Self-care ideas, why it’s important and the chemistry behind it – interview with Dr. Talia


June 29th, 2020

Hi there!

Dr Talia Self-Care Workbook

This is part of a video series on self-care.  Please check out my other videos on box breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, grounding and visualization that are part of this series.  I had the pleasure to hold an interview with Dr. Talia Marcheggiani, a Naturopathic Doctor based in Toronto, who specializes in mental health.  She wrote a workbook on self-care, and you can find the link for that below   

Click here to see the interview:

https://youtu.be/Ffu49-7Yrw4

Here are some of the take-aways from our interview:

1/ Self-care ideas – being outside in nature, good healthy eating, having a dog/time with animals, sleep, surfing, yoga, meditation, appreciate beauty, enjoy a sense of awe and reverence, listening to podcasts, deep breathing, bubble baths, mani/pedi, coffee dates with friends

Depleting/Nourishing Inventory – CBT/Mindfulness technique that involves taking an inventory of all your tasks of the day and labelling them as depleting, nourishing, both or neither.  For the nourishing activates, divide them into “mastery” or “pleasure”.  For example, mastery may be taking university classes.  For the depleting activities, see if you can bring any nourishment to them or get rid of any depleting tasks.  For example, if commuting is depleting but listening to a podcast/ audio book is nourishing, bringing the activity of podcast or audio book into the commute.   

How can you take care of yourself daily, weekly, monthly or yearly?

2/ Why is self-care important? It is important to prevent burn-out, prevent running out of gas and getting stranded on the high-way!  Important to take the time to fill your cup!  Continue to take care of yourself so that you can be your best self and take care of others.

3/ Chemistry of self-care:

The fight/ flight/ freeze system triggered when under immediate stress and under real or perceived stress.  When feel safe, these neurotransmitters leave system and are calm again.  However, if prolonged, body taps into cortisol system.  This leads to adrenal fatigue where the system is depleted, and we experience exhaustion, inflammation, hair loss, skin issues, sleep issues, low libido, and/ or digestive issues.  Decision-fatigue/ ego-depletion/ pre-frontal cortex fatigue/ will-power fatigue then kicks in, where we have exhausted our resources for the day for making decisions by the afternoon.  

Dopamine and serotonin are the neurotransmitters activated when we take care of ourselves. Dopamine activates pre-frontal cortex and gets us excited and motivated to do things, makes us feel good.  Dopamine is often drained by the end of the day, so to get yourself to that yoga class, for example, it helps to have a friend to go with so you get there.  Once you’re at the yoga class, serotonin is released which is the pleasure hormone, it makes you feel happy and content. 

4/ BACE  (by SCaR Foundation):

B for Body (sleep, healthy eating, hygiene, exercise, yoga) – exercise stimulates endorphins, which reduces pain and increases good feelings

A for Achievement (work, cooking, reading, chores, studying) – stimulates dopamine, gives sense of meaning.  Acetylcholine also helps with concentration and getting into a flow state.  

C for Connection (family, friends, pets, neighbours, community) – stimulates oxytocin, love/cuddle hormone

E for Enjoyment (hobbies, music, dancing, movies, playing) – enjoyable activities stimulate serotonin, makes us feel happy and content.

Hope you enjoyed the video interview and the information shared!

Be Well,

Melissa

Resources:

Dr. Talia’s website:

https://www.taliand.com

Dr. Talia’s Self-Care Workbook:

https://www.taliand.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/The-Self-care-Workbook.pdf

This cite refers to BACE and also connects the chemistry to these:

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/ace.htm


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Progressive Muscle Relaxation


June 8th, 2020

Hi there!

With everything going on in the world, let’s take a moment for self-care.  You can use this progressive muscle relaxation on it’s own to relax your body and mind, or together with self-directed meditation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFfG6wZlqD8

Hope it’s helpful.  Let me know of any other videos that might be helpful for you to manage your mental/emotional well-being.

Be Well,

Melissa


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Box Breathing during these stressful COVID times


June 3rd, 2020

Hi everyone,

Feeling the general state of sadness and anxiety during this time in society.  Between COVID, and the massacre in New Brunswick, and the killing of George Floyd, it’s been a lot of stress on us as a whole.

Please remember to breathe!  Deep breathing has these benefits:

-reduces stress hormone, cortisol

-reduces anxiety, depression, stress

-cues the parasympathetic nervous system to go into rest and digest mode

-increases energy and clarity

In this video, I talk about box breathing.  Please give it a try.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RVp6C7ZSSQ

Let me know if I can be of any other help to you,

Be Well,

Melissa


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