Every day is self care day! But Saturday will be a dedicated time to explore…
3 Ways To Use Talking as Self Care
Talk it Out
When I was growing up, my parents would tell me that I was talking merely because I love to hear myself talk.
Sound familiar? I can’t be the only one who can talk for hours on end. And find it exhilarating.
If you’ve been following along for awhile, you may recall that I’m a huge believer that self care is supposed to be simple.
Self care is designed to be accessible.
It’s not a complex skill for a small elite group of humans.
If you’re breathing, self care should be part of your daily life.
You’re breathing. You’re human. You’re valuable.
One easy way to practice self care is by using your voice. Just talk it out. Here are three ways you can talk it out and show yourself some love:
I never really grew out of my love for hearing my own voice.
I may not (always) talk for hours on end or dominate a conversation just to talk.
But I sure do love talking to myself! And anyone who has ever lived with or worked with me knows that I tend to increase this tendency whenever I’m stressed.
Are you thinking “wow, this woman is weird”?
I’m not going to argue that. But remember this: you are talking to yourself all the time. Even when you thought that phrase about how weird I am.
The only difference is, you kept it inside your mind.
There is power in simply using our voice to say something aloud. To voice our struggles and to process our thoughts. To hear the words that describe the feelings with which we’ve been struggling.
You don’t even have to have full conversations with yourself to practice this self care tool.
Consider using phrases like:
“I trust myself”
“I am knee deep in grief and devastation. My soul is aching.”
“I am sad. And that is okay.”
“I am so relieved about [insert situation]”
Find your phrase. Say it out loud. Mean it.
2. Friends and Family
The beauty about our friends and family is that they know us. I mean, I know myself and talking to myself can be great. But family and friends add so many important elements to this self care practice.
- A human to hear us
- A familiar face
- Someone to give insight
Nothing can replace someone who knows us well. Not a book. Not a questionnaire. And oftentimes, not even a therapist.
These are the people who see you living in different areas of your life. The people who watch you succeed…and who are there when you struggle. Because of this, they probably know about how you operate. They will know what motivates you and what breaks you.
Many times, they will know how to approach any given topic with you. Do you need to be treated with a little extra gentleness when discussing your past relationships? Do you tend to not hear what someone has to say unless they are a bit abrasive?
Your friends and family probably know those types of answers.
Talk to someone who is trained to listen. Seriously.
Everyone who is able to should attending therapy at least once. Your therapist may not know you as well as friends or family, but that’s perfectly fine! Also, its absolutely fine if you don’t have a horrific trauma to process, a loss to grieve, or a behavior to work on.
Therapy is something from which everyone can benefit.
Therapy provides a safe place to reach down and explore parts of who we are that might otherwise be overlooked or ignored. A good therapist will not judge any part of your story. A good therapist will also make it clear that she has your back. She will support you and have your best interest in mind (although that sometimes means hearing hard truths!).
- Outsider’s Perspective…Objectivity
Your therapist isn’t your friend or a family member. She also isn’t your coworker or supervisor. So, this means that your therapist isn’t shoulder deep in whatever life throws your way. If you’re struggling with a relationship, your therapist isn’t going to have a personal stake in the matter. If you’re making major life decisions, your therapist isn’t going to have a reason to sway you one way or another in order to benefit herself.
Also, having an outsider’s perspective might bring out different aspects of your situation that were not noticeable to anyone experiencing the situation. Fresh eyes are always helpful. New perspectives can be considered and allow for growth or learning.
- Scary, but Worth It
My own experience with therapy was fantastic. In short, I was able to process really difficult life experiences while simultaneously learning about some of my areas I need to develop. I also learned more about what I value most (like self care!).
But just because my experience was incredible, it doesn’t mean it was easy. I had to push myself to learn, to practice, and to discuss experiences I had not yet voiced aloud. In front of a stranger. But this was all by choice. I chose to place myself in a hard place, knowing that the end result would mean healing.
By saying hard things out loud, I was admitting that they were real. By saying them in front of my therapist, I knew that I was safe.
Each person will have as unique of an experience in therapy as each person is unique as an individual. Do not take my experience and have expectations that your experience will be the same. Simply know that it’s okay to feel scared.