJ have been working from home for exactly a year now (wow), but for me everything feels just as stressful as it did a year ago.

Help Me Out PLEASE

Of course there have been times in the last year that I felt less stressed and even energized, and other times, like now, that I’ve been overwhelmed and emotionally vulnerable. Sometimes for me there are external reasons for this; whatever is happening in the news, family things, weather and little sunlight, etc. Lately though, I’ve started to think more about the things around me that are within my control, and what I need to pay more attention to in order to feel more grounded.

On and off I’ve had the judgment that things will be easier working from home, no commute time, more time with my dog, more work/life balance. It has been the opposite in a lot of ways (time with my dog is exactly what I hoped it would be though), and the area that has been the most surprising for me is eating. At the beginning of all this I thought it was the perfect opportunity to start eating healthier and more balanced because I wouldn’t be so rushed with a commute. I got burned out SO QUICKLY cooking and making meals three times per day, seven days per week. I ran out of ideas within the first month. So I’ve been snacking more, ordering out more (yay for supporting local businesses) but the more I think about it, the more I realize that this has had an impact on my energy levels and mood.

Everything in our mind and body are so connected to one another, it makes sense that if my energy is low it would effect my motivation, and my productivity, so I wouldn’t be doing the self-care things that are so important to me, mixed with the external factors I mentioned- OF COURSE I’m anxious and overwhelmed.

This brings us to the emotion regulation skill in DBT (we love an acronym), PLEASE. The goal of this skill is to decrease our emotional vulnerabilities, and our vulnerability to emotion mind by taking care of our physical bodies by treating physical illness, balance eating, avoiding mood altering substances, balancing sleep and balancing exercise. It’s a BIG skill.

In the past week or so, I have tried really hard to be more mindful of my eating, and planning ahead meals and foods that will make my body feel energized and good, and not eating as many foods that I know will make me feel more anxious or lethargic. Still having ice cream sometimes though because it truly is my jam (cookies and cream lovers, where you at?). I’m just trying to be more intentional. Even just in this short amount of time, I am noticing a small shift in energy levels.

My work is not done especially in terms of the PLEASE skills- I have doctor’s appointments to catch up on, my sleep schedule is not working for me and I know I need to be moving more, but I do feel more motivated to continue making changes because I started- and for me that’s the hardest part.

So if you’re struggling with balancing physical self-care, you are not alone. We can do this, even though it’s hard.

DBT of South Jersey media

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