Do you find yourself struggling to engage creative forms of self-care while you're hurting? It is so difficult for me to keep on keepin' on when I'm sad & weepy, stressed or angsty about issues in life. This has been a major problem for me actually. Unless I'm highly intentional, I get stuck in a seemingly unending vicious loop.
Here's a few things that have worked for me...
1. Ongoing + Consistent Habits
When I all ready have a few healthy habits in place, they carry me through the rough days...for the most part. For example, this summer I've been attending an evening workout class called "Twerk & Burn" with roughly 100 other women of color. We shake our behinds, embrace our jiggly parts & unashamedly give full sexual expression to the art of the twerk without any concern for the male or white gaze.
The whole experience has been delicious.
I had a few rough days this summer land on a Tuesday. Instead of staying stuck I tried to remind myself, "it's Tuesday, this is what we do on Tuesdays! Just go! No matter what!" As you can surmise, afterwards I felt better.
2. Seeking Out + Connecting with Others
Connecting with others is the number one way to care for yourself when you are undone. We are humans + we are made for connection + intimacy. Life is complicated. Easier said than done, eh?
Two of my beloved sisterfrans live hundreds of miles away. During the day, my husband is at work (and consequently sometimes marriage itself is the cause of my distress --real talk). As a middle-aged Married Mama, my peers are all busy + legit unavailable.
Yet, seeking them out is the best way I've found to care for myself. For my Jeanie-Bop, I'll send a text. With Gigi & Ani, we prefer the Marco Polo app. With my girls in town, I'm incessantly texting to figure out when we can meet up. If worse comes to worse, I use the Voxer app to leave a long, detailed message of everything I'm feeling.
It's remarkable how a few messages, texts & voxers makes me feel better even if we haven't connected just yet.
3. Prayer + positive affirmations
I used to speak so poorly to myself. I said horrible things to myself about myself. This was when my two older boys were young. My 1st marriage was falling apart. I was falling apart. I want to explain to you how much that helped me: NOT AT ALL. In fact, it made life infinitely worse. If you find yourself speaking badly to yourself in any way at all, please for the love of God: STOP IT. IMMEDIATELY. STOP IT! I cannot underscore how important is you to have self-compassion on yourself.
Now, I only allow myself to speak kindly to myself, to write kindly about myself, to love myself fully. Everyday, no matter how I'm feeling I write nice things about myself when I journal out my I AM statements. (Here's the journal + desire map I LOVE & have used for 3 years!)
This goes back to #1. Journaling my "I AM" statements is a consistent habit. So that even when I feel 1,000% shitty, I will still write everyday how brave, strong, amazing, kind & beautiful I am.
what are some tips+tricks you have for practicing self-care amidst heavy sadness or overwhelm?
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