We all deal with a stress in a different way. For some it comes easier than to others. I’m amongst those who don’t handle stress very well, so I am constantly seeking new and better ways to keeps myself from the “edge”.
I have recently started a course called WRAP. It stands for Wellness Recovery Action Plan and it is aimed at everyone and anyone who’d like to be able to take care of themselves a bit better, be in charge again, get back into that drivers seat.
The course itself is only two and a half days over a course of three weeks. I have already covered the first two days so I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to share what I’ve learned.
First of all, it was exceptionally good for me to hear what other people have to say, what is it that makes them feel good, to hear others opinions, and exchange ideas. Sometimes, there are those brilliant little moment when someone says:”In order to feel better I do x,y,z”, and you think to yourself:”That is an amazing idea, I really have got to try that!”
Second thing I’ve learned is the importance of keeping well. I actually new about this, but I never gave it much thought. Something else is always more important. If I do not feel well, all of my time and energy will be spent trying to get better. However, when I do feel well, I forget about doing all of those things I used to enjoy. All of a sudden I “don’t have time for it”, or I use some other silly excuse. So I put my energy elsewhere and before you know it, I’m all burnt out and feeling like the worse piece of sh*t all over again. It’s a vicious circle.
So El turned around and said “enough is enough”! From now on, even when I am well, I will keep doing things in order to keep myself well. So even if/when things are not 100% right, I will be able to deal with them, to come out the other end undefeated. I will be less susceptible. I will be less fragile.
To begin with, I would suggest making a list of things that make you feel good. It’s a small list of anything that we need to do on daily basis to be/stay well. It can be anything from deciding at what time we’ll be waking up, through having shower, coffee, brushing teeth, to going out for a walk, swim, ride, jog… It can be doing yoga, putting make-up on, cooking lunch, reading a book, watching tv, meditating, listening to the music, playing games… I’m not saying we should do it all day long, just make a list and do at least one of those things. I believe in positive reinforcement. As soon as I do one of these things, I automatically feel at least a little bit better about myself because it gives me some sort of sense of accomplishment. If my goal is to get up by 8, by not letting myself stay in bed longer I will already feel better and won’t beat myself up all day long for wasting all that time in bed when I could have done something more productive. If I, upon getting up, go to the bathroom and use my daily face scrub and face cream, I will feel like I’ve done something good for myself and next time I look at my skin I will be happier and won’t beat myself up cause I have a zit on my forehead. It’s the simple things like that, that keep me going when I am at my worst and don’t really feel like getting out of the bed and changing from PJ’s, let alone facing the rest of the world.
One of the obvious things, but I still feel like I should mention it, is not to make the list too long. Don’t promise something you cannot keep, not to others and especially not to yourselves. Make your list realistic. I love planning my day ahead. I make a list (to-do list, so different type 🙂 ) and I tick off things as I go throughout my day. But it doesn’t have to be perfect. I used to feel bad if I didn’t finish everything off of my list. But I think I was a bit hard on myself and at times expected a little too much. I am working on that perfectionism of mine and I am happy and satisfied if I finish 80% of things from my list.
These are all just examples, but I do hope I am getting my point across. And that is- take time to take care of yourself before caring for others and don’t feel guilty about it, give yourself a break every now and then, and do things to keep well even if you are already feeling well. I guess we don’t realise how good we have it until we lose it. Bad things will still happen, something or someone will ruin our day, there’s always things that will make us worry, but then why not be in charge of the part of our lives that we can be in charge of? There’s that small percentage of things in my life that I can actually control, so why wouldn’t I?
Until next time,