GREENVILLE — Jordan D. Francis, MPH Wayne HealthCare Wellness Coordinator, was the guest speaker for the June Lunch and Learn program at the Greenville Public Library on Wednesday.
Francis shared the importance of treating one’s mind and body with respect in a “Self-Care isn’t Selfish” presentation for the two dozen in attendance.
“You cannot care for others, you cannot do the things that you are expected to do by those around you if you are not caring for yourself,” explained Francis, providing two definitions for self-care.
First, self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s well-being and happiness, particularly during periods of stress. The second definition is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s health.
Francis shared the basic tenants of self-care, revolving around perception or how one approaches things in life, with tips and tricks to facilitate better choices and making time for self-improvement including (but not limited to) knowing your limits, learning who you are, and feeding spiritual needs.
Knowing one’s limits means recognizing when you’re doing too much, sticking to a reasonable workload, and learning to say no.
“A lot of people have trouble saying no, it is very important to be able to [set] boundaries and stick to them,” said Francis explaining to attendees the imperative to not give in to outside influences while recognizing it is not always easy, especially when those influencers may be family or a boss.
“When you reach your limit, learn how to slow down,” said Francis. “If you are doing so much, you are missing deadlines, making mistakes. Learn how to reign it back in.”
Francis also shared the importance of rest, and mindfulness towards one’s thoughts, to notice what creeps into one’s mind. He gave an example of thinking about what needs to be done at work the following day at bedtime and pushing the thought away.
Other tips included meal prep or planning, taking the time to eat throughout the day, and eating the types of foods that make you feel good.
Decompressing was another benefit with Francis sharing it was best to decompress throughout the day such as getting away from the desk, even for a drink of water, texting a loved one, finding ways to take a brief mental break from the workload by taking advantage of breaks.
“In work, very small things can be a major stressor,” said Francis from someone sitting next to you to an issue with scheduling. He offered advice such as speaking to a supervisor, moving a desk, or making a schedule change. “Being open about those very small things can move you away from a blow up on down the line.”
Addressing mental health issues was another imperative.
According to Francis, the changing times means less stigma against mental health issues. More individuals are open to pursuing treatment for depression, anxiety, and other related problems which can be crippling in the pursuit of positive, healthy activities. While learning who you are is identifying personality traits used in psychological literature such as HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), sensory processing sensitivity scale and anxiety sensitivity index, and impulse control.
Other tips included looking forward to something each day, feeding spiritual needs such as attending church or meditation, spending time in nature; things that make you feel alive.
Overall, explained Francis, self-care is about standing up for yourself and your needs or as one attendee shared, putting your oxygen mask on first before helping others.
The next Lunch and Learn will welcome guest speaker Missy Riethman at noon on Wednesday, July 17, at the Greenville Public Library. Space is limited, so register ahead by calling 937/548-3915.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937-548-3330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.