Self-care for when you’re losing your sense of self

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Self-care can consist of the simplest of things

BY: #STUKGIRL TAZEEN

Self-care is a term you come across frequently these days. It has grown in value over the past few years, and it makes me happy to see the seriousness with which it’s taken into consideration.

Self-care is the key to a happy and healthy lifestyle. The importance of self-care cannot be stressed enough.

When we talk of self-care, it’s common to think of bubble baths, working out, painting your nails, face masks etc. It’s anything that you do to take your mind off of the stressful day you had, or to wind down after a purpose-fulfilling week. Though I personally enjoy all of these and find them extremely beneficial, and I’m sure many of you do too, what about self-care for the darker days?

What does self-care look like when you’re losing your sense of self?

How do you keep up with self-care while struggling with a mental illness?

In moments when it’s hard to breathe, on days when you can’t lift your own weight out of bed, on nights when you feel aches in your chest, or times when your body and mind refuse to cooperate with one another, it can be difficult to draw a bubble bath, have the will to work out, the focus to paint your nails, or the desire to put on a face mask. Does that mean there is no scope for self-care?

Self-care consists of practices to improve your health, physical and mental. You engage in activities that make you feel better, implying that it doesn’t have to be extravagant, or luxurious. Self-care can consist of the simplest of things, of the bare-minimum that you can accomplish on days when your mental illness is forcing you down.

-        Sometimes, it’s hard to get out of bed. Here, self-care can be forgiving yourself for not waking up on time, and allowing yourself a little more time in bed. Once you’ve given yourself sometime to just be, the second step in this practice is to gather the strength and walk to the bathroom to brush your teeth. It’s going to be hard, but once you do it, you will be a step closer to feeling like yourself again.

-        In some cases, eating can be a problem, and having a meal feels difficult. Here, self-care can be consuming at least something that will keep your body going- fruits, nuts (if you are not allergic), dates (incredible source of energy), or vegetables.

-        Whether or not you remember, or have the will to do other tasks, drinking water should not slip your mind. Here, self-care can be staying hydrated.

-        When you feel suffocated, going on a walk will help you get not only fresh air, but also a fresh environment. But it is understandable if you can’t stand the thought of being among people in that moment. Here, self-care can be standing in your balcony or sitting near an open window, looking out, and taking deep breaths. Additionally, you can turn on some soft music in the background to help you alter the ambiance of your room, and refresh the environment.

-        If you find it difficult to tidy up your home, start with small tasks you can accomplish by sitting in one place, then, if you feel comfortable enough to keep going, move on to bigger tasks. But, if you cannot bring yourself to do any of this, don’t push it. Here, self-care can be leaving dirty dishes in the sink, or letting your room stay a little messy. Who is to judge, anyways? Some people, on the other hand, enjoy it and find it meditative, so self-care for them can look like cleaning, lots of cleaning.

-        Some days, nothing really works. Here, self-care can be to breathe. By this, I don’t mean the obvious requirement of a living being to breathe in order to continue living. I mean, really focus on your breathing. Despite it being involuntary, give it the recognition and attention you would normally give to a voluntary action. Take in deep breaths. Remember to pace your inhales, pauses and exhales. Immersing yourself in the very activity that sustains your living will help bring you closer to recovering your sense of self.

 

The list is endless. It differs from one individual to another. If you are unsure about how to manage self-care in your particular situation, hit me up, and we can figure something out together.

Remember-

It’s about what YOUR mind requires in that moment.

Self-care is about YOUR needs.

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