Self-Care

(as written for the “Lovely Life” guidebook Summer 2021)

By Greta Pankratz / November 22, 2021

Self-Care

(as written for the "Lovely Life" guidebook Summer 2021) In my opinion, self-care is not about massages, alone time or...

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By Greta Pankratz / November 22, 2021

Care of Self

The word "self-care" has become so common its almost meaningless. What do you think when you hear "self-care"? What do...

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By Greta Pankratz / May 27, 2020

5 Tips for how to be a Successful Psychotherapist During a Pandemic

"An unknown percentage of people will be physically affected by COVID-19, 100% will be affected mentally by COVID-19. How can...

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By Greta Pankratz / March 24, 2020

Growing in the Midst of COVID-19

Stress 101 Obviously, there are a lot of reasons to be stressed right now.  Worry is in the air.  Spend...

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By Greta Pankratz / March 16, 2020

COVID-19 and Telehealth

March 16, 2020 My default mode of service is Telehealth right now.  In person appointments are available if essential.  I...

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By Greta Pankratz / April 20, 2019

EMDR

I am writing this blog primarily for my wonderful patients.  I need there to be a quick and readable source...

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By Greta Pankratz / April 11, 2019

Private Practice Therapist Event

Gizelle and I are two private practice therapists who are passionate about helping all of our active patients, but also...

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By Greta Pankratz / March 14, 2019

Burnout and Boundaries

Keeping myself healthy while dealing with other people's problems all day is a challenge.  I have to balance keeping a...

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By Greta Pankratz / January 19, 2019

Private Practice: a job that doesn’t feel like work

Making the leap into private practice can be both exciting and daunting.  Especially if you intend to do it ethically,...

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By Greta Pankratz / August 22, 2018

Superbills

What is a Superbill and How Can it Help You? Superbills are a wonderful gift that allow us to make...

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In my opinion, self-care is not about massages, alone time or even exercise.  What good is doing those things if you feel hatred towards yourself, feel guilt or are numb the entire time?  I want to introduce you to (or deepen your current understanding of) the Care of The Self.  When you learn to do this, even a trip to the toilet (alone) can be incredibly refreshing!

Care of The Self means unconditionally loving yourself as you are.  Care of The Self understands that growth happens when we feel safe and accepted as we are.  Kristen Neff, the foremost Self-Compassion researcher, has many studies demonstrating that self-compassion actually increases motivation and performance.

As mothers, we are bound to make at least one mistake a day 😉.  Also, we are likely to have our child act in such a way that our faults are staring us in the face at least once a day 😊.  In my office, the biggest contributor to overwhelm in mothering is our response to those mistakes or moments with our littles (or not so littles) that remind us of the worst part of ourselves.  So, how can we begin to apply Care of The Self in real-time today in these moments? 

What’s the worst thing you’ve done as a mother?  Now imagine wrapping the you who behaved poorly in love saying, “What you did wasn’t right, but it makes sense that you got to that point and reacted that way.  Come with me, let me make you a cup of tea, hug you and remind you that you are ok.  That mistake doesn’t define you.  Maybe that reaction is even an indicator that you need a break?  Can we work together to plan a time away for you?”  This is care of The Self.  The above applies even to the mother who loses her child to her drug habit.  No one is so unique that they are ineligible for the words above.  Can you imagine talking to yourself in this way today?

Today, when you feel the overwhelm creeping in, try this type of Self-Care.  Maybe these steps will help:

  1. See—notice yourself, notice how you are feeling, listen to the cries of your heart
  2. Soften—understand that you are doing your best and criticism will lower your chance of success
  3. Sooth—give yourself what is needed in a curious, compassionate and non-judgmental way
  4. Support—make a plan to finish self-soothing if you’re unable to fully meet your emotional needs in that busy mom moment

Maybe you even hear some negative chatter in your mind as you read this guidebook and realize how much work you have to learn to care for yourself better.  Can I help with that one?

You are learning.  I see you trying.  If you get even 1% better, that is growth.  I know it’s hard, but I think you can do it.  Take one more minute for yourself today than you did yesterday.