I used to be the type of person to drink all the wine and eat all the sweets when life got stressful. It was that instant satisfaction that I longed for. Now don’t get me wrong, I still do that every now and then, but I’ve found some other coping mechanisms. I’ve learned that I need to put myself first and truly participate in self care in order to be my best self.
This past week (and I’m sure for the next few weeks) my stress level is running higher than normal as we are in a transition period at work. I was talking to my parents explaining my frustration that I felt like I had regressed back to the anxious ridden young women I was about a year ago. I’ve worked so hard to improve my mental health and did not want to lose that. Both parents (via separate text messages) told me to make a plan about how I can keep myself grounded and sane in the near future. Theyre right, I need to plan, prioritize, and just plain breathe.
Plan the work day the night before.
It’s hard in the healthcare field to know what you’re walking into each day. Luckily I at least know my follow ups and can chart review and prioritize the day before.
Listen to upbeat music on the walk to work.
I listened to the playlist confidence boost last Friday on the way to work and had one of my best days yet. It may have been a placebo effect but I don’t care, it worked for me.
It’s taken me so long to find workouts I enjoy and at home workouts are where it’s at! I can workout whenever I want and I can do it while doing my laundry or cooking!
Cook food and take time to sit down and eat it.
The whole sit down at a table thing is harder than it sounds. I find myself eating on the couch or in bed (gasp) while watching Netflix and not truly enjoying the meal. I want to slow down and savor what I’ve cooked even if I did just throw it all together.
Self care to the max.
I’ve been prioritizing this. For me it looks like:
- happy light
- face masks or scrubs
- candles or aroma therapy
- sheep’s skin texture
- long hot showers
- David’s tea (yes it has to be David’s)
Unwind after 8pm.
I’ve put a time limit on social media, 45 minutes. This stops the scrolling before bed which ultimately would lead to comparison, self doubt, etc. Instead I take the hour or so before bed to read a book and slow down my brain. I’ve also set a “bedtime” on my phone so that my body is in a steady rhythm throughout the week.
Writing all of this down has made me realize that’s I already do a lot of things for my mental health. I’ve grown to take care of myself in ways that don’t revolve around chocolate or a glass of wine. But I don’t restrict those things either (can’t wait for my winc box delivery). Sometimes stress and anxiety is higher for whatever reason and you just have to ride it out. Throw on a face mask and light a candle and you’ll feel better, trust me.