Take Care of Yourself

Today was just one of those days. As soon as I woke up, I could tell something wasn’t right. I felt uneasy and unsettled, like at any second I was going to burst into tears. Why? I couldn’t tell ya. My depression randomly hits me without warning but very quickly takes over me. I get really low really fast and I could feel myself heading in that direction today. Over and over, I kept hearing one of my old therapist’s voice in my head: “What are you going to do to take care of yourself today?” I’m not kidding you: that question was like in echo in my mind all day long until I finally addressed it and asked myself, what AM I going to do? I have two options: sit here and feel crummy or try to turn my day around. And let me tell ya, everything in me wanted to choose option one. I wanted to put on some dark clothes and sit in a dark room and listen to dark music and read a dark book. I wanted to match my mood. But you see, I’ve done that method over and over for years now and here’s the thing: IT DOESN’T WORK. Yeah, it’s somewhat comforting to listen to sad songs and read depressing poetry and feel like you’re not the only one feeling this way. But in the end, it doesn’t bring you out of your darkness. In fact, it brings you deeper into it. And that’s a hard truth I have come to realize. So, even though everything in my head was telling me to isolate and drown in my sadness, I chose option two. I chose to take care of myself. I listened to my body and what it needed. I did things that made me happy. I worked out, did yoga, took a long shower, and put on peppermint lotion. I listened to happy music and forced myself to hang out with a friend even though I didn’t really want to (no offense victoria, you know I love you). I listened to sermons and spent time in my bible and flooded myself with the Truth. Little by little, my mood started to shift. Nothing drastic but it didn’t get worse. And when you’re feeling that low, that’s the goal. No, I’m not dancing in the clouds and pooping butterflies and feeling on top of the world right now but I’m also not in the dark place I was this morning. I’m not having scary thoughts, I’m not stuck in my head, and I’m not feeling numb anymore. Progress! But here’s my point in telling you all of this: you need to take care of yourself. You need to act the way you want to feel. (Side note: I first heard of this concept in a book called The Happiness Project which I highly recommend!) Let me put it this way, if one of your friends was really upset, what would you do? Try to make them feel better, I hope :’) But come on, you would try your best to cheer them up! You would bake them cookies or watch their favorite movie with them or surprise them with coffee. So why don’t we do the same things for ourselves when we’re feeling down? Bake yourself some freakin cookies! Watch your favorite movie! Surprise yourself with coffee! Treat yourself like you would a friend. Don’t ignore your problems and try to distract yourself from them, but rather approach them with gentleness and love. Give yourself what you need. Take care of yourself. Let yourself heal. Trust me, you deserve it ❤

“Be softer with you. You are a breathing thing. A memory to someone. A home to a life.” -Nayirrah Waheed



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