A DBT skill to keep in your front pocket this holiday season:
The PLEASE skills are at the top for me. I like to visualize my body saying “please take care of me” by treating any physical illness. This means taking your medication as prescribed, seeing your doctors as planned, making additional appointments as needed, and not avoiding because of the holidays or Covid. Early intervention saves lives and reduces the severity of conditions that can worsen without immediate and adequate care.
Eating a balanced, regular, and healthful meals does not mean you should be “dieting” or eating kale. In fact there are no “rules,” just listen to your body and nourish it with a variety of foods. Remember to include fruits and veggies and add vitamins as needed to keep your immune system and body in tip top shape this season.
Avoiding, reducing, or eliminating mood altering substances is an effective way to reduce emotional dysregulation and reduce the vulnerability of acting on impulsive or self-harming behaviors.
Getting consistent, regular, and adequate sleep is essential to regulating many systems in the body. When sleep is out of balance, it can create a domino effect. 6-10 hours is considered average, so you will likely find yourself falling somewhere in this range. When you are sick, the body requires extra sleep and rest to fight infection and heal. The quicker you respond to early signs of illness with rest and some of the above, the quicker you can regain physical and mental wellbeing.
Finally, getting physical exercise daily will help regulate the body and mind. When schedules get busy, weather changes, or the winter blues set in, it can be extremely difficult to get motivated to do any movement. Keep it simple by walking, dancing in your house, stretching, or teaming up with a family member or friend as an accountability buddy. Beware: do not use exercise as a diet or a punishment for eating treats; use it in a way that feels good, nourishing, and helpful toward regulating the body and mind.
If all of the above are out of whack just pick one that you think you can commit to changing. Start small and stay consistent and you will be on your way to hearing your body change from PLEASEEEEEE to THANK YOU.