Updated: Jul 12
According to ProjectHelping.org, Physical Self-Care involves activities that improve your physical health such as diet and exercise. It also means seeing a doctor when you are sick and taking the time to rest. Here are few examples of how to practice Physical Self-Care:
1. Eat well
* Society Says: Drink plenty of water, eat fruits, vegetables, lean cuts of meat and cut down on sugar and processed foods. Make sure you also eating regularly as well. Regular healthy meals can reduce depression symptoms, the chances of bipolar episodes and reduce anxiety.
* My Experience: I know what foods to eat, stay away from and I even know how to portion my meals, but do I actually do it, no. Let's be honest, food can be a source of comfort for some and for others a nightmare. Just like self-care is individualized, so are mental illnesses and for use that are challenged with it eating well can be hard. So what now? Let's compromise and start off with small changes. Try drinking at least 2-3 glasses of water, swap out sugar for a sugar substitute, buy kettle chips instead of regular chips. You'd be surprised of how making a few small changes can add to big results.
* Society Says: Regular exercise can have a positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood. You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. Working out 2-3 a week for 15- 30 minutes can improve your physical and mental health. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better. If you are challenged with depression, anxiety, spree, ADHD, PTSD/trauma expertise can help improve your mood. Helpguide.org
*My Experience: There are days when getting out of bed seems like the scariest thing to do in the world. There are days where the thought of leaving the house casques your anxiety to sky rocket and you feel paralyzed by it. There are days where you got out of bed, but you your so drained, taking a shower seems impossible. If you have ever felt this way, then you know that exercising just ain't gonna happen. However, let's start off small, here are some suggestions: instead of staying in bed all day, sit up or sit on the couch. If it's too much to take a shower, wash your face or brush your teeth. Anxiety to high to go out, open the lindow or sit on the porch. I think it's important to start taking power back over your life and again, small changes can lead to big results.
3. Create a Zen Space
*Society Say: Create a peaceful home so that you can give yourself a calming space to relax and unwind. Having someplace calm to be in will help with stress and anxiety became you feel safe in the space that you are in. There are simple things you can to create a calm home such as declutter and donate item, organize, let fresh air in just to name a few.
*My Experience: How can you declutter you physical space if you can't even declutter your mind? If you have kids and pets and work, all your strength was spent getting take out for a dinner. If you're like me, the thought of cleaning filled me with so much anxiety I would get chest pains. If you want to make your home clutter free and zen filled, ask that loved ones help clean and declutter, the same for if you want a room to be your zen place. If all that seems too much for you to handle, find some where is your home where you can relax. The other day I was so stressed, I sat in my car and did some deep breathing for about 10 minutes. It was quiet, no one bothered me and I was able to calm down. I didn't need to sit in a room with a yoga mat and incense, I use the space that was available to me at the moment.
4. Get Enough Rest
*Society Says: Carving out enough time to get as much rest and sleep as possible is a very important physical self care practice. When resting, your body detoxes, digests, and balances hormones. Getting enough rest at night is not the only thing you need to consider.
*My Experience: This part of physical self-care might be the hardest. Society says that we should get between 7-8 hours of sleep, but who really gets that much and who stays asleep that long. If your mental illness is getting the best of you, you either sleep too much or too little. How can we find a compromise? If you want to sleep, you can go the medical route and be prescribed something that can help or you can take natural supplements - talk to you doctor and they can recommend something to help. If you can't sleep, try finding space where you can relax, don't feel pressured to sleep. Lay down or sit somewhere and close your eyes, listen to music or read, but do something to help you relax and become calm. Also, I would recommend that you create a routine and get ready for bed around the same time every night. Your body will get used to this and you could find yourself getting sleepy.
My Final Thoughts
1. All of this is easier said than done, but start off making small goals as to not be overwhelmed. You have to start somewhere and if you want to get better, you need to take back control over your life.
2. Don't be afraid to ask for help from someone you trust and know will help you in your journey. They can help you declutter, go one a walk with you, help you plan your meals etc. If you have help, you won't feel alone and making changes won't seem so difficult.
3. Sleep may not come easy to you, so don't force it. Find somewhere in your home that is quiet and where you can relax, do somehow that is calming. Create and stick to a routine so your body can prepare to relax on a more consistent basis.
4. I found this Self-Care checklist on Pinterest that is a good starting point. Click HERE for the link.
Helpful Websites Used in the Blog
I hope this post was helpful and that you feel better equip to face your challenges, remember Brown Girl that Feels Blue on Sunny Days, you got this and you are NOT alone.
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