The Most Productive Thing to Do When You're Feeling Like Complete Sh*t
Although self-care is essential, sometimes we don't — or feel as if we can't — prioritize it. Recently I found myself responding to a friend's post on Facebook which linked to yet another painfully foreboding news article. "I am at a loss," I said, and I truly meant it. Frantically searching for where to start mobilizing, how to start helping, and where to go from here, I realized that I was in no state of mind to be helping anyone else until I could address the anxiety/sadness/anger/frustration going on with myself internally. On planes, they always tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before you help put on someone else's — and self-care works the same way, especially when it involves dealing with a tragedy or difficult event. You can't help others until you help yourself, and you have to remind yourself (sometimes again, and again, and again) that you are important too.
My friend messaged me, reminding me about the importance of self-care regardless (and because of) everything going on in our world today. She then directed me to this amazing interactive flow chart that everyone who struggles to find the time or tools to practice self-care absolutely should use whenever they are in need.
Here's how it works: the flow chart prompts you with a question regarding your physical and mental health at the time, and gives you several options as answers. Each answer leads you in a different direction. If you answer that you are feeling OK about something, then you move on to the next question. However, if you indicate that you are NOT feeling OK about something, the chart then leads you to a page that gives you productive, simple options for addressing what you're feeling. The chart is comforting, helpful, and exactly what someone who struggles with self-care can benefit from. Ahead are just a few of the questions and answer options.
Breathe, and try out the exercise here.