This February, New Paradigm Recovery is celebrating love in its many forms. This includes showing yourself a little love!
We often hear about practicing self-care and the benefits of self-help, but when it comes down to putting that advice into practice, it can be difficult to know where to start. The self-help and “wellness-culture” industry is largely unregulated. While some resources are incredibly helpful and rooted in clinically-proven research, other “wellness” practices turn out to be nothing more than pyramid schemes or AI-generated advertising materials. In this new age of snake oil salesmen touting the latest greatest cures, it is really important to find the right resources in your self-love journey.
Luckily, New Paradigm Recovery’s medical director, Anu Mathew, APRN, PMHNP-BC, has shared some of her favorite online and in-person resources for people who want to show themselves a little love, take care of their mental wellness, and live their best lives (all without accidentally joining an MLM). These vetted resources are a great place to start a self-help journey.
Having a mindfulness practice can be a great way to touch base with yourself, get grounded, or supplement your existing wellness routine. Anu recommends these resources to help explore mindfulness:
- TED talk by Andy Puddicombe This TED Talk is a wonderful resource to understand why mindfulness is important. Anu sums it up, “He explains why we need to be mindful in less than 10 minutes.” So if you’re new to meditation or unsure how it will help you, this is a great place to start.
- Headspace App This app boasts thousands of guided meditations available to stream with the slogan “Be kind to your mind.” Whether you’re looking to deal with a specific issue like workplace anxiety or you simply want a peaceful way to start your day, you’ll be sure to find a guided meditation that meets your needs here.
- Insight Meditation is a free app that offers a range of meditation tools, including musical and sound meditations (Anu recommends the Tibetan singing bowls), chants and mantras, and also guided meditations on a number of topics including sleep and anxiety.
- Tao Mix 2 offers a variety of soundscapes to stream while you meditate, sleep, or relax. If you find guided meditations distracting, try the nature sounds and white noise options on this app to help you ease into your meditation.
A good night’s sleep is essential to good health, both physical and mental. Anu recommends these resources for help getting the rest you need:
- Sleepio by Big Health, a data-backed 6-week online program for better sleep that touts recommendations from ivy league universities. Many insurance plans will pay for all or some of the cost.
- Slumber Camp is a program designed by a physician to use Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) to treat disordered sleeping without the use of drugs. It’s an affordable online program based in peer-reviewed research.
- Go to Sleep is a simple but effective app that makes it easy to stick to sleep goals by setting reminders and timers and recording progress to help you get to bed on time.
If you feel like a good old fashioned paperback is what you really need to de-stress and step away from screen-time, we have a list of books to make the most of your self-help goals.
- How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: Time-Tested Methods for Conquering Worry by Dale Carnegie is full of practical advice to conquer anxiety that has been a best-seller for decades.
- How To Control Your Anxiety Before It Controls You by Albert Ellis offers educational and practical insight to help you understand anxiety and distinguish between healthy, normal worries and unhealthy anxiety.
- Understanding Body Dysmorphic Disorder by Katharine A. Phillips has been described as “down to Earth” and “indispensable” as a guide to BDD. This interesting resource is a must-read for anyone experiencing BDD or other eating disorders.
Addiction Recovery resources:
Of course, at New Paradigm Recovery, we cannot overemphasize the importance of addiction recovery when it comes to self care. Anu’s recommendations are awesome, the tried-and-true fellowships that help people understand their addiction and find reliable peer support in their recovery.
- Alcoholics Anonymous is the original twelve-step program with a worldwide fellowship of alcoholics who help each other stay sober. Visit their site to find meetings worldwide, read literature, and learn more about the program. For our Northern Virginia neighbors, you can find a meeting close to you by exploring the local meeting list.
- Narcotics Anonymous is a twelve-step group of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. Find meetings all around the world, literature, and more information on their site. For recovering addicts in and around Washington, DC, find more information about local NA meetings and events in the DMV by visiting the Chesapeake and Potomac Region of Narcotics Anonymous website.
- Or explore other recovery fellowships. There are a number of other recovery fellowships that have their own meetings and books, including SMART Recovery. Their site has information and tools to help you find a meeting and learn more about their organization.
Practice self-love with others!
Finally, Anu recommends trying wellness-themed activities with the people you love. This Valentine’s Day, she recommends “Instead of candy and flowers, organize an evening by hiring someone who does singing bowls or acupuncture.” Making a date night out of mindfulness practices is a great way to encourage healthy habits within a relationship. She also suggests trying relationship-building workshops that focus on relationship health. For healthy couples, maybe “dinner and a workshop” will become the new “dinner and a movie.”
From the whole team at New Paradigm Recovery, we’re wishing everyone lots of love this month! Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day in a relationship or simply focusing on the loving yourself this year, there are so many opportunities to incorporate a little extra love in your life!
The information provided here is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. If you suspect mental health symptoms, please seek appropriate professional services.