How to Have a Successful Self Care Day

I am now in the throws of working towards my recovery. Like many others in recovery, you may find yourself making drastic life style changes. Whether that be working out, quitting smoking, picking days to socialize, and participating in therapies or support groups. Many of you may also find that it is bloody exhausting. For the first two or three weeks you feel this burst of extreme energy. That energy then turns into serotonin which then causes you to feel calm and happy! Which are both good things. But what happens when we make it to a certain point of the week where we are tired and exhausted from all of these changes? It may make you feel lethargic. Possibly on the brink of a relapse because of the exhaustion and burnt out feelings. This has happened to me multiple times. And after talking to some friends, I learned self care is important always. Even if you are beginning to mend parts of your life and turning them into positives.

So after some failures, and some wonderful successes, I found out a way that works for me to make sure I get in one Self Care day a week. And because of this, my energy and determination lasts. Keep in mind; this is what works for me! Some of you may need more than one Self Care day, And that is just fine! Here are some tips I have put together to help that day (or days) where the world does actually revolve around you.

  1. Set a day of the week for which the Self Care day can take place. I found it helpful to write this down on my calendar or set an alarm on my phone the day before reminding me that the day is coming up. This makes it less likely that you will push your self care to the back burner and burn yourself out. For more support, ask a friend to text you about the day(s) to keep you more on track.
  2. Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable. Maybe a shirt with some sentimental value. Fabrics that comfort and soothe you. Nothing that is took tight or too restraining. If you wear a binder, I suggest wearing it on your Self Care days if you’re wanting to avoid dysphoric feelings.
  3. Plan what you want to do! This can be anything from reading that book that has been sitting on your desk for months. Watching a TV show you’ve wanted to catch up with. Coloring in a coloring book. Writing. Listening to that new album. Anything that YOU want to do. I find when I first started taking these self care days, that making a schedule of what I wanted to do and accomplish made me much less anxious. I was able to look at my paper and see the options I had and cross them out as I go. Now that it has been a bit, I am able to do this without a list.
  4. (TRIGGER WARNING; TALKS OF FOOD/DIETING/NOT DIETING) Eat what you want to on your Self Care day. Ignore your diet, ignore your work outs. Food is a comfort, and foods that bring you comfort will put you at ease. If you’re on a diet like I am (more of a meal plan to help support my meds) do not feel guilty for giving yourself an indulgence. It is your day after all. Treat yourself!
  5. Nap. I mean it. Naps are wonderful if done correctly. Allow yourself to take a 45 minute nap and wake up feeling refreshed and at ease. Make sure to do so early on as to night disrupt your typical sleeping schedule.
  6. Browse the internet. Scroll through tumblr. Get stuck on Wikipedia for a bit. It’s okay!
  7. If you want to avoid the internet on your Self Care day, shut it down. Lock it. Do the same with your phone. Disconnection can be great for refocusing your energies onto yourself and your recovery.
  8. Only speak to people who are positive influences in your life. Waste no time with those who will bring you down.
  9. Journal on your self care day. Keep this as a separate journal then one you may already be keeping. If during the week you’re feeling low, re-read those passages and see that you are capable and loving and worth being loved.
  10. Do Not, and I mean it, Do Not feel guilty for taking this day(s) for yourself! You are deserving of self care and self comfort. You are not lazy or lethargic. You are making the right choice for yourself. Which is nothing but positive. If guilt does creep up on you, remind yourself about how hard you are working. Remind yourself that you are human and humans require breaks and time for themselves to bring themselves back together. You’re not lazy. You’re being wise and healthy.

I hope these tips help. If any of you have anything to share, please share them in the comments! Have a good day and remember to take care of yourselves!

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