Spilling a cup brought me to knees tonight. Something so simple left me sobbing as I tried to dry up the spilled drink. What a drama queen right? Who cries over something so small? But, what you didn’t see was me waking up four times throughout the night before, fighting my anxiety to just get some sleep, or the nightmare I woke up out of the day before that that started the heaviness in my gut – it still won’t go away. I’ve done my best to hold it together the last couple days but spilling my FULL glass was the last straw. It pushed me over the edge that I was barely balancing on as it is, and the floodgates opened.
After I stopped crying I had to change because my drink didn’t only spill on the floor, it soaked my pajama pants and somehow splashed up on my shirt and got in my hair. I grabbed fresh clothes, took a hot shower, and got into something comfy. The hot water washed a little of my stress away, then loving on my dog took care of some more, she’s the sweetest. Hugging my husband for twenty minutes definitely helped, and writing this while I drown out the silence with music is good for me too. Those are the best ways I relieve stress and focus on self care, I focus on my husband, my dog, a shower, writing, and music. For me, that combo works wonders. Why I didn’t focus on some of these things better before I exploded, I don’t know. I tend to be stubborn when I start to struggle and have a hard time taking time for myself to feel better but hey, I’m working on it.
When I’m feeling good or even just okay, I’d like to think my self care routine is pretty consistent. It’s harder when my stress level is higher than usual, which tends to happen semi-regularly. I’ve struggled from PTSD for the past twelve or so years that was a result of trauma I endured when I was younger. I’m more used to bad nights and stress than a girl in her mid-twenties should be, although I used to be a lot worse. I used to struggle daily but now I’m at the point in my healing where the majority of the time, I’m okay- and it’s amazing to say that and mean it. Sometimes the nightmares just come, but now I only get them once every every month to every couple of months. Because I know what to do when I’m having a rough time, I feel better quicker as well, even when I’m stubborn and put off taking care of myself.
Knowing the best ways to take care of yourself is so important. When you go through anything that takes away your peace, it’s necessary to have things you can rely on to help you feel better. Whether it’s writing, reading, exercising, art, or something different, having activities and people you love and can focus on can be life-changing. If you don’t have a self care routine it’s probably time to figure out what you find comforting so that next time you struggle, you can fall back on that comfort. It’s also important that the things you focus on to feel better are healthy for you so that it doesn’t turn into something else you need to heal from in the future. If you’re finding comfort in a substance you can get addicted to, or if you’re finding comfort in a person that doesn’t treat you right, these could end up causing you pain in the long run, and you don’t need that.
A huge part of self care is also setting boundaries and knowing when to step back from certain situations and people, because even if you have things in your life that make you feel better, if you also work on better boundaries and getting some distance between yourself and situations or people that hurt you, you’ll be in a better place emotionally and mentally. Once you figure out your best healthy ways of coping, don’t put off helping yourself! It’s also a good idea to work them into your routine when you’re doing okay so that hopefully it helps prevent a bad day from getting worse. Bad days are bound to come, life is usually full of them. But if you have ways of combating those bad days, it can really help you get through them better and faster.