Self care and mindfulness

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Self care

  • Self care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.​
  • It’s important to take an active role protecting one’s own wellbeing and happiness, particularly in times of stress.

Some self care strategies

  • Grounding: conscious act of mindful practice – connecting mind body and spirit. Your body often knows things before you do (especially with amygdala stuff and alexithymia). You can also focus on things outside your body – colours, textures, stamping feet, objects (this is especially good if overwhelmed)​
  • Nature: peace and calm. Releases endorphins.
  • Reclaiming emotions: suppressing emotions can lead to anxiety or depression. It is important to express them in an adaptive and healthy way.
  • Creative arts: can lead to a sense of identity​.
  • Talk to someone: might help us see our situation as not as hopeless/scary etc. R U OK.
  • Evidence Based Treatments (EBT): mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy, creative or art-based therapies. Seek professional medical assistance for treatment involving medication.

More strategies​

  • Get enough sleep and rest
  • Be active and eat well
  • Learn to manage stress
  • Get involved and join in
  • Build your confidence
  • Take time out for things you enjoy
  • Nurture relationships and connect with others
  • Be comfortable in your own skin (self-advocacy)
  • Set realistic goals and deal with tasks one at a time
  • Reach out for help when you need it.​

These are only examples – it is important to find what works for you.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. When we are more mindful, it engages the attention centres and sensory areas in the brain.​

Benefits of mindfulness​

  • Reduced worry, anxiety and distress​
  • Increased awareness and creativity​
  • Improved concentration and productivity​
  • Better empathy and connectedness​
  • A healthier cardio-vascular system​
  • Surprisingly prevents some damage to our DNA
  • Better health ​
  • Better sleep​
  • Better immunity​
  • More energy​
  • A sense of calm​
  • Decreased inflammation​
  • Relaxed and regulated emotions​

Mindfulness resources​

  • Meditation for Autism – 10 minute relaxation video ​
  • The Healing Power of Giving Myself Permission – 4 min video from “Asperger’s on the Inside”​

Benefits of good quality sleep

  • Getting a good night sleep is a very good self care strategy​.
  • Sleep is also essential to regulating your emotions. In fact, being sleep deprived for just one night can increase your emotional response to negative feelings by 60%.

End of Module questions

Why do you think it is important to look after your wellbeing?​

Who is an appropriate person to talk to if you are concerned about:​

  • Your sleep?​
  • Your mood?​
  • Your work/life balance?​

What self care strategies do you do?​

In what ways do you think lack of sleep could impact you in the workplace?

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