Self-Care as a Depressed Twentysomething

Hey everyone! Emily Pasiuk here. I do communications for The Tit Store and I also write the blogs! Today, I’m doing a lil’ personal feature about self-care. (Oooh, ahhh.)

 

Recently, I took a half day off of work because I couldn’t get out of bed.

 

The other day, I cancelled plans with people I love dearly because I wanted to stay in and hang by myself.

 

Literally two days ago, I went to DQ after work because I positively NEEDED a blizzard.

 

I needed to do these things for the sake of my mental wellbeing. (Well… I for sure needed to do two of these things.) But I still felt bad.

 

Why?

 

Well. For starters, we have been collectively socialized to value work nearly above all else. “How will you provide? How will you pay the bills? What are you good for if you can’t work? What will your coworkers think if you’re always sick? What will they say about you when you’re not there?” We need to work because we need the money to do the things. We have to exploit our labour and time and ourselves to live. (Capitalism is FUCKED, also. But that’s for another blog.) That takes a lot out of a neurotypical person. Now imagine a life where you have extremely low energy, low motivation, a fucked up sleep cycle, a foggy brain, apathy towards things you should care about, and thoughts of erasing yourself off the face of the earth. All this and MORE, folks. It takes a lot out of me most days to get up and go to work. And some days, that’s all I do.

 

And that’s okay.  It’s also okay I take a day off here and there to recuperate. I’m so lucky and grateful to be in workplace/financial situation where I can do that. It’s okay to cancel, and it’s okay to eat ice cream for dinner. (SOMETIMES.) Learning to forgive myself and looking at myself in my worst moments and seeing that person and telling them that I forgive them is one of the most powerful lessons I’m learning in my twenties.

 

Having said that, incisive honesty is another important lesson. Like… really important. I can buy all the chips I want and skip the gym all I want and isolate myself all I want under the guise of self-care. Which, my friends, is dangerous as hell. And not like Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman. Like actually dangerous. One thing I’ve heard a few people say lately is that they have spent a lot of time doing harmful behaviours under the pretense of self-care. These people talking openly about this realization also helped me come to their same conclusion: self-care does not mean doing whatever you want.

 

Holy. Shit.

 

Self-care does not mean doing whatever you want.

 

I swear to god, this literally changed my entire life. It may have even seemed obvious to some of you. But it never occurred to me.

 

Self-care involves an active, conscious introspection. It means looking at your choices and really asking yourself if they are going to contribute to your well-being. It’s a fine line, I admit that. And I don’t always make the right choice. And neither will you. (That’s where the forgiveness comes in.) Sometimes you have to push yourself, sometimes you don’t and sometimes you won’t. But it’s an active thing. And sometimes, it’s really fucking hard.

 

Anyway. Tonight, I’m going to make stirfry at home instead of going out to grab something fast. That is my commitment to myself today. It’s small. But damn, those vegetables are going to be good.

 

I’ll leave you with a little list of things I like to do when I feel like shit.

 

When it’s really bad:

  • Drink lots of water. I fill up my bottle with the perfect temperature of water and make myself drink the whole thing within an hour. Then I do it again.
  • Honestly… nap. If it’s a terrible day, I allow myself some sleep. (Not something I usually do.)
  • Take a bath / shower. Sometimes, this is hard! But it never fails to make me feel a little better.
  • Put on a show or movie I really love and lie there and watch it in my catatonic state. Sometimes, it takes my mind off things.
  • Wash my sheets. If I can get up, this is a great little thing to do.
  • Put on my diffuser. (  H E L L  Y E A H  )
  • Write a list of questions/topics for my next therapy appointment. (Again, I am extremely lucky to be able to access these services. Like, so lucky and I’m so grateful. If you’re a student at the U of R, there’s free counselling services there. (A tip!))

When it’s less bad:

  • Go out to my favourite café and get a coffee. Maybe I’ll read in the café.
  • Walk around the block. When it’s not minus fifty in this tundra fricking wasteland, that’s a thing I like to do.
  • Call my best friend who lives in Vancouver. Talking to her always makes me feel better.
  • Maybe I put some lipstick on!

 

That’s all for now, folks. À la prochaine.

 

Xo, Emily

 


1 comment

  • I also like to buy the things. And diffusers. But yes, self care is not a license to do whatever you want especially when you’re inside voice is saying “I know this isn’t going to make me feel better”. Choice by choice by choice. Life is work.

    Janet

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