Self Care: A Mental Health Talk
Hello everyone! From the very beginning, back in 2014, Louise and I always wanted our brand to be so much more than just another online shop. We wanted this to be an online presence that you all can come to see relatable, and uplifting content. That being said, I want to get really real with you all in this post. Let's jump in :)
Mental health. It's an important topic to discuss, and one that should be much less taboo than it is. It feels as though almost everyone you talk to on a personal level these days suffers from some kind of mental illness. Whether that is social anxiety, bipolar disorder, any spectrum of depressive disorder, PTSD, or so much more in between.
What I'd like to talk about today is how we can attempt to pick ourselves up out of the darkest of days. The days where we feel as though our mental illness is about to win the battle. Believe me, I have more of those days than I'd like to admit. I'll be listing what helps me when I'm feeling those really low days, BUT I will also point out that I am not a professional. If you are feeling as though you may harm yourself or others please seek professional help from a doctor, therapist, or reach out to a trusted individual <3
Things that I am able to do when I don't have others around.
- Alone time. As odd as it sounds it's almost relaxing to be left alone. It may also seem corny and over said but, I use this time to run myself the most lavish bath I can and put on youtube videos or movies that I love and reserve for when I need to be lifted up.
Books are my favorite outlet. Escaping into a world that's not my own? Sounds perfect, and if I'm really into a fiction book it gives me the perfect excuse to have a good cry. I always feel better after. I've also discovered recently that I find poetry really relaxing. My current obsession is the book "The Sun and Her Flowers" by Rupi Kaur. It makes me feel less alone reading such emotion-filled words of others experiencing what I am, and it documents her journey through her struggles. It gives me hope that there are better days ahead. I've also really enjoyed small self-reflection style books that are easy to get through and aren't too cheesy. I was recently gifted a book called "In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It" by Lauren Graham, and I would recommend that to EVERYONE.
- Walking my dog. It's something that's productive as well as cathartic. It gets me outside in nature, which is so so good for your mental health, and my dog loves me even more for it. After she's usually so tuckered out and just wants to lay down and cuddle. Pet cuddles are another perfect cure for sad days.
Things that others can do to help
- Communication is key. If you trust the people you surround yourself with then you should be able to speak to them about what you're struggling through. No matter how small and infantile what triggered you is they'll understand and want to help. You should never feel like you have to wade through your depression, anxiety, or whatever your mental illness may be, alone. I am forever grateful for the encouraging and uplifting friends I am lucky enough to surround myself with, and I hope you reading this, are lucky to have people like that in your life. And if not, I'm always here to lend a listening ear for you!
- Fun times! Depression and anxiety may cause you to think that no one wants to spend time with you so why bother even leaving your house at all? When I'm in that low of a mental state I will still force myself out of the house. I've experienced enough to know that I've never regretted doing so. I may start off quiet, more subdued, and feel like I don't want to be there, but that all changes with time. I find myself laughing and actually enjoying my time out of the house. More often than not I come home with a completely happier outlook than when I left.
Depression and anxiety are not things about myself I talk about often, but it's something I'm coming to terms with. The reality of what we go through is so much more than most know, and may not be cured with anything I mentioned above, and that's okay too. I know that a lot of what I talked about seems silly and basic, but it's what I found can help me make my days easier. I also understand that depression is a monstrous beast that makes even the simplest tasks in life seem daunting and impossible. My solution for you when things get to THAT point is just to make small accomplishments into very big victories.
Did you shower today? Yeah? WOW, YOU'RE AMAZING! Did you accomplish everything on your to-do list?? No? That's alright, you accomplished some, and HEY, you got out of bed and that's AMAZING! Things like that will make the most difference. Small accomplishments are still accomplishments, and should be treated as such! The most important thing I've learned is to give yourself a break. Change won't happen overnight, and you may always struggle, but if you can recognize what makes the struggle a little more bearable then well, that's something.
I hope this was helpful for some of you, and if you ever want to discuss mental illness feel free to message me! And comment below if you like this more personal kind of posts!