December was NOT a self care month. I was physically sick, which brought my mental health down, though I did try and take care of myself. I did get so stressed out though before Christmas, trying to get my own gifts sorted and worried that they are inadequate, trying to shop with and for others, meeting people, organising surprises, trying to keep everyone but myself happy and of course failing to succeed on that. This Christmas is probably one of the first I have not enjoyed in a long time. Full of anxiety and stress, I’ve felt lonely despite having people nearby, had a constant hum of anxiety in my chest, which swells up when I least expect it.
One thing that has kept me afloat is Vlogmas. Not me doing it, I don’t know if I’d ever have the courage to start a YouTube account. But I really enjoyed watching some of my favourite YouTubers do Vlogmas, especially Rosianna’s. To watch someone be so frank at times about her feelings but also see her trying to care and look out for herself helped me big time. On Day 4, she describes waking up and feeling depressed and decides to be nice to herself. Rosianna goes on to describe 4 things she keeps on a post-it note to help with self care (1. Have a meal 2. Drink a glass of water 3. Have a shower 4. Go outside) and if she does these 4 things, it makes her feel like she has some control of her life and even thinking about the post-it note helps distract her from negative feelings and sets some easy tasks for her to accomplish. This has been on my mind since watching that video and I really like that idea, I’m going to have a think for a post-it note of my own, something that will help ground me when I feel like I’m spiralling out of control with anxiety.
During Blog Every Day in November, I made some self care pledges and this slipped away out of my mind. Being sick, I barely left the house, so I haven’t had a chance to be more active. I’ve barely seen friends either (partly from being sick, partly from being anxious and partly because plans just didn’t work out). I haven’t enjoyed crafting that much, mainly because I was trying to get things finished and stressing out over that. The only thing has been enjoying the small things. And not a conscious effort either, but just when they’ve cropped up. Enjoying time with the cats, planning on my reading year for next year, listening to rain. Again I want to spend time for the rest of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 making an effort on these pledges.
Spending time with one of the cats back home!Part of me feels ridiculous that I feel like this. That I have so much to be grateful for and I do know this, deep down I do. But this year has been such a rollercoaster, a shitty rollercoaster. I could name more bad than good I think, though I won’t. I want to concentrate on the good. My friends, who I know are frustrated by me but are still supportive. My boyfriend, who feels helpless when he sees me struggling but tries his best and has stuck by me for 10 whole years. My family, who have all helped in their own small ways, even if they don’t know how bad I feel (or maybe they do!). 2015 is almost over and I'm so glad. I have a lot to look forward to in 2016 and hopefully it was overshadow 2015. This hadn’t intended to be a post like this, of reflections and plans for the future but I suppose it does fit under self care!
In the vein of Rosianna’s video, I’d love for people to comment below with any self care tips they have. I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays) and that you have a fantastic New Year as well. Here’s to taking care of ourselves!