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.
It can be hard to balance everything, whether it be kids, family, friends, work, and overall life. So how can balance?
I easily get overwhelmed with a big t0-do list. So I make my big one, and write done my small to-do’s in my agenda calendar phone app – it’s literally called Calendars. I also try and make time to meditate. I talk about this a lot, there is an app called Insight Timer.
Also post it notes are your friend. I use physical ones when it is urgent on the door on the way out so I cannot miss it. I also use virtual ones. I have an app on my computer called Stickies and it just leaves a small post it on your main screen. I write little reminders and chores.
Scheduling is huge, when the small stuff is written down the more important things like friends and family can take over. If needed schedule family time, that one show on Tuesday nights at 6pm or that Sunday brunch at 11am.
Me time. I schedule a time to get my nails done, or do my hair. Making sure you have me time is crucial and allows for a true balance and clear mindset. It could even be making time to go to a yoga class or the gym. Or watch your favourite show.
Everyone has “those days” where work was rough, life seemed tiring and it was just a long day, or week. So tonight I treated myself with a mini pamper me routine.
I cooked dinner with my family, some comforting time and food. Then watched some comedy shows to get in a good laugh. For me laughing is one of the best de-stressers, you can’t be mad or frown while laughing. Finally I splurged on a white macadamia cookie and mindlessly scrolled through Youtube – of course while sipping my decaf pumpkin spice tea. And now I am in my cozy spot writing to you guys, this has been such a great creative, and stress relieving outlet. I will make my to-do list for tomorrow so I can stop worrying tonight.
Later I’m going to do a face mask, and put some leave-in conditioner into my dry hair and maybe even add an extra fuzzy blanket to my bed. I will spray (more than a couple pumps) of my lavender sleep aid onto my pillows and meditate for 10 to 20 minutes.
Meditation has been a life saver. It allows me to step back and take time for me, but productive time. Although it may seems like not being able to do anything for 10 minutes is not helpful, when you are done with the meditation the level of zen and balance expands and enables you to work even more focused and more attentively.
So lately I have not been actively blogging (and I’m sorry) but I’ve come into some health issues and the best advice I’m finally taking is sometimes ‘it’s all about you’. So I’ve taken the last little while to focus on priority matters and focus on myself. This has come to me re-taking up yoga, and walking a bit more. Spending time with friends and family and of course and mostly at home with my dog. So what’s some pampering I’ve picked up? Here’s a list.
face masks – are amazing, and fun to experiment with.
bathes – not only good for a sore body and stress relief, but with some scented bubble bath; winning combination.
comfy clothes – sometimes it’s nice not to stress about what you’re wearing and some yoga pants and a long t-shirt go a long way.
yoga – good for the body and mind.
meditation – the just re-centres me and allows me to truly focus on how I’m feeling and let’s me breathe
no makeup – now I know not everyone is comfortable but you should try it, it is freeing.
I love summer don’t get me wrong, but I am the girl who enjoys her pumpkin spice flavours, fall colours, cozy sweaters and warm blankets. Here are some of my fall essentials so far…
So I’ve started to use a new foundation and serum combination (review to come) but I think I’m in love. It is the Estée Lauder serum – Idealist Pore Minimizing and the Estée Lauder foundation – Double Wear. This combination is mind blowing.
Of course candles are on the list of fall essentials. I’m a huge fan of any scent most of the year round but especially during fall – lavender and mint, marshmallow, and just got a new creme brûlée scent!
Sweater weather. Two key words, with not much explanation needed.
Food wise, classic grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup. It is warm and comforting and all those great childhood feelings wrapped into a meal.
Another go-to is having a girls night in, loving netflix and a good early 2000’s show ‘Scrubs’. It is a hospital comedy – really amusing.
I also have been enjoying journalling more and writing down whatever comes to mind. This could mean to-do lists, blog ideas or just how my day went. This with meditation is very stress relieving and calming.