I think this is a good time to talk about coping.
Recently, I have found myself with a lack of energy. Not only in pursuing my passions, but in motivation for taking care of myself. I figured when this first started, it was just writer’s block. It’s been about a month since I felt this way – and while some of my passions are starting to come back to me, it is difficult finding any energy at all to care for myself. By that, I mean I have very little drive to shower, brush my teeth, brush my hair, drink enough water – things like that.
There isn’t a reason in particular that I can think of as to why I feel this way. As someone who suffers from Generalized Anxiety, I am used to not having a clue as to why I feel anxious. So, when these feelings came around more intensely – I was concerned. I also want to make it clear that I want to take care of myself. I know that I need too, and I want to do it – but I can’t. I find even trying to move my body towards the shower is like a workout. Changing, brushing my hair, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving, drying off, and redressing? Instead of thinking of it as just taking a shower, now I’m stuck thinking about all of the little steps and how exhausting it is.
I’ve been prescribed wellbutrin – which helps with energy and depression; I’ve been taking it for about a week now. I was told the energy aspect of it was going to work immediately, but the anti depression wouldn’t work for about a month. I hope that at the end of the month, I won’t feel the way I’ve been feeling anymore. All of this, mixed with COVID-19 and family matters – has left me in desperate need for self-care and coping mechanisms. I wanted to share some of those tips with you today.
- Do something halfway.
What I mean by this is that if something seems too exhausting, try and half-ass it. When I can’t even begin to think of getting dressed, I will change my shirt but keep my pajama shorts on. I’ll put my hair in a bun instead of styling it, or I’ll make my bed instead of cleaning my entire room. Doing something halfway has been beneficial for me personally because it shows my brain that I am capable of doing something, even when I feel like doing nothing.
I know journaling isn’t for everyone, but I’ve found it helpful. I have been journaling in two forms. In the first form, I call it my To-Do List. I have a bullet journal that I have a to-do list for the day in, and this is also where I include my mood as well as how I felt about the day, and something I want to change moving forward. My second journal is actually in Amanda Lovelace’s Slay Those Dragons. This is a journal designed to help you write your own story. In this case, I’m using it to write simple three stanza poems about my day. Obviously, this can be done differently depending on the person. I use this to express more of my feelings, while my To-Do list is my logic.
I want to start this by saying that self-care and self-soothing are two very different things. Self-soothing is doing something in the moment to help with your feelings, while self-care is working towards a goal in the long run. Self-soothing can be incredibly helpful when you’re feeling anxious or flustered. For me, my self-soothing is spending money. This doesn’t help me in the long run, but when I look at my bookshelves stacked up with books I have yet to read, I feel better. I have a friend who self-soothes by ordering clothes online, and another who buys their favorite snacks. Self-soothing is a short term solution to a long-term problem, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t helpful.
I preach self-care too much for someone who doesn’t practice it much themselves. Self-care is incredibly important though. Self-care is doing things that take care of your body and mind. This falls under the umbrella of taking a shower, pursuing hobbies, making/going to doctor’s appointments when needed, getting the recommended amount of sleep you need, and also putting aside time to socialize. When I’m having trouble with self-care (since it is taking care of yourself), I try and do one of the following: socialize or do something that makes me happy. I have some incredible friends in my life, and whenever I’m down and need to talk about something they’re always there. It’s great to have this because for a long time I was the ‘therapist’ friend. If you aren’t familiar with that, it’s when friends talk to you about their problems consistently without giving you a break or an opportunity to talk as well. My closest friends are so kind and respectful of these boundaries that talking to them helps lift my spirits, even just a tiny bit, when I’m in my worst states.
I hope you have found some of these tips helpful, and if you have any other tips be sure to leave them in the comments down below!