“Are you hydrated?”
This was the first question in the self-care, “Everything is awful and I’m not okay” checklist I read that someone had posted on facebook. I don’t normally read those kinds of things that are posted there — too inspiring — too mushy — too blah. This one, however, caught my attention since I am struggling with my mental health right now.
Funny, how a simple question like that eased my mind.
Are you dressed yet? No.
Have you showered in the past day? No.
Have you stretched your legs in the past day. Yes. Went for a walk this morning.
These were more questions that followed the initial question asking if I’ve had enough water. Wow. Practical. There is a solution. I found these questions – and my answers – concrete and motivating.
I worry. The return of cancer weighs on my mind. I have had twinges lately that cause my mind to spin out of control and into a very dark place. This anxiety causes me to not be very resilient. Change sets me off. For a person who flew by the seat of her pants, many of my friends would find this surprising. I just have to be slow and methodical about everything.
Kevin brought in a new fridge yesterday. The idea that it needed to be moved in, cleaned, the food transferred and re-organized, old fridge out and then getting used to finding things in the new fridge has set me back in terms of my emotional state by days. I literally find myself immobilized by a new fridge. Teach? Me? Now? Not in your life. If I am overwhelmed by this event – I cannot imagine functioning for five minutes in the classroom.
And of course, my new reality is difficult for me to accept. I find everything “too much” today. Too many people, too much noise, too much to do. I need simplicity. I feel inadequate in that regard. That’s the truth.
“Have you said something nice to someone in the past day?” continued the survey. Interesting. “Do so, whether online or in person. Make it genuine; wait until you see something really wonderful about someone, and tell them about it.” Done. I just said something nice – honestly. Do I feel better yet? Yes, somewhat. Guess I better continue.
“Do you feel ineffective?” YES! I do. The article recommends small tasks – and yes – one at a time. Funny how a sense of accomplishment can make a world of difference. It’s taking that first step, getting out of bed, and into the shower that is tough. For me – my task today – is finishing this post. I want to record this feeling so that I don’t forget it – so that I don’t forget the struggle as I know I will when I am feeling better. This is all part of my battle with cancer. My physical is healing faster than my emotional.
“Have you over-exerted yourself lately?” YES. I have. There is the key. I am so not used to being slow – slowing down – sitting down – letting others do – giving others control. Is this the reason I am in pain physically and emotionally? It makes sense. “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.” I will listen. I will rest. I will take a break. For a while.
I have made it this far – let’s see what tomorrow brings.