I have days when I wake up in the morning and I feel motivated to do yoga and ride my bike. I feel inspired and I can write page after page. I feel a sense of accomplishment having exercised and written. I eat healthy and feel positive, and the day feels amazing.
I also have days when I do not want to get out of bed and doing a 10-minute yoga feels like the biggest hurdle. I find it hard to appreciate all the good things in life and feel a dark cloud looming over me. During these days, everyone tells me to “think positively” and focus on self-care, and it only leaves me more agitated.
I find that during my difficult days, encouragement from people telling me to think positively and take care of myself tend to irritate me more than cheer me up. My inability to get up and do the smallest thing makes me feel more like a failure, and I am filled with self-doubt.
Instead of trying to turn my day around by reading happiness mantras or pushing myself, I have noticed that accepting how I feel is the most helpful. If I am feeling frustrated, sleepy, or tired, I accept it instead of trying to turn my day around. I accept it as my unproductive day, and it is okay.
It can be hard to enforce self-care on days like this, and it is completely okay for self-care to feel redundant during such times.
The times when I feel low, I acknowledge my feelings instead of trying to hide them or talk about them too much. I do not pressure myself to mask how I am feeling but accept it as a natural progression of life.
I have found it to be extremely helpful to admit my true feelings and talk to friends who will understand. I have also found that it is a slippery slope when I complain too much. I do think it is especially important to talk about your problems, but try to find solutions instead of continuing the overflow of complaints from one person to another. It is helpful to complain to a friend or two but not to every person you know.
I have found that over-complaining brings me down more.
It is natural to complain, but over-complaining does negatively affect the quality of your life. No one wants to be around someone who cannot stop complaining, and I do not want to be that person. I let it out and I move on.
I remind myself that my body is the most amazing machine. It gets hurt and it heals. I may not believe it, but I quietly whisper to myself, “I am strong, and I will overcome this.”
Negative thoughts are a part of life, and when they take over my mind, l feel like my anxiety is winning. During these fearful times, I use yoga as a tool to help me overcome the difficulty. Usually I can do hour-long yoga with a smile on my face, but on my difficult days, even a minute feels too long.
It is not always helpful for others to give me solutions as it is something, I have to find them for myself. For me, it is yoga, and for you, it may be another form of exercise, gardening, or a pint of your favorite ice cream. We all have to do what works for us, because the same thing does not work for everyone.
I used to try to rationalize my fears and anxiety, but what has worked for me is that I have to validate my feelings before I try to find logic in the situation. I tell myself there is a reason why I feel the way I do, though it may not be rational.
Getting support from myself has helped me stop pressuring myself to get it together quickly. Some days, it is necessary to allow myself to just feel, because tomorrow is a new day. It is okay if some days self-care means doing nothing.
I have experienced an overwhelming pressure of many self-care routines available, and some days nothing seems to work. During those days, the idea of self-care does feel quite redundant.
On some days, self-care is a bubble bath and treating yourself, and on other days, self-care is no longer pressuring yourself and just doing what feels best in that moment.
Sometimes I feel more anger and frustration when other people tell me how to do self-care, and during those times I have realized that it is okay to feel upset, but it is not okay to be cruel to them just because I feel hurt.
These are challenging times. The number of people experiencing depression and anxiety has increased dramatically. You have to do what is best for you. I tell all my friends, “You do you,” because you know yourself best.
It’s okay if your self-care feels redundant right now. It may help some people take care of themselves, and some people may experience more relief from helping others. I think self-care is important, but not when the idea starts stressing you out more.
The most important thing is to take care of yourself; some days self-care is pushing yourself to do a little yoga, and some days it might be doing nothing at all.
Most of the days, I believe in myself, but some days I do not. During those days, I quietly tell myself, “You’ve got this.”
Every day is different, and I give myself permission to accept myself how I am feeling and what I need that day.