If you have bipolar disorder or another mental illness it’s easy to find yourself in a pit of self-hatred. If the depression doesn’t get you there, regret over what you’ve done when you’re manic might. Self-hatred is just all too common for those of us with mental health issues.
And self-hatred produces all kinds of effects – like ignoring self-care. You might find yourself not eating, not showering, not exercising, not being kind to yourself or constantly hearing a voice of hatred in your head. And the trouble with all these things is that not only are they “not good for you” they make you feel worse both in the short and the long term.
Making good self-care choices is a way of fighting back.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is simply any act that is kind towards yourself. Self-care can be anything from brushing your hair, to enjoying ice cream, to practicing yoga, to watching a movie. It could be something you treat yourself to, like going to an event, or something you do every day like eating healthily.
Why Does Self-Care Matter?
You have to build self-esteem and self-love; you don’t suddenly come upon it hiding under a pile of dirty laundry. You didn’t leave it there and you won’t find it there either. You need to build the feelings you want to have about yourself and as some Anonymous groups would remind us, “fake it until you make it.”
In other words, behave like you love yourself until you actually do. Believe it or not, self-caring behaviors will help your brain to change and help reduce the negative thoughts about yourself. Hopefully one day soon, you’ll find yourself thinking self-caring thoughts over self-hating ones automatically.
Things You Can Do for Self-Care
- See a funny movie
- Read a book
- Call a friend
- Take a bath with candles
- Watch the game with friends
- Cook dinner and serve it on your fancy china
- Read the paper in bed
- Go to a spa
- Ask others for what you need
It doesn’t matter what it is, all that matters is that you do something that feels good for you.
What else do you like to do to show self-care?