Self care for mopey days

Greetings, dear reader. If, by some miracle, you’re still following this blog (given my super infrequent updates), then… DUDE, THANK YOU!

Anyways, things are moving along here: we got to Colorado about a month ago, and I’m getting as settled in as one can be when 90% of one’s belongings are still in storage.

On one hand, I’m so, so happy to be in Colorado — I’ve been waiting literally years for this, y’all — and I don’t miss DC at all. I’ve been hiking as much as possible (my IG is basically an ongoing documentation of my hiking adventures), and just seeing the mountains every day makes me happy.

Today, though, is a mopey/hard day for, like, a veritable cornucopia of reasons. I knew today was going to be hard, and my inner monologue has involved a lot of “Self, no. We are not going to lie in bed being depressed. We are going to get up. We are going to do things.

Knowing this, I decided to bust out most of my self-care arsenal in an effort to soothe myself — and happily, they appear to be working!

Buzzfeed had an awesome article recently about making an emergency self-care kit, and I decided to add to it with a flow chart that I recently made for myself. When the sads come calling, I ask myself the following questions:

  • How long has it been since I ate, had some water, or exercised? It it’s been more than 90 minutes since I had food or water, and if it’s been more than a day since I had a good sweat session, that’s my first objective.

If that’s not the issue, then I call upon the self-care toolkit:

  1. Deploy happy-warm-fuzzy sensory things. For me, that means a candle I love (from my happy place, AKA Marshall’s), and jazz music, which always helps keep me from sliding into that sneaky, heinous downward spiral of grossness and misery.
  2. Do something productive. I find that my mood often follows action, and that doing something productive — laundry, cleaning, organizing, anything — helps me feel like I’m not just, y’know, a pile of flesh that lies in bed and fucks around on Reddit and social media all day. Not doing anything makes me feel useless, and feeling useless fuels my depression like woah — but the reverse is also true, so even when all I want to do is lie around and be sad, I make myself do something. Today, knowing that I needed to be especially distracted, I did all three: laundry, organizing, and cleaning. They definitely helped.
  3. Do something creative. When I’m doing anything that involves my right brain, my mood magically lifts. I don’t know why this is true — maybe it’s distraction, maybe it just requires using a different part of my brain than the part that is so talented at ruminating — but holy hell does it ever help. I decided to hop on Word Swag and make some quotes for Instagram (to be posted later today!), and it felt… wonderful.

I was also really happy to get this toolkit in place — so, overall, I’d say today was a much bigger win than I’d anticipated.

2 thoughts on “Self care for mopey days

  1. Lillian – all good strategies! The 90 minute check-in is an excellent idea, I may have to use that at times!

    Glad to hear that you are settling back into CO with your family. It’s good to live with people who you love and who love you back.

    Anne

    Like

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