How can you prioritize self-care in your busy life?

Family Therapy MAY Blog 01

In the bustling city of Ottawa, finding ways to prioritize self-care is essential for maintaining your overall well-being. It starts with acknowledging that taking care of yourself is not selfish but necessary. Nataxja Cini, MSW, RSW one of the counsellors at Family-Therapy in Ottawa, says that it is important to allocate time for activities you enjoy, whether it’s taking a walk along the scenic Rideau Canal, going hiking, or indulging in a relaxing session at one of the spas in the area. Remember, self-care is a personal journey, so tailor it to your preferences. 

What role does mindfulness play in self-care? 

Mindfulness is a valuable practice, especially in a city known for its fast-paced lifestyle like Ottawa. Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment, which can help manage your stress and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by the stressors you have in your life. Engaging in mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help you connect with yourself amidst the day to day chaos. Mindfulness can be as simple as acknowledging that you are having a tough day. We all have life stressors, and it is important to find your own way of managing stress that you can rely on anytime you are feeling overwhelmed.

How can you balance work, family, and personal time effectively? 

Nataxja understands that balancing your many responsibilities is indeed a challenge and it’s crucial to avoid neglecting yourself in the process. It’s essential to set boundaries by clearly communicating your availability for work, family, and yourself. Recognize that it’s okay to say no and to prioritize your well-being. This way, you can allocate time for self-care activities that resonate with you, fostering a healthier equilibrium. Self-care is not selfish or indulgent. Its valuing yourself and giving yourself recharge time. Have an honest discussion with your partner about how each of you can prioritize your well-being while still managing all of your other responsibilities.

How are physical activities related to self-care? 

Engaging in physical activities can significantly contribute to both your physical and mental well-being. Ottawa offers diverse options, from leisurely walks along the Rideau River to yoga classes or pickleball that cater to all fitness levels. Even gentle stretching, walking your dog or chair yoga counts as physical activities. The key is to get moving anyway that works for your body. The key is to choose activities you genuinely enjoy, as this not only promotes physical health but also releases endorphins that enhance your mood and resilience.

How are social connections part of self-care? 

Building and maintaining meaningful connections foster a sense of belonging and can contribute positively to your mental well-being. Engage in activities that align with your interests, and values as this can naturally lead to meeting like-minded individuals. Check out the City of Ottawa calendar for regular reoccurring events or workshops at community centres in your neighbourhood. And consider volunteering in your community at your child’s school, the local foodbank or soup kitchen. Helping others is known to help improve your moods, reduce your stress levels, and increase your levels of happiness. Prioritize quality over quantity in your social interactions, focusing on connecting with people who will uplift and support your well-being. It’s better to invest in developing a few good relationships with people you meet on a regular basis.

How can therapy help with your self-care? 

Professional psychotherapy, such as the services offered by Nataxja and the other social workers or psychotherapists at Family-Therapy in Ottawa, provides a safe confidential space to explore and address personal or family challenges. Trained psychotherapists can offer guidance and support tailored to your situation. Therapeutic techniques like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), or Internal Family Systems can equip you with coping strategies to help manage your stress, anxiety or depression. Remember, self-care is an ongoing process that requires attention and regular practice. By incorporating these strategies and embracing the support available in Ottawa, individuals can stay strong and thrive in this dynamic city.