Aly

Just like you, I have many ups and downs throughout my days or weeks. I am working on taking things day by day, moment by moment so I can better cope with what I am dealing with. I have been working on finding breaks throughout the day to take a deep breath and reflect on how I am feeling. Sure, this is easier said than done when I am having a tougher day. Some days I just feel more anxious than others, and I’ve realized that this is normal.

I am working on prioritizing my mental health every day. Finding something to do each day that helps bring me calm or allows me to be present is key. I work with a therapist to help me navigate how to incorporate moments through the day and certain tools to help guide me through tougher times.  

I have tools in my mental health kit that allow me to acknowledge my feelings, work to get centered in my body, and, eventually, help me to feel better.  I’ve learned whenever practicing tools that self compassion is crucial. Being hard on myself when I am already feeling down does not serve me. 

No one is immune from bad days, so I hope the things that have helped me take care of myself can help give you some ideas to create your very own mental health kit. I encourage you to talk to someone, a therapist, friend, mentor, anyone who can help give you ideas and help you through tough times. 

 

My top self-care tips

 

  • Journaling: My journaling routine is whatever I need that day. Most days, I start by freely writing whatever is on my mind at the moment. Then I follow with a list of things I am grateful for.  I’m often surprised by how much lighter I feel when I’m done.
  • Guided meditations  When I feel extremely anxious, meditation feels impossible. So I try to meditate before bed and whenever I can during the day to prevent a panic feeling of anxiety. The more I meditate the more it feels like a routine and the easier my body can get into that relaxation mode. Some days meditation feels really difficult, I know these days are normal and I remind myself I am human. I believe the key is meditating even on our best days, not just when we feel we need it.
  • Going outside I love being outside and feeling connected to nature. Sometimes looking up into the sky with my eyes closed and feeling the warmth of the sun and the fresh air reminds me to practice gratitude and be in the moment. No matter how cold it is outside I love feeling the warmth of the sun. When I go for a walk I enjoy stopping to smell the flowers. There is so much beauty in nature and I remind myself to take it in each time I am outside.
  • Stretching I personally hold a lot of tension in my body. Taking a moment to stretch helps me feel like I can take a full deep breath.
  • My support system Having a support system is key. I recognize it can be very difficult to find a good support group or community. But I believe it is crucial to have someone in your life who can validate you and be there for you. I also love having my dog Mylo because he always makes me feel better and he is the best part of my day. 

I hope some of these tools help you. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can!