This week is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK and I’m happy to say what’s happening in the UK made it’s way into my feeds as early as Monday morning. While I’m no mental health professional, I do know speaking about our personal experiences goes a long way in helping lift the stigma associated with these ailments. I came across this great one-sheeter by Sinope yesterday and found myself nodding as I read through the tips. Many of these work for me, and Joe often prompts me with questions like “Why don’t you jump in the shower?” or “How about a nap?” when I’m experiencing a dip in my mood. I’ve learned to listen to him. As I begin to anticipate facing postpartum, these tips become even more valuable!
Everything is Awful and I’m Not OK: Questions to Ask Before Giving Up
Are you hydrated? If not, have a glass of water.
Have you eaten in the past three hours? If not, get some food — something with protein, not just simple carbs. Perhaps some nuts or hummus?
Have you showered in the past day? If not, take a shower right now.
If daytime: are you dressed? If not, put on clean clothes that aren’t pajamas. Give yourself permission to wear something special, whether it’s a funny t-shirt or a pretty dress.
If nighttime: are you sleepy and fatigued but resisting going to sleep? Put on pajamas, make yourself cozy in bed with a teddy bear and the sound of falling rain, and close your eyes for fifteen minutes — no electronic screens allowed. If you’re still awake after that, you can get up again; no pressure.
Have you stretched your legs in the past day? If not, do so right now. If you don’t have the spoons for a run or trip to the gym, just walk around the block, then keep walking as long as you please. If the weather’s crap, drive to a big box store (e.g. Target) and go on a brisk walk through the aisles you normally skip.
Have you said something nice to someone in the past day? Do so, whether online or in person. Make it genuine; wait until you see something really wonderful about someone, and tell them about it.
Have you moved your body to music in the past day? If not, do so — jog for the length of an EDM song at your favorite BPM, or just dance around the room for the length of an upbeat song.
Have you cuddled a living being in the past two days? If not, do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs from friends or friends’ pets. Most of them will enjoy the cuddles too; you’re not imposing on them.
Do you feel ineffective? Pause right now and get something small completed, whether it’s responding to an e-mail, loading up the dishwasher, or packing your gym bag for your next trip. Good job!
Do you feel unattractive? Take a goddamn selfie. Your friends will remind you how great you look, and you’ll fight society’s restrictions on what beauty can look like.
Do you feel paralyzed by indecision? Give yourself ten minutes to sit back and figure out a game plan for the day. If a particular decision or problem is still being a roadblock, simply set it aside for now, and pick something else that seems doable. Right now, the important part is to break through that stasis, even if it means doing something trivial.
Have you seen a therapist in the past few days? If not, hang on until your next therapy visit and talk through things then.
Have you been over-exerting yourself lately — physically, emotionally, socially, or intellectually? That can take a toll that lingers for days. Give yourself a break in that area, whether it’s physical rest, taking time alone, or relaxing with some silly entertainment.
Have you changed any of your medications in the past couple of weeks, including skipped doses or a change in generic prescription brand? That may be screwing with your head. Give things a few days, then talk to your doctor if it doesn’t settle down.
Have you waited a week? Sometimes our perception of life is skewed, and we can’t even tell that we’re not thinking clearly, and there’s no obvious external cause. It happens. Keep yourself going for a full week, whatever it takes, and see if you still feel the same way then.
You’ve made it this far, and you will make it through. You are stronger than you think.
This post is available as a downloadable one-page PDF here.
Maybe, these will be helpful for you or for someone you love! They’ve included a downloadable PDF, too.If you’d like to read more post on preventative care and wellness, you can find all our posts under the Wellness category.
I hope you’re feeling well today! <3
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - May 17, 2016
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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
This is a beautiful post, thanks for bringing it out to our attention. Guiltily i noted to a lot of these questions as i’ve been neglecting so many of them while working. Great reminder
This post is simply incredible. I so often get wrapped up in “life” that I forget to take care of myself and my anxiety creeps back. I will definitely bring these to mind the next time I feel anxious. It truly is amazing the wonders a Beyonce dance party in the kitchen or completing a quick task can do!
xo Bonnie @busybonnie.com
Yes! I also keep this similar click-through exercise bookmarked so I cana always see & know it’s there: http://philome.la/jace_harr/you-feel-like-shit-an-interactive-self-care-guide/play
Allison– this is a game changer for me. THANK YOU for sharing!!!
I love this list, thanks for sharing! It’s amazing how great of an impact these simple things can have, yet it can be incredibly hard to recognize them in the heat of the moment. I’ve spent countless evenings feeling hopeless, only to later realize I just needed sleep.
Great post. I’m going to print these tips and also write them down. Some of these things I do and some of these tips are new to me. Thank you for sharing.
That’s a great idea, tiffany!
Kate, thanks for sharing this! I just want you to know that the direction of your blog over the last six months has not gone unnoticed. I love how everything is so thoughtful. XO
I must agree with Angela! While your blog (and now snapchat!) has always been a staple in my top 5, you have rapidly moved to my favorite read. I truly appreciate your warmth, transparency, and authenticity. I have been disappointed with a ton of the fluff that some of my other blogs have been providing, including a huge increase in sponsored content. You stay true to yourself and create a a personal connection with us on a platform that can be very one-sided. Even with your sponsored posts, you are upfront and provide reasons for the sponsorship. I also believe… Read more »
This is such a motivational post. Though the things listed out are quite simple and thats where the beauty of the post lies that how much can these simple little things can actually effect our mood and entire life. Thank you so much sharing.
Great post 🙂 Not exactly what I expected, but made me laugh 🙂 Sometimes everything is in the small things 😉
I love this so much. What a great reminder to always check in with yourself. We often forget that we are more powerful than we’ll ever know and just because we have a bad day does not mean everything else is wrong.
Thanks for sharing this post, a great reminder for us to take care of ourselves xx
This is such a lovely post!! Nice reminder to do things we may simply forget.
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This is going in my purse – and I’m sharing on my blog. Such a great list.
Thank you so much for this! Your posts on Wellness mean so much to me. It calms me to hear other people’s stories and remedies. Makes me feel less alone in this.
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I think you’ve got the right perspective going. We have to remember that social media platforms are constantly changing and there is no guarantee in anything. I wouldn’t want anyone seeing my content simply because I forced it on them, we need to be offering something of value. http://hoatuoishop.net/danh-muc/hoa-bo/ Những bó hoa đẹp nhất.
I love this! I do Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, so have all sorts of worksheets and tools to help me on bad days, but this definitely has some great suggestions. I am going to print it off and hang it on my fridge!
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I love this it helps me to remember to practice self care often.