Mental Health

Why yoga… when you can STRETCH ;)

I know, it could be the same thing, lol. For those who don’t know it, the basic moves from yoga are mostly just stretching (the commercialized version at least). But what I’m trying to get at is that sometimes even the easy things feel too hard. During the worst periods of my depression, I could barely get around the house without needing to lie down. I was ALWAYS exhausted. So it’s good to remember for all of us, sometimes easy things are hard!

So take a step back. Yes. Again. Make it smaller, easier. Exercise and getting out the house can be excellent ways to take care of yourself. So here’s how you do it extra easy style!

Get some fresh air!

Go for a walk around the garden. Just a couple of steps. How many rounds you can make. Or just stand around and stare up at the sky overhead. Take deep breaths. Enjoy the sweet fresh air (unless your neighbour is smoking or you live in a big city). Take however long you want, even if it’s just a minute.

If you need support, ask a friend or family member to have a walk with you. Walk your dog or ask if you can walk someone else’s. Go to a petting zoo (don’t chase any chickens, roosters will go full raptor on your ass). Smell some flowers.

There’s no need to go all Robinson Cruise. Be mindful of your own energy levels and go wherever you want, at your own speed, and for how long you want. The point is to relax, not to become a super athlete.

Clean and declutter your space

A clean house can help bring peace to your mind, but when you’re exhausted and your executive dysfunction is max level you can forget about completing your list of household chores all by yourself. It’s still nice not to disappear in a layer of dust though.

So you can ask a friend or family member to help you out. Make a list of chores and categorize them according to priority level. Making sure your kitchen doesn’t turn into a jungle of mould is a bigger priority than decluttering your attic. Fungal spores won’t give you superpowers, they’ll only make you sick.

You can also take it one step at a time. Go do some dishes, even if it’s only the cups, or plates. Leave them to dry on their own. Take as many breaks as you need, then when you continue, pick up another small chore. It’s easier to do a couple of small things than tell yourself you “should” do everything or something super demanding and get so overwhelmed in the process you gave yourself an anxiety attack from just thinking about all the things you need to do. I see you spiralling, don’t go there.

Pick a hobby

Writing is absolutely amazing (don’t you dare get me started about publishing though. Focus! We’re talking about writing!) but maybe planning out your whole career, outlining a full novel-length series, and demanding daily word-counts isn’t really the way to go right now (or ever). If you’re going to do a hobby for stress relief or just to distract yourself, go extra easy.

Simply write what’s on your mind. If you’re setting a word-count for your session, pick a LOW one. Like 1. Maybe 25 if you’re adventurous. Don’t set yourself up for failure. You can still write a 1000 words a day, it just means you don’t have to feel like you failed when you don’t or can’t.

But there are more hobbies that writing out there. Put on some music. Do a shoulder shimmy. Congrats, you just danced! Maybe sing along. Pick up a book or go look for some short stories you can read from online magazines. Draw or paint something. Be proud of your abstract painting of a tree (don’t sell yourself short, that is a very nice line!). Watch a movie or TV series. Pick up gardening, you can do that on your windowsill if you don’t want to leave the house. Play games on the easiest mode so you feel like an invincible god! Do a puzzle.

There’s lots of options. Pick something which helps you relax.

It’s not being lazy

Sometimes you just don’t have the energy to do more than take it easy, and that’s fine. Calling people lazy is often a way to chastise people into being more productive but people often ignore not everyone can maintain the same levels of productivity as is expected. Especially when you’re disabled. Don’t call people lazy for taking actual care of themselves and listening to their own bodies, setting their boundaries and all. That’s an asshole move. We don’t like those.

Look, self-care can be many things. For some it’s taking a nap, for others it’s pushing themselves towards a hard goal. There’s no right way, or better way, except that which works better for you. Pick your own pace and adjust to your needs. Listen to your body. And be kind, patient, and forgiving.

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