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.
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.
When I was a child, I used to try to keep a journal. I would see all these movies and TV shows (read: Lol and The vampire diaries) where the actors used to fill in their journal everyday and I think to myself ‘I want that’. I want to be able to express myself this freely.
You see, being a introvert meant keeping most of my thoughts to myself and listening to other people more than talking to them. And honestly, after a while, I started hating it. I hated the fact that people thought I didn’t have an opinion, that they didn’t care about my feelings, that they hurt me as if I didn’t matter. And I hated myself for not speaking up. I needed an outlet. And so I started writing. But no, I didn’t make a fancy journal like I wanted to. I wrote my feelings on pieces of papers and hid them. I didn’t want my family to see them. They wouldn’t understand. I didn’t want myself to reread them. It would make me feel pathetic. So I hid them all and never saw them again.
Until recently, when I was cleaning my cupboard. I reread them all. I didn’t feel pathetic like I thought I would. I felt proud. I felt happy. I felt strong. I felt lots of things. But not pathetic. I laughed when I read what I had written. Why? Because I grew up to be way differently then I wrote I would, I have better friends, I don’t hate those people anymore and most importantly, I am happy. I am happy with my introverted self and my friends understand me, I have learnt to stand up for myself and for what I believe in and I don’t care about what other people say anymore.
Time and circumstances change you. If you hate yourself, your job, your teachers, your situations or anything else; it’s okay. It gonna pass eventually. You can’t and you won’t hate it forever. Your circumstances make you stronger and time heals you. But it’s like a journey. A journey that is full of potholes and blocked roads. But honestly, it’s a journey you have to be willing to take. You cannot just expect time to heal you. You have to facilitate it to heal you by taking the first step. YOU have to start this journey. YOU have to decide the route. YOU have to select your companions. YOU have to carry your luggage.
YOUR journey is all about YOU.
So, make sure you give it your all. You deserve it and you are worth it.