Please Take Care of Yourself

The “PLEASE” skill refers to a specific skill set within DBT’s emotion regulation module, which basically refers to taking care of your mental health by taking care of your physical health.  It includes self-care efforts like getting enough sleep, getting enough exercise, and eating nutritious foods in moderation, among others.  


I know that I feel much better mentally when I make an effort to eat healthily.  When I get busy and planning meals is the last thing on my mind, I may be more prone to eating junk food, or whatever is easy.  When this happens, I tend to be less focused, more tired, and more anxious. Sugar is one thing that I have to be very careful about, as I feel the mental health effects in a huge way when I overdo it on the sweets.  I am not one to ban sugar altogether from my diet, however lately I do think through the pros and cons when deciding whether to eat that bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream or not.  


A growing body of research suggests that sugar intake can have negative impacts on issues like depression, addiction, anxiety, as well as learning and memory.  In this article by David Sack, M.D., published in Psychology today, he ties in how a high-sugar diet can have multiple downsides both mentally and physically. Again, I believe in moderation when it comes to sugar, and this article really gives me some food for thought!