As the self proclaimed Realistic Mystic, I feel obligated to keep things 100% honest with y’all.
So I feel very comfortable saying that the popular self care tips that seem to circulate online aren’t for all of us. And they’re not for most of us all of the time. I know there’s a lot of you who follow this blog who have depression (like me). I know there’s at least one of you who has Lyme disease. I’m sure there’s many more of y’all who have mental/physical issues that zap your energy.
These tips are for y’all. Not all of these tips are going to work for all of you. That’s okay. Take what works for you, use the rest as a springboard to come up with ideas that will work for your situation.
This is my love letter to my fellow Spoonies out there. You deserve access to self love, too. You deserve the peace of mind knowing that you need to be able to survive before you can thrive, and that’s okay. I love you, and I believe in you. You’ve got this.
Now, onto the tips!
I’ve split these tips up into four different categories: food/diet, hygiene, fitness, and spirituality.
As I said, take what works for you.
Also, since depression is what I know the most intimately, a few of these tips assume that a lot of you reading this will have a “depression nest”–the place you stay stationary in when shit gets bad. If that doesn’t apply to you, do what works best for you in your situation.
And remember–there is no wrong way to do self care! Not everything has to be candle lit Lush bubble baths on Instagram.
One of the ways in which my depression manifests is that my appetite starts to disappear. I’m sure this is an issue for many of you as well, so I thought this section would be very needed,.
- If you’re forgetting to eat throughout the day, set timers on your phone. Make them loud, make them obnoxious, make them impossible to ignore. I personally set one for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks. Make sure you’re not trying to run on an empty tank.
- I know a lot of us want to live off the freshest produce and lovingly home cooked meals. But that ain’t always realistic. Frozen foods are fine. The insure that you’re actually eating. Delivery is also good, but if you can’t stand to face another person (or don’t have the energy), frozen foods are there for you in your time of need. Fuck anybody who would try to make you feel lesser than for eating frozen food.
- Things that come in cups is your friend! Peach slices, pear slices, mandarin oranges, apple sauce. You can keep them anywhere in the house and if you forget a spoon and don’t have the energy to get up and get one, these things can often be eaten without silverware.
- Bars are also good. Granola, nut, snack, energy. Any type of bar you want is good. Again, they can be kept anywhere in your house (or car, or your desk at work), and no spoons needed!
- Protein is important. Boiled eggs are easy to do (put your desired amount of eggs in a pot, fill with water until eggs are covered. Put the pot on the stove on high. When they start to boil, leave them boiling on the stove for 10 minutes. Take them off the stove, drain the water, then let them cool down in some cold water). If you’re vegan, hate eggs, or simply don’t have the energy for any cooking at all, nuts are also a great source of protein. Grab you a few canisters and stash them around the house. Nuts can sometimes be expensive, though, so peanut butter is also your friend.
- Staying hydrated is very important! Keep used plastic water bottles (or gallon jugs!), fill them with water, keep them stashed in different places around your house.
The thing no one wants to publicly admit when discussing illnesses that kill your energy–hygiene. Don’t worry-there is no shame here.
Acquire the following items and keep them in your depression nest, in your car, etc:
- dry shampoo
- baby wipes
- an electric razor
- body lotion
- facial moisturizer
A good workout routine is important no matter who you are. The following exercises can all be done while laying down on your bed. Glory, glory.
- Leg Spins: Lay flat on your back, with both knees bent, soles of your feet flat on the mattress. Raise one leg up in the air, and move it in a circle–first clockwise, and then counter clockwise. Repeat with the other leg.
- The Bicycle: Lay flat on your back, legs raised and bent. Now move your legs like you’re riding a bike.
- Side Kicks: Lay on your side. Keep one bent arm under your head, supporting your neck. With your legs stack on top of each other, lift your top leg up so you look like this >—O. Hold it there for a second, then bring it back down. Repeat a bunch, and then roll over onto your other side and do the other leg.
- Side Leg Lift: It’s the same as the side kicks, but your bottom leg is bent at the knee at about 90 degrees.
- The Clam: I wish the one had a better name. Same position as the side kicks, but both your knees are bent, and you separate your knees, keeping your ankles as together as you can.
Keep your spirit as lifted as possible!
- Invest in some battery operated candles. You can burn them for any purpose and don’t have to worry about them burning down the house if you fall asleep while “burning” them.
- Think about making a guided meditation playlist on Youtube (guided is literally the only way I can meditate #noshame).
- Keep a spiritual journal/grimoire/book of shadows in your phone (either in your notes or as audio files)
- Prayer. PRAYER. If you worship a deity, prayer is easy and free, Talk to them out loud or @ them in your thoughts. If you believe in a higher version of you–your higher self, your god self–@ them, too.
- Books. Get you a book on a subject you’re interested in, a stack of sticky notes, and a highlighter. Read your book, mark the things you want to revisit when you’ve got more energy to work with.
And that’s about it for now! I hope you found these tips helpful.