Self-care is actually something that I recently begun to not only take notice of but also something that I have been actively working on for 92 days. I only know that because I have a streak counter 😂 and in those 92 days, I have:
- Quit my 20 year energy drink addiction
- Reduced my severe morning-anxiety by about 50%
- Meditated everyday
- Journaled nearly everyday (this is actually been going on for almost a year)
- Exercised even for just a minute every morning
- Reduced negative self-talk by about 20%
- Take regular outdoor excursions with the cats or alone
- Began using more “feeling words”
- Put more effort into my relationships with others
- Help others as much as a possible
- Meet with a therapist 1-2x weekly
- Chose palliative care
- Learned to focus on emotional reactions
- Am working on learning how to be nice to myself
- Am learning that “I am not my conditions, but I do live with them. They have real symptoms, and real feelings. Ignoring this is of no benefit to anybody lest yourself.”
- Smile more, play more, hug more, enjoy more
It is impossible to emphasize how drastically important mental health and self-care are in every single one of your lives. Impossible, because even if the stats are there – some will refuse to see them. Some do not want to acknowledge their mental health challenges. Rather, they’d prefer to continue on in their world where they are not mentally ill, no. It’s just their personality. No… you are mentally unwell and probably need to see a cardiologist, but I digress.
I nearly had a heart attack due to the amount of energy drinks that I was consuming on a daily basis. Want to know just how much caffeine was coursing through my veins? Out of the 600mg max that is not recommended, but considered maximum; I roughly drank on average, about 900mg. On the day I almost coded out rolling through campus, about 1200-1500mg. I was binging Bang and Monster after a really rough day before with my gastroparesis and epilepsy, and didn’t really stop to think about how much that I was consuming throughout the day. By the next morning, I was having indigestion, shooting scapular pain, central chest pain, excessive sweating, dizziness, and a pounding, rapid heart rate. My dumbass decided to do CrossFit that morning and I remember being on the ski-erg and feeling like my heart was skipping. I felt like I was going to die, but of course I kept skiing ⛷ idiota
It was the very next day that I decided to download the Fabulous app that I spoke about before, and give it a shot. The first challenge is to drink water everyday and then continue that habit throughout the day by carrying a water bottle everywhere that I went. After the first week of crazy caffeine withdrawal symptoms, drinking water became easy. By thirty days, it was not only a habit, but my health and happiness were improving without caffeine there to “boost me”. I love coffee, and yes, I still drink coffee. It isn’t several cups, either, it is actually a single cup or two and not even everyday. I drink primarily drink tea, water and coffee now with the occasional Ginger Ale at the hospital or at home. In tandem with the addition of more water, I also subconsciously began eating healthier as well. (When I can eat, that is 😆) It is interesting how changing a single habit for the better can affect the rest of one’s habits overall.
The most effective and life-changing implementation thus far is most certainly following the philosophical meditations of Epictetus. Literally, do what makes you happy.