It is 11:48 AM. And ladies and gentlemen – I feel so productive.
This morning I deep cleaned my car, which trust me, was very needed. I got a car wash, filled up washer fluid, filled up gas, cleaned the interior, vacuumed, and washed the windows. I had coffee with family, and listened to an uplifting spiritual podcast. This was not only productive, but included self care.
Self care is something I am continuously working on, sometimes it doesn’t exist in my life and sometimes it is in full force. When it is in full force, I feel like I can handle anything. A little self-care in the morning sets you up right for your day, and it is really so individual. Some like the gym at 4:30 AM, some like to wake up and pray, or cook breakfast or meditate. There is seriously so much variety and no WRONG way of doing self-care.
My personal favourites are waking up and listening to a podcast as I wake up and stretch. If I can I will scroll through Pinterest for some bible verses that uplift me or read over some I’ve written down for myself. I cuddle with my dog and make tea (currently cannot do coffee because of acid reflux – it has been an adjustment). Sometimes I will do a little clean of the kitchen for instance, and then settle in and figure out what I need to do for the day. I’ll check my calendar app for major things I’ve written to remember and then go from there. Ideally I would love to do yoga every morning, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Self-care is what works for you, it is not a judgement activity.
What are some of your favourite self-care that is realistic for you?
After a long day of work or school or both, mentally we all need a way to unwind and relax for the night. I have found it essential for my mental health to follow a routine, and no I am not always great at doing it but when I do I feel so much better and sleep so much deeper. So here’s what I do on my perfect unwind:
Declutter. Meaning I wash the dishes or put them in the dishwasher, I put away food or clothes, or just throw out the garbage. Very minimal but just enough to leave me with that productive/clean feeling.
Tea. I am a coffee drinker. But tea at the end of the night (my favourite being peppermint or chamomile) is just a nice way to have something warm without a lot of extra calories or caffeine. It mellows me.
Yoga. I do some very light yoga, some heart opening stretches, and some basic positions like downward dog, child’s pose, and anything that I feel will feel good or be relaxing. I maybe do 5 minutes – just enough.
Faith. I don’t talk about it often but I find a lot of comfort in my faith and definitely if you don’t than you can skip this. But my relationship with God has been a good thing for me. So I will just go on Pinterest or my bible app and find some passages I like or enjoy and write it out in my journal.
Meditation. I will do this right before I sleep, because quite honestly it usually makes me fall asleep. I have a guided meditation app and it has thousands of meditations to choose from and categories too. I usually pick a sleeping themed one, thats about 5-10 minutes and do some deep breathing and visualization. For me it’s the perfect end to the day.
I’ve touched on it before – that I’m super passionate about mental health. I love learning and knowing different disorders and how it effects an individual. Today I wanted to touch on Bipolar Disorder and some coping with manic episodes.
A lot of the key things involve prevention, but just like any other illness, episodes are not always preventable no matter how hard you work and how healthy you are. So what do you do when you feel that energy and panic rushing in?
Stop. Realize this is an episode and not you. It can feel like you’re losing it, but you are not you are totally ok. Deep breathes.
Reach out. Let your support team know what’s going on. Whether this be your doctor, your family, your friends, whoever is your support – reach out to them.
Assess. Is this manageable? If you can bring yourself down and ride it out then just hold on, if it is worse then let someone know you need more help
Then the coping begins:
Bubble bath. This instantly brings peace, light a candle or some aroma, make huge bubbles and keep it warm but not too hot. Bring a water bottle beside you too because hydration is huge.
Water. Drink it. The best thing you can do is be good to your body while you’re riding out a high.
Meditation. Ok yes it will be extremely difficult but even 3 minutes of zen will help calm the onset.
Yoga or walking. Really any form of low impact exercise. It helps to sweat it out, but you don’t want to work yourself up.
Writing. Write it out. When mania or hypomania hits it can feel like a wall of a million thoughts hit you at once. Start to write it out, it will not only slow you down but allow for some room to form in your head.
To-do lists. You may feel like doing everything NOW but you are not your most productive or focused. So keep a list of stuff you feeling like you NEED to do and re-assess it at a later point.
Avoid caffeine and simple sugars/carbs. Chamomile tea is amazing. And avoiding the sugars and simple carbs will help your body not to spike in blood sugar making you feel sicker. A great mindless munch for a sweet tooth is almonds. (Maybe some chocolate or yogurt covered too).
Ride it out. If you have been diagnosed for awhile you know this feeling. You know it will pass and its a big wave right now but you can do this, ride it.
In the end, help yourself, and reach out for help from a support group.
Car – I decided I need my car, I commute and travel so for me it is a necessity. But what I can do is reduce the clutter (trust me it’s bad) of things kept in my car. Currently, you cannot put anything in the trunk and out of 3 backseats, 1.5 are free – bad I know. So tonight I will remove the clothes that I forgot were in there, remove old sports equipment I haven’t used in a year and keep my essentials (first aid kit, blanket, car manual, etc.)
Home – To downsize or not? I live at home so probably not. I am good with my space and it makes me happy.
Mission – Does your path, school, career align with your values? Previously I have a dual undergraduate B.Sc in Biology and Psychology. Love it I learned a lot but I found it’s not getting me where I want to be – to help people front line. That is why I am back in school for nursing now! And I could not be happier even with all the hard work.
Health – This can go a variety of ways. Eat clean? Ya I should and I am working more towards that but I am by no means perfect. And exercise. Love it. But need to make time and I know this will happen as I continue to grow with freeing up my time by practicing minimalism.
Time – Which leads us to our final time. Time. Learning to embrace it and find joy in more of it.
What I’ve learned if anything is minimalism takes practice, just like learning something new. We have to continue to practice until we get it, but there is always more room to grow and that is ok.
How do you define success? Is it losing 10 pounds or is it being comfortable in your body?
Ideally we think ok set this goal and than I will be.. happy, confident, satisfied, etc.
But it’s the “than I’ll be..” that gets us tied up in a pattern of frustration. Why don’t we set ourselves up for success? Let’s make goals based off how we want to feel and see our life and not by how we are going to get there. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to lose weight but ultimately I want to feel confident and love my body.
I have a lot of stuff. I like my stuff. But lately I’ve been realizing that’s all it is – stuff.
So I’ve taken on a challenge with little research behind me, can I go minimalist?
I’m not talking sell the house, dump the car, and get rid of everything instantly, but can I downsize and live off the essentials? I think I can.
I have a dresser, 2 small closets and 4 baskets of clothes. Some would say that’s too much and I agree since I found a pair of shorts that are 3 sizes too small and from grade school (9 ish years ago). So I’ve started to purge my stuff. I donated 3 garbage bags of clothing and got rid of my 4 baskets. And that’s just the start. I plan to cleanse a little bit every day or so and I plan to blog the process to keep accountability.
So clearly I have been a little overwhelmed with life. But who of us hasn’t ever reached that point?
Today I have an evening shift – woo! Yes that means I got to sleep in, get my nails done and hang with my dog. Who could ask for more?
Nails I usually keep nude, but went with a grey/purple and am obsessed. Even though they show on camera as a darker purple.
I’m going to be posting some reviews soon, but will being doing a full face of makeup for work. Sometimes it’s just the kick a girl needs. I purchased a $6 CAD mascara and love it (Revlon). And am still swapping through foundations. Lighter coverage days I use my BB cream from Marcelle, mixed with my Kat Von D lock it foundation. And full coverage days I’m still obsessed with my double-wear foundation from Estée Lauder.
I’m thinking out loud here, but I have a couple “hacks” or my makeup tricks for longer lasting makeup – would you guys be interested in that? Let me know!
Also I am so passionate about mental health and know I previously touched on it in my last post – feelings? We can talk about it here.
Ok guys enough rambling for me, let me know if you’re interested in the above ideas by liking or commenting (I love talking).