Monday, March 21, 2011

more self care

I thought I had mostly escaped the symptoms of PTSS (post traumatic stress syndrome); I don't really do the hyper vigilant thing (checking locked doors 10 different times, etc.) and I don't find myself ultra jumpy or startled easily, not anymore than before at least.

but it turns out that the symptoms live on a very wide spectrum and vary so much from person to person. since we all come with a very different slew of life experiences and beliefs that one event does not effect us each the same see, I thought that the fact that anxiety and intense fear and crazy destructive behavior were going to be the worst of it... then it became the end of January.

today I'm speaking specifically about the depression bit of things.

I've heard depression explained a lot of different ways but here's the one I like best for the moment: depression is like viewing your life and life in general through a microscope, and it takes some type of catalyst to get you to step back from that one-eyed lens and take in the grand scheme of things.

I'm no expert, but it seems like that catalyst can range anywhere from a good dose of nutrition and exercise, to talk therapy, to anti-depressant medications, and everyone should follow the path that speaks to them the loudest. (by the way, that's probably the advice I'd give on any type of decision making process)

I've found that dealing with mine takes a whole team of professionals, supporters, medications, etc., etc. Blerg I hope I'm not coming off whiny.... what I really wanted to talk about today are a few simple things outside of these traditional ideas that help me when I'm feeling low... or when I'm feeling flat-lined and hard pressed to emote, which is my new norm.

It all comes down to concerted self care. you may have noticed it's a theme of mine. and here are some ways I like to do it.

~walking and looking up
~taking a bath
~spending time with someone really easy to be around
~dressing in comfortable clothing
~drinking tea (ginger is my favorite)
~exercise, yoga in particular
~cleaning my living space
~media binge. i.e. magazines, movies, TV series, books, etc. (just be careful with this one, you can get caught up watching something like the Virgin Suicides all alone in the tent you made over your bed, and that is a problem)
~coloring or some other artistic outlet (I just got this coloring book, don't judge me, I love it.)
~writing poetry, prose, blog, or journal. you don't even have to let anyone read it... you'd all laugh at how many posts I have written that stay un posted.
~organizing and writing to-do lists
~baking or cooking, particularly healthful, whole foods
~polishing my nails
~hanging Christmas lights

and here's my favorite...
~turning off life and taking a day (or even just an hour) to re cooperate, all alone.

so I may have written this today because after dragging myself out of bed and to my ballet class I arrived home and immediately committed myself to a day of self care. It began with a two hour cleaning streak, including laundering my towels and sheets (what is better than a clean fluffy towel after a warm shower and clean sheets to nap in right after?). Now I'm on to writing this blog post and after I'll make a simple healthful lunch and watch hope floats. I'm also planning to ditch out on work and school all day long. realistically I won't leave my house at all today.

does it sound like I'm absolutely spoiling myself today? that's because I am; and I think I deserve to do that every now and again when I'm able to... and here's a secret.... so do you. I'm not sure at what point we as an adult American culture decided that this kind of behavior was too self-indulgent, but I wish we hadn't. Because I think it's absolutely necessary and if more of us don't start doing it, there will be severe consequences. 

p.s. I got some of these self care ideas from you when I sent out a sad cry for help a few months back, so here's another thanks. 


  1. thank you for this amazing post.


  2. good for you!! Love your blog kels. :) It is nice to be reminded we need to save some time to take care of ourselves and catch our breath. I know I get too caught up in "life" sometimes, and think I need to do EVERYTHING and be PERFECT. But I don't... Your post today reminded me of that. So thank you!

  3. What a fabulous day. I think we all need to take some time for ourselves every once in a while. I'm so glad you decided to spoil yourself.

  4. We should take a day off of life together.
    I think we could have a lot of fun.

    I haven't forgotten about our coloring date..

  5. I used to love sitting in a coffee shop for countless hours talking with friends and strangers while leisurely working on school work or a personal project.

    It is that kind of atmosphere that I miss the most living in Utah. I looked for awhile but gave up on that idea living in Orem. Now I am focusing my efforts on things I've talked with you about in the past. With hope to create stability, better work ethic, and confidence ... and use that to create a sanctuary for myself.

    I think you should always try to take time for yourself, care for yourself, love and respect yourself. If you aren't willing to do it, you can't expect anyone else to want to either ... except maybe your parents :-)

    Until next time ...


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