Lecturer Offers Strategies for Self-Care

By Audrey Nolte

Did you know that listening to 30 minutes of calming music a day is able to provide as much relaxation as 10 milligrams of Valium? More than 50 people who attended Jewish Family Service’s 3rd Annual Phyllis Ringel Memorial Lecture on Sunday, May 15, discovered strategies to pause and create simple practices that set purposeful intentions for self-care.

The lecture was sponsored by the Ringel family in memory of Dr. Phyllis Ringel, Jewish Family Service’s executive director from 2001-2012. Her extraordinary devotion to providing services to members of the Jewish community of the Lehigh Valley is reflected by the lecture series, its meaningful topics and the participants who continue to benefit from Ringel’s vision and dedication.

Ann Friedenheim, MS, LPC, RYT, presented an engaging interactive program about self-care at Congregation Keneseth Israel. She challenged participants to “put yourself first,” and clarified the differences between self-care and self-indulgence. Obstacles are often self-imposed by being overextended, not asking for help and having too many “shoulds” in life.

During the 90-minute session, Friedenheim shared strategies for building a personal sustenance account to help through life’s transitions. Tactics for building resilience included: self-discipline, breathing techniques, scheduled self-care and consciously acting in a different way. The physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions of living and negotiating the work place present challenges and opportunities for adaptability, she said.

Each participant received a self assessment evaluation and handouts about “44 Things You Can Do that Will Help You Lead a Resilient Life” and “Simple and Short Self-Care Strategies.” 

“Use intention, attitude and people you can rely on to take good care of yourself,” Friedenheim said. 

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