Lately, I’ve been feeling extra down especially when I see all these news headlines that are honestly so ridiculous. (I mean what year is it again? I thought we were supposed to have progressive views?) It’s good to be aware and well-informed but it does get too much. As someone who tends to over-empathize, it’s essential for me to take a break once in a while and take care of myself. It doesn’t have to take me a whole weekend, just a few minutes to an hour can do the trick!
If you’re struggling to take a break and stop worrying about everything, I’ve come up with a short list of things that might help! I’m gonna be honest here that it’s not 100% effective but most of the time it works in making me feel better and ready for the world and all the good (and shit) it has to offer!
- Take care of a pet (or plant). Now that sounds a bit counter-intuitive but it actually helps to take care of something other than yourself. It brings you out of your mind and makes you feel important and not useless in this world. Think about it! A living thing that deserves love and care will have difficulties surviving (and die *gasp!*) if not for you! You’re important! Living organisms need you! If you’re having a hard time giving yourself some love, try giving it to others.
- Do things you enjoy (or used to). This is honestly so challenging for me since I’ve lost interest in a lot of things I used to enjoy when I was younger. But doing this helps in taking your mind off of what’s been bothering you. If you have no idea what to do, just try doing your old hobbies again. It may not be as fun as you remember it to be but it’s possible that you’ll have more fun with it when you start being good at it again. Some examples of cool (and helpful) hobbies to have are cooking, drawing, learning a new language, coding, playing a musical instrument and making a blog. (*wink*)
- Go out. Take a walk around the neighborhood. Sit on a bench at a nearby park. Explore local stores around you. Take a hike. Take yourself out on a coffee date. Being outside allows you to see other people or be in nature. Watch people’s lives go by or watch how nature and the universe is too big for it to worry too much about personal problems.
- Decide if the negativity is really necessary. Sometimes we actually have to deal with what’s bothering us, sometimes we’re just too sensitive. What I do when I don’t know if I’m overthinking my problems is that I write everything that I’m feeling down on my journal. By everything, I mean everything! It doesn’t have to be completely cohesive, I just go with the flow of my thoughts. After that, I talk back to myself through writing as if I’m giving advice to a friend. I either get a pep talk or I devise a plan on how to work through that specific problem.
- Keep up with social activities. This may be a bit difficult for fellow introverts but it’s really important to avoid isolating yourself. You don’t have to go out with friends everyday of the week but it can be something as simple as texting a close friend or giving support to loved ones through social media. Try talking and hanging out with positive people or those you have a common interest with!
- Turn to people who make you feel loved. This one works the best for me! When I feel like I’m about to explode, I just rant and say everything to Xed who’s so supportive and understanding. What’s even better is that sometimes we engage in a discussion that can get tiring but it gives me a better perspective on the issue/problem making it easier to think of a solution for it! If you have someone you can tell almost anything to and accepts you, open up to them. Vulnerability is beautiful and refreshing and it strengthens your relationship with that person. It makes you feel that you’re not alone in this world and that someone is okay with your worries and insecurities.
I hope I helped someone with this list. Even if it’s just one person. Doing these just helped me so much for the past few years. But I think the first actual step in self-care is making the conscious decision that you need it. I’ve been doing these so much, though, for the past few weeks because the news in the Philippines and here in the US are so stressful and unbelievable. Literally unbelievable, like you’d imagine the news around the world today could possibly be written for a television series or a movie or something. If you’re feeling stressed by these news as well, hang in there. You can get mad or make your voice be heard or do everything that is in your power to make things better but it’s important that you do not lose yourself in the process.
Do great things.