A gentle reminder that self-care is crucially needed for everyone. Especially since safely functioning as usual has been impossible.
Excuse the flowery rhyme of a title, I saw an opportunity and took it. Now that we are four years into a pandemic with no end in sight, it’s been difficult to pretend to keep calm and carry on. Taking necessary precautions and hardly ever leaving the house has been manageable, but there are times where it just becomes extremely depressing and isolating. While I’m introverted and usually prefer to keep a distance from people, save for a small handful even before the pandemic, it still takes a toll.
You know you do what you have to do but things are still screwed up. And with each passing year, it gets harder to hold onto blind hope. For many, that optimism has already left a long time ago. And while the rest of the world is forcefully pushing to keep going, we’re getting left behind. It’s disheartening, frustrating, all of the above.
As much as I want to hold onto that lovely optimism, it’s not looking good. And it sucks.
So what is the point of this post?
Like the summary says above, this is just a reminder that self-care is crucial and checking in on your own overall well-being can help determine what may need some extra attention. As in making sure you’re in a good headspace and feeling alright. Given our current situation that’s not exactly easy, especially if you’re constantly dealing with chronic conditions and life in general.
Speaking from personal experience, my mood tends to fluctuate frequently because I’ve been in more pain due to my seating system going out and causing discomfort. Then I’ve had to limit my time online, more specifically when it comes to the news, because it’s very overwhelming and emotionally draining. And so while managing my own problems, it got me thinking about how other people may also be feeling the same way. Hence, where I got the idea for this particular topic.
What are some ways that can help with tending to your well-being?
This is more for the mental aspect rather than the physical and isn’t meant for life-threatening emergencies, just as a general disclaimer.
One thing that has been extremely helpful from the start is community.
As someone who’s already dealing with anxiety and depression, pre-covid, there’s just more and more being piled on. Community is the only thing giving some semblance of relief because at least there are others who’re feeling the same way. It’s not as lonely. While everyone else is moving on and leaving us behind, there are others who’re listening and willing to maintain a level of caution by following safe guidelines.
Though despite being the dumpster fire that it is, Twitter is the platform where most of the disabled community is currently established. While I’m a silent spectator, there are people you can talk to and connect with which can be helpful. Whether you need to vent or have questions, people are usually more than willing to give advice and offer support.
Another possible recommendation is to try and take breaks for yourself. Limiting your time spent on social media or the news can help for one. For whatever reason, if you can’t take much of a break for very long or often, then the few moments you’re able to use for yourself, do whatever makes you happy and can bring you peace. Read a chapter from a book, play a quick game on your phone, or listen to some music.
If you have more time, then try another hobby that may take longer, such as baking or cooking something, tending to your plants, getting some fresh air, just something that can distract you and put your mind at ease. But pace yourself. Even if your current situation keeps you constantly busy, the little time for yourself makes a difference. If you have the energy to do your favorite activity, then give yourself the opportunity to do so if possible.
Switching it up helps as well. While it’s tempting to binge-watch a new show or favorite series it still requires energy as you follow along with the story. Try watching an episode or a few more then read a couple of chapters if you also like reading. Or paint for a little bit then rest and listen to a podcast.
One thing I’ve realized for myself is being able to rest your brain from time to time has been really beneficial. For me, I have to rest my back by lying down and while I’m stretching, I nap in the meantime. And that nap gives my brain a chance to reset which helps when I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
And while this all may sound obvious for some, I thought the same at first, until I started thinking about it. Really thinking about it. I can get relief by watching my shows and doing some writing, but mixing it up with other hobbies, especially ones that haven’t been done in a while, makes a difference. I played one of my favorite games the other day after not having touched it in a few years and it was a lot of fun. It reignited an old passion, that had been partially forgotten, and it felt good. Plus, it also showed me I should pick up a controller every so often because my sad, little fingers were out of touch. Got to keep working on that dexterity!
But on a serious note, I know I fluctuate between lightheartedness and somberness yet that’s how it’s been for the last four years. Covid, and all the other viruses running rampant, are still a problem. I can go on and on about the importance of masking and list all the research and data that’s being done to show why we need help and how we should be doing everything we can to stop the spread, but I’m not. At least not in this post. Maybe I’ll have more to say another time. Because those that are paying attention have already been masking or have decided to recently start again while others have stopped following safety precautions altogether.
I’m already trying to convince my loved ones in real life. The most I can say online is please be mindful and listen to healthcare professionals as well as other disabled people who’re sharing their experiences during the pandemic. All I can hope for is that my personal efforts and choices truly make a positive difference in the end.
As for this post, if you’re feeling drained and tired for whatever reason, I see you. You’re not alone in this. Even though I prefer my own personal company, isolating has been pretty lonely some days. Take care of yourself, mentally and physically, and try to hold onto those little gifts of happiness. ~So Says The Disabled Dryad~
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