When it comes to maintaining mental health, anyone who suffers knows that everyday tasks often feel impossible.
Some days it’s difficult to accomplish anything let alone everything that’s expected of us: to work and to engage with others and to run errands and to keep ourselves clean and clothed and fed.
Days when getting through the day feels like more than what we’ll have the energy to accomplish. Days when we have to remind ourselves that lying in bed will only make it worse. Even if that’s all we want to do. That we have to get up and move. Especially when it feels forced. When it feels like there is cement in our veins pulling us down. When we want it all to end because continuing forward feels impossible.
I know those days well because I’ve had many. Sometimes more often than not.
But I’ve been working hard at feeling better for a long, long time now, and I’m finally learning to rest instead of giving up. To be kind and compassionate to myself. And ultimately, to love myself. For better or for worse. Because I’m in this relationship for life.
So I’ve decided to start celebrating the things I accomplish. The little things that are easy to take for granted. Things like exercising and getting my work done. But also things like eating protein every two to three hours. Drinking enough water. Taking breaks. Flossing. Acts of self-care that are easily lost when the day is difficult.
And once again, I find myself inspired by Lady Gaga. This time in her Oscars’ acceptance speech — It’s not about how many times you fall, but about how many times you get back up.
It’s time to celebrate the fight. The not giving up. Because that is the only way we win for ourselves.
So to honor my wins for the week, here are the things I’m celebrating:
Sticking to my morning routine on the days I could.
Appreciating the morning sunshine.
Following my intuition.
Letting my mind wander even though my work sat waiting for me.
Stopping work when I felt myself feeling flooded and taking a break.
Transitioning in and out of work when needed.
Drinking over 80 ounces of water most days.
Doing yoga. Even if only for five minutes at a time.
Eating even though I didn’t want to, but needed to before my blood sugar dropped too much. And when I could tell I was having a hard time making a decision. Usually a sign I need protein.
Deciding that washing my hair wasn’t as important as having some downtime.
Resting when I needed to even if that meant the laundry didn’t get put away and I’d have more work to do the next day.
Seeing one of my healers and learning something new about myself.
Printing the label for and repackaging a mug I ordered on Amazon that arrived cracked. (I actually did this last week, but I was proud it was ready to go.)
Dropping the package off at a UPS drop-off center. Not only dropping off the package, but not giving up when construction caused the route there to be changed.
Going to the grocery store.
Buying food for dinner that could be easily heated and served without requiring too much preparation.
Packing food the night before on days I had to leave early the next day. So I had food with me while out for the day.
Getting my clothes ready the night before when I knew I had to leave early the next morning.
Knowing what to do amid a panic attack and actually doing it.
At least attempting to let things go even when I was still upset.
Feeling my anger over people crossing my boundaries, but not letting it completely consume me.
Using my weighted blanket to help calm my nervous system.
Taking my supplements and drinking my medicinal teas.
Using essential oils to help keep myself balanced.
Reading instead of watching TV.
Going to bed before 1 a.m. most days. (It takes me a few hours to unwind from the day before I'm able to sleep.)
Communicating my thoughts and feelings to my husband. Something I often forget to do.
...And the week’s not over yet.
While writing down my accomplishments this week, I noticed I was more motivated to do things — to take care of myself — because writing everything down made me accountable. It became my reward. Like checking something off a list.
So if you’re having a difficult week, try writing down your accomplishments, however small you feel they might be. Let them motivate you. See how big they actually are. Show yourself how you win. Every. Single. Day.
This story originally ran on Psych Central on March 1, 2019. Since Psych Central has been sold, the link to the original is no longer available.
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay