Welcome back to #SelfCareSunday! At MHC, we recognize that Each person’s needs and methods are unique. Yet, there’s a universal truth: the more resources available, the better equipped we are to prevent and address distress. That’s why this year, we are leveraging our expertise and focusing our efforts on information from our staff and community partner, Yoga In Our City.  

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month 2024, we are thrilled to collaborate with Yoga in Our City to prioritize self-care. Join us every Sunday throughout May for #SelfCareSunday! 

Today, we’re shining a spotlight on self-reflection as a tool for self-care. Katie, a Yoga In Our City (YIOC) teacher, shares how self-reflection has positively impacted her self-care process, “Self-care varies widely for me but just sitting with myself quietly is often the most I can manage, and I think is probably the most needed these days. Yoga has changed my life in terms of quieting my mind and allowing myself forgiveness. Also, this practice has shown me that I can indeed accomplish great things which I struggled with for as long as I can remember. If I can share one idea with others it is that self-inquiry is so, so vital and it is a form of self-care but also never ever feel that self-care is a selfish act- it is an act of preservation. I think my soul tells me what practices I need each day- again why quiet is key- my goal every day is to be willing to listen! – Katie, YIOC Teacher 

Finding your Self Care Routine by Jazz Borst, MHC’s Art of Wellbeing Program Specialist    

True self-care is a process that takes learning. You learn yourself, and you learn how to prioritize what makes you feel nurtured physically, mentally and emotionally. It takes learning and discovering what in your life makes you feel well and happy. I have learned that self-care is not just about indulging in the things that I love but also doing some of the things I may not enjoy as much, but make for a healthier me. Ultimately, I feel better overall if I incorporate both what I want and what I need. This has taken making intentional time to learn what those things are.

My biggest self-care tip is to work on designing a unique routine for yourself. One that includes the things you love to do, as well as the things you have to do. I have personally found these often include things like cleaning your living space, physical activity, and organizing. Once those are done, or just planned for, your brain will let you enjoy the more “fun” things like taking yourself somewhere to eat or any kind of outing-a movie or shopping perhaps. What about your space at home, do you like to read, journal, mediate, dance to a playlist, stretch, sit in nature in the sun. When you prioritize what it really is that brings you a sense of fulfillment, you can find the joy in life much easier.  

Writing can be a great source of organizing those thoughts and figuring out what your personal self-care routine could look like. Writing at all is always a great practice for releasing your pent-up thoughts and having a resource to read back on when trying to figure yourself out. You can write freely or start writing a plan for your days. Do you feel best when you get up in the morning and make time for stretching? Or perhaps you like to sit and drink a cup of tea with music playing, whatever it is, write it down. For me, I am passionate about creativity, so I absolutely need to incorporate some sort of creative release in my days. This could be sketching, painting, dancing, playing my guitar or writing. I also know that my body and mind feel great when I move. That could be going for a walk with my dog, doing some light yoga, dancing with my headphones on or even going to the gym. I know that being in nature, breathing the fresh air and feeling the sun on my skin brings me immense comfort. To make the most of my time outside I may bring things that also fulfill my purpose, like my art supplies, a book, snacks, a blanket and make a true moment out of the time. Bringing myself to a park or finding somewhere scenic I can park my car and watch the sun while listening to my playlists. One of the new things I am trying to incorporate into my self-care routine is starting my morning and day off by dancing. I feel it makes me anticipate the day ahead, gets my heart rate up in a fun and easy way and it makes me smile. Why would I not want to start my day this way? 

Not every day is perfect, and sometimes we cannot check all the boxes in our plan, which is ok. We can do what we can with the time we have; it does not have to be perfect. Just set the intention and you will find what works for you. Self-care is unique to each individual and your practices may change over time as you change too, that is the beautiful part about self-care. It evolves with you as you grown. You have control over what you choose to include in your own self-care practice and it can be an exhilarating process to discovering so much about yourself. Cheers to self-care!   

Jazz was featured in MHC’s Let’s Face It campaign in 2022, read her story here.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month 2024, we are thrilled to collaborate with Yoga in Our City to prioritize self-care. Join us every Sunday throughout May for #SelfCareSunday!  

YIOC began in 2012 in Hartford, Connecticut as a program of Civic Mind, a social enterprise specializing in community development. 

As its popularity grew, YIOC offered more classes in more places. New people and organizations began to support and shape our work, our goals, and our impact. Since then, YIOC has evolved from a humble weekly class to a statewide collaboration of mission-driven partners and supporters. MHC is a proud partner of YIOC.  

Subscribe to @yogainourcity for livestream and recorded classes all summer long, and on May 18th YIOC will be back in parks near you! 

This year, MHC invited Connecticut residents to demonstrate their self-love through our #LetsFaceIt campaign. A donation to the #LetsFaceIt campaign is an investment in the safe and welcoming environments for those we serve and it’s an investment in our future. 

Join us by setting up a fundraising page or making a donation today! 

Stay in touch with us on social media @mentalhealthct and keep up with our blog posts so you don’t miss a #SelfCareSunday in May!