This week (Oct. 4-10, 2020) is mental health awareness week. Just thought I’d check in and see, how are you doing? Are you taking care of yourself?
Right now is a crazy time in the world. The coronavirus has everyone extra cautious and anxious. Many who never experienced depression and anxiety are experiencing it. However, those of us who have endured trauma and already have depression and anxiety need to be extra careful right now.
I myself have struggled lately. I went about 3 weeks without doing my 30 minutes a day walking because I was just too tired even right after I got up. I had some days I didn’t shower or do anything but sit in front of the TV. Granted, it’s kind of nice to have some days like that but too many can make you feel worse.
So, what are some ideas to take care of yourself? Here are some things I try to remind myself and do to keep ahead of the depression and anxiety.
- Start your day off with prayer. Even a simple, “Lord, be with me today and guide and direct me.” As you get out of bed. Find a book in the Bible – maybe the Psalms – and read one a day. Doing it at the beginning can help you have it to ponder on the rest of the day. I find my days I set aside to God first thing provide me more energy and lighten my mood.
- Trying to get a good night’s sleep. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. This will get your body into a routine. I know sleep is hard for us, but this routine does help.
- Taking a shower or bath every day. I know this seems crazy but it can make you “feel” more like a real person. I’ve found hot showers in the morning help my muscles from being stiff with the fibromyalgia.
- Getting dressed. Especially right now where many are at home all day this is good to make you feel more accomplished and provide a little energy. This means “real” clothes not PJ’s or sweats. I know they can be more comfortable, but you will most likely get more done if you “get ready” for the day.
- Add some make up, do your hair, or paint your nails. Maybe not every day, but some days this can make you feel a little better about yourself. Not saying that looks are what matters, just that it is a way to care for yourself and treat yourself with kindness.
- If you are working all day, whether it be a job or working on trauma or other commitments, set a time – even the alarm on your phone – to do something for yourself. Have a special snack or meal, or do a craft you enjoy, call a friend, or read a book or magazine you want to read, or watch a sports game. Something for you to look forward to and maybe reward yourself.
- Keep a journal of your emotions, feelings, and whatever is coming up. A place to write down the traumas as they resurface and the feelings and emotions that go with them. A place to write how you are doing, and what you are struggling with. I write in mine at various times throughout the day, but setting a time for this works well too. It gets stuff out of your mind so you have more space and energy for other things.
- Eat well and exercise if you can. Even a slow walk down the sidewalk is better than nothing.
- Keep your therapy appointments. Hopefully you are able to do this right now, whether virtual or in person.
Taking care of yourself is important. Especially for those of us with trauma in our history. Feel free to add additional ideas in the comments.
Hang in there my friends! Many blessings to you!
© 2020 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.