Glad to be back; the past couple of months have been truly challenging and through it all am grateful that God has kept me and my family. Painful and trying moments that change our lives will always come and it’s important that these experiences don’t change who we are, let’s allow them to make us stronger, kinder, more empathetic and smarter beings.
Regardless of what the stressor is, the last few months have taught me that self-care is of absolute importance. It may seem far fetched and strange; one might even ask themselves ‘’how am I supposed to take care of myself when going through all this pain?’’, trust me, friend, you must look after yourself so that when the storm is finally over, you haven’t lost who you are.
The past few months have taught me the following things about self-care:
Acknowledge your feelings
Don’t lie to yourself, be honest with yourself no matter how hard it may seem. Sidestepping your negative emotions/pain is simply a false way of dealing with how you feel. All you will be doing is trying to run away from a problem than solve it. It just doesn’t work, that problem will always find its way back because it was never solved.
If you want peace of mind and closure you have to face your emotions head-on. Joyce Marter, a therapist, and owner of urban balance suggest that clients must set a limit to feel their emotions every day, even if its 15 minutes to process emotions.
Talk about it
Firstly, you can’t just trust anyone; know who you can truly confide in, not every listening ear is a caring ear. Keeping things bottled up has never helped anyone, it eventually causes anxiety, depression, etc because the problem is not being tackled. Imagine having a heavy load on your back constantly, in the end, it will break your back, but if you have someone who can help you carry the load, the heaviness/weight of it is easily managed.
See beyond the hardship
As the title says, tough times are temporary. This is true, no problem lasts forever, it eventually gets solved and if it isn’t, you learn to deal/handle it better as time goes on.
Yes, when you are in a crisis it’s hard to see the upside, but you will overcome and in hindsight, you will see that the challenge made you stronger one way or another.
If you want to survive hardship, look after yourself. Self-care is necessary, you won’t be of help to yourself or others if you are incapacitated.
While you may find it hard to continue with your healthy habits, you can still take great care of yourself – suggestions include: going for a jog/walk to relieve physical tension and clear cobwebs in your mind, preparing nutritious meals, hanging out with friends and reading a good book/watching a nice movie.
Forget about what you cannot control, in a moment of prayer/meditation, picture yourself handing those items over to God or whatever you believe in and let go. Then concentrate on what you can control like your actions, decisions, good habits and thoughts.
Ask for help
No one person can handle issues all by themselves; we all need a helping hand, although we might not want to admit it sometimes. Allow yourself to relinquish control, ask for help and receive it with grace.
Eliminate toxic people
Get rid of people who are not supportive, unreliable and don’t have your best interest at heart. It’s easy to tell who these are; they are critical, judgemental and demanding. After being with them you will feel drained, depleted and worse.
You are not your difficult time
You are more than your problem, crisis, illness or your bank account. Don’t forget that the true YOU is that deep entity within that stays perfectly whole no matter what you are experiencing.
You heal differently
Do not allow anyone to clock-watch you. Everyone feels and heals in different ways. Hard times can feel incredibly overwhelming, but they will pass too, take your time, be kind to yourself – feel every emotion and work through it, in the end, you will be stronger.
Remember that getting through a hard time is more of a marathon than a sprint, therefore you must pace yourself and take the time you need to reboot your mind and body so that you can outlast the problem.
Please share your thoughts on how you handle tough times.