Our Girl Gang Ambassador, Bethany Cabreja, of GROW Counseling is here to shine a light on mental health. Check it out below!

Let’s do a quick check-in! Busy jobs, check. Filled social calendars, check. Constant pressures, check. We all have more than likely felt the same way from time to time. Stressed, overwhelmed, maybe even burnt out. Although Mental Health Awareness month was in May, we think it’s important to reflect and highlight the importance of taking care of ourselves every month. From our go-getter lifestyles to our ambitious goals, it is just as valuable to slow down and do as our favorite Parks and Rec characters say: treat yourself. 

When focusing on healthy ways to cope with stress, it’s important to shine a light on some of our favorite types of self-care. Let’s start with activities that improve the well-being of physical health, physical self-care. Some of us absolutely love a high-intensity workout that sweats out our negative energy, while some find slower-paced exercise a grounding recharge. Depending on what my body needs, you can find me kicking bag at Vesta Movement or zening out at Seviin Yoga. The great thing about physical self-care is it is not just about what your workout routine looks like; it is about checking in with your body as a whole. That can look like stretching before bed, implementing a progressive muscle relaxation practice, or attending acupuncture sessions at Acupuncture for All Decatur. Your body can hold a lot of emotions and tensions, so we want to make sure that we are not letting it build up. A happy body helps cultivate a happy mind!

Now let’s get deep for a second. Our lives are packed with positive moments but also hard ones. Moments that make us feel low, crushed, anxious. Emotional self-care helps you to connect, process, and reflect to move forward feeling lighter. When our proverbial emotional cup runs dry, it can manifest as anxiety or depression, making it more challenging to feel like our best selves. Counseling is an available resource to practice some much-needed emotional self-care. Centers like GROW Counseling allow you a safe space reserved specifically for you. To feel, to unpack, to grow. Implementing a simpler emotional self-care practice of journaling can also give you an outlet to release pent-up negative feelings. A stylish journal from Paper Source is my go-to for doing reflective entries that allow me to check in and let it all go. We all need emotional self-care activities to help clear out the clutter and make room for our true selves.

So I know a lot of forms of self-care seem like big tasks to accomplish, but self-care should be something done every day. That is why it is essential to talk about practical self-care, the small but fulfilling things that spark joy and fill up our cups. Acknowledging the light these small tasks bring to your day is a way to appreciate how you take care of yourself. For me, the act of making tea is one of my favorite practical self-care activities. Steeping the leaves from Just Add Honey, cradling the warm mug, breathing in the bold scent. It gives me a moment to be still and present, which I am sure we can all agree is rare in our lives. Similarly, lighting a candle from Smell the Roses sets a serene ambiance for me to destress and cultivates an environment that feels warm and cozy. Self-care is how you show yourself love. Whether that looks like getting yourself flowers from JJ’s Flower Shop on a Tuesday or soaking in an absurdly bubbly bath, it’s a thank you to who you are. Mind, body, and all.

How you take care of yourself matters. Whether you have a diagnosed mental illness or not, it is still crucial to take proactive steps to manage your mental wellness. So let’s support each other and ourselves so we can grow and be the people ATL Girl Gang is all about!

Thank you so much to Bethany for giving us this much needed mental health check-in! Be sure to check out GROW Counseling!

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