The Ultimate Self-Care Guide
Adapted from Sinope
When you’re not feeling great, and feel like giving up, it can be hard to say, “Hey Self, you should turn your thinking around.” Because let’s face it, when you feel like giving up, you don’t have the energy to even think about that. So, today we’re sharing with you our ultimate self-care guide for when you feel like giving up.
Questions to ask yourself before giving up
Are you hydrated?
Yes? go to the next question. No? Go have a glass of water
Have you eaten in the last three hours?
If not, get some food – something with food. Ensure your snack includes protein and not just simple carbohydrates. Choose an option like nuts or hummous.
Have you showered in the last day?
No? Go take a shower right now!
Have you been active in the last day or done any sort of activity?
If you haven’t, get up and do something right now. Even if you don’t have energy to go to the gym or to go for a run, try going for a short walk around the block. Once you’re out, try to keep the pace going as long as you can. Is it raining outside (like it normally is here in Ireland)? Then drive or take the bus somewhere where you CAN walk, such as the grocery store or a shop in town.
Have you gotten dressed this morning?
If it’s still daytime, and you’re wearing pajamas, make a point to go pick out your favourite outfit from your closet and put it on.
Are you avoiding going to sleep?
If it’s night time, and you’re avoiding sleeping by surfing the internet or watching netflix, try to turn off your screen, put on some white noise, put on your most comfortable pajamas, and closer your eyes for about fifteen minutes. If you’re still awake after that, you can go back to what you were doing.
Feeling worthless and infective?
Stop what you’re doing, and go do a SMALL task. Maybe it’s responding to a a couple emails, or loading the dishwasher. But pick something small and celebrate that you’ve been able to do it.
Have you completed a random act of kindness in the last day?
If not, do one now. Either online or in person, pick someone you know and either send them a nice message or give them a compliment.
Have you listened to music recently?
No? Put on your FAVOURITE upbeat song, and either dance or jog in place for the entirety of just one song. Make sure you pick something upbeat!
Have you had to skin to skin contact with someone in the last two days?
If not, go hug one of your friends. Remember, humans are social creatures and we need skin contact. Can’t find a friend to hug? Give one of your pets or your friend’s pets a hug.
Have you talked to a therapist or friend recently?
If you’re in therapy, try to hang on until your next session to talk to your therapist about what’s bothering you. If not, try to talk to a friend about how you feel.
Do you feel paralysed by indecision?
Take a break from whatever decision you have to make for 15 minutes. Go do something else entirely and come back after your break to try to figure it out. If it’s still a troubling you when you get back, pick something else to do (such as a task or decision) that IS doable. Right now, the most important thing to help you NOT feel like giving up.
Have you been over-exerting yourself lately?
Being super busy and over-exerting yourself can affect you for quite awhile. Try to give yourself a break do something calming or silly.
Has your medication changed recently or did you miss a dose?
If you’ve recently changed medication (whether it’s brand or even the actually medication itself), it’s likely the meds (or lack thereof) messing with your head. Give it a few days, and if it’s still bothering you, make an appointment with your GP.
After trying at least one of these, you should feel a little bit better. Remember, you’re stronger than you think you are right now. You’ve made it this far and you will make it through.
Nicole Paulie is a Counselling Psychologist, and co-author of “How to be Happy and Healthy – The seven natural elements of mental health.” She provides therapy in the Dublin city area. Contact us to learn more or to book an appointment.