September – Self Care

September – Self Care

September Mental Health Discussion

Self Care & The Shaming That Comes With It

Retrieved from https://www.yourchoicenutrition.com/self-care/

Welcome to our September mental health discussion! This month, I decided to focus on self care and the shaming that can come along with it. For someone suffering with mental illness, putting yourself first is extremely important. How can you take care of others when you can’t even take care of yourself? If you’re not in a good head space, how can you be there emotionally for your friends and family? The answer is, you can’t. Not 100% anyways. So, what is self care? What do you do?

Self care means something different to everyone. So here are a few methods that I have found helpful that may be useful tips to others.

Relaxation techniques

Relaxation can be anything that makes you feel like a weight has been lifted off your chest. For some people, this is something that centers and grounds you such as yoga and meditation. Others may feel relaxed after getting in some exercise (for me, I feel good after boxing and punching something for an hour). Other people may like more of the spa approach; face masks and wine, a nice bubble bath, going for a pedicure by yourself or with a girl friend. Do anything that calms your breathing and clears your mind. Even though this is a temporary solution, I can guarantee you’ll be in a better head space by the time it’s over.

Activities

Having a hobby and something you genuinely enjoy is definitely part of self care. Any sort of creative outlet really can be therapeutic. Whether it be photography, art, knitting, something physical like biking, whatever! Any activity that takes some time out of your day and gives you something to do is so important. This is something you do for YOU and your enjoyment.

Nature

Nature is one of the most helpful things to me personally when I am having a rough patch. Something about the fresh air and picturesque views is so calming to me. Things like hiking and camping really help me ground myself and clear my head. It calms the chaos in my mind and makes my depression get significantly better. I don’t know if it’s the Vitamin D or the silence, but something about it helps me immensely. I seriously suggest day trips into the mountains during your mentally rough times.

Alone Time

Alone time is one of the most important aspects of self care. Sometimes you just need to be alone with your thoughts and take a break from social interactions. Clear your calendar! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, let your friends and family know that you need some time to yourself. Most people are surprisingly understanding about this and encourage you to take care of yourself. Another part of this is unplugging from social media. Turn off your phone or put notifications on silent. You don’t need to see all the negativity that comes with Facebook these days – all the depressing or controversial articles are no good for you for you’re already in a negative head space.

 

The unfortunate thing about self care if that there is a lot of judgement and shame revolved around it. People seem to think that putting yourself first is a selfish thing to do. I completely disagree with that and think the opposite. Self care should be a huge priority. If you’re not taking care of yourself or in a good head space, how can you be equipped to take care of anybody else? It’s really sad to me how much shaming is revolved around self care, especially for parents. There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting yourself first sometimes and do not let anyone tell you differently. If you’re not taking care of yourself and your mental health, you can’t be the best parent. You can’t be capable of being your best self for your child if you don’t take the time to take care of you.

For some reason, in our society, it’s viewed as selfish anytime you do anything for yourself. Whether it’s spending money, taking time for you, deciding to remove someone toxic from your life.. It’s never viewed as necessary or showing strength of character. I’m hoping that the more we decide to lift each other up instead of tear each other down, and put an end to “mom shaming”, this stigma will slowly dissipate. It’s not fair how much we judge each other. You don’t always know what other people are going through and their reasons for needing self care practices, so please take a moment to understand that it’s necessary for such a variety of different reasons.

That’s it for this month! I hope people find this helpful and maybe have been a little enlightened and think of self care in a different way.

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