By Michelle Cárdenas
It’s ok to admit that you’re not ok. Given that 2020 has been such an unpredictable year with what seems like an endless array of tragedy, loss, and bad news, it can feel increasingly difficult to cope with feelings and thoughts that simply don’t feel good. Just know that whatever you are feeling and all of your feelings are completely fair and valid. You matter and your mental health matters.
If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, stressed, hopeless, and/or sad here are a few reminders for things you can do to help.
Just Let Yourself Feel.
Don’t judge your feelings. Allow yourself to feel all of your emotions, both the good and the bad. We are after all imperfect human beings and the last thing we want to do is criticize or fight off those unwanted feelings. Instead, acknowledge them and listen to your mind and body. If you’re feeling the urge to shed some tears, shed them. It’s ok, and it will be ok.
Ahh, this is one of my favorites. Breathing the simple breath of life and air. As someone with anxiety, this act of care is important to me. If you find yourself stressed or worried, stop what you are doing, close those precious eyes, take one deep breath in (hold for 5 seconds), take one deep breath out (exhale for 5 seconds), and repeat however many times you wish or please. Your body and mind are going to thank you!
Move Your Body, Rest Your Body.
Our beautiful and sacred bodies require both movement and rest. Endorphins and serotonin are sexy. When we exercise, our bodies produce both of those wonderful brain chemicals that feel good! And you really don’t have to do the most. It’s so fair to say that you don’t want to run or workout. None of that is necessary really. Walking, stretching your body, or dancing is more than enough. A simple stretch in the morning, mid-day or night can relieve all that built-up tension that your body carries. I recommend dedicating 20-30 minutes in your day to move. And most importantly, do not forget to rest. Rest whether it comes in the form of napping, laying or sleeping. It’s necessary for restoration.
Get Something In Your Tummy.
Nourish yourself. Eat foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables contain essential nutrients and vitamins for the functioning of your body. Remember that water is holy. Stay hydrated as much as possible. Take your time preparing a home-cooked meal. Satisfy your cravings and treat yourself. And honestly, eat whatever the fuck you want and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Take One Step At A Time.
This is a friendly reminder to be gentle with yourself. Take the rhythm of life, work, and studies one step at a time. Go at your own pace and speed. Capitalism demands hyper-productivity; it demands that we give more than we could or need. Self-care is revolutionary. There is a whole life ahead of us, and life will grant you joy, opportunity, and love if you take care of yourself and others.