Do you make like a pirate…
And practice the three R’s?
I’ll let that joke set in.
Whether we are supporting youth with emotional or mental health concerns, or are trying to support ourselves with everything we are carrying, it’s crucial that we always:
These three steps are the key self-care stages that help you navigate difficult moments without lugging around baggage later.
Self care doesn’t have to be elaborate. Going back to basics including drinking water, getting enough nutrition, and getting rest are sometimes the only “re-sets” you need to keep going.
Of course a nice bath or walk in nature can help as well, if you are feeling emotionally wound up. With baths, books and cups of tea won’t remove physical stress from your body, they are great at helping you cope with the emotional after-effects of difficult situations.
But if you want to ensure you aren’t lugging around baggage that is much too heavy for everyday use, then you need to build rituals into your day to ensure you review, release, and recover from the emotional after-effects AND the physical stress that they leave in your body that gets accumulated.
The first step, review, is about looking back on a difficult moment and either assessing it by yourself or with a team. Do you need to debrief with your partner or co-parent or child’s teacher? Do you need to debrief with yourself about what worked and didn’t and what supports and resources need to be in place for the future? DO you need to debrief with your teen?
The second step, release, is about literally shedding the difficult emotions and feelings that arise directly from a difficult situation. After a fight with your teen, before you just get on with your day, you will want to go practice some self-compassion, grounding, journalling, or any other activity that will help you leave the tension at the door and help you re-focus on the tasks ahead of you.
The final step, recover, is the ongoing work you do at all times regardless of whether a difficult situation just took place or not. This includes things like setting realistic priorities and goals so that you set yourself up for success and not disappointment, taking tasks off your to-do list (either by completing them or abandoning them), saying no or delegating tasks to others so you are not overloaded chronically, and getting enough exercise to literally burn off that cortisol in your body!
So…are you a pirate? Do you need to become one?
How will you “RRR” this upcoming week?