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Behind The Scenes: A Self-Care Journey, Part 3

by Anja
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We have reached the final part of my self-care journey. In the previous post, I wrote about how taking a self-defense class can increase your confidence and staying offline is not so bad.

This week, I’ll let you know the little things that can help you fuel your day with positivity.

Do some crafting

Knitting makes me happy

No matter if you knit, sew or like to glue stuff together, any crafty activity can help you de-stress.

You might’ve heard that knitting is the new yoga and also of its benefits. To me, knitting is a different kind of meditation. I started knitting a few years ago while going through another depressive phase. Knitting and purling row after row had a nice calming effect on me and it helped me calm down the chatter in my mind. Every time I finished a hat, socks or even a sweater I felt a sense of accomplishment.

If you’d like to learn how to knit, check out my friend Hannah’s page to get you started. I promise you, once you get the hang of it, it’ll be fun and you’ll notice a change in your mind chatter as well.

Do random acts of kindness

Heart Pendant

When was the last time you held the door open for someone? The world seems like such an unkind place lately. Everyone seems too busy or caught up in their thoughts to care about being kind to others. And yet, there are very simple things you can do to put a smile on a stranger’s face.

As an introvert having contact with complete strangers is something that terrifies me. I feared to come across as awkward or strange. I started with something easy: wishing a good morning to a complete stranger at the running track I go to. The reaction? A smile and a “good morning” back.

'No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.' Aesop Click To Tweet

I’ve had the same reaction when I let a pedestrian cross the street when no one else is stopping their car, or when I held the door open for someone. These unimportant things make me feel good throughout the day. Now, whenever I can I do my very best to smile while practicing my random acts of kindness. It’s the little things that can make your day. The best part, they’re free!!

Stay away from the news

Newspaper

I was a news junkie for a while, but I went cold turkey because I didn’t want all that negativity in my life. There’s nothing worse than starting your day reading or hearing about the latest tragedy. Things like that would mess with my day and I’d retreat deeper into my cave out of fear of all that was going on outside.

When in a rut I don’t want my energy to go down further because that will get me in a downward spiral. I now limit my news intake to notifications and headlines. If something catches my attention I bookmark it to read it later… if I remember.

Now I am more at peace and enjoy my day more.

Go to therapy

During this time, I had days when depression was hitting me very hard, where I stopped eating and sleep was scarce. There were moments when I lay on my tear soaked pillow wishing the pain would end and the easiest way out was to end my life. If it wasn’t for therapy you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

Talking to a professional outside the storm helped me see that not everything is as terrible as it seems. Therapy has also given me some tools to help me cope better with whatever life throws at me. I still have bad days, but I’ve found that keeping busy is the best thing I can do to keep depression at bay.

“Therapy is not to ‘talk about’ things, but to change the person’s life, and to relieve suffering, such as depression, anxiety, or relationship problems.” – David D. Burns

If you’re going through difficult times and have thought or are thinking about suicide, please, please get help. You don’t have to go through this alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 in the US. For other countries, go here.

I hope that you find some of these suggestions useful to get you out of a rut. If you have tried some of them or have found other ways to deal with tough times, feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

Take care!

anja

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