Tanya Ruckstuhl Valenti, LICSW

Self-Care and Emotional Well-Being

“Self-Care and Emotional Well-being”
By Tanya Ruckstuhl-Valenti LICSW, MSW

Television watching becomes the default evening activity of many depressed people, and like a time vacuum, it sucks up hours that could be used doing a variety of much more interesting things; time that would be spent interacting with real people as opposed to observing imaginary people pretending to do important things.

But I like watching television! I don’t want to give up what I like!

You don’t have to give it up entirely, but if you would like to increase your sense of wellbeing, decrease your television time.

I wouldn’t know what to do with myself without my television for company.

You can start by making a plan: List three enjoyable activities you would like to learn how to do, or simply do more often. Next look around for the supplies, instruction, or support you need. Join a class or group on your own, or if you are shy ask a friend to join you. In any given metropolitan area there are groups meeting each night of the week devoted to just about anything you can imagine: knitting, bowling, computer gaming, tattooing, playing musical instruments, juggling, astronomy, drawing, fencing, etc…

Share your gifts. What ever you are good at, be it a learned skill (such as carpentry) or an inherent one (such as a good sense of humor) find a way to share it with others. Do volunteer work, or just look around your neighborhood for someone whom you can help. Is there a single mother who could use an occasional babysitter? Is there a lonely dog that needs to be walked? Do you know a teenager in need of encouragement during their rocky hormonal years? Or a parent of a teenager who could use some reassurance that they will get through this time as well?

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