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Self-Care: Top Five Recommendations to Take Us into the New Year

Beth Hess - Monday, December 18, 2017
Beginning this month, MCF Clinical Supervisor Ronnie Biemans, MA, LCPC, will be sharing helpful hints for parents and caregivers to help practice self-care and wellness. We’re kicking off this series with Ronnie’s top five self-care practices to help you start off the New Year. 

Taking care of ourselves through the practice of self-care helps us not only to survive life’s challenges but to thrive as we build resilience. Here are my top five self-care practices to bring joy and balance into the New Year.

Practicing conscious breathing, mindfulness and relaxation techniques, are three easy ways to activate the “rest and restore” part of your nervous system. This activation is essential to recover from the wear and tear of stress on the brain and body. 
  Action Steps:   
   1. BREATHE: Pause throughout the day to take a breath as a natural break for your body and brain. Click for more information on effective breathing techniques.

   2. Learn about and practice MINDFULNESS:  Even a few minutes of practice has been shown to make a difference in reducing anxiety and stress. Take time to savor, pay attention and be in the moment. Click here for more on mindfulness or download the free app Insight Timer for a fabulous selection of guided meditations.

   3. Practice PROGRESSIVE RELAXATION: Calm the body and release tension. Click for an exercise you can try.

 Movement and connecting with others are also essential to health and happiness.

   Action Steps:  
   4. GET ACTIVE: Consider trying yoga. Here are some yoga poses to do at home that are very effective in reducing stress.

   5. BUILD A SOCIAL SUPPORT NETWORK. According to the American Psychological Association, emotional support is an important protective factor for dealing with life’s difficulties. Make sure to connect with others at work and in the community. Find a hobby, join a book club, whatever is a good fit for you. Click to read more  

About Ronnie Biemans:
Ronnie is a State of Maryland licensed clinical professional counselor with over 25 years of clinical and supervisory experience. She provides guidance to MCF’s Family Peer Support Specialists in their daily work of supporting families, and helps staff to avoid over-work and stress.  When she is not providing supervision for staff at MCF, Ronnie has a private psychotherapy practice where she focuses on supporting her clients to address behavioral health challenges and find their own unique path to health and happiness in their daily lives.

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