Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Remember: Look After Yourself

Self Care Update

I thought I should do a little update on my self care regime/practice since my last post. In this time I've also been redefining what self care is. And a little spider diagram like this helps:
Self care is anything that in the long term is good for you, that is looking after you and your mental health. Whether you take some time away from social media, watch your favourite film, or just brew a cup of tea, self care is one of the most important aspects of ensuring your mental health remains just that - healthy.

Exercise has been hard to keep up every evening.
But I do have weekly Zumba which I look forward to, even if I have the coordination of an elephant doing ballet. It's just so difficult to move my arms and legs at the same time. For my first couple of classes this made me very self-conscious. With every class I am improving however, and shall soon be gracing a club near you with my 'Uptown Funk' moves.
But even from walking every day I have seen the change. And not just physically. Exercise releases endorphins and relieves stress. And boy has that been useful lately.

2 litres of water per day seems like a HUGE amount some days. I'm not great at remembering to drink my water (and it doesn't help that the water in work is DISGUSTING). But I shall get there when cute gifs like this one are making it look fun:
The Women's Care

I'm probably starting to get on some people's nerves with all the messaging I've been doing. In my defense, they did say 'You can always talk to me' and 'I'm here for you' etc.
Rather than being bitter and feeling left out, I'm throwing myself in. I'm connecting and reaching out and all of things that I preach you need to do for good mental health.
I have recognised that I need to stop bottling things up and feeling like I can't talk to anyone about my mental health.

New phone
You would not believe me if I told you the difference having a working phone has had on my mood. Gone is the anger when my phone jams every time I get a phone call. I can now use Snapchat and Instagram again. I finally have WhatsApp. This has been a huge boost. I no longer feel left out media-wise. I can share the little things that make me happy. And for me that's been pretty important.

The Little Things
I am also treating myself to little things, and trying not to be so scabby with money. Like ice-cream and coffee. Or making a hot chocolate after a long day. Or drinking more chai tea. Always up for more of this.

Keeping days to myself
The importance of down time has been ever more evident lately. I know that I am quite a high risk for burnout. I start projects and involve myself in projects on top of work. I thrive on this, but I must take days off. Whole weekends off even every now and again so I can chill out, watch Netflix, and unwind.

Remembering to take care of yourself can be pretty hard. When someone is coming through a depressive episode they often have low self worth and don't valuable their-selves as someone who is worth being looked after.
But so far so good! I definitely feel better in myself than I did this time last month. And every little positive self care step is worth celebrating!

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