I’m writing a poem,
I don’t know why.
I should stop this,
Or you’ll think I’m high.
She said, “It’s important to remember that when you’re depressed, you have to nurse yourself and be extra gentle towards yourself. An athlete wouldn’t break an ankle and then force themselves to run with that ankle. They rest as it heals and do not think “I am a failed athlete”. Instead, they think, “Right now something isn’t working right, so I’ll take care of myself until it does.”
Give it time.
Let it heal.
You’re going to be okay.
Breathe and remember that you’ve been in this place before.
You’ve been this uncomfortable and anxious and scared, and you’ve survived.
Breathe and know that you can survive this too. These feelings can’t break you.
They’re painful and debilitating, but you can sit with them and eventually, they will pass. Maybe not immediately, but sometime soon, they are going to fade and when they do, you’ll look back at this moment and laugh for having doubted your resilience.
I know it feels unbearable right now, but keep breathing, again and again.
This will pass.
I promise it will pass.
Everyone needs self care. There’s no “Ugh, who needs self care, it sounds like girly stuff I wouldn’t be caught dead doing” or “It’s unnecessary”.
Imagine this: You’re overwhelmed at work. You have a ton of assignments piling up at home, submission dates are creeping up on you at an alarming rate and your calendar is packed with overdue tasks. To make room for all of this stuff, you skip lunch, stop going out, and forget about your social life entirely. When we’re stressed, self care is usually the first thing to throw out of the window. And that only makes things so much worse.
It’s easy to neglect taking care of ourselves because when we’re busy and overwhelmed, even a small break feels like a luxury. So actually taking time to eat lunch, go out, and hang out with friends? That just feels like slacking.
There is a misconception that self care is all about slush bomb baths, massages, yoga, expensive candles and buying nice meals. Because what does self care mean to someone who is broke, struggling and burdened with hardships, right? The beautiful concept of self care is commercialized beyond imagination.
So, here are a few realistic self care tips for us broke people:
- Call a friend. Preferably a friend you haven’t spoken to from a long time. Talk about the fun times you had together. It actually makes you feel good.
- Take a walk outside. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Or the feel of the breeze flowing around you. Whatever works.
- Delete any apps that you haven’t used for more than a week. Decluttering your phone is just as important as decluttering your desk.
- Declutter your desk while you’re at it.
- Find a sacred spot; a view you love or a place that makes you feel greatly alive. Visit it as often as possible.
- Go to the beach and wiggle your toes in the sand.
- Re-read your favorite novel.
- Listen to uplifting music; something that you can sing out loud and swing your hips to.
- Since it’s finally sweater weather (yaaayyyyy!!), wear your comfiest hoodie or cover yourself in your fluffy blanket and sip on coffee while reading a book.
- The last few months, I’ve been loving coloring books. Maybe a little silly, but so awesome. Seriously, give it a try.
Look, not every one of these self care ideas will be your cup of tea.
They won’t all be the perfect antidote to what you’re going through. But I hope that this is enough inspiration to get you started. What I want you to know most is that you have the power to claim self care as your ishh. The inspiration here is just a starting point. There is no stopping once you start.
Today was different. Today felt different. Maybe it was because today was one of my dear friends birthday. Or maybe because I binge watched a really good series. I don’t know. But it felt good. I don’t know how to explain “it”.
So instead, I’ll explain how I feels. It’s how breathing fresh air after sitting in a smokey room for too long feels. Having such moments of clarity feels good. Especially when I’m always surrounded by noise, rush and poisoned thoughts. Thoughts that I can’t escape from. What if I’m not good enough? What if they don’t like me? What if I mess up? What if?
So, today I focused only on the positives.
- I didn’t fall off the bed while waking up.
- My phone didn’t fall from my hand all day.
- I didn’t smoke today
- I petted a cute little dog.
- I didn’t cancel any plans.
- I didn’t judge myself when I stood in front of the mirror.
- I made everyone in the room laugh with my awkwardness.
- I spent time with an elderly lady.
These may seem frivolous. Or maybe downright hilarious. But when you’re always looking at things negatively, this is something you learn to appreciate.
This feeling that I’ve got? I don’t want it to go. Ever.