Self-Care for Your Messy Mental Illness

Morning!


I wanted to write this morning to check in with everyone. I have been absolutely terrified to open Patreon over the last few weeks because for some reason I thought everyone would have unpledged because I wasn't active. It was actually quite the opposite.. new people joined this community- way to prove my fears wrong, I JUST WANNA HUG YOU ALL. I don't know if I can put into words how much you all blow my mind every day. I'm like, "K, so people really, really do fuck with me?!" Yes, you do, you show me time and time again that I am loved and supported and it continuously fills me up and overflows into the work I do. I can not thank you enough, and I cannot wait to use the energy and lessons I've learned over the past few weeks to create even more meaningful work for you. I am LOVING the response to reconnecting to my creative side. So many people have realized they've been sitting on their talents or leaving dreams and secret desires on the table thinking it was never for them. Biiiiiiyyyyyytch it is definitely for you! What are you avoiding trying because you don't think you'll be good enough at it? What deep dream are you ignoring that could unlock a whole new level of healing inside of you!?

I wanted to write a few things I've learned over the past few weeks that may help you do just that. The number one thing I always ask people I work 1:1 with is, "Do you take time to rest and do nothing?" which may sound super odd if you've been brainwashed into thinking your worth lays entirely in your productivity and ability to work. (so, like everyone on earth) Rest is a protest to capitalism. Rest is sitting in the discomfort of knowing you could be doing something but you're choosing yourself over everything because you matter the most. I know not everyone has the privilege to take days off work or stop providing for people because you have a career, kids, or a business to run. But rest can also look like:

  • Saying "no" to plans, social events, extra work, or doing favours. It can be as simple as stripping yourself to the very bare minimum of what's expected of you so that you can start refilling your cup, storing energy, and alleviating the burnout.  This is usually so uncomfortable for people, especially with kids, because there is so much being demanded from you and mama guilt is such a destructive emotion- I don't think a single mother I know doesn't have it. 

  • Asking for help. Often when we're exhausted, depleted, burnt out, and don't have anything left to give our mind isn't really operating as its best self. We start to get paranoid, lonely, resentful, and hopeless. We begin to forget the positive shit going on in our life, we forget that there are people that love us and want to help us, we forget that asking for help isn't a sign of weakness or failure its a sign of strength. I don't know who's ever read any Malcolm Gladwell books but there's a story he tells about Korean Air. Over a span of a decade, Korean Air had something like 5 or 6 plane crashes and it was a complete mystery to people because they were well-built machines and well-trained pilots. After doing thorough investigations they realized it was actually a cultural problem. The co-pilot was so afraid to disrespect the pilot and say something was wrong that they stayed silent and literally let the plane crash before questioning the pilot or asking for help. Isn't that flippin insane?! How many of us can seriously relate to that? We would rather crash our own planes than reach out for help or question what's happening around us.

  • Doing something mindless. I realized over the past few weeks I had nothing in my life that was strictly for creating joy and peace within me. Everything I did needed to be for work, for clients, for my relationship, to heal... I was so friggin burnt out from trying to fix myself and always grow. I feel like I was always obsessed with going back in time to heal my inner-child, or preparing Future Laura for something that who I am right now had no room to exist and just be human. It doesn't have to be painting, but it could be. Physically taking paint to paper, using my mind to think about colours and shading and design used a whole new part of my brain that was lying dormant. Doing things on our phone or computer is different than physical energetic expression and release. Maybe your passion is baking, running, painting, sculpting, designing, planting, decorating, or writing. Are you tuned into your inner expression? Do you have a mindless outlet?

  • Staying hydrated and taking a bath. This is the most cliche SeLf CaRe tip but honestly, its true. Our bodies are made of what, 70% water? Being hydrated allows your mind to function optimally and allows the signals in your brain to connect with ease. If you're dehydrated you're going to feel exhausted, confused, and foggy. It's the simplest self-care tip, but stay hydrated! On top of that, letting ourselves float in a tub with some lavender bubble bath and Epsom salt can be a whole therapy session. Grab a book, put your laptop on the toilet, put on some music and take an hour for yourself to decompress. 

  • Evaluate what is making you exhausted. Are you in a draining relationship?  Do your friends not let you create space and constantly ask a lot of you either physically or emotionally? Sometimes we need to set some boundaries in our relationships so we can patch up the leaky holes in our life and start to fill back up with energy and joy. ANYWAYS, 

My whole point here is that sometimes when you have a mental or chronic illness and you're all about self-development, you need to learn to turn it off. You need to let yourself just exist and live and be a human and order takeout and masturbate and be a mess. Those are the things that make us real humans, not constantly striving to be better and better at the detriment of who we are right now. If you needed permission to rest, to use vacation days, to take a break from socializing, to drop your kid off at your parent's house, to take a solo road trip, to go out and buy paint supplies, to bake 100 decorated cookies and then eat 50 of them... THIS IS IT. Love you all, thank you for giving me permission to rest and heal, you have changed me in so many ways. 

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