Knowledge · Mental Health · Wellness

Self care?

So far my 20’s have been a mess, in the sense that the transition from living under the guidance and authority of my parents, to being completely my own person. Recently, I’ve hit a wall and come to some hard realizations: I have absolutely no skills in self care. I have no idea when to take a break, when to let things go, when to put myself first, or even what taking care of myself feels like.

I have a habit of imploding when things go bad, and instead of taking time to get trough it, I distract myself with everything and everything. This just leads to me burning out and bottling up the original problems, which is not super healthy. So, instead of continuing down this path and sulking about it, I’m deciding to research, speaking to loved ones, and figuring out how the fuck to be 22.

I need to figure out self care. This may sound silly, because some of you may have developed these skills when you were 5, but I’m realizing it’s okay to learn things later in life!

Step 1: What is self care?

I see people talking about self care days/routines. What does this even mean? When do you do this? What do I do? Well it’s different for everyone.

Self care for one person may not work for another, and that’s okay! Self care is about putting yourself first, and letting yourself grow and breathe.

For some people, that is bath bombs, a good book, and some alone time.

For others, it’s catching up with a loved one you haven’t seen in a while, and journaling your thoughts.

For me, I still don’t quite know yet, but realizing I need to find out is the first step!

Step 2: What makes you happy?

For the next week I’m going to write down things that make me feel good, and sift through and find ones that I can easily do when I’m not feeling great.

Example: Walks usually help me clear my head. I love to be in nature, and to even photograph it. So nature walks and photography can definitely be on that list.

Keep doing this until you have 5/6 items on your list, (which forces you to be creative and think deep), and then pick your top 3.

Step 3: When the heck do you use self care?

This is the hard one for me. I feel like I don’t deserve to take care of myself, or I need to take care of someone else. Well just like they say on airplanes: “secure your oxygen mask before assisting someone else”. How can you expect to be there for someone else if you’re a mess yourself?

It’s frickin hard I know, but you deserve to be happy, too; I promise.

To figure this one out, I thought back to the times I felt the worst:

  • Arguments with loved ones, whether parents, friends, significant others, etc. This is when I’d feel the most emotionally out of control and depressed.
  • When I’m on my period, o tend to feel really low energy, low mood. I know that this is a symptom of this time of the month, but I tend to convince myself that it’s just me and not what’s going on in my body. Big mistake! Don’t underestimate your hormones.
  • When a traumatic experience happens, whether a death, break up, loss of job, etc. These times are hard, and you need to be there for yourself more than ever.
  • When I’m overly stressed out about school or work I tend to feel really bad.
  • Some days, there is no reason. Some days I just wake up and feel like shit, and THAT’S OKAY TOO!
  • Your answers may be the exact same or different, but it’s important to think back to the times you’ve felt the worst. This is when you need self care the most.

Step 4: Remember!

You don’t have to be at your worst to practice self care, this is just the most important time to have these skills!
Sometimes it’s good to take care of yourself on a regular basis REGARDLESS of how you’re feeling.

Also remember that you deserve self care and love just as much as anyone else. You are human; you make mistakes.

Step 5: Is that it?

Pretty much. Sounds easy, right? Well it’s not going to be easy, but we have to try and stick with it. Whatever helps you stick to self care, use it.

I have a hard time doing things for myself because of my insecurities and self doubt, I tell myself I don’t deserve it. What is helping me is telling myself that I’m doing it for those around me. It is important, though, for me to teach myself that at the end of the day, it is for myself, too.

This was a hard thing to open up about because it’s pretty embarrassing to say at 22 I have no idea how to take care of myself. Realizing this is the first step. Then to act on it, and to continue to act on it.

We will get there. ♥️

xo,

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Mental Health · Wellness

3 coping methods for anxiety and panic that actually work for me!

Box breathing?

Meditation?

Standing in the grass?

These methods may work for you, but they don’t work for me,  and that’s okay! Different things work for different people, and I hope someone else out there finds use and comfort from the techniques that work for me.

“The 5 senses”

For this method to work the best, it is important that you are saying these sentences out loud, and actually sensing your surroundings. For touch? Actually feel the objects. For smell? Actually smell the scents you are talking about. Say it to yourself and listen.
1. First, sit or stand up so you can see your entire room.
2. “What are 5 things that I can see?” Colours, objects, people, etc.
3. “What are 4 things that I can touch?” Actually touch and feel these things.
4. “What are 3 things I can hear?”
5. “What are 2 things you can smell?”
6. “What is 1 thing you can taste?”

When you focus on your senses, and show yourself that they are working properly, it can work wonders to take over your anxiety and be comforting. This method can help to ground you.

“Tell someone”

As an extrovert, sometimes I can’t process the thoughts in my head until I get them out. When you are in a crazy cycle of anxiety and your mind is going a mile a minute, it can be impossible to process your thoughts. Having both of these things happen at once? Implosion waiting to happen.

Therefore, something that really helps me is to talk to someone I love and trust. Lately, my boyfriend is the master of this role. Now all I have to say is “I’m feeling very anxious,” or “why am I so anxious,” and he gets the hint and helps me sort out my thoughts.

its amazing what hearinngnyour own thoughts can do. Say what your anxious about, and try and put it into words.  It will probably sound silly but that’s the point. Allow yourself to feel silly; it will help ground you!

“HALT”

I actually found this method by watching Jane the Virgin. Who would of thought, hey?
Anyways, HALT is an acronym that stands for: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. This method takes a little bit of time and effort to work because you have to remind yourself that it exists when you need it most.
I recommend writing “HALT” on sticky notes around your house to remind you when you are first starting out.

Really all you need to do is say “HALT” for a second when you’re feeling hopeless and/or anxious, and ask yourself, what am I feeling right now? Am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?

These are the major causes of stress and anxiety, and 9.9 times out of 10 are a contributing factor to why you’re feeling emotionally out of control.

While it may not be 100% responsible, it definitely helps ground you, and being comfort knowing that anxiety is a symptom of other factors.

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Most times, I’m just stressed about something, and this stress is allowing all of my rationality to exit my mind. Sometimes just taking my focus off of what I’m worried about can fix everything.

While these strategies may not work for everyone, they really work for me. I hope that someone can add one of these tools to their “toolbox”, and can get some relief when feeling anxious.

xo,

A3D7EE3D-F666-4772-AE13-C37CADDE24A6

Wellness

“Mercury in Retrograde”??

What the heck does that mean?? I’m here to help!

What does Retrograde mean?

“Retrograde” is actually an optical illusion! It happens when there is a change in the motion of a planet through our skies. It may look like they are moving backwards in their orbit, but this is not the case.

On any normal day, planets are moving in a “prograde” motion from west to east through our skies, but a “retrograde” motion is when they are moving east to west, or backwards, periodically. Like I said before, this is just an illusion.

For example, if Mars is in “prograde”, then “retrograde”, then “prograde”, etc., this illusion is caused because Earth is moving faster in its orbit than is Mars. So while we are behind Mars in orbit, it will appear to be going forwards, and as we pass, it will appear to be going backwards.

Why should I care?

As explained by Sara Coughlin from refinery29, “retrogrades can be a time of delayed progress and disruption”, and each planet can affect us in a different way.

Examples being Mercury affecting our communication with others, Venus, our love lives, and Mars, everything related to conflict.

Summer 2018 is a big year for retrogrades, as there are 7 happening! That is a lot of disruption in our day to day lives.

Over the last few months, you may have been feeling like you can’t do anything right. Heightened frustration, anxiety, depression, etc. Just remember that the stars could be contributing more than you’re giving them credit for.

What can I do about it?

Whether or not you believe in the affects of the stars and planets, just remember to be patient with yourself and others, and focus on your communication.

1. Take everything one day at time: Take breaks when you need to. It’s okay to sit a social event out of yours not feeling yourself.

2. Talk to your support system: Others may be experiencing the same feelings as you, and it’s really nice not to feel alone.

3. Research: I don’t know about you, but one thing that helps me feel more at ease is to understand what I’m going through, and why I’m feeling the way I do. I hope this post helped your understanding of retrogrades at least a little bit.

We are all on this together.

xo,

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