You can find countless self care posts on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, but something that has come to the forefront for me is: when you actually need self care, it’s incredibly difficult to do. When life is a little tough, it’s easy enough to take some time and take care of yourself. When you have no idea what life even constitutes, doing one tiny thing, no matter what it is, feels like a mountain. These are the tiny ways that you can take care of yourself to make everything a teeny bit easier, that can help add a little bit of energy to your battery without using energy in the process.
1. Drink Water
Some people will comfort eat when they are in crisis mode, some will avoid food; I fall into the latter category. My friends and parents are wonderful are reminding me to eat and making sure that there is something that I might feel like eating around. However, it’s very easy to forget to continually drink water. (Especially not good for you when you are crying throughout the day.) I treated myself to a Liberty London X Swell water bottle to remind myself to drink more water. Normally I am quite hesitant to drop $50+ CAD on a water bottle, but given the rough patch I find myself in, it is a nice reminder to be nice to myself. (The lovely associate at Starbucks actually gave it to me for the USD price, $41.95, so I did save some.)
2. Take Care of Your Skin
Make up is not happening right now, because staring at myself in a mirror for 10+ minutes is in no way a possibility. However, as destroyed as I feel on the inside, I don’t want that to show on my skin. My parents were lovely and got me the Clinique Moisture Surge Dewy Delights set– there is a travel size Moisture Surge Moisturiser, as well as the Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate, the Face Spray, and Overnight Mask. I live in a place where it reaches -40°C and colder (that’s -40°F and colder for people in the US), so at the best of times, your skin takes a beating in the winter. Given that I’m not really sleeping and I’m all over the place, taking a few moments to ensure my skin has the moisture it needs makes a big difference in how I feel.
3. Gentle Stretching
I’ve essentially done nothing other than stay curled in a ball for a month now, and believe it or not, your body doesn’t particularly appreciate that. I’m hoping to be back into yoga sometime by the end of the month, but at the moment, it allows for far too much thinking. Doing some gentle stretching is a nice way to loosen everything up, and I can put on Superstore or Elementary to keep my mind occupied at the time. When you are curled up, it is easy to miss how much pain you are physically in, and that doesn’t help your mental state in the least.
4. Give Yourself Some Leeway
I typically believe in holding yourself accountable for things. However, in the last month, I’ve had to learn to give myself a little bit of leeway and grace. There are countless triggers for me: baseball, travel, pugs, airports, certain movies, books, pieces of clothing, Washington/Seattle, Dublin, pictures, certain foods, the list continues on. Any of these things can reduce me to tears, questioning myself. While I’m trying my hardest to be as strong as I can and remember that soon enough I will have my westie to love, I’m also trying to not beat myself up for being hurt and sad and confused and lonely. I know it will take me months to find myself and figure out who I am, and pushing myself down is only going to make that take longer.
At one point, I hiked mountains. I try to remind myself of that.
Although it’s difficult to show yourself any sort of love at the tough times in life, you have to start somewhere. Even though it doesn’t necessarily make a difference at that exact moment, the logical part of my brain is finally starting to creep in remind me that these things will make a difference in the long run.