DBT PLEASE Skills
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) PLEASE Skill is a technique you can do daily to improve your mood and overall well-being. These skills will help you better manage your emotions in your day to day life. When we don’t take care of our physical health, we make our mental health more vulnerable to intense emotions and feelings.
PL - PhysicaL illness
E - Eating balanced meals
A - Avoid mind/mood altering substances
S - Balanced Sleep
E - Exercise
PhysicaL Illness - There is a direct connection between your physical health and mental health. If your physical health is well taken care of your mental health will improve, and vice versa. Any problem you face will be difficult to manage and feel overwhelming if you do not feel well.
Tips to take care of our physical health...
Taking medication as prescribed daily.
Following a doctors directive.
Visiting doctors for annual check-ups or when experiencing symptoms.
If you’re feeling sick, take a sick day to recover as your body needs it. Continuing to push yourself when you’re sick can be harmful to your mental health.
Eat - Balanced Eating is important as it gives the body the nourishments and energy it needs to conquer the day, manage stressors, and regulate your emotions.
Oftentimes, when we don’t feel physically or emotionally good we either lack an appetite or binge eat to soothe ourselves, neither of which are beneficial to the body. Not eating enough leaves you depleted and irritable, and eating too much can weigh you down and trigger feelings of guilt.
It is important to try to eat three balanced meals everyday, and only eat until you are satiated. Remember, it is all about eating balanced meals, not eating too little or too much.
Tips for eating 3 balanced meals daily...
Dedicating times during the day to eat three balanced meals.
Setting alarms to remind you to eat.
If you’re busy with work/school or running around from place to place, prepare by bringing snacks, protein bars, or grab a smoothie.
Avoid Mood/Mind Altering Drugs - Mood/Mind altering drugs are any substance that changes how you feel.
List of Mood/Mind Altering Drugs...
Taking medications not prescribed to you.
Using illegal drugs.
These drugs alter your brain chemistry and hormones, causing you to react differently or inappropriately and make it difficult for you to cope and regulate your emotions.
It is not uncommon for people to self-medicate their mental health with mind/mood altering drugs. However, self-medication results in a negative cycle of highs and lows, and the individual consistently seeks the high. If you think you are in this self-medication cycle, it may be helpful to speak to a professional to help you abstain from mind/mood altering drugs.
Balanced Sleep - The recommended number of hours of sleep every night is 8-10. However, this can change based on each individual’s needs.
Oftentimes our mental health can effect sleeping patterns resulting in either sleeping too much (hypersomnia) or sleeping too little (insomnia).
Tips to improve sleeping patterns by...
Engaging in sleep hygiene techniques...
Placing yourself on a sleep schedule - Go to bed the same time every night and get up the same time every morning to alter your body's internal clock.
Not spending time in bed unless it is to go to sleep.
Avoid naps during the day. If you NEED to nap, limit it to 20-30 minutes.
Avoiding screen time before bed.
Avoiding any stimulating activities (e.g., exercise, scary movie, etc.) a few hours before bed.
See a medical professional for medication to help you sleep.
Exercise - Getting regular exercise can help improve your sleep, help you better manage your emotions, and improve your physical and mental health. When you exercise, dopamine (referred to as the happy hormone), is released. Exercise has been proven to reduce tension and stress in the mind and body. Exercise does not mean going to the gym everyday, running, or exercising for long periods of time.
Tips to increase exercise in your daily life...
Stretching in the morning and/or night.
Walk your dog.
Get a standing desk and/or walking pad.
Just aim to achieve 20 minutes of physical activity daily to reduce stress levels and improve your overall well being.