It’s a New Year: Taking Care of Your Nervous System After the Holidays

Today we have a post from Mary Ellen Alexander, one of our Master’s Level Interns. Mary Ellen is a compassionate therapist who dedicates herself to the holistic healing of mind, body, and spirit. She embraces health and well-being with a comprehensive perspective, and there is nothing she finds more rewarding than supporting individuals on their path to self-alignment. With authenticity at the core of her practice, Mary Ellen provides a therapeutic environment rich with compassion, resilience, inspiration, hope, and practical wisdom. She firmly believes that transformation unfolds in an atmosphere where presence, safety, acceptance, and belonging are paramount. Mary Ellen is passionate about uncovering the unique beauty within each person and takes immense joy in aiding her clients to recognize, accept, and embrace their true selves.

From Mary Ellen:

Don’t you agree-there’s something refreshing about a new beginning? A place to start or to start again! One thing I stress with my clients is to take care of themselves with deep compassion, gentleness, and grace. One particular way to do this is by nurturing, supporting, and taking care of your nervous system. To put it simply, your nervous system is made up of your brain, spinal cord, and nerves. This complex system controls much of what you think, feel, and how your body responds. It is through the nervous system that we experience pleasure and pain, feel emotions, learn and use language, and plan goals. As we embark on a new year, I encourage you to support this system with more intentional awareness. 

The first practical way I like to support my nervous system might sound overly simple but it’s very impactful. And that is sleep. Sleep is foundational to the health of your nervous system. It is important to aim for around 7-8 hours of quality sleep so your body can completely rejuvenate on a cellular level. I know when I’m rested, I’m much more emotionally stable and can think with a clear mind. 

The second practical tool would be deep breathing. Now, you don’t have to spend even 5 minutes doing this exercise. As you’re in the car or laying down to go to bed, try to bring awareness to your breath and fully breathe all the way in and all the way out. I like to imagine my breath as a cleaning system. I’m inhaling what I need and as I exhale I’m letting go of what needs to be released and/or refreshed.

The third and final tool I’m going to mention is eating consistently and adequately, without judgment or shame. Our nervous system needs fuel in order to work properly. Eating nutrients at every meal is going to help support your system by bringing balance to the body. Our nervous system loves balance! It’s always working for us in helping us come back to center. It does take our awareness in paying attention to what it needs. My hope is that you move into this new year with a calm heart, mind, and soul. Remember your body is always for you, so may you do your part and give it the care it deserves. 

And if you need a little more info or support, check out @innerglowtherapy and @awakenwithally on Instagram for more resources about the nervous system.

Happy New Year!  

Affirmation of the Day: “I am capable of caring for my nervous system in ways that sustain me and soothe me.”

We hope you found Mary Ellen’s reflections on taking care of your nervous system after the holidays valuable. If her message resonated with you, this could be the perfect time to take meaningful steps toward your healing and peace. To initiate your work with Mary Ellen, please feel free to call our office at 615.510.3797 or click here to learn more.

Anchored Counseling Company is a a group practice specializing in the treatment of anxiety, depression, body image concerns, eating disorders & disordered eating, substance use, trauma and PTSD, and spirituality in Brentwood, Tennessee and serving the greater Nashville, Tennessee area. We are easily accessible for clients living in Franklin, Tennessee and Spring Hill, Tennessee. 

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