I don’t have time for girls night or self-care! I’m doing everything I can just to get through the day, and honestly, I’m barely getting by as it is.

If those words sound familiar, we’re not throwing shade your way. We’ve been there. Many of us are so busy and under so much stress that the thought of making time to enjoy the company of friends or “treating” ourselves to the things that help us heal and renew seems impossible. We lack even the emotional energy needed to plan such a thing. Here’s what we know though: when we prioritize the things that bring us joy, we actually improve our ability to do what’s most meaningful to us.

As odd as it sounds, the two things that do the most to nourish our mental health seem like complete opposites: time with others and time alone for the purpose of self care. Each helps us in different ways. Start with connection. We’re inherently social creatures, and meaningful relationships with family, friends, or community provide us with a sense of belonging, support, and purpose. Our connections serve as a crucial buffer against stress, and they contribute to our emotional resilience.

Spending time with others isn’t just about socializing. It involves sharing experiences, emotions, and vulnerabilities with them, which reduces our feelings of isolation and loneliness. When we know there are people who genuinely care about our well-being, it enhances our overall emotional health. Healthy connections foster a continuous journey of self-discovery and improvement. They also help us heal from setbacks and disappointments.

Self-care is all about taking care of our physical and mental health. Regular exercise, nutritious eating, and sufficient sleep contribute to physical well-being and positively influence our mood, energy levels, and overall outlook on life. Mindfulness practices such as meditation and deep breathing exercises promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance our emotional resilience.

Achieving the right balance between connection and self-care is an ongoing process. As we nurture our social bonds, it’s important to also make sure we’re not neglecting our own well-being.

Similarly, self-care doesn’t mean isolation. In fact, getting in touch with ourselves and our truths actually improves our ability to connect deeply and authentically. Both work in tandem.

Need help finding that balance … or finding those all-important times with others and yourself? Talking with one of our counselors can be an effective way to explore your daily life and learn the simple steps you can take to make each day more satisfying. Let’s set a time today.

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