Self-care is one of the many things the older generations look down upon. To them, this concept is nothing but selfishness, an excuse for us to indulge ourselves in our vices without being guilty, which is not the cases. Self-care is any activity that we deliberately do in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Even when it is a simple concept in theory, it’s something most of us overlook most of the time.
In one of my previous posts, I shared how I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder. I have also shared how I initially refused therapy because of the stigma. In this post, I will share several things that have become part of my routine for me to take care of myself.
Getting Coffee. Enjoying a cup of coffee, hot or iced, is the simplest form of self-care I have. People say caffeine helps you regulate your chemicals in your body, and I sure agree with that. Even if that is a myth, at least with a cup of coffee, everything is more tolerable and less burdensome.
Working Out. I have been going to the gym since February, and it has helped me reduce my stress and anxiety levels. I know there is a very scientific explanation about physical activities regulating our hormones, at the same time, I am not really sure how that works. Instead, to me, it keeps me busy and takes my mind of things that can trigger me from being anxious or depressed. It also makes me happy how I have lost weight and I have started gaining muscles. Other than my mental health being affected, I have become much healthier than I have ever been.
Journaling. Since my friends have introduced me to bullet journaling, it has become one distraction I have from the stressors of my daily life. It also helps me keep track of my activities, my timeline, and my mental and emotional state. I record certain things that have triggered me so I can identify them more easily in the future. It also helps me ensure I don’t miss appointments and medications.
Hanging Out with Friends. Spending time with people who care about you and whom you care about is probably one of the best self-care activity you can have. My friends and I normally decide to go out on a weekend (even when we spend Mondays to Fridays together at work) for some simple activities like dining out, watching a movie at home, going to the cinema, or simply to play board-games. Being surrounded by people who care and understand is the best time spent ever. I am glad I have friends who are sincere and who actually make the effort to involve me in their weekends.
Creating Playlists. One thing I do most of the time is listen to music, and I also like discover new songs and artists that I can binge listen to. Other than those, I have been creating playlists for my friends to listen to. I constantly update and curate those playlists whenever I am in the mood or whenever I discover new songs and artists. Sharing these playlists with my friends help me feel better about everything else. It is also one way for me to show how I value our relationship. A simple love language.
Binge-Watching Netflix. This is one thing I seldom do since I cannot find the time to actually insert the doing this with my daily routines. Most of the time, during weekends, when I don’t feel like going out, I normally rewatch old TV series just to help me feel happy. Rewatching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Modern Family, Dragon Prince, and many more bring back happy memories. It is also one way for me to cure boredom without bothering anyone.
Spending Time with Gizmo. Although Gizmo is a bit elusive, I have been spending time with him whenever I am home. Simple cuddles and playful tags in our room helps me relieve my stress. Whenever needed, bathing and grooming Gizmo also helps me become more calm and relaxed.
Reading Books. Although I haven’t spent too much time reading books, it still helps me think better when I get anxious or whenever I get panic attacks. Reading books helps me deviate my attention from the anxiety triggers to something soothing, entertaining, or amusing. Every now and then, I read a page or two from a trivia book to help me relax whenever I find myself having difficulty in breathing.
There are several other things that I do for self-care. I sometimes take a time off from work when things become heavy. I also take a trip to my therapist to ensure that I am in track in my journey toward wellness. I also sometimes reward myself by buying myself new things (shirts, socks, shorts, etc.) to remind me I have been doing well. My list can go on, and that will be too much.
Despite what people may say about it, I encourage everyone to do what you think is necessary for your self-care. Take a time off, buy yourself gifts, watch a movie, eat out. Anything. So long as it makes you better. Even when people will be there to take care of you, that’s for sure, and taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. After all, self-care is self-love.