Healthy Selfcare


Healthy selfcare is an area that I continually struggle with, so I thought I’d write a little about it. Let’s start by looking at what it is.

I think healthy self-care is the ability to look after oneself properly, to make healthy choices and to take care of the own wellbeing, be it physical, emotional, psychological, etc. I think it’s an important key to be able to live a good life.

I also suck at it. Big time. Seemingly easy tasks are quite challenging to me. But lets look at everything in some order. I’ll name the things that I think should belong to my healthy self-care routines, and will then briefly discuss each.

Sleeping ~8 hours during the night. Ideally I should sleep from around 11pm to 7am. Should. In practice I have a hard time feeling ready to go to sleep. I have a hard time sleeping through the night. I wake up too early. And then, when it’s finally time to get up I’m often sleepy again and wish I could stay in bed.

Eating healthy meals. This one is okayish by now. I have gotten used to eating mostly non-processed foods, stuff made from scratch, fruits, raw vegetables, that kind of thing. I still like candy and fast food, but it’s okay if I don’t have too much of it. So yay, one area that actually is okay.

Preparing healthy meals. Uhm… I have difficulty with that part. If I were left to my own devices about what meals end up on the table, I’d end up in the convenience aisle of the supermarket. And that’s bad. I am trying to learn how to prepare proper food, but it’s a big fight against myself. Once I’m doing some cooking with mom, it’s actually not that bad, but even so… the next time around, I’m just as bad.

Showering, washing my hair, brushing my teeth, dressing in clean clothes etc. Another really hard one. I do it because mom doesn’t let me get away with not doing it, and I even kind of like the fact that I usually end up attending to all the hygiene stuff, but I know that if I nobody but myself was responsible for it, I’d still go back to neglecting my hygiene. I can’t really tell why. It’s just that it seems unimportant somehow, even when I know it is not.

Getting exercise, fresh air and sunlight. Another hard one. I quite like being outside once I am doing it, but getting to the point that I decide to do it is hard. I lack the self-control necessary to pick myself up and actually do it.

Keeping my surroundings clean and orderly. Okay, I seriously suck at this one. My room is almost always a mess, even when I don’t really do much in it. And where I go, the mess follows. It’s involuntary, it just happens. Maybe it’s the lack of order and organization within myself spilling everywhere. Maybe it’s me feeling reminded of my birth mother by all the order, because she was obsessed with keeping things clean. I have no clue. I don’t dislike it when things look clean and neat. I just don’t manage to maintain it.

Regulating my emotions. That I’m bad at this area of healthy self-care is probably what justifies my diagnosis of Borderline the most. I’m working on improving my emotional regulation skills, but it’s hard and I still need help. I have a hard time relaxing and soothing myself and getting off unhealthy trains of thought.

Doing something sensible and fulfilling. Ha, check it out, I only recently discovered this one in the first place. I have no education to speak of, I have no professional training and I am still quite far from being able to hold down a job. But I have discovered that I like doing something worthwhile with my time, something meaningful. I think that’s what keeps me interested in blogging. It feels like a sensible thing to do, and I feel like that is actually improving my mental health a little.

Abstaining from substance abuse. I’m doing surprisingly okay with that one. I used to abuse alcohol a lot, and I had become addicted to benzodiazepines. Which is kind of easy in places where they get doled out like crazy-people-candy. But I successfully went through withdrawal and have not used since. I’m also okay-ish with letting alcohol be alcohol. Sometimes it’s still tempting, the thought to just drink, but I manage to resist. Oh, and I don’t smoke! That’s a plus, too.

Having healthy decision-making skills. Soooo many challenging things factor into this one. Stopping and thinking properly before reacting, having self-discipline to do what’s sensible and not what’s easy or habitual, being able to tell what a healthy decision looks like… I struggle with those.

Socializing in a positive way with nice people. My social anxiety gets in the way with this one a lot. I feel uncomfortable with people who I don’t know. But at least I spend a lot of time (ALL the time, lol) with my family, and that’s a LOT more socializing than I was used to doing. And I like it, too. It’s definitely healthier than not speaking with most people and withdrawing from activities.

Accepting help when I need it. Mom said I should include this one. And I guess she’s kind of right, after all being able to accept help when I need it helps with getting myself taken care of. It’s also probably the one thing I am actually good at by now. I let mom help me. She helps me with all the self-care things, which probably means they are not strictly speaking SELF care things any longer. She says it’s okay, though, everyone has to be taught, or teach themselves, if they don’t know, so well, I’m learning. I guess that’s the good news. I guess I can learn to take care of myself eventually, by watching mom, by accepting that she helps me and by following her “Selfcare 101” schedule. She’s teaching me how to get better at doing those things myself. I guess I’ll get there. Sometime.

There probably are still several areas that also are part of a healthy self-care missing, but those were what I could think of.


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stefanie Neumann
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 16:42:35

    You know, I think your mom is right when she says that everybody has to learn these healthy-selfcare-things, before they can have something like a healthy routine in doing them. And as far as I understand it you say you are doing “okay” (at least – or even better) with five things from your personal list, already. In my opinion that is quite an achievement!

    We all have our good and our not so good days. And I believe many struggle with one or the other point from your list on their not so good days.

    And I also believe that we all sometimes need help in keeping up our healthy habits. So I agree with your mom on that one, too.
    In my experience being able to accept help when I need it actually is part of the selfcare. It is caring for yourself when you notice that you need help and then go and get it. 🙂

    And I agree with you, too, Lola: You will get there (doing those things yourself, I mean) – in your own pace. 🙂

    Much love!

    • Lola
      Jan 17, 2013 @ 10:53:15

      Yeah, I guess being okay-ish with five things already is a start! And I suppose my mom (and you) are right in saying that those self-care-skills need to be taught and learned first, before I can have those healthy routines on my own. So yeah, that I’m able to accept that help is probably a good skill to have all in itself, too. I must admit that I kind of enjoy that she is helping me take care of myself, too, because I enjoy the being-taken-care-of-by-her feeling. So maybe that’s also why I’m a bit reluctant to do some of those things myself – because I still enjoy too much that she does them. 😉

      Thanks for the love! Sending love right back! 🙂

  2. nobodysreadingme
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 12:17:47

    I missed this when you posted it, and for some reason it didn’t pop up on my reader.
    sounds to me as if you’re doing a pretty good job. as Stephanie points out, we all have trouble with one or more aspects of the selfcare thing.
    So well done

    • Lola
      Jan 18, 2013 @ 16:57:31

      Oh, I get that sometimes, too, that stuff doesn’t show up on my reader. So annoying. Anyway, yeah, I hope I’m at least doing okay with the self-care thing. I guess what’s good is that I let mom help me out. Gotta start small and all that.

      • nobodysreadingme
        Jan 18, 2013 @ 20:32:50

        Good news. Start small work up

        • Lola
          Jan 18, 2013 @ 21:38:10

          Now that’s a good mantra! I’ll try to keep it in mind! 🙂

          • nobodysreadingme
            Jan 19, 2013 @ 09:40:29

            Hey, I’m the Zen master, ya know what I mean?

            • Lola
              Jan 19, 2013 @ 11:06:22

              *puts hands together and bows to the Zen master* – – – *snickers* 😀

            • nobodysreadingme
              Jan 19, 2013 @ 11:11:08

              I have a running joke with one of the members of my writing circle, a lovely woman called Susan MacNicol. I refer to her as Master, and she refers to me as Grasshopper. You may have guessed she’s my mentor as well as a friend.
              I even sign all my emais with an autosignature Grasshopper. This confuses the crap out of people not in the know

            • Lola
              Jan 19, 2013 @ 11:15:17

              Haha, yeah, I can imagine how people would be confused over the seemingly random Grasshopper! 😀 But it’s cool to have a relationship with someone that includes special names. 🙂

            • nobodysreadingme
              Jan 19, 2013 @ 11:25:59

              yeah, I think so too. When she joined the Circle, but before we met in person, we were already sparring online and taking the micket out of each other. I like her a lot.
              But she’s also willing to learn from me, so there’s a bit of rle reversal. As a result of something i said, she ditched all her Twitter followers and established a new fan base (she’s a published author) of people who might actually buy and read her work.
              Grasshopper becomes Master. Very Zen

            • Lola
              Jan 19, 2013 @ 13:01:04

              Grasshopper becomes Master is very cool! So is learning from each other. And how cool that she got to establish a new fan base of people who want to read her stuff! 🙂

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