Life can be messy, chaotic, stressful and- or depressing. I’m not one of those types of people you read about who claim to optimize their time for epic productivity. Nope. I’m the type of person who gets to the end of the day and thinks, Where did the day go? and, Did I actually accomplish anything?
It’s too easy to lose ourselves to parenthood, life sucking jobs, over rated adulthood responsibilities and an entire season of Ozark on Netflix. We tend to forget to take care of ourselves or if you’re like me, totally remember but do nothing about it.
As someone who experiences depression I’ve researched an extensive amount of self care tips. We all know there’s a million out there. According to Google, 830,000,000 results come up when you search the exact words, Self care tips.
The information is overwhelming. There’s everything from the latest craze of the seven minute workout to quitting your job and scaling up the side of the Himalayas to mediate while uncomfortably gasping for air.
When it comes to self care our regimes need to be self tailored to what works best for each of us as unique individuals. It’s truly a matter of trial and error. Here are five super simple ideas that work for me. I’m not saying, You must do these! I’m more so sharing my personal experience in hopes it helps others.
Beat the shit out of a punching bag
Let’s be real, we all get pissed off or frustrated and when we do we have two choices: unleash the wrath on others or self destruct by stuffing it. Both of these options are unhealthy.
Beat the shit out of a punching bag instead of beating the shit out of someone else or yourself, physically or emotionally.
A decent punching bag for an amateur runs roughly $60, less than the cost of a single therapy session. I own a full length Mixed Martial Arts bag which I purchased for $85. This way I can do both, beat and kick the shit out of it — an all around work out for the entire body. Not only do I rid myself of built up animosity but I’m staying in shape as well. Win- win, for sure.
Put your electronic device down
My teenage son is forever face down in his phone. If it’s not Snapchat then it’s YouTube or video games. He attends college in the city and lives at home with us. I texted him, Can you pick up a loaf of bread on your way home so I don’t have to drive 40 miles to get one?
He didn’t respond. I’m like, how is that possible if you’re always staring at your phone, for the love of God? I lost my patience and called him. I use the phone to make a phone call. I know, this technique is old school and went out of style back in 2013.
We’re more focused on our 1,200 superficial Facebook friends presenting their superficial lives to us than we are our own lives. We’re obsessed with being connected to everything all of the time.
The stimulation of constant technology overload is panic inducing. I eliminated it because I induce panic on my own just fine. I don’t need added stimuli to provoke it.
Instead I’ve become more aware of limiting my internet usage.
Utilize public transportation
When in the city my children and I take the bus or train instead of driving. There are a few reasons why but the mostly so I won’t have a road rage breakdown in traffic.
My kids dislike public transportation. I do my best to instill the idea it’s a cultural experience even though the culture is drunk people, stabbings, theft and a permanently intense smell of urine.
These things don’t bother me. I’m prepared with mace, a serrated pocket knife and a zero tolerance attitude. The idea of self care by utilizing public transportation is to lower my stress level from the insane traffic. What I’ve gotten from it is that no matter how fucked up my situation or circumstances appeared, in comparison was inevitably not nearly as screwed up as others.
If it tastes good don’t eat it
I was four months post-op and finished with my first round of radiation treatment when the oncologist sent me to a healing center to aid in my recovery.
I had visits with a chiropractor, physical therapist and nutritionist three times a week. It was the first time in my life I’d received these forms of health care. I felt as if I was being pampered.
The nutritionist was a serious man who took nutrition seriously as if it were based off of science or something. When we discussed a well balanced diet plan to be sure I was consuming a minimum of 2,800 calories a day of live and protein rich foods he would always end the conversation with, If it tastes good don’t eat it.
He insisted this would be the best way to remember what I should and should not be eating.
He had me keep a daily journal of what I ate and I followed through. One entry I’d written down was a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Just as he was about to lecture me I cut him off and said, I’ve been through hell and I needed a fucking peanut butter cup.
Now I garden.
My husband and I were at his parent’s house where Fox News is playing on the TV in the background 24/7. When my mother in-law asked my thoughts on Kavanaugh I told her it makes my head hurt to acknowledge it. Since Trump became president it’s basically been like one episode of Jerry Springer after another.
I’m not ignorant nor do I promote ignorance in any way but we’re at a point in time where citizens are of little value and importance. I view the current state of the government similar to that of a reality TV show, and perhaps that’s because our supposed leader was a reality TV show host for 14 seasons.
Whatever the reason, it’s a plague and best to avoid it. I experience this sort of blissful feeling not knowing the current saga in Washington and instead focusing my efforts on living a more self sustaining lifestyle.
Bonus idea for weekends- get rid of all your useless crap
Start one room. Toss the junk. List worthwhile items on EBay and make some extra cash from all the useless crap.
Not only does it feel liberating and give you desperately needed space to breathe, but the extra cash will come in handy during the dry months since creatives make little money if any.
I spent all weekend clearing my house out and this morning I feel weightless. Ah.
For the price of a box of Hefty bags — you can to.