2020 was truly awful in so many ways. That year was my hell, but goddamn did it teach me some important lessons.
- Never completely rely on someone else.
- Self care is actually important, and can make a big difference on your mood
- Same for practising gratitude and pride. Seriously, what the hell? Why had I not been doing this before?
Okay, I know why I didn’t do it before. It felt stupid. Really, really stupid. I viewed it in the same way some people view therapy. But if you ever get those moments where life feels like it’s stabbing you in the chest (emotionally) from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep, these practices make the pain a lot more manageable. They don’t get rid of it completely, but it’s the difference between staring at a wall all day because you just can’t move, to being able to perform the necessary daily tasks to keep you and your household functioning.
So everyday I force myself to come up with my three 5s: five things I’m grateful for, 5 things I’m proud of in myself, and 5 acts of self care I’ve done that day. It’s hard, but it is possible.
Let’s say I’m feeing really hellish, and it’s one of those days where I can barely get out of bed. Here’s what I’d come up with:
- got shelter
- got a bed I can lay in, instead of being at a roadside somewhere
- got privacy
- I’ve got family and people I care about who are still alive
- nothing stays the same, so this horrible feeling will go away eventually
- I made the right decisions before this day, so that when bad things happen and I need to rest I have the option to do so safely
- I’m avoiding vices like alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, etc (always helps to keep these in a separate room if you do partake, it makes it more effort to get to them)
- I’m still alive somehow
- I don’t go and lash out at others when I feel bad
- I’m making the effort to work on lists like these
- Binge watch favourite TV show
- Listen to an inspirational podcast (Jordan Peterson’s a favourite go-to for when I’m in these moods)
- Brush hair
- Change clothes (and shower if you can, but change clothes at least)
- Play a game
Everyone’s got their own version of low and high functioning, so if your off day is worse than this it’s okay. And sometimes you won’t get to all five things on any of them, but even just coming up with one is better than none.
I hope this proves helpful to someone out there!