Let’s be honest here guys: taking care of yourself while you’re struggling with mental health, and trying to balance a million different activities and relationships, is next to impossible. Something always falls to the side, right? And while we can say that we’re going to take on less hours at work or go out partying a little less, it’s always our me time that suffers.
However, at least for myself, I find that in order to keep my hit points up, I need to be able to maintain a good sense of self care, no matter how badly I’m feeling. And although some days I literally have to force myself to get up, and often times I can really only manage one or two of the things off my list, it’s important that I maintain a certain level of self care for myself at all times.
Whether you relate to this or not, I do promise you this: the more time you take to invest in yourself, the better you’re going to feel. It might not out right make you feel any less awful than than you had been feeling before, but it will help you start getting on the right track.
Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of the most important self-care things you can practice on a (somewhat) daily basis.
Take time to get ready in the morning. Or, in the very least, do something to get ready. Brush your teeth, have a quick shower, layer on the dry shampoo, change your pants. It doesn’t have to be anything major if you’re not feeling up to it, but doing at least something will help you feel accomplished.
Eat. I cannot stress this enough (mostly just because I struggle with this one a lot personally). If you can’t handle making a bunch of meals for yourself, buy easy microwave things, or get someone else to help keep you fed.
Get good sleep. Personally, I’ve adapted the habit of staying up until four(ish) in the morning, and then sleeping in until I feel fully rested – usually noon. I can feel like I’m missing a lot of my day, so I don’t have as many hours to try to survive, and I naturally feel a lot better at night.
Treat yourself. Give yourself rewards. I love buying things. Not for the sake of just buying them, of course, but I enjoy having something new to be excited about and enjoy for a little while. Whether that be books, tea, or video games, it can help me actually look forward to waking up in the morning.
Surround yourself with good friends. I’ve got two or three people who are around literally all the time, and no matter how bad my day might be, I’m able to talk to them as much as I want. Keeps me preoccupied, and gives me the support I need.
Keep busy. There’s nothing worse than sitting in your own misery. Keep yourself occupied with something, even if that’s nothing but Netflix.
Get out of the house. I suck at this one too. But getting out, even for a few minutes, will not only make you feel like you actually did something that day, but a bit of fresh air is always a good boost.
Figure out what you need. That’s probably one of the hardest things of all, to be honest. However, once you know that, you can either work on making sure you’re taking care of those needs to yourself, or someone else is helping you accomplish them.
Take time away. Trying to keep up with work, friends, relationships, school, etc etc, is only going to end up drying you up. The most important thing in your life is you. You can’t do anything at all if you’re not in a good enough place yourself. So value yourself enough to take time to take breaks and give yourself proper recovery time.
Minimize stressers. Anything that’s causing you unneeded anxiety should be tossed out of your life, or put on the back burner until you’re able to handle it again.
Exercise. I know, I hate this one too. But it has been proven that exercising does increase dopamine and serotonin levels, and is one of the biggest ways to combat depression.
Talk to someone. Talk therapy is also a proven tactic to minimize feelings of depression and misery. There are lots of free websites like 7Cups for example, or the Pacifica app, that’ll let you communicate with like minded and open people.
What are your self care strategies?