Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Counsellor's Corner

by Gwen Gleason-Graham

There is a focus in the mental health field now in the area of self care. There are tools that we can use to ensure we are taking good care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Experts in the field list the top ranking tools as follows: yoga, prayer, meditation, deep breathing, and guided imagery.

Perhaps you would disagree with that order and would place prayer at the top of the list! The Bible puts it this way: "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18)

These tools are intended to help a person be focused in the present, be relaxed, motivated and positive. For clients with issues such as depression, anxiety, poor self image and others that create negative experiences, self care tools help the person to get in touch with their emotions, to have  healthy outlets for these emotions, create balance, a sense of peace and serenity in their lives. A regular routine of self care will consistently give the person a positive lift and help them be more engaged with their own personal needs and the needs of others.

Another self care tool is mindfulness. Mindfulness means to live well in the moment. So, any time you are feeling down, or your mind is racing with negative thoughts, just step back and take a look around your environment. Can you look for something more positive or lovely that you haven't noticed before? Or, can you step back, take a moment to count your blessings and tell yourself you have these to use to move ahead in a positive way? Even this small shift in your focus can help to bring you out of your negative state and look towards the positives in your world.

God’s Word says: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4: 6-7).

The fall season is upon us, a time when we get back into a routine of work, school and our many community interests. Taking time for self care in the midst of our hectic schedules will ensure that we remain motivated and positive to meet the demands we all feel in our lives. The counsellors at CCS can help you learn some of the many tools for self care.

God intends for us to live in this life joyfully. May His richest blessings be upon you in this fall season ~ and all the seasons of your lives!

"Always be full of joy in the Lord, I say it again - rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4).

Gwen is a Counsellor with CCS. She has a Master of Social Work and focuses on Employee Assistance Program work with several large companies and has clients from across Canada. Her areas of practice include depression, stress, anxiety, and self-care.

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