DR. WALLACE: I’m the type of teen girl who is always interested in self-improvement. I like to strive for better grades and better workouts and seek to eat healthier with each passing month.
Lately I’ve heard from several of my friends that there’s a term called “self-care,” and they all seem to be excited about it as if it’s some sort of new fad. I thought striving to be a better person was a normal thing that has existed for centuries. What exactly is self-care and how might it differ from what I’m doing already for myself? — Always Seeking Improvement, via email
ALWAYS SEEKING IMPROVEMENT: Congratulations! I’d say that you’re already regularly practicing many elements of self-care that you have quite logically implemented in your own life. Self-care is often defined as taking deliberate and conscious acts to promote one’s own physical, mental and emotional health.
It sounds as though we are already excelling on the physical side, so be sure to monitor and continue to improve your mental and emotional health as well. Take regular mental breaks; seek to reduce stress via methods such as meditation or reading some light content you enjoy, for example.
Whenever you feel stressed with schoolwork, family issues or other interpersonal interactions, recognize the need to slow down and focus on yourself.
And for those individuals who are goal-oriented, don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t complete all goals that you had for that day.
Self-care is a conscious effort to focus on making efforts physically, emotionally and spiritually to improve your well-being on a regular basis.
Focus on your basic good health. If everyday habits are stressing your mind and body balance, it’s time for self-care. Allow yourself to slow down and seek to stay in balance with the goal being to equip yourself to live your very best life. Some might view self-care as a luxury, but in reality, it should be a priority.
WE DON’T LIKE HER!
DR. WALLACE: I am part of a group of five guy friends and a few of us have girlfriends. Well, one of our buddies has a girlfriend who is just too much to handle! We don’t really have a good time when she is around our group. This girl always causes drama, seeks to take over all conversations and generally turns any light conversation into a government inquiry! We’ve had enough. I want to tell my friend that we do not like her behavior, and we want to encourage him to break things off with her for the good of all of us. However, my other friends think that it’s a bad idea to give any relationship advice at all to him. We don’t want to be bad friends, but we’re at the end of our rope over this. What do you think? — Our Group Is Grumpy, via email
OUR GROUP IS GRUMPY: It’s not your place to give your friend specific relationship advice. However, there is something you can do. Whenever she arrives in a group setting, takes over the conversation and introduces drama, simply, one by one, make yourselves scarce. Come up with an excuse to head out and go somewhere else. Slowly but surely the friend you’re all concerned about will notice that whenever he brings this girlfriend around, everyone seems to scatter.
Then and only then, if he asks you why everyone leaves, you’ll be able to subtly tell him that while you enjoy his company, his girlfriend is difficult to engage with, therefore you all choose to spend your time elsewhere whenever she is around. Hopefully he’ll get the hint, and even if he doesn’t, you’ll avoid the drama of being dragged into her long, tedious conversations.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.