I just recently moved and was unpacking all my books over the weekend. The amount of journal and self help books I have that range from teen to adult is impressive. I realized then that I really have been trying to take care of my emotions for a super long time.
I have been battling with this my entire life. And its only been since I was in my late twenties to figure out that I was living my life totally wrong for what I need to thrive.
I have been practicing coping skills hardcore for a good 3 years. It took me having to go to a mental health faculty to relearn how to take care of my self. And that is all coping skills or self care is…taking care of yourself.
I feel embarrassment sometimes for getting excited about doing a self care routine because I would sit back and think to myself, “Brittany, this is what a normal person does, they take care of themselves.”
DO NOT be embarrassed. Most adults don’t take care of themselves to be honest. And someone that stays on a self care routine should be respected because it is so hard. If you know someone with a mental illness that seems to be able to keep it all together, that person is KICKING ASS.
I wanted to share with you my top 10 secrets to self care.
These are my personal coping skills that seem to help me get my brain on the right track to be able to function:
1. No matter what SHOWER. I feel like this is something that people seem to forget makes them feel refreshed. People always say, “ah that shower makes me feel better.” Or, “that shower made me feel brand new.” This is why its always a basic first step.
Take a shower and then judge how you feel.
2. Eat. You need 3 meals a day. No matter what. If I do not eat my entire body starts crashing. My anxiety starts ramping up and I get hangry. My boyfriend immediately knows that I need to get something in my stomach.
So my advice is to carry snacks if you are going to miss a meal. Bag of almonds would do great. But do as best as you can not to skip and meals.
3. Find your tv muse. I don’t work well without background noise, I found a lot of success by watching the same show over and over again. All the seasons, back to back. And start again. I recommend this because you will have that noise in the background to work with, some of your favorite voices, favorite episodes (you’ve seen over and over).
In my opinion when I put on The X Files, I can get more work down and stay more focused. Finding a musician that does this for you can work as well.
4. Find a creative hobby. I say this because most of creative hobbies are things that keep your hands busy. You know what they say about idle hands…I have been doing arts and crafts my entire life. I always felt drawn to it and realizing now that it was because of my anxiety at a young age.
The things I use are crocheting, puzzle, make-up application, journaling, Pinterest dinner experimenting and many others. Find something that fits you and stick with it.
5. Open up all the curtains and blinds. I believe that sunlight heals. The sunlight screams FACE THIS DAY NOW. Feel my warmth.
Going outside for a few minutes and actually feeling it is even better. But I know sometimes it starts with just opening up the curtains.
6. TREAT YO SELF. This doesn’t even mean you have to spend money. Paint your nails! Take a bubble bath! Use a bath bomb! Read a book. Go on a hike. Take $5 to the Dollar Tree and buy whatever you want. Try a new recipe.
Treating yourself doesn’t have to mean a shopping spree. Its just doing something special for yourself.
7. Communicate with people. Talk to your friends (ones that you trust of course) about what you are going through.
You’d be surprised how many may tell you, “HEY, I feel the same exact way and this is what I do to help it.” Keep away from people that gaslight you or treat your illness like a thing you should just get over.
8. SLEEP! I go to bed pretty early compared to most people my age. I am literally in bed reading my book by 10 pm. I find that reading before bed helps me to fall asleep.
Now I know that this can be hard for some people. I battled with insomnia and on medication for 14 years before I was able to break it with professional help. My advice is to at least make a schedule to start a bedtime routine at 9 pm.
9. Use a planner. I find that writing down what I need to do during the day can help me a lot. It makes me feel productive and makes me feel better at the end of the day when I look at all I did.
Do not beat yourself up if you miss a week or two. Just make a promise to get back to it. Nobody is perfect. Download a free planner printable from A Mindful Geek here.
10. Practice deep breaths and self talk. I know this can make you feel silly so make sure that you are alone when you practice these. 4 second breath in through the nose, hold for 2 seconds and 4 second exhale.
Talking to yourself can have an awesome effect. It can calm you down and help you realize the reality around you. Your brain can lie and make you think crazy things. Telling yourself OUT LOUD, “It will all be ok, you will do awesome,” kinda tricks your brain into believing it
These are the top 10 things that I have found to help. Some of them may seem like, “DUHHH Brittany.” But many find a lot of these to be kinda difficult even though it makes them feel amazing.
I didn’t read for a whole year. Not a single book but my boyfriends when he asked me to read his first novel. I read that out of love for him (amazing book by the way) not to help me. It was like I was punishing myself by not doing things that I love and make me feel good.
Remember that you matter, you are not alone and by loving yourself you can eventually heal.
Thanks for reading,