6.12.16

feeling OK is underrrated

Who wants to be normal? I fucking hate that question. Me, actually. I want to be normal. Depression can be insufferable at the best of times. At the worst of times, I feel empty. A whole lot of nothingness.

This post took me days to write. I've spent hours on end figuring out how to transfer the thoughts in my head into words on a screen. I could have easily written a cynical narrative on depression, the vague misery which has plagued my entire existence. Donald Trump has just been crowned (and I use that term loosely) TIME's 2016 Person of the Year and so my negative outlook on life would not be uncalled for. However, I've decided against essentially trash talking myself and instead have found the strength to talk with a degree of optimism because I'm not ready to give up yet.

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I would share my self-care routine so here it is: a step-by-step guide on how to feel OK when you're not.

Get out of bed 
I'm trying this new thing where when I wake up in the morning, I actually get up and out of bed and I try not to get back in until its dark. Most of my down days consist of me refusing to leave my bed whilst I protest in PJs and binge on Gossip Girl. I thought this was a form of self-care. Only a few days ago it came to my attention that this may not actually be good for me. I feel so comfortable in bed though. I feel safe, like no one or nothing can hurt me there. However in reality, neglecting mundane day-to-day activities is unhealthy and potentially dangerous for deepening depression.

Eat a healthy breakfast
I don't mean healthy as in an avocado; a kale, spinach and apple smoothie; or anything green for that matter. On days I do eat breakfast, I often don't even bother making a trip to the kitchen. Instead, I pick up the chocolate and crisps left over from midnight snacking which is followed by a few large gulps of some sort of sugary drink. My new breakfast of choice is simple scrambled eggs and buttery toast. I will also be starting the day with a tall glass of water.

Have a shower
After I take a shower, I feel like a new woman. I love that squeaky clean feeling and there are few greater pleasures in life than freshly shaven legs. The shower is also a place where I can get my thought process on track for a good day ahead. I always reach for a body butter, usually from The Body Shop (Wild Argan Oil is my fave but I'm dying to try Vanilla Chai), post-shower as soft skin is another one of those great pleasures in life that I mentioned earlier.

Get dressed
I seriously struggle with this one. Pyjamas are life but the term look good, feel good isn't just a marketing ploy. Putting on even just a pair leggings and a t-shirt does wonders. When I'm feeling particularly ambitious, I like to put my favourite outfit: a dark grey cord pinafore worn over a blush pink ribbed long-sleeved top and a pair of thick black tights.

Leave my bedroom
At this current moment in time, leaving my house entirely is a huge task. Leaving my bedroom however, is slightly more manageable. I only travel a few feet to my living room. There's a huge set of a french doors which pour floods of light in, instantly brightening my day. Additionally, as Christmas demands, I have a tree up at the moment which serves as a nice little reminder that just the week after next, I will be reunited with my favourite people in the world.

Do household chores
The first thing I do after I'm up and out of bed is to make it, complete with a fluffy throw and pretty cushions. After I've eaten breakfast, I'm make sure the washing-up is gets done immediately. I have a very specific way of washing-up which is strangely satisfying. I tend to wash cutlery first, then plates first, then bowls, then glasses and mugs, then pots and pans and then all the other crap such as Tupperware. Once I get out of the shower, I do laundry. Sometimes that means loading up the machine with the pile making a mess on my bedroom floor and sometimes that means finally putting clothes and whatnot that have been drying for over a week away where they belong. These tasks may seem small but they're extremely effective in making me feel human.

Blog, blog, blog
Blogmas has given me something to do. I spend all day, everyday on my laptop anyway although usually with the intention of doing university work but then I end up feeling shitty when I get fuck all done. A blog post a day has made me feel productive and even accomplished. On top of that, writing is so therapeutic. Fingers crossed I keep it up in 2017 too.

Watch YouTube videos
I also suffer with anxiety and YouTube really helps calm me down. Listening to someone else's voice helps me turn off the voices in my head. I either tune into my favourite daily vloggers or I watch a video which is guaranteed to make me laugh. This video never fails.

Talk to people
When I'm depressed, I often isolate myself and so it's very important for me to stay in touch with the outside world, that being the one that occurs beyond the confines of my flat. Even just texting my best friend about the latest Jane the Virgin episode or sending boyfriends cute selfies with the newest filters on Snapchat. I also try and talk to my mum everyday, just for a a quick hello and catch up.

Listen to music
I have such an eclectic music taste and literally any genre I listen to makes me feel infinitely better. Music gets me out of my head and away from my thoughts. There's also certain songs that I just can't sit down whilst listening to. They force me to get up and dance my troubles away which is always welcome because my lack of physical activity is embarrassing and my body is greatful for any workout it gets.

Go outside 
Last week, I had a couple of people come and view my flat because I'll be moving out soon which actually breaks my heart to think about. Anyway, I went and hid in the park across the road because I couldn't bare to face people that day. I wandered around for a bit to find the least wet bench and sat myself down. For the first 10 minutes, I was non-stop clock-watching but soon enough the fresh air began working its magic. The only good thing about moving out of my student flat back into my family home is that I'll be out everyday to walk my dog, Billy.

Bed before midnight
I've already mentioned how I feel about pyjamas and so you can imagine that bedtime is by far my favourite part of any day. I aim to be asleep by midnight but before I drop off, I always make sure to set an alarm for the follwing morning. Ideally, I'd be free of all distractions however I can never seem to put my phone down and almost always fall asleep with it in my hand. I really want to start reading before bed. I've even got a book on the go at the moment and everytime I do read, I wonder why I don't do it more often.

If I find myself unable to deal with depression and lacking in motivation to live life, these are my go-to steps to helping myself feel OK and to be honest, that's all I want. Feeling OK is so underrated. I have read countless unrealistic self-help posts that only end up making me feel worse about myself. Recently, however, I was introduced to the notion of minimums and maximums of self-care which has completely changed the way way I think.

Check out the two links below to posts which heavily influenced this one:

Self-Care Minimums and Dealing With Depression by The Span of My Hips

Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up by Sinope

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