Self –Care Q &A/Tag
The final response is from the lovely Will. It’s crazy to think that this is the 10th week in a row where I have been fortunate enough to post one a week to complete the series. You can find Will on Twitter and on his website. Let’s get into it!
1. How do you know when you are in need of some self-care?
W: I have times when everything I can think of that I must do feels hopeless, or overwhelming. I begin to instinctively search for a reason as to why I feel that way, and naturally begin to criticize myself for being weak or pathetic. It took a long time, but now when I start thinking that way, I take a step back from my thoughts and tell myself I need to seek distraction and some kind of comfort.
2. Once you are aware that you need to take care of yourself, do you usually do so alone or do you have someone you can go to when you need some TLC?
I have rarely been fortunate enough to have someone to whom I can turn when I need some self-care. And when I have grown close enough to someone that I try to share those feelings with them, it is all the more painful when they leave me. I would love to feel that I can depend on someone, but after a series of losses in that department, most of which I don't really understand, I find that it's safest for me to take care of myself alone. I do find that I feel safest and calmest when I can be alone during times when I need to self-care.
3. Do you find it hard to make time for yourself?
I am a carer for my mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease about 15 months ago. As such, I do find it almost impossible to make time for myself. Furthermore, when I do manage to get some alone time or leave the house for a while, I find I am constantly worrying about her and feel a pull to return home and make sure everything is ok.
4. Is there anything that gets in the way of your “me” time/disrupts it (for me: noises outside can put me on edge or if other people are home I need to be mindful of how long I take, say, in the shower)?
My mum is an obvious thing that makes it difficult, but I find that other people in general disrupt my "me" time. I've always been the person that people come to for support/advice - the big brother, the carer, the mature friend - I am afraid to ever talk for more than a few moments about myself. As such, I internalise a lot, which I know is unhealthy, but I genuinely feel like I have no choice but to do that. I do enjoy taking time alone to slow down my thoughts, but really I think having someone I felt I could depend on would be the best thing that could happen to me. Sadly, I think it's just science fiction for me - I don't have a clue how to find that person.
5. Do you ever feel guilty for having “me” time?
All the time. I know that all of my family are having difficulties, and it seems I am the only person who can help, so when I take time for myself I am letting them down.
6. Do you schedule in “me” time or do you “go with the flow”/only take “me” time when you feel you need it?
I do try to fit in some "me" time every day, but often it is just the period of time that I lay in bed before falling asleep. I often find that to be the worst time for depressive thoughts to get the better of me, as I am alone with just them.
7. Is there a self-care routine that you try to follow?
No, I have had routines in the past that often turned into something akin to rituals. They often become quite time consuming and impractical, so I try to avoid those kinds of routines now.
8. When you feel down/not like your usual self; what do you do to cheer yourself up (hobbies, being with loved ones etc)?
I like to write, or to make music, when I'm not feeling myself - I find my creativity peaks when depression takes hold (unless it grips me particularly powerfully, in which case I become very unproductive). I also like to try and exercise, or meditate. I don't find loved ones to be helpful; in fact, I've found on numerous occasions that when I reveal that side of myself, people back away from me. So I try not to let it show anymore, because nothing hurts more than exposing your vulnerability and being rejected.
9. Do you have any mantras that you say to yourself as a pick me up or on a daily basis?
To be honest, the most effective mantra I can say to myself is "f*ck it!" And "it will pass". If I can convince myself that things don't matter as much as my depressed self thinks they do, and that the bad feeling will pass, then I can usually ride it out.
10. Finally; do you have any self-care tips for anyone who might be reading this?
You are beautiful, and you are special. You are braver than any 'normal' person out there, and you are not the only person who feels the way you do. Have courage, and be aware that your mental health condition is the thing that makes you special, as much as it makes you suffer. What you see as your flaws are merely details that make you the perfect 'you', and no-one is better at being you! Please try to let people know bout how you feel as soon as possible; the longer you hold it inside, the worse it will get, and the harder it will be to communicate it with people. And do a little bit of research about 'Indigo Children' - maybe you're one!
~ We are at the end of this run of responses. It’s been a fun run and hopefully I’ll be back with some more in the new year! I did originally have 15 people interested in posting responses but I’m still waiting on them getting back to so thought it best to stop after 10 and then pick it back up again later when I have x amount more.
If you decide to use this, please let me know first and give credit. There’s nothing worse than finding out something that you worked really hard on has been taken and uncredited, sometimes even plagiarised.
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