Things have happened recently that have left me emotionally exhausted. That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed them, because I really have. But they’re just going to really take some time to recover from.
One thing that I’ve recently found, and posted on my blog’s Facebook page, was a self-care printable. If you click the link for the Facebook page, you need to scroll back to June 30 – there’s really not too much to go through. But if you’re too lazy to do that (honestly, I can’t say that I blame you), or you’re on your phone and it’s not that simple to go find it, I’ll go ahead and type it out for you:
Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay:
questions to ask before giving up
Are you hydrated?
If not, have a glass of water.
Have you eaten in the past three hours?
If not, get some food – something with protein, not just simple carbs. Perhaps some nuts or hummus?
Have you showered in the past day?
If not, take a shower right now.
Have you stretched your legs in the past day?
If not, do so right now. If you don’t have the energy for a run or a trip to the gym, just walk around the blog, then keep walking as long as you please. If the weather’s crap, drive to a big box store (e.g. Target) and go on a brisk walk through the aisles you normally skip.
Have you said something nice to someone in the past day?
Do so, whether online or in person. Make it genuine: wait until you see something really wonderful about someone, and tell them about it.
Have you moved your body to music in the past day?
If not, jog for the length of an EDM song at your favorite tempo, or just dance around the room for the length of an upbeat song.
Have you cuddled a living being in the past two days?
If not, do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs from friends or friends’ pets. Most of them will enjoy the cuddles too; you’re not imposing on them.
Have you seen a therapist in the past few days?
If not, hang on until your next therapy visit and talk through things then.
Have you changed any of your medications in the past couple of weeks, including skipped dosages or a change in generic prescription brand?
That may be screwing with your head. Give things a few days, then talk to your doctor if it doesn’t settle down.
If daytime: are you dressed?
If not, put on clean clothes that aren’t pajamas. Give yourself permission to wear something special, whether it’s a funny t-shirt or a pretty dress.
If nighttime: are you sleepy and fatigued but resisting going to sleep?
Put on pajamas, make yourself cozy in bed with a teddy bear and the sound of falling rain, and close your eyes for fifteen minutes – no electronic screens allowed. If you’re still awake after that, you can get up again; no pressure.
Do you feel ineffective?
Pause right now and get something small completed, whether it’s responding to an e-mail, loading up the dishwasher, or packing your gym bag for your next trip. Good job!
Do you feel unattractive?
Take a goddamn selfie. Your friends will remind you how great you look, and you’ll help fight society’s restrictions on what beauty can look like.
Do you feel paralyzed by indecision?
Give yourself ten minutes to sit back and figure out a game plan for the day. If a particular decision or problem is still being a roadblock, simply set it aside for now, and pick something else that seems doable. Right now, the important part is to break through that stasis, even if it means doing something trivial.
Have you over-exerted yourself lately – physically, emotionally, socially, or intellectually?
That can take a toll that lingers for days. Give yourself a break in that area, whether it’s physical rest, taking time alone, or relaxing with some silly entertainment.
Have you waited a week?
Sometimes our perception of life is skewed and we can’t even tell that we’re not thinking clearly, and there’s no obvious external cause. It happens. Keep yourself going for a full week, whatever it takes, and see if you still feel the same way then.
So, since I know that I’ve emotionally exhausted myself, I decided to go through this sheet.
Yes, I’m hydrated.
Yes, I’ve eaten in the past 3 hours.
Yes, I’ve showered.
Yes, I’ve stretched my legs.
Yes, I’ve said something nice to someone.
No, I hadn’t moved my body to music. (Now that I’m writing this I have though.)
Yes, I cuddled a living being earlier today.
No – I don’t see a therapist (But that’s an issue for another post – maybe someday).
Yes, I had to skip a dose earlier this week, and I missed a dose today. Things will get back on track tomorrow though.
It’s currently nighttime, I’m not yet sleepy buy my meds will be making me sleepy soon enough.
I felt ineffective, but then I called a friend I’d not talked to in too long and felt better.
I do feel slightly unattractive, but I’m gonna put the selfie off till tomorrow.
There is a decision that’s unable to be made right now, but it’ll happen in time – and I’m accepting of that.
I definitely emotionally exerted myself today, and I’m going to take time over the next several days to recover – in whatever way that looks like.
I don’t know that I really need to wait a week for some of these issues – because the decision will be made when the time is right, and I can’t rush that.
This emotional recovery, it’s going to take time, and I’m going to have to accept that. This happened to me about a month and a half ago as well. I don’t know exactly how long the recovery took. I just know that it took as long as was necessary. Whether I like it or not, I can’t rush this kind of thing.
There are things that make it easier, but those are temporary. Honestly? That’s fine. I don’t want something to come in and easily reverse the effects of what I’ve gone through. Because that would mean that what I went through shouldn’t have had that the strong effect on me that it did.
But I’ve learned that there is no right or wrong way for something to affect me because everyone is different. Some people may have been able to handle what I went through with little emotional drainage, while others may not have been able to handle it at all. And you know what? That’s perfectly ok. Why? Because we’re all individuals, and we’re each unique.