Self-Care 101

Many of us are struggling during these uncertain times. There’s fear and anxiety, grief (my counselor told me just today we are grieving our old way of life (assuming you’ve not lost a loved one), and frustration. I hate being stuck at home – my 2-bedroom apartment feeling like I’m in a jail cell.

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I try to remind myself to be positive and grateful…my health, a roof over my head, a job and all that. But, at times, it can become very daunting. Especially for those of us that already struggle to keep a healthy mindset and limited anxiety.

I have been working extremely hard for years on the health of my mind, and what I’ve learned is that it includes a lot – A LOT – of self-care on a daily basis.

I am in no way an expert and please don’t use this as advice, but because I’m here struggling, I thought maybe some of you are, too. I thought it may be nice to share some of the ways we use mindfulness.

Here’s some of mine:

  1. Journaling

I have been journaling for years. Like seriously since junior high. I tend to journal the most when I’m feeling down so unfortunately my journals can read very depressing at times. But, for me, writing down my feelings really helps my brain to process my emotions. Sometimes a good vent session helps – just getting it down on paper and out of my mind.

Other times, I can write down my thoughts on a situation and reflect back later, when my mind is in a better place, to reassess. Normally, I journal maybe once a week; more when I’m feeling stressed. During the stay-at-home order I have been making myself journal every single day. I find that it has been helping me tremendously.

 

  1. Reading

I love reading. Especially when I’m into a really good book I can’t put down. Sometimes I read self-help books, but that is not my normal genre to read. However, just before the stay-at-home order I stumbled upon this book at Hobby Lobby and thought it sounded perfect for me. It’s been a phenomenal read during this trying time.

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  1. Get Some Exercise

I’m the type of person who needs to punch a bag. I took up boxing over a year ago and have loved it. Unfortunately, now I’m unable to go to the gym, and it is truthfully really getting to me. I feel just blah. And while I enjoy working out because I want to be a MILF, I also know, that for me, working out is a form of taking care of myself just like eating healthy or taking medication. Working out for me makes my brain healthy. Without the gym I’ve been trying to take walks though the weather sure hasn’t cooperated much. My daughter and I did get out on a nice day and we decided to pick up garbage in our neighborhood. Not only were we outside in the sunshine and fresh air, but when we got home with two bags of garbage it helped me feel better on the inside. Like I did something albeit small to help this ever-changing world. It was a self-care win-win.

  1. Do Something Nice for Yourself

This is something I have heard in therapy for years. One thing you are often told in therapy is to be kind to yourself. We are often our own harshest critics and would never treat a friend the way we treat ourselves.

When I’m having a bad day instead of beating myself up – “be more positive” or “Look at the good in your life” – and side note, I’m not saying it is not important to do those things; to be positive and remind yourself that someone out there has it worse. But what they teach you in therapy is to not beat yourself up on days when you’re feeling low.

When you’re already feeling bad what’s the point in than making yourself feel guilty for feeling down or anxious about life. Especially right now! Life is hard. Life is scary. We are all doing the best that we can. And yes, when you’re feeling down say to yourself, “Self, it could always be worse.”

But if I say that to myself and myself responds to me, (yes! I occasionally respond to myself – do you?) “Right now, I am struggling to get through today,” I know today is not a day to look on the bright side. It is a day to push through, to do something kind for myself (usually for me it’s getting myself a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee), and to know that tomorrow will be better.

  1. Think About a Subscription Service

I know these can get costly, and especially because some people are not working right now, this may seem like a luxury not to be had. BUT, there are subscription boxes as low as $7 (Target’s Clean Up Your Beauty Routine box!) to the Rachel Zoe Box of Style, which guys, if I ever sell my darn book, I want to try this box!!

But aside from beauty boxes, I was even thinking about food boxes like Every Plate which calls themselves The Affordable Meal Kit for Everyone. Sometimes it’s just too daunting trying to decide what to feed your family (omg, especially after e-Learning!!) and with this service it’s all right there for you. Just prepare and eat!

I recently just tried to a new subscription box called Therabox. Therabox is a self-care subscription box. I just received my box today and I’m planning to do a review in a separate post – so check back for it.

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So that’s just a few ideas, and remember what works for me may not work for you. I would love to hear back what works for you! I will have lots of time on my hands and need some new ideas to try – or for someone else to try.