This week Vanessa from Babbling Bandit has shared her tips for self care and I decided to whip out this post that I wrote for Present Imperfection last year.
I’ve been struggling with Mental Health issues on and off for the last 11 years. Some days are good, and others are not so good. One of the things that I have come to realise, especially over the last 2 years is that being mentally healthy isn’t just about my mind but a whole body approach. I have developed a few techniques that help when things are starting to take a nose dive, as well as things that help keep me on an even keel.
1. Get dressed and go out everyday.
This is one thing that I have let slip recently and have noticed the ill effects. Even if you are only going out to get a bottle of milk, make sure you leave the house at least once. I find that with too many days inside, the cabin fever and ruminating starts to take over.
2. Do something for yourself.
Twice a week Mr 4 goes to daycare. These two days are usually spent doing exactly what I am want to do, when I want to do it. If you can’t get a whole day, it could be as simple as reading a book, getting your hair cut or a bubble bath. Just do something that is completely for you, that makes you feel good.
3. Make sure I eat good food, and eat regularly
When my diet goes to the wayside, so does my mood and motivation. I struggle to remember to eat, and so have started setting reminders on my phone so that I make sure to eat regularly. If I find myself eating junk and just crap food, I feel bloated, which then has the flow on effect of making my self esteem low. I have had issues with food for as long as I’ve had mental health problems so the two are very much interconnected.
4. Have a support network.
I know personally it is hard for me to reach out to people I know personally. There is the feelings of guilt at not being strong and not wanting to hurt those close to me. This is why I have a psychologist. However for the more practical things like having people to spend time with and just take my mind off what is going on, friends and family are an absolute asset.
5. Find an outlet of expression.
For me, my outlet has always been writing. I have bags of journals from the last eleven years and it has helped immensely to get my thoughts out on a piece of paper. Now I use my blog in much the same way. I find it very useful to have my thoughts out of my head, and many times to have them validated, realising that I’m not the only person who feels this way. There is a kind of comfort in knowing that I’m not alone.
I am one of those people who flourish with routine. I don’t cope well with change, and often feel extremely stressed when things don’t go according to the way that I had them in my head. While there are many things that I can’t control, the one thing that I can have some kind of control over is planning the day. If I don’t have a routine I find myself floating, not really existing and my depression rears it’s ugly head.
These are all things that I find help me in my day to day struggle with Mental Illness. They may not work for you, but I urge you to keep trying different things. Keep trying the pieces of the puzzle until they all fit the way you want them too.
Flogging my blog with Grace!