Hi, folks. So today I'm going to go through the PLEASE skills. Apologies in advance for this acronym, I have some judgments about it.
The idea behind these skills is that by taking care of your body, you actually are also taking care of your mind. And specifically, you're helping emotional resilience through biology.
So all of these things that we're about to talk about, I am confident that you have heard time and time again, and that you're very well aware of the idea here is not for me to throw something in your face that you already know good.
The idea here is for me to remind you that all of these things impact not just physical health, but also mental health, because the two are related. And to encourage you to give him that you know, that these things are helpful. think through what barriers are getting in your way, and how you can hopefully problem solve some of those things.
Hold on one second, we'll stop.
Alright, so the first step is physical illness.
Now, some of you may, or may, um, keep up with your doctor's appointments really well, others of you my really struggle in this area, I'm sure that you have experienced at some point being in a lot of pain, and that making you more crabby for example, or having just terrible headaches, which keep you bound in bed for quite some time, which can therefore influence depression symptoms, right? So we know that our physical state definitely influences what's happening for us emotionally.
Now, I want you to think through what are some of the things that tend to get in your way, when it comes to getting the treatment that you need. This could be things like time, money, childcare, COVID, and the doctor's offices not being open. This could be though also, like, bigger picture, things like embarrassment, or lack of assertiveness skills, or maybe some trauma symptoms that have occurred in either medical settings or sexually make you really apprehensive about different types of appointments. This could also be that you have experienced just boatloads of invalidation and medical settings, we know that this is particularly true for women, where their concerns are not taken seriously, and that it takes way too long to get proper diagnosis and treatment. And we know that among women, women of color are actually even way more likely to experience invalidation. So there could be all kinds of things that make you hesitant to reach out to a physician.
Your job once you've identified those is to start problem solving what you can do. Next up is balancing eating, either eating too much, or getting sort of overstuffed, especially on carbs or sugar heavy foods can lead to lethargy, or eating too little. So chronic dieting, for example, we know can lead to all kinds of mental and physical struggles and certainly higher levels of irritability.
Eating too much or too little, both influences emotions negatively. So your job is to try and identify what ways of eating helps you feel the best that you typically do. And not only the types of food, but when you're eating them, how often you're eating them and what your routine looks like around food. So I can't tell you how many that women that I work with have really variable routines when it comes to eating, that maybe they're the once a day type of eaters, or maybe they forget to eat and then binge eat at night, way more food than is helpful or healthy for them.
And so thinking through what those patterns are and what gets in the way of you having a more regular source of energy. Given that we know that conditions like depression and anxiety are already sapping away at your energy and your body needs all the fuel that it can get to maintain some level of consistency with emotions. Avoid mood all Drink substances.
So aside from the addiction piece, we know that mood altering substances alter moods. And while this can feel really good in the moment, sometimes especially if those mood altering substances offer some relief from intense emotions, it tends to actually lead to higher levels of dysregulation, more of a roller coaster, so to speak, when it comes to the types of emotions that we have, because substances are often used to avoid emotions, this can also get in the way of learning alternative coping skills for emotions and can again, keep you on that roller coaster ride.
Balancing sleep. I don't think that I have ever worked with someone in DBT, who hasn't had some kind of problem with sleep, we know that sleep is integral to mood, every single one of us having enough days of poor sleep is going to experience all kinds of problems with emotions. And we also know that there are a lot of really difficult things that can get in the way of sleep, or cause you to sleep way too much.
Things like trauma symptoms, things like rumination, things like panic. And so there is in your notebook, a set of some common interventions to help with sleep that you can definitely go over or talk about an individual if this is something that you are really chronically struggling.
Last but not least, get exercise. Well we know that exercise is an anti depressant and an anger zeolitic such that the more that you engage in exercise regularly, the less effect that negative emotions have on your body.
It is one of the single most helpful things that you can do to keep your emotions regular. And it takes a lot of skills to be able to exercise more regularly.
So I want you to think through what gets in the way of you exercising in a way that is safe for you, especially during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
And again, talk with your individual therapist about ways that you can overcome that.