CLEVELAND — It can be hard to make time for yourself, especially in times like these. We’re dealing with a global pandemic, back to school time and the other day-to-day stresses life can bring.
This week, 3News’ Hollie Strano talked with clinical health psychologist Dr. Lori Stevic-Rust, about how to practice self-care and why it’s so important.
"With this pandemic going on and I think as a mom in general, we tend to put everybody before us. I know that I'm the guilty of that, because I feel like I have to be sort of that perfect mom,” says Hollie. “Do you feel that once you're giving yourself permission (for self-care) that it does help with your mental health and anxiety?”
“Particularly as women, we tend to think about self-care as being selfish or self-indulgent and that thing that we add-on when we have those extra few minutes,” explained Dr. Lori. “I think the first thing we have to do, is to change our entire mindset and realize that self-care is critical.”
There’s one simple exercise Dr. Lori does to make sure she takes enough time out for herself.
“I'm a big fan of color coding my calendar.”
Dr. Lori says this is something she’s been doing for years.
“That's always been my way of at a quick glance, looking at, where is the yellow on my calendar? And because yellow is my favorite color, yellow always meant that's ‘me time.’ Whether that was to relax, to read a book, to take a walk, to do anything that is soothing and comforting to me.”
She notes that assigning all of your tasks a different color allows you to see at a glance if you’ve over-scheduled yourself.
“If I look at my calendar and there's a lot of blue and purple and green which are all my other tasks, and there's very little yellow, it's a visual cue for me to go, ‘I'm out of balance,’” says Dr. Lori.
“That's why when we talk about self-care, it has to be a priority and not something that we add on at the end of the day.”
The bottom line, is self-care can look different for everyone.
Dr. Lori says she even uses her color-coding system when working with professional women.
She has a women’s empowerment program available, which she says is designed to help women to move out of self-doubt and indecision into intentional power to succeed.
To contact Dr. Lori for additional information, visit her website here.