Everyone needs to take care of themselves. Some people may find it more difficult than others, some may not do it at all, and others, like me, learn the importance of it through their experiences.
When I was younger and living on my own I used retail therapy as a form of self care. Buying new things made me happy so to stay happy I was always buying things. (How do you think I got such a full wardrobe?! ;)) Over the years my self care has evolved. I stopped negating my depression by trying to stay happy and started focusing on working through how I was feeling while taking care of myself.
Nowadays my self care is part of my normal routine. Exercising, trying to eat healthy (with the maybe-more-often-than-preferable treat), bubble baths, spending time with friends, watching Gilmore Girls, even my commute to and from work is a form of self care – I get time to myself to think about things.
When I feel my depression taking hold I try to find the trigger. I sometimes let myself wallow, but not for very long. I talk to the people I trust about how I’m feeling. I go to the beach. On the incredibly odd occasion I take a day for myself. I don’t think most people realise, mental illness is an illness. Calling in sick because you can’t bring yourself to get out of bed and you will cry all day is sometimes something you need to do for yourself. I’m not saying take advantage of that, but if things are bad and it will help you, do it.
The important thing is to find the things that keep you going. Curl up and watch your favourite show. Skype with friends if you don’t want to go out or meet up for coffee or a meal or shopping if you do. Take lots of selfies. Write. Read. Listen to music. Make a list. Find what feels good to you and do that.
It is important to do that for everyone, not just those with mental illnesses. Taking some time for yourself is healthy and good. Stepping out of your busy schedule to enjoy the moment, even if it’s just a tea break at work, will help manage stress. In today’s busy, no longer strictly 9-5 world, that’s always a good thing.
Whatever you do, take care of yourself. <3