Self Care is one of those things that’s different to each and every person. There’s no defined way to practice self care and to put it bluntly, some of it can often just sound patronising. I’m looking at you Pinterest.
I’ve been off my mental health medication for a year and a bit now, but in complete honesty sometimes it can leave me a little vulnerable. I didn’t like being on medication, but it was necessary for the time and served its purpose. I didn’t like being on it because I’m a stubborn git who doesn’t like accepting anything’s wrong with myself health-wise, ever.
Since coming off medication, I’ve created what I like to call a little self care blanket. Every now and then, I go through a mini mental health crisis. It’s usually a result of accumulated stress, which in turn causes exhaustion and then I spiral. This is a realistic self care checklist for anyone that’s ever suffered with some form of depression.
It’s pretty terrifying to see yourself spiral. These steps help me personally to not do that.
I’d also like to say that this is regarding a mini mental health crisis that I know to be temporary. Caused by events that I know will calm down after a while, aka event-specific. If you can’t see an end, seek help.
Get some shower gel. Shave your legs etc. (if you do), wash your hair etc. Take care of yourself literally.
There’s nothing quite like depression and anxiety that makes you disregard your general living conditions. Wahey. Clean up, wash your clothes, hoover and just do whatever it is to make your living space look more normal. Also buy flowers or some new plants, they instantly brighten my mood anyway.
Along the same line of the above, change your bedsheets because A. It probably needs doing B. The feeling of fresh sheets is the best.
Sometimes there are loads of things I mean to do or buy that I never get round to. Do the things and buy the things. For example, I was missing a plug for my bath for 3 months, it shouldn’t have taken 3 months to buy a bath plug. What the fuck was I doing?
If you have the money, even if it’s just a 30-minute trip out of where you are, do it. Sometimes a change of scenery helps you to not think about things and feel a little bit more distant from it all. Plus discovering new places is fun and you should do that.
And not just meaning your close family, I mean visiting your nan for tea. For me, it always gives me some perspective and usually I find a different perspective from people that aren’t super close, can help moreso.
For the past month I have been worried about a myriad of different things. Everything seems to have happened at once and I know it will all be over soon. At the start of the month, I was worried about bills, I felt I had no control. For example, to get in touch with the council I might as well tied a letter to a pigeon and hope it got there. But once I knew my deadlines and started ticking off everything I had to do, it felt a lot better.
Have strength in the fact that it’s only temporary.
A cliche but true. Mindfulness is a great way to calm yourself down ‘in the moment’ once you learn how to practice it. I actually have a blog post all about mindfulness here. It sounds hippy-ish but give it a try. It can help.
Cook a meal that makes you happy for whatever mood you’re in at that moment. Whether it’s something nutritious, hearty or light, try a new recipe out and see it through. I also like to make something I can take into work for the next day #twoinone.
You may be exhausted regardless of how much sleep, but get your 8 hours or whatever consistently. I like to track mine through a sleep app as it helps me keep on top of it. You’re already probably tired, don’t add to it in the long term by getting no sleep.
And if you’d like to have a read of my other blog posts on mental health, click here.