The Self – Care Toolkit Everyone Needs
For a long time, I let my focus of control be external.
I kept blaming people and situations for the kind of life I was living.
I let the negativity around me affect me to the extent that my love for myself started to deplete.
Most of the people do this in different ways like burying their emotions and being numb, blaming themselves for everything, totally turning a blind eye to the toxicity by keeping themselves busy. All of this is just negligence towards self. If you want to be in control and not let the environment affect your vibe, you need first to see what is going on in your surroundings, accept it and then shift your focus. In this time of self-isolation, people are feeling lonelier than ever. They can’t help but notice the things they had been running away from. Even though there is such a gloomy situation across the globe, we can contribute to it either positively or negatively. Either we can let us get affected by the rising figures of deaths and worrying to the point we disrupt our lives, or we can use this time wisely and look at it as an opportunity to know ourselves better. Remember, everything is energy, and whatever you choose to do, it goes around to a lot of people. You can want to spread hope or gloom. It is tough to look at this situation as an opportunity, but it is undoubtedly one in disguise. You can use this time to heal yourself from your past traumas and come out as a brand- new person.
At the end of April 2020, I had one of the ugliest breakdowns I know. In this quarantine, old wounds came up, and I had so many realizations. I had been neglecting the patterns I was seeing, and during this breakdown, I realized I had had a small outburst twice every six months from the past two years. I never really paid heed to it and tried to keep myself busy. This outburst would last for like a few days, and then I would go back to normal. Little did I know that I had not yet healed from an incident that occurred two and a half years ago. Every time this happened, I thought I have improved, and everything will get better. This time it was different.
Some of the realizations I had were:
1. To move on from the pain, you need to feel it. You need to face the situation and look at the truth—no made-up stories. The pain will be immense, but emotions are meant to be felt. 2. You can’t heal yourself till the time you sit with yourself alone without any external influence. Getting to the root of the thoughts that you have while overthinking helps to find the past experiences that are haunting you.
3. Ignoring is only a temporary solution.
4. Happiness is an emotion, and one cannot lead a happy life always. So is sadness, emotions make life more exciting, and all of them are equally important.
You can take this as the guidelines for using the toolkit that I am going to talk about now. Throughout this journey of self-discovery, I found some things that worked wonders for me. So, here I have put them under the name of a toolkit so that you can pick what you feel resonates with you and customize accordingly. 1. Journaling Journaling is a therapy in itself. If you want to make a decision, journal the pros and cons. If you want to know what’s bothering you, keep writing all the little things, and you will end up finding the big reason. This is because it helps you to see what is in your head on a paper. It enables you to give a third-person perspective. If you are a more artistic and super detailed planner, you can try bullet journaling as well. The point of all of this is to write down what you feel. If you have trouble starting, just sit down, open a notebook and write the first thing that comes to your mind. It can be about a task you need to do. Then, let it flow from there. At times, you will be stunned to see what you have written. Or you can take help of journaling prompts available all over the internet. 2. Put your faith in something People usually describe this thing as a passion. Now you can call it that, but it can be something normal as well. For me, it was the Law of Attraction. It introduced me to the concept of Universe and Spirit Guides, and I had my experiences to strengthen my faith in them. If you are religious, put your faith in God. If you have a hobby, put your trust and energy in it with the intention that it will heal you. This is necessary because you might not be able to love yourself, but by investing your trust in something that provides you solace, you can renew your relationship with yourself.
3. Meditation (Not the regular one) Some people find meditation boring because it is all about breathing in and out for them. They feel they can’t sit still and focus on one thing. The truth is our mind can only focus on one thing at a time. The duration of how long it focuses can vary. Meditation can be anything. It can be dancing, painting, cooking or even writing a story. All of these activities help you focus on a thought or multiple related thought and lift your mood. You can move onto the breathing techniques once you realize what they are meant for, i.e., to bring you back to the present moment and calm you down.
4. Mirror Talk This can also be called as living intentionally. Stand in front of a mirror and talk to yourself. You can do this before giving a test, going for an interview, or maybe every day. Give yourself a pep talk and set an intention for how you want the day/event to go. I hope you have fun discovering yourself and making the most of this time at home!
Listening Stories Untold is a platform run by Ashu, an undergraduate student, who is trying to connect to individuals who suffer from mental health problems. Through this platform, she aims at making mental health support more affordable and accessible to people but the journey does not end here. She's also trying to help people become the best version of themselves through the power of manifestation and mindset shift.
You can find her:
LinkedIn: Listening Stories Untold