Self-care can be challenging at the best of times, but especially when you already don’t feel well, it can feel borderline on asking the impossible.
It isn’t impossible. But the point is: you have to start somewhere. Doesn’t matter where it is. But in this case something is always better than nothing and being where you are is not where you want to be. So just…. Start. One step at a time, one day at a time. Be where you are and be satisfied in that for today.
Here are some suggestions – feel free to adapt or use as they suit you….
Support is important. When its not there you really know. So ask for support when you need it but also just be aware….That only you can do some of these things.
The key issue is to set a routine and stick to it. If you have the idea that ‘I’ll do it when I feel like it/ if I need to’ – you’ll never do it. Don’t wait until you feel terrible and aren’t coping to start thinking about integrating these things. If you do them when you are still feeling all right they’ll help you when things get hard. But if it’s hard to start and integrate some activities when you are well…. How hard is it going to be when you feel dreadful? That’s an easy answer: really hard, and you wont do it. Open the door now and it will be easier when and if you do need to.
Sleep. This is, quite simply, vital. I don’t like numbered lists as a general rule, but this is absolutely number one. Regular sleep, regular times, as much as you can. Aim for before 11pm: it’s the most efficient time for REM cycle sleep. Everything will go downhill if this does.
Good nutrition! Whole, non-packaged foods are honestly the best thing you can do for your body and mind right now. Proteins, especially eggs have some vital amino acids and have been shown as highly effective for the reduction of anxiety symptoms. Diet plays an enormous role in mental health (many studies have proven this) and the short term feel good of whatever junk food you eat now is really going to punish you later. And eat regularly. Low blood sugar is really going to set you on a downward spiral.
Exercise is vital, not an optional extra. Go for a walk, find a yoga class, or get back to the touch football (or whatever) class you usually do. This is not about finding something that’s hard to push yourself to do: it only matters that you find something out of your house and work environment that you enjoy that involves being in your body and getting grounded.
Get Acupuncture! The reasons and benefits should be obvious if you’ve made it this far on this website ☺
On that note: find a good Therapist or Body worker. Someone who helps you get grounded and centred in your body again, who you can trust and feel safe with. There are many good therapists (in many fields) out there and sometimes it can take a bit of searching….. but the effort is more than worth it.