The PLEASE skills are all about taking care of your body in order to take care of your mind. In other words, when we take care of our physical health, our mental health benefits as well. We’ve all been there when we are grouchier after a rough night of sleep or when we have a cold. These are self-care strategies to help us build our resilience to stress and have better moods when tough things do occur.

It can be overwhelming to try to work on every PLEASE skill at once, so pick 1-2 and start with those. Here is a quick summary of the PLEASE skills:

  • (treat) PhysicaL illnesses — get extra rest when you aren’t feeling well, go to the doctor when you’re sick, and take medications as prescribed
  • (balanced) Eating — don’t eat too much or too little, and be mindful while eating
  • Avoid mood-altering substances — if you drink alcohol or caffeine, do so in moderation, and avoid illicit substances
  • Sleep — most people need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to feel rested; keeping a consistent sleep schedule can also help
  • Exercise — move your body a little bit every day if you can, and starting even just once and awhile is better than none at all

Written by Kevin Rowen, PsyD

PhotoCredit: Emma Simpson

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