Self care is something that is so incredibly important. And yet, we often only hear about self care when somebody has had a tough workout or when mental health is having a moment in the media. But, self care is extremely important and needs to have a moment everyday! I’m super guilty about only ‘indulging’ in self care when it gets bad and not ‘practicing’ self care regularly.
We’ve all seen those posts instructing you to do hot yoga, get an expensive massage, or grab a set of bath supplies for an indulgent afternoon soak complete with candles whenever you’ve been having a rough day or week. But the reality of it is, self care is often less picturesque and more like forcing yourself to take a quick shower, run a toothbrush over your teeth, or force down a glass of water – and if lucky, some food.
I struggle with depression and anxiety and have had days where I haven’t left my bed except to use the bathroom. It’s gotten better recently (after years of hard work and many lifestyle changes), but still sometimes I have bad days. After my last particularly bad episode, Cody and I sat down and talked about ways he could help me and things that would encourage me to take care of myself when all I really want is to hide in the dark.
I know this it’s different for everybody, but these are my self care tips! Please let me know what tips you guys have! Any help is good help :)\
When It Gets Bad
Think about why / who :: I always try and remember for who I need to get out of bed for or why or what I might need to do. Obviously this is slightly codependent, but sometimes doing it for yourself isn’t enough. I usually end p crawling out for my niece (to call or see her); I can’t deal with making her unhappy so it motivates me.
Breathe :: I like to focus on my breathing by either counting my breaths or by breathing in and out to a certain rhythm. It helps me to take the focus off of some of my negative thoughts and things. This one doesn’t particularly help get me out of bed, but less negative thoughts are always a good thing and it’s super comforting when Cody does it with me.
Hydrate :: Water is so important. I can go on and on about why, but the main reason I have Cody practically force me to drink water on my bad days is so I’ll have to leave bed to use the restroom. It forces me to have some mild form of activity with the added bonus of sort of keeping me hydrated.
Change your sheets :: Or at least lay down a fresh blanket . . . especially if it has been a couple of bad days and you might not have managed a shower. It really does feel amazing to lay on something clean.
Fresh clothes :: Clean undies go a long way, people. Do it. Change your undies on bad days.
Shower :: I can’t always do this one on bad days, but it is something to strive for. If you can’t make yourself shower, try and brush your teeth and splash your face with water. It feels amazing when everything else feels like shit.
Let it Out :: This never really works for me, but I had friend in high school that would yell and scream and rage until he felt better. He went out to his barn to do it, but I mean, you can probably do this in your house…
On The Daily
Say No More :: This is huge! I have been in such a better place since I started saying no to (a lot – not all) activities I don’t want to do, places I don’t want to go, or conversations I don’t want to have. It may seem like it will upset some people – and I won’t lie, sometimes it does – but honestly, they’ll get over it. That sentence was hard for me to type! I’m a natural born people pleaser so to make some people unhappy when I can easily make them happy is SO hard for me! But it’s gotten easier to say no the more I do it and it has relieved so much stress on my life.
Pick One Thing :: Pick one thing to do a day for yourself. Right now, I have set aside ‘me time’ where I silence my phone and read or workout without interruptions for at least 30 minutes. I understand that that isn’t doable for everybody, but everybody can do one thing for themselves a day. Wear that shirt that makes you smile, drink your favorite cup of coffee, or pick your own ‘me’ activity.
Greens & Purples :: That’s Beachbody speak for your fruits and veggies! No, I’m not one of those people that think getting your recommended daily serving of the goodies will somehow magically cure your depression, anxiety, or whatever. That’ ridiculous, narrow minded, and often stems from a place of judgment. No, instead I’m the person that has noticed it’s nice not to have to worry about how my body is functioning when I sometimes can’t be bothered to even worry about changing my pjs for multiple days. So getting all the good fruits, veggies, and taking your vitamins on good and okay days helps your body to be more okay on your bad days.
Catch More Sleep :: I cannot get enough sleep. I have terrible insomnia and honestly, I know I’d feel at least 30% better most days if I got more than 2-3 hours of sleep (on average) a night. But I recently started a ‘sleeping schedule’ where I lay down with a cup of tea and ZERO technology or distractions and just unwind. After I finish my tea, I just lay there. I don’t usually sleep more, but the added down time has helped me feel more rested and less anxious overall.
But seriously – let me know if any of these tips help you or what you do to make a bad day a little less bad.