What is our Roller Coaster, exactly? Our moods. I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of intense ups and downs with my moods on a daily basis. Continue reading Five Things for Managing Our Roller Coasters
On Friday I made a post about taking care of yourself. Today I want to write about treating yourself.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a hard time learning how to treat myself because of all the hateful things people have told me. I frequently have the little voice inside my head that tells me you’re never good enough and it beats against my self-esteem. However, as time goes on (and my medications make me crave sweets more than usual), I’m learning how to reward myself for the little things in life.
But isn’t that bad? Shouldn’t you only reward yourself for the big accomplishments?
No. I don’t think so, anyway. Only rewarding yourself for “big” accomplishments creates the illusion that nothing you do is a big enough accomplishment, and it eventually instills a lack of self-esteem in your accomplishments.
That sounds like it can be dangerous, or put you in a bad place.
That’s why you do little rewards for little accomplishments and big rewards for big accomplishments.
For example, you have a goal for not biting your nails for a week. At the end of a week where no nail biting happens, you buy yourself a candy bar.
Or let’s say you’ve been waiting for that big job promotion you’ve been working towards for a long time, and you finally get it. You can finally buy that new GPS system so you can take an actual vacation!
Every little action makes an impact in someone’s life.
Happy (late) Friday, everyone! I hope your day was a good one.
It’s 8:33 pm in my timezone right now as I’m writing this. It feels like the night has hardly even gotten started. It’s probably because I’ve spent most of my day being laid-back and trying not to overexert myself. I attempt to do this often because I know how my body gets when I get stressed out. I get cranky, sleep-deprived, and make rash decisions. My borderline symptoms also start creeping in on me and I start wanting to self-harm again. In fact, I just quit my latest job because the Black Friday stress pushed me past my limits and I gave into those temptations. I wasn’t relaxing and doing exactly what I’m recommending anyone does today!
Why should I listen to you about relaxing when you failed to do it yourself while you were employed?
We all make mistakes. I’m also human and paying my dues for the decision I made. I’ll be back and working again in January.
How do you relax when you have kids, the dog, the laundry, the dinner, the husband, the <enter your task here>!
I’ve never have kids or a dog I’ve solely owned. I’ve had a husband and dinners to cook after 12 hours of being at school though, so I can at least tell you that it’s a balancing act. I like to section things into categories and give everything its own due time for a little bit. So when I get home, it’s greet the husband and chat for a minute. Then I cook dinner. I entertain the husband for a little bit longer while sitting down. I get food ready. Then I spend more time with hubby while watching a movie. And when we’re done, I take time for me.
At least, that’s how I did it when I was with my husband.
My time now has no husbands, but I’m responsible for cooking at least one meal a week in my living situation. Sometimes my days are wake up, eat, do a chore, get ready for recovery, go to recovery, come home and sit for 1 1/2 hours, cook dinner, do another chore, medications, and bed. It sounds simple, and it is to a degree, but it gets old on the soul and tears me down. Even for something like the recovery center where I take classes, interact with like-minded people (and some not-so-like-minded ones), and sit for most of my day this happens.
So…HOW do you relax?
I realize that was a long ramble that didn’t go anywhere, and I apologize. The key thing is to listen to your body. Do you have the day off and just thinking about driving drives your legs mad with pain? Don’t do it! Do you have to drive somewhere and your body aches and screams at you no? Find some way where you can squeeze in relaxation time. Take a hot bath or shower to relax muscles. Listen to inspiring music. Watch a TV show for a quick minute. Your possibilities are endless.
Me? I enjoy watching the BBC Sherlock and cross-stitching. In fact, I just bought my first cross-stitching kit today and I got to finish off season 2 of Sherlock this evening. My body is in a lot happier of a state of mind than I have been in all day because of it.
You also have to make time to be by yourself. I know for myself, being around people is draining. While I’m definitely getting over old social phobias I developed, I really just can’t be around people 24/7. I’m sure you can’t too. Keep that in mind and see if you can get some time to sit for five minutes without your kids knocking on the door…or the baby crying, the dog barking, the husband calling, etc. etc.
How do you like to relax? Are you finding it hard to squeeze in time to relax? How are you feeling right now? Do you like to give yourself time to relax?
Take some time for yourself and go have a hot shower and a cup of tea (or whatever you prefer). You definitely and truly deserve it, no matter your schedule.
Every single day I look on this blog and look at my stats, I get happier because there’s more and more people who are finding out about this blog and are taking the time to read my content. It reaffirms my idea that this was a really good idea to do and it wasn’t a harebrained scheme.
It gives me something to be grateful for in a day of disappointing events and irritating things coming up for my recovery. This is incredibly hard to practice when I’m living in the moment of getting angry or letting old events stew in my system.
But the key here is that I’m aware of this gratitude here and now, as opposed to not at all.
Why should I practice gratitude?
For starters, it’s a really good way to balance out how your life is going for you today. For example, you can ask yourself “How many things I am grateful for today?”, and you can count the ways. You can be grateful for the little things, such as having a warm jacket to brace yourself for the cold winter, to the breath you breathe and can see in the air, to the larger things, such as having a partner, kids, that job promotion you’ve been striving for…
Another good reason why it’s good to practice gratitude is because it helps change your mindset. You stop focusing on the negative. You forget about Mr. Desolate Darren being a jerk to you today and instead you think about getting to be a part of your partner’s life. It works out.
Well, I can’t practice gratitude because I feel <insert emotion here>
Think of practicing gratitude this way:
You don’t have to sit down and make a huge deal about it. Right now I’m sitting on the sofa, watching National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation as I’m practicing my gratitude. The important thing to do is think about what you’re grateful for and it works itself out.
What I want to ask you now is:
What one thing are you grateful for today? Are you grateful for many things? How do you want to practice gratitude tonight?
I’m grateful for you reading this today. I owe you a thank you.