Self care, aye?
Self care is so important, not just to us who are suffering from an ‘illness’ or a disability of some kind, but it is also important to those who aren’t suffering from a disability, or a mental illness, to ensure they are looking after themselves, and are able to stay well.
So take that ten minutes to meditate, take some time yourself yourself. Read a book or even write!
Never be afraid to tell yourself ‘Stop, I need a break.’
Self care is massively important to me, as having bpd means my moods take twists and turns and it’s basically a fucking rollercoaster all over the show. Which in itself makes it hard for me to always keep myself in check, sometimes I need a friend or family to nudge me and guide me to care for myself, which I am not ashamed of and I honestly think so much of my friends and family for being able to help.
When slipping into an episode and I’m unaware of what’s happening sometimes having somebody make me aware of what’s happening means I can attempt to calm myself and try to care for myself and try to calm. It also means those close to me can try to provide support. Which works…sometimes.
However, what if there is nobody to assist in bringing you back to the world of calm outside of your head and episode?
The main suggestion I give to everybody is to make yourself a self care box (or as I call mine, a crisis box). It can be whatever size you want and you can honestly fill it with anything that might help you in your time of need. I tend to put items in there which appeal to senses. Something to taste, smell, see, hear and touch. As well as a few other things.
The items I always have available are;
Taste – Something sweet and something savoury (a lolly and packet of crisps)
Smell – A essential oils roll on (I also have incense, oil diffusers and candles)
See- A collection of printed pictures of happy memories and people whom i love (can just be pictures of calming things,i also have a star projector and a rainbow projector)
Hear- I often use a specific playlist on spotify ( you could also listen to calming/ meditation music, or even your favourite podcast)
Touch – I use a certain selection of makeup brushes, however I’m not so hot on touch. (You could also use putty, playdough or often I trace my tattoos or tickle my hand)
I also have a few other things in my box which bring strong happy memories, such as a watch my partner bought me etc. I sometimes meditate, or use crystals to help calm me. These are also amazing for touch!
I love having a crisis box on hand, in fact at one point I even had emergency numbers in it (the number of my on call mental health team, the Samaritans and a few close friends or family)
I don’t always use a crisis box though, as sometimes I can’t control an episode at all, and I have no other choice but to ride it out.
But that’s a blog post for another day.
Self care could be something as simple as having a nap to recharge, spending the day with one person who makes you feel good and positive about yourself, watching a film that makes you happy, or taking part in a good colour therapy session (if you follow me on twitter you know, I’m all about that.)
The definition of self care is to actively take action to preserve or improve your health. This can be physically and mentally. I honestly can’t stress enough how important it is to look after yourself. Its especially hard to practice self care if you find yourself in a rut, don’t get me wrong, its affective all the same but it is hard work to try and spring back. So remember when you’re feeling happy, self care is still an essential part of your upkeep and it ensures maintaining that stable state and it can be very easily forgotten.
What do you guys use when in crisis?
If you have a self care box what do you have in it?
What kind of self care techniques do you use?