easy self-care tips
Fighting the man is hard, and you can't do it if you're about ready to collapse. Here are a few basic ways to recharge your batteries.
Self-care from a psychologist!
1. Set aside "worry" time. In this case, set aside "reading depressing news articles and making calls" time. Choose a time limit and stick to it. This helps avoid the internet news rabbit hole and makes space for positive things in your life.
2. Light candles. Smell some good scents. Creating a space in your home that feels safe and comforting.
3. Do something healthy (like showering, eating, taking a walk) even though you don't want to. It's called behavior activation. Not doing things --> Depression --> Not doing things --> you're probably getting the point by now. It requires forcing yourself at first, but it's the best thing you can do to break the cycle.
4. Keep a journal of happy or positive things. This helps to prevent selective attention on negatives.
5. Take a step back. You need a day to lie in bed and do nothing? Then do it. Don't do too many in a row (see: item 3) but don't forget to recharge either.
6. Talk to someone who isn't going to piss you off.
7. Do a mindfulness exercise or meditation. We use these in our insomnia group: https://caps.byu.edu/audio-files
8. Get an app! There are awesome apps to help with self-care. The VA makes some great ones (especially CBT-I coach and ACT coach) and there are other good ones like Headspace, Virtual Hope Box, and Relaxation Melodies.
9. Don't take deep breaths. Deep breaths activate your sympathetic nervous system. Take SLOW breaths. Aim for 8 breaths per minute. Exhaling slowly is more important than inhaling. Inhale (pause) exhale (pause) and repeat. Do this for a few minutes.
10. Do a puzzle. Paint something. Ride your bike. Sit outside. Read a book. Pet a cat. Watch a tv show. Make yourself a list of pleasant activities for when you can't think of any.
What are your favorite self-care techniques?