Vim & Vigor - Fall 2020 - GMC - 15

15

assume anything that goes wrong is a
reflection on them and their worth.
Instead, take the perspective
you would with a friend who was
similarly disappointed: "You are
talented, and they're lucky to have
you" or "If you decide to look for a
new job, you'll be an attractive candidate to employers."
It can help to remind yourself
that you are human.
"Try to imagine a sense of common humanity, that the thing you
are struggling with, humans all over
the world have also struggled with,
just like you," Simon-Thomas says.
Another trick for self-care: Try
searching for brief chunks of time
available in your day, Gobin advises.
"Let's say you want to start a
meditation practice. Can you find
five minutes a day-maybe you give
up scrolling on social media, and
you spend that time meditating
instead?" she says. "It's about being
intentional and consistent."
But let's say you're in one of those
stages of life when you truly don't
have five minutes. What then?
Gobin suggests finding small ways
to give yourself a break throughout
your day. Maybe that means you
listen to a podcast you like instead
of the news during your morning
commute, or that you put on music
you enjoy while you make dinner.

PHOTOS BY JOHN KUCZALA

Be Intentional

Let's all take a deep breath, right now.
Go ahead-close your eyes, just for
a moment, and breathe. Count slowly
to three while you inhale. Count
slowly to five while you exhale. In less
than 10 seconds, you've (probably)
lowered your heart rate and calmed
your mind, if either was racing.
Consider it an act of self-care.
Now, recognize that self-care
is a practice-something you do

Your to-do
list isn't going
anywhere, so
you might as
well be on it.

consistently over time-and that,
through practice, you can learn to
control your reactions and choices.
"This is not a one-day turnaround
kind of experience," Simon-Thomas
says. "But it can start with something
as little as taking a deep breath when
you feel yourself feeling frazzled. How
do we not bang our heads on the wall
in those moments? In a funny way,
you have to choose not to do that."
The choice, Simon-Thomas says,
is only available if we can calm our
own physical responses. The most
tried-and-true way of doing that,
she says, is to take a deep breath
and exhale longer than you inhale.
Another quick and simple daily
practice she recommends: gratitude.
"What we know about gratitude
is that it shifts your intentional

orientation from being self-referential
to being self-transcendent. Suddenly
you're noticing what's good instead
of what's frustrating or irritating,"
she says. "We start seeing the world
as something that has served us
as opposed to something that is
threatening or depriving or unfair."
Of course, that doesn't mean that
you should stay in an exploitative or
abusive situation if you find yourself in one. In that case, self-care
might mean finding a safe exit or
setting effective boundaries. (If you
are in a situation like that, please
consider finding a therapist to help
you navigate.)
The key to self-care, SimonThomas says, is to consider what
you truly need-and to be brave
and wise enough to take the steps
to help you get whatever it is.
You're worth the effort. *
VIM & VIGOR FALL 2020



Vim & Vigor - Fall 2020 - GMC

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2020 - GMC

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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2020 - GMC - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2020 - GMC - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2020 - GMC - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2020 - GMC - 2
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