Mental Health

Practicing Lifestyle Balance

There are many ways to restore lifestyle balance, and keeping track of and making progress with as many of the following changes is a good way to regain balance after having been exposed to difficult experiences:

Physical Self-Care

Eat regularly (e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner) 
Eat healthily 
Get regular medical care for prevention 
Get regular medical care when needed 
Take time off when sick 
Get massages 
Dance, swim, walk, run, play sports, sing, or do some other physical activity 
that is fun 
Get enough sleep 
Wear clothes you like 
Take vacations 
Take day trips or mini-vacations 
Make time away from telephones

Psychological Self-Care

Make time for self-reflection 
Have your own personal psychotherapy 
Write in a journal 
Read literature that is unrelated to work 
Do something at which you are not expert or in charge 
Decrease stress in your life 
Notice your inner experiences -- listen to your thoughts, judgments, 
beliefs, attitudes, and feelings 
Let others know different aspects of you 
Engage your intelligence in a new area, e.g., go to an art museum, history
exhibit, sports event, auction, and theater performance 
Practice receiving from others 
Be curious 
Say no to extra responsibilities sometimes

Emotional Self-Care

Spend time with others whose company you enjoy 
Stay in contact with important people in your life 
Give yourself affirmations, praise yourself 
Find ways to increase your sense of self-esteem 
Reread favorite books, re-view favorite movies 
Identify comforting activities, objects, people, relationships, places, and 
seek them out 
Allow yourself to cry 
Find things to make you laugh 
Express your outrage in social action, letters, donations, marches, or protests 
Play with children

Spiritual Self-Care

Make time for reflection 
Spend time with nature 
Find a spiritual connection or community 
Be open to inspiration 
Cherish your optimism and hope 
Be aware of nonmaterial aspects of life 
Try at times not to be in charge or the expert 
Be open to not knowing 
Identify what is meaningful to you and notice its place in your life 
Spend time with children 
Have experiences of awe 
Contribute to causes in which you believe 
Read inspirational literature (talks, music, etc.)

If additional help is needed, please call:
            Genesee County Mental Health Services @ 585-344-1421

(Excerpt from: Salving, K. W., & Pearl man, L. A. (ed.). (1996). 
Transforming the pain: a workbook on vicarious traumatization. New York: