Pop Quiz: What is one of the easiest and most important things you can do for your mental health?

A. Self-care (bubble baths and face masks)

B. Journal your emotions

C. Take care of your physical health

Okay, you caught me. All the above answers are correct, but today the answer is C; I’m explicitly talking today about the DBT Please skill. 

I’m currently writing this while on vocal rest per my doctor’s recommendations after catching a pretty intense ‘bug.’ On Monday morning, I swore up and down that I was fine and would be back to work in no time. Then, every day after that, I promised nothing was wrong, even with watery eyes, a sore throat, and a raspy voice. Especially with the flexibility of Zoom, I was pushing myself to get back to work.

More and more, we realize the connection between physical health and mental health. The DBT Please skill focuses on helping us set a strong foundation for our mental health by taking care of our bodies. The Please skill encompasses many different skills like getting enough sleep, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and, most importantly, treating our physical illnesses. 

Our emotions are not just in our minds and hearts but our bodies. Physical illnesses make us more emotionally vulnerable and make it difficult to make effective decisions. Unfortunately, we are so focused on the ‘Rise and Grind’ culture that we often forget the impact of overworking and ignoring our bodies’ physical cues. It is essential to listen to our body cues, or our body will most definitely make us listen. 

Since my body has made me take a full stop this week – I’m here to remind you about some gentle things you can do for your body and mental health. These few tips are things that I think we often take for granted and can substantially impact our well-being. 

Bring yourself back to the advice of your grandma: drink some tea and honey, stay home when you’re sick, moisturize, drink plenty of water rest, and take your medication as prescribed to you. Finally, in the words of my sweet grandmother: for the love of God, shower and brush your hair.

Remember that taking care of our bodies will not only help us manage our emotions, but our bodies deserve this. In addition, we increase our self-respect when we listen to our bodies and take a break. An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, but you can take steps to take care of your body every day.