Self care

TW: mention of eating habits and counting calories

My mental health has been getting worse, and there's a lot obstructing me from getting the likely essential support I need. However, the mean time, I know I need to practice better self care at least before I reach the point where I feel like I can't, so I'm sharing what I will try to do here because a) having my goals known by others motivates me and b) sometimes when I see posts like this, it reminds me I need to sort myself out, so to speak.

First, I need to work on my eating habits. I have the tendency to lose my appetite when I feel depressed, and feel ill when anxious, which gets worse when I eat. This caused me to lose weight and definitely made me more tired than usual, as well as messed with my focus. I've set a goal to make sure I eat from different food groups (fruits + veg, protein, and carbs) and hit a calorie goal or go over that so I actually eat enough (I won't share how many calories, because I don't want to trigger anyone, and the number is probably lower than most people will need because I am very short, but it is healthy for my size and lifestyle).

Next I want to try sleeping for 8 hours a night. Recently I've been going to bed around 4 in the morning and still waking up before 10 am usually, which isn't ideal, and I already struggle with my energy levels. I deleted social media from my phone, so all I can do on my phone when I want to distract myself from disturbing thoughts is read, such as on the Kindle app, which is much better at helping me sleep. Other than that, I think I just have to be more mindful of the time. I might try meditating before I sleep or something as well. A counsellor once recommended it to me for other reasons, and while it didn't affect my mental health or anything, it is effective in knocking me out for the night.

I'm going to struggle more with this one, but I want to try exercising. I've never been very active, but I can try 30 minutes a day. It might only be a walk, or stuff I can do in bed like stretches, sit ups, etc. I'm setting a time limit on it just so I have a numberical value to work with and to build a habit of just doing something, rather than focus on something concrete because I know that would just demotivate me.

I also set a goal to go outside for 30 minutes a day. I might just sit in the garden for 30 minutes, but at least then I'll be getting some fresh air and it's a change of scenery from my bed.

My last goal is to do my university work. My biggest reason to put this in here is because procrastinating and stressing about my uni work actually affects my mental health more than not doing it. I'm not actually that busy with uni right now which is lucky, and the workload should be manageable. I want to study at least one hour a day, because if I take breaks a lot it will feel more manageable.

This might seem really basic, but for me it will be challenging and that's why I've actually had to plan it out and give things time goals and think of a method. I know other people here might see this and think "I could never do this". All I know is that right now, I at least am in the headspace to try this. Hopefully I can fulfil at least part of this.

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