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.
You look great.
You look great in your glasses. You look great with your braces. You look great with your scars. You look great with your bruises. You look great with your birthmarks and moles. You look great even with your acne. You look great with that gap between your teeth. You look great if you’re thin. You look great if you are plump. You look great if you’re tall. You look great if you’re short. You look great with your tresses done. You look great with your hair pulled back.
You look great.
You look spectacular.
You look fabulous.
You look stunning.
1. Push yourself to get up before the rest of the world – start with 9am, then 8am, then 7am, then 6am, then 5:30am. Go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.
2. Push yourself to fall asleep earlier – start with 12pm, then 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. Wake up in the morning feeling re-energized and comfortable.
3. Get into the habit of cooking yourself a beautiful breakfast. Fry tomatoes and mushrooms in real butter and garlic, fry an egg, slice up a fresh avocado and squirt way too much lemon on it. Sit and eat it and do nothing else.
4. Stretch. Start by reaching for the sky as hard as you can, then trying to touch your toes. roll your head. Stretch your fingers. Stretch everything.
5. Buy a 1L water bottle. Start with pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then try drinking it twice.
6. Buy a beautiful diary and a black pen. write down everything you do, including dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffees, what you need to do that day. No detail is too small.
7. Strip your bed of your sheets and empty your underwear draw into the washing machine. Put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. Make your bed in full.
8. Organise your room. Fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, your laptop, clean the floor. Light a beautiful scented candle.
9. Have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. Wash your hair, scrub your body, brush your teeth, lather your whole body in moisturiser, get familiar with the part between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck.
10. Push yourself to go for a walk. Take your headphones, go to the beach and walk. Smile at strangers walking the other way and be surprised how many smile back. Pet a dog and observe the dog’s behaviour. Realise you can learn from your dog.
11. Message old friends with personal jokes. Reminisce. Suggest a catch up soon, even if you don’t follow through. Push yourself to follow through.
12. Think long and hard about what interests you. Crime? Sex? Boarding school? Long-forgotten romance etiquette? Time-travel? Find a book about it and read it. There is a book about literally everything.
13. Become the person you would ideally fall in love with. Let cars merge into your lane when driving. Pay for the train ticket of the person behind you. Smile at strangers.
14. Stick your tongue out at babies. Compliment people on their cute outfits. Challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day. Then two. Then a week. Walk with a straight posture. Look people in the eye. Ask people about their story. Talk to acquaintances so they become friends.
15. Lie in the sunshine. Daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a thing. Open your eyes. Take small steps to make it happen for you.