My New Self-Care Plan

jess-watters-540510-unsplash.jpgSelf-Care, My New Plan

Recently, I have had time to soul search and think of ways to better myself in as I work towards getting out of 2018 without going too far backward in my mental health. Self-care is so important and in my opinion, it is the one area I struggle in this mental illness life.

All things considered, I am in good spirits today. Things have been bad at times, but there have been real positives. I have found some solace in reducing my dependence on Ativan (I am working on only taking 3mg per day versus 4 mg.) It has been tough some days because at times I feel like the Ativan is the only thing keeping my social anxiety at bay. That is not right in my mind, my dependency has increased too much. I have been making some effort to go outside my comfort zone and leave my house.

I am learning to use my mindfulness breathing before my anxiety hits a high level, which has been a fascinating experiment. I do about fifteen minutes in the morning and spurts of three-five minutes throughout my day as a part of my routine. That is the other thing that I am getting back–a routine.

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Last weekend I noticed that my daily routine was a bit skewed and I was doing things out of order. I am the type that is “all about his routine”–waking up, taking a shower, fixing my bed, eating breakfast and drinking my morning coffee or tea.

I was skipping around my daily routine and leaving things out like not eating breakfast. That is a major faux pas in my life because I am at my best when I eat three meals a day. My routine is everything, and it is essential to stay on track because it is a part of my self-care plan. I noticed that during the summer these tasks are easier to deal with as there is more daylight during the day. With the change in time, I felt as my life was accelerating. As if there was no time for anything (kinda weird being only a few days into the time change.)

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In this mental illness life, there will always be ups and downs, good and bad days. Life is funny that way. I was sitting outside on my patio breathing in the morning and letting the sunlight wash over me when I realized that this experience is not that bad.

We are human, and worse those of us struggling with mental illness will most likely feel this way. That does not mean it has to control us. I am taking positive steps in my self-care, and it is up to each one of us to find your center.

What are your self-care ideas for this time of year?

As always stay strong in the fight…

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

Jared Rice

Jess Watters

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Joshua Earle

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29 Replies to “My New Self-Care Plan”

  1. As always, I love your post. For myself, I found carrying a little roller ball bottle of essential oil in my pocket is a tremendous comfort. Not only is it a tactile object, somewhat like a worry stone, but the scent offers immediate relief. I usually rub it on the back of my neck or inhale directly. My favorite scents are lavender, clary sage or frankincense. I hope they might be of some comfort to you also. Be well. Samantha

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It doesn’t always work for me- but I do the same thing with a rollerball of essential oil. I never travel without one! My favorite scent is a blend I found that is suppose to help treat migraines…but I find it soothes me. I also find that using a little Peppermint oil in my car in one of those cheap vent diffusers that you can get on amazon in my car helps my driving anxiety. It’s all about experimenting with what works!
      Oddly enough for me chewing gum works for social situations and for driving as well. Like I said- it doesn’t work ALL the time, but it can help ground me when I feel I am starting to go off the rails anxiety-wise.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My mental illness is depression, which affects me year-round, not just in winter, so I sit in front of a SAD light box for 30 minutes every morning year-round. I also use an Alpha-Stim Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulator for an hour daily, usually in the morning in conjunction with the SAD light. These devices help elevate my mood for the rest of the day. Marjorie

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I do light therapy as well though my depression isn’t my biggest issue right now. It is my social anxiety. I have heard of the Alpha-Stim Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulators before how did you go about getting one?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I got mine a long, long time ago from–would you believe it–my veterinarian! We were using it on a highly anxious little greyhound,I had at the time, and the vet suggested I might try it myself for my depression. There are newer models now, and you need a doctor’s prescription apparently. The website is http://www.alpha-stim.com. They ain’t cheap! But I do think mine works really well for me. You might check it out. Marjorie

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Self care is crucial to mental health, you’re absolutely right. Self awareness is key, too. Great post! Keep fighting. 💜

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Beautifully written. Like it almost brings tears to my eyes. It’s not often that you can find a speaker that speaks to the struggle without berating us or complaining about it. Your post was authentic and relatable. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Have you ever tried Tai Chi? I was really skeptical until I went to a taster session the other week. I found it so healing and I can honestly say I thought of nothing else other than completing the movement in that whole hour. It really improved my anxiety on that day.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This is such a great post. Thank you for sharing about your struggles and for pushing yourself to try harder. It’s not easy to do that and be vulnerable about it in front of an audience. You can do it!!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Self-awareness has really made such a different for me when managing my anxiety. Reading this post in general felt insanely familiar… Thank you for writing and sharing your story!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I love reading your posts! They are so relatable. I have been going through some things myself and decided to change my self-care routine. Change is so beneficial especially when life feels like a routine. My new self-care idea for this year is to take care of myself until I am whole. I realized that dedicating one day for self-care was not helping me. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Such an insightful message.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is a great way to get you me mind right. I had major self-care goals that set me straight to start the year, but somehow I lost my way somewhere. taking care of yourself as a whole is important. I wish you luck and peace on your journey.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I personally need to read more about mindfulness meditation and start practicing it often. The time change is terrible, I love long summer nights and my work slows in the winter which brings on a little financial struggle, of course that just adds to how I feel so this time of year is not my favorite. Lately though I have been focusing more on positive thoughts, mostly revolving around my love for my kids but also my appreciation for my friends and kind people in general. It helps, and I’ve made a goal to show my appreciation to them by picking a random friend to send a quick message to tell them. I know how nice it is hear kind words and it makes me feel good to tell friends something I like about them. Also, who knows, it could pick someone up when they may be feeling down at the time. It’s not a cure for mine but it helps. There’s so much more I need to work on that I know would help me out, hope to break the cycle I’m in and start to heal. I haven’t been on WordPress much lately so I’m behind on so many of yours but always appreciative of them. It’s nice to read your posts as well as all the comments and hear from others who are fighting daily. Thank you!

    Like

  10. Oddly, the part of this that resonated most for me was “getting out of 2018 without going too far backward.” I think it’s something I really needed to hear today — it has been a very hard year and I have had some guilt over not being better off than I was a year ago. But it’s important to remember that sometimes victory is just not sliding too far back down. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you, some victories are just surviving. I have been through a lot on my life and I have survived. I think there is a lot in that, thank you, it is also nice to hear that my words have helped.

      Like

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