Self care 101

I have been struggling a lot lately, both mentally and physically. I have preferred to hide in bed away from most activities and people. My body has, of course, decided that it has had enough with my nonsense and demanded some attention.

While talking to my fellow INFJ who understands me so well, I realised I needed to give myself permission to do certain things. I have always known I’m very harsh on my self. These past few months I have spent many hours questioning why I feel the way I do. What I could have done better? Could have I known better? Am I really so naive? These questions often resulted in anger and shame turned inward. Bottled up inside. It isn’t a surprise then that my body is now reacting the way it is.

This art work (which took me a good two hours) was deeply difficult to do but very soothing. I gave myself permission to feel all these things. To be these things. Like my therapist said recently, you need to allow yourself to be emotional and human.

Apart from this escape, I have also taken to doing a lot of art. I play with colours, paints, material and sometimes even prints. These have greatly helped with the anxiety and depression. It isn’t new for me that art and words are my rescue horses. Time and again they help me find my feet. Helping me centre my self and energies. I forget once in a while how much I need them.

Sanity and full energies must be around the corner. But for now, self care is essential. Some colours, words, chamomile tea and most importantly, kindness – a safe place to be and fall apart. What are part of your safe place?

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Lessons

I have been in therapy for a while now. After much difficulty, I was able to find a therapist who I could be vulnerable with. I did not realise earlier that one of my problems was I wasn’t being honest in my sessions. Even to myself. I needed to be honest and allow her to ask questions which will in turn help me. I believed that the best process for me was when I was asked questions that encouraged me to introspect my behaviour/reaction and hopefully hold my hand through the chaos.

During this year of on and off sessions (mostly cause I slink back into ostrich mode), I found out that I had a lot of accumulated baggage. These were my triggers for anxiety, panic and depression. I had trouble identifying and dealing with the triggers. Much of our work together was in helping me deal better and in turn being the best version of myself.

Some days, I deal with triggers of past trauma or pain very well. I know to breath, to gradually untangle the mess and to work on the negativity. On days like today, everything feels like a trigger and overwhelms me. Most of the trouble arises from my own high expectations.

I am still working through this but my most important lesson might be to be kinder to myself.

Be kind to self.