going through it. I been feeling down. I’ve been having too much to drink. I’ve been… for some time.
And throughout this entire time I knew I wasn’t ok but I kept pushing myself repeating “this is temporary, I’m going to get through it.” I’d temporarily get through it and then I would go back to the very anxious, stressful body of my mine that I was holding hostage from feeling good. I didn’t realize how much I was affecting and hurting myself working over 50 hours a week, freelancing and being a full-time graduate student until now. I kept reminding myself this like everything else I do is for my family and my community but what is for me? The drinks I was consuming after work to “release stress” and help me cope with my current state of mind? The comfort food that didn’t make me feel great after I was done eating it?
I started going out more. I was ignoring all the issues I was going through to simply help me deal with whatever was lingering. Adding fuel to the fire.
But I’ve also been taking care of myself – more. I’ve been practicing how to treat myself kind, how to feel good in my body and feel good daily, not temporarily.
What am I grateful for? What can’t be taken for granted? What causes me pain? What causes me discomfort? What doesn’t benefit me long term? What is temporary right now, that doesn’t add value to tomorrow? What feels good? What makes me happy?
Those are the questions I’ve been asking myself every morning to walk with purpose, not only intent.
Everything I was practicing before with “self-care” written on the subject line was not self-care… the drinks? They made me feel like shit the next day. I’d stay in bed all day, complain and do it again the following weekend. It took too many drinks and a terrible hangover for me to realize that I am not ok, my behavior: not ok and alcohol isn’t really the answer to my problems.
My anxiety and stress will probably still remain because life but I am practicing healthier alternatives to help me get through difficult times.
Take a walk. I walk down to a park nearby and swing on the swings, sometimes I walk down to my favorite book store in my neighborhood called Cafe Con Libros. It’s a feminist bookstore.
When I’m anxious I drink water, practice my breathing and step away from any situation I’m in to ground myself again. Going into a quiet space and doing all of this is the most effective.
Unplug. I've reduced my time on social media as I’ve also noticed that has began to make me anxious and uneasy. I give myself 2 hours a day but I recently decided to delete the app from my phone. I’ve felt much, much better.
Sit in silence. I sometimes just need silence to let my mind run wild for a few seconds.
Clean my room and water my plants. Plants heal.
Cook. I’ve been trying to make more meals that don’t make me feel sluggish and tired after I’m done eating.
Listen to soothing jazz or music. Currently been having a few songs on rotation:
EARFQUAKE by Tyler, The Creator (IGOR)
Write. I’m trying to take my twitter venting to my notebook, y’all don’t need to know everything.
Call my family. (This can build my anxiety family could be a trigger.)
Go to the gym. I don’t ever know what I’m doing there, and it’s not my favorite place but it allows me to focus on other things like not dying or getting a cramp.
Take myself on dates. This doesn’t have to be fancy, my last date was to get pupusas from El Olomega, a Salvadoran food truck in RedHook. I then sat at a park bench and watched some girls play soccer, I low-key wanted to join them. I ended my date laying in bed listening to music looking out my window as the sun went down.
I’ve started to see my therapist again. For the last couple of months I’d schedule appointments and cancel them the day of. I’m toxic to my own self. Some things are too big for oneself.
These actions help me ground myself, help me feel balanced and assist me when I feel like everything is falling apart and I am losing control. Hope they can help you.