I want to apologize for this post coming so late. It’s been a challenging day for the creature that is my brain to focus on anything for too long a time. In case you missed it, or you’re a new visitor (HI!), I’m participating in the 30 day Mental Cleanse Challenge in which I do a pre-planned self care activity every day and then share it with you!
I’ve actually practiced a lot of self-care today! It was a rainy, windy, damp, and chilled day; so I stayed in most of the day and enjoyed some delicious Chocolate Chai Adagio Tea.
This is not, nor will it ever be, a product blog – but this stuff is REALLY good, and one of my absolute best friends does artwork for their “Fandom” line – so I like to support them and give a shout out every now and then!
I saw my doctor this morning and the appointment went really well! Given all the issues I’ve been having and continue to have with getting into psychiatric services, he finally agreed to fill my RXs for a month! (As opposed to me needing to go to the pharmacy every few days.) Sometimes, you’ve got to take your small victories where you can. I am optimistic that, very soon, I’ll actually be connected to the care team I was supposed to have when I left the Intensive Outpatient Program! Tomorrow is my first appointment with my new therapist, so I’m feeling a little nervous about that, but I’m cautiously hopeful that it will go well.
After the errand-running, I stretched out on comfy blankets on my living room floor and listened to some of my favorite music through headphones.
This is an underrated self-care technique, I think. Being immersed in the beautiful complexity of a song you love, hearing nothing but the layers of instruments and vocals, and relaxing is probably one of the best feelings in the world (at least if you love music). I don’t get to do it often, but my daughter is with her father today, so I just locked the door and actually allowed myself to kick back a little.
WHILE ALL OF THESE ACTIVITIES ARE GREAT “CHECK MARKS” IN THE SELF CARE COLUMN, NONE OF THEM REFLECT MY ACTUAL SELF CARE GOAL FOR THE DAY.
I have a list called “50 Things to Do, Become, or Be.” It’s like a bucket list, but more directed and coherent. While some items on my list are decidedly “traditional” bucket list things – like go to Hawaii, learn to SCUBA dive, go to Vancouver see wild Orcas, and take a cross-country road trip – most of them actually pertain to the kind of person I want to be.
Each column tends to be interconnected and can even help with “action steps” to reach some of those bigger dreams. For example, I have always hoped to be a published author. I want to “Be” creative, I want to “Become” unrestrained by anxiety, I want to “Do” more writing courses. Each of these aspirations work together, as you can see.
Now, I’m not one for “goal setting.” I think that it tends to get overwhelming and fuel anxiety and then depression/ self-loathing if the goal isn’t met. So this list is more a general outline of the things I’d like to be and do in this world.
I did not learn this idea in structured treatment; however, I did learn it while in the hospital. Another patient, who has become a close friend of mine, shared it with me. It’s a distraction from depression and anxiety. It’s a tangible list of things to which I aspire. On the really bad days, it could be called “50 Reasons to Keep Fighting”, and on the good days, it’s inspiration.
My goal today was to “check off” one item on my list. Most of the things on my list are sort of on-going. It’s a living document, I suppose. Always subject to change and adjustments and, when I’m stable and doing well, it’s more a tool to check my perceptions and see how I’m doing actually “living life” instead of just “surviving”.
Today, I took tangible steps toward reaching some of the things I want to Do, Become, or Be. I signed up for a free 12 day course on writing called The Writer’s DNA, which is proving to be very interesting and insightful so far (I’m finished lesson One of Seven). And, I actually did a pretty good job eating healthy food today as one thing I hope to Become more physically fit to enable me to Do things like go on more hikes. (Seroquel sucks for weight gain and it’s been a pretty big struggle of mine over the past month – so I’m trying to do what I can to lessen that particular side effect.)
So, that’s been my day in self-care. How did you do today? Did you do something fun? Something relaxing? Something to keep yourself safe/ self-soothe if it’s been a particularly rough one? What do you think about this “Ultimate Bucket List”? I’d love to hear about your day and your thoughts on this little self-care tool!