My last blog post was all about things I’m looking forward to in an effort to combat my depression, and I realised that writing these things down is actually a really useful way of:
- Making some sense of my jumbled up thoughts
- Having a place to refer to the good things going on!
So I decided to do something similar again, but this post is going to be all about self-care.
‘Self-Care’ can be anything from getting washed or eating to reading a book or taking a walk. It’s things that you can do yourself – and obviously, this is specific to each and every individual person. You shouldn’t feel bad if you aren’t able to do the same things as others without help.
When I say ‘self-care’, I mean the little things I try to do when my depression starts to get the better of me. They’re things that help me, and I think that as long as I’m getting a moment of relief then they don’t have to make sense to everyone. They’re not always possible, and they won’t work or apply to everyone; they might not even make sense to half of you. I’m not even able to do all of them myself sometimes – but I’ve found that they give me a moment of relief, whether it be 5 minutes or an hour, so here are some of my methods and tips:
My partner was the one who first suggested grounding to me. I can get quite restless, distressed and overwhelmed by all the excess energy I can feel building up because I don’t feel well enough to go out and use it. Grounding shakes off that excess energy and allows me to dispel the negative energy I’m harbouring. It’s usually a technique used before practicing magick, but I’ve found that keeping my energy in check as often as possible helps me in my day-to-day life.
Everybody has different techniques for grounding, and you don’t have to worry that you’re not doing it “the proper way” – there isn’t a proper way.
- Making a different kind of tea
Anybody who has ever met me is probably aware that I drink a lot of tea. A lot of tea. I’ve been trying to cut down this year, but honestly, Yorkshire Tea is my downfall. However, I’ve found that just shaking things up a little by switching what kind of tea I am drinking can help me feel refreshed. I don’t mean switching to Tetley (ugh…), I mean drinking a different kind of tea.
I hate green tea. I just do not have a taste for it. However, I do enjoy a cup of Earl Grey sometimes, and I adore Chai tea. I’ve also discovered that I actually can manage and enjoy a cup of Twinings Salted Caramel Green Tea, but that’s as far as I’ve managed to wander into the world of green teas thus far.
Changing what kind of tea I’m drinking is a quick way to pull me out of that stale mental rut I’ve been in, and considering I drink a lot of tea and it doesn’t take much effort to put a different tea bag in the mug, it’s an especially handy one.
- Taking a shower/bath
Oh, now this is one that I’ll admit I can struggle with. Sometimes, pulling yourself into the shower is a really huge and exhausting task. However, I’ve found that when I can manage it, just getting clean can help me feel a bit more ready to go back out into the world anew. I don’t have a bath in my flat, but I’ve noticed recently that whenever I’m at mum’s I’m taking baths instead of showers. Being able to relax for an hour (likely with one of the Lush bath bombs I’ve hoarded there) can really make a difference.
- Going for a walk
If I’m feeling well enough to get out, then I like to be out as much as possible. It’s not that I always want to be doing something, but if the weather is nice then I feel a lot better taking a walk in it than I do staring out the window (which can make me feel even worse). It’s not always a long walk, but it helps. I live in the middle of the city at the moment, so often it’s just walking into town to buy some more toothpaste or whatever necessity I’ve run out of, but I take what I can.
- Going somewhere quiet (e.g. museum)
This, admittedly, isn’t one I do very often. It’s more of a summer thing. Liverpool has multiple museums, but my favourite will always be the museum most closely associated with my childhood, the Liverpool World Museum. It has everything! An aquarium floor, those draws you can open and look at fossils, dinosaurs, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, science… it’s also an 8-minute-walk from my flat, so it’s perfect.
I’m also a fan of the Walker Art Gallery, but I always feel a bit more pressured to act like I have a lot of deep thoughts about the paintings. In the museum it feels alright to look at a big dinosaur, nod, and state, “Cool.”
I’m interested to hear any self-care tips or tricks any of you have found work for you! Leave a comment, and feel free to follow me on my new twitter account, created specifically for blogging purposes, @kittypann!