**Please consult a mental health care professional for any medical or professional advice regarding your individual self-care. The following article is strictly present to inspire and empower you to take the steps necessary to be the best possible you. And, hopefully, allow you to relate to a perfect stranger via the inter-webs**
Everyone needs one, and it’s not so much a “kit” as things you should always have. Even if you don’t have anxiety or depression, it’s for the time you want to pull your hair out because everyone and everything makes you a crazy hurricane. The kit that gives you a little “pick me up” when you’re not feeling the best.
Self-care is crucial. It’s work. Contrary to the social media’s belief it’s not all salt baths and candles. Self-care is a regime just as say your dental hygiene routine. Yes I’m saying it, mental health is just as important at physical health. Self-care is going to look different on everyone.
You need to create it to fit you because you’ll be the one using it. Find things that make you happy, that bring you joy. But also, find the things that bring you peace. What helps you unwind? Or if you haven’t discovered it yet, try some new things. I’ll note it took me years to perfect this. But alas, here’s what I always keep.
Tea Box Stocked
The first step in detoxing my spirit of anxiety is to change my energy. This much easier said than done, but tea is my “focal point”. To me, tea is getting together with my work friends and ranting out our problems. Yes, we drink tea whilst spilling the tea if you will. Tea is a primary driving force in helping me cleanse my mind.
I love teas. Tea helps to calm me rather than hype me up like coffee typically does. You see, I’ve put a “time to start my day” energy into the act of drinking coffee. So drinking coffee would give me a time to start a more anxious mood. When I have my tea, it’s an experience, to say the least. I love to smell it and use the aroma as a therapy, taste it and feel it as a soul cleanser. That’s the energy I give tea at that time. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is it’s all about the energy you put into something.
My go-to tea is Earl Grey Lavender.
I love hydrotherapy. I have found late-night baths to be very therapeutic. I use a variety of bath salts, these I’m not too picky about. So long as it smells good, I’m good. I have one that has oatmeal in it that’s soothing, one with sandalwood. I go with what I’m feeling, what will I appreciate today, rather than the effects the oils in the salts are supposed to have. I do this to go with the flow of my feelings. For me, I find it more beneficial to use what I will like on the spot rather than going through the “well this one is supposed to do this and have this effect.” One thing I do is only keep relaxing, happy scented bath things so I always have what I need.
The reason why hydrotherapy is so soothing for me is because of my dance/karate/circus background. Hydrotherapy helps soothe my sore muscles, and soothe my mind in a-ok it’s time to slow down and be still. Really, it’s the hydrotherapy that’s the key to this lock as opposed to the bath salts.
I write, but I also draw and paint. Art journaling was a HUGE help in college and it has been nowadays too. I’ll scribble out free verse poetry when I’m having an attack. It sends it out of me. No I don’t burn it after (people ask me that all the time) but instead, they are hidden amongst various diaries and documents and publications.
I won’t go into too much detail but I have a list of people I call when I’m in tears thinking my life is going nowhere. (thanks fam you know who you are)
I use essential oils. I was on medication for more than half my life and it made me a person I didn’t like. I lost most emotion whilst on it; forcing me to be someone I was not. I was very unhappy whilst I was on it, however, I didn’t know I wasn’t unhappy until I removed myself from modern medication. I switched to essential oils roughly 3 years ago. Lavender and a blend of Ylang Ylang and Frankincense became the trick. To this day it’s what calms me down but keeps me level headed. This is a VERY personal piece. I use oils under the supervision of a healthcare professional. EVERYONE is going to be different. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking and form of medication.
*Please note I tried many different medications under proper medical professional supervision. All medications including essential oils should be used under proper medical supervision.
I do use my Sick/Care days when I’m not mentally well. It happens and IT’S OK!!!! I’m very blessed to work in an environment where this is valued and they provide us with free resources to help with this. So in the event, your boss doesn’t tell you this, call in if you aren’t mentally ok. Your mental health is important too.